A description of 'aspectual' phenomena in Arabic
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The present work is mainly concerned with a description of the morphological and syntactic analyses of the predicative aspectual phenomena in Modern Standard Arabic using Axiomatic Functionalism as its theoretical framework. The thesis consists of an introduction, three major parts, and a conclusion. The introduction deals with a brief overview of the Axiomatic Functionalist theory. Part one, which comprises four chapters, offers a brief account of the theoretical background of this work as well as presenting the predicative (verbal and non-verbal) aspectual phenomena in MSA. Chapter I discusses the term 'aspect', and the relation between lexical and grammatical aspect. Chapter II discusses the Arabic language, particularly the category of 'aspect'. Chapter III discusses the interaction between punctuality and aspect. Chapter IV is exclusively devoted to methodology; it explains an explanation of the essential and relevant theoretical notions in grammar, uniting the description to the theory. It also provides a step-by-step application of successive criteria for discriminating between morphological complexes and syntactic complexes. The second part (Chaps. V & VI), deals with morphological analysis. Chapter V analyses the category of verb in Arabic. For this purpose the following paradigms are set up: Verb-root, Aspect, Voice, Person, Gender, and Number. Each of these contains monemes which which are constituents of the verbal entity. These monemes commute with each other yielding a difference in the message conveyed. The chapter concludes that entities of the verb category in Arabic may contain the constituent monemes verb-root, perfective, imperfective, active, passive, first person, second person, third person, masculine, feminine, singular, dual, and plural. Chapter VI deals with the realisational as pect of the constituent monemes of the complex pleremes in chapter V. It also deals with the distribution of the allomorphs of the constituent monemes in question. Part three (Chaps. VII - IX), deals with the syntactic description of the aspectual phenomena in MSA. Chapter VII sets up the distributional unit (model) which accounts for the relations within the VPB syntagm. This chapter tests the adequacy of the model by establishing all the VPB syntagms which map onto it. These syntagms vary according to the type of the verbal nucleus in each of them, (transitive or intransitive and of what kind). It further deals with types of non-verbal nucleus I and the realisations of the predicative based syntagms (verbal and non-verbal). Chapter VIII deals in detail with the syntactic relations within the predicative syntagms. It also deals with the syntactic structures of various as pectual phenomena in MSA. Chapter IX discusses the syntactic relation within the functional syntagm in MSA which may form an immediate constituent in a predicative based syntagm. A final brief 'Conclusion' points out the need for further research and development in Axiomatic Functionalism in the field of "semantic syntagm-analysis".
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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