Agreement in language relates to the correspondence between words in a sentence, in terms of gender, case, person, or number. For example, in the sentence 'he runs', the suffix -s 'agrees' in number with the singular pronoun 'he'. Patterns of agreement vary dramatically cross-linguistically, with great diversity in the way it is expressed and the types of variation permitted. This clear introduction offers an insight into how agreement works, and how linguists have tried to account for it. Comparing examples from a range of languages, with radically different agreement systems, it demonstrates agreement at work in a variety of constructions. It shows how agreement is influenced by the conflicting effects of sentence structure and meaning, and highlights the oddities of agreement in English. The first textbook devoted to the cross-linguistic study of the topic, Agreement will be essential reading for all those studying the structure and mechanisms of natural languages.
1. Introduction: canonical agreement; 2. Controllers, targets and domains; 3. The morphology of agreement; 4. Features; 5. Mismatches; 6. Conditions; 7. The agreement hierarchy; 8. Resolution; 9. Other perspectives.