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Verbal negation in the Lebanese dialect of Zeitoun, Keserwan

Khairallah, Natalie
Wilmsen, David
Book chapter
Published version
The dialect of Zeitoun village in the northern Keserwan district of Lebanon exhibits both the split-morpheme negators mā…š of the southern and highland Levant and the pre-verbal negator mā without the post-positive -š of the northern Levant, with the -š of negation optionally appearing in identical contexts. It also exhibits the form a…š of southern and highland Levantine Arabic dialects. Some researchers propose that the negator a- can only appear before labial consonants, such as the b- prefix marking habitual action or imminent futurity. Others note that it may also occur with the prohibitive, usually marked by the 2nd-person prefix t-. Neither of these observations holds for the Zeitouni dialect, in which prohibitives negated with sole -š may be formed without the prefix, the initial consonant being whatever the radical might be. Sole post-positive -š also occurs in negation of an unmarked imperfective verb, there, too, sometimes without an overt proclitic person marker. Another feature that is occasionally noted in the literature is the negation of perfective verbs with sole post-positive -š. This, too, occurs in the Zeitouni dialect. This type of verbal negation is characteristic of dialects from the Lebanese highlands and through the Ḥawrān. Finally, it is noticed that a word-final consonant cluster generated by the enclitic -š does not necessarily attract stress.