Greek and Romance unagreement in Calabria

27 Jun 2018

The term ‘unagreement’ describes configurations with an apparent person-mismatch between a typically definite plural subject and non-third person verbal agreement found in several null subject languages. Previous works have suggested that languages which have an obligatory definite article in adnominal pronoun constructions (APCs) allow unagreement (cf. standard modern Greek emeis oi glossologoi “we (the) linguists”), while languages that rule out definite articles in APCs do not allow unagreement constructions (cf. standard Italian noi (*i) linguisti). This article presents new evidence from Calabrian Greek (Greko), which corresponds to the predictions for other varieties of Greek, and two southern Italian Romance varieties (northern and southern Calabrese): these varieties exhibit Italian-type apcs but still allow unagreement, contrary to expectations. We discuss how the Romance data may be accommodated by extending a previous account of unagreement and propose that the hybrid pattern observed in the Italo-Romance varieties is a result of historical contact with local Greek varieties.