Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus

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Left Dislocation in Arabic: The complexity of form and meaning

Alexander Andrason


This paper studies the complexity of L(eft) D(islocation). It demonstrates that the function that is crosslinguistically associated with LD is conveyed in Arabic by a set of LD constructions. In the analyzed corpus, these constructions belong to two main types: Clitic LD and Subject LD. Some LD constructions formally and/or functionally overlap with other grammatical categories, especially with fronting. Overall, the absence of a feature proposed for the LD prototype does not imply that a new category, different from LD, must be postulated. The overlap between LD and fronting is explained as a typical effect of language complexity, which can be dealt with if the system of forms and meanings is understood as fuzzy.

Keywords: Arabic; left dislocation; fronting
AJOL African Journals Online