N-Word Licensing


The paper, conducted within the framework of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995), considers aspects of the licensing relation which obtains between Negation (Neg) and N-words in Amazigh. By N-words, I mean elements like ‘ħtta+NP’ (no-one), which are licensed by Neg. The paper shows that the Neg-N-word relation in this language is one of feature checking, with Neg-features present on the N-word requiring to be paired with corresponding features on the functional head Neg prior to Spell-Out in the position they occupy, i.e. base generated in the c-command domain of Neg. It provides further evidence for the analysis of N-words from Moroccan Arabic, one which argues for a different view of feature checking/licensing from that proposed in Chomsky 1995.


Naima Omari


Amazigh, c-command, formal licensing, Minimalist Program, Moroccan Arabic, N-words

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