Authors Name: 
Christopher Hammerly
University of Minnesota
Languages & Linguistics
Highly commended

A “Feature Sharing” account of attributive and predicative adjectival gender agreement in French

In this paper, I explore a specific instance of agreement in French: gender agreement with adjectives. Adjectival agreement provides an especially interesting and illuminating case study in French, because adjectives can occur either attributively, which means they are housed within the DP, or predicatively, which means they are housed in the clause. The goal of this paper is to create a model of grammatical gender, a syntactic architecture, and an agreement mechanism that can account for these environments. I begin by describing the genders and sub-genders of French, then posit a feature that accounts for the genders and sub-genders, and finally provide a structural location within the DP to house this feature. Next, I tackle the issue of agreement by rejecting the traditional Chomskian (2000, 2001) notion of Agree and replacing it with a Feature Sharing account (Pesetsky & Torrego 2007). Penultimately, I show how the syntactic architecture and the Agree operation can be applied to the attributive and predicative adjectival environments. Finally, I conclude by discussing future research areas, including other applications of this account within French and the need for cross-linguistic parameterization of Agree.