The Merge Condition
This paper proposes that morphological selection and subcategorization are derived from conditions on Merge, specifically the claim that Merge is only possible when it leads to feature valuation, which I argue takes place under Reverse Agree. The Merge Condition, together with a Reverse Agree mechanism, allows us to unify different types of selection and provides a strictly local and derivational mechanism for structure building which does not require recourse to special selector features or separate notions of (lexical) selection. I provide an explicit feature system encoding the selectional properties of verbs and a detailed account of clausal complementation structures in English and German. The system offers a new way of deriving verb second configurations, doubly filled Comp effects, the distribution of T–to–C movement, as well as the syntactically restricted behavior of embedded root clauses.