Matching Items (4)

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The rise of new copulas in Arabic

Description

Arabic is widely known for the lack of copulas in nominal sentences in the present tense. Arabic employs a copula ‘kana’ in the past and future tenses. However,

Arabic is widely known for the lack of copulas in nominal sentences in the present tense. Arabic employs a copula ‘kana’ in the past and future tenses. However, in some constructions the presence of a third person pronoun is necessary for the purpose of emphasis or ambiguity reduction. The data investigated in this thesis was from Classical Arabic, Standard Arabic, and the Western Saudi ‘Hijazi’ dialect. The thesis briefly discussed the grammaticalization of a transitive verb to a non-present tense copula in Classical Arabic. In addition, the thesis discussed the process of copularization that was a result of grammaticalization of the demonstrative third person pronoun ‘huwa’ to a present tense copula in Standard Arabic. It was shown that the pronoun went through a process of reanalysis from the specifier to the head position of PredP driven by Feature Economy and the Head Preference Principle. The result was the loss of the person feature. The new copula developed and attached to the negative particle ‘ma’ in the Hijazi dialect losing all its phi-features. These phenomena are known as the copula and negative cycles, respectively. The analysis was based on the Generative Grammar framework and the Minimalist program. This study attempted to shed light on Arabic copulas and contribute to more understanding of the use of these copulas in question and negative constructions. It may also help in typological studies, which may lead to a better understanding of the linguistic theory and the language faculty.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Climate variability and trend on interannual-to-centennial timescales from global observations and atmosphere-ocean model simulations

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The numerical climate models have provided scientists, policy makers and the general public, crucial information for climate projections since mid-20th century. An international effort to compare and validate the simulations

The numerical climate models have provided scientists, policy makers and the general public, crucial information for climate projections since mid-20th century. An international effort to compare and validate the simulations of all major climate models is organized by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), which has gone through several phases since 1995 with CMIP5 being the state of the art. In parallel, an organized effort to consolidate all observational data in the past century culminates in the creation of several "reanalysis" datasets that are considered the closest representation of the true observation. This study compared the climate variability and trend in the climate model simulations and observations on the timescales ranging from interannual to centennial. The analysis focused on the dynamic climate quantity of zonal-mean zonal wind and global atmospheric angular momentum (AAM), and incorporated multiple datasets from reanalysis and the most recent CMIP3 and CMIP5 archives. For the observation, the validation of AAM by the length-of-day (LOD) and the intercomparison of AAM revealed a good agreement among reanalyses on the interannual and the decadal-to-interdecadal timescales, respectively. But the most significant discrepancies among them are in the long-term mean and long-term trend. For the simulations, the CMIP5 models produced a significantly smaller bias and a narrower ensemble spread of the climatology and trend in the 20th century for AAM compared to CMIP3, while CMIP3 and CMIP5 simulations consistently produced a positive trend for the 20th and 21st century. Both CMIP3 and CMIP5 models produced a wide range of the magnitudes of decadal and interdecadal variability of wind component of AAM (MR) compared to observation. The ensemble means of CMIP3 and CMIP5 are not statistically distinguishable for either the 20th- or 21st-century runs. The in-house atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations forced by the sea surface temperature (SST) taken from the CMIP5 simulations as lower boundary conditions were carried out. The zonal wind and MR in the CMIP5 simulations are well simulated in the AGCM simulations. This confirmed SST as an important mediator in regulating the global atmospheric changes due to GHG effect.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Reanalysis of OE hwæðer in the left periphery

Description

Despite the vast research on language carried out by the generative linguistics of Noam Chomsky and his followers since the 1950s, for theoretical reasons (mainly their attention to the mental

Despite the vast research on language carried out by the generative linguistics of Noam Chomsky and his followers since the 1950s, for theoretical reasons (mainly their attention to the mental abstraction of language structure rather than language as a performed product), historical linguistics from the start lay outside their research interest. This study is an attempt to bridge the gap between the formalism and theoretical constructs introduced by generative grammar, whose ultimate goal is to provide not only a description but also an explanation to linguistic phenomena, and historical linguistics, which studies the evolution of language over time. This main objective is met by providing a formal account of the changes hwæðer undergoes throughout the Old English (OE) period. This seemingly inconspicuous word presents itself as a case of particular investigative interest in that it reflects the different stages proclaimed by the theoretical assumptions implemented in the study, namely the economy principles responsible for what has become known as the CP cycle: the Head Preference Principle and the Late Merge Principle, whereby pronominal hwæðer would raise to the specifier position for topicalization purposes, then after frequent use in that position, it would be base-generated there under Late Merge, until later reanalysis as the head of the Complementizer Phrase (CP) under Head Preference. Thus, I set out to classify the diverse functions of OE hwæðer by identifying and analyzing all instances as recorded in the diachronic part of the Helsinki Corpus. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data have rendered the following results: 1) a fully satisfactory functional and chronological classification has been obtained by analyzing the data under investigation following a formal theoretical approach; and 2) a step-by-step historical analysis proves to be indispensable for understanding how language works at the abstract level from a historical point of view. This project is part of a growing body of research on language change which attempts to describe and explain the evolution of certain words as these change in form and function.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Grammaticalization of complementizers in Old English glosses

Description

I investigate how complementizers, which connect subordinate clauses to the main sentence, develop from other parts of speech, namely prepositions and adverbs. This occurs by the process of grammaticalization, in

I investigate how complementizers, which connect subordinate clauses to the main sentence, develop from other parts of speech, namely prepositions and adverbs. This occurs by the process of grammaticalization, in which a word loses lexicality and gains grammatical function instead. I use computer-based corpus analysis to determine how often certain words are used as each part of speech in my selected texts, and whether they are accompanied by other grammatical words. I use two Old English glosses of the Latin gospels, the Rushworth and Lindisfarne glosses, in order to analyze possible diachronic and geographical differences between the texts. I demonstrate that prepositions develop into adverbs and thence into complementizers with the assistance of certain grammatical accessory words which are later lost. This occurs by the process of reanalysis, in which the language user interprets a word or phrase differently than before.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010