Why English Exhibits Determiner-Possessor Complementarity and Slovene Doesn’t


  • Frančiška Lipovšek University of Ljubljana




determiner, possessor, generative grammar


The aim of the paper is to provide an explanation for the following difference between English and Slovene: whereas in English a definite determiner and a possessor are in complementary distribution, in Slovene the two categories are perfectly compatible. Arguing that the traditional approach to determiner-possessor complementarity is inadequate, the paper proposes an explanation that has been developed within the framework of generative grammar: languages exhibiting determiner-possessor complementarity are characterized by the presence of the [∼def] feature on the functional head Pos. The generative approach also shows that (with the definite article and a demonstrative occupying different structural positions) determiner-possessor complementarity is in fact twofold, comprising (i) articlepossessor complementarity and (ii) demonstrative-possessor complementarity.


Download data is not yet available.



31. 12. 2004

How to Cite

Lipovšek, F. (2004). Why English Exhibits Determiner-Possessor Complementarity and Slovene Doesn’t. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 1(1-2), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.1.1-2.15-22