The Nanosyntax of Element Movement in Circumpositions of Kurdish (Sorani Dialect)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Linguistics, University of Sistan and Baluchestan

2 Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Sistan and Baluchestan

3 Professor of Linguistics, University of Tehran


This paper, based on nanosyntax, studies the semantico-syntactic contribution of Kurdish circumposition [elements (l{ ...(d) a, l{ ...{w{, w{...(d) a, w{ ...{w{) and their movement inside the containing PP. Contrary to minimalist, nanosyntax is non-lexicalsit and the terminal nodes contain elements smaller than morphemes i.e. morphosyntactic features. In this theory derivation begins with merging features and the lexicon is presyntax and syntax generates all items from morpheme to clause. Nanosyntax also follows the rigid universal functional sequence order of  Specifier – Head - Complement that is based on the principle one morphosyntactic property - one feature-one head. For instance, morphemes are, in a binary way, derived from merging morphosyntactic features, and then they are mapped on lexical entries stored in lexicon. If they match with lexical entries that contain , they will spell out. Studying the data in Kurdish shows that -(d)a in l{ ...(d)a represents Place and in w{ ...(d)a  Genitive. -{w{ in l{ ...{w{ shows Ablative including the feature/ head Bound and in w{ ...{w{ spells out Comitative. Stuying the Kurdish data also shows that the complement of the circumposition based nanosyntax movent principles moves lefteward and locates between the elemnts of the circumposition in a way that assymetrically c-commonds its bound part. As a result, according to Kayne’s Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA) all terminal nodes dominated by DP precede all terminal nodes dominated by the bound element of the circumposition.


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Volume 7, Issue 2
January 2017
Pages 77-96
  • Receive Date: 20 June 2016
  • Revise Date: 21 June 2016
  • Accept Date: 21 November 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 November 2016