LINGUIST List 28.1274

Wed Mar 15 2017

Diss: Aspects of the Clause Structure and Word Formation in Arabic

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 14-Mar-2017
From: Ayoub Loutfi <>
Subject: Aspects of the Clause Structure and Word Formation in Arabic
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Institution: Mohammed V University - Agdal
Program: Language and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2017

Author: Ayoub Loutfi

Dissertation Title: Aspects of the Clause Structure and Word Formation in Arabic

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

Dissertation Director:
El Abbas Benmamoun
Abdellatif Al Ghadi

Dissertation Abstract:

The present dissertation is a defense of the hypothesis that word formation is syntactic. Endorsing a non-lexicalist approach à la Distributed Morphology, it seeks to explore the claim there is a symbiotic relationship between syntax and morphology. Two lines of investigations are pursued. The first one examines the role of syntactic functional heads in determining the distribution of verbs and in introducing arguments into verbal argument structures. The main contribution of this part is to provide further empirical evidence for splitting the traditional VP into two separate functional heads. The suggested argument-introducing functional heads are Voice and light v. The effects of the split VP structure proposed are further adumbrated with data from double object constructions, location verbs, causatives, anticausatives and passives.

The other formal line of investigation pursued attempts to provide a unifying morphosyntactic treatment of negation in Standard Arabic (SA) and Moroccan Arabic (MA). As far as MA is concerned, we provide an analysis of the distribution of the discontinuous negative morpheme and the co-occurrence restriction that holds between {-ʃ} and Negative Polarity Items. For the former, it is shown that the distribution of negation supports the existence of syntactic phenomenon at the word level, namely the existence of phase-by-phase Spell-Out. For the latter, a general context-sensitive constraint is developed to capture this generalization, which is shown to be an instance of Syntactic Haplology. As for Negation in SA, we argue that the Subject-Neg agreement triggered by laysa and the temporal interpretation associated with lan and lam are explained on the basis of Chomsky’s (2005) Feature Inheritance mechanism.

Page Updated: 15-Mar-2017