The Architecture of Determiners

Leu, Thomas. 2014. The Architecture of Determiners. Oxford University Press. 240 pages.

Work in morphology is typically concerned with productive word formation and regular inflection, in any event with open class categories such as verbs, nouns, and adjectives, and their various forms. The Architecture of Determiners, by contrast, is devoted to a set of function words: the closed class of determiners. While it is traditionally assumed that function words are syntactically atomic, Thomas Leu shows that a comparative perspective on a series of determiners – each insistently vivisected into its minimal morphotactic segments – reveals an anatomy with properties analogous to clausal syntax, including a lexical, an inflectional, and left peripheral layer, as well as transformational relations among subconstituents. Leu argues that determiners are extended adjectival projections with a closed class minimal stem.

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