Double Definiteness in Scandinavian

  • Marit Julien University of Tromsø
Keywords: Double Definiteness, Determiners, DP, Visibility


In the so-called 'double definiteness' varieties of Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish, and Faroese), a definite nominal phrase that contains no adjective or numeral has a suffixed article but no prenominal determiner. But if there are adjectives or numerals in a definite nominal phrase, the suffixed article co-occurs with a prenominal determiner. In my analysis, this pattern is related to the requirement that the D-projection must be visible. Because of this requirement, nP, which is the projection of the suffixed definiteness marker, moves to Spec-DP when no prenominal modifiers are present. However, when adjectives or numerals intervene between D and nP, they block nP-raising to Spec-DP. D must then be spelled out, and the result is a preposed determiner.