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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2013, Vol. 44, No. 2, Pages 179-237
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00125)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agreeing How? Implications for Theories of Agreement and Locality
Article PDF (1.6 MB)
Abstract

In Lubukusu and Lusaamia, the wh-expression ‘how’ agrees in Φ-features with the subject of its clause. We show that agreement on ‘how’ is not always identical to subject agreement on the verb: the two diverge in certain locative inversion and subject extraction environments. On the basis of these facts, we argue that ‘how’ is a vP adjunct with downward-probing uΦ independent of the uΦ that underlies subject agreement. We also explore locality paradoxes that arise in connection with agreeing ‘how’ in locative inversion constructions. These present challenges to the traditional notion of equidistance from a probe as an explanation for inversion, show that operators may have ‘‘active’’ Φ-features even while they are Ā-opaque, and offer insight into the mechanisms making locative inversion possible.