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Verbs are subject to person agreement with the sentence subject. They have tense & mood. Every sentence has one.

Copulae

THE STATIVE COPULA

In Arabic, a null copula is used to define the state of a subject; this is the stative copula. By definition, the subject of a stative copula must be definite.

الولاد
the-children
=
مبسوطين
P.happy
the children are happy

Since the stative copula is not an overt verb, these sentences are usually referred to as nominal sentences; these are distinct only in that they demand an overt subject. Having said that, the stative copula does occupy the head of a verbal phrase that may be modified by auxiliaries; hence, it may be present even in sentences with an overt verb (i.e. verbal sentences). In view of this, all sentences with copulae are specifically referred to as copular sentences.

الولاد
the-children
كانو
3P.were
=
مبسوطين
P.happy
the children were happy

As in the foregoing sentence, the stative copula may be modified by an aspectual verb to indicate the stability of a state over time. While the unmarked كان (kān) indicates a static state, terms like صار (ṣār) & بطّل (baṭṭal) indicate the beginning & end of a state, respectively; other aspectual verbs exist as well. As usual, verbal auxiliaries agree with the subject.

الولاد
the-children
صارو
3P.became
=
مبسوطين
P.happy
the children became happy
الولاد
the-children
بطّلو
3P.ceased
=
مبسوطين
P.happy
the children ceased being happy

As for negation, it applies to the head of the highest verbal phrase in the structure. When the null copula itself is negated thus, the negative particle مش (miš) is produced.

they weren't happy
particles
مش
bookmark
(nominal negation particle) is not

THE EXISTENTIAL COPULA

In Palestinian Arabic, the expletive فيه (fīh) is inserted after the null copula to create an existential copula (i.e. "there be"). One should not be led to misidentify the function of فيه (fīh) by the fact that the null copula is not pronounced in the Present Tense.

=
فيه
(there)
ولاد
children
there are problems

Since an existential copula is fundamentally an impersonal verb, it has no subject but rather a referent that is necessarily indefinite. Hence, verbal auxiliaries are never inflected.

كان
was
=
فيه
(there)
ولاد
children
there were children

Consequently, there is no ambiguity between a sentence with an existential copula & a sentence with a stative copula that incidentally features فيه (fīh) as its complement.

الولاد
the-children
كانو
3P.were
=
فيه
in-3M
the children were in it

Although negation is resolved as expected, the expletive is included in the negative phrase & undergoes a sound change that shortens its phonemically long final vowel.

مـ
not
كان
was
ـش
not
=
فيه
(there)
ولاد
children
there weren't any children
there aren't any children

Notice that these negation patterns can only be accounted for if the null copula is analyzed as syntactically distinct from كان (kān). Otherwise, one should find مكانو فش or مش فيه — neither of which are grammatical forms of verbal negation for the existential copula.

particles
فيه
bookmark
(existential expletive) there is

THE POSSESSIVE COPULA

In addition to the expletive فيه (fīh), there are a handful of prepositions that may complement an existential copula; these verbal prepositions are used to build a possessive copula that conveys its meaning by situating the existence of something at the possessor's location.

she has problems

Although semantically this might seem like a transitive verb, in reality it is an existential copula that is pinned to the semantic agent by the preposition. Since there is no subject syntactically, verbal auxiliaries are not inflected here either:

كان
was
=
فيه
(there)
عندها
at-her
مشاكل
problems
she had problems

Negation proceeds as expected:

she doesn't have problems
she didn't have problems

Given that the complement of the existential copula is necessarily indefinite, the presence of فيه (fīh) in the possessive copula forces it to require an indefinite complement. However, the verbal preposition can supply the existential meaning on its own, so the expletive may be removed from the construction & this requirement neutralized.

كان
was
=
(there)
عندها
at-her
السيّارة
the-car
she had the car
she has the car

In some cases, verbal prepositions are indistinguishable from pseudo-verbs. When all other possible elements of the possessive copula are null, the preposition — syntactically a verbal complement – moves to fill the position of the verb itself, where it may be negated:

عندها
3F.has
السيّارة
the-car
she has the car
she doesn't have the car

Although verbal prepositions are categorized in the Dictionary alongside pseudo-verbs for the sake of practicality, only by distinguishing between the two can we account for the differences in their syntactic behavior.

verbal prepositions
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON

pseudo-verbs

Alongside etymological verbs, a few other terms in Palestinian Arabic have been grammaticalized as verbs. What these pseudo-verbs have in common is that — unlike etymological verbs — they are conjugated using clitic pronouns rather than by way of inflectional morphology.

PSEUDO-VERBS
بدّه شكله عنده معه إله فيّه عليه

It should be noted that verbal prepositions are categorized here as pseudo-verbs. However, at heart they are prepositions used to form possessive copulae, which are only reanalyzed as pseudo-verbs when all other elements of the underlying structure are null; they are therefore subject to major restrictions as pseudo-verbs, including the fact that they cannot be directly modified by auxiliaries.

VERBAL PREPOSITIONS
عنده معه إله فيّه عليه

In general, the grammaticalization of pseudo-verbs is visible in that they may be modified by auxiliaries that agree with the semantic agent rather than with the pseudo-verb itself.

