LINGUIST List 21.4595|
Tue Nov 16 2010
Qs: Arabic: Yes/No Questions
Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean
We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.
In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.cfm.
1. May Mahdi Al-Ramadan ,
Arabic: Yes/No Questions
Message 1: Arabic: Yes/No Questions
From: May Mahdi Al-Ramadan <mal_ramadanhotmail.com>
Subject: Arabic: Yes/No Questions
E-mail this message to a friend
My name is May Mahdi Al-Ramadan, from Saudi Arabia. I am a lecturer
and I am studying for a PhD in Applied Linguistics in King Saud
University in Riyadh.
I am working on a paper about the formation of Yes/No questions in
Arabic. What interests me about this subject is the claim that I read in
Carnie (2007) that complementizer particles and subject/verb inversion
are in complementary distribution. He states that languages can either
have this or that but not both. In Standard Arabic, a complementizer
(Hal) is used at the beginning of yes/no questions. The verb precedes
the subject in Standard Arabic in both sentences and questions. An
example for this is as follows:
1) Hal thahaba abouka?
C went father-your
"Did your father go?"
In Saudi Arabic, on the other hand, the complementizer is dropped.
Subject/verb inversion is used instead. An example:
2) Obouk raH?
"Did your father go?"
My question is that, how is it possible to incorporate the view that
complementizers vs. subject/verb inversion are in complementary
distribution into the analysis of Arabic that obviously has both methods
of forming questions? Or possibly is it more valid to assume that the
two varieties of Arabic are distinct and no generalization can be made
with reference to both of them?
I would appreciate any suggestions and resources from the List!
Thank you so much,
May Mahdi Al-Ramadan
Carnie, A (2007). Syntax: A Generative Introduction. Blackwell
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (arb)
Arabic, Gulf Spoken (afb)
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
Page Updated: 16-Nov-2010
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.