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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10443/4123

Title: The structure of DP in Central Kurdish
Authors: Tahir, Rebwar Shafie
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis investigates the syntactic structure of DP (determiner phrase) in Central Kurdish within the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995, and subsequent work). It explores the syntax of functional categories including inflectional elements such as Izafe, number, definite and indefinite markers. The study examines the structural relation between these functional categories and the noun, shedding new light on the syntax of DP in a language which has not so far been well investigated. Using the Minimalist derivational theory, this thesis explores the derivation of extended nominal projections in Central Kurdish. The study provides a detailed account of the Izafe construction. I argue that Izafe triggers movement of NP to a position above the modifier(s), and also marks agreement in definiteness. Two types of Izafe are recognized: AP Izafe and NP Izafe. While AP Izafe agrees in definiteness with D realized by the definite article, NP Izafe shows Case agreement with a modifying DP complement. I argue that such agreement relations are established by Chomsky’s (2000, 2001) probe/goal agreement operation, except that the agreement relations occur upwards, the probe being c-commanded by the goal (contra Chomsky 2000, 2001, but in line with Baker 2008; Wurmbrand 2012; Zeijlstra 2012). Given that Central Kurdish has two definite articles, -eke and –e, which occur on different sides of number at spell-out, I argue that there are two DP layers projected, with the functional projection of number (NumP) intermediate between them. The higher D is realized by -e and the lower D by –eke. The featural make-up of the lower D bears uniqueness and specificity (the two features subsumed under definiteness), while the higher D carries only specificity. The thesis also argues that the inflection –êk is a marker of indefiniteness realized by the higher D category, and is not merely a grammaticalized diachronic remnant of the numeral yêk ‘one’ to mark singularity, as claimed by Lyons (1999: 95). The analysis also accounts for the syntax of number morphology and quantification in Central Kurdish. As a functional category, number is argued to project NumP realized by the inflection -an. Based on the morpheme order, NumP seems to take scope over DP, a phenomenon challenging the well-established cross-linguistic generalization that D scopes over NumP (Rijkhoff 2002; Ritter 1991). Assuming that scopal relations among functional categories are structurally represented, the peculiar hierarchical relation between DP and NumP in Central Kurdish poses a problem for Baker’s (1985, 1988) Mirror Principle, as well. However, I provide evidence that the projection of number (NumP) falls under the scope of another DP projection headed by a D which is morphologically realized in some situations by the definite marker –e. iv Two types of quantifiers are distinguished: definite and indefinite. This division offers a principled account of quantifiers, providing empirical evidence that they are realized by two structurally distinct functional categories: one above and the other below the DP projection.
Description: PhD Thesis
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10443/4123
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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