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A Multi-locus Analysis of Arabic NegationMicro-variation in Southern Levantine, Gulf and Standard Arabic$
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Ahmad Alqassas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433143

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433143.001.0001

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Locus of negation in syntactic structure

Locus of negation in syntactic structure

(p.17) 2 Locus of negation in syntactic structure
A Multi-locus Analysis of Arabic Negation

Ahmad Alqassas

Edinburgh University Press

The literature on the locus of negation in syntactic structure focuses primarily on the position of negation relative to the spine of the clause, the Inflectional Phrase (IP/TP), and whether the negative phrase (NegP) follows or precedes TP. Of particular debate is whether or not the locus of NegP is a parametric choice whereby the Individual/Internal Language (I-Language) of the speaker has the locus of NegP set to one of the two options available in Universal Grammar (UG). The alternative view is that NegP can project below or above TP and can have multiple positions within the structure, each with different syntactic and semantic effects. This chapter discusses both views and proposes a multi-locus analysis for negation in Arabic. After a discussion of these two views, I discuss key issues in the syntax of subjects, verb movement, and tense and aspect in Arabic. These topics are intimately related to the syntax of negation and the analyses presented in this and the subsequent chapters of this monograph. I then present the multi-locus analysis advancing empirical and theoretical arguments from key word order generalizations involving adverbs, subjects, complementizers, and the verbal copula.

Keywords:   Locus of negation, Preverbal and postverbal Subjects, Verb movement, Tense and aspect, Adverb placement, Complementizer deletion, Expectative modals, Future modals

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