A phi-agreement constraint on subject extraction in Finnish

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This paper examines the constraints on subject extraction in Finnish. It is proposed that phi-agreement between the subject and the predicate introduces a freezing effect for the subject argument in a variety of constructions in Finnish. In addition, it is shown that Finnish subject freezing cannot be accounted for by relying on case-assignment or movement to the subject position. Finnish data therefore support the hypothesis that subject extraction is sensitive to subject agreement morphology (e.g. Richards 2001, Boeckx 2003). However, this proposal requires two additional assumptions: first, that the Agree-relation may take place covertly for some subject arguments, and second, that phi-concord does not have a freezing effect.


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