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Empty categories in Syrian Arabic.

Farhat, Haytham. (1991) Empty categories in Syrian Arabic. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

It is a widely held view that EMPTY CATEGORIES (ECs) provide a 'window' through which to probe into the principles of Universal Grammar (UG). This work is concerned with the nature of Empty Categories in Syrian. In particular, we concentrate on their implications for the Government and Binding theory. Chapter One considers some THEORETICAL PRELIMINARIES. Specifically, we introduce grammatical theory within the Chomskyan perspective, note the importance of ECs in "GB, and highlight the principles that force their existence in certain situations. We also examine the distribution of overt and empty categories with respect to the conditions of the binding theory, as proposed in Chomsky (1981), and consider both the Lectures (1981) and the Barriers (1986b) version of the ECP. Chapter Two studies CLAUSE STRUCTURE. We discuss how VSO sentences should be analyzed, presenting evidence that VSO order derives from an underlying SVO order. We also look at the nature of verb-fronting, reviewing three analyses. Then, we concern ourselves with verbless clauses. We consider how small clauses are treated in English. We also consider Syrian verbless clauses, highlighting their distribution and provide an analysis. Then, we consider the si tua tion wi th pronominal subjects, extending the analysis. We conclude with some complications. Chapter Three deals with SUBJECTLESS FINITE CLAUSES. We introduce some of the basic characteristics of Null Subject Languages (NSLs). We review two positions on the nature of the element occupying subject position in NSLs: Chomsky's Lectures (1981) and Chomsky's Concepts & Consequences (1982) - and argue for the pro analysis. Then, we focus on Syrian as an NSL, illustrating how the 'richness' of verb morphology triggers the presence of an EC in subject position of finite clauses. Chapter Four looks at CLITIC CONSTRUCTIONS. l-Ie briefly summarize the data, highlight two analyses, and give objections to the movement analysis. Then, we present some further data involving prepositional clitic doubling. Finally, we consider, in the ligh t of Kayne's generaliza tion, Borer's Case absorption analysis and Lyons's approach, some of the theoretical implications of clitic Constructions. Chapter Five is concerned with what are normally called WHMOVEMENT CONSTRUCTIONS. We look at lib-questions, considering the variety of positions in which the EC appears. Then, we look briefly at other Wh-movement -constructions i.e. Relative clauses and Topicalization sentences. We identify certain features that an analysis might use in such constructions. -v- Chapter Six looks at APPARENT RAISING SENTENCES. We explain what is meant by a raising sentence in grammatical theory. Then, we present the basic Syrian data, offering tests for raising sentences. Finally, we consider the implications of the Syrian data, illustating how it poses an apparent problem for GB. We offer a good solution to the problem and show that we are not dealing with raising sentences, but rather with instances of topicalization. Chapter Seven concentrates on PASSIVE CONSTRUCTIONS. We take a closer look at the nature of passives in English, highlighting the distinction between lexical and transformational passives. Then, we consider Syrian Passives looking at ordinary and impersonal passives. We deal with the question of whether or not Syrian has transformational passives, looking at what look like pseudo-passives. We argue against treating Syrian Passives as instances involving NP-movement. Thus, if Syrian has no raising sentences and no transformational passives, then it probably has no NP-traces. Chapter Eight focuses on what look like CONTROL CONSTRUCTIONS (CCs). We look at CCs in English, considering the basic data, highlighting the ways in which control sentences differ from raising sentences. Then, we present the GB analysis of Control Sentences. We consider CCs in Syrian, showing how the Syrian data poses a problem for standard GB, noting that Syrian CCs involve not a PRO subject but a pro subject, presenting alternative GB accounts and arguing that there is no problem here. Finally, Chapter Nine offers a summary of the main conclusions, highlights the questions left open in the thesis, and concludes with a reference to the areas that need further research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Linguistics
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Linguistics and English Language
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 04:14
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 14:16
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4114
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