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Nominalization

(2,967 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
There are two main approaches to analyzing the mixed verbo-nominal properties of event nominals. The first is a derivational account based on the assumption that noun phrases headed by event nominals have underlying verbs, verb phrases, or complete clauses, and that there is a syntactic process of nominalization, namely V-raising to N, that provides the nominal output (Lees 1960; Wise 1975; Levi 1978; Fassi Fehri 1990, 1993; Hazout 1991, 1995; Borer 1995; Stepanov 1997; Rozwadowska 1997; Emonds 2000; Fu a.o. 2001; Ogawa 2001). The other approach is the Lexicalist Hypothesis, which …

Performatives

(1,986 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
The motivation for the distinction between performatives and statements is that the former constitute events rather than descriptions of events or states of affairs (Searle 1969, 1971). In other words, the act of uttering a performative is itself the action purported by the speaker. For example, the performative utterance in (1), when issued by a lawyer in the context of a court session, amounts to registering an objection rather than reporting or describing an event of objecting taking place at speech time. (1) ʾana ʾa-ʿtariḍ I 1s-object ‘I object!’ The major difference between per…

Relative Clause

(5,415 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Subordination and relative clauses Subordination is a syntactic configuration in which a clause functions as a constituent within the structure of another clause either as an argument (subject or complement) or as a modifier. What distinguishes subordinate clauses from independent (or main) clauses is that the former cannot be used in isolation. For example, the subordinate purpose clause li-yaktuba ‘for him to write’ and ʾan yaktubū ‘that they write’ cannot be used as independent sentences. Even a subordinate relative clause with no relative pronoun cannot be used independ…

Pragmatics

(4,006 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Linguistic pragmatics involves the study of the mechanisms and principles that allow individuals to communicate successfully by recognizing the intentions and beliefs motivating linguistic acts, as well as the strategies speakers use to carry out such acts, i.e. the changes they achieve using language (Mey 1993; Green 1996). Levinson (1983) further narrows the scope of linguistic pragmatics by excluding those aspects of language use that are not reflected in the grammar, such as dialectal feature…

Ellipsis

(1,986 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Definition Ellipsis is “a discourse phenomenon, in the sense that the interpretation of the missing constituent sometimes depends on something said in an earlier sentence – possibly even by another speaker” (Sag and Wasaw 1999:313). For example, in (1) the sentential subject of the embedded clause, inni aftaḥ il-bāb ‘that I open the door’, is elided and only the negated predicate remains. The first clause includes an antecedent, which is morphologically, syntactically, and semantically identical to the missing constituent, hence facilitating its interpretation. (1) ḥāwilt in-n…