From N to D

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Based on a thorough review of their feature make up and on novel diachronic data on their modification properties, this paper maps out the internal syntactic structure of French n-words and the historical time course of their internal rise within a nominal projection. It charts out precise steps that directly relate internal structural changes to corresponding changes in concord properties. Indirect modification with <i>autre</i> as in <i>rien d&#8217;autre</i> is shown to be an innovation of modern French that serves to provide a distinctive signature of the final morphosyntactic change of n-words into negative quantificational expressions. The evidence offered supports the hypothesis (D&#233;prez 2000; Condoravdi &#38; Kiparsky 2006) that it was change in the internal structure of n-words that determined the current properties of negative concord, not changes in the sentential negation marker, contra Zeijlstra (2004 and following work).


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