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date: 22 April 2024

Head/Dependent Markinglocked

Head/Dependent Markinglocked

  • Yury LanderYury LanderSchool of Linguistics, HSE University
  •  and Johanna NicholsJohanna NicholsDepartment of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Berkeley


Head/dependent marking (or locus of marking) is a typological parameter based on whether syntactic relations, or dependencies, are marked on the head of the relation, on the non-head, on both, on neither, or elsewhere in the constituent. It has been visible in description and comparison for some 30 years, during which time advances in analysis of phrase structure and descriptions of previously unnoticed patterns have revealed some imprecisions and gaps in the typology. The approach has figured in descriptive and theoretical work of various kinds and has proven quite useful as far as it goes, but expansion of descriptive and theoretical work on morphosyntax in the subsequent decades has revealed some gaps and inconsistencies in the original formulation. These can be removed by allowing markers to be assigned not to words but to entire phrases, a move that also allows detached and neutral marking to be more comfortably accommodated in locus theory.


  • Morphology

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