The determiner phrase in Basque

Ager Gondra, Purdue University


The purpose of the present study is to analyze the Basque DP. Basque is head-final language, which means that in a syntactic tree heads are supposed to appear on the right. This study will analyze if all the heads follow this characteristic of the head-final languages, or if there is an exception. In addition, if Basque is a head-final language, one could think that the specifier of the Determiner Phrase also goes on the right, however, Kayne (1994) claims that the specifiers always originate on the left. Basque, for the definite article, uses the clitic –a/-ak. In a Determiner Phrase such as txakur zaharra ‘the old dog’ the D head –a takes the NP txakur zahar as a complement, instead of the adjective. This paper will try to discover the reason of the behavior of this clitic. The Basque language is exclusively postpositional and among all the postpositions the use of genitive –ko/-ren is the most central characteristic of Basque syntax. Although they both have the same meaning, it seems that there is a kind of preference to use one or the other depending on the context. Furthermore, since the postpositional phrase headed by either –ren or –ko modifies the head of the nominal phrase, it needs to be next to the noun. However, a pronominal quantifier can be placed between these two. Thus, this paper will also study this complex situation.




Benedicto, Purdue University.

Subject Area


Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server