Document Type : Research Paper


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

2 Associate Professor, Linguistics Department, University of Sistan and Baluchestan

3 Professor Linguistics Department, University of Tehran


In Nanosyntax theory, terminal nodes contain syntactico-semantic features which are smaller than morphemes. Most of the morphemes are spread over several terminal nodes. Therefore, morphemes project on subtrees rather than the terminal nodes. Each terminal node comprises one specific feature. The features are arranged in a universal hierarchy namely functional sequence and follow the principle one morphosyntactic property-one feature-one head. In this theory, following cartographic approach, the universality of underlying syntactic structures and the fixed order Determiner-Head-Complement are adopted. Also, the lexicon encompasses subtrees which contain conceptual and phonological information. In this regard, a lexical entry will be minimally of the form: . In addition, Spell-out is an operation through which the derived syntactic trees are linked with saved subtrees in the lexical entries in lexicon. This article analytically studies the syntax and semantics of some Kurdish simple prepositions based on nanosyntax. As morphological complexity mirrors the syntactic complexity and in some languages the relationship between the morphemes and the syntactic head/semantic features representing them is one to one, this relationship should be induced in the underlying syntactic structure of all languages. Studying the present research data according to Baker’s mirror principle and Chomsky’s uniformity principle shows that though simple prepositions in Kurdish are monomorphic, all of them, except for the preposition l{ (at) with one feature (Place), include more than one feature, that is, there is no one to one relation between their syntactic head/semantic features and their morphology. The preposition bO:  (to) contains Place and Goal, the preposition l{ (from) contains Place, Goal and Source, the preposition b{r{w (towards) includes Place, Goal and Scale and the preposition  ta (till) is made up of Place, Goal and Bound features. The preposition w{/b{ (by, to) as an instrumental preposition contains instrument, dative, genitive, accusative and nominative features  and when denoting dative, it includes dative, genitive, accusative and nominative features. The present study also presents the feature arrangements of these prepositions and the reasons of syncretism in l{ and w{, as well.


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