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A Lexical Functional Grammar Approach to Adjectives in MSA and Kuwaiti Arabic

[one_half]This is a PhD thesis and my audience are supervisors and readers with some linguistic background.

I will be addressing different adjectival constructions and their syntactic, semantic, morphological analysis based on data from standard Arabic and my own Kuwaiti dialect. I have looked at the standard Arabic noun phrase, Adjectival construct and the tough construction in Arabic and Kuwaiti. The various adjectival constructions are being analyzed based on LFG theory.

the following is my thesis outline.

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

1.0. Introduction

1.1. MSA and Kuwaiti Arabic language background

1.2. Sources of example

1.3. Transcription

1.4. Notes on the Data Analyzed

1.5. Objectives

1.6. Chapter summary

CHAPTER TWO: LFG Theoretical Background

2.0. Introduction

2.1. Preliminary Terminology

2.2. Constituent Structure and Functional Structure

2.3. Grammatical Functions

2.4. Semantics Forms

2.5. Functional Control and Anaphoric Control

2.6. Summary

CHAPTER Three: General Characteristics of MSA and Kuwaiti Arabic Noun-Phrase

3.1. General Characteristics of MSA noun-phrase

3.1.1. Case Inflection.

3.1.2. Number.

3.1.3. Gender.

3.1.4. In/Definiteness.

3.2. Word Structure.

3.3. Noun Modification

3.3.1. Demonstratives

3.3.2. Relative clauses

3.3.3. Adjectives

3.3.4. Numerals

3.3.5. Quantifiers

3.3.6 Remaining chapters Summary

CHAPTER FOUR: Adjectival Phrase

4.0. Introduction

4.1. Adjective Semantic Classes

4.2. MSA Adjective phrase

4.2.1. Agreement

4.2.2. Attributive vs. Predicative use

4.2.3. Combination of Modifiers

4.2.4. Combination of Adjectives

4.3. Kuwaiti Arabic Adjective phrase

4.3.1. Agreement

4.3.2. Attributive vs. Predicative use

4.3.3. Combination of Modifiers

4.3.4. Combination of Adjectives

4.4. Superlative and Comparative Adjectives

4.5. Differences and Similarities between MSA and other Languages

4.6. Summary

CHAPTER FIVE: Adjectives in the “Tough Class”

5.0. Introduction

5.1. Long distance dependency analysis in previous work

5.1.2. Missing object construction

5.1.3. Need type

5.2. Tough construction literature review of various languages

5.3. Verbal noun characteristics.

5.4. LFG Analysis for Tough Construction

5.4.1. Modern Standard Arabic

5.4.2. Kuwaiti dialect

5.4. Summary

CHAPTER SIX: The Adjectival Construct

6.0. Introduction.

6.1. Nominal Construct State

6.1.1. Properties of the Nominal Construct State

6.2. The Adjectival Construct

6.2.1. Properties of the Adjectival Construct

6.2.2. Previous Approaches and Related Work Characteristics of Siloni’s Approach Kim Kremers

6.2.3. Welsh Genitive of Respect

6.4. Analysis for MSA and Kuwaiti Arabic Adjectival Construct

6.4.1. External Behaviour of Adjectival Construct

6.4.2. Internal Structure of AP

6.4.3. F-structure

6.4.4. Kuwaiti Arabic Construct Adjective

6.4.6. Summary

6.5. Compounds

6.5.1. Defining Compounds

6.5.2. The Adjectival Compounds The Genitive Phrase: The Head Adjective, Definiteness Marking and Modification Proposed Analysis

6.6. Summary

CHAPTER SEVEN: Conclusions and Recommendations

7.0. Introduction

7.1. Aims

7.2. Chapters Summary

7.3 Summary of Findings

7.4. Limitations and Scope for Further Research

I have attached the work i have already done.

This is the feedback on the work i have attached from my supervisor.

