[Fwd: Re: grammaticalization of negatives/interrogatives]

Matti Miestamo matmies at LING.HELSINKI.FI
Mon Apr 4 11:20:07 UTC 2005

I'm posting the following on behalf of Ahmed Brahim <abm_brahim at yahoo.fr>.


-------- Original Message --------

Dear All,

1)Tunisian Arabic uses the correlation  'ma:'...'-sh'
for the (total) negation of verbal sentences:

ma: qri:t-sh el-ktä:b
Neg read/PERF-1SG-sh
'I did'nt read the book'

This particle '-sh'is a grammaticalized form of
Cl.Ar'shayy'(='thing') :

Cl. Ar:

      -  ra'aytu shay’-an  jami:l-an
       I-saw thing-Acc    beautiful-Acc
        'I saw a beautiful thing'

       - ma: ra'aytu shay'-an
        Neg I-saw   thing-Acc
        'I saw nothing'

      - ma: qri:t  shayy
        Neg I-read thing
        'I saw nothing'

       - ma: qri:tsh el-ktä:b
         Neg I-read-sh the-book
        'I did'nt read the book'

The same particle is used in interrogative sentences:
   Tun. Ar:

       - qri:-tu:-sh el-ktä:b ?
         read/Perf-2PL-sh the book
        'Did you read the book?'

as well as to form indefinite interrogative pronoun ’ä:-sh “what”
(’ä:-sh qult? “ what did you say?”)and different interrogative proforms;


waqtä:-sh              ki:fä:-sh            ‘lä:-sh
tim-what               like-what            on-what
“when’                 “how”                “why”

2) As in the languages quoted by David Gil and others,
the locative interrogative wi:n 'where' may be used in
Tunisian Arabic for emphatic negation:

        - wi:n  msha?
          where he went
          'Where did he go'

         - wi:n fham!!
           where he understood
          'He understood absolutely nothing!'

With best regards,
Ahmed Brahim
Professeur de linguistique
Université de la Manouba

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