Chapter

Postnominal Adjectives in Greek Indefinite Noun Phrases<sup>1</sup>

Melita Stavrou

in Functional Heads

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746736
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949519 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746736.003.0029

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Postnominal Adjectives in Greek Indefinite Noun Phrases1

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The distribution of adjectives in definite and indefinite noun phrases in Greek has been a long-standing issue. The following data illustrate what constitutes the domain of inquiry in this study: (1) a. to akrivo amaksi (the expensive car); b. *to amaksi akrivo (the car expensive); c. (ena) akrivo amaksi, [(a/one) expensive car]; d. (ena) amaksi akrivo [(a/one) car expensive]; e. to akrivo to amaksi (the expensive the car); f. to amaksi to akrivo (the car the expensive). This chapter attempts to answer the question of whether (1d) patterns with (1f) or with (the ungrammatical) (1b). It presents evidence showing that (1d) behaves in certain important respects analogously to its definite counterpart in (1f) and not to (1b). In other words, it pursues the intuition that a postnominal adjective in an indefinite DP matches the “definite” adjective in a polydefinite DP irrespective of whether the latter precedes or follows the noun. It proposes that there is “indefinite spread” and that what is “spread” is morphologically invisible, given that the default realization of indefiniteness in Greek is zero and that the functional head that encodes predication is (apparently for this reason) also unpronounced.

Keywords: adjectives; definite; indefinite; Greek; DF

Chapter.  6440 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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