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  Aspects Linguistiques: Description et Analyse
Edited by : Fatima Sadiqi
1999 / Issue 3


Fatima Sadiqi

Ahmed Chergui Saber
Resumptive Pronouns, Operator Type, and Weak Crossover

El Hassan Souali
Adjunction to Clausal Arguments

Wafaa Ammar and Khaled Rifaat
The Phonetic Inventory of Consonants of Egyptian Children

Stuart Davis and Bushra Adnan Zawaydeh
A Descriptive Analysis of Hypocoristics in Colloquial Arabic

Nancy C Dorian
The Stages of Language Obsolescence : Stages, Surprises, Challenges

Fatima Agnaou
EFL Attrition : Features and Compensatory Strategies

Hassan Es-saiydi
Coreference and Anaphora (in Arabic)

Resumptive Pronouns, Operator Type, and Weak Crossover in Standard Arabic
pp. 1-30


    This article analyses some aspects of the syntactic relation involving an A'-binder in [Spec, CP] and a corresponding overt resumptive pronoun inside IP. It is widely accepted in the literature that two types of resumptive element can be distinguished on the basis of their ability to occur inside syntactic Islands: an element which displays sensitivity to Island Conditions and patterns like a wh-trace and an element which is insensitive to those conditions and patterns like a genuine pronoun. Here, it is argued that this basic distinction correlates with the nature of the A'-binder involved in each case. It is shown that the logical nature of the A'-binder determines the interpretation of each type of resumptive element. A resumptive has the interpretation of a variable if and only if it is A'-bound by a true logical operator in an A'-position. The distinction between the two types of resumptive element (identified through sensitivity to Island Conditions and the logical nature of the A'-binder) is then examined within the context of Weak Crossover (WCO). It is shown that only resumptives with a variable interpretation exhibit WCO effects.

Adjunction to Clausal Arguments
pp. 31-59


    The major issue addressed in this article concerns the widely assumed ban on adjunction to arguments in natural language, a ban originally due to Chomsky (1986), building on a suggestion by Kyle Johnson, and often claimed to follow from the principles of Theta Theory and/or the Full Interpretation Principle (Chomsky 1994). Recently, this specific prohibition of adjunction to arguments has been replaced by a more general ban on adjunction to all semantically active phrasal categories, including arguments, thematic role assigners, predicates, or the XPs of which they are predicated (Chomsky 1994).

    In this article, it is demonstrated that this ban on adjunction to arguments and to semantically active phrases cannot be maintained as a universal requirement of human language, and this by presenting and analyzing a set of facts from Moroccan Arabic where adjunction to clausal arguments is involved without causing ungrammaticality. I show that in this language both argumental NPs and/or a large set of adverbial expressions may be left-adjoined to various types of clausal arguments occupying various types of argument positions. Meanwhile, it is argued that the first type of adjuncts is the result of base-adjunction and that the second type is the result of derived adjunction.

The Phonetic Inventory of Consonants of Normal Three to Four-Year-Old Normal Egyptian Children
pp. 61-81


    This study investigates the phonetic inventory of consonants of three to four-year-old normal Egyptian children. Forty-one children, nineteen males and twenty-two females, were chosen for this study from three public nurseries. The speech material is composed of a word list consisting of 161 items. The list was devised to test the pronunciation of twenty-six consonants of Colloquial Egyptian Arabic. Each consonant was examined in three word positions: initial, medial and final, and in words of different lengths: monosyllabic, disyllabic and polysyllabic. All the words of the list were items familiar to the child of this age, e.g., parts of the human body, familiar animals, food items, toys and words used in daily activities. A set of pictures was devised to stimulate the children to utter the words of the speech material. The children investigated in this study were divided into two subgroups. The first subgroup included twenty-one children aged from three years to three years and six months. The second subgroup included twenty children aging from three years and seven months to four years.

    The phonetic inventories of the two subgroups match the list of Colloquial Egyptian Arabic consonants drawn up by Harrell (1957). The children have exercised a number of phonological processes. Since the percentages of occurrence of these processes were smaller than the minimum 50% limit, they did not appear in the phonetic inventories. The most prominent process is interdentalization or sibilant fronting. Ten children replaced dental fricatives with interdental ones. All these children belong to the first subgroup. Sibilant fronting disappears completely in the second subgroup. The total percentage of incorrect articulations of the first subgroup is higher than that of the second subgroup. The percentages of incorrect articulations are highest in initial position and lowest in final position for both subgroups.

A Descriptive Analysis of Hypocoristics in Colloquial Arabic
pp. 83-98


    While various aspects of Arabic phonology and morphology have attracted the attention of researchers in generative linguistics over the past thirty years, the study of Arabic hypocoristics (or nicknames) has remained largely neglected. There is virtually nothing published regarding the description of how hypocoristics are formed in present day Arabic even though the use of hypocoristics is common in the spoken language. In this paper we describe three major patterns of hypocoristics in colloquial Arabic based on the Ammani Jordanian dialect. We show that the hypocoristics are based on the root consonants and that there is a dispreference for guttural consonants in certain positions of the hypocoristic.

The Study of Language Obsolescence: Stages, Surprises, Challenges


    Much of the interest that the study of language obsolescence has held for linguists lies in the opportunity to compare the deviant language production of imperfect final speakers with the language production of fully proficient speakers whose usage can stand as a full-fluency norm.* The assumption is that late-stage speakers in settings where language shift is well advanced will, like children and aphasics, demonstrate less than full control of the target language, and that careful study of the shortfall in their language production will highlight structural features that may be typical of later acquisition stages and/or are particularly susceptible to reduction and loss. It is understandable, then, that obsolescence studies have from the first focused on the effects of language contact and have included a strong emphasis on processes of contraction, reduction, simplification, and loss.

EFL Attrition: Features and Compensatory Strategies
pp. 123-143


    This paper aims to shed some light on the outcome of the learning of EFL under conditions of non-use. To that effect two issues have been addressed: (i) what are the linguistic characteristics of the retained language? and (ii) how do language losers compensate for the lost language? To answer these questions, I proceeded cross-sectionally. A sample of forty written productions of secondary school graduates was compared to that of twenty in-school pupils in their final year of secondary studies. Investigation of the data came out with the following results: (i) the respondents writings from both groups were characterized by syntactic, lexical and morphological simplification (ii) this simplification, however, increased significantly after graduation. It moved in the directions of L1s. but did not progress in a linear fashion, and finally (iii) lexical production, especially the noun class was the most affected by language attrition. These findings, though limited as they are, are suggestive and have theoretical and pedagogical implications for the teaching of EFL in general, and in Morocco in particular.

Coreference and Anaphora in Arabic
pp. 1A-12A
Hassan Es-saiydi


    This article discusses the semantico-syntactic structure and properties of coreferential and anaphoric pronouns in Standard Arabic within the generative framework. It reveals the existing overlap between these two types of pronoun by eliciting the similarities and differences between them.