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Title:Head Position Parameter in Persian: An Optimality-Theoretic Approach
Authors: Amir Ghorbanpour
Comment:This is the English version of a paper originally published in Persian, in Language Science journal (Elm-e Zaban), Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran. The Persian version can be found at: Elm-e Zaban, 2(3): 129-144. (http://ls.atu.ac.ir)
Abstract:The present study aims to explore the issue of head position in Persian syntactic phrases within an Optimality-theoretic framework. Making use of syntactic alignment constraints of the type HeadLeft/HeadRight proposed by Grimshaw (2002) - which is alternatively notated in this paper as Align-Left/Right(X, XP) (McCarthy, 2008) -, the study seeks to arrive at a consistent ranking of the relevant constraints active in Persian with respect to the relative position of heads and complements within phrases. Bearing in mind the non-uniformity of head position across Persian syntactic phrases, it is concluded that the general constraint Align-Left(X, XP) is highly active and determinant in most of the syntactic structures in the language; and, the exceptions of head-finality, i.e. that of verb phrases and the direct object case marker 'rā', are accounted for by the more specific, higher ranked constraints of the opposite value - namely Align-Right(V, VP) and Align-Right(K, KP), respectively.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Syntax, word order, alignment
Article:Version 1