Restrictions on "low" person agreement in Dutch specificational copular constructions

Jutta Hartmann, Caroline Heycock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Agreement between the verb and its arguments as a predominant phenomenon in language has received major attention in the theoretical literature. One specific aspect under discussion concerns differences between number and person agreement, with the latter being the more restricted one (restricted by Baker’s 2008 SCOPA, by variants of the Person Licensing Condition of Béjar & Rezac 2003, or by multiple agreement see Schütze 2003; Ackema & Neeleman 2018). In this paper we address the restrictions on person agreement with a nominative noun phrase in a low position by investigating a relatively little-discussed configuration, namely specificational copular constructions in Dutch such as "dat de inspiratie voor deze roman niet jij %bent/??is". We provide data from both a production and a rating study comparing 3/2 person agreement and show that what initially looks like a “person effect” in Dutch turns out to be a pronoun effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-146
Number of pages16
JournalLinguistics in the Netherlands
Early online date5 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • syntax
  • Dutch
  • agreement
  • copula


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