In a recent article, Kučerová 2018 (henceforth K18) puts forward a novel theory of the morphology and interpretation of nominal gender in Italian. This paper takes issue with this theory from both empirical and theoretical standpoints. We first show that several generalisations presented as empirical support for it are in fact incorrect. We then point out a series of fundamental challenges for the theory. First, the proposed three-way classification of nouns misrepresents the full range of facts, because it does not take into account plural morphology or the interdependencies of CLASS and GENDER features. Second, the account of gender mismatch in terms of “semiconservativity” fails to capture the Italian data, once the full paradigm is considered. Finally, K18’s use of Phase Theory to model contextual valuation of gender faces an insurmountable lookahead problem.

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