Definiteness, Structure and Agreement in Turkish Possessives

Betul Erbasi


The present study argues for different levels of definiteness in the nominal domain based on an analysis of two different kinds of possession phrases in Turkish. In line with related research (e.g. Campbell 1996, Haegeman & Ürögdi 2010 and Jimenez-Fernandez 2012, Zamparelli 2014), I argue that the more definite a possession phrase is in Turkish, the more structure it has. This extra structure also hosts a definiteness operator, which accounts for island-like properties of the more definite possession structures. The proposal can therefore account for interpretational and syntactic properties of different possession structures in Turkish. I also argue that agreement properties are also accounted for with this proposal, when coupled with the island-forming properties of agreement in Turkish (George & Kornfilt 1981). The current proposal then contributes to previous research on levels of definiteness and it does so by focusing on a type of determiner phrases that previous research on levels of definiteness did not focus on.


possession; definiteness; referentiality; specificity, agreement, islandhood, Turkish

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