مريم
Maryam
كانت
3F.was
تحكي
3F.speaks
Maryam was speaking
مريم
Maryam
كانت
3F.was
بدّها
3F.want
ميّ
water
Maryam wanted water
مريم
Maryam
كانت
3F.was
شكلها
3F.seems
زعلانة
F.upset
Maryam seemed upset

Having said that, the fact that auxiliaries may be used uninflected is a testament to the origin of pseudo-verbs & evidence of their incomplete grammaticalization.

مريم
Maryam
كان
was
بدّها
3F.want
ميّ
water
Maryam wanted water
مريم
Maryam
كان
was
شكلها
3F.seems
زعلانة
F.upset
Maryam seemed upset

Similarly, verbal prepositions must be modified by an uninflected auxiliary due to the underlying syntax of the possessive copula; here, they are not pseudo-verbs.

مريم
Maryam
كان
was
عندها
3F.has
سيّارة
a car
Maryam had a car

With the single exception of شكله (šiklo), all pseudo-verbs may be directly negated. However, verbal prepositions in the possessive copula are not; instead, negation attaches to the head of the highest verbal phrase.

مـ
not
بدّي
1S.want
ـش
not
ايّاه
M.it
I don't want it
مـ
not
عندي
1S.have
ـش
not
سيّارة
a car
I don't have a car

TO WANT

With regard to بدّه (biddo), it is a transitive verb that requires an object. Note that the interference of the clitic pronoun always forces the direct object onto the ايّا (yyā-) affix.

بدّي
1S.want
ايّاه
M.it
I want it
to want
بدّه
bookmark
to want

TO SEEM

With regard to شكله (šiklo "to seem"), it is a raising verb that raises a constituent to the subject position; if clause-initial, it may refer to a null subject as well.

السيّارة
the-car
شكلها
3F.seems
جديدة
F.new
the car seems new
شكله
3M.seems
السيّارة
the-car
جديدة
F.new
it seems the car is new

In the case of the null-subject construction, the tense of the predicate is flexible. However, the tense of شكله (šiklo) itself applies to the entire subordinate clause, so the double-marking of tense would be perceived as either redundant or semantically confusing.

شكله
3M.seems
السيّارة
the-car
كانت
3F.was
جديدة
F.new
it seems the car was new
كان
was
شكله
3M.seems
السيّارة
the-car
جديدة
F.new
it seemed the car was new
to seem
COMING SOON

auxiliaries

aspectual
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON
COMING SOON

In Arabic, many intransitive verbs have causative counterparts. However, the causative auxiliary خلّى (xalla) may be used analytically in cases where causative forms don't exist.

causative
COMING SOON
Syntax
Inflection

Verbs follow person agreement, which by extension means they follow gender & number agreement.

Palestinian Arabic features two morphologically distinct tenses — the Present Tense & the Past Tense — & two morphologically distinct moods — the Subjunctive & the Imperative, in addition to the Indicative.

Syntax
Valence

Arabic verbs fall into three broad types according to the number & type of arguments they take & the semantic role of the subject: isPatient, noPatient, & hasObject verbs, each of which is divided into sub-categories.

noPatient

noPatient verbs are terms that have no Patient. Since isPatient verbs are intransitive (they have no Object), Unergative verbs refers specifically to unergative terms with no Object, which, by virtue of not being themselves the Patient, have no Patient at all. Stative verbs are the remaining intransitive terms that have no Agent (i.e. they are semantically adjectives).

Unergative
isAgent → !hasObject → !hasPatient
قعد
ʔaʕad
he sat
حكا
ħakā
له
-lo
he told him
Stative   
!isAgent → !hasObject → !hasPatient
hasObject

hasObject verbs are terms that have an Object. Since all of these terms are transitive, the Transitive category refers to all transitive terms that don’t fall into any of the remaining categories. Causative terms are those whose Object is caused to carry out an intransitive action (its Intransitive counterpart). Dative terms are those whose Object is the dative-marked Object of an intransitive action (its Intransitive counterpart).

Transitive
isAgent → hasObject
ضربـ
ḍarab
ـه
-o
he hit him
Causative 
isAgent → hasObject
قعّد
ʔaʕʕad
ه
-o
he made him sit
زعّلـ
zaʕʕal
ـه
-o
he made him angry
Dative    
isAgent → hasObject
حاكا
ħākā
ه
-(h)
he spoke to him
isPatient

isPatient verbs are terms whose grammatical Subject is the Patient of the action. Passive verbs have a Transitive counterpart, whereas Unaccusative terms do not. The Subject of Reflexive & Reciprocal terms is the Agent itself; what distinguishes Reciprocal terms is that they have a Dative counterpart. Note that Passive verbs are also unaccusative, grammatically speaking; Reflexive & Reciprocal terms are not.

Unaccusative
!isAgent → !hasObject → isPatient → !isObject
زعل
ziʕil
he became angry
Passive     
!isAgent → !hasObject → isPatient → isObject
انضرب
nḍarab
he was hit
Reflexive   
isAgent → !hasObject → isPatient → isObject
تحمّم
tħammam
he bathed (himself)
Reciprocal  
isAgent → !hasObject → isPatient → isDative
تقاتلو
tʔātalu
they fought (each other)
Transitive
ضربو الشباب
Passive
الشباب انضربو
Transitive
حمّم الولاد
Reflexive
الولاد تحمّمو
Unergative
بحكيله
Dative
بحاكيه
Unergative
شرب قهوة
Causative
شرّبنا قهوة