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Shaheen, Buthina. 2013. A comparative study of Restrictive Relative Clauses in Latakian Syrian Arabic and English and the acquisition of English Restrictive Relative Clauses by first language speakers of Latakian Syrian Arabic. University of Essex: (Doctoral Dissertation.).

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Free Relative Clauses in Literary Arabic

1English Department, Yarmouk University

Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2020, Vol. 4 No. 2, 72-78
DOI: 10.12691/jll-4-2-4
Copyright © 2020 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Mohammed Odeh AL-Shorafat. Free Relative Clauses in Literary Arabic. Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2020; 4(2):72-78. doi: 10.12691/jll-4-2-4.

Correspondence to: Mohammed  Odeh AL-Shorafat, English Department, Yarmouk University. Email:


Free relative clauses in Literary Arabic are constructions that share the basic properties of restrictive relative clauses in Literary Arabic, but they lack a lexical head (headless). They are introduced with a relative element (allaði, allati, mann, maa, ayyan ...etc). The relative element is subject to a matching effect, i.e., it should satisfy the selectional restrictions of both the matrix and the embedded predicates in the sentence. The main concern of this paper is to investigate and analyze the distribution and structure of Free Relative clauses in Literary Arabic. This paper will try to answer some questions about Free Relative clauses in Literary Arabic: a) Is the relative element base-generated in its initial position or the result of movement from inside the Free Relative clause? b) Is the initial position of the relative element internal or external to the Free Relative clause? c) Is the Free Relative clause a CP or a DP? This research paper will be conducted within the Minimalist Theory of syntax, especially Chomsky's [1] phasal framework. This paper is descriptive and analytical in nature and the examples cited in it are common knowledge to educated people and researchers and taken mainly from previous studies as indicated in the text.