The Fine Structure of the Neg-Domain: Evidence from Cairene Egyptian Arabic Sentential Negation


  • Usama Soltan Middlebury College


The goal of this paper is to revisit sentential negation patterns in Cairene Egyptian Arabic at the syntax-morphology interface and to propose a novel analysis for the structure of bipartite negation in this Arabic dialect. In particular, it is argued that the distribution of negation patterns is morphologically, rather than syntactically, conditioned; that the head hosting negation is higher than T on the clausal hierarchy; and that the Neg-domain in this dialect is split into two separate heads, one encoding semantic negation, and the other being marked for formal negativity only. Evidence that the proposed analysis is on the right track is discussed with reference to morphosyntactic effects of the interaction between negation and Negative Polarity Items, as argued in Soltan (2012).