Property concepts and the apparent lack of adjectives in Dravidian

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Dravidian lacks an adjective category lexically and neither does it derive one in the syntax. The primary data comes from Malayalam where unlike what previous accounts suggest (Bhat 1994; Amritavalli & Jayaseelan 2003; Jayaseelan 2007), the lexicon comprises of uninflected primitive roots (Marantz 1997; Borer 2003). These roots are property concept roots and they combine with null verbal and nominal heads to derive structures. The syntax derives structures, which in English-type languages would be expressed with an adjective. Relativization and nominalization are the two routes to arrive at meanings expressed by adjectives in other languages.


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