Nominal licensing is driven by valued (phi-)features

  • Laura Kalin Princeton University
Keywords: Syntax, agreement, licensing, Differential Object Marking, Person Case Constraint


This short paper lays out the components of a new model of nominal licensing, motivated by novel observations about parallels between the Person Case Constraint and Differential Object Marking. The model revolves around the idea that valued features on nominals---namely, phi-features and features related to definiteness and animacy---are the sorts of features that need abstract licensing, rather than an abstract Case feature. This model helps us understand where differential marking and featural restrictions occur, and in particular, why it is that subjects and indirect objects, in contrast to direct objects, tend not to be differentially marked or featurally restricted. 

Author Biography

Laura Kalin, Princeton University
Assistant Professor, Program in Linguistics