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The Architecture of Determiners$
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Thomas Leu

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945238

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945238.001.0001

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(p.40) 3 xAP
The Architecture of Determiners

Thomas Leu

Oxford University Press

The weak/strong adjectival inflection alternation is a notorious problem in the morphosyntax of German. The chapter propose a real alternative to any previous approach. The central traits of his proposal are (a) setting aside dative and genitive morphology (a move defended in Chapter 7) and (b) moving the adjective to the left periphery of its own extended projection (xAP), across an agreement head which hosts the strong agreement morpheme. This movement is blocked in the presence of a (definite) adjectival article in the xAP left periphery, accounting for the lack of strong agreement in definite contexts. The proposal finds independent support in polydefinite DPs and in Scandinavian “double definiteness,” as well as in the analyses of demonstrative and other determiners. It also receives a priori unexpected support from the parallelism between the proposed syntax of the adjective in xAP and that of the finite verb in the German clause.

Keywords:   adjective agreement, extended adjectival projection, weak/strong declension, adjectival article, polydefiniteness, adjectives as relative clauses

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