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Yoon, Hee-Cheol. 2002. Economy Considerations and the Derivation of DP in Old English. The History of English, 13. This paper suggests that the definiteness or referentiality of Old English noun phrases depend on the presence of the uninterpretable [+R(eferential)] feature in the functional head D. In Old English, the [+R(eferential)] feature is associated with the EPP features, which forces the syntactic operation to delete both types of uninterpretable features in D for the proper interpretation at the interface. In consideration of the fact that Old English has no definite article, possible candidates for deletion of those features in D include adnominal demonstratives, possessives and genitives of proper names all of which are characterized as inherently definite or referential. As far as thematic relations and empirical evidence are concerned, adnominal demonstratives are introduced into the specifier of DP through merge while possessives and genitives of proper names undergo movement to reach the same structural position. Although movement is a costly option, the operation is forced to delete not only uninterpretable features in D but also uninterpretable Case features in possessives and genitives of proper names. In case both demonstratives and possessive/genitives of proper names are available from the numeration, economy considerations determine the order of application between syntactic operations. A economic option of merge always precedes move, which results in the linear precedence of possessives/genitives of proper names over demonstratives in Old English noun phrases.
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