Verb Movement and the Interpretation of Indefinites

Journal Article
Abdulrahman, Almansour, . 2010
الوسوم: 
indefinites; specificity; verb movement; subject position; Classical/Standard Arabic; quantification
المجلة \ الصحيفة: 
Journal of Al-Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University - Humanities and Social Sciences
مستخلص المنشور: 

This paper investigates the specificity of indefinite subjects in Classical/Standard Arabic. It is argued that the specific interpretation of an indefinite NP doesn't correlate with its subject position. Specifically, I contend that an indefinite subject can be specific inside the nuclear scope of a sentence. It is maintained, furthermore, that the proposal that verb movement extends the nuclear scope of a quantificational structure doesn’t find support in the Classical/Standard Arabic data. It is shown that verb movement in Classical/Standard Arabic doesn’t affect the specificity status of the subject. Therefore, it is proposed that an indefinite subject becomes specific if its referent is referentially anchored to the speaker of the utterance, or if that referent is linked to a previously established discourse item.