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作者 Jaber, Aziz
書名 On genericity and definiteness in Modern Standard Arabic [electronic resource]
國際標準書號 9781321435962
book jacket
說明 223 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 76-05(E), Section: A
Adviser: Jules Michael Terry
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
The vast majority of formal analyses of the semantics of generics have been developed based on data from a small number of well-studied languages, most notably English, French, Italian, Dutch, and German. The main goal of this dissertation is to take steps towards the building of a fully formal analysis of genericity phenomenon in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), one of the least studied languages with respect to genericity, by grammatically describing and semantically analyzing manifestations of genericity in the language. Accurately accounting for the distribution of morphology within MSA generic sentences and the range of possible meanings of the sentences themselves is a crucial warrant for building reliable formal models
This dissertation argues that similar to English and other languages, MSA characterizing sentences require semantically indefinite NP subjects. In a departure from the view of the traditional Arabic grammarians, this dissertation argues against the classification of Arabic noun phrases as definite or indefinite based entirely on the presence or absence of the definite article al 'the', respectively. Instead, building on the work of Lyons (1999) and others, it makes use of definiteness criteria which consist of the semantic concepts of familiarity, identifiability, and uniqueness of the intended referent. Maintaining the traditional definiteness criterion leads one to the conclusion that characterizing sentences in Arabic use semantically definite NP subjects, a conclusion rejected here
Also addressed is the status of bare NPs in MSA characterizing sentences. It is argued that bare NPs can be used in generic sentences, although only if modified directly by an adjective or a relative clause, or indirectly when occurring in construct state, a noun form common to many Semitic languages that is found in MSA. Evidence is presented that these bare NPs are interpreted as indefinites. Verbless sentences in MSA can express habituality, a form of genericity. This dissertation proposes an account of the asymmetric distribution of copula ya-kuun in part on the availability of habitual readings to the sentences in which it is found. It is argued that ya-kuun only occurs in verbless sentences that are modified by adverbials and carry habitual meanings
School code: 0153
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 76-05A(E)
主題 Linguistics
Alt Author The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Linguistics
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