A phase-based analysis of Old French genitive constructions
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 à moi</i> “my friend”/<i>l’ami du roi</i> “the king’s friend”) and another, in which no overt preposition is found (type <i>la niece le duc</i> “the duke’s niece”), 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 & Paradisi 2009). Assuming recent minimalist analyses of DPs (Lin 2009; Adger 2003; Hartmann & 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.