Nominal Functional Categories in Tigrinya

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Addis Ababa University


Key Words: Nominal Syntactic features: Determiners, Definite, Agreement, and other related Nominal Functional Categories; their Syntactic Projections inside DPs. The study is devoted to nominal functional categories in Tigrinya within the theory of the minimalist program. It centers on identifying the status and syntactic projections of the constituents in the internal structure of noun phrases in Tigrinya, and tries to give a unified account which links the following properties of Tigriny nominal phrases. • Most determiner phrases of Tigrinya have two synonymous forms. These forms can be determined by an overt or covert features of the functional heads checked by head noun. • Definiteness which is marked by a deictic or Agrs morpheme and not by a lexical article, acts like a syntactic feature on a par with the -feature, whereas indefiniteness in is not marked at all. • Certain determiners with overt -features are strong and occur in different syntactic positions in the extended functional projection. • Possessive forms are derived from an overt genitive case assigner or from head spec agreement in Tigrinya. Under the framework of Chomsky’s, (1995) Minimalist Program, and Kayne, (1994) Linear Constraint Axiom (LCA) a unifying account is given by assuming three functional head projections. The functional heads have independent projections where different features are checked and licensed. Thus, Do of DP for the definiteness feature of the head noun is licensed, Ko of KP is a position for the dummy genitive case assigner, and Agro is the position where feature of the head or of the possessor is checked. Finally, the proposed structure of Tigrinya nominal functional categories that includes lexical and functional projections



Nominal Syntactic features, Determiners, Definite, Agreement