The syntactic structure of noun phrases in Indonesian
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Recent developments in linguistic theory carried out within the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995; Adger 2003;) provide a functional and concrete framework for an analysis of noun phrases in the Indonesian language, a Western-Malayo Polynesian sub-branch of the Austronesian language family. An analysis of Indonesian noun phrase structure within this framework demonstrates that the head noun occurs in a base-generated position, at the bottom of a DP, while pre- and post-nominal modifiers are contained within a number of additional projections that merge above the head noun. In this thesis, the proposal is made for a relatively unrestricted adjunction analysis, whereby head adjunction via Merge allows for the direct expansion of the head N at various levels of the Indonesian DP. Evidence is presented to show that the adjoined status of attributive nouns and adjectives, a plural feature [PL], and the feature [DEF] generates a complex hierarchical structure in which there is no predefined order between a specifier or complement and the head noun. In addition, it is argued that bare nouns are neutral with respect to number and, given that number-marking, possession and (in)definiteness are optional, all projections that merge above the head N are optional and context is needed to accurately interpret an Indonesian bare noun.