Interaction of Demonstratives With Nominal Spine in Haili Arabic

Eisa Sneitan Alrasheedi


This research addresses the syntactic behaviour and distribution of demonstratives in Haili Arabic, less-investigated Arabic variety. It precisely looks at how demonstratives interact with other DP components. To this end, the recent advancements of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995 and subsequent work) are adopted. Following the cross-linguistic assumption that demonstratives are heads of a dedicated projection, DemP, the study argues that demonstratives in Haili Arabic are endowed with a set of uninterpretable Φ-features. Demonstratives function as a probe, and the head noun is the goal valuing their Φ-features. A by-product of this value is the morphological form of the given demonstrative. As for base-generation of demonstratives, I proposed two accounts. The first one maintains that there is only one projection hosting demonstratives. Thus, when demonstratives appear at the end of the DP, the head noun, lower Dº, and any accompanying nominal modifiers move to the spec of DemP. The second account is that there are two DemP’s per a single DP, where only one can host the demonstrative at a time.


Demonstratives; Phrasal movement; Uninterpretable features; Valuation

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