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Title: Arguing against obligatory feature inheritance: Evidence from French transitive participle agreement
Authors: Vincent, Michèle
Radford, Andrew
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Padova, Unipress
Abstract: In this article, we accept the view that the relevant type of case/agreement features originate on phase heads, but argue against a strong view of the Percolation Hypothesis on which uninterpretable features obligatorily percolate down from a phase head onto a selected head: on the contrary, we maintain that there are structures in which uninterpretable case/agreement features remain on the phase head throughout the derivation. The main empirical evidence we adduce in support of our claim comes from a novel analysis of French past participle agreement which builds on earlier work by Radford and Vincent (2007) and Vincent (2007). In section 2, we briefly characterise French past participle agreement, and outline the key assumptions which our analysis makes. We show how our analysis handles past participle agreement with a local direct object in section 3, and go on to show how it correctly specifies when (and why) agreement can take place with the subject of an embedded infinitive complement in section 4. In section 5, we present further empirical evidence against the Percolation Hypothesis from a range of independent phenomena, and highlight some theoretical inadequacies of the hypothesis, as well as reconsidering the motivation for feature percolation. Finally, in section 6 we summarize our overall conclusions.
Appears in Collections:Rivista di Grammatica Generativa : Research in Generative Grammar (RGG)

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