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The present paper investigates agreement patterns with plural controllers in Fezzani Arabic (southwestern Libya). During the last three decades, research has proved that the agreement system found in Classical Arabic is the result of a process of standardization, while agreement in the dialects feature the same type of variation observed in pre-Islamic poetry and the Qur’an. Nonhuman plural controllers, in particular, strictly require feminine singular agreement in Classical Arabic, while feminine singular alternates with feminine plural agreement in the pre-Islamic texts and the Qur’an. Most contemporary dialects exhibit a great range of variation in this field. Fezzani Arabic largely favors plural (syntactic) agreement with plural controllers. Syntactic agreement is systematic with human controllers and it represents the most frequent choice also with nonhuman ones. The main factor triggering feminine singular agreement is not humanness, bu t individuation. Within this conservative syntactic behavior, finally, masculine plural seems to be eroding feminine plural agreement with both feminine human and nonhuman controllers, for sociolinguistic reasons that still need to be investigated.
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