R-Expressions and the Interrogative Use of Anaphora in Najdi Arabic

Mahmoud S. Al Mahmoud

Abstract


This paper endeavors to explain how Najdi Arabic (NA), one of the dialects spoken in the central region of the Arabian Peninsula, diverges from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in its anaphoric treatment of R-expressions and pronominals. Data from a native Najdi Arabic informant suggest that only a subset of NA verbs allow proper names to be referentially bound by their antecedent pronouns in interrogative structures. Although this property is characteristic of Najdi Arabic not MSA, it yields certain challenges to the basic tenets of the Binding Theory. While Principle C of the Binding Theory requires R-expressions to be free, a referential reading of the NA data, which syntactically binds proper names with their pronominal referents, violates such principle. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v12i5.17503

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