A Minimalist Analysis of DP Syntactic Structure and Its Internal Movements in Sarhadi Dialect of Balochi Language

03 Jun

By: Nahid Yarahmadzehi
Tehran University

This paper firstly studies the internal structure of DP in Balochi aiming to investigate the current hypothesis that the clause and noun phrase share structural as well as transformational properties.
Following Abney (1987),Ritter (1991) and others, I suggest that Balochi DP is divided in to three domains which I refer to as Determiner domain (D domain), Modifier domain (Mod domain), and Thematic domain (Ө domain) respectively .D domain consists of two functional projections : Determiner phrase (Det P) and Demonstrative phrase ( Dem P) heads of which host different elements like definite and indefinite quantifiers , articles and demonstratives. These functional heads eventually check and delete un interpretable features “U definite and U specific” on the noun head in an Agree relation giving it different values for definiteness and specificity .In Mod domain several modifying functional projections are merged in a fixed hierarchical order. Possessive DPs, prepositional phrases and various adjectival phrases are merged in the specifier position of these Mod phrases . number and classifier are also merged as a single complex head of one of these Mod phrases. Following Cinque (1994) and Kahnemuyipour (2000), I assume that the heads of the phrases inside Mod domain host a mod feature which should be checked against a mod feature on noun head. Finally, I consider nP shell as the Ө domain which like vP shell and following UTAH Principle is a place for assigning thematic roles to the arguments. Tree diagram (1) displays the assumed structure for Balochi DP.
There is great amount of variety in the word order in Balochi DP. The second part of this paper, thus, is devoted to the investigation of the possible motivations of the movements responsible for this variety. I assume these motivations have a feature checking nature and are of three major types.
1_ In a leftward movement, the agentive DP exits Ө domain (nP) and occupies the spec position of modifier possessive phrase (Mod P (poss)) in order to be assigned a genitive case.
2_ Due to some Mod functional heads with a strong mod* feature which needs to be locally checked ,the noun head is moved and adjoined to these heads and/or a whole modifier phrase moves and occupies their spec position.
3_ There is some kind of optional strong EPP* of a [-V] nature on Det , Dem , and Poss heads which triggers the movement of the existing prepositional phrase ,possessive, agentive or patient DPs out of their merge domains and in to the D domain of Balochi DP.
This study shows that Balochi is a left branching language and its DP internal movements are done for feature checking purposes.
Det P
Dem P
Mod P(poss)
Mod P(pp)
Mod P(num)
Mod P(adj)1


1 _ There can be more than one Mod adjectival phrases in the DP of Balochi language


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