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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2013, Vol. 44, No. 4, Pages 611-631
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00140)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Arabic Conjunct-Sensitive Agreement and Primitive Operations
Article PDF (99.12 KB)
Abstract

In some Arabic dialects, preverbal coordinated subjects cause plural agreement on the verb while postverbal ones cause either plural agreement or singular agreement. This paradigm has been addressed by Aoun, Benmamoun, and Sportiche (1994, 1999) and Munn (1999), with varying degrees of success. This article offers an alternative to the previous analyses that utilizes the concept of decomposed Merge (Hornstein 2009), whereby Merge is reanalyzed as two suboperations. Previously unexplained cases that flout the paradigm are explained here by a decomposition of the Extension Condition (Chomsky 1995) and a derivational account of pronoun binding across coordination.