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Talk: Zheng Shen, Multi-valuation and the Language Level of the Agreement Hierarchy [ST@R]

October 4, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Multi-valuation and the Language Level of the Agreement Hierarchy

Zheng Shen (Goethe University Frankfurt)


Multi-valuation involves a probe getting multiple singular values. Nominal right node raising (1) and TP right node raising (2) have been argued to involve multi-valued Ns and Ts respectively.


(1) This tall and that short student(*s) are a couple. (multi-valued Ns)

(2) Sue’s proud that Bill, and Mary’s glad that John, have/has traveled to Cameroon. (multi-valued Ts)

A cross-linguistic survey reveals that three out of the four logically possible patterns of multi-valued Ns and Ts are attested as in (3), parallel to the original Agreement Hierarchy observed for hybrid noun agreement (Corbett 1979). I argue that this asymmetry is an instantiation of the Agreement Hierarchy.


  1. Multi-valued Ns – singular, Multi-valued Ts – singular: Slovenian.
  2. Multi-valued Ns – plural, Multi-valued Ts – plural: Russian.
  3. Multi-valued Ns – singular, Multi-valued Ts – plural: English.
  4. Multi-valued Ns – plural, Multi-valued Ts – singular: unattested.

I show that recent accounts for the Agreement Hierarchy effects e.g. Smith 2015, Landau 2016, cannot be extended to the multi-valuation pattern in (3) because they deal with the sentence level of the Agreement Hierarchy where the mismatch occur in one sentence as in (4). The multi-valuation agreement hierarchy on the other hand involves a language level of the hierarchy.


  1. The committee hasoffered themselvesfor criticism.
  2. *The committee haveoffered itselffor criticism.


October 4, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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