On the noun phrase structure of Jingpo

Candice Chi-Hang Cheung

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines nominal expressions in Jingpo – a less-studied classifier
language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family, with attention to the function
of the plural morpheme together with the relatively ‘free’ distribution of the
demonstratives. Demonstratives can occur before or after the noun, giving rise
to two different word orders: (i) [Dem(onstrative) + N(oun) + Cl(assifier) +
Num(eral)] and (ii) [N + Dem + Cl + Num]. Assuming that the noun phrase
structure of Jingpo is essentially head-final, I argue that a demonstrative can be
base-generated in a position different from the head position of a Determiner
Phrase (DP) in classifier languages. I propose that a demonstrative is basegenerated in Specifier position of Locative Phrase (LocP), where Loc0 is the
locus of [deictic] feature. Assuming LocP is subcategorized by D0, where the
former takes Numeral Phrase (NumP) as its complement, I further suggest that
the demonstrative must raise to Spec-DP before Spell-Out in order to check off
the [+def(inite)] feature. The proposal is in accordance with the different
feature compositions of demonstratives and definite articles. I further show that
the two word orders in (i-ii) can be correctly captured under a head-final
approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUSC working papers in linguistics
EditorsMichael A. Shepherd
Pages32-56
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Cite this