عنوان مقاله [English]
In Minimalist Program (MP), person, number and gender are called φ-features. Since Persian does not have a feature for gender, this study explored person and number features in Persian learners’ speaking. φ-features play a key role in subject-verb agreement. This study examined subject-verb agreement in Persian learners’ speaking. 14 Persian language students who were in elementary 2 level of Dehkhoda Institute participated in structured interviews. The purpose was to determine the variables which related to the φ-features in learners’ speaking. The study examined the effects of three factors on subject-verb agreement in learners’ speaking: 1) The accessibility/inaccessibility of φ-features in the first language, 2) pro-drop in Persian 3) The presence of non-subject pronoun in Persian sentences. Furthermore, this study analyzed the influence of agreement errors or lack of syntactic interpretation of φ-features on semantic interpretation. Semantic interpretation refers to the meaning of person and number features for Persian language learners. The results of t-test analysis showed that 1) the existence of person and number features in learners’ first language had a positive effect on accessibility and acquisition of these features in Persian, 2) there were more errors in subject-verb agreement in pro-drop sentences in which subject had been deleted, 3) and there were more errors in subject-verb agreement whenever, in addition to subject, there was a non-subject pronoun in the sentence. Furthermore, qualitative analysis based on MP showed that, sometimes in the absence of subject-verb agreement or syntactic interpretation, the semantic interpretation of person and number features is accessible which presents a challenge to MP.