Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper gives a corpus-based descriptive account of the phasal polarity system (, , , and ) in the Arabic vernacular of Tunisia. The aim is to broaden the empirical foundations for cross-linguistic research in this domain, and to narrow the gap between typologically oriented and philological research on Arabic varieties. Like many languages (van Baar 1997: 118), Tunisian Arabic has autochthonous expressions for the three concepts , , and . is primarily expressed via a construction < ‘has not ceased’. Despite its conceptual transparency, this appears to be a cross-linguistically uncommon source. is expressed via the inner negation of , and via a construction < ‘has not repeated’. For , northern sedentary varieties have borrowed from French (replacing an older autochthonous expression), whereas southern Bedouin varieties have a “gap” in their system. The description further includes notes on the synchronic and diachronic variation of individual items, and functions of these outside the realm of phasal polarity.


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Keyword(s): aspect; phasal polarity; pragmatics; semantics; Tunisian Arabic
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