Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


This paper explores how various formal and functional approaches have dealt with the syntactic and semantic issues raised by complementation, both in general linguistics and in the context of Arabic. The paper examines the methodologies taken and the explanations offered by the various approaches, focusing on these questions: (1) What are the syntactic and semantic factors that the various approaches consider important in influencing the choice of complements and complementizers? (2) What is the role of the complement-taking predicates in this choice? (3) What is the role of the complementizers? It will be concluded that functional approaches are better suited to explaining complementation phenomena. The penultimate section presents an account of the complementizer ʔinna in Palestinian Arabic in the spirit of the functional paradigm.



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