On Multi-functionality of the Arabic Plural Marker -a:t
- Northern Rural Jordanian Arabic,
- plural formation,
- Measure Phrase,
- Division Phrase,
- Determiner Phrase
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This paper investigates the morphosyntax of the plural marker -a:t in Northern Rural Jordanian Arabic from a generative viewpoint. We find that it has a diverse nature as it has several functions related mainly to the syntax of the relevant DP. It is a divider with count nouns, a counter with singulatives, a measuring head with mass nouns, and a category-assigning head in the derivational domain of some adjectives. Further, it acts as a transparent DP-adjunct with some nouns referring to parts of the day. Hence, this paper argues, against part of the literature on this subject, that the plural does not possess a unique syntactic position. The diverse nature of this marker adds to the growing body of research suggesting that some categories that were thought to be solely inflectional and with a unique function and syntactic position, including number (particularly plural), gender and diminutives, are in fact functionally and morphosyntactically heterogeneous in natural languages.
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