April 6, 2021

Many approaches to the syntax of nominal phrases postulate the existence of nominals of various size so that some modifiers — determiners, quantifiers and classifiers — are argued to project a constituent of their own, such as DP, QP and ClP. As discussed by Salzmann (2020), most of the existing arguments do not in fact show that it is the modifier that is the head of the entire nominal constituent and are instead based on essentially semantic notions like referentiality. A rare exception is Pereltsvaig (2006), who provides a distributional argument for the existence of determinerless noun phrases in Russian that are c-selected by dedicated heads in the shape of the cumulative verbal prefix ‘na-’, a prefix that is argued to be incompatible with DPs. In this talk, I revisit the distributional behaviour of these small nominals by adducing naturally occurring data as well as acceptability data that reveal no incompatibility between cumulative ‘na-’verbs and full DPs. I conclude that Russian small nominals are never c-selected and do not support the DP-hypothesis.


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I’m Pavel Rudnev, and this is my personal website. I’m a research fellow and lecturer in linguistics at HSE University in Moscow. My main area of interest is syntax and its interfaces with sound and meaning. In particular, my current research revolves around the structure of nominal expressions, agreement, case and verbal morphosyntax in East Caucasian languages, and the syntax-to-phonology mapping in Russian Sign Language.

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