Rethinking templates: A syntactic analysis of verbal morphology in Emirati Arabic

Meera Al Kaabi, Dimitrios Ntelitheos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an analysis of the morphosyntax and lexical semantics of the system of verbal forms of Emirati Arabic (EA, the variety of Gulf Arabic spoken in the United Arab Emirates) in terms of syntactic decomposition of argument structure. We argue that verbal meaning is a function of at least two syntactic functional heads: Voice and little v; and a lexical head: the consonantal root. We will further show that the unified syntactic structure, resulting from the interaction of the semantics and argument structure of the root with little v and Voice, captures the regularities as well as the exceptions in the interpretation of the verb forms of EA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Arabic
  • Morphosyntax
  • Semitic
  • Templates
  • Verbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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