Richard Larson

Stony Brook University
Talk Title: 
Ezafe, Nominalization and the Structure of PP
Event Type: 
Brown Bag Talk
Spring 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 1:00 pm
Seminar room

Ezafe, PP and the Nature of Nominalization 

Richard Larson (Stony Brook University) (and Vida Samian, CalState Fresno) 


In the talk we argue that the English VP/NP structures in (1a-d) have exact counterparts in the i(ranian)Persian PP/NP structures in (2a-d), where P1-Pare three different classes of iPersian Ps and where -Ez is the so-called "Ezafe" morpheme.


(1)        a. John            [VP destroy                              the evidence]              "Pure VP"

            b. John -'s       [NP destroying                         the evidence]              Nominalized VP

            c. John -'s       [NP destroying             of         the evidence]              Nominalized V

            d. John -'s       [NP destruction            of         the evidence]              Deverbal N


(2)        a. NP               [PP P1              NP]                                                     "Pure PP"

            b. NP   -Ez       [NP P2             NP]                                                      Nominalized PP

            c. NP   -Ez       [NP P2  -Ez      NP]                                                      Nominalized P

            d. NP   -Ez       [NP P3  -Ez      NP]                                                      "Deprepositional" N


The notion "nominalization" is thus shown to be relevant to both of the lexical categories identified by Chomsky (1972) as [-N] (3): 













  "Syntactically Nominalizable Categories”




Capturing this relationship entails: 

•      Establishing a common syntactic function for English -'s/of and iPersian -Ez (Samiian 1983,1994; Kirimi and Brame 1986/2012; Samiian and Larson 2018).

•      Positing a shared cross-categorial structure for VP-PP (Jackendoff 1973; van Riemsdijk 1990; Svenonius 2003).

•      Abandoning traditional Nominalization for a more general "split-feature" view of category specification.

RKL_BBAbstract.pdf69.74 KB