This one is mostly for Emily, but I thought I’d post it here in case it’s of interest to anyone else.
So, I’m using INIT to manipulate the relative ordering of possessor and possessum in cases where they’re joined by head-comp. I’m also planning to use INIT to manipulate the order of a possessor/possessum-marking adposition and the thing it marks, which is its complement. The problem is that in some languages (specifically Fijian) the two phrase types have contradictory order, but the order of both must be controlled by a single INIT value – in the case of Fijian, the INIT value on the possessum-marker.
Here’s an example to show what I mean:
a liga i Jone the hand POSS John 'John's hand'
The possessum-marking word i first combines with liga ‘hand’ via comp-head. This means that i must have the value [ INIT - ]. Then it needs to combine with Jone via head-comp, but in order to do that, it’d need to have the value [ INIT + ]. The choices I see are to either 1) fail to model this construction and just validate against this particular combination of features (which is admittedly going to be pretty rare), or 2) when these features arise in this combination, underconstrain the possessum-marking word (i in the Fijian case) for INIT, and then add warnings to the questionnaire to let the user know that while you’ll parse the strings they want to parse, you’ll end up parsing a lot of garbage too.
I suppose there’s also a third option of adding some new feature, like INIT but distinct from it, that governs attachment order in the very limited case of a marker word attaching to the thing it marks. I’m not sure what the arguments for and against that would be.