Split DP in Persian - A Minimalist Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Linguistics Department, University of Tehran

2 Professor, Linguistics Department, University of Tehran


This study is an investigation of multiple–râ constructions as an instance of so-called split DP in Persian in the Minimalist framework. In principle, DP splitting may give rise to another phenomenon, namely, syntactic doubling. This phenomenon, as its name suggests, involves the occurrence of more than one syntactic marker in a syntactic object. In Persian, this marker is the accusative Case marker –râ. To account for the multiple occurrence of –râ, we follow Kahnemuyipour's (2014) treatment of adjectival Ezafe construction as involving a head final NP. We then analyze split DPs in Persian as a byproduct of topicalization and focalization of inner elements of DPs. So given the Topic and Focus interpretation of syntactic objects in the constructions under investigation and their relative order, we posit TopP and FocP projections in a domain between head D and NumP.  It is worth noticing that in linguistics theorizing the Split DP construction corresponds to split CP as proposed by Rizii (1997(. With respect to accusative Case marker then we adopt Darzi’s (2006) treatment of –râ as the morphological realization of dependent Case in the domain of V + I in Persian. Under Baker and Vinokurova's (2010), Preminger's (2014) and Baker's (2015) proposals, the dependent Case marker appears on a DP which is c-commanded by another DP in a certain domain if the latter is not yet valued for Case. In this respect, finally, we employ the mechanism of subextraction from the main DP as a result of which the extracted element altogether carries other Case marker to a higher DP upon extraction. With regard to nominative Case, after adopting Levin and Preminger’s (2014) proposal, namely, unmarked Case, which in turn appears as a result of the interaction between I/T and being in the domain proposed by Bobaljik (2006,2008) and Darzi (2006), we maintain that subextraction is also accounted for constructions with multiple nominative Case.


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Volume 10, Issue 2
March 2020
Pages 21-43
  • Receive Date: 11 May 2019
  • Revise Date: 21 May 2019
  • Accept Date: 07 November 2019
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2020