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Agreement in Palestinian Arabic: An LFG Perspective

Yassin, Sharaf (2022) Agreement in Palestinian Arabic: An LFG Perspective. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Agreement is a pervasive and varied phenomenon which is evident in almost every language with a wide linguistic scope that functions across syntax, semantics, pragmatics, lexicology and morphology (Corbett, 2006). This study provides description and analysis of agreement patterns in Palestinian Arabic (PA) with a focus on the patterns triggered by a plural head noun. There are three main agreement patterns observed between a plural head noun and a modifier, namely the full pattern, the deflected pattern, and the syntactic pattern. Each pattern is represented by a number of examples from the Corpus for Palestinian Arabic (Curras) (2016). Furthermore, I focus on a certain group of challenging nouns that I refer to as doublet nouns which trigger either a plural marker or a singular marker on the target depending on the interpretation of the noun as either individuated or non-individuated (which I call the two-some agreement pattern); such as Sabab ‘guys’, wlad ‘boys’, zlam ‘men’, niswan and nasawin ‘women’, and nas ‘people’. In addition to noun-modifier agreement, I study verbal agreement patterns in Palestinian Arabic (PA) which are affected by the word order of the subject and the verb. The thesis contributes to the current literature on agreement through proposing a multifactorial model to analyse a list of factors that a↵ect agreement patterns in PA. These include syntactic, semantic, morphological, and perception-related factors. I show that the new model accounts for the agreement patterns in PA through taking the speaker’s perception into consideration. In addition, I argue that agreement both affects and is affected by the speaker’s perception. The first half of the thesis provides a descriptive analysis of agreement patterns and the factors of agreement. The second half of the thesis provides a formal analysis within Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG). A special discussion of the doublet noun Sabab ‘guys’ is provided within an LFG perspective, and I propose positing an [IND]! ([IND]!) restriction on the index number to explain the patterns of agreement the noun Sabab ‘guys’ triggers. I also argue that index works Noun Phrase (NP)-internally in cases of singular agreement on a modifier with a plural head noun. Finally, the fact that coordination can affect agreement is covered at length and presented through an LFG perspective. I provide evidence that the feature concord in PA is distributed to a coordinated set of modifiers. This is, to my knowledge, the first work which attempts to develop a poly-factorial model of agreement and to study agreement in PA spoken in the West Bank. The transcription in this study is more phonemic than phonetic; for the study is concerned with the syntactic structure of the language.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agreement, Palestinian Arabic, Coordination, Split/Joint Reading, Split, Index, Concord, LFG, Doublet nouns,Extra-linguistic factors.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Sharaf Yassin
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 11:37
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 11:37
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32140

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