On the role of person in the mapping of syntactic features onto their interpretable counterparts
Ivona Kucerova
November 2018

This paper argues that the traditional notion of person feature refers to two fundamentally distinct objects. One is a feature present in narrow syntax, the other one is an object created as part of labelling by the syntax-semantics interface. The latter one arises via a formal association of the syntactic feature with a semantic index. Crucially, the interface object can give rise to new values of presuppositional φ -features (modulo Maximize Presupposition). In turn, we can identify two classes of number and gender features that differ in their locality properties and their semantic interpretability. Gender and number valued from the lexicon is present throughout the narrow syntax derivation and is not semantically interpreted. Gender and number introduced via person at the syntax-semantics interface appear only in larger syntactic domains (they become available only after a phase has been labelled by the syntax-semantics interface) and are always semantically interpreted (via their presuppositional content). The paper thus contributes to our understanding of mapping of narrow-syntax features onto the interfaces, division of labour among the modules and advances our understanding of some puzzling properties of person features cross-linguistically.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004292
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: under review
keywords: person, syntax-semantic interface, phi-features, locality, agreement, syntax
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