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Verbal Complementation in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic : An LFG account

ElSadek, Shaimaa (2016) Verbal Complementation in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic : An LFG account. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This study provides description and analysis of some verbal complementation patterns in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA), namely the Auxiliary /kaan/, Causative /xalla/, phasal verbs and modals. Each verb is represented by a set of sentences extracted from a 5 million word corpus of ECA online texts that was built for the purpose of the current study using the Sketch Engine tool. These verbal complements are described and analysed within the principles of LFG syntactic theory, and represented in a grammar fragment implemented using the XLE tool. The analysis shows that both tense and aspect can be expressed verbs in ECA, where in simple tense forms the verb carries tense only, while in compound tense, the main predicate marks tense and occupies I while the following lexical verb marks grammatical aspect and occupies V. The bi- prefix marks present tense on verbs in I and imperfect aspect on verbs in V, as well as a HAB/PROG feature. The bare Imperfective verb form is treated as a non-finite verb in ECA, where it can not occupy I and is marked by VFORM=BARE. All of the verbal constructions analysed are bi-clausal structures, however, they show differences regarding the kind of control relation. Functional control was attested in constructions where the main predicate is the auxiliary /kaan/, the causative verb /xalla/, phasal verbs, as well as non-inflecting modals. Anaphoric control was attested only with inflecting modals, with the modal /yi2dar/ ‘able’ showing a case of obligatory anaphoric control. This is, to my knowledge, the first study which attempts to develop a grammar for ECA using the XLE platform. It provides an insight over the issues correlated with developing this grammar, which could be a step towards including ECA into the ParGram project in order to develop broad coverage grammars for a bigger number of languages.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Egyptian Colloquial Arabic LFG Verbal complementation Corpus-based study XLE
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Shaimaa Elsadek
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 15:56
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2017 15:56

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