UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 8 (1996)

Checking theory: features, functional heads, and checking-parameters



Structures with subordinating conjunction, covert or overt, provide evidence for checking theory, and offer an interesting testing ground for the theory of feature checking, and for theories of the interpretation of inflectional morphology and the lexicon. We argue for a radically separationalist account of verbal inflection. Certain functional heads (which have no phonological content) need to be in an appropriate checking relation with one or more appropriate morphophonological operators on lexical heads, within the syntactic structure. The checking configuration is parametrised, taking one of the values 'head check', 'scope-check' and 'asymmetric check', where checking is 'at a distance' rather than under the higher head.

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