LINGUIST List 15.1184

Mon Apr 12 2004

Diss: Morphology: Ouardi: 'Some Aspects...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. ward.racid, Some Aspects of Standar Arabic Nominal Sentence...

Message 1: Some Aspects of Standar Arabic Nominal Sentence...

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 14:00:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: ward.racid <>
Subject: Some Aspects of Standar Arabic Nominal Sentence...

Institution: Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University
Program: Standard Arabic morphosyntax
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Rachid El Ouardi

Dissertation Title: Some Aspects of Standar Arabic Nominal Sentence,
the Morphosyntax of Masdar and Participles

Linguistic Field: Morphology, Syntax 

Dissertation Director 1: Fatima Sadiqi
Dissertation Director 2: Moha Ennaji
Dissertation Director 3: Ur Shlonsky
Dissertation Director 4: El Abbas Benmamoune

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis is a study of some of the grammatical properties of
Standard Arabic nominal sentence, particularly those structures where
a masdar or a participle shows up. Three major points are taken up:
the analysis of the salient features of non-verbal constructions, the
discussion of the issue of the relation between the lexical and
morphosyntactic representations, and the categorial and functional
feature specification of masdars and participles. 

As to the first point, the investigation focuses on how Standard
Arabic nominal sentences are internally structured, taking three
particular areas, namely DPs (noun phrases), APs (adjectival phrases)
and CSs (construct states). The description and discussion center
around the issue of agreement inside all these types of structure,
especially number and gender agreement. The proper investigation,
concerning the second point, aims at contributing to the generative
morphosyntactic debate as to the component where words are formed. On
the assumption that words are projected onto the phrase marker fully
formed, fully inflected, the problem is addressed within a theory
positing that word formation component consists in two (lexical)
levels constituting, in fact, the lexical morphology. These two levels
are: L1 which is the area where roots, affixes and combination rules
are listed and activated; L2 which is the output of L1 and where
formed words, with all their categorical and inflectional features,
are stored and, thus, projected as such onto syntactic structures.

Finally, with regard to the third point, three points are focused on:
(i) The way the mismatch between nominal and verbal aspects of the
categories masdar and participles might theoretically be conditioned;
it is argued that the functional elements [+D] and [+T] have a
decisive part in this respect; (ii) Other functional elements that may
be associated with such substantives, namely D, AGR and T. D and AGR
are shown to be very influential in determining word order within m-
and participle structures, respectively. As to T, it is argued that,
in m-constructions, tense reading is largely related to the tense of
the matrix verb, or to certain extra grammatical elements; in the case
of participle structures, the action denoted by the participle seems
to be ambiguous between tense and aspect interpretation; this follows
from two main reasons: the controlling verb effect on the temporal
reading of the whole structure, and the crucial role which the article
might have in this connection. (iii) The issue of inheritance of
argument structure which is treated as being relevant for all types of
the deverbal nominals being analysed; the assumption made reveals that
both masdars and participles fail to behave morphologically as verbs,
yet they show some verbal properties which are to be specified and
activated lexically; thus, on the conceptual side, they are considered
to be initially verbal roots, which implies that their argument
assigning features are inherited from related verbal roots/stems.
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