Article published in:Finiteness Matters: On finiteness-related phenomena in natural languages
Edited by Kristin Melum Eide
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 231] 2016
► pp. 171–188
Agreement is not an essential ingredient of finiteness
Evidence from impersonal sentences in Norwegian dialects and in English
I argue in this article that agreement is not an essential ingredient of T/finiteness. Using the mechanism of valuation of unvalued features, I argue that unvalued agreement features in T only exist if there is visible subject – verb agreement in the language/dialect. Correspondingly, I argue that unvalued agreement features in participles only exist if there is visible subject – participle agreement. The likelihood that these assumptions are correct is demonstrated through a comparative analysis of expletive subjects and agreement relations in impersonal constructions in Norwegian dialects and in English.
Keywords: agreement, expletive subject, impersonal construction, participle, passive
Published online: 25 August 2016
Åfarli, Tor A.
Christensen, Kirsti Koch & Taraldsen, Knut Tarald
Faarlund, Jan Terje, Lie, Svein & Vannebo, Kjell Ivar