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A phase-based analysis of Old French genitive constructions

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Abstract

This paper considers two types of genitive constructions in Old French (OF), one in which the possessor is introduced by a preposition (type <i>un ami &#224; moi</i> &#8220;my friend&#8221;/<i>l&#8217;ami du roi</i> &#8220;the king&#8217;s friend&#8221;) and another, in which no overt preposition is found (type <i>la niece le duc</i> &#8220;the duke&#8217;s niece&#8221;), the so-called juxtaposition genitive (JG). Although not preceded by a preposition, the possessor in the JG is invariably in the oblique case (Arteaga 1995 and Delfitto &amp; Paradisi 2009). Assuming recent minimalist analyses of DPs (Lin 2009; Adger 2003; Hartmann &amp; Zimermann, 2003; Carstens 2000, 2003), a phase-based account of OF genitive constructions is proposed. It is assumed that in the JG, a null preposition checks oblique case on the possessor. The feature [def], required in OF of possessors in the JG, allows for the derivation of the various JG structures.

References

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