The Negative Polarity Item ʕ umur in Najdi Arabic

Ahmad Radi, Alshammari, Ahmad Alshammari
2015 Online] Studies in Literature and Language   unpublished
This research investigates the negative polarity item (NPI) ʕ umur in Najdi Arabic, one spoken variety of Arabic. It indicates that this NPI is a head instantiating its own maximal projection, named as AspP (a shorthand for Aspectual Phrase). Some pieces of empirical evidence have been furnished to support this contention, namely distributional properties and pronominal clitics. It turns out that this NPI is not an adverb since it does not share the same distributional properties with other
more » ... ties with other adverbs. Unlike adverbs, this NPI is immobile and licensed only in a position to the right of the negative particle ma whose existence is crucial for ʕ umur. Additionally, the study shows that the pronominal clitic appearing on ʕumur is a consequence of valuing its uninterpretable φ-features, in most cases, by the interpretable features of the subject. The study demonstrates that AspP is atop TP. Hence, the subject based generated in the Spec of little vP moves first to the Spec of TP, satisfying the EPP on T, then, if topicalized, to the Spec of AspP headed by ʕ umur. Furthermore, the study finds out that the Negation Phrase (NegP) is positioned atop AspP. Thus, the strict adjacency maintained between ʕumur and ma follows.