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Temporal/locative inversion in Arabic

Abstract

This research scrutinizes the observation that when the thematic subject is extracted (i.e. questioned) in Jordanian Arabic, temporal/locative inversion may occur. Temporal inversion occurs irrespective of the verb being transitive or intransitive, whereas locative inversion is limited to contexts with an unaccusative verb. This research argues that this distinction correlates with the base-generation of temporal/locative adjuncts; temporal adjuncts are base-generated adjoining to TP, whereas locatives are base-generated adjoining to VP. Temporal but not locative adjuncts resist fronting with VP, demand the use of a tense copula (or a tensed verb), and are not subject to deletion along with the lexical verb. With the assumption that Spec, SubjP must be filled with a non-silent copy due to the effects of the so-called Subject Criterion (Rizzi and Shlonsky 2007), a temporal or locative adjunct, if any, fills this position instead of the extracted thematic subject. Given its low position, a locative adjunct is accessible to Subj0 only when there is no v*P, hence the account of the correlation between locative inversion and the type of the verb. Furthermore, this research explores the existence of temporal/locative inversion in other two Arabic dialects (Najdi Arabic and Iraqi Arabic), arguing for a micro-parametric view of this strategy across Arabic dialects.

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What does it take to be a copula?

Abstract

This paper argues that copular sentences without an overt copular predicate do project a VP with a phonologically null head, hence so-called “verbless” copular sentences are illusory. Data from Standard Arabic, Spanish, Maltese, Russian, Jamaican Creole, Finnish and Hungarian copular sentences are used to support this claim. It is also claimed here that variation between the habitual property vs. ad hoc property interpretations (traditionally called the individual level vs. stage level distinction) of non-verbal predicates found in copular sentences is closely related to the choice of the copula in multiple BE-system languages. Whilst the current accounts explain this variation by introducing an abstract aspectual operator or an incorporated abstract preposition in the functional layer of the copular predicate, the present proposal derives these interpretive differences from the presence or absence of an OPalt alternative state operator, which can bind the temporal variable of non-verbal predicates in two ways.

Negation and temporal adverbials show scope ambiguity in copular sentences. They either take scope over the whole proposition or only over the non-verbal predicate. Such interpretive differences are demonstrated in Russian and Hungarian in Section 4 of this paper, however, they are taken to be valid cross-linguistically. These amibiguities cannot be explained under the “verbless copular sentence” account but fall out naturally from the “zero copula” analysis.

The “alternative state” approach can be extended to dream narratives and other nonveridical contexts, which serve as alternative triggers. The existing analyses have nothing to say about such contexts.

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Comparing rhythm in speech and music: The case of English and Polish

Abstract

The point of departure for the following study is Patel and Daniele (2003), who suggested that the rhythm of a culture’s language is reflected in its instrumental music. The former study used the normalised pairwise variability index (henceforth nPVI), a measure of temporal patterning in speech, to compare the variability of vocalic duration in recorded speech samples with the variability of note duration in music notation on the example of English and French speech and classical music. The aim of this experiment is to test whether the linguistic rhythm conventionalised in the language of a community affects the rhythm in the musical practice of that community, by focusing on English and Polish speech and classical, as well as folk music. The nPVI values were obtained from a set of English and Polish recorded news-like sentences, and from musical notation of English and Polish classical and folk musical themes. The results suggest that reflections of Polish speech rhythm may be more apparent in folk music than in classical music, though more data are needed to test this idea. This initial study suggests that the method used might bring more fruitful results when comparing speech rhythm with less formalized and more traditional musical themes.

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Pre-closure laryngeal properties as cues to the fortis–lenis plosive contrast in British varieties of English

References Allen, J.S. and J.L. Miller. 1999. “Effects of syllable-initial voicing and speaking rate on the temporal characteristics of monosyllabic words”. JASA 106(4). 2031–2039. Al-Tamimi, J. and G. Khattab. 2011. “Multiple cues for the singleton-geminate contrast in Lebanese Arabic: acoustic investigation of stops and fricatives”. 17th ICPhS, Hong Kong . 212–215. Ball, M. and M. MacAliskey (eds.). 1996. Papers from the International Conference on Language in Ireland. (Belfast Working Papers in Linguistics 13.) Belfast: University of

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Acquisition of adverbs and pronominal adverbs in a Czech child

language. acquisition and growth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. MacWHINNEY, B. and SNOW, C., 1985. The child language data exchange system. Journal of Child Language, vol. 12, pp. 271-296. MacWHINNEY, B., SNOW, C., 1990. The Child Language Exchange System. An Update. Journal of Child Language, vol. 17, pp. 457-472. MANDIĆ, M., 2011. The extension of meaning of temporal adverbs in Serbian-speaking children aged 1;6 to 4;0. In: M. Brdar, M. Omazić, V. Pavičić Takač, T. Gradečak-Erdeljić, G. Buljan, eds. Space and

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Time frame as a determinant of accessibility of anaphoric demonstratives in Classical Arabic

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the determinants for choosing nominal anaphoric demonstratives in Classical Arabic (CA) by examining their usage in a corpus of CA texts. The study makes use of Ariel’s (1990; 2001) concept of ‘unity’ as a theoretical framework from which to study the relationship between an anaphoric demonstrative, its antecedent and their shared referent. This study builds on Jarbou and Migdady’s (2012) findings that ‘anaphoric distance’ (Ariel, 1990; 2001) has not been found to be a primary determinant of cognitive accessibility concerning the use of anaphoric demonstratives in CA. The results of this study show that the choice of proximal/distal anaphoric demonstratives in CA depends primarily on the ‘time frame’ of the referent. Anaphoric demonstratives are temporally anchored in the present time of interaction; if a referent existed within a past time frame or is expected to exist within a future time frame (in relation to the interlocutors’ present time), that referent has low accessibility because of non-sharedness of time frame; if a referent existed or is experienced within a present time frame, it has high accessibility due to sharedness of time frame. Temporal distance replaces physical distance as a determinant of accessibility. In the corpus, proximal anaphoric demonstratives have been used in contexts of high accessibility while distal anaphors have been used in those of low accessibility. Findings of this study contribute to the dynamic view of demonstratives that textual/physical distance is not the primary or sole determinant of accessibility concerning demonstratives.

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Events, States and Times
An essay on narrative discourse in English
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