Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

Purchase Access
Subject: Language and Linguistics

Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

Subscriptions: see brill.com


(1,258 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
The interpretation of the ḍād as a lateral(ized) sound is in line with the reconstruction of the phonemic inventory of the Semitic languages. According to Lipiński (1997:129–132) Arabic /ḍ/ goes back to Proto-Semitic /ṣ/, which he reconstructs as [ɬ], the voiced counterpart of Proto-Semitic /ś/. The latter soon merged with Proto-Semitic /š/ and is not differentiated in most Semitic languages. Reflexes of Proto-Semitic /ṣ/ are still pronounced as a voiced (non- emphatic) lateral /ź/ in Modern South Arabian. It is not surprising that this special sound disappeared in the Ne…

Damascus Arabic

(6,050 words)

Author(s): Jérôme Lentin
1. General Damascus Arabic ( llahže ššāmiyye) is spoken in Damascus, capital of the Syrian Arab Republic (1.6 million people in 2004; 3.5 million including Greater Damascus, with an important proportion of non-native speakers: immigrants from various parts of the country, Palestinians). In the old villages of the surrounding Ġūṭa different dialects are spoken, which have not yet been studied. Damascus Arabic is well understood in the whole country, and in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. Contiguous to the Damascus area are the Qalamūn dialects in the north, the Ḥōrān di…


(3,170 words)

Author(s): Yishai Peled
The pronominal system is normally presented as composed of three persons: mutakallim (1st person), muxāṭab (2nd person), and āʾib (3rd person). The pronouns change form according to case. A genitival ( jarr) pronoun can only be realized as a suffix attached ( muttaṣil) to a noun, as in ʾaxū-ka ‘your brother’. In the nominative and accusative, by contrast, it can be realized either as a separate independent word ( munfaṣil), or as muttaṣil. In the latter case, the pronoun may either have a morphological realization, as is the case with the suffix -ka in ḍaraba-ka ‘he hit you’, or otherwis…


(5 words)

see Mafʿūl fīhi

D (Derendiger, R. - ditransitive)

(1,883 words)

Derendiger, R. Lingua Franca, Pidgin Arabic: Bongor Arabic derivation ʾAṣl, Biradicalism, Compounds, Derivation, First Language Acquisition, Glide, Inflection, Ištiqāq, Minimalism, Morphology, Noun, Root, Ṣarf, Terminology, Verb, Verb, Verb derivation, acquisition of First Language Acquisition derivation, crashing of Minimalism derivation, formal Derivation derivation, pattern Derivation derived Form Fiʿl, South Semitic Languages, Verb derived stem South Semitic Languages derived structure Transformational Grammar Derman, M. Ugur Nastaʿlīq, Ruqʿa, Second…

D (Ditters, Everhard - Dzhalil, Ordikhane)

(950 words)

Ditters, Everhard Computational Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Maṣdar, Noun Phrase, Second Language Teaching, Verbal Noun divergence Convergence, Convergence, Grammaticalization, Grammaticalization, History of Arabic divergence of speech Speech Accommodation dīwān Palaeography dīwānī Ruqʿa, Script and Art Dixit, R. Prakash Voice (Phonetics) Diyāb, Maḥmūd Dialect Literature Diyarbakır Anatolian Arabic, Anatolian Arabic, Anatolian Arabic Diyarbakır Arabic Cypriot Maronite Arabic, Dialects: Classification, Iraq, Relative Pronoun (Arabic Dialects) Djajadinin…

D (/ḍ/, lateral - Dereli, Belgin)

(1,631 words)

/ḍ/, lateral Andalusi Arabic D’Andrea, Daniel Language Loss daanu leer Senegal daara Senegal, Senegal dabba Abbreviations Dabba Arabic Luġa, Pre-Islamic Arabic ḍabṭ Muḥaqqaq ḍād Ḍād, Hausa, Majhūra/Mahmūsa, Mechanisms of Linguistic Change, Phonetics, Phonological Merger, Semitic Languages, Somali, South Semitic Languages, Tamil, Yemen ḍād ḍaʿīfa Ḍād ḍād, luġat aḍ- Ḍād Dadan Old Arabic (Epigraphic), Thamudic, Thamudic Dadanitic Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Old Arabic (Epigraphic), Old Arabic (Epigraphic), Thamudic, Thamudic Ḏ̣afīr Najdi Arab…


