Syntactic Analysis of the Arabic Word “laysa”: An Auxiliary Verb or a Negative Particle

Mohammad I. Al-Khawalda


The aim of this paper is to show that ‘laysa’ is an auxiliary verb rather than a negative particle. The status of 'laysa' in Arabic grammar is one of the most controversial issues. Generally, it has been treated as a negative particle. Whenever there is a discussion about negative particles, you will find 'laysa'. However, the verbal function of it has not been ignored. That is, it shares some features with negative particles and others with auxiliaries. However, closer inspection indicates that syntactically and semantically 'laysa' behaves differently from Arabic negative particles. Applying Minimal Approach. I will argue in this paper that 'laysa' is not a negative particle, rather, it is a negative auxiliary verb. This argument will be supported by some semantic and syntactic behaviors of 'laysa'.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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