The Derivation of Nominal Sentences in Standard Arabic
- Standard Arabic, nominal sentences, topics, foci, word order.
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This research paper investigates the derivation of the so-called nominal sentences in Standard Arabic (SA). The focus is primarily placed on the syntactic account of the derivation of different word orders allowed in such sentences. This article shows that the type of the predicate (PP, AP or DP) plays a significant role in determining the word orders allowed in such type of sentences. For example, when the predicate is a PP, all possible word order permutations are allowed. On the other hand, when the predicate is an AP or an (indefinite) DP, some word orders are not allowed. We ascribe this to the informational value assigned to each predicate type as well as the intervention effects invoked by different types of the predicate when they move to information-related position. APs and DPs are shown not to be used to stand for given information, hence the ban on word orders where such elements would occupy the topic slot in the left periphery. This research is further evidence in favour of the viability of cartographic approaches to syntactic representations and interpretations.
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