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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(2,462 words)

Author(s): Samira Farwaneh
The clustering of consonants at either or both edges of a syllable, which renders it complex (CCVC or CVCC), is disfavored, if not categorically banned, in many languages. Epenthesis (also called anaptyxis) is one of the repair mechanisms a language may employ to rectify syllabification violations ensuing from undesirable clusters. The surface effect of epenthesis is insertion of a ‘helping’ vowel, to facilitate proper syllabification of all output…
Date: 2018-04-01

Epigraphy (Islamic)

(5,690 words)

Author(s): Sheila S. Blair
Date: 2018-04-01

Equative Clause

(5 words)

see Copula
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Djibouti/Eritrea
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,609 words)

Author(s): Andreas Wetter
  1. Arabic in Ethiopia Since ancient times Arabic has played an important role in the social and literary life of Ethiopia. The geographic proximity between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula has encouraged cultural and linguistic contacts between the two sides of the Red Sea. As a result, the Arabic language has had a considerable influence on the languages and literature of Ethiopia. Until now, though, only a limited amount of the available data has been studied. Although Ethiopia is generally known as a Christian country, it is nevertheless host to a rich Islamic culture with a long history. Consequently, Arabic influence is reflected both on the literary level and in everyday life, as in any other Muslim society. The predominantly Muslim areas of Ethiopia are eastern Ethiopia, with the old city of Harar as its cultural center, most parts of the …
Date: 2018-04-01

Ethiopic Loanwords

(936 words)

Author(s): Stefan Weninger
Ethiopic loanwords in Arabic may derive from Classical Ethiopic, a South Semitic language, attested since the 3rd century C.E., or from related dialects. The question of Ethiopic loanwords in Arabic is complex. Contrary to, for instance, Greek or Persian loanwords, Ethiopic loans are not usually revealed by their phonological and morphological shape, so numerous criteria are necessary to determine whether a given word is an Ethiopic loan in Arabic, or vice versa, or of common Semitic stock. Thes…
Date: 2018-04-01

Ethnicity and Language

(5,902 words)

Author(s): Humphrey T. Davies
Among the various identifying characteristics of ethnic groups, such as ancestry, religion, and territory, language is often considered the most prominent. This entry focuses on the extent to which Arabic itself serves as a unifying identity symbol, and then looks at the significance of language variation for some of the minority ethnic groups within the Arab world. Such groups may relate to language in a variety of ways, and distinctions based on language do not always correlate with those based on other criteria. Before the movement of the Arabs out of Arabia and across the Levan…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,322 words)

Author(s): Václav Blažek
Etymology is a linguistic discipline dating from Ancient Greece. Plato, for instance, devoted his dialogue Kratylos to the explanation of various Greek words. The word etumología ‘the analysis of a word so as to find its origin’ was first used at the end of the 1st century B.C.E. by Strabo (784) and Dionysius Halicarnassensis ( De compositione verborum 16); the verb étumologeō ‘I analyze a word and find its origin’ is used only by Athenaeus (35C), living in the 2nd/3rd century C.E. The compound consists of the base log- known from the names of various scientific disciplines ( lógos ‘word, pr…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,015 words)

Author(s): Mohammed Farghal
1. Definition Euphemism is a lexical resource in language, whereby an offensive or hurtful word/phrase is replaced with one that represents a less direct expression or carries a positive attitude. It is an important vehicle for creating cognitive synonyms in language: the original expression and its euphemistic counterpart come to share denotative meaning but differ in their attitudinal parameter. The two terms zabbāl ‘garbage man’ and ʿāmil naḏ̣āfa ‘a cleanliness worker’, for example, denote the same occupation in Arabic but the second reflects a positive soci…
Date: 2018-04-01


(5,060 words)

Author(s): Jan Jaap de Ruiter
The influx to European countries of (mainly) labor migrants from countries where Arabic is the language of daily communication started in the early 1950s. The present description of the status and development of the varieties of Arabic in Europe is based on studies carried out in the various European countries where Arabic-speaking immigrant groups live. Most relevant studies come from France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Spain. These studies focus on Arabic as it i…
Date: 2018-04-01