Skip to main content

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.

Corresponding author
Hide All

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.

Hide All
Abe, Jun. 2015. The EPP and subject extraction. Lingua 159: 117.
Adger, David. 2007. Stress and phasal syntax. Linguistic Analysis 33(3/4): 238259.
Al-Balushi, Rashid. 2012. Why verbless sentences in Standard Arabic are verbless. The Canadian Journal of Linguistics 57(1): 130.
Al-Momani, Islam. 2015. Overt and null subject pronouns in Jordanian Arabic. Advances in Language and Literary Studies 6(4): 110.
Al-Sarayreh, Atef. 2013. The licensing of negative sensitive items in Jordanian Arabic . Doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas.
Aoun, Joseph E., Benmamoun, Elabbas, and Choueiri, Lina. 2010. The syntax of Arabic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Arsenijević, Boban. 2009. Clausal complementation as relativisation. Lingua 119(1): 3950.
Belletti, Adriana. 2002. Aspects of the low IP area. In The structure of IP and CP. The cartography of syntactic structures Vol. 2 , ed. Rizzi, Luigi, 1652. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Belletti, Adriana, and Rizzi, Luigi. 2013. Ways of avoiding intervention: Some thoughts on the development of object relatives, passive and control. In Rich languages from poor inputs, ed. Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo and Berwick, Robert C., 115126. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Benmamoun, Elabbas. 1998. Spec-head agreement and overt case in Arabic. In Specifiers: Minimalist approaches, ed. Adger, David, Pintzuk, Susan, Plunkett, Bernadette, and Tsoulas, George, 110125. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Benmamoun, Elabbas. 2000. The featural structure of functional categories: A comparative study of Arabic dialects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Biberauer, Theresa, Holmberg, Anders, Roberts, Ian, and Sheehan, Michelle. 2009. Parametric variation: Null subjects in minimalist theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bobaljik, Jonathan David. 2000. The rich agreement hypothesis in review. Ms., McGill University.
Bobaljik, Jonathan David. 2002. A-chains at the PF-interface: Copies and covert movement. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 20(2): 197267.
Boeckx, Cedric, and Grohmann, Kleanthes. 2004. ‘SubMove: Towards a unified account of scrambling and D-linking. in Peripheries, ed. Adger, David, de Cat, Cécile, and Tsoulas, George, 241257. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Brustad, Kristen E. 2000. The syntax of spoken Arabic: A comparative study of Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian, and Kuwaiti dialects. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.
Campos, Héctor. 1997. On subject extraction and the anti-agreement effect in Romance. Linguistic Inquiry 28(1): 92119.
Cheng, Lisa Lai-Shen. 1997. On the typology of wh-questions. New York: Garland Publishing.
Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 2000. Minimalist inquiries: The framework. In Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, ed. Martin, Roger, Michaels, David, and Uriagereka, Juan, 89155. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In Ken Hale: A life in language, ed. Kenstowicz, Michael, 152. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 2007. Approaching UG from below. In Interfaces + recursion = language? Chomsky's minimalism and the view from syntax-semantics, ed. Gärtner, Hans-Martin and Sauerland, Uli, 130. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and the universal hierarchy of functional projections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Costantini, Francesco. 2010. On infinitives and floating quantification. Linguistic Inquiry 41(3): 487496.
Demuth, Katherine. 1995. Questions, relatives, and minimal projection. Language Acquisition 4(1/2): 4971.
Diercks, Michael J. K. 2010. Agreement with subjects in Lubukusu . Doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University.
É Kiss, Katalin, ed. 1995. Discourse configurational languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fakih, Abdul-Hafeed Ali. 2014. Subject Wh-Movement in Najrani Arabic and Minimalism. International Journal of Linguistics 6(5): 89108.
Felser, Claudia. 2004. Wh-copying, phases, and successive cyclicity. Lingua 114(5): 543574.
