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


(1,201 words)

Author(s): Stuart Davis
A phonological analysis of velarization in an Arabic dialect must answer the following two questions: w…


(5,272 words)

Author(s): Pierre Larcher
1. Introduction The Arabic word for verb is fiʿl. This term has undergone a double metalinguistic reinterpretation and generalization: ‘action’ > ‘expression designating an action’ > ‘(action or nonaction) verb’. In the Arabic grammatical tradition, while syntactically ( naḥw) representing merely the second element of the tripartite division of the parts of speech (after the noun and before the particle), the verb occupies a central place in the morphology (ṣarf or taṣrīf). This entry deals first with the morphology of the verb, according to the main subdivision inflection/derivat…

Verbal Clause

(4,052 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
1. Introduction The term ‘verbal clause’ ( jumla fiʿliyya) is taken from traditional Arabic grammatical theory, and is used in contrast to nominal clause ( jumla ismiyya). While the status of both terms in contemporary Western linguistic theory is unclear, the verbal clause seems to have elicited less theoretical interest than nominal clauses have, except with relation to agreement phenomena. This entry presents a comparison of two different ways in which the term ‘verbal clause’ has been used, then examines its role in the discussion of word order in Arabic and how it is represe…

Verbal Noun

(3,437 words)

Author(s): Judith Rosenhouse
1. Introduction A verbal noun (maṣdar) is a fixed nominal form associated with the derived forms or patterns of the verb ( ʾawzān). Following the Arabic tradition since Sībawayhi, who calls it also ḥadat̲ān and ḥadat̲ (cf. Levin 1998:917, n. 3; Ditters 1985), Šarṭūnī (1958) defines the maṣdar as “what denotes a situation or event without time”. Verbal nouns are a basic structure in Classical Arabic, Literary Arabic (or Modern Standard Arabic or Educated Standard Arabic), and Colloquial Arabic. Differences exist among their forms and use. The…

Verb Phrase

(4,252 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
1. Introduction The concept of the verb phrase ( VP) is central to contemporary theoretical approaches to Arabic, and, indeed, to modern syntactic theory in general, with its status as a theoretical construct being controversial. The controversy revolves around what is being claimed by saying that a language ‘has a VP’. The weak claim is simply that in at least some data types, a discrete constituent consisting of a verb stem and its dependents can be identified. In the case of Arabic, as in many languag…