Loading cover...
Please wait

  Studies in Comparative Linguistics
Edited by : Moha Ennaji
1998 / Issue 1

Moha Ennaji

Frederick Newmeyer
Preposition Stranding : Parametric Variation and Pragmatics

Fatima Sadiqi
The Syntactic Nature and Position of Object Clitics in Berber

Mohamed Khalil Ennassiri
Is Arabic a V2 language ?

Andrzej Zaborsk
Personal Pronoun Systems and their Origin in some Languages of Ethipia

Fouad Brigui
Les Rapports Associatifs Saussuries : Paradigmes ou Syntagmes ?

Moubarak Hanoune
Pause and Morphosyntactic Categories in Arabic

مبارك حنون
الوقف و إحداث مقولات تركيبية و صرفية

Preposition Stranding : Parametric Variation and Pragmatics
pp. 1-24


    In this paper I will develop further a theme that has characterized much of my recent work, namely that one cannot hope to understand complex linguistic phenomena without pointing to the interaction of principles from grammar, meaning, and use (see especially Newmeyer 1998). But what gives this paper a special twist is that I will argue that it has been generativists, rather than functionalists, who have, for the most part, produced inelegant and uninsightful analyses. In particular, I will argue that most generative treatments of the phenomenon of preposition-stranding, by virtue of their construction-specificity and failure to incorporate insights from the functionalist literature, have been highly inadequate. As we will see, preposition-stranding provides a model arena of where the products of both generativist and functionalist research can play a role in the explanation of a complex phenomenon.

The Syntactic Nature and Position of Object Clitics in Berber
pp. 25-47


    This paper seeks to characterize the syntactic nature and position of object clitics in Berber (a chamito-semitic surface VSO language) within the Minimalist framework. There are two aspects which make Berber clitics interesting to current theory: (1) the exclusion of lexical DPs and (2) the position of these morphemes. I assume that these two aspects are not independent, but I grant that to some extent they may be made so. Property (1) is identical to agreement as found in subject agreement in Standard Arabic and in most Celtic systems. This similarity suggests that indeed these elements should be identified as agreement markers, i.e., as heads of AGRo. Being rich AGR, they license pro-objects, while also allowing full pronouns under emphatic circumstances, but resist full lexical DPs for the same reason as in the case of AGRs in the aforementioned languages. An examination of word order phenomena reveals that this licensing is a matter of LF, in terms of Spec-head relationship: the object position remains the argument position, but the object is moved at LF to [Spec, AGRo]. Property (2) is related to property (1). The surface patterns of object clitics lead us to think that they hold different positions. In simple cases, where they occur as enclitics on V, their position results from V-raising to an F-category outside VP, minimally AGRo, where it left-adjoins at the object clitic, after which it may raise further. Following this line of argumentation, each occurrence of an object clitic to the left of V would indicate that V has not so raised. In cases involving heads other than V, it seems that the clitic does not raise independently because it never left-adjoins to these heads. I assume that these cases involve pure adjacency, rather than movement.

Is Arabic a V2 language ?


    In this paper, I discuss the nature of an apparent V2 phenomenon in Arabic. In this language, whenever a wh-constituent is extracted to the clause-initial position, it must be left-adjacent to the inflected verbal element. This is reminiscent of V2 languages, where the linear adjacency is the result of I-to-C movement. The paper contends, however, that the linear order wh-element-verb in Arabic does not result from I-to-C movement. The paper is organized as follows. Section one briefly reviews the standard analysis of verb second phenomenon in full V2 languages. Section two deals with the construction-specific nature of V2 in residual V2 languages, and section three discusses the nature of V2 in Arabic wh-structures. The analysis presented here is conducted within the standard Principles and Parameters theory, as outlined in Chomsky (1991), Chomsky and Lasnik (1991), Rizzi (1990, 1991) and references cited therein.

Personal Pronoun Systems and Their Origin in some Languages of Ethiopia
pp. 65-86


    This paper is based on a supplement to my paper presented at the Eighth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Abeba in 1984 when I spoke about Cushitic independent pronouns concentrating on isoglosses combining and dividing Cushitic languages. Since that time some new data have been published so that some additions and revisions are possible although, generally speaking, the progress in describing hitherto unknown languages and dialects has been much slower than it could be expected. As far as pronouns are concerned I have to mention one thing which may both irritate and please feminists: in the frame of the very important Survey of Little Known Languages of Ethiopia most of the published word-lists omit "she" altogether i.e. the questionnaires did not include the item which, consequently, has not been elicited although gender distinction does occur in most Cushitic languages in the third person singular.

