Elabbas Benmamoun
Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Benmamoun’s research has specifically focused on the following broad areas: (i) the syntax of functional categories, particularly tense, agreement, negation, and coordination, (ii) the nature of lexical and morphological relations, particularly the issue of whether lexical relations in Arabic (and Semitic languages) that have been characterized as based on a root and pattern mapping can be better analyzed as stem based derivations, akin to familiar patterns in many languages from various linguistic families,  and (iii) the nature of the interface of the morphology and syntax of natural language.

In the last few years, this research agenda has expanded to include heritage languages with focus on the Arab varieties spoken by second generation Arab Americans. In a series of collaborative projects and publications, Benmamoun and his colleagues explore morphological, morphosyntactic, and syntactic aspects of heritage languages, and contrast heritage speakers with native speakers and second language learners.

Benmamoun is the author of The Feature Structure of Functional Categories (Oxford University Press, 2000), co-author of The Syntax of Arabic (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and co-editor of the forthcoming  Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics.

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