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Alqurashi, Abdulrahman & Borsley, Robert D.: Arabic Relative Clauses in HPSG

In HPSG relative clauses have been analyzed in terms of phonologically empty heads in Pollard and Sag (1994) and in terms of a complex system of phrase types in Sag (1997). Modern Standard Arabic has a distinction between relative clauses with a definite antecedent, which are introduced by a special complementizer, and relative clauses with an indefinite antecedent, which are ‘bare’ clauses. Analyses eschewing empty heads and assuming a complex system of phrase types face a number of problems. An analysis in which relatives with an indefinite antecedent are headed by a phonologically empty complementizer is more satisfactory. Thus, in the case of Arabic, the approach of Pollard and Sag (1994) seems preferable to the approach of Sag (1997).

Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: October 14, 2012
Last modified: May 19, 2014

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