On the Structure of Nominal Expressions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter details the main properties of nominal expressions in Spanish and presents a syntactic structure to account for them. The chapter starts with a description of the types of arguments and modifiers allowed in these constructions (namely, adjectives, prepositional phrases (PPs), and genitive pronouns). The analysis of these data enables me to determine the basic design of Spanish nominal constructions and to explain the structural relations available in them. The structure introduced in this chapter follows Abney’s (1987) DP hypothesis, and is based on two main assumptions: first, following Grohmann’s (2003) interpretation of the division of the clause structure into three domains and its extension to the nominal domain proposed in Grohmann and Haegeman (2002), I assume that the nominal domain is split into three domains: a thematic domain, which contains the noun and its arguments; an agreement domain, where the arguments can receive case and phi-features; and a discourse domain, where the discourse information is encoded. Furthermore, I will assume Grohmann’s (2003) implementation of the anti-locality hypothesis, and propose that phrasal movements within nominal expressions cannot cross more than one maximal projection The chapter ends with a brief appendix where some particular properties of genitive pronouns are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameStudies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)0924-4670
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0358


  • Nominal Domain
  • Nominal Expression
  • Phrasal Movement
  • Referential Expression
  • Thematic Hierarchy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics


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