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ERIC Number: ED548720
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 208
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-1687-5
The Morpho-Syntax and Pragmatics of Levantine Arabic Negation: A Synchronic and Diachronic Analysis
Alqassas, Ahmad
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
This dissertation investigates the morphosyntax and pragmatics of Levantine Arabic negation from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective. It is shown that the complex distribution of the negation morphemes "ma," "la" and "-sh" is subject to morphosyntactic and pragmatic constraints. The morphosyntactic constraints are approached from the perspective of minimalism. The pragmatic constraints are discussed within the contexts of Meta Linguistic negation and speech acts. Investigating the morphosyntax and pragmatics of negation, we reach an adequate explanation for the complex distribution of these negation morphemes. Moreover, we reach an accurate characterization for where LA negation stands according to the Jespersen Cycle, and we can explain a change in progress in LA negation. The distribution of the negative markers in different syntactic and phonological environments and the placement of sentential stress in negative sentences leads to the conclusion that the negative markers "ma" and "la" are heads (Neg[superscript 0]), while the morpheme "-sh" is a morphological reinforcer without negative force (agreement clitic AgrPol[superscript 0]). The movement of the predicate through the AgrPolP and NegP heads creates a complex word that attracts sentential stress. It is shown that the constraint on the use of "-sh" in some contexts can be explained if we assume that the position of negation in syntax is not parametric. In this approach, NegP can either be on top of vP or TP. I show that in LA the high position of negation is restricted for syntactically and pragmatically marked cases. These include licensing of subject and adverbial NPIs, negative markers functioning as complementizers, negative imperative functioning as "cautioning" rather than "prohibition," rhetorical questions, and sentences which have a commissive speech act. Meta Linguistic negation is another phenomenon discussed here. An empirical study investigating the preference in using ma alone versus bipartite negation shows that there is an increasing preference for using "ma" alone in the younger generations. This is interpreted as the result of overgeneralizing the use of "ma" alone in marked constructions to unmarked constructions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A