PF-Representation of Tense Feature on DPs: Morphosyntax of the φ-Agreeing T-Marker Tau


  • Murdhy R. Alshamari University of Ha’il
  • Naif S. Alshammari University of Ha’il



syntax, tense feature, PF-chain, T-marker, probe goal


This research revises, develops and offers empirical evidence to two assumptions discussed in Pesetsky & Torrego’s (2007) theory which claims that tense feature [T] is associated with and expressed on DPs in syntax. Investigating the syntax of a T-marker tau, used in Najdi Arabic, in contexts where tau interacts with DPs in the spine of the clause, empirical evidence is provided that [T] assumed to be associated with DPs is generated in syntax and spelled out at PF. This takes place by the minimalist strategy where a clitic φ-agreeing with the relevant DP is spelled out on tau.[1]This clitic is a PF device indicating that a DP is marked with Tense information RECENT. This clitic is morphological realisation of φ-content on tau that is processed in syntax in turn of tau’s valuation to [T] on a DP. Mapping syntax-morphosyntax to LF, Agree (Chomsky 2001) is established between tau and a DP in which i-[T] on tau values u-[T] on the DP on the condition that i-[φ] on the DP value u-[φ] on tau. Furthermore, this analysis, contrary to Pesetsky & Torrego (2007), claims that [φ]-features on T° are crucial in valuing [T] feature on DP.[2][3][1] T-marker = Tense marker.[2] We represent the notion of feature using the convention ‘square brackets’ with the feature label. So, [T] means Tense feature and [φ] means [φ]-features.[3] LF = Logical form interface (Thought interface). PF = Phonological form interface (Sound interface).


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