This study explores some grammatical aspects of Rural Palestinian Arabic (RPA), spoken in the vicinity of the city of Tulkarm in the Northwest part of the West Bank, and compares the variety to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Urban Palestinian Arabic (UPA). The study introduces an overview of the Arabic language and its colloquial dialects and the status of diglossia in the Arab world. Subject-verb agreement in MSA and RPA is also discussed.
The focus of this study is on the pronominal system and negation in both MSA and RPA. It investigates the correlations between dependent subject pronouns and independent pronouns and their phonological and syntactic relationships. I argue that dependent subject pronouns are reduced forms of the independent subject pronoun. The study explains how dependent subject pronouns are formed by deleting the initial syllable, except for the first person singular and the third person masculine plural, which use suppletive forms instead. Dependent object pronouns are also derived from their independent counterparts by the deletion of the second syllable, with the exception of third person plural pronouns, which take the same form as clitics attached to their hosts.
I argue that dependent subject pronouns are agreement affixes used to mark verb argument features, whereas pronominal object and possessive pronouns are clitics attached to their hosts, which can be verbs, nouns, prepositions, and quantifiers. This study investigates other uses of subject pronouns, such as the use of third person pronouns as copulas in both MSA and RPA. Additionally, third person pronouns are used as question pronouns for yes
o questions in RPA.
The dissertation also explores the morphosyntactic properties of sentential negation in RPA in comparison to sentential negation in MSA. The study shows that the negative markers ma: and -iš are used to negate perfective and imperfective verbs, while muš precedes non-verbal predicates, such as adjectives, prepositional phrases (PPs), and participles. The main predicate in the negative phrase does not need the noun phrase (NP) to raise to T if there is no need to merge with the negative element.
Keywords: Standard Arabic, Rural Palestinian Arabic, Urban Palestinian Arabic, independent pronouns, dependent pronouns, pronominal clitics, copula pronouns, negation