Chapter 1: Complementizers
1.1. Definition of Complementizers
Complement clauses, or subordinate clauses, are most of the times preceded by a special word called "Complementizer". Words like that, if, and for are used to introduce clauses that function as a complement of the matrix verb. The choice of the verb in the subordi-nate clause is related to these complementizers. For instance, the complementizers that, if and the Arabic complementizer ʔanna are used to introduce finite clauses, while for and the Arabic ʔan are, of course, for infinitival ones.
Our focus in this chapter is going to be on the study of each type of these com-plementizers in isolation.
1.2. Finite complementizers
A finite clause contains a conjugated verb, that is a verb marked for tense, person, and number. In English, finite clauses have an overt subject. (Marguerite Mahler:2004). Whereas, a finite clause in Arabic is the clause that has a conjugated verb in one of the tenses of Arabic ( present, past, and future).
It is well known that the main, or the matrix, clause of a complex sentence must be fi-nite. While, on the other hand, the finiteness of the embedded clause is related mainly to the complementizer that precedes it. Consequently, the clauses that follow the comple-mentizers that, if, and the Arabic ʔanna are finite clauses.
1.2.1. The complementizer ‘that’
That is a complementizer used to introduce finite declarative clauses that function as a complement or subject of the matrix clause.