Something inner- and cross-linguistically different

Original Paper


Pronominal constructions such as something big, often referred to as the ‘indefinite pronoun construction’, have received different but often homogenous accounts in the literature. In this paper, I document the inner- and cross-linguistic diversity of this construction in German and some other languages. Highlighting respectively different sets of properties, I argue that there are three basic types: one type combines the adjective and the pronoun by complementation, another by adjunction, and a third involves a garden-variety DP. Adjunction is argued to be mediated by a Modifier Phrase (Rubin, E.J., Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, CSLI, Stanford, 429–439, 1996). The latter assumption is shown to have a number of advantages.


‘Indefinite pronoun + adjective’ Indefinite pronoun construction Pronominal DP Complementation Adjunction Modifier Phrase Pre-nominal and post-nominal adjectives Genitive Concord 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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