Linker, relativizer, nominalizer, tense-particle

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The Ezafe particle is well known from recent work on Persian syntax, but its historical origins and developmental pathways have received less attention. This chapter redresses the balance by considering the Ezafe in a related West Iranian language, Northern Kurdish. In Northern Kurdish, the Ezafe has largely retained its demonstrative/relativizer origins, and also occurs as a nominalizer in the sense employed in this volume. In Modern Persian, however, these characteristics have entirely disappeared, and the Ezafe is merely a NP-internal Linker. I suggest that there is no reason to afford Persian any special priority when evaluating the developmental pathways of the Ezafe particle as a whole within the West Iranian languages. I also discuss an additional development within Northern Kurdish, where the Ezafe particle has become part of the predicate complex, echoing similar developments in a number of unrelated languages.


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