This article investigates complex agreement patterns with the polite plural pronoun vi and so-called ‘hybrid nouns’ in Serbian. I show how many curious agreement phenomena are to a great extent determined by the inability of an agreement target to simultaneously agree with an exclusively semantic and an exclusively formal φ-feature of an agreement controller. Consequently, in some cases (e.g., the polite plural pronoun vi) masculine emerges as the default gender value, as a result of an independently motivated mechanism. I argue that an analysis based on these two factors allows for wider empirical coverage than the analysis developed in Wechsler and Hahm (2011) and Wechsler (2011) based on an Agreement Marking Principle. I also discuss the so-called ‘different pronoun hypothesis’, which Wechsler and Hahm (2011) propose to explain different types of agreement triggered by the polite plural pronoun. In light of some new facts, however, I argue that the ‘different adjective hypothesis’ in fact might be on the right track. Along the way, I also develop an analysis of gender agreement with coordinated phrases consisting of singular number conjuncts and suggest that gender in Serbian should be represented in terms of binary features [±masculine] and [±feminine].
Morphology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 10, 2017
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