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Troy Messick published in Linguistic Inquiry

Prof. Troy Messick had two papers published over the summer on Linguistic Inquiry. Both papers are currently available on early access.

3/4 of a Monster: On Mixed Shifty Agreement in Telugu
Abstract: Within the typology of embedded pronouns, there are languages that allow for non-first person pronouns to apparently control first person agreement morphology when in certain embedded contexts. This type of agreement displays some degree of optionality: it is also possible for the pronoun to control the expected agreement morphology given the pronoun’s own overt morphological features. This paper provides new data from the Dravidian language Telugu that shows when the embedded pronoun controls agreement on two separate targets, agreement may be uniform across the two targets or the two targets can mismatch in one direction, but crucially not the other. I show how we may account for this paradigm using the assumptions that the pronouns in question are similar to so-called hybrid nouns and that agreement features are restricted in principled ways.

E-Raising Reconsidered: Constituency, Coordination and Case-Matching Reciprocals (co-authored with Gísli Rúnar Harðarson (University of Iceland)
Abstract: In Icelandic, part of the complex reciprocal hvor annar matches in case with the reciprocal’s antecedent. In structures where the reciprocal is embedded in a PP, the P intervenes between the two parts. A recent analysis of these data suggests that part of the reciprocal overtly moves to the base position of the antecedent by an operation termed e-raising. We show that such an analysis makes a number of wrong predictions about the constituencies of such structures and also about the behavior of reciprocals in coordinations. We show that this is also the case for other languages that show case-agreeing reciprocals. We instead argue that matching in case between antecedent and reciprocal can occur with the reciprocal staying in situ. Instances with PPs do involve movement but only to the edge of PP and not further. This analysis is in line with a number of recent approaches that advocate for a morphosyntactic feature matching relation between antecedent and locally bound anaphors.