Kersti Börjars k.borjars at MAN.AC.UK
Tue Nov 23 09:51:13 UTC 1999

I'm still a bit puzzled by this distinction between agreememnt, which seems
to be defined by directionality, and "the other thing", i.e. where the
feature is associated with the phrase and then is marked on a number of
elements of that phrase (or maybe even as many as is possible). What is the
argument for making this distinction?

One thing that worries me is what possible agreement features we are then
left with (Andrew Spencer also mentions this problem); the only
indisputable one seems to me to be gender. Other features which I have
always thought of as possible agreement features, like number, person or
case could easily be ruled out by this strict definition. Would one want
these not to be agreement features?

Just so that I understand the terminology: if we all agree that
definiteness is the kind of feature which "belongs to" the phrase and
according to the strict definition is therefore not an agreement feature,
how do we describe the difference between the definiteness feature in
languages which would appear only to want to see the feature marked once,
be it syntactically or morphologically, e.g. Danish) and that of languages
which want to see it marked as often as possible (e.g. Norwegian or



Kersti Börjars
Department of Linguistics
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL             k.borjars at
Tel: 44+(0)161-275 3042
Fax: 44+(0)161-275 3042


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