[UMR] Margherita Pallottino (U. Genève)
Margherita Pallottino (U. Genève)
Tunisian Objects: differentially marked or differently marked?
Tunisian Arabic appears to express progressive aspect by adding a mediating particle between the selecting imperfective predicate and the following DP interpreted as the direct object of the sentence:
- semi yekl fi-l-kosksi
Semi eat.imp fi-the-couscous
‘Semi is eating couscous’ Progressive reading
In the absence of the item fi, in effect, the same sentence is no longer interpreted in the progressive aspect, but rather, it receives a dispositional or habitual reading, just like the English counterpart in the translation.
- semi yekl ǝl-kosksi
Semi eat.imp the-couscous
‘Semi is eats couscous’ Habitual/dispositional reading
The above contrast led several scholars (i.e. Ritt-Benmimoun 2017; McNeil 2017) to consider fi a mark of aspect expressed on the dependent nominal constituent. Although there exist languages which indeed present this type of nominal aspectual marking (Nordlinger & Sadler 2004), in my presentation I will argue that Tunisian is not one of them. In contrast with the previously mentioned works, I will argue that the insertion of fi is a pure syntactic fact bearing no aspectual contribution to the interpretation of the sentence.