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Topicalisation of the noun phrase in colloquial Cairene Arabic

By Salwa.A. Kamel


This study aims at characterising a phenomenon\ud which is here called the "topicalisation" of the Noun\ud Phrase in Colloquial Cairene Arabic (CCA). The Approach\ud is outlined by the Extended Standard Theory TG model,\ud but relevant Functionalist views have been considered to\ud account for Topic-comment alignment in the dialect.\ud Part I, therefore, lays the necessary background for such\ud a discussion in connection with traditional Arabic grammars,\ud and grammars of the Standard variety and CCA. Then follows\ud an exposition of Topic-comment discussions in universal\ud theory, presented under the labels of the various schools\ud of linguistics: this is seen to place the issue in a wider\ud perspective and provide a basis for the definition of\ud terms to be adopted in the present study in Chapter 3.\ud \ud Part II is devoted to the relevant movement rules\ud that apply to the NP, with particular reference to initial\ud position in the sentence. Surface Structure word order is\ud seen as a Topic-comment alignment. A number of rules are\ud suggested to cover this area of CCA syntax, based on an\ud argument that a Verb-initial Basic Structure is required\ud to account for the facts of topicalisation. Essentially,\ud this study views Surface Structure as effected by a number\ud of intrinsically ordered reordering rules which apply to\ud shift NP's to the left and to the right of the Predicating\ud element. The unbounded Raising rules apply to NPIs, the bounded rule applies to Adverbials, and backing rules such\ud as Extraposition and Right Dislocation apply to Complement\ud Sentences and raised NP's respectively to yield Sentence-initial Predicates. Obligatory/optional rules apply\ud systematically to two different types of clause constituents\ud which are S and SI. Relativisation and Clefting are also\ud treated as rules relevant to Topic-comment Structure.\ud \ud Movement rules trigger focus assignment, resulting\ud in a correlation between the choice of Topic for the\ud sentence and the distribution of focal emphasis. The\ud difference in source structures for Surface Structures of\ud different Topic-focus alignment is discussed. And to\ud account for the fact that in CCA adjacency principles are\ud never violated, a tightly operated system of pronominalisation is described. It allows elements to be shifted out of their DS positions only when this position can be traced by a "resumptive" pronoun which replaces the transported element and copies its features. DS is, therefore, always recoverable at SS level.\u

Publisher: Linguistics & Phonetics (Leeds)
Year: 1982
OAI identifier:

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