Home > Events > LING Colloquium: Stefan Keine (USC)
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LING Colloquium: Stefan Keine (USC)

Time: 
Friday, April 06, 2018 - 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Location: 
1310 Marie Mount Hall

Title: Feature gluttony and the syntax of hierarchy effects

Abstract: In this talk, we offer a new take on a family of hierarchy effect-inducing configurations, including (i) PCC effects (Anagnostopoulou 2005), (ii) German copular constructions (Coon, Keine & Wagner 2017), and (iii) Icelandic dative-nominative configurations (Sigurðsson & Holmberg 2008). We draw on the iterative search component of Cyclic Agree (Béjar & Rezac 2009), according to which an articulated probe continues probing if at least some features are left unvalued after an Agree relation (also Deal 2015). Béjar & Rezac (2009) and many related accounts seek to derive hierarchy effects from an underapplication of Agree and concomitant failures of nominal licensing. By contrast, we argue that hierarchy effects are the result of an overapplication of Agree. We propose that in these structures, a probe participates in more than one valuation relation, “biting off more than it can chew”––a configuration that we refer to as "feature gluttony". The coexistence of multiple values on a single probe can then create conflicting requirements for subsequent operations, leading to a crash. Important motivation for this account comes from the fact that hierarchy effects commonly disappear in the absence of agreement, along with differences in rescue strategies for hierarchy-violating configurations.

*Joint work with Jessica Coon

Bio: Stefan Keine is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. His research interests lie primarily in theoretical syntax and its connections to morphology, semantics and sentence processing.