Noun phrase structure in articleless languages: universality and variation.

2015. №3, 52-69

Ekaterina A. Lyutikova a, b, @, Asya Pereltsvaig c
a Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991, Russia;
b Sholokhov Moscow State University for the Humanities, Moscow, 109240, Russia;
c Stanford University, Stanford, USA;


This article is concerned with the issue of the presence of the DP projection in languages lacking articles, such as Tatar. Contrary to both the «Universal DP» and «Parameterized DP» views, we propose that some but not all noun phrases in Tatar are DPs. We show that this hypothesis accounts for clustering of properties of noun phrases in a number of syntactic positions, including the direct object position, which in Tatar exhibits the Differential Object Marking phenomenon. We argue that accusative objects are structurally DPs, whereas unmarked objects are Small Nominals (i. e. lack the DP projection). We show that this account explains the Tatar facts better than an analysis based on either semantic or positional properties of the object.