Predication and NP Structure in an Omnipredicative Language: The Case of Khoekhoe


We examine noun phrases and predication in Khoekhoe, a Central Khoisan language, arguing that members of all open word classes can function equally and without derivation as predicates, and that predicative use is primary and referential use is derived syntactically by relativization. We then present a formal HPSG analysis, in which members of all open word classes enter thesyntax as predicates and in which all argument NPs are derived in a uniform manner as projections of pronominal elements, modified by relative clauses, building on Sag’s (1997) analysis of English relative clauses. We will then argue that, additionally, DPs may project directly to clauses, yielding a second predication structure.

Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar