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University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Abstract

In Swedish determiner phrases definiteness can be realised both pre-nominally with a definite article and post-nominally with a definite suffix on the head noun. This paper discusses the distribution of definiteness morphology in a number of morphosyntactic contexts. Separate patterns of definiteness marking emerge when considering the following morphosyntactic contexts: DPs modified with a prepositional phrase, DPs followed by a restrictive relative clause, and DPs with adjectival pre-nominal modification. This paper synthesizes various proposals in the literature to develop the working analysis: in particular, LaCara's (2011) analysis which includes two component features of definiteness and insights about DEN-omission from Simonenko (2014: Chapter 2). This working analysis demonstrates that the distribution under discussion can be unified using while maintaining a straightforward mapping between the semantics and the morphosyntax. The following avenues are identified as promising areas for future work: the distribution of definiteness morphology in additional morphosyntactic or semantic contexts and between varieties of Swedish; the semantic features adopted here and their alternatives; typological work concerning the semantic and morphosyntax definiteness cross-linguistically, including the properties of adjectival modification in definite DPs.

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