Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 263–314 | Cite as

An agreement-based analysis of extraction from nominals

  • Matthew ReeveEmail author


In this paper, I argue that the extended projection of N (xNP) is a phase that does not permit successive-cyclic movement via an edge position (cf. Bach and Horn 1976; Bosque and Gallego 2014). As has been observed previously, languages in which AP and xNP can be extracted from xNP typically involve an overt agreement relation between the extractee and the ‘host.’ I argue that the agreeing morpheme is itself theta-marked by the host N, and that this morpheme also establishes an interpretable Agree relation with the extractee. Given well-motivated assumptions about adjunction and Agree, this enables the extractee to be base-generated outside the host’s extended projection, and hence to be extracted without violating the Phase Impenetrability Condition. As well as accounting for the robust cross-linguistic correlation between overt agreement and extraction, not accounted for under successive-cyclic analyses, the proposed analysis accounts for the peripherality restriction on extraction, the possibility of deep extraction, and exceptions to these. Finally, I examine an apparent exception to the agreement/extraction generalisation, the mobility of PP and inherent-case dependents of N, arguing that this can be captured in terms of an Agree relation between the preposition and the head N.


Agreement Case Extraction Phases Successive-cyclicity 



I would like to thank the following people for judgements and related discussion: Klaus Abels, Priyanka Biswas, Margarita Dimitrovna, Ion Giurgea, Güliz Güneş, Atakan İnce, Dalina Kallulli, Gergely Kantor, Yadgar Karimi, Rajvir Kaur, Anikó Lipták, Anoop Mahajan, Mihaela Marchis Moreno, Radovan Miletić, Otto Nuoranne, Kriszta Szendrői, Elena Titov and Jana Willer-Gold. I am especially grateful to Ludovico Franco and Mihaela Marchis Moreno, who read and commented on a previous draft of the paper, and to the three anonymous reviewers of this paper, for extremely helpful comments. The usual disclaimers apply. This work was largely carried out while I was a postdoctoral researcher on Ludovico Franco’s project ‘The Case of Agreement’ at the Centro de Linguística, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (CLUNL), and I am grateful to the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), who funded the project.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsZhejiang UniversityHangzhouP.R. China

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