PLM2013 Thematic session: The internal and external syntax of nominal expressions

Conveners: Katarzyna Miechowicz-Mathiasen and Jacek Witkoś (Adam Mickiewicz University)

The term nominal expression covers a wide range of expressions from those that include just a single element (the noun itself) to much more complex ones in which the pivotal nominal element is accompanied by modifiers and/or complements of various forms and sizes (adjectives, numerals, quantifiers, prepositional phrases, clauses, other nominals). There is an intuitive conviction that it is the nominal element itself that heads the nominal expression. An approach promoting such a view was fleshed out by Jackendoff (1977): numerals, quantifiers or demonstratives were argued to be specifiers of the Noun Phrase (NP), and prepositional phrases, clauses, and other nominals could constitute complements of the noun heading the NP. However, since the works of Szabolcsi (1983/1984) and Abney (1987), research into the nominal domain has shown that the internal structure of nominal expressions has a complexity comparable to that of the clausal domain; in particular, it has been shown since that quantifiers, numerals and demonstratives/articles head their own projections, and that these project on top of the NP rather than belong within it, thus creating the noun’s functional domain in a fashion parallel to the functional domain of the verb. This has spurred new research concerning both the complexity of the internal syntax of nominal expressions (a.o.: the ordering of the projections; their availability in various languages; their lexicalization; their role in hosting adjectival modifiers; their interaction with each other; the presence/absence of concord), as well as the complexity of its external syntax (a.o.: the distribution and licensing of nominal expressions; the presence/suspension of sentential agreement; parallels/differences between nominal expressions and clauses). Some issues are topics of ongoing debates: the universality/parametrization of DP (Willim 2000, Boskovic 2005, Pereltsvaig 2007, Rutkowski 2007), the role of case (Matushansky 2008, Caha 2009, Pesetsky & Torrego 2001, 2004, Pesetsky 2012), the internal arrangement of adjectival modifiers (Szymańska 2000; Scott 2002; Pereltsvaig 2007; Cetnarowska et al. 2009; Cinque 2010), the internal architecture of nominal expressions (Ritter 1993; Willim 2000; Picallo 2007; Alexiadou et al. 2007), the syntax of nominalizations (Rozwadowska 1997, 2005; Alexiadou 2004). We invite presentations concerning the invariably complex issues pertaining to the internal or external syntax of nominal expressions. We are particularly interested in comparative studies (both synchronic and diachronic) based and developed within the generative framework, but we also welcome contributions stemming from other frameworks. Our objective is to contribute to the ongoing debate and research into the nominal domain.

Sample references:

Abney, S. 1987. The English noun phrase in its sentential aspect. [Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.].

Alexiadou, A. 2001. Functional structure in nominals: nominalization, and ergativity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Alexiadou, A. 2004. “Inflection class, gender and DP internal structure”, in: G. Müller et al. (eds.), Exploration in Nominal Inflection. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 21-50.

Alexiadou, A., M. Stavrou & L. Haegeman. 2007. Noun Phrase in the Generative Perspective. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Boškovič, Ž. 2005. “On the locality o left-branch extraction and the structure of the NP”, Studia Linguistica 59: 1-45.

Boškovič, Ž. 2009. “More on the no-DP analysis of article-less languages”, Studia Linguistica 63, 2: 187-203.

Boškovič, Ž. 2012. In press. “On NPs and clauses”, in: G. Grewendorf & T. E. Zimmermann (eds.), Discourse and grammar: From sentence types to lexical categories.

Caha, P. 2009. Nanosyntax of case. [Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tromsoe].

Centarowska, B., A. Pysz & H. Trugman. 200. “Accounting for some flexibility in a rigid construction: On the position of classificatory adjectives in Polish”, in: Piotr Bański, Beata Łukaszewicz & Monika Opalińska (eds.) Generative Investigations: Syntax, Morphology and Phonology. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Cinque, G. 2010. The syntax of adjectives: A comparative study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Matushansky, O. 2010. “Some cases of Russian”, in: Zybatow, G., P. Dudchuk, S. Minor & E. Pshehotskaya (eds.) Formal Studies in Slavic Linguistics, Proceedings of FDSL 7.5. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 117-135.

Pereltsvaig, A. 2007. “On the Universality of DP: A view from Russian”, Studia Linguistica 61, 1: 59-94.

Pesetsky, D. 2012. “Russian case morphology and the syntactic Categories”, ( (data dostępu: 15.05.2012).

Pesetsky, D. & E. Torrego. 2001. “T-to-C movement: Causes and consequences”, in: M. Kenstowicz (red.) Ken Hale: A Life in Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 355-426.

Pesetsky, D. & E. Torrego. 2004. “Tense, Case, and the nature of syntactic categories”, in: J. Guéron i J. Lecarme (red.) The Syntax of Time. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 495-537.

Picallo, M. C. 1991. “Nominals and nominalization in Catalan’, Probus 3: 279-316.

Picallo, M. C. 2007. “On gender and number”, Ms., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Ritter, E. 1993. “Where's Gender?”, Linguistic Inquiry 24: 795-803.

Rozwadowska, B. 1997. Towards a Unified Theory of Nominalizations. External and Internal Eventualities. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

Rozwadowska, B. 2005. “Derived Nominals”, in: The Blackwell Companion to Syntax (Chapter 19). Oxford: Blackwell.

Rutkowski, P. 2007. Hipoteza frazy przedimkowej jako narzędzie opisu składniowego polskich grup imiennych. [Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Warsaw University.].

Scott, G.-J. 2002. “Stacked Adjectival Modification and the Structure of Nominal Phrases”, in: Cinque, G. (ed.) Functional Structure in DP and IP: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures. OUP.

Szabolcsi, A. 1983/1984. “The possessor that ran away from home”, The Linguistic Review 3: 89-102.

Szymańska, I. 2000. “On the adjectival modification in Polish Noun Phrases: From the X-bar Theory towards a functional explanation”, Acta Universitatis Lodziensis 2: 175-192.

Willim, E. (2000) “On the grammar of Polish nominals”, in: R. Martin, D. Michaels & J. Uriagereka (eds.) Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honorof Howard Lasnik. Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 319-346.