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LFG Proceedings
CSLI Publications

The Adjectival Construct in Arabic

Budour Al Sharifi and Louisa Sadler


We propose an analysis of the adjectival construct in Arabic in LFG, building on previous work in LFG on a Welsh construction which shows several similarities to the Arabic (Mittendorf and Sadler, 2008) and work on the MSA and cognate Hebrew constructions by Hazout (2000); Kremers (2005); Siloni (2002); Heller (2002); Kim (2002). The construction involves an adjective occurring with an immediately following definite nominal, which denotes a property, part or quality of the noun that the adjectivemodifies (in attributive use) or is predicated of (in predicative constructions). The major characteristics of this construction are that the post-adjectival nominal serves to delimit the respect in which the adjective denotes a property of the external nominal, and the adjectival head and the GEN complement are subject to a very strict adjacency requirement. We present a syntactic analysis, showing that the construction is formed in the syntax rather than the morphology, and sketch out a proposal as to how the semantics of the construction might be captured.

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