Noun-Phrase Structure by Reprojection


  • For helpful comments and discussion, we would like to thank three reviewers for Syntax, Klaus Abels, Artemis Alexiadou, Petr Biskup, Ellen Brandner, Stefan Keine, Uli Lutz, Marc Richards, Florian Schäfer, and especially Fabian Heck. We are also grateful to the participants of a course on DP structure at Universität Leipzig (winter term 2006/2007), and the audience of the GGS meeting at Universität Konstanz (May 2007). This work was supported by a DFG grant to the project Argument Encoding in Morphology and Syntax, as part of Forschergruppe 742.


Abstract.  In this paper we argue that the concept of reprojection, often applied in the verbal domain, should be extended to the nominal domain. We develop an analysis according to which a moved N does not adjoin to a functional category; rather, it moves out of its projection and remerges with it. This movement is (indirectly) triggered by a certain kind of categorial probe feature that we call a ‘‘Münchhausen feature’’ (Fanselow 2003). In this way, conceptual problems resulting from head movement conceived as adjunction of one head to another are avoided. Furthermore, one of the main arguments for D as the head of the nominal projection (namely, that evidence for N movement is also evidence for DP on top of NP) is refuted. In addition to showing that an NP approach to nominal projections is viable (given reprojection), we also provide one independent argument for it: the reprojection approach to NP structure turns out to automatically derive a core assumption that must otherwise be stipulated in the theories of word-order variation in nominal projections developed by Cinque (2005) and Abels & Neeleman (2006) (namely, that only those projections can undergo movement within nominal projections that contain N).