On the VP Structure in Arabic



Ayoub Loutfi



Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco








In this paper, I argue in favor of the view that a generative lexicon, as advanced in lexicalist theories, might not be needed to derive verbal’s argument structure. I instead support the hypothesis that a verb’s meaning emerges as a result of the syntactic structure in which it is merged and that the role of lexical items/roots reduces to their idiosyncratic encyclopedic content. These two assumptions are executed via adopting the proposal that splits the traditional VP structure into two main functional heads, namely VoiceP and vP, and via endorsing the architectural assumptions advanced in the framework of Distributed Morphology. The main empirical support for this claim comes from verbs that appear in syntactic structures that are not in consonance with their semantic-conceptual content, Arabic varieties that lost their vocalic melodies that would otherwise encode thematic roles, and spray-load alternation. This paper concludes by exploring language-particular processes whose non-applicability goes beyond morphology, the analysis of which supports the role of the Encyclopedia.


VP structure, minimalist program, distributed morphology, argument structure, Arabic, roots


DOI: 10.26478/ja2022.10.17.2


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