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Amazigh Negative Verb Morphology

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How Far Does the Variation Go?

This paper provides an Optimality-theoretic account of Amazigh negative verb morphology. With very few exceptions, previous accounts focused more on particles than on the morphology proper. The infixation vs. final ablaut allomorphy and the correspondence between negative and affirmative paradigms have remained so far without proper treatment. Also, by assigning verbs to four paradigms, general descriptions of Amazigh overlook the neutralization of negative verb morphology in some three-paradigm Tashlhit dialects, treated in this paper as an identity avoidance effect, as well as the concomitant variation other Tashlhit dialects exhibit, which shows that Partial Rankings are at play. Also overlooked are the five paradigms of Tarifiyt, Iznassen and Figuig and the use of discontinuous negation due to the Jespersen’s cycle. The latter dialects not only show an extended negative morphology by overtly marking both the preterite and the intensive aorist but they also reinforce negation syntactically. Comparison with non-Moroccan dialects reveals various patterns pertaining to these aspects of negation.

Affiliations: 1: Mohammed V University, Rabat k.bensoukas@gmail.com

10.1163/18776930-00702004
/content/journals/10.1163/18776930-00702004
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/content/journals/10.1163/18776930-00702004
2015-01-01
2017-11-19

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