The Word gid in Najdi Arabic: An Evidentiality Head

https://doi.org/10.53057/linfo/2020.2.4.5

Authors

  • Ahmad Alshammari University of Hail
  • Wafi Fhaid Alshammari University of Ha’il, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Keywords:

Evidentiality, the EPP feature, agree operation, TP, probing

Abstract

This research paper investigates the word gid which is used in Najdi Arabic, a dialect spoken in Najd region in Arabic peninsula. This particle is analyzed syntactically using the recent assumptions of the minimalist program (Chomsky 1993, 1995, and subsequent work). As for the findings, it turns out that gid functions as a head that instantiates its maximal projection above TP and under CP. So, this word is not a property of TP domain nor a CP domain. Due to the fact that this word is only used when a speaker is certain of the propositional content of his/her utterance, we argue that gid is an evidential head that scopes over the tense layer. Furthermore, we argue that gid has an EPP feature, hence the specifier position of the functional phases headed by it must be filled by some element which is the subject. This accounts for the fact that subject must precede gid in declarative sentences. Additionally, gid has [PAST] feature which is uninterpretable and hence must be deleted before the derivation is handed over to the LF following the general lines of feature deletion of Chomsky (1995 and 2005). We argue that the deletion of [PAST] feature is conducted through an Agree operation that is established between gid and the verb. This is why gid comes exclusively with past tense. Otherwise [PAST] feature on gid remains active, leading to the ungrammaticality of the given sentence

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Author Biographies

Ahmad Alshammari, University of Hail

Ahmad Alshammari is an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Ha’il. He obtained his PhD in linguistics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. His main interests are syntactic theory in general, especially the syntax of the left periphery of clauses in Arabic.

Wafi Fhaid Alshammari, University of Ha’il, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wafi Alshammari is an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Ha’il. He obtained his PhD in linguistics from Indiana University-Bloomington, USA. His main interests are sociolinguistics, language contact, and Arabic pidgins and creoles.

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Published

2020-12-31

How to Cite

Alshammari, A., & Alshammari, W. F. . . (2020). The Word gid in Najdi Arabic: An Evidentiality Head . Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 2(4), 36–45. https://doi.org/10.53057/linfo/2020.2.4.5