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Thuilier, Juliette: Case Suffixes and Postpositions in Hungarian

This paper examines the morpho-syntactic puzzle of case suffixes and postpositions that Hungarian displays. Although these two categories show distributional similarities, they are distinguishable from a morphological and a syntactic point of view. Moreover, this language has defective postpositions which are in complementary distribution with case suffixes. I argue that there is no real argument for lumping case suffixes together with postpositions into the same syntactic category, as has been suggested in recent linguistics studies (Trommer, 2008; Asbury, 2007). I rather propose to treat case suffixes and postpositions as two different objects: case suffixes are inflectional material on nominal heads and postpositions as well as defective postpositions are independent words subcategorizing an NP. This distinction straightforwardly accounts for morphological and syntactic differences. Finally, the shared distributional properties between case suffixes, postpositions and defective postpositions are captured by means of the use of the MARKING feature.


Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: November 16, 2011
Last modified: January 09, 2019

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