Noun phrases, such as this photo, can often appear both with modifiers, such as the adjective old, and with arguments, typically PPs such as of the queen. Most of the literature on the syntax of DPs has adopted the hypothesis that adjectives are base-generated higher than nominal arguments, just as adverbs are merged higher than arguments in the clause. This squib looks at the syntax of the Italian DP, focusing on the distribution of modifier PPs and argument PPs, and offers novel evidence that, contrary to the received view, nominal modifiers such as adjectives are in fact base-generated lower than nominal arguments.

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