On the uninterpretability of interpretable features

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In this paper I present several arguments that argue against the assumption in current generative syntactic theory that certain formal features are semantically active as well (so-called interpretable formal features). Instead, I propose that the set of formal features and the set of semantic features (to the extent that they are featural in the first place) are fully independent. An acquisitional and diachronic theory further constrains the possible combinations of syntactic and semantic features that can be lexically stored, which results in the apparent overlap in the distribution of particular syntactic and semantic features (which has originally been the cause of taking them on a par).


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