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A Criterial Freezing approach to subject extraction in Jordanian Arabic

  • Marwan Jarrah (a1)

Using the Criterial Freezing approach to movement and chain formation (Rizzi 2005, 2006, 2014; Rizzi and Shlonsky 2006, 2007), this study explores the strategies Jordanian Arabic makes available for subject extraction. I argue that subject extraction in this variety of Arabic is constrained by the postulated D-linking condition of the Subject Criterion – i.e., [spec,SubjP] is filled by an element with the same D(iscourse)-linking status as that of the subject wh-word (D-linked vs. non-D-linked). In case of questions with a D-linked wh-word, [spec,SubjP] can be filled by the D-linked particle illi or a deictic (time-point/place-point) adjunct. Unlike time-point adjuncts, the use of place-point adjuncts to fill [spec,SubjP] is subject to the effects of the Phase Impenetrability Condition (Chomsky 2001), given their low base positions. In contrast, in case of questions with a non-D-linked wh-word, I assume that [spec,SubjP] is filled by an expletive pro.

La présente étude s'appuie sur l'approche dite Criterial Freezing (Immobilité critériale) appliquée au mouvement et à la formation des chaînes (Rizzi 2005, 2006, 2014, Rizzi et Shlonsky 2006, 2007), pour analyser les stratégies que rend disponibles l'arabe jordanien afin effectuer l'extraction du sujet. Je soutiens que l'extraction du sujet, dans cette variété d'arabe, est contrainte par le postulat de la condition de la liaison-D du Critère du Sujet – c-à-d. que [spec,SubjP] est rempli par un élément ayant le même statut de liaison-D(iscursive) que le sujet Qu- (soit D-lié, soit non D-lié). Dans le cas des questions contenant un ‘mot Qu-’ qui est D-lié, le Spec de SubjP peut être rempli par la particule D-liée illi, ou alors par un adjoint déictique (point-temps/point-lieu). Contrairement aux adjoints point-temps, l'utilisation des adjoints point-lieu pour remplir [spec,SubjP] est sujette aux effets de la Condition d'Impénétrabilité des Phases (Chomsky 2001), étant donné leurs basses positions de base. Par contre, dans le cas des questions avec un ‘mot Qu-’ non D-lié, j'affirme que [spec,SubjP] est rempli par un pro explétif.

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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 9th Days of Swiss Linguistics at Geneva University and at the 46th Poznań Linguistic Meeting at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. I would like to thank the audience at these meetings for their useful input. In addition, I would like to thank my PhD supervisors Prof. Anders Holmberg and Dr. Geoffrey Poole for their invaluable comments on earlier draft of this paper. I am also indebted to two CJL reviewers for their criticism and helpful remarks which have led to significant improvements.

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