UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 9 (1997)

Checking features and split signs


Serial and quasi-serial constructions pose an interesting problem for Checking Theory, as the inflectional morphology relating to Tense may appear on two verbal heads. We argue that a head may occur as a 'split sign', with its LF-interpretable and PF-interpretable parts merged at different positions in a derivation. The PF-interpretable part determines the morphology on V, the LF-interpretable part determines the appropriate interpretation. We show that Tense must check one or more accessible Infl heads: that is, checking is not essentially one to one, and the parts of a split sign are subject to checking in a configuration which may be non-local.

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