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Grammaticalization is viewed as a progressive process by which words are altered over time from a lexical status to a grammatical status. Verbs with posture, motion, and volition meanings are crosslinguistically prone to grammaticalize into tense, mood, and aspect markers

Grammaticalization is viewed as a progressive process by which words are altered over time from a lexical status to a grammatical status. Verbs with posture, motion, and volition meanings are crosslinguistically prone to grammaticalize into tense, mood, and aspect markers (TMA), making for a particularly interesting topic of study. In Arabic dialects, the active participle of posture verbs (APPVs) jaalis/qaaʕaɪd ‘sitting’ and gaayem ‘standing’, the motion verbs raħ ‘he went’, and the b-imperfective are commonly referred to as instances of grammaticalization. Yet, there is very limited research that supports this argument. APPVs are sometimes regarded as grammaticalized auxiliaries or Aktionsart markers, while raħ and the b-imperfective are both viewed as future tense markers. There is, however, evidence from Saudi Najdi Arabic (SNA) that challenges these findings. This dissertation describes the grammaticalization process of the APPVs, the motion verbs raħ, and the b-imperfective in SNA. It also proposes a new precise syntactic analysis for the three elements and their sources of grammaticalization, using two approaches. First, to account for the evaluation of the three elements’ grammaticalization in SNA, I focus on four universal grammaticalization principles and mechanisms: namely, desemanticization, extension, decategorialization, and erosion. I follow Hopper and Traugott’s (2003) Cline theory to provide a description of the reanalysis stages. To account for the syntactic analysis for these elements and their sources of grammaticalization, I use the Cartography Program. The data examined reveal that SNA is most grammatically related to other Arabic dialects and not Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), allowing me to trace the grammaticalization process of the APPVs, the b-imperfective, and the motion verb rah from their original function as lexical verbs to TMA markers of progressivity or futurity. I show that the APPVs have undergone semantic extension, semantic bleaching, and decategorialization, but not phonological reduction (erosion). Syntactically, the findings indicate that the future irrealis b-imperfective occupies the head of MP, the prospective future raħ occupies the head of ProspP, and the APPVs in pseudocoordination constructions have two syntactic structures: (i) progressive aspect markers in the head of ProgP and (ii) light verbs base-generated in the head of vP.
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    Title
    • The Grammaticalization of Lexical Verbs into Progressive and Future Markers in Saudi Najdi Arabic
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    Date Created
    2021
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    • Partial requirement for: Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2021
    • Field of study: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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