The Scope of Negation and Dual Operators in Standard Arabic: The Theory of Functional Discourse Grammar and Negative Operators on Dual Constructions

Functional Discourse Grammar Negation in Arabic Scope Negation Operators in FDG Negation in FDG Functional Linguistics Linguistics


  • Yassine Khaya
    Ph.D. Student, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco
November 5, 2022


Negation has been extensively dealt with in the domain of formal theories of linguistics and grammar. The general consensus usually converges towards the conclusion that it is a  morpho-syntactic operation by which the truth value of an utterance is reversed. On the other hand, Functional theories, such as Functional Discourse Grammar (henceforth FDG), reveal that Negation could potentially carry more nuances up its sleeves. This paper investigates how FDG could potentially account for the phenomenon of the scope of Negation on Dual constructions in Standard Arabic. It also sheds light on how the interaction between the negative operator and the numeral operator (on an individual x) could be problematic to the uniformity of FDG as a theory. The research takes a qualitative approach analyzing examples constructed with the aim of putting the focus on the factors relevant to this enquiry. The findings unveil that the Scope of Negation in Standard Arabic can target just the Dual operator on an individual x. This behavior is noteworthy as Operators are usually off-limits when it comes to being exclusively under the scope of Negation. The main reason is that Negation itself is expressed with the operator (Neg). Therefore, a new amendment to FDG might be required to representationally account for this phenomenon.