Edited by Hamid Ouali
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 5] 2017
► pp. 153–180
This paper explores the distribution and interpretation of active and passive participles in contemporary Syrian Arabic. The fact that Syrian Arabic participles license objective Case suggests they are ‘verbal’ participles, i.e. verbs ‘disguised’ as adjectives. However, a detailed investigation uncovers substantial parallels with English adjectival participles. I therefore argue that Syrian Arabic adjectival participles differ from those in better-studied Indo-European languages in containing licensing structure for object Case. This, in turn, means that adjectival participles are not necessarily structurally defective, as has been proposed in the literature, but that the size of adjectival participles is a point of cross-linguistic parametric variation.