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On the interpretability of φ-features

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Abstract

The paper reconsiders the evidence for the interpretable status of φ-features within DP in Romance languages, focusing on Italian. The conclusions are that, given a reasonably local interpretation of what counts as interpretable, gender is not an interpretable feature, and number (or plur, in the sense of Heycock & Zamparelli 2005) is interpretable, but is not sufficient to drive the process of verbal and predicative agreement. The notion of “default”, particularly with respect to the Person feature, is discussed and various alternatives are explored.

References

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