Article published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics: Papers from the annual symposia on Arabic Linguistics. Volume XXII–XXIII: College Park, Maryland, 2008 and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2009
Edited by Ellen Broselow and Hamid Ouali
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 317] 2011
► pp. 149–166
Extraction and deletion in Palestinian Arabic comparatives
Quantity and quality adjectives have a different distribution in comparative constructions that are headed by ma ‘that’ in Palestinian Arabic. The different distribution can be explained in configurational terms: The internal structure of the DP prohibits the movement of quality adjectives but not of quantity adjectives. Movement of the quality adjectives within the DP in order to check agreement features (Chomsky 1995; Fassi Fehri 1999) and from the DP to Spec,CP (Ross 1967; Bresnan 1973; Chomsky 1977, inter alia) creates structures whose features do not correspond to lexical items in Palestinian, i.e. it incurs a PF violation. Deletion that removes the offending structure renders that comparative structure grammatical (Kennedy & Merchant 2000). In this study, we draw attention to the complexity of the configurational relations between the noun and adjective(s), thereby contributing to the study of the internal structure of the Arabic DP. In addition, our analysis lends support to the claim that some structural violations that have been considered purely syntactic (e.g. Left Branch Conditions) are in fact PF violations that can be remedied by deletion.
Published online: 21 December 2011