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In the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995), a sublabel is a feature associated with a label.


Suppose we have a Tense node with the following features:

  _          _
 |NOM         |
 |+present    |
 |+fin        |
 |-V          |
 |+EPP        |
 |2nd person  |
 |PL          |
  -          -

All these features are sublabels of T. These sublabels can trigger movement to a projection of T; in this example, the EPP-feature forces movement of the subject to spec,T, and the [-V]-feature forces movement of the verb to T. The features of heads that are adjoined to a head, are also sublabels of this head; so if V adjoins to T, V's features also become sublabels of T.


Sublabel in Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1995. The Minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.