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Floating and Non-floating Quantifiers in Hijazi Arabic: an HPSG Analysis

Alzahrani, Tagreed (2019) Floating and Non-floating Quantifiers in Hijazi Arabic: an HPSG Analysis. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis concerns the description and analysis of floating and non-floating quantifiers in Hijazi Arabic (HA) within the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG). This work is a contribution to the long-standing debate on the relation between floating and non-floating quantifiers. It investigates the properties of Hijazi Arabic floating quantifiers to be able to determine whether they belong to the nominal or the verbal domain, and to provide an answer, or a close approximation, to the question that keeps being asked in the literature with respect to how floating quantifiers are generated. This work focuses on quantifiers in HA, and attempts to provide a unified account that takes into consideration, and tries to link and unify, the following properties: • Quantifiers have three forms which are parallel to that of ordinary nom- inal forms: Simple, construct state, and free states. For this reason, I pursue the claim that quantifiers are categorically Nouns, and not a functional category Determiner (D) or Quantifier (Q). They differ from ‘ordinary nouns’ in terms of their agreement behaviours and semantic properties. • Definiteness in HA is a head feature and is associated with no lexical category, and for that we might claim that HA lacks the category Determiner (D). • Contrary to the analysis provided in some transformational approaches, floating and non-floating quantifiers in HA cannot be related to their nominal associate by syntactic transformation. Floating quantifiers are here analysed as adjuncts that can alternate between being NP modifiers or VP modifiers, but which are nevertheless always related to an associated noun, semantically, and display the need to be anaphorically-bound to it. I propose that non-floating quantifiers take the same distribution as that of ordinary nouns, which I take to imply that nouns, and non-floating quantifiers are actually two instances of the same type. By adopting a lexical hypothesis that makes use of lexical rules, I account for their definiteness agreement and definiteness inheritance in the framework of HPSG. In contrast, I demonstrate that floating behaviours display a series of puzzles that can be resolved, or better analysed, on the basis of their treatment as NP or VP adjuncts, involving a MOD feature. The latter can only ever be subject-oriented, yet can linearly come in between complements, and still modify the V, due to my proposal of a flat VP phrase structure. To account for the syntax and semantics of the floating quantifier with the NP, the lexical information associated with the quantifier in the lexical entry encodes the syntactic and semantic properties that concern its distribution.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: floating quantifier, stranding analysis, adverbial analysis, Arabic syntax, noun phrase, definiteness inheritance, HPSG
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Tagreed Alzahrani
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 11:05
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 11:05
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26282

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