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LINGUIST List 19.3593

Mon Nov 24 2008

Diss: Syntax: Moinzadeh: 'An Antisymmetric, Minimalist Approach to ...'

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        1.    Ahmad Moinzadeh, An Antisymmetric, Minimalist Approach to Persian Phrase Structure

Message 1: An Antisymmetric, Minimalist Approach to Persian Phrase Structure
Date: 24-Nov-2008
From: Ahmad Moinzadeh <moinfgn.ui.ac.ir>
Subject: An Antisymmetric, Minimalist Approach to Persian Phrase Structure
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Institution: University of Ottawa
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Ahmad Moinzadeh

Dissertation Title: An Antisymmetric, Minimalist Approach to Persian Phrase Structure

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Maria Luisa Rivero

Dissertation Abstract:

In this thesis, I investigate phrase structure in Persian within the
Minimalist framework of Chomsky (1995, 1998). Adopting Kayne's (1994)
Linear Correspondence Axiom, which examines the relation of hierarchical
structure and linear order, I propose a head-initial analysis for Persian,
and develop an analysis of SVO word order based on the examination of all
lexical and functional categories.

Prior to investigating categories which are common to other languages, I
examine the Ezafe Phrase (EzP), a functional phrasal category specific to
Persian. The EzP is headed by a morpheme which may be phonetically realized
as e/ye or null. This morpheme regulates the occurrence of more than one
complement in DPs/NPs and APs. Like the other phrasal categories
investigated, EzP is shown to follow the Spec-Head-Complement configuration
(of the Linear Correspondence Axiom).

My argumentation for a head-initial configuration for Persian, and the
implication of a basic word order is based largely on evidence for noun
phrases and verb phrases. I provide support for a DP analysis of Persian
nominal phrases, and demonstrate that both DPs and lexical NPs display a
head-initial configuration. While Persian VPs exhibit both VO ad OV word
order in unmarked sentences, I argue that they consistently display a
head-initial configuration, an analysis which is theoretically preferable
to one base on dual directionality. I support my proposal for a
head-initial analysis of VPs and a basic SVO word order in Persian with a
variety of empirical evidence about verbal complements, including the
exclusive post-verbal generation of CP complements, the placement of
clitics, and the position of adverb relative to verbal heads and their

While concentrating on DPs and VPs, I further support my analysis of a
head-initial configuration for Persian by examining the
Spec-Head-Complement configuration in APs, PPs, IPs and in less detail, the
internal structure of CPs and TopPs. On the basis of both theoretical and
empirical evidence, I propose a head-initial analysis for all phrasal
categories in Persian. In conclusion, I turn to diachronic data which also
provides evidence for the Spec-Head-Complement analysis I have proposed for
Modern Persian.

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