Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Basque Primary Adpositions from a Clausal Perspective

Ricardo Etxepare


This paper has as its aim to account for an intriguing asymmetry in the domain of primary adpositions in Basque, whereby locatives seem to take a DP ground, whereas the rest of the spatial affixes require a bare nominal ground. I argue that the purported determiner heading the complement of the locative suffix is actually an allomorph of the ergative suffix, and I provide an explanation for why an independent case marker should occur precisely in locative adpositional phrases in Basque, but not in the rest of spatial cases. This explanation requires in turn reconsidering much of the well-established syntactic conclusions on which the traditional analysis of adpositional phrases in Basque rests. In this process, I develop the idea, first suggested by Koopman (2000), that adpositional phrases should be analyzed in close parallelism to the syntax of clauses. Micro-syntactic differences across dialects provide some of the crucial evidence for the proposal.

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