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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(2,264 words)

Author(s): Alain Girod
1. Introduction The word ‘elative’, from the Latin elatio, noun of action of the verb efferre ‘to elevate’, refers to a morphosemantic entity and expresses in one word what traditional Arabic grammar expresses in two words, ʾafʿalu at-tafḍīl. ʾAfʿalu indicates, through the conventional f-ʿ-l paradigm of Arabic grammar, the word pattern ( aṣ-ṣīġa ‘pattern, scheme’) and at-tafḍīl ‘superiority’ indicates the intended meaning among all the possible different meanings of this pattern (e.g. the masculine singular pattern of the adjective of color, ʾaswadu ‘black’, or the 1st perso…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,230 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Carter
The two most common terms in the Arabic linguistic tradition for the concept of ‘elision’ are ḥaḏf lit. ‘cutting off, curtailing’ and ʾiḍmār lit. ‘keeping in mind’, but there is a wide range of other expressions for the omission or deletion of linguistic elements in Arabic, and it would be impossible (and indeed undesirable) to equate them strictly with any modern Western terms. Before elision proper can be dealt with, four groups of words will be disposed of, those which (1) are hardly technical in nature, (2) mainl…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,978 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Definition Ellipsis is “a discourse phenomenon, in the sense that the interpretation of the missing constituent sometimes depends on something said in an earlier sentence – possibly even by another speaker” (Sag and Wasaw 1999:313). For example, in (1) the sentential subject of the embedded clause, inni aftaḥ il-bāb ‘that I open the door’, is elided and only the negated predicate remains. The first clause includes an antecedent, which is morphologically, syntactically, and semantically identical to the missing constituent, hence facilitating its interpretation. (1) ḥāwilt in-n…
Date: 2018-10-01


(8 words)

see Velarization ; ʾIṭbāq ; Tafxīm
Date: 2018-04-01


(757 words)

Author(s): David Testen
Clitic elements (clitics) are those which lack an inherent stress and are therefore found attached to an adjacent word. The value of the term ‘enclitic’ varies, some authors employing it to refer specifically to an element which follows the element with which it is accentually linked (and hence as a synonym of what is otherwise known as a ‘postclitic’), while others use ‘enclitic’ more broadly to refer to any accentually dependent element, regardless of the linear relation to its accentual host – in the second sense, ‘enclitic’ may refer to either proclitics or postclitics. Since Arabic …
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,949 words)

Author(s): Tamar Zewi
Energicus/energic/energetic and an-nūn al-muʾakkida/nūn at-tawkīd ( al-xafīfa wa-ṯ-ṯaqīla) in Arabic are parallel names for an optional ending of either single or geminate -n- which is occasionally suffixed to certain Semitic verb conjugations, particles, and prepositions. In Arabic, the energicus appears mostly in Classical Arabic and is found in many Qurʾānic passages (Wright 1896:61, 1898:24; Brockelmann 1908: 554–555, 1913:159; Reckendorf 1921:16; Fleisch 1979:128–132, 140–141; Fischer 2002: 110, 118, 120, 137, 230; Ambros 1989; Zewi 1999:13–63). The Arabic -n(n)- e…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,868 words)

Author(s): Alan Kaye
English may be considered a typical case of a European language indebted to Arabic (often through the intermediary of another language). Many loanwords, direct or indirect, are in the semantic spheres of astronomy (Pei 1967:225 states that 125 out of 183 star names are from Arabic, with 9 more coming from Arabic via Latin), chemistry, agriculture, clothing, commerce, mathematics, military science, the realm of Islam, and so forth. Arabic is well known as an international language, and Islam's holy book, the Qurʾān, has spread from the western part of the Arabian Peninsula al…
Date: 2018-04-01

English Loanwords

(3,927 words)

Author(s): Ahmad Atawneh
  1. English loanwords in Arabic Borrowing is a natural product of language contact between two communities using different languages. It happens in situations of colonization or when one language fills lexical gaps with words available in another language. It may also take place for reasons of prestige and may appear in the form of calques. The degree of borrowing depends on the intensity and length of time of contact (Thomason and Kaufman 1988:65–109, 215–228). In the case of borrowing from English into Arabic it should be remembered that the British …
Date: 2018-04-01