Some properties of D
(a) Sometimes determiners do not have a phonological form:
(b) Determiners are considered as functional heads which take an NP-complement. Determiners can have specifiers in the form of possessives. In such a case they bear the functional feature [+Poss] and are lexically empty.
Evidence for the fact that these possessives are inside the DP: they are usually in complementary distribution with the determiner, i.e. when there is a determiner, there must be no possessive DP and vice versa:
Evidence for the fact that they are in the specifier of DP (rather than in the head position) comes from rare cases where possessive DPs and determiners co-occur:
(Note: In English only every or a lexically empty D[+poss] allow a specifier, but in other languages this is a regular characteristic of D.)
(c) The analysis of pronouns and proper nouns:
Since pronouns replace a full DP consisting of a determiner and a noun complement (e.g. he replacing the man), it has been suggested that they are DPs with no internal structure. Proper nouns (such as names or place names) are analysed analogously.
Exercises on properties of D