Chapter published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXX: Papers from the annual symposia on Arabic Linguistics, Stony Brook, New York, 2016 and Norman, Oklahoma, 2017
Edited by Amel Khalfaoui and Matthew A. Tucker
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 7] 2019
► pp. 113–131
A focus operator in Iraqi Arabic
This paper is an account of the function and interpretation of the pronominal huwwa found in a variety of clausal constructions in Iraqi Arabic. This element has received various analyses in studies on clause structure in a number of Arabic varieties. It has been considered an appositive pronominal, a copulative pronoun, a copula with pronominal features, and a Q operator. The distribution of this element in Iraqi Arabic is observed, not only in verbless equational sentences with focused elements, but also in one type of wh-questions and in yes/no questions. In all of these contexts, it is associated with a focus reading. This motivates analyzing it as an overt realization of a focus operator, with φ features valued in agreement with the focused element. As such, it should be located in the head position of the Focus Phrase, one of the functional projections constituting the discourse-functional layer of clausal architecture.
Keywords: Iraqi Arabic, huwwa , focus operator, equational sentences, bi-clausal wh-questions, functional projections
Published online: 08 July 2019
Aoun, J., Benmamoun. E., & Choueiri, L.
Den Dikken, M.