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Tesi etd-04282011-152207


Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Author
GRANDE, FRANCESCO
URN
etd-04282011-152207
Title
Copulae and Classifiers in the Arabic Noun Phrase
Settore scientifico disciplinare
L-LIN/01
Corso di studi
LINGUISTICA GENERALE, STORICA, APPLICATA, COMPUTAZIONALE E DELLE LINGUE MODERNE (ITALIANO, INGLESE, FRANCESE, SPAGNOLO, TEDESCO)
Supervisors
tutor Prof. Marotta, Giovanna
tutor Prof. Ghersetti, Antonella
Parole chiave
  • syntax of predication
  • non-restrictive relative clause
  • language contact
  • dynamic antisymmetry
  • copula
  • classifiers
  • Arabic noun phrase
Data inizio appello
15/06/2011;
Consultabilità
Completa
Riassunto analitico
This thesis proposes a reconsideration of the Arabic adnominal markers and of its modification
structure, on the ground that the current analytical trend, which likens them to their
Indo-european counterparts, runs into several problems. It develops an unified account of the
adnominal markers, and argues that all of them are to be understood as copulae recursively
embedded into the Arabic modification structure. Modifiers too are interpreted here in an unified
way, all of them being rethought of as a non-restrictive relative clause, at least originally.
Among the consequences of this approach are reinterpreting nunation as a Numeral Classifier
and the prenominal article as a medial article. As for case-endings, the present dissertation
revives the Semitistic hypothesis that underlying to them is a morpheme w and proposes to
identify it with the Conjunction w ‘and’ widespread in Arabic and Semitic, since this kind of
conjunction crosslinguistically (e.g. in English, Somali) mediates the predicational relationship
between the NP / Subject and the non-restrictive relative clause / Predicate. Moreover, it is
argued here that Arabic case is actually a semantic opposition Subject vs. Non-subject that
develops out of a copular opposition between lack vs. presence of Predicate Inversion.
The copula analysis of the Arabic modification structure has also some interesting implications
for linguistic theory in general, because it provides a definition of word as well as a better
understanding of the fusive, agglutinating and isolating morphological types.
This thesis capitalizes on the findings of some recent threads of research. On diachronic level,
it adopts Owens’s theory about Arabic dialects and Classical Arabic, according to which the
former are older than the latter, as well as Garbini’s and Durand’s view that Arabic is a mixed
language made up of an Amorite and a Pre-semitic parastrate. In synchrony, it follows Moro’s
theory of Dynamic Antisymmetry, which explains the displacement phenomenon typical of natural
languages as a consequence of another key-property of them, namely Saussurean linearity.
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