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A Multi-locus Analysis of Arabic Negation

Micro-variation in Southern Levantine, Gulf and Standard Arabic

Ahmad Alqassas


A micro-syntactic analysis of negation in three varieties of Arabic

This book studies the micro-variation in the syntax of negation of Southern Levantine, Gulf and Standard Arabic. By including new and recently published data that support key issues for the syntax of negation, the book challenges the standard parametric view that negation has a fixed parametrized position in syntactic structure. It particularly argues for a multi-locus analysis with syntactic, semantic, morphosyntactic and diachronic implications for the various structural positions. Thus accounting for numerous word order restrictions, semantic ambiguities and pragmatic interpretations without complicating narrow syntax with special operations, configurations or constraints.

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Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; List of tables; Introduction

Chapter 1: Issues in the Syntax of Sentential Negation

Chapter 2: Locus of Negation in Syntactic Structure

Chapter 3: Semantic and Pragmatic Effects of Negative Markers

Chapter 4: Licensing Negative Sensitive Items

Chapter 5: Distribution of the Negation Strategies

Chapter 6: The Jespersen Cycle of Negation

Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusions


About the Author

Ahmad Alqassas is Assistant Professor of Arabic Linguistics at Georgetown University


Alqassas builds on Zanuttini's work on negation in Romance languages. He offers rich analyses of negation in Arabic languages and the variation among those languages, therefore of great interest to specialists in Arabic. He also develops an approach that goes beyond "parameters" and his book will interest the growing number of syntacticians who recognize the limitations and problems in parametric approaches and have been working on how parsing requires new analyses that permit the required variation.

- Professor David Lightfoot, Georgetown University

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