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Polynesian Syntax and its Interfaces$
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Lauren Clemens and Diane Massam

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198860839

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198860839.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

The lingering DP in Niuean

The lingering DP in Niuean

Chapter:
(p.282) 12 The lingering DP in Niuean
Source:
Polynesian Syntax and its Interfaces
Author(s):

Diane Massam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198860839.003.0012

This chapter examines pre-nominal particles in Niuean, which are cognate with Tongan determiners, although Niuean, in contrast with Proto-Tongic, does not have a systematic determiner system marking specificity or definiteness. It is argued that the Niuean particles are case markers merged in K, not determiners, having replaced Proto-Tongic case markers. It is then argued that although there is no determiner system in Niuean, D and DP remain in the nominal phrase, and that D, usually null, holds features for proper-common with which K agrees. In addition, D is spelled out as a linker when its specifier is filled with a genitive, numeral, or quantifier, all of which contribute meanings associated with (in)definiteness or nominal quantification. Finally, D can also house occasional articles. The chapter shows that small historical changes can create systematic shifts, and that D and DP can be present even in a language without a determiner system.

Keywords:   Niuean, Proto-Tongic, determiners, case markers, DP, proper-common, nominal quantifiers, possession, nominal left periphery

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