Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume. 8 Number. 3 September, 2017                                             Pp. 18-27

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  Non-Verbal Predicate in English: Evidence from Iraqi Nominal Sentences

Saif Abdulwahed Jawad Alabaeeji
Department of Arabic Language and Culture
College of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Chengchi University,
Taipei, Taiwan



The fact that Iraqi nominal sentences are expressed without a verbal element has led the author to examine the status of the copula (be) in English. The aim is to reach at an explanation as to why Iraqi does not use a copula while English does. Explanation of this sort is significant because it has some direct implications on English language teaching and translation in Iraq. Using inductive method of reasoning, it has been established that tracing grammatical properties such as tense and agreement may lead to find-out the reason behind this cross-linguistic variation and subsequently reach at a generalization that maybe applicable to other languages. The latter is an issue that remains open for further research. While placing the discussion within the parameters of the Government and Binding (GB) theory, the author concluded the reason as non-verbal predication in Iraqi, unlike English, can support a combination of these grammatical properties and thus rendering the need for a copula redundant.
Keywords: Iraqi Arabic, nominal sentences, non-verbal predicates, verb-to be in English

Cite as: Alabaeeji, S. A. J. (2017). Non-Verbal Predicate in English: Evidence from Iraqi Nominal Sentences.
Arab World English Journal, 8 (3).


Dr. Saif Alabaeeji holds a PhD degree in linguistics. He is currently an assistant professor of
Arabic at the department of Arabic language and culture at National Chengchi University in
Taipei, Taiwan. He taught Arabic as a foreign language in different academic institutions in the
United States, including at the Defense language Institute Foreign Language Center, University
of North Georgia and Portland State University.