Arabic-based Pidgins and Creoles
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The paper is a descriptive account of the various grammatical functions of the particle fii in the grammar of Gulf Pidgin Arabic, the contact system that has developed in the Arab countries of the Arabian Gulf for use between the Arabic-speaking native citizens and the expatriate workforce in these countries. It aims at discussing the grammatical multifunctionality of this element and the factors behind the expansion of its grammatical functions, when it was adopted from the lexifier Gulf Arabic.In Gulf Arabic, fii is used as a preposition and as an existential predicate. When it was adopted into GPA, fii also assumed the role of a possession marker and predication marker in non-verbal subject-predicate sentences and sentences with verbal predicates. A similar expansion in grammatical roles has affected its negative counterpart maafii, which is used as a negative of fii in its role as an existential predicate in Gulf Arabic. In GPA the use of maafii has also been expanded so that it is now used as a universal negator in the language, regardless of the predicate or sentence type. The paper investigates the factors that motivated this extension in the uses of fii/maafii and argues that it is not transfer-induced. Rather, language-internal motivation and universal tendencies are more legitimate candidates for the forces lying behind this process.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error