Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses in Arabic

Abdulrahman A Alqurashi


This paper discusses the syntax of non-restrictive relative clauses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). It provides a thorough description of their structures and attempts to offer a preliminary analysis within the transformation framework: Minimalist syntax. Two relativization strategies are available for Arabic non-restrictive relative clauses. The first strategy is similar to that of definite restrictive relatives in which the relative clause is initiated by ʔallaði which is a relative complementizer, whereas the second strategy is a unique one in which the relative clause is initiated by the special particle wa, appears to be a specifying coordinator, along with the complementizer ʔallaði. The paper also argues that De-Vries’s (2006) coordinate approach to appositive relatives can provide a straightforward account for some the facts of non-restrictive relative clauses in Arabic.

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English Linguistics Research
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