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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2020, Vol. 51, No. 4, Pages 829-844
(doi: 10.1162/ling_a_00360)
© 2019 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agreeing Adpositions in Avar and The Directionality-of-Valuation Debate
Article PDF (139.93 KB)
Abstract
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 45, 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.