Pronominal Non-Core Datives in Syrian Arabic

Pragmatic, Syntactic and Lexical Semantic Properties

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
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  • 1 Université Paris VIII
  • 2 Hebrew University

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In this paper we describe the pragmatic, lexical and syntactic properties of the Syrian Arabic Coreferential Dative Construction (CDC), featuring a dative element bearing agreement features which are identical to those of the subject in the clause, the Coreferential Dative (CD), and an obligatory expression of attenuative vague measure, described by us in Al-Zahre & Boneh (2010). We first show that the CD, which has no truth conditional meaning, contributes to the creation of a Conventional Implicature (Horn 2004, Potts 2005). Second, we propose a way to compositionally integrate the CD into the derivation of these constructions by arguing that the visible pronominal features are non-referential but rather the morphological reflex of checked uninterpretable phi-features on a defective applicative head. To couch the analysis in a wider context, we show how it can extend to other categories of non-core dative in Syrian Arabic.

  • 5

    See Roberge & Troberg (2009) for a similar proposal regarding Romance dative clitics.

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