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Syntactic Theory


The Specifier

Properties of the specifier:

  • not a complement
    • for verbs: the subject
    • for nouns: the determiner
    • for adjectives, adverbs, prepositions: normally no specifier
  • in English: The specifier is to the left of the head.
  • There is at most one specifier.
  • The head determines whether there is a specifier or not (proper names (no specifier) vs. count nouns (obligatory specifier in the singular); finite verbs (overt specifier) vs. infinite verbs (no overt specifier))
  • The head determines the interpretation of the specifier (i.e. it can assign a semantic role to the specifier)

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Categories: Glossary