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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/27120

Title: Case in Standard Arabic: The Untraveled Paths
Authors: Al-Balushi, Rashid Ali
Advisor: Massam, Diane
Department: Linguistics
Keywords: Case Theory
Standard Arabic
Issue Date: 26-Apr-2011
Abstract: This thesis proposes a novel theory to account for the structural Case facts in Standard Arabic (SA). It argues that structural Nom and Acc Cases are licensed by Verbal Case (VC). Thus it argues against the proposal that structural Case in SA is licensed as a reflex of phi-agreement (Schütze 1997 and Chomsky 2001 crosslinguistically, and Soltan 2007 for SA), and also against the view that structural Case is a [uT] feature on the DP (Pesetsky & Torrego 2001, 2004). After arguing against these two approaches, it is shown that verbless sentences, where the verb is not licensed (by VC), do not witness the licensing of structural Case. Thus verbless sentences provide a context where verbs are not licensed, similar to the embedded subject position of control verbs like ‘try’ (where lexical DPs are not licensed). Investigation of the SA verbal system reveals that SA verbs are licensed through Case checking/assignment by verbal particles. Thus, like DPs, verbs receive a form of Case, which I call VC, represented as unvalued [VC] features on I and v*. Since the VC-assigning particles are Comp elements, I propose that [VC] is valued on I and v* by a valued [VC] feature on Fin (via Agree), which enables I and v* to value the [Case] features on the subject and object as Nom and Acc, respectively. Thus the DP is licensed by the same feature that licenses the verb, which is VC. Given the observation that [T], [phi], and [Mood] do not license Case in SA, I argue for two types of finiteness, Infl-finiteness, related to [T], [Mood], and [phi], and Comp-finiteness, related to [VC]. To account for the Case facts in various SA sentence types, I propose that Fin0 has a [VC] feature iff it selects an XP that has (at least) one I-finiteness feature ([T], [Mood], [phi]) and a categorial [V] feature.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/27120
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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