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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2011, Vol. 42, No. 1, Pages 45-82
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00028)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Morphosemantic Mismatches, Structural Economy, and Licensing
Article PDF (200.94 KB)
Abstract

Agreement and concord involve mismatches between the position where a syntactic or semantic contribution is made and where it is expressed morphologically. Such mismatches are often taken to involve either movement or the spreading and realization of features. I examine a number of superficially different instances of this kind of mismatch that seem to resist an account based on realization and movement alone. I argue that the patterns involved should receive a unified account in terms of licensors, elements subject to a condition of structural economy that associate indirectly with semantically contentful heads through features that those heads spread and that require a c-commanding licensor.