Reference patterns insubjunctive complement clauses of Modern Standard Arabic

Tali Arad Greshler, Livnat Herzig Sheinfux, Nurit Melnik, S. Wintner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this paper we investigate the status of control constructions in Modern
Standard Arabic (MSA). MSA has several embedded clause constructions,
some of which resemble control in English (and other languages). However,
these constructions exhibit some notable differences. Chief among them is
the fact that the embedded verb carries agreement features that can indicate
both coreference and disjoint reference between a matrix argument and the
understood subject of the complement clause. We conducted a thorough
corpus-based investigation of such constructions, with a special focus on a
search for obligatory control in the language. We show that our findings
contradict accepted generalizations (and predictions) proposed by state-of-
the-art theories of control, as they indicate that there are no “real” control
predicates in MSA. We outline an HPSG analysis that accounts for the MSA
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Joint 2016 Conference on Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar
StatePublished - 2016

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