Arguments for arguments in the complement zone of the Hungarian nominal head

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This paper argues that a Hungarian nominal head may have a phonetically non-empty complement zone — if certain “felicity conditions” are satisfied. Our approach relies on the introduction of two new constituency tests (based on certain properties of the contrastive topic and on the order of certain functional heads), instead of the earlier ones. Another crucial element to our solution is the reinterpretation of É. Kiss’s Constraint on Case Assignment as a Behaghel-type phonetic rule, which prevails in a graded way, instead of providing a black and white picture. Our approach can also be put into the cross-linguistic discussion of branchingness. It is claimed on the basis of our data that branchingness in Hungarian can be accounted for by a generalized version of Hinterhölzl’s (“Germanic”) weight condition; and the differences between Hungarian and, for instance, German in branchingness can simply be attributed to differences between these languages in the prosodic sensitivity of phases.


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