- Why all John’s friends are Dutch, not German: On differences in West Germanic in the interaction between universal quantifiers and genitives
- Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Unlike English and Dutch, German does not allow a genitive to follow a universal quantifier: (i) All John’s friends... (ii) Al Jans vrienden... (Dutch) (iii) *All(e) Johanns Freunde... (German) In this article I show that this discrepancy results from two facts. Firstly, the German Saxon Genitive is a true case ending assigned in [Spec, NP] or [Spec, PossP] while in Dutch and English genitive case cannot be assigned at the N or n level (without a preposition) and the Saxon Genitive is more like a possessive adjective, initiating as the head of PossP and terminating in D. Secondly, in Germanic, D or [Spec, DP] must be overtly occupied in case of definiteness, and if the D node is already overtly occupied, and if genitive case has already been assigned, there is no motivation for moving a genitive phrase to the D level. I also show that Germanic dative of possession constructions (possessor doubling) can be explained within the same framework. Finally, there is a brief discussion of the potential applicability of this analysis to Scandinavian.
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