The Syntax of Prenominal Cel

Mona-Luiza , Ungureanu (2012) The Syntax of Prenominal Cel. In: 2nd International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’12), 4-6 May 2012, Sarajevo.

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This presentation accounts for the syntax of the prenominal determiner-like free morpheme cel in Romanian, which introduces definite DPs. Importantly, the prototypical definite article in Romanian is a suffix that attaches to prenominal adjectives and nouns, (1). Conversely, cel is a free morpheme that must immediately precede prenominal quantifiers, (2). Although the definite suffix and cel are different, their absence in the DP renders the DP indefinite, (3). Moreover, the presence of prenominal cel in the DP renders it definite, even in the absence of the enclitic definite article, (2). In order to account for the correlation between prenominal cel and definiteness, Cornilescu (1992, 2004) proposes that prenominal cel is a definite article in D0 inserted as a last resort when agreement between D0 and the noun or a prenominal adjective is blocked by an intervening numeral or quantifier phrase. (1) fete-le destepte (2) cele *(doua) (destepte) fete (3) doua fete girls-the pl.f. smart cel-pl.f. two smart girls two girls “the smart girls” “the two (smart) girls” “two girls” Conversely, we claim that cel is not a definite article in D0; cel and the XP following it form a constituent, celP, that is adjoined below D0 in the same position as demonstratives; and celP can license a [+def.] feature in D0, a mechanism independently needed to account for demonstratives. Evidence comes from the syntactic distribution and properties of cel relative to other elements in the DP and their movement. Crucial pieces of evidence are provided by new data, which are not in the literature, to my knowledge. Insight into the syntax of prenominal cel contributes a better understanding of the syntactic structure, constituents and movement in the higher domain of the DP, particularly head movement of A0/N0 as proposed by Ungureanu (2004, 2009) and Travis and Ungureanu (2008).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Mr. IT Center Editor
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 11:34
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 11:34

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