Proceedings of Concord Phenomena and the Syntax Semantics Interface. 2006, 21-26
In this paper, I will discuss an irrealis-construction in Russian, which poses non-trivial problems for a compositional analysis of tense, aspect and mood (the categories subsumed under the abbreviation TAM). The past tense morphology on the verb – in absence of a semantic PAST operator – is argued to be licensed by an IRREALIS operator. This concord phenomenon will be accounted for in terms agreement/checking as in Minimalist feature theory. The choice of imperfective aspect in this construction can possibly be explained from the perspective of competition between optimal form-meaning pairs.