Edited by Mahmoud Azaz
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 12] 2023
► pp. 153–184
While raising has been allegedly claimed to not exist in Arabic, we here present data from the vernacular varieties to illustrate how these have lexicalized and grammaticalized innovative lexical raising predicates meaning ‘seem, appear, as though’, and by association, the grammaticalization of the raising structures in which such predicates appear. The full array of it-expletive type constructions, subj-to-subj raising and copy raising structures are manifest in the dialects. In the latter construction, as is the case in Standard Arabic, some dialects employ a designate complementizer form. Our discussion on raising reveals that hyperraising, a sub-type of subj-to-subj raising involving a finite embedded clause, is available across the vernacular varieties. The comparative overview taken in this work suggests that canonical lexical verbal raising predicates are not the norm in Arabic, and that in the overwhelming majority of the dialects, the lexical verbal predicates that mean ‘appear, seem’ either stop short from subcategorizing for a clausal complement, or if they do, they only allow an it-expletive type of structure. This has in turn paved the way for a range of verbal, nominal and prepositional items to undergo a number of semantic, functional, and structural developments that synchronically avail the vernacular varieties with the possibility of varied sorts of raising structures.