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Title: Arabic free and restrictive relatives : a minimalist and an HPSG approach
Author: Alqurashi, Abdulrahman
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis provides a theory-neutral description of restrictive relative and free relative constructions in Modern Standard Arabic (henceforth, MSA) and Hijazi Arabic (henceforth, HA) and attempts to outline analyses for some of the facts within two theoretical frameworks: Minimalism and Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (henceforth. HPSG). There are some previous discussions of restrictive and free relatives in MSA within transformational grammar. However, this thesis has a novel contribution with regards to the discussion of restrictive and 'free relatives in HA as well as the HPSG analyses for them in both MSA and HA. Both MSA and HA has two types of restrictive relative constructions: definite and indefinite. The definite relative construction modifies a definite antecedent and has a relative marker whereas the indefinite relative construction modifies an indefinite antecedent and has no overt relative marker. This thesis argues that the relative marker that introduces restrictive relatives is a relative complementizer and not a relative pronoun or a definite article. This relative complementizer can be overt in the case of the definite relatives or phonologically empty in the case of the indefinite relatives. Both definite and indefinite relative clauses in MSA and HA contain either a gap or a resumptive clitic. Within Minimalism, both relative clauses that contain gaps and those containing resumptive clitics can be accounted for by an operator-movement (Wh-movement analysis) on the basis of the similarities attested between gaps and resumptive clitics with respect to Coordinate Structures and Parasitic Gaps. The thesis argues that a Raising Analysis is not appropriate for MSA and HA relative clauses. Within HPSG, MSA and HA relative clauses can be best analyzed along the lines of Pollard and Sag's (1994) analysis of English relatives in which they assume empty heads. Thus, definite relative clauses in MSA and HA are headed by an overt complementizer whereas indefinite relatives are headed by a phonologically empty counterpart. Gaps and resumptive clitics involve the same mechanism within HPSG (i.e. both are analyzed as the realization of the SLASH feature) . Free relative constructions in MSA and HA are introduced by different markers which I argue that they are all complementizers. The obvious analysis for Arabic free relatives within Minimalism is similar to that of restrictive relatives but with a null antecedent. However, this approach faces a number of problems which do not appear in a framework like HPSG in which free relatives are analyzed in term of a unary-branching structure (as NPs consisting just of a CP)
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available