Date of Award

8-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Carstens, Vicki

Abstract

This study provides a syntactic analysis of the Senufo Nafara Determiner Phrase. It aims at investigating two major questions that are the status of definite markers, and the underlying structure and derivations leading to the surface word order [N AP Def Dem Num] observed in the language. I argue that the (indefinite) markers occurring in DPs are clitics attaching to the rightmost AP element, and spelling out the fused heads of several functional categories (gender, number, definiteness, and possibly others). In a cartographic approach to DP structure, I argue in favor of multiple Functional Projections occurring above NP. More particularly, I consider AP, DemP, and NumP as their own FPs in which adjectives, demonstratives, and numerals are all functional heads. While A and Dem show overt agreement in definiteness, gender, and number, cardinals do not. I argue that the surfacing word order is the result of roll-up movement with pied-piping, motivated and limited by agreement. Phrasal movement only occurs when required for agreement purposes, and more particularly in order to check uPhi features (and therefore EPP features). For that reason, numerals do not participate in movement, and surface in phrase-final position.

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