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Chapter Fourteen. The Syntax Of Nominals

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Chapter Summary

In Aramaic the distinction between the definite and indefinite status of nominals was originally expressed grammatically by the distinction between the 'determined state' and the 'absolute state' respectively. This chapter focuses on the usage of the particle xa in its function as an indefinite article. When examining the function of the demonstrative pronouns a distinction should be made between their use to refer to visible objects in the extra-linguistic speech situation and their use to refer to referents within the discourse. In principle a noun that has an attributive demonstrative is definite in status, i.e. the speaker assumes that the hearer is able to identify the referent. The chapter also examines the motivation to omit a demonstrative on a definite noun that has an anaphoric connection with the preceding discourse.

Keywords: absolute state; Aramaic morphology; definite noun; nominals; pronouns



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