Agreement in Ibibio: From every head to every head

Mark Baker, Willie Udo Willie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Ibibio language has the special property that agreement with a single grammatical subject can appear multiple times in the same clause. After showing that this is a general phenomenon in the language, we argue that every verbal functional head in Ibibio-Aspect, Auxiliary, Mood, and Participle, as well as Tense-acts as a probe, capable of initiating an Agree relationship. Furthermore, a close comparison of agreement in indicative, subjunctive, negative, and infinitival clauses shows that these functional heads do not agree with the subject directly; rather each agrees with the next highest functional head within the extended projection. The facts of Ibibio thus point toward a version of Chomsky's theory of Agree in which any functional head can be the probe in an agreement relation, and any functional head can be the goal in such a relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-132
Number of pages34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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