Date of Completion


Embargo Period



nominal domain, adjectival domain, parallelism, locality

Major Advisor

Željko Bošković

Associate Advisor

Jonathan Bobaljik

Associate Advisor

Susi Wurmbrand

Associate Advisor

Nadira Aljović

Associate Advisor

Mamoru Saito

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation investigates structural complexity of the adjectival and the nominal domain, arguing these domains are parallel in their complexity within a language, but their complexity can vary cross-linguistically. The point of departure is Bošković’s (2008, 2012) two-way typology regarding the nominal domain, where languages with articles are argued to project a functional layer (DP) above NP, while languages without articles lack the DP layer and allow bare NPs. By investigating the extended domain of both N and A, I show that a subset of languages with articles, namely those with affixal articles, cross-cut this two-way typology and argue they belong to a separate type.

Chapter 2 examines the parallelism between the domain of N and A, starting with an investigation of adverb extraction from predicative traditional adjective phrases (TAPs) cross-linguistically, comparing it with a parallel type of extraction (left-branch extraction) in the nominal domain. I show the two phenomena receive a unified account under a contextual approach to phases, arguing that languages differ in whether they always require functional structure in the domain of both N and A, or whether they allow bare NPs and APs: Languages with non-affixal articles belong to the former group and languages without articles to the latter, but a number of phenomena indicate that affixal article languages allow bare NPs and APs, even though they often project functional structure above them.

Chapter 3 discusses constructions where complements of phasal heads appear to move, which has been argued to be impossible (Abels 2003). I argue that these cases actually involve movement out of the complement, the main argument coming from the syntax-prosody interface, namely, the way clitics map from the syntax to prosody.

Chapter 4 reveals an asymmetry between attributive and predicative TAPs, where the former quite generally contain functional structure above AP, even in languages that have bare predicative APs (unless the language has a special predicative adjectival form that can be exceptionally used attributively, as in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Icelandic). Investigating two different forms of adjectives in BCS in more detail provides support for additional functional projection with adjectival forms that occur only attributively.