LINGUIST List 11.1048

Wed May 10 2000

Books: Generative Arabic Syntax

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  1. Paul Peranteau, Generative Arabic Syntax - M. A. Mohammad

Message 1: Generative Arabic Syntax - M. A. Mohammad

Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 10:21:15 -0400
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: Generative Arabic Syntax - M. A. Mohammad

John Benjamins Publishing announces a new work in Arabic Syntax using 
Generative Grammar, specifically Minimalism, for the analysis.

Word Order, Agreement and Pronominalization in Standard and Palestinian Arabic.
Mohammad A. MOHAMMAD (University of Florida)
Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 181
US & Canada: 1 55619 958 9 / USD 69.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world: 90 272 3687 9 / NLG 138.00 (Hardcover)

The two related issues of word order, and subject-verb agreement have
occupied center stage in the study of Arabic syntax since the time of
Sibawayhi in the eighth century. This book is a contribution to both
of these areas. It is grounded within the generative grammar framework
in one of its most recent versions, namely Minimalism, as expounded in
Chomsky (1995).

In this volume, a detailed description is given of word order options
in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Palestinian Arabic (PA). It is
shown that, perhaps surprisingly, the two varieties allow almost the
same range of word orders.

The important question of whether Arabic has a VP is addressed: the
author argues extensively that Arabic has a VP category. The evidence
derives from examining superiority effects, ECP effects, binding,
variable interpretations, etc.

Also discussed is the content of [Spec, TP] in VSO sentences. It is
argued that the position is occupied by an expletive pronoun. The
author defends the Expletive Hypothesis which states that in VSO
sentences the expletive may take part in checking some features of the
verb. A typology of the expletive pronoun in Modern Standard Arabic,
Palestinian Arabic, Lebanese Arabic, and Moroccan Arabic is provided.

A particularly interesting problem involving pronominal co-reference
is the following: if the subject is the antecedent of a pronominal
clitic, word order is free; if a pronominal is cliticized onto the
subject, then the antecedent must precede. An account that derives
these restrictions without recourse to linear order is proposed.

			John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Offices:	Philadelphia			Amsterdam:
Phone:		+215 836-1200			+31 20 6762325
Fax: 		+215 836-1204			+31 20 6739773
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