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Academic Paper

Title: Anaphoric binding in Modern Standard Arabic: A phase-based analysis
Author: Basem Al-Raba'a
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Arabic, Standard
Abstract: This article explores the distribution of Arabic reflexive and reciprocal anaphors in various structures as well as the syntactic environments in which such anaphors are (in)admissible. In particular, it examines the binding domains for reflexives and reciprocals and focuses for the most part on the asymmetries between these two types of anaphors in possessive DPs and PPs. It will be shown that the binding facts are better captured by reducing binding domains to phases, that DPs and PPs constitute a phase only when containing a possessive phrase, and that a reflexive and a reciprocal behave differently in such possessive structures in that the latter, unlike the former, undergoes overt movement. Accordingly, it will be argued that reflexive possessives are ungrammatical because they are left unbound in their DP/PP phase, while reciprocal possessives are grammatical since multiple copies of the distributor are created during the derivation due to movement, allowing it to seek an antecedent in the higher vP, its phasal binding domain. For this to hold, Principle A should apply cyclically at the end of each phase; that is, before the complement of the phase head is spelled out.


This article appears IN Canadian Journal of Linguistics Vol. 66, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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