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Bookmark and Share Paper 3514

(Dis)obeying the Head-Final Filter
Sascha Alexeyenko and Hedde Zeijlstra
50-58 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper, we argue that the Head-Final Filter (HFF) in its current formulation is not only left theoretically unexplained, but is also empirically incorrect. For one, languages like Greek or Russian are not subject to it and can have material intervene between pre-nominal adjectives and modified nouns. In addition, a number of languages, such as Basque, display mirror-HFF effects. These languages bar material intervening between post-nominal adjectives and modified nouns, something that is not captured by the HFF. In view of these facts, we propose a novel, alternative descriptive generalization, which is formulated in terms of the agreement richness of adjectives with respect to nominal (i.e., case and phi) features and the morpho-phonological properties of their agreement markers. We offer an analysis of this generalization which rests on the assumption that direct modification of N by A is impossible and must be mediated by a functional element specified for all nominal features. This allows us to derive the different behavior of languages with respect to the HFF based on whether this functional element is part of the extended AP or of the extended NP and whether it is an affix or a clitic.

Published in

Proceedings of the 37th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by D. K. E. Reisinger and Marianne Huijsmans
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00