Fernández, Ángel Luis. 2009. On the composite nature of subject islands: A phase-based approach. SKY Journal of Linguistics 22: 91138.
Frey, Werner. 2004. Notes on the syntax and the pragmatics of German left-dislocation. In The syntax and semantics of the left periphery, ed. Lohnstein, Horst and Trissler, Susanne, 203233. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Gad, Rehab Farouk. 2011. A syntactic study of WH-Movement in Egyptian Arabic within the Minimalist Program . Doctoral dissertation, University of Leeds.
Galal, Mohamed. 2004. Relativizer illi in Arabic dialects. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics 27: 4465.
Gallego, Ángel J., and Uriagereka, Juan. 2007. Conditions on sub-extraction. In Coreference, Modality, and Focus, ed. Eguren, Luis and Fernández-Soriano, Olga, 4570. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Haegeman, Liliane. 2010. The internal syntax of adverbial clauses. Lingua 120(3): 628648.
Harbert, Wayne, and Bahloul, Maher. 2002. Postverbal subjects in Arabic and the theory of agreement. In Themes in Arabic and Hebrew syntax, ed. Shlonsky, Ur and Ouhalla, Jamal, 4570. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Holes, Clive. 1990. Gulf Arabic. London: Routledge.
Holmberg, Anders. 2000. Scandinavian stylistic fronting: How any category can become an expletive. Linguistic Inquiry 31(3): 445483.
Holmberg, Anders, and Hróarsdóttir, Thorbjörg. 2004. Agreement and movement in Icelandic raising constructions. Lingua 114(5): 651673.
Holmberg, Anders, and Roberts, Ian. 2013. The syntax–morphology relation. Lingua 130, 111131.
Kayne, Richard S. 2005. Movement and silence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kenstowicz, Michael. 1989. The null subject parameter in modern Arabic dialects. In The null subject parameter, ed. Jaeggli, Osvaldo and Safir, Kenneth J., 263275. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Lahne, A. 2008. Local modelling of long distance agreement. Paper Presented at the 31st GLOW Conference, University of Newcastle, 26–28 March 2008.
Landau, Idan. 2007. EPP extensions. Linguistic Inquiry 38(3): 485523.
Landau, Idan. 2008. Two routes to control: Evidence from case transmission in Russian. Paper Presented at the 31st GLOW Conference, University of Newcastle, 26–28 March 2008.
Legate, Julie Anne. 2003. Some interface properties of the phase. Linguistic Inquiry 34(3): 506515.
Legate, Julie Anne. 2012. The size of phases. In Phases: Developing the framework, ed. Gallego, Ángel J., 233250. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Lewis, Robert. 2013. Complementizer Agreement in Najdi Arabic . Doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas.
Mohammad, Mohammad. 1990. The problem of subject-verb agreement in Arabic: Towards a solution. In Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics, ed. Eid, Mushira and McCarthy, John, 95127. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Osman, Mariam Hussein. 1990. The Syntax and logical form of wh-interrogatives in Cairene Egyptian Arabic . Doctoral dissertation, University of Washington.
Polinsky, Maria, Gallo, Carlos Gómez, Graff, Peter, Kravtchenko, Ekaterina, Morgan, Adam Milton, and Sturgeon, Anne. 2013. Subject islands are different. In Experimental syntax and island effects, ed. Sprouse, Jon and Hornstein, Norbert, 286310. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Potsdam, Eric. 2006. The cleft structure of Malagasy wh-questions. In Clause structure and adjuncts in Austronesian languages, ed. Gärtner, Hans-Martin, Law, Paul, and Sabel, Joachim, 195232. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Richards, Marc. 2007. On feature inheritance: An argument from the Phase Impenetrability Condition. Linguistic Inquiry 38(3): 563572.
