Arabic Determinative Phrase: DP Movement or Scrambling?

Baseel Ali AlBzour


Arabic varieties show explicit linguistic behavior, especially at the syntactic level. This apparent diversity is mainly due to how syntactic rules confine the scope and the flexibility of movement of certain constituents inside and outside their syntactic domains. This paper examines solely how the mother tongue from which all these varieties have emanated, i.e. Standard Arabic can be obviously analyzed as a configurational language that tends to surface in a way similar to nonconfigurational languages at certain surface levels where determinative phrases ‘DPs’ lend themselves freely to move and result in various templates frequently realized as VSO, OVS, OSV and VOS. These configurational structures seem problematic to construe in many vernacular Arabic varieties, mainly, in Suburbanite Northern Jordanian Arabic because of the scarcity of effective inflectional morphology such varieties exploit rather than pragmatic factors.

Keywords: Configurational, non-configurational; determinative phrase; template; movement; inflections; constituents

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