In April 2014, Bedour came to the end of her current extension to completion period: the end of her fourth completion term. Though we thought it was unlikely that she would have a submittable version of the thesis, we (her joint supervisors) asked her to produce a complete draft of everything she had, so that a Supervisor Board, and subsequently the Departmental Progress Committee would be able to make a properly informed decision about what to do next.
As requested, Bedour produced a document of approx 164pages (single spaced), which, while it suffers from numerous problems – and is certainly not submittable in its present form – gives us grounds for thinking that the problems are such as could in principle be overcome in a period of two additional terms.
There are serious cosmetic, structural and presentational issues, some trivial (e.g. lack of a bibli- ography, some organisational and typographic issues), some less so: notably, one sees throughout, but especially in the earlier chapters, that the discussion is too elementary, and pitched at the wrong level. It does not display the kind of confidence at handling concepts, data, or formal apparatus that one would like to see.
On the other hand, there is the empirical basis here for a useful investigation of two problematic and relatively little studied areas of Arabic syntax (and a contribution to the study of the syntax of Kuwati adjectives, an areas where there has been almost no previous work), and the formal and analytic shortcomings seem to be such that they can be remedied – the analyses required involve standard techniques, and do not pose any fundamental problems.
There follows a chapter by chapter report on the material Bedour sent us.

1 Ch 1 Introduction

A bit of necessary background on Arabic, source of examples, transcription, etc.; organisation of thesis; according to the summary, chapter 5 is on the Construct State, and 6 is on Tough constructions (in fact they are in the other order)

2 Ch 2 Overview of LFG

Overly reliant on a historical perspective; 2.1.1. is almost entirely irrelevant. 2.1.2 which describes c- and f-structure is more relevant, but it pitched at far too low a level, and still contains a great deal that is of marginal relevance to the thesis.
2.2. is a rather wordy and elementary discussion of grammatical functions (subj, etc.); it needs to be focused on the needs of the following discussion. Similarly with section 2.3: It begins
with discussion about semantic forms (PREDs) – it is not clear why this discussion is going to be useful. It then goes on to discuss meaning composition (and again the perspective is too historical and anecdotal), and predicate logic.
2.4. is about functional vs anaphoric control; it wanders around a bit, and is far too much about how the glue apparatus works, and not nearly enough about what the syntactic differences are (and why they matter); 2.5.1 is about functional uncertainty. There is far too much waffle, and no example that would help anyone who was unfamiliar with the notion.
The organisation of 2.5.2. and 2.5.3 is unclear, but the latter is about case, and constructive case; there is too much background waffle, and no examples that would help a new reader.
Summary This chapter is clearly necessary to the thesis, but it is clearly a long way from being ready for submission. Very little of it the existing text will be useful. However, this is not necessarily crucial – describing the theoretical/formal machinery is typically something that is done near the end, when one knows what theoretical/formal machinery is going to be used (the text here reads as if it was written at the beginning of the research). Someone with reasonable familiarity with the machinery of LFG, and a decent model to follow, might be able to produce text for this part of the thesis of appropriate quality and at an appropriate level in two or three weeks.

Ch 3 The Noun Phrase
MSA/Kuwaiti Arabic NP
The discussion is again at far too low a level (discussing definitions of notions like ‘noun’,
‘count/mass’, etc. at quite an elementary level; there is discussion of nominal inflection in MSA and Kuwaiti (which is probably important), and of the overall structure of the NP (quantifiers, demonstratives, ordering of adjectives). Some of this may be important, but it is generally rather inconclusive. There is a blank section 3.2.4 on order of adjectives; the text that would go here may be in Ch4. Given that the focus of the thesis is Tough Construction, and the Adjectival Construct Construction, this Chapter may not be necessary, or may be dramatically reduced.
Summary The discussion is generally at too elementary a level, and it is unclear if the chapter is necessary, but some of the content may be useful elsewhere. There might be other supplementary background information about MSA and Kuwaiti that needs to be added, but that should be counted elsewhere. Since this Chapter can probably be dropped, it probably requires little work.