(2,656 words)

Author(s): Lutz Edzard
1. Definition In general, declension affects the nouns, adjectives, articles, numerals, and pronouns of a language (as opposed to conjugation, which affects finite verb forms). In Classical Arabic, the nouns, adjectives, numerals (except those from 11 to 19), as well as the dual forms of the demonstrative pronoun (near deixis) and the relative pronoun are subject to declension. According to native Arabic grammatical theory, nouns are either muʿrab ‘ declinable’ or (in rare cases) mabnī ‘ indeclinable’. Declinable nouns are then munṣarif ‘declined with nunation ( tanwīn)’ or ġayr mu…

Defective Verbs

(871 words)

Author(s): Rainer Voigt
1. Defective verbs Defective verbs show normal conjugation patterns but certain grammatical forms are never used. Thus, in Classical Arabic there is an imperfect yadaʿu with the imperative daʿ ‘to let alone’ and yaḏaru with the imperative ḏar ‘idem’; neither verb has perfect forms * wadaʿa and * waḏara. As to its cognate roots in other Semitic languages, presumably, the Hebrew hapax form mdåʿîm (modified from mʿådîm) ‘[they were] set’ (Jer 24:1) is derived from the root y-d-ʿ (Sem. * w-d-ʿ). Another defective verb is ʿasā ‘perhaps’, of which only a few perfect forms are document…


(2,990 words)

Author(s): Mihai Dat
1. Definition The term ‘ deixis’ (also deictic expressions or shifters) indicates a group of linguistic elements attested in all languages, whose meaning necessarily implies a return to the uttering act in order to find a particular referent. ‘Deixis’ is a borrowing from Ancient Greek, which originally signified ‘the action of showing’. In fact, deixis draws the attention of the interlocutor(s) to a referent that is present in the situation of communication through the aid of specific words, such as demonstratives in Look at this beautiful painting!, which might be said while vis…


(2,516 words)

Author(s): Angeles Vicente
In all Arabic dialects, there are two series of demonstratives, one conveying the idea of near deixis, with respect to the speaker, ‘this, these’, the other the idea of far deixis, which is associated with the interlocutor, ‘that, those’. This difference is not limited to a space opposition near/far, it can also refer to a modal opposition of an affective/emotional nature (Caubet 1993:I, 168). The various existing paradigms can be grouped into three categories, according to different types of dialects: on the one hand, Bedouin dialects, without geographical …

Dependency Grammar

(5,322 words)

Author(s): Domenyk Eades
Overview Dependency Grammar is an approach to the analysis of sentence structure that is represented by numerous theoretical frameworks in modern linguistics. It is based on concepts which have a long pedigree in the study of grammar, and are prominent in medieval Arabic grammatical theory. Dependency Grammar is based on the concept of the “dependency structure”, where a dominant word – the ‘head’ – is directly linked to one or more ‘dependents’ in an asymmetric relationship called a ‘dependency’…


(4,491 words)

Author(s): Pierre Larcher
1. Introduction In Indo-European languages, ‘ derivation’ is usually defined as “the formation of a new word or inflectable stem from another word or stem. It typically occurs by the addition of an affix” (<http://www.sil.org/linguistics/Glossary>). In Semitic languages and particularly in (Classical) Arabic, this type of derivation does exist but must be considered marginal. More central is a type of derivation in which a word is not derived from another word, but from a root ‘crossed’ with a pattern (or ‘ scheme’, from the French schème, or ‘ template’). Where French-speaking scho…


(2,055 words)

Author(s): Lina Choueiri
(1) ʾarā ʾanna l-ʾasada ḥayawān-u-n think.1s that the-lion.acc animal.nom jamīl-u-n beautiful.nom ‘I think that the lion is a beautiful animal’ Thus, it could not be said that in (1), the noun phrase al-ʾasada ‘the lion’ has an identifiable referent, since it refers to the species rather than to a token animal. Specificity, a notion related to semantic definiteness, but not necessarily syntactic definiteness, is not grammaticalized in Arabic. That is, the interpretation of a noun's reference as known by the speaker is not associated with a specific ex…