Edinburgh Research Explorer

Up or down? Resolving agreement in copular sentences


Related Edinburgh Organisations

PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Date made available1 Dec 2019
Geographical coverageFaroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands,


These files contain the anonymised raw data from 7 experiments developed and run for the BA-funded project "Up or Down? Resolving agreement in copular clauses. There are 2 sets of data - one from a production task and one from a grammaticality judgment task - for each of Dutch, German, and Faroese. There is 1 set of data from a grammaticality judgment task for Icelandic. The study investigated possible patterns of agreement in copular sentences in which there were two nominals different in either person or number or both (e.g. "The source of the rumour was/were your neighbours"; "My only hope is/are you"). The particular focus of the study was the possible contrasts between agreement with 3rd person pronouns and non-3rd person pronouns ("The problem is/are they" vs "The problem is/are you"). In all of the languages investigated in the study (Dutch, German, Faroese, Icelandic) prior research indicated that at least some speakers produce agreement for number with the second noun phrase ("The source of the rumour were your neighbours") in contrast to English, where agreement with the first noun phrase is strongly preferred. What this study adds is information about possibilities for person agreement.

Data Citation

Heycock, Caroline; Hartmann, Jutta M. (2018). Up or down? Resolving agreement in copular sentences, 2015-2017 [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Philosophy. Psychology and Language Sciences. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/2329

ID: 57218032