Irene Fernández – The puzzle of number unagreement: the case of Spanish psych-verbs
Seminari del CLT
The puzzle of number unagreement: the case of Spanish psych-verbs
IRENE FERNÁNDEZ (UAB)
Divendres, 15 de maig de 2020
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This talk explores data where in a DAT-NOM configuration, the verb is inflected in 3SG despite the Internal Argument (IA) being in plural:
(1) Nos gusta los animales
(2) Me flipa los músicos que solo sacan un single
I will argue that (1) and (2) are not the same phenomenon. (1) is an instance of ‘true unagreement’ where the oblique argument (the dative experiencer) blocks T-IA agreement, while in (2), the IA has a propositional interpretation. For (1) I will propose that the dative clitic is an intervener and optionality depends on the timing of operations move and agree (Georgi 2014, Obata et al. 2015, Obata & Epstein 2016). On the other hand, the IA of (2) is a concealed CP, reminiscent of the cases of emphatic relatives in Spanish (Brucart 1999, Martínez 1999, Brucart & Gallego 2009).
If this proposal is in the right track, these phenomena seem to provide evidence for to two different views of optionality: the former is an instance of ‘true optionality’ (Biberauer & Richards 2006), whereas the latter responds to interpretative factors (Reinhart 1995, Fox 2000).