The emergence of DP from a perspective of ontogeny and phylogeny: Correlation between DP, TP and aspect in Old English and first language acquisition

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The aim of this paper is to discuss the English NP and its historical development into DP via the emergence of a functional D-system. This is related to the mechanism of theta-binding (Higginbotham 1985). The languages of the world could be described in terms of a D-system and morphological case. In addition, drawing on Abraham (1997) and Leiss (2000), I will examine if there is a complementary distribution between DP/TP and aspect. The correlation between DP/TP and aspect is observed in early child languages. This suggests that there might be a parallel between first language acquisition (ontogeny) and diachronic change (phylogeny) (cf. Osawa 2003a).


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