Matching Items (3)

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Verbs of Perception and Evidentiality in Standard Arabic

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This dissertation provides an account of evidentiality of a number of selected verbs of perception in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The verbs are divided into three categories: activity, experiential, and

This dissertation provides an account of evidentiality of a number of selected verbs of perception in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The verbs are divided into three categories: activity, experiential, and source-based, following Viberg (1983). The data shows that the activity P.Vs in MSA are rarely used evidentially whereas the experiential and the source-based ones are commonly used to indicate evidential meaning. It also shows that while the source-based verb is mostly used with an inferred evidential meaning, the evidentiality encoded by the experiential perception verbs is determined by the complementation pattern and the person of the subject (first or third person subject). With the non-finite complement, these verbs indicate a direct evidentiality when having a first person subject, and a reported evidentiality when having a third person subject. With the finite CP complement, they indicate an indirect evidentiality. This corpus-based study also examines the grammaticalization of these verbs when used evidentially. I argue that only the verb ra’aa of the selected experiential verbs is fully grammaticalized, but only when it is in the past tense and followed by a verbal non-finite complement. In this usage, it becomes a light verb. The source-based verb badaa/yabduu when indicating an evidentiality, it is grammaticalized into copulative verb when followed by an adjectival predicate, and modal verb when followed by a finite complement.

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  • 2019

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The pronominal system in standard Arabic: strong, clitic and affixal pronouns

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This thesis investigates the pronominal system in Standard Arabic. It seeks to unravel the correlation between independent and dependent personal pronouns. Although both pronoun groups are treated as distinct parts

This thesis investigates the pronominal system in Standard Arabic. It seeks to unravel the correlation between independent and dependent personal pronouns. Although both pronoun groups are treated as distinct parts of the lexicon, I argue that dependent pronouns are reduced forms derived from the strong counterparts. This study examines how these forms (reduced and non-reduced) relate to one another phonologically and syntactically. Various analytical tools are utilized including vowel harmony, syllable structure as well as some principles of Distributed Morphology and Chomsky's 1995 Minimalist Program. With regard to the phonological relations, I argue that dependent subject pronouns are generated from their parallel strong forms by omitting the initial syllable. Dependent object pronouns are formed by omitting the first two syllables. The first person singular and third person plural masculine subject pronouns are suppletive forms completing the paradigm. They are not derived by reduction from their full counterparts. After investigating the distributional properties of both sets of pronouns, I propose a bipartite subcategorization of reduced pronominals into two subclasses: clitics and affixes. Clitics surface in positions in which strong pronouns cannot occur. As for affixes, they are used to mark verb-argument agreement. In light of these positions, I argue that dependent subject pronouns are always affixes while dependent object pronouns are always clitics. Clitics function as syntactically independent units which combine with hosts at the phonological phase as a result of their prosodic deficiency while affixes associate with hosts when features are valued during a sentence derivation.

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  • 2013

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Existential and Negative Existential Constructions in Arabic: Typology and Syntax

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation investigates the copular/locative and existential predications in Arabic. The main focus is on the typology and syntax of the existential predications. The negation of such predications reveals interesting

ABSTRACT

This dissertation investigates the copular/locative and existential predications in Arabic. The main focus is on the typology and syntax of the existential predications. The negation of such predications reveals interesting results. The Negative Existential Cycle (Croft, 1991) is a model that describes the process by which verbal negators arise from existential negators. I discuss data of existentials and negative existentials from Standard Arabic, Saudi Arabic dialect, and Gulf Pidgin Arabic.

I argue for canonical vs. non-canonical word orders in copular/locative and existential sentences, respectively. I examine the grammaticalization path of the existentials from their locative content in each language form. Then, I investigate the syntactic word order of the copular/locative and existential constructions in each variety.

I investigate the negation of the existential construction in each variety. First, Standard Arabic is shown to be at stage A in the Negative Existential Cycle. The Hijazi and Najdi Arabic spoken by elders show further developments. Hijazi Arabic appears to be at stage B, while Najdi Arabic appears to be at stage B and an intermediate stage B ~ C. Second, I show that in Saudi Arabic the negative existential has been extended to the verbal domain. Saudi Arabic is at stages A, B, and B ~ C, while Qassimi Arabic is at stages A and B. Third, I show that the existential construction in Gulf Pidgin Arabic is only negated by the negative existential predicate, while the verbal sentences are negated by the negative existential and the verbal negator. Therefore, Gulf Pidgin Arabic is at stages B and C in the Negative Existential Cycle.

Finally, I discuss the syntax of copular/locative and existential predications in each variety. I propose a unified syntactic structure. Existential and possessive predications are analyzed as inverse copular sentences (Moro, 1997) as opposed to the canonical copular/locative sentences. The unified structure accounts for the agreement facts, such as partial vs. full agreement in existential and copular/locative predications, respectively.

The data investigated here will contribute to Arabic comparative and historical linguistics. More Arabic dialects’ data is needed to determine their stages in the Negative Existential Cycle.

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  • 2019