Obligatory Movement Operations for Verbal Roots in Najdi Arabic

Al Qahtani Khulud, Al Zahrani Mohammad


This paper focuses on the obligatory movement operations that Najdi Arabic (NA) verb forms must undergo to satisfy the morphosyntactic requirements within the minimalist program (MP). Recall that the practice of the MP syntactic theory, including its further advancements, proposed by Chomsky (1995, 2000, 2001) springs from the fact that the grammar of a language starts basically from the lexicon from which suitable words are selected to form clauses. The selected words undergo some syntactic operations such as Merge, by which larger constituents are formed, and Move, by which the formed constituents move to higher positions in the hierarchy to fulfil some specific syntactic purposes. When the elements have undergone the operations of Merge and Move they are spelled out into phonetic forms (PF) and logical forms (LF). In light of this, we argue that NA verbs start out as roots in the head of VP before merging with the vocalic affixes in the head of Tax-AspP to satisfy the subjectverb agreement requirements and mark the aspect features. Perfective verb forms must then continue to move to T to merge with the past tense abstract features while imperfective forms stay in Tax-AspP. The thematic subject is generated in Spec,VP; it may stay there to derive the VSO order, or move higher to derive the SVO order. The findings show that obligatory movements indicate interactions between the functional categories of TP, Tax-AspP and VP: NA verbal roots obligatorily move to Tax-Asp to derive (im)perfective forms; perfectives obligatorily move to T.


Verb Movement, Word Order, Najdi Arabic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.11n.1p.27


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