Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

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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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(2,050 words)

Author(s): Zouhair Maalej
Valency is a verb-centered phenomenon, consisting in cataloguing the different nominal structures that participate in achieving verb complementation (Spencer 1991:190). Under the influence of the formal paradigm in linguistics, valency is, thus, reduced to a syntactic dimension. In the functional/cognitive paradigm, however, there is a grammatical valency relation when “two or more symbolic structures combine to form a more elaborate expression” (Langacker 1987:277). The result of valency is a “…
Date: 2018-04-01


(6,858 words)

Author(s): Enam Al-Wer
1. Introduction The study of linguistic variation is based on two maxims: i.Variation is an inherent characteristic of every living human language. This means that in every language there is more than one way of saying the same thing, and no individual speaks in exactly the same manner all the time and in all situations. In evolutionary terms, the very fact that variation in human languages has always existed implies that it is somehow conducive to human life. We can at least demonstrate that the ability to…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,200 words)

Author(s): Stuart Davis
Velarization is a secondary articulation that refers to the raising of the tongue body toward the back of the soft palate. Classical Arabic has four velarized phonemes, /ṭ/, /ḍ/, /ṣ/, and /ḏ̣/, all of which are coronal consonants with a primary articulation in the dental-alveolar region of the vocal tract. Sībawayhi uses the term muṭbaq ‘covered’ in his Kitāb to describe the velarized consonants of Arabic (ʾiṭbāq). These consonants are often referred to as pharyngealized. In terms of articulation, a pharyngealized consonant is one made with the root of…
Date: 2018-04-01


(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…
Date: 2018-04-01

Verbal Clause

(4,046 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…
Date: 2020-09-01

Verbal Noun

(3,376 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…
Date: 2020-08-01

Verb Phrase

(4,005 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 langua…
Date: 2020-09-01


(4 words)

see Colloquial
Date: 2018-04-01