Rizzi, Luigi. 1990. Relativized Minimality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In Elements of grammar, ed. Haegeman, Liliane, 281337. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2004. Locality and the left periphery. In Structure and Beyond, ed. Belletti, Adriana, 223251. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2005. On some properties of subjects and topics. In Contributions to the XXX Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, ed. Brugè, Laura, Giusti, Giuliana, Munaro, Nicola, Schweikert, Walter, and Turano, Giuseppina, 203224. Venice: Cafoscarina.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2006. On the form of chains: Criterial positions and ECP effects. In Wh-movement: Moving on, ed. Cheng, Lisa Lai-Shen and Corver, Norbert, 97134. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2010. On some properties of criterial freezing. In The complementizer phase: Subjects and operators, ed. Panagiotidis, E. Phoevos, 1732. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2014. Some consequences of Criterial Freezing. In Functional structure from top to toe: The cartography of syntactic structures 9, ed. Svenonius, Peter, 1946. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2015. Cartography, criteria, and labeling. In Beyond the functional sequence: The cartography of syntactic structures 10, ed. Shlonsky, Ur, 314338. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rizzi, Luigi, and Shlonsky, Ur. 2006. Satisfying the subject criterion by a non-subject: English locative inversion and Heavy NP shift. In Phases of interpretation, ed. Frascarelli, Mara, 341361. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Rizzi, Luigi, and Shlonsky, Ur. 2007. Strategies of subject extraction. In Interfaces + recursion = language? Chomsky's minimalism and the view from syntax-semantics, ed. Gärtner, Hans-Martin and Sauerland, Uli, 115160. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Shlonsky, Ur. 1992. Resumptive pronouns as a last resort. Linguistic Inquiry 23(3): 443468.
Shlonsky, Ur. 2002. Constituent questions in Palestinian Arabic. In Themes in Arabic and Hebrew syntax, ed. Ouhalla, Jamal and Shlonsky, Ur, 137159. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Shlonsky, Ur. 2014. Subject positions, subject extraction, EPP and the Subject Criterion. In Locality, ed. Aboh, Enoch Oladé, Guasti, Maria Teresa, and Roberts, Ian, 5885. New York: Oxford University Press.
Soltan, Usama. 2006. Standard Arabic subject-verb agreement asymmetry revisited in an Agree-based minimalist syntax. In Agreement systems, ed. Boeckx, Cedric, 239265. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Soltan, Usama. 2010. On strategies of question-formation and the grammatical status of the Q-particle huwwa in Egyptian Arabic wh-questions. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 17(1): 110.
Speas, Margaret, and Yazzie, Evangeline Parsons. 1996. Quantification and the position of noun phrases in Navajo. In Athabaskan language studies: Essays in honour of Robert W. Young, ed. Jelinek, Eloise, Golla, Victor, Midgette, Sally, Rice, Keren, and Saxon, Leslie, 3580. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
Sportiche, Dominique. 1988. A theory of floating quantifiers and its corollaries for constituent structure. Linguistic inquiry 19(3): 425449.
Stanton, Juliet. 2016. Wholesale late merger in Ā-movement: Evidence from preposition stranding. Linguistic Inquiry 47(1): 89126.
Starke, Michal. 2001. Move dissolves into Merge: A theory of locality . Doctoral dissertation. University of Geneva.
Struckmeier, Volker. 2014. Ja doch wohl C? Modal particles in German as C-related elements. Studia Linguistica 68(1): 1648.
Sullivan, Michael D. Sr. 2016. Relativization in Ojibwe . Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota.
Taraldsen, Knut Tarald. 1986. Som and the binding theory. In Topics in Scandinavian syntax, ed. Hellan, Lars and Christensen, Kirsti Koch, 149184. Dordrecht: Reidel
de Vries, Mark. 2002. The syntax of relativization. Utrecht: LOT.
Wahba, Wafaa Aabdel-Faheem Batran. 1984. Wh-Constructions in Egyptian Arabic . Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique
  • ISSN: 0008-4131
  • EISSN: 1710-1115
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-linguistics-revue-canadienne-de-linguistique
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 54 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 245 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 21st June 2017 - 25th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.