ʔɹnnə and Her Sisters of Arabic and That-Clause Phenomenon

Al-Asbahi, Khaled
April 2013
International Review of Social Sciences & Humanities;Apr2013, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p201
Academic Journal
ʔɹnnə and her sisters of Arabic are five elements called "particles" by the traditional Arabic grammarians. These so-called particles have the nature of a transitive verb of some type in that they assign accusative Case to their complements. Further, their semantic meaning is more like verb than whatever they might be. Compare between the set of sentences in 1 and 2 in the following examples: (1) ʔʌl wʌlʌd- u yʌlʕʌb-u the boy- Nom. Prog.play.CM "The boys (is) playing" (2) ʔɹnnə -1 wʌlʌd- a yʌlʕʌb-u ... the boy Acc. prog.play.CM "... The boy (is) playing" Regardless of what "ʔɹnnə" might mean, it is clear that it gives accusative Case to its complement, more precisely, to the subject of its complement. This paper therefore, argues that "ʔɹnnə and her sisters" are transitive verbs of some type, not just particles, as stated by traditional Arabic grammarians. It examines the nature of the complementizers in Arabic. We propose a modification of ECM as to cover both tensed and tenseless clauses in the way that Arabic that-clause is not violating a principle of language. It follows Rizzi's (1990) ECP formulation.


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