The Syntactic Study of Numeral Classifiers in Persian

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Razi University

2 M.A. Linguistics, Razi University

Abstract

This article investigates the syntactic structure of numeral classifiers in Persian DPs within the minimalist program. Numeral classifiers are morphemes by which nouns are numerated by a number category. The morpho-syntactic analysis of classifiers in comparison to the other constituents of DPs like number, based on Cheng and Sybesma (2005), Ishii (2000), Li(1998, 1999), Tang (2004), Simpson (2005), Borer (2005) reveals that contrary to Gholaamali Zaade (1374), Samaayi (1387), and Sahraayi (1389) classifiers are in  fact the head of a separate phrase referred to  as CLP, which  in turn acts as a complement for the adjacent number head. Then, following Abney (1987) we demonstrate that the head of this CLP is not a lexical head; rather it is a functional one. Regarding the function of this head, we show that not only does it have the [quantification] feature, as mentioned by Darzi and Yaarahmadzehi (1390), but also this feature is valued as [absolute], and consequently the real function of this head is to individuate the modified nouns.

Keywords


استاجی، اعظم (1388). بررسی ممیّزهای عدد در زبان فارسی. مجلۀ زبان­شناسی و گویش­های خراسان، شمارۀ 1، پاییز و زمستان، 93-108.
باطنی، محمدرضا (1348).توصیف ساختمان دستوری زبان فارسی، تهران، انتشارات امیرکبیر.
حق­شناس، علی­محمد و همکاران (1387). دستور زبان فارسی، تهران، انتشارات مدرسه.
درزی، علی و طاهره افشار (1392). بررسی فرایند ارتقاء اسم ملکی در زبان فارسی. جستارهای زبانی، دورۀ 4، شمارۀ 2 (پیاپی 14)، تابستان، 75-99. 
درزی، علی و ناهید یاراحمدزهی (1390).گروه سور و گروه ممیّز در بلوچی سرحدی، تحلیلی کمینه‌گرا.پژوهش­های زبانی، دورة 2، شمارة 2، پائیز و زمستان، 37-56.
سمایی، سیدمهدی (1387).پردازش گروه اسمی.فصل­نامۀ اطلاع­رسانی، دورۀ 18، شمارۀ 1 و 2، 34-41.
صحرایی، رضا (1389). گروه حرف تعریف در زبان فارسی، فصل­نامۀ زبان و ادب پارسی، شمارۀ 45، پاییز، 129-157.
غلامعلی­زاده، خسرو (1374). ساخت زبان فارسی، تهران، احیاء کتاب.
Abney, S. 1987. The english noun phrase in its sentential aspect, Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts institute of technology.
Aikhenvald, A. Y. 2000. Classifiers, New York, Oxford university press.
Borer, H. 2005. In name only, Oxford, Oxford university press.
Cheng, L and R. Sybesma. 2005. Classifiers in four varieties of Chinese, In G. Cinque and R. S. Kayne (eds.), Handbook of comparative syntax (259-292), New York: Oxford university press.
Downing, P. 1986. Japanese numeral classifiers: a semantic, syntactic, and functional profile. In C. G. Craig (ed.), Noun classes and categorization, Proceedings of a symposium on categorization and noun classification (345-375), Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Embick, D. and A. Marantz. 2008. Architecture and blocking, Linguistic inquiry, 39-1: 1-53.
Gebhardt, L. 2009. Numeral classifiers and the structure of DP, Doctoral dissertation, Northwestern university.
Gil, D. 1994. Summary: numeral classifiers, Linguist list, 5, 466.
Greenberg, J. 1972. Numeral classifiers and substantive number: problems in the genesis type, In K. Denning and S. Kemmer (eds.), On language: selected writing of Joseph H. Greenberg (166-198), Stanford: Stanford university press.
Haegeman, L. 1994. Introduction to government and binding theory (Second edition).Oxford: Blackwell.
Harley, H. and R. Noyer. 1999. Distributed morphology, Glot international 4-4: 3-9.
Ishii, Y. 2000. Plurality and definiteness in Japanese. Unpublished ms., Kanda university of international studies.
Kobuchi-philip, M. 2005. Identity and the domain of quantification for numerals, In S. Vogeleer and L. Tasmowski (eds.), Non-definiteness and Plurality (267-290), Amsterdam: John Benjamins publishing co.
Li, Y. A. 1999. Plurality in a classifier language, Journal of East Asian linguistics, 8: 75-99.
Li, W. 2000. Pragmatic function of numeral classifiers in Mandarin Chinese, Journal of pragmatics, 32-8:1113-1133.
Maranz, A. 1995. ‘Cat’ as a phrasal idiom: consequences of late insertion in distributed morphology. Unpublished ms.
Marantz, A. 1997. No escape from syntax: don't try morphological analysis in the privacy of your own lexicon, Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 4-2: 201-225.
Po-Ching, Y and D. Rimmington, 1997. Chinese: an essential grammar, London, Routledge.
Radford, A. 2004. Minimalist syntax: exploring the structure of English, Cambridge, Cambridge university press.
Saul, J. and N. Wilson. 1979. Nung grammar, Arlington, The university of Texas.
Simpson, A. 2005. Classifiers and DP structure in southest Asian languages, In G. Cinque, and R. S. Kayne (eds.),Handbook of comparative syntax(806-838), New York: Oxford university press.
Tang, C-C. J. 2004. Two types of classifier languages: a typological study of classification markets in the Paiwan noun phrase, Language and Linguistics, 5-2: 377- 407.
Volume 5, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
September 2014
Pages 1-20
  • Receive Date: 27 July 2013
  • Revise Date: 04 April 2014
  • Accept Date: 07 April 2014
  • First Publish Date: 07 April 2014