THE IMPACT OF AGREEMENT CONDITIONS ON THE CHOICE OF AGREEMENT PATTERNS

Author:
Tatjana Pišković
Email:
taya.piskovic@yahoo.com
Summary
Agreement patterns imply that there is a stable relationship between the grammatical morphemes on the controllers (i.e. on the words marked for gender that determine or trigger the agreement) and on their targets (i.e. on the words for which gender is an inflectional category the form of which is determined by the agreement). The choice of the agreement pattern in the Croatian language is mainly influenced by the grammatical categories of the controllers (gender, number and person), but sometimes also by other factors (word order, semantic animacy) which are not reflected in the words as directly as categories and which are usually referred to as agreement conditions. Their influence is especially important in the non-canonical domains where a choice between two agreement patterns exists. Word-order as an agreement condition in the Croatian language is usually related to the issue of whether the controller precedes the target (Bijes i ljutnja obuzeli su ga čim je čuo lošu vijest) or the target precedes the controller (Čim je čuo lošu vijest, obuzeli su ga bijes i ljutnja/Čim je čuo lošu vijest, obuzeo ga je bijes i ljutnja) and whether this change causes a vacillation between the two agreement patterns. This paper will adduce the most frequent cases in which word-order has an effect on the choice of agreement patterns with special regard to the interaction of word-order and another important agreement condition in the Croatian language – the semantic animacy. The idea of whether the controller designates something animate or something inanimate often influences the choice of the target in domains where there is a choice between the syntactic and the semantic agreement pattern. The impact of these two agreement conditions can be summed up in the assertion that the choice of the semantic agreement pattern is facilitated by the controllers which refer to something animate and precede their target. All the findings will be supported by the results of a survey questionnaire with which we sought to examine the assumption that the communicative status of the semantic and the syntactic agreement is somewhat different from their descriptions in grammar books. Key words: agreement; agreement patterns; word order; animacy; Agreement Hierarchy
Key words
agreement; agreement patterns; word order; animacy; Agreement Hierarchy
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