Pronominal Non-Core Datives in Syrian Arabic: Pragmatic, Syntactic and Lexical Semantic Properties

Nisrine Al-Zahre, Nora Boneh

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4 Scopus citations


In this paper we describe the pragmatic, lexical and syntactic properties of the Syrian Arabic Coreferential Dative Construction (CDC), featuring a dative element bearing agreement features which are identical to those of the subject in the clause, the Coreferential Dative (CD), and an obligatory expression of attenuative vague measure, described by us in Al-Zahre & Boneh (2010). We first show that the CD, which has no truth conditional meaning, contributes to the creation of a Conventional Implicature (Horn 2004, Potts 2005). Second, we propose a way to compositionally integrate the CD into the derivation of these constructions by arguing that the visible pronominal features are non-referential but rather the morphological reflex of checked uninterpretable phi-features on a defective applicative head. To couch the analysis in a wider context, we show how it can extend to other categories of non-core dative in Syrian Arabic.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3-36
Number of pages34
JournalBrill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Copyright 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Agree
  • Syrian Arabic
  • applicative
  • conventional implicature
  • non-core dative


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