Merging features

Let’s look at the AVM for she again.

Actually, there isn’t enough information in this AVM! We know that she is 3rd person singular, so that’s all right. However, the word her is also a 3rd person singular noun. What’s to stop us getting sentences such as Her walks?! That’s no good.

We need more information in these AVMs. The difference between she as in She walks and her as in I saw her is that she is nominative case and her is accusative case. So we can just add this information to our AVMs.

We can add the information to the VALENCE features for walks that the subject must be nominative case.
Now we can see the important information about nominative case that will mean that she and walks pair up nicely.
And here’s the important information for her. Walks will reject it because it is not compatible with accusative case subjects. We can say that unification fails where there is a mismatch of this sort.

Anyway, take a look at the PowerPoint slides here.