Agreement parallelism between sentences and noun phrases: A historical sketch

Elabbas Benmamoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper deals with a parallelism between sentences and noun phrases in Classical Arabic. The parallelism in question concerns the distribution of the number feature on the verb in the verb subject (VS) sequence and the (in-)definiteness feature on nouns in the N+NP sequence, the so-called semitic construct state (CS). In both cases, the verb and the head noun do not carry number and (in-)definiteness features respectively. Previous syntactic analyses have treated these two problems as two separate phenomena, thus denying any parallelism between the two constructions. This paper argues that this parallelism is genuine and is due to the verb in the VS sequence being historically a nominal element in a CS relation with the subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-764
Number of pages18
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Agreement
  • Classical Arabic
  • Construct state
  • Moroccan Arabic
  • Parallelism
  • Semitic
  • VS sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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