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      Possession and nominalization in Dan: Evidence for a general theory of categories

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          Abstract

          Dan, a Mandean language of the Ivory Coast, marks the alienable possessors of simple nonrelational nouns differently from the inalienable possessors of relational nouns: only the former occur with the particle ɓa. This difference also shows up in nominalizations. When a verb is nominalized, its theme argument is expressed like the possessor of a relational noun, without ɓa, whereas when an adjective is nominalized, its theme argument is expressed like the possessor of a nonrelational noun, with ɓa. We show that this generalization holds for both a low type of nominalization, in which the nominalizer combines directly with the root before that root combines with any arguments, and for a high type of nominalization, in which the nominalizer combines with a larger phrase. We account for this difference between deverbal nominalization and deadjectival nominalization using Baker’s ( 2003) theory of the lexical categories, according to which verbs intrinsically combine directly with a theme argument, whereas adjectives do not, but only become predicates of a theme argument with the help of a functional head Pred. This theory also accounts for the fact that denominal nouns like ‘childhood’ pattern with deadjectival nominalizations in this respect. This study thus provides new empirical support for Baker’s theory of lexical categories, as opposed to theories which assume a stronger parallelism across the various lexical categories.

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          The antisymmetry of syntax

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            Phrase structure and the lexicon

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              Noun Phrase in the Generative Perspective

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                21 April 2020
                2020
                : 5
                : 1
                : 39
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, US
                [2 ]Felix Houphouët Boigny University, Abidjan, CI
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.1018
                f9e6bbe5-7b9c-4cdc-b71d-acc3bc3f1163
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 10 June 2019
                : 16 January 2020
                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                parts of speech,possession,lexical categories,nominalization,Dan language,inalienable possession,adjectives

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