Across languages, when N is final, the unmarked order is consistently ARG>MOD>N. When N is initial, N>MOD>ARG and N>ARG>MOD are both attested as unmarked orders, depending on the language. Investigating the relative orders of N, ARG, and MOD in Turkish, Kurmanji, Persian, and English, it is argued that this asymmetry is best captured by an anti-symmetric syntax where modifiers of a noun merge before its arguments. All the cross-linguistic surface variation can be derived via phrasal movement from ARG>MOD>N order, which also represents the universally shared merge order.
Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-469-0 library binding
viii + 426 pages
publication date: 2016
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA