Object Cliticization in Standard Arabic
Unlike displaced lexical DP objects in Standard Arabic (SA) syntax, displaced pronominal objects, however, have received less critical attention especially within Rizzi’s (1997, 2004) left periphery theory and, therefore, some areas of this constructions remain poorly understood. The present paper examines pronominal object cliticization in SA, the status of the clitic, the derivation of the process and the reasons behind its obligatory movement. The analysis is couched within Minimalist Syntax (Chomsky 2001, 2005) and Split CP (Rizzi, 1997, 2004) to explain the motivation for this movement and its landing site. To achieve the aim of the study, a questionnaire containing samples of the studied structures were presented to five native speakers of Arabic who were asked to provide grammaticality judgments. It is suggested that, in this context, the object clitic can be analyzed as undergoing focus movement as a separate verbal complement like a full DP with an additional cliticization process to the head T hosting the lexical verb.
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