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On negative concord in Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic

image of On negative concord in Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic

The aim of this paper is threefold: First, we provide a descriptive account of the facts of negative concord (nc) in both Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic, showing how the two dialects are similar, and how they differ in this regard. Second, we discuss previous analyses of nc and how they fare in accounting for the nc facts in both Arabic dialects, pointing out challenges posed to each approach. Finally, we propose an analysis that treats nc as an instance of syntactic agreement between the negative head and the negative concord item, along the lines suggested in Zeijlstra (2008), but where the parametric variation between Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic lies in the lexical properties of the negative concord items of each dialect, rather than in the negative markers themselves, and where conditions of economy on syntactic derivations are appealed to account for the observed nc patterns.

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Middlebury College; 2: Middlebury College

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