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Labeling, selection, and feature checking

Zeijlstra, Hedde

In this paper, I sketch the outlines of an approach to labeling, selection and feature checking that brings minimalist syntax closer to categorial grammar. The central idea is that the distribution of every syntactic element is fully determined by the unordered set of its independent and dependent formal features. Upon merger, every feature on both of the merged elements percolates, unless an independent feature [F] and a dependent feature [uF] stand in a sisterhood relation; then, neither of these two features percolate. This provides a proper labeling algorithm that can also account for the labeling of adjunction. The proposal further reinstalls c-selection and explains the effects traditionally attributed to structural case in terms of DP-selection. It also reduces the set of categorial features to a few primitive independent features ([D], [T], [Pred]). In the final part of this paper, it is discussed how this proposal relates to, or even derives, syntactic operations, such as Agree, movement or valuation.

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