Chapter published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXXII: Papers selected from the Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics, Tempe, Arizona, 2018
Edited by Elly van Gelderen
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 9] 2020
► pp. 109–134
The complementizer layer in Standard Arabic revisited
This paper revisits three issues related to the complementizer layer (CP) in Standard Arabic. We reexamine them against the backdrop of Shlonsky’s 2000 analysis, and put forward a new proposal couched in Rizzi’s 1997 split-CP hypothesis. First, we examine the apparent distributional and interpretive differences between ʔinna and ʔanna, and subsequently argue that the former is a lexical verum operator that projects a VerumP in the middle of the split-CP field, whereas ʔanna is an indicative force head. Second, the current work presents another view on the elements analyzed as agreement clitics by Shlonsky (2000). We argue that they are not for agreement but rather are expletive or resumptive pronouns. Evidence that they are not agreement derives primarily from contexts where they appear in coordinated structures with overt DPs. We then investigate extraction patterns for questions and focus in matrix clauses as well as embedded clauses and propose that the preverbal subject DP in SVO is externally merged in SpecTopP in the split CP while it binds a null pro in SpecvP. This analysis captures the ban on extraction across the subject in SVO in that it shows that this DP is already higher in the structural hierarchy than the positions dedicated for focus and wh-questions.
Keywords: complementizer agreement, left periphery, verum
Published online: 28 August 2020
Aoun, J. E., Benmamoun, E., & Choueiri, L.
Höhle, T. N.
Mohammad, M. A.
Müller, G., & Sternefeld, W.
Omar, M., Zahran, M., & Abdullatif, M.
Pollock, J. Y.
Sigurðsson, H./Á., & Maling, J.
Sigurðsson, H. Á., & Maling, J.