4 Ch 4 MSA/Kuwaiti Arabic AP
Again, the discussion is rather elementary (it spends too much time defining adjectives, etc – this
should be done much more briefly). There is discussion of semantic classes of adjective (gradable,
intersective vs non-intersective, non-descriptive – e.g. denominal, manner, emotive, modal). This discussion is quite brief, not always very clear, and sometimes a bit suspect. It is not completely clear that it is necessary for the rest of the thesis.
4.2.2 turns to Arabic semantic classes, and basically repeats the earlier discussion. It would be useful background if there were serious discussion of semantics elsewhere.
4.3 looks at ordering relation among attributive adjectives. It would fit better in Ch3 (3.2.4). It summarises the facts about English, summarises the work of Sproat and Shih. 4.3.3. begins to look at ordering in MSA and Kuwaiti. This could be developed, but I do not think there is much new here.
Section 4.4 is an important section on agreement. Again, the organisation is not helpful – agree- ment in attributive adjectives would surely fit better in the chapter on NP (given that there is such a chapter), and there does not seem to be anything on agreement for predicative adjectives. is entitled LFG analysis (clearly, this should be a main section, not a subsection); here and in the following sections which describe the LFG analysis, no rules are given (just example representations) but they could easily be supplied. Once this is done, the problems of this part of the chapter would be organisational and presentational. The discussion here is apparently supposed to be about MSA.
The chapter ends with 5 pages on Kuwaiti – pointing out similarities and differences with MSA. Again, there are no rules, and the presentation needs attention.
Summary The weaknesses are as with the preceding chapters. The core of the chapter should be an overview of key facts concerning adjectives (within NP and as main predicates) followed by an LFG analysis using standard tools.
This should be possible in a matter of a few weeks concerted work.

5 Ch 5 MSA/Kuwaiti Arabic Tough Construction

We have the usual problems – an overly historical approach (to do this successfully, you have to
be very good at the history, and also be able to show that the history teaches you something).
5.2. Literature review. There is a pile of waffle at the start (up to p91) that should be dropped (it is very elementary, and has nothing specifically to do with the TC.
5.2.2. discusses missing object constructions (MOCs) generally (need type vs tough type). This is essential, because one would want to know what kind of MOC we are dealing with in Arabic. But conclusions seem not to be drawn. is about characteristics of Long-distance dependencies – it is again rather elementary, and is the sort of thing that should have been in Chapter 2.
5.2.3 looks at the LDD in TCs. Again, and important reservation here is that it mentions issues,
but does not come to conclusions – does not evaluate arguments.
What one would like at this point is to have an idea about the diagnostic techniques and the descriptive and theoretical apparatus that is going to be deployed in the next section on Arabic TCs.
5.3. Turns to Arabic TCs, MSA, then Kuwaiti (there is evidence that it was the other way round once, which does not help the presentation). There are quite a lot of blank sections, but I think if the sections were filled in by appropriate text, one would have something useful. There a quite a lot of presentational problems, but they can be fixed.
There are some f-structures, but no rules – that is, no analysis as such.
Summary The organisation as it stands is often incoherent. It needs radical reshaping (as well as all the gaps filling in), because it does not currently develop a clear line of investigation and analysis. The reader needs to come out at the end with a clear view of the descriptive facts (how many different constructions or settings do adjectives in this class occur in, how do we distinguish the constructions, what are the characteristics of the different constrictions) and of the analysis in LFG. Currently this does not happen.
This should be possible in a couple of months of concerted work.

6 Ch 6 MSA/Kuwaiti Arabic Adjectival Construct State
The presentation is not very good (why couldn’t we have an example at the beginning?), but it
looks fixable.
There is some very interesting material here, as well as some things that could profitably be removed (e.g. the discussion of the semantics, where some formal stuff which adds very little is waved around). The chapter shows at various points that it is derived from an earlier text, but this mainly cosmetic.
Summary This chapter is missing a section on Kuwaiti and the MSA chapter is far too close to the LFG09 paper. It needs quite a bit of restructuring. The stuff on semantics should come out, and it is not clear why an analysis is offered and then the issue of whether these are compounds is revisited in connection with the Bardeas thesis. The material is somehow undigested, which is a problem throughout the thesis. The biggest gap however is the lack of discussion of Kuwaiti Arabic.
If one saw a chapter like this at the start of a term, one could be fairly confident of having a rather good chapter by the end of the term.

1) Please can i have a copy of the document in latex format? i have sent the entire phd dissertation in the zip file.

Please don’t use the Microsoft word copy i uploaded because i tried converting it and changed a few things in the work.

2) i can upload a few articles for any chapter if you need me to.

3) please, please, please i plead with the writers to go through the supervisors comments as explained in the description box. I believe professional writers will be able to tackle these issues.

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