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By Usama Soltan

Abstract

Like several other Arabic dialects, Cairene Egyptian Arabic (CEA, henceforward) exhibits a twopattern negation system: (i) the circumfixal maa…š-pattern, which is used, among other contexts, with perfective verb forms, where the predicate appears sandwiched between both negation elements, forming one morphological unit, as in (1a); and (ii) the independent miš-pattern, which is used, among other contexts, with imperfective verb forms, where the predicate follows the negation marker miš, without them forming a unit, as with the future verb form in (1b). 1 (1) a. maa-saafir-t-i-š b. miš �a-saafir NEG-travel.PERF-1SG-EV-NEG NEG FUT-travel.IPFV.1SG ‘I did not travel. ’ ‘I will not travel.’ As (2) shows, the-š segment of the negation morpheme is obligatory in both patterns. (2) a. *maa-saafir-t b. *maa �a-saafir NEG-travel.PERF-1SG NEG FUT-travel.IPFV.1SG ‘I did not travel. ’ ‘I will not travel.’ Interestingly, when the Negative Polarity Item (NPI) ÷umr ( = ‘ever; ’ literally = ‘life/age’) occurs in pre-negative position in the sentence, negation is expressed by maa only, as shown in (3a,c), and the-š segment is not allowed to surface (cf. the ungrammaticality of (3b,d)). 2 (3) a. ÷umr-ii maa-saafir-t Masr ever-my NEG-travel.PERF-1SG Egypt ‘I have never traveled to Egypt.

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.353.1655
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