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Ghaly, Huda Mohamad Mahmoud (1988) A syntactic study of the nominal piece and its temporals in Dargiyyah Arabic based on the theory of government and binding. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is a study of the Nominal Piece and its Temporals in Dargiyyah Arabic based on the Theory of Government and Binding. Dargiyyah is the hometown of the Saudi Royal Family and the informants participating in the collection of data from this Arabic dialect are aged women who have had very little exposure to foreign influences, such as Classical or Egyptian Arabic. This restriction on the informants is because the new generation no longer speaks this dialect of Arabic. The analysis of this dialect of Arabic ie Dargiyyah Arabic Dialect (D.A.D.) has shown that sentential configurations are of two different kinds: verbal or nominal. The verbal sentence has a VP category while the Nominal sentence has no VP category at any level of syntactic representation, rather it has an NP or a PP predicate. The NP predicate may have a noun, an adjective, an ordinal numeral, or a participle as its head because all these word classes in D.A.D. represent nominals. As for the PP predicate, it is composed of a preposition and its complement. The assumption that the D.A.D. nominal sentence is not derived from a sentential configuration that has a VP category at its Logical Form (ie LF) is verified by two basic premises. The first is the fact that the D.A.D. nominal sentence subsumes to different syntactic rules from those applicable to the verbal sentence. The second is the fact that time is indicated in the nominal sentence by means of an NP that is generated in its Comp, and is called a "temporal NP"; therefore, there is no logical necessity for the assumption that the nominal sentence has a VP category at its LF. The first premise may be exemplified by the fact that the rule of subject inversion is only applicable to the verbal sentence, and not to the nominal sentence. It may also be demonstrated by the fact that the reflexive clitic in the nominal sentence is different from the verbal sentence ie in the nominal sentence, it is a nominal and in the verbal sentence it is a verbal affix. Furthermore, the NP predicate in a nominal sentence is assigned nominative Case whereas it is assigned objective Case in the verbal sentence. As for the indication of time in the D.A.D. nominal sentence, it is solely dependent on the presence of a temporal NP in its Comp., contrary to the verbal sentence, in which it is partly indicated by the temporal NP in its Comp, and partly by the verb form ie whether it be perfective or imperfective. This not only demonstrates the difference in the syntactic behaviour between a nominal sentence and a verbal one but also verifies the second premise ie as an NP in D.A.D. syntax is capable of indicating time, there is no need for the assumption that the nominal sentence in D.A.D. has a VP category at its LF or even an "abstract" VP category at all its levels of syntactic representation. The non-feasibility of the presence of an "abstract" VP category in the D.A.D. nominal sentence for the sake of its time indication is not only refuted on the basis of the fact that the NP in D.A.D. syntax may also indicate time but also on the basis of the fact that a category may be empty if and only if its features are semantically recoverable by another element in the same sentence. Such is the case with the NP category when it is empty, for example in D.A.D., we have an argument small pro, an impersonal small pro, an NP-trace and a variable, all of which partition the syntactic distribution of the NP category and whose features are recoverable by a local determiner or an antecedent. If on the other hand, we assume that the VP category may also be empty, then its features must be recoverable by another element in the sentence. But this is not possible in D.A.D. syntax because the verb form is associated with either the Perfective or the Imperfective aspect whereas the D.A.D. temporals, which are generated in Comp, as an NP, are associated with the syntactic features of present, past, future or continuous time reference; therefore, neither the temporal nor the verb can substitute for the other because each conveys a different time perspective. Accordingly, it is maintained that whenever the perfective or the Imperfective aspect is required, then the sentential configuration has a VP category at every level of its syntactic representation and in such a case we have a verbal sentence. But whenever these aspects are not required, then there is no VP category at any level of its syntactic representation and we have a nominal sentence, whose present, past, future and continuous time reference is indicated by the presence of a temporal NP in its Comp. The temporal in D.A.D. has been regarded as being of the NP category because it may have as its head a temporal nominal, which represents one of the subclasses in the general class for nominals in D.A.D. syntax. That is, as the time expressions in D.A.D. syntax have some of the syntactic behaviour of the noun in its syntactic system, they have been regarded as nominals and are called temporal nominals. In turn the category they are generated in is an NP category and it is called a temporal NP. This in turn leads to the verification of the fact that there is no logical necessity for the assumption that every clause has a VP category (at least at its LF for its time indication) even when it does not appear at its surface structure.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:05

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