Demonstratives and Definite Articles as Nominal Auxiliaries

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Written in the cartographic tradition, this monograph is concerned with the inner structure and derivation of noun phrases. It proposes that demonstratives and definite articles are similar to auxiliaries in the clause. Referencing mostly Germanic languages, the book argues that determiners are base generated below adjectives and subsequently move to the left periphery in a successive-cyclic fashion. Demonstrating that determiners are complex elements, it is proposed that languages vary with regard to when and what part of the determiner they move. This provides a novel account of the variation in the Scandinavian noun phrase. With various copies left behind by moving the determiner, the restrictive and non-restrictive readings of adjectives and relative clauses are suggested to follow from the interpretation of these different copies. The system is extended to the strong and weak adjective inflections in German. Proposing that determiners are auxiliaries in the nominal domain explains these apparently unrelated data in a uniform way.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Generative linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of North Texas

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