Vol. 9 (2023)

Complex Possessive Pronouns in West Flemish and German

Anne-Li Demonie
Masaryk University
Pamela Goryczka
University of Vienna

Published 2023-09-30


  • Agreement,
  • Gender,
  • Germanic,
  • Nanosyntax,
  • Possessive Pronouns

How to Cite

Demonie, A.-L., & Goryczka, P. (2023). Complex Possessive Pronouns in West Flemish and German. Quaderni Di Linguistica E Studi Orientali, 9, 59–79. Retrieved from https://oaj.fupress.net/index.php/bsfm-qulso/article/view/15159


In this article we discuss a contrastive, morphological agreement pattern exhibited by singular possessive pronouns in West Flemish and German. While West Flemish zen (‘his’) and eur (‘her’) require a suffix -en to mark masculine agreement, they are unmarked for feminine agreement. Conversely, German sein (‘his’) and ihr (‘her’) require a suffix -e to mark feminine agreement, but they are unmarked for masculine agreement. Put differently, in both languages only one gender is marked for agreement, and West Flemish marks a different gender than German. To account for this intra- and cross-linguistic variation, we argue for a fine-grained analysis, couched in Nanosyntax (Starke 2009 et seq.), of the possessive pronouns and their agreement markers.