Tense and agreement impairment in ibero-romance

Anna Gavarró, Silvia Martínez-Ferreiro

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21 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the inflectional productions of seven Catalan, seven Galician, and seven Spanish speaking agrammatic subjects in an elicitation and a sentence repetition task and consider them in the light of the Tree Pruning Hypothesis (TPH). The results show relatively spared subject person/number agreement with the verb and impaired tense marking for all subjects in all the languages. Recent reformulations of syntactic theory [Chomsky (1999) MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics (vol. 18). MA: The MIT Press; (2000). Step by Step: Essays on Minimalist Syntax in Honor of Howard Lasnik (pp. 89-155). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press] regarding the locus of agreement force a reconsideration of the TPH for it to make the desired predictions; we adopt Cinque's [(1999) Adverbs and Functional Heads: A Cross-linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press] array of functional mood/tense/aspect projections and we show that subject agreement must occur between the subject DP and a low functional head for selective impairment to result. Feature underspecification, formerly considered, is rendered unnecessary. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-46
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Agrammatism
  • Agreement
  • Ibero-Romance
  • Minimalism
  • Tense
  • Tree pruning


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