Case, Concord and the Emergence of Default
journal contributionposted on 07.05.2021, 21:59 by Luis López
This article provides initial evidence that the head K, which may spell out as case morphology, drives the operations of concord within the noun phrase. Evidence for this claim comes from three code-switching varieties: Basque/Spanish, German/Turkish and Russian/Kazakh. By placing the switch at the border between case morphology and the rest of the noun phrase the properties of K can be isolated and inspected. We find that if K is drawn from the lexicon of a non-concord language, constituents within the noun phrase adopt a default morphology. It is suggested that the data presented in this paper provide evidence for approaches that take Concord to be a form of Agree (probe, goal) and against an approach that takes it to be the result of feature percolation from the bottom up. An analysis of default morphology is proposed that argues that default forms are inserted as vocabulary items in syntactic terminals that, as a result of a failure of Agree, are populated with unvalued features.