Word order in Basque determiner phrases

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The relative order of some internal constituents of Basque DPs is fixed. For the most part adjectives appear to the right of the noun but precede demonstratives, whereas quantifiers must precede the noun. When there are several adjectives they have an unmarked order, and in this case, although it is not easy to discover oppositions, that unmarked order is the reverse (i.e. mirror image) of the one occurring in languages in which adjectives precede the noun they qualify (Sproat & Shih 1988; Scott 2002). These facts are examined in a typological perspective in this article, which draws on Kayne’s (1994) approach to antisymmetry and Cinque’s (1999) universal structural hierarchy of DP functions. It is shown that these data can be accounted for adequately by movements within the DP achieved by raising merged phrases through the specifiers as proposed by e.g. Fassi Fehri (1999), Cinque (2005), Aboh (2004) and Shlonsky (2004).


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