Les Rapports Associatifs Saussuriens: Paradigmes ou Syntagmes ?
pp. 87-127


    The linguistic approach can gain much from ancient works like Saussurian Analysis or traditional studies of Arabic with the prime aim to extend such an approach to different ways which can be derived from it but which deal with new data that is similar, in a way, to the former but different, in another way.

    Ferdinand de Saussure assumes, in a word-based and mentalist conception of language, that there are two kinds of relationships between linguistic terms : syntagmatic and associative. He claims that the syntagmatic relationship is based on a linear aspect of language, and that it defines terms in praesentia ; in other words, these terms are handled within discourse. While the paradigmatic relationship deals with terms handled in absentia, out of discourse, in the speaker’s mind, forming groups of complex nature, related in associative ways and different kinds of similarity. Two kinds of these associative relationships are highly significant for our purpose : one is what is known as the first Saussurian paradigm which deals with derivational paradigms such as the paradigm formed by terms like enseignement, enseigner, enseignons,… ; the other is what is known as the second Saussurian paradigm. It deals with lexical paradigms such as the paradigm formed by terms like apprentissage, éducation,…

    As a matter of fact, there is a problem which arises in cases like the following Arabic sentence :
                        (i) و أرسلناك للناس رسولا [wa ‘arsalnaa-ka li-nnaas-i rasuul-aa]
                        (We sent you to people as [somebody who was sent])
                        We sent you as a Messenger (of God).

    Where the relationship between أرسلنا [‘arsalnaa] and رسولا [rasuul-an] might be viewed as an associative one, set between terms in absentia in a context situated out of discourse, while it appears to be a syntagmatic relationship set between terms in praesentia situated within discourse.

    Another problem arises with cases like :
                        (ii) ابتسم ضاحكا [‘ibtasim DaaHik-an]
                        Smile laughing !

    What kind of relationship holds here between ابتسم [‘ibtasim] and ضاحكا [DaaHik-an] ? Actually, it must be a relationship which holds in the speaker’s mind, but it appears here within a syntagmatic structure.

    In this paper, I shall focus on these problems and make some assumptions. Most of our approach is based on Systemics (Functional Sentence Perspective). Part of it is based on traditional grammatical and rhetorical analysis of Arabic language.

Pause and Morphosyntactic Categories in Standard Arabic (in Arabic)
pp. 1A-31A


    This contribution is a careful analysis of the pause in Arabic. It proposes that the pause is phonological phenomenon, but also it has ramifications for syntactic and morphological elements. The article goes further to suggest, on the basis of a great number of examples, that syntactic and morphological categories are themselves determined by the pause. Even syntactic and morphological terms and not only concepts are defined depending on the role of pauses in the language.

    See the Arabic abstract below :


لوقف وإحداث مقولات تركيبية و صرفية
مبارك حنون

    ينطلق هذا المقال من نظرية حاولنا البرهنة على صحتها في عمل سابق (1997) وتقضي باعتبار الوقف، من زاوية نظر فونولوجية، مكونا إيقاعيا يلعب دورا تنظيميا للتركيب، ومن ثمة فهو يوفر فرصة ثمينة للفونولوجيا لمعالجة الوقف معالجة مستقلة. وضمن هذا المنظور، حاولنا، في هذا المقال، أن نعزز هذا الرأي بحجج تفيد أن جملة من المصطلحات التركيبية والصرفية في اللغة الواصفة العربية وغير العربية يعود أمر إحداثها إلى ظاهرة الوقف: أي لولا وقوع الوقف لما تمت صناعة مثل هذه المصطلحات. بل إن تحديد هاته المفاهيم يقوم في جزء كبير منه على الوقف. ومن الواضح أن لهذا القول بعدا آخر يتمثل في ما سماه النحاة العرب القدماء بالمخالفة الإعرابية بما يعنيه ذلك من أن للوقف دورا في تفسير بعض القضايا التركيبية إلى جانب البناء المصطلحي الذي يبدو لنا أمر إعادة النظر فيه قد بات ملحا.