1887
Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Abstract

This paper concerns the emergence and development of agreement marking in Arabic interlanguage. It investigates the effect of competing structures (pragmatics, semantics and morphosyntax) on the development of Arabic subject-verb agreement morphology. It is hypothesised that Arabic Interlanguage morphology is constrained by the availability of processing strategies (Clahsen, 1986) and competing information structures (Bates and McWhinney, 1981; 1987) especially when dealing with complex agreement patterns. The results show that linguistic complexity (a) influences the types of processing strategies employed and (b) determines the order of acquisition of different agreement patterns. It is also revealed that when the three information structures compete for interpretation of speech, morphosyntax emerges as the least influential eventhough it seems that S-V agreement in Arabic, at least on the surface, is essentially a transfer of morphosyntactic features (person, number and gender) from the subject onto the verb.

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1997-01-01
2019-12-14
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