Fall 2020, Vol. 51, No. 4, Pages 829-844
© 2019 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agreeing Adpositions in Avar and The Directionality-of-Valuation Debate
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Given the central spot afforded to unvalued features in current theorizing, the directionality of feature valuation is the subject of a lively debate in the syntactic literature. The traditional conception of upward valuation, whereby the unvalued probe inherits features from a valued goal in its c-command domain (
Chomsky 2000, 2001, Carstens and Diercks 2013, Preminger 2013), has to compete with downward valuation ( Zeijlstra 2012), Hybrid Agree ( Bjorkman and Zeijlstra 2019), and bidirectional Agree ( Baker 2008), among others.Here, using data from Avar, I discuss the crosslinguistically rare phenomenon of adposition agreement, whereby certain adverbs, postpositions, and locative case forms undergo agreement with an absolutive argument. I set the stage by sketching the mechanism of case assignment and argument-predicate agreement in Avar ( section 1) and introducing the phenomenon of adposition agreement ( section 2). I then show that the agreement morphology on agreeing adpositions is a result of agreement rather than concord ( section 3). In sections 4– 5, I explore the consequences of adposition agreement in Avar for upward and downward valuation, concluding that upward valuation is better equipped to account for the observed patterns. In section 6, I summarize the results of the discussion.