Replacing Axial Part with a Root-node in the Extended Projection of P


  • Robert Joel Deacon University of Florida


Svenonius (2006, 2010) proposes that a projection called AxPart (Axial Part) exists below PlaceP. This projection dominates a KP whose head is realized by case-makers, explaining sequences such as from in front of the house [PathP – PlaceP – AxPartP – KP – DP]. In models such as Distributed Morphology where acategorial root-items merge with categorial heads (n_,v_ and a_) to give roots a syntactic identity, it is argued that root-items can be categorized by adpositional features (i.e. little p_) (Deacon 2011, 2014a). When this analysis is merged with the cartographic approach, it helps explain why the same form can operate as a Path, Place, and Directional preposition. More importantly, by viewing AxPart as a root-node categorized by p_, the different syntactic properties between /a-/ and /be-/ prefixed prepositions in contrast to other putative Ax- Part items in English can be explained. Mono-morphemic AxPart forms (e.g. front) must select a KP, bi-morphemic items (e.g. inside, outside) “optionally” select a KP, /be-/ prefixed forms do not select a KP, and /a-/ prefixed forms either select a KP, “optionally” select a KP or cannot select a KP. To explain this, it is proposed that /be-/ corresponds with a case feature while /a-/ is underspecified for case.