Abstract/Details

The syntax of Quranic Classical Arabic: A Principles and Parameters approach


2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

This is a qualitative study of the syntax of Quranic Classical Arabic (QCA). It answers two main questions. First, considering its complex and unique syntactic behavior, how can QCA most accurately and comprehensively be described? Second, to what extent can the theory of Principles and Parameters (P&P) account for this complex and unique behavior?

To answer these questions four modules of P&P were selected: Theta Theory, Case Theory, X-bar Theory and Binding Theory. The initial proposal of this study was that QCA manifests a canonical SVO word order, and starting from that position, QCA was treated under theta theory and the results were compared to those of transitivity theory. Using case theory, all possible case markings in QCA were described including those of copula sentences. Using X-bar theory, all possible word orders of QCA were described. Finally, using binding theory, the distribution of NPs in the sentences of QCA was discussed.

In conclusion, we were led to the conclusion that transitivity theory predicts the wrong number of arguments required by certain predicates. The case theory module revealed that the word order in QCA very much depends on case assignment. There are more assigners in QCA than have been assumed before. In X-bar theory, it was found that all word orders are possible in QCA except SOV. This finding contradicts previous claims that Arabic allows scrambling in word order. It was also found that the claim that VSO is the canonical word order of Arabic is not supported by the data of QCA. SVO and VSO are syntactically equal in status while SVO is morphologically preferred over VSO. In binding theory, QCA proved a special language variety manifesting 'iltifat' attracting the attention. Binding theory concludes that this technique results in ungrammatical sentences. The claim that was made in this study is that feature matching in QCA is not adhered to and that it is violated in order to satisfy pragmatic imperatives.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Linguistics
Classification
0290: Linguistics
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Arabic; Binding theory; Case theory; Principles and Parameters; Quranic Classical Arabic; Syntax; Theta theory; X-bar theory
Title
The syntax of Quranic Classical Arabic: A Principles and Parameters approach
Author
Saidat, Ahmad Mahmoud
Number of pages
184
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
2502
Source
DAI-A 67/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542863325
Advisor
Edmondson, Jerold A.
University/institution
The University of Texas at Arlington
University location
United States -- Texas
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3229559
ProQuest document ID
304905957
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304905957
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