In this article, we propose a phase-based alternative to Kayne’s (1989) analysis of past participle agreement in Italian. This analysis captures the principal facts without making reference to specifier-head agreement. Instead, the possibility of overt past participle agreement is determined by the Phase Impenetrability Condition and is linked to the surface position of the past participle. The analysis has interesting crosslinguistic implications, notably in that it predicts a general asymmetry between subject and object agreement.

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