ARABIC 507 - Arabic Syntax and Semantics
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Arabic Studies (ARABIC)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
ARABIC 202 or ARABIC 203 completed with a minimum grade of C- or better.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Syntax (usually synonymous with grammar) is the study of phrasal and sentential rules of language or how sounds (or gestures in sign languages) are paired with (syntactic) tree structures to generate phrases and sentences. This course provides a basic understanding of the major syntactic phenomena exhibited in Arabic, using Generative syntactic theory, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena as well as to express theoretical claims and counter claims. Syntactic phenomena covered include: basic Arabic phrase and clause structures, Arabic subject positions, Arabic sentential agreement, Arabic sentential negation, Arabic wh-interrogation structures, and Arabic pro drop/null subject parameter.

Semantics is the study of meanings of linguistic expressions (words, phrases, sentences, etc,) which include both grammatical and non-grammatical factors. The former factors relate semantics to syntax more directly insofar as syntactic tree structures relate to meanings and vice versa. Our semantic approach is not limited to the Generative/Internalist view, but it will also include the externalist/cognitive grammar view. In addition to briefly discussing main issues about the nature of meaning as well as the contribution of syntactic structures to sentence interpretation, the course will cover notions related to Arabic case roles and valency, Arabic passive voice, Arabic aspect, Arabic tense, Arabic modality, Arabic definiteness, and referentiality, Arabic deixis, and Arabic speech acts/performatives.

Analyses of the syntactic and semantic topics discussed take into account primarily Standard Arabic, not to the exclusion of contemporary Arabic dialects.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


ARABIC 507 - Arabic Syntax and Semantics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Meets-with ARABIC 607

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