Left Dislocation in Arabic: The complexity of form and meaning
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