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C-agreement or something close to it

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Abstract

In this paper we sketch out an account for an until now undiscussed phenomenon in generative syntax, namely the so-called &#8220;alls-construction&#8221; in Midwestern American English. In this construction, an s-ending is added to <i>all</i> under certain circumstances. We compare and contrast this construction with complementizer agreement in West Germanic. The alls-construction is similar to complementizer agreement in that the s-ending on <i>all</i>, just like the inflection on the complementizer in West Germanic, is sensitive to the agreement features on the embedded subject. Contrasted with complementizer agreement, however, the alls-construction does not allow inflectional morphology to appear on any other constituent than <i>all</i>. Furthermore, inflection on <i>all</i> is only possible when <i>all</i> is introducing an <i>all</i>-pseudo-cleft. We will mainly focus on the construction internal restrictions of the inflection on <i>all</i>. Based on Van Craenenbroeck &amp; Van Koppen (2002), we assert that the alls-construction in Midwestern American English is in structure quite similar to complementizer agreement in West Germanic. We come back to the external restriction on the alls-construction in the final section, where we briefly discuss some issues concerning the pseudo-cleft status of the alls-construction.

References

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