Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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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.

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(4 words)

see ʾIʿrāb
Date: 2018-04-01


(5 words)

see Vowel Raising
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,838 words)

Author(s): Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila
The language of rajaz poetry is often complicated. This is due in part to the brevity of rajaz verses (usually eight to twelve syllables) and in part to the exigencies of rhyme, which force the poet to repeat the same set of syllables every few words; in the most extreme case, as much as 25 percent of each verse may consist of rhyme. Not surprisingly, many of the anomalies of rajaz are found specifically in rhyme. Grammatical and lexical irregularities and oddities are also found outside of rhyme. This made rajaz verses a favorite mine of šawāhid ‘evidentiary verses’ for lexicographers and…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4,020 words)

Author(s): Mohssen Esseesy
Reanalysis constitutes a major mechanism for synchronic and diachronic language change and is regarded as an indispensable catalyst for grammaticalization (Hopper and Traugott 1993:32). The most elaborate study of this mechanism is found in Langacker (1977), who defines it as a “change in the structure of an expression or class of expressions that does not involve any immediate or intrinsic modification of its surface manifestation”. It also is defined by Timberlake (1977) as “the formulation of…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,723 words)

Author(s): Joost Kremers
Reciprocals are expressions that indicate that the subject of the verb is at the same time the object. Unlike reflexives, however, which have a similar function, reciprocals introduce a distributing element into the meaning. While a reflexive can be applied to a singular subject (x hits x), a reciprocal requires a plural subject, because it expresses the notion that the various members of the subject each perform the action described by the verb not on themselves, but on one or more of the other members of the subject: ‘x and y hit each other’ means ‘x hits y and y hits x’. Heim a.o. (1991) argu…
Date: 2020-08-01


(2,493 words)

Author(s): Ali Farghali
1. Definition Redundancy is a universal property of human language. There is no language that does not have some degree of redundancy, and the Arabic language is no exception. In WordNet 2.1, Fellbaum (1998) gives four senses of redundancy: i.Repetition of messages to reduce the probability of errors in transmission ii.The attribute of being superfluous and unneeded with one direct hyponym iii.Someone or something that is unwanted and unneeded iv.Needless repetition of an act The English/Arabic dictionary of theoretical linguistics (Al Khuli 1982) translates ‘redundancy’ with ḥaš…
Date: 2020-08-01


(2,416 words)

Author(s): Dina El Zarka
Reduplication is a special case of the more general device of repetition of linguistic material. It figures among the most prominent current issues in linguistic theory and mostly concentrates on morphological reduplication (cf. Rubino, 2005). Reduplication, however, can also occur on other linguistic levels, as already proposed by Pott (1862). But it is a matter of some debate where the line should be drawn between reduplication and other repetition phenomena. It is useful to distinguish betwee…
Date: 2018-04-01

Reference tools for Arabic linguistics

(1,072 words)

Author(s): Eid, Mushira | Elgibali, Alaa | Versteegh, Kees | Woidich, Manfred | Zaborski, Andrzej
For many disciplines within the field of Arabic studies major reference tools exist. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, especially useful for historical matters, with an emphasis on persons and places, has now embarked on its third edition. The Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān covers the entire domain of Qurʾānic studies and has only one more volume to go to completion. For Arabic literature there is the Encyclopedia of Arabic literature, as well as the Cambridge history of Arabic literature. For written production in Classical Arabic Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Literatur has been…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,504 words)

Author(s): Joost Kremers
In a sentence such as John sees himself, the subject and the object of the verb are one and the same person, namely John. Crucially, languages generally do not allow such a meaning to be expressed with something like John sees John, or John sees him. Most, if not all, languages require a special pronominal form for the object. This form is generally called a ‘reflexive’. In other words, a reflexive is a pronominal form that indicates that two arguments of a verb have the same referent. The syntactic expression with which the reflexive is coreferential is called the antecedent of the reflexive. Re…
Date: 2020-08-01


(1,660 words)

Author(s): Reem Bassiouney
1. Definition ‘Register’ refers to a variety of language defined according to its use in social situations, for example the register of scientific, religious, or formal English. In Hallidayan linguistics, the term is specifically opposed to those varieties of language which are defined according to the characteristics of the user's regional or class dialect (Crystal 1991:295). Ferguson also posits that “a communication situation that recurs regularly in a society (in terms of participants, setting, communicative fu…
Date: 2018-04-01

Relative Clause

(5,408 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Subordination and relative clauses Subordination is a syntactic configuration in which a clause functions as a constituent within the structure of another clause either as an argument (subject or complement) or as a modifier. What distinguishes subordinate clauses from independent (or main) clauses is that the former cannot be used in isolation. For example, the subordinate purpose clause li-yaktuba ‘for him to write’ and ʾan yaktubū ‘that they write’ cannot be used as independent sentences. Even a subordinate relative clause with no relative pronoun cannot be used independ…
Date: 2020-08-01

Relative Pronoun (Arabic Dialects)

(1,718 words)

Author(s): Vicente Ángeles
The relative pronoun in Arabic dialects is expressed by a form that is invariable in gender and number and may refer either to persons or objects. The most common form used in the majority of Arabic dialects is (i)lli, with variants halli and yalli (Retsö 2004:264–265). This form is found in the Egyptian dialects, the Levantine dialects, the gilit dialects from Iraq, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and the majority of the Maghrebi dialects. Examples are əlli mā ḥməd qalīl mā yəḥməd kat̲īr ‘he who is not grateful for a little is not grateful for a lot’ (Ḥassāniyya Arabic; Ould …
Date: 2018-04-01

Religion and Language

(5,690 words)

Author(s): Stefan Reichmuth
1. Introduction It is difficult to analyze a form of language in which the topics that are dealt with are admittedly beyond ordinary experience. Religious language is generally regarded even by its most committed users as inadequate. The dispute on whether religious utterances are imbued with a deeper and fuller kind of meaning or whether they are basically meaningless has not come to an end (for general overviews of philosophi-cal, theological, and linguistic approaches, see Kaempfert 1983; Stive…
Date: 2018-04-01

Reported Speech

(6 words)

see Indirect Speech
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,209 words)

Author(s): Joseph Aoun
Nominal elements in natural languages may appear in positions different from the ones in which they are interpreted. This is referred to as the displacement property of natural languages (Chomsky 1995). The examples in this entry are given in Lebanese Arabic. (1a) mīn fakkarto ʾənn-o sāmi ʿazam who thought.2ms that Sami invited.3ms ‘Who did you think that Sami (has) invited?’ In sentence (1a), the interrogative WH-element ( mīn ‘who’) is interpreted as the object of the embedded verb, even though it appears in the matrix clause. The displacement property, illus…
Date: 2020-08-01


(880 words)

Author(s): David Teeple
Resyllabification involves adjustments of syllable structure across morpheme or word boundaries. In Arabic, there are two common reasons for resyllabification. The first is avoidance of clusters of three or more consonants, which typically triggers vowel epenthesis. The second is satisfaction of the Onset Constraint: most Arabic dialects require onsets absolutely, which means that vowel-initial morphemes require either resyllabification of a preceding consonant as onset, or else epenthesis of the default consonant, which in Arabic is the glottal stop. 1. Cluster avoidance Ac…
Date: 2020-08-01