Article published in:Arabic-based Pidgins and Creoles
Edited by Stefano Manfredi and Mauro Tosco
[Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 29:2] 2014
► pp. 410–436
The multifunctionality of fii in Gulf Pidgin Arabic
The paper is a descriptive account of the various grammatical functions of the particle fii in the grammar of Gulf Pidgin Arabic, the contact system that has developed in the Arab countries of the Arabian Gulf for use between the Arabic-speaking native citizens and the expatriate workforce in these countries. It aims at discussing the grammatical multifunctionality of this element and the factors behind the expansion of its grammatical functions, when it was adopted from the lexifier Gulf Arabic.In Gulf Arabic, fii is used as a preposition and as an existential predicate. When it was adopted into GPA, fii also assumed the role of a possession marker and predication marker in non-verbal subject-predicate sentences and sentences with verbal predicates. A similar expansion in grammatical roles has affected its negative counterpart maafii, which is used as a negative of fii in its role as an existential predicate in Gulf Arabic. In GPA the use of maafii has also been expanded so that it is now used as a universal negator in the language, regardless of the predicate or sentence type. The paper investigates the factors that motivated this extension in the uses of fii/maafii and argues that it is not transfer-induced. Rather, language-internal motivation and universal tendencies are more legitimate candidates for the forces lying behind this process.
Keywords: general negator, predication marker, fii/maafii, multifunctionality, Gulf Pidgin Arabic, grammaticalization, existential
Published online: 30 September 2014
Arends, Jacques, Pieter Muysken & Norval Smith
Avram, Andrei A.
Bakir, Murtadha J.
den Dikken, Marcel
Heine, Bernd & Tania Kuteva
Hopper, Paul & Elizabeth Traugott
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Næss, Unn Gyda
To appear. Linguistic variety of fii/maafii in Hejaz Gulf Pidgin Arabic. Almajallah Journal of King Khalid University.
Smart, Jack R.
Cited by 2 other publications
Hillman, Sara & Emilio Ocampo Eibenschutz
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