Article published in:Biolinguistic Investigations on the Language Faculty
Edited by Anna Maria Di Sciullo
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 235] 2016
► pp. 145–166
The interplay of silent nouns and (reduced) relatives in Malay adjectival modification
This paper considers parametric variation in the area of adnominal adjectival modification from the viewpoint of Malay. Cinque (2010) has shown that, in spite of the great deal of variation found in adjectival modification, it is possible to identify two main classes with clear-cut syntactic and semantic properties: direct and indirect modification. Working on a restricted subset of adjectival classes, namely intersective, subsective and evaluative adjectives, we put forward a general proposal aiming to characterize in a precise way the syntactic distinction between these two main types of adjectival modification. Our proposal crucially involves the presence of silent/overt nouns, cf. Kayne (2005), and a possessive relation in the case of direct modification, and (reduced) relatives for indirect modification. Under the set of proposals put forward in this paper, variation will mostly follow from (a) externalization, cf. Berwick and Chomsky (2011), Chomsky (2010), Richards (2008), Di Sciullo (2015), and (b) the set of silent nouns available, a “lexical parameter” of a quasi-inflectional nature, cf. Chomsky (2001).
Published online: 24 November 2016
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