Vol. 33 No. 1 (2023): Issue 1/2023

On Multi-functionality of the Arabic Plural Marker -a:t

Abdulazeez Jaradat
(Applied Science Private University)

Published 05/16/2023


  • Northern Rural Jordanian Arabic,
  • plural formation,
  • Measure Phrase,
  • Division Phrase,
  • Determiner Phrase

How to Cite

Jaradat , A. ., & Jarrah, M. (2023). On Multi-functionality of the Arabic Plural Marker -a:t. L’Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, 33(1). Retrieved from https://www.analisilinguisticaeletteraria.eu/index.php/ojs/article/view/476


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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