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The term ‘pro-drop’ has been used since the early 1970s to refer to languages that do not require pronouns or nouns to appear in subject position, i.e., the subject is ‘understood’ but not lexically expressed. A significant majority of the world's languages, approximately 61 percent of the 674 languages sampled in Dryer (2005), are of this type. When first introduced (Perlmutter…

Cite this page
Mushira Eid, “Pro-drop”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 16 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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