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The Surrey Database of Agreement

Corbett, Greville G., Tiberius, C, Brown, DP and Barron, J (2002) The Surrey Database of Agreement [Dataset]

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Agreement is a puzzling phenomenon, found widely in languages of different types. Basically, agreement is the expression of information in the wrong place. In the sentence: the system works intermittently, information about the number of systems is expressed redundantly on the verb (works versus work) which, were it not so familiar, would surprise us. The verb is marking the number of systems (not the number of working events). English agreement is rather straightforward; elsewhere agreement is much more complex. Twelve languages, taken from different families so as to maximise diversity, will be investigated; data will be collected according to a consistent format across the languages, starting from the four main areas of variation (controllers, targets, domains and categories). This will lead to an initial typology, to be followed by a more detailed investigation of three languages, found at extreme points of the typological space. Based on this complexity a general typology of agreement systems will be developed, that is an account will be given of what type of system is possible and what is not. This is primarily a theoretical aim, but it has potential long-term applications in that agreement has implications for the design of parsers in natural language processing.

Item Type: Dataset
Related URLs:
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > English and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:40
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2014 15:43

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