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Saturday, October 12 • 11:20am - 11:45am
Prazeres: Profiling nominal genitive variability in Moroccan Arabic

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Profiling nominal genitive variability in Moroccan Arabic

Most modern spoken varieties of Arabic make use of two syntactic configurations to express genitive/possessive relations between nouns: a synthetic form and an analytic form. This variable has received sparse study in a variationist framework. The present study fills a part of this gap by analyzing nominal genitive usage patterns in the speech of 12 Moroccan Arabic speakers in Casablanca, with a focus on linguistic factors. Using multivariate analysis, I show that there is a sharp difference between contexts with noun possessors versus those with pronoun possessors. In both contexts, however, the synthetic is strongly favoured by contexts of inalienable possession – supporting previous claims – as well as by noun complements – a new finding. By contrast, the analytic genitive appears to accommodate a wider range of linguistic situations, including code-switching environments. The results offer a clear benchmark for comparison with future studies of this variable in other varieties of Arabic.


Robert Prazeres

University of Toronto

Saturday October 12, 2019 11:20am - 11:45am PDT
EMU Crater Lake S
  T: Grammatical variation
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Sali Tagliamonte
  • Award Finalist: Lillian B. Stueber Prize