Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

Get 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.

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(2,104 words)

Author(s): Sven-Olof Dahlgren
1. Definition ‘Focus’ belongs to the field of text-linguistic or discourse-pragmatic phenomena, or more precisely, that of information structure. Although focus is determined on a different level than syntactic relations, such as subject, object, and adverbials, it nevertheless belongs to the gram-mar and syntax of a language. Focus is often defined as the new element in a sentence. According to Bolinger, “It marks the ‘point’ of the sentence where there is the greatest concentration of information, which the hearer would be least likely to …
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Grounding
Date: 2018-04-01

Foreigner Talk

(3,546 words)

Author(s): Mohamed El-Sharkawy
Foreigner Talk is a continuum of formal and discourse modifications used by native speakers in communicating with nonnative speakers/learners (Ellis 1994:247). It is an automatic process triggered by the native speaker's realization that the nonnative speaker's proficiency level is low (Gass and Varonis 1985:149–162). The degree of modification is determined by the level of proficiency of the particular nonnative interlocutor in a certain interactive context (Gass 1997:66). Native speakers' modi…
Date: 2018-04-01

Formulaic Language

(6,115 words)

Author(s): Lutz Edzard
  General Language in various registers, encompassing both prose and poetry, is built on and makes copious use of formulae or formulaic features. It is almost a truism that formulaic phrases in rhetorical speech or textual motives in traditional forms of prose and poetry are indispensable building blocks, comparable, for instance, to motifs in musical composition. In a long soliloquy in Raymond Chandler’s crime novel The little sister, detective Marlowe repeatedly uses the fixed phrase “You’re not human tonight, Marlowe”. Turning to the Middle East, the repetitive stanzas in ġazal p…
Date: 2018-04-01

Formulaic Speech

(6 words)

see Frozen Expression
Date: 2018-04-01

French Loanwords

(3,115 words)

Author(s): Carole Paradis
1. Introduction The literature in Roman alphabet on French loanwords in Arabic is not very voluminous. Noteworthy exceptions are Heath (1989) and Benzakour a.o. (2000), who devote a large part of their work to French loanwords in Moroccan Arabic. Both include a lexicon, the former with phonetic transcriptions. This entry discusses French loanwords only in Moroccan Arabic because it is the Arabic dialect that has been the most documented from the point of view of borrowings, and it