Heidi Harley
in Phi Theory: Phi-features across modules and interfaces, edited by David Adger, Susana Bejar and Daniel Harbour. Oxford: OUP. 251-294.
Publication year: 2008

In this paper, I re-examine and repeat the core message of Bobaljik 2001 and Frampton 2002, illustrating with several examples. I additionally show that underspecification of VIs is not necessarily an especially important source of syncretism, Panini notwithstanding. I also argue that Impoverishment could be the answer in cases where previous analyses have appealed to brute-force VI ordering and/or negative feature specifications, as argued by Nevins 2003. Finally, I argue that metasyncretism could be a good diagnostic indicator for when it’s worth undertaking investigation of more ‘deep’ syntactic explanations for particular morphological effects. In other words, the surface phenomenon of metasyncretism may tell linguists when to look for featurally conditioned effects in the syntactic derivation.