This article aims to account for why verbless sentences in Standard Arabic lack a copular verb. In contrast to previous accounts which attribute the absence of the copula to some defect of present tense, I claim that a verbless sentence does not take a copula because its nominals do not need structural Case. The proposed analysis argues that structural Case is licensed by a "Verbal Case" feature on the relevant Case-checking heads, and assumes the Visibility Condition. The present analysis is based on a unique interaction between tense and word order, and on the observation that verbless sentences are finite clauses composed of a topic and a predicate, as well as on the observation that they do not involve licensing of structural Case.
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Linguistics|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language