Agreement is a powerful syntactic device in language that is often neglected due to the central position of phrase structure in the study of language. Yet, agreement used to play an Enormous role in earlier stages of Indo-European languages and is still the main strategy in Many of the world?s languages today (for an extensive overview of the phenomenon, see Corbett(2006)). Creating syntactic structure by adding markers to words that belong together Is a straightforward way to aid the hearer when he tries to unravel the semantic relations that Are expressed. This talk reveals the basic mechanisms underlying agreement systems and Shows their operationalization in a computational formalism. It will also hint at the limits of The marking strategy and make suggestions towards why the alternative strategy of phrase Structure might have emerged.


Katrien Beuls

Evolution of Languages e-session


Photos by : David Rytell