A Morpho-Syntactic Analysis of Modal Verbs in Iraqi Dialects: A Comparative Study

Amthal Mohammed Abbas, Sarab Kadir Mugair


This study is an attempt to investigate and analyze the linguistic forms of modal verbs in three Iraqi dialects. These modal verbs are "can", "will" and "must” and the dialects under study are Musiliyah that is spoken in Mosul province in the north of Iraq, Baghdadiyah that is spoken in Baghdad city  in the middle of Iraq and Basriyah  that is spoken in the city of Basrah in the south. The study adopts the descriptive and comparative techniques of James' theory (1998) to analyze the data. The present study  aims to investigate and analyze three modal verbs in three Iraqi dialects. It tends to share the same views of Ma'ruf (2011:24) and James (1998:19) who state that nations’ dialects can be fruitful which in turn can enrich their mother tongue, in disagreement with Lakoff (1972:) who argues that dialects may hinder their mother tongue which eventually can be fuzzier than of great help. The findings of the present study  reveal that, in a way or another, speakers of IDs can use different kinds of clauses to convey the general and  predicative meaning simultaneously. Dialects can help speakers of IDs reinforce their specificities and preferences, i.e., dialects strengthen their ability to create new words, which at long last, enrich their mother tongue. The analysis of the present study proves the usability of Ma'ruf’s (2011) and James’ (1998) standing regarding the dialects. Contrarily, the analysis also shows that Lakoff's views (1972) are not , to an extent, objective, i.e., her views are relative.


dialects, structure of Arabic modality

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.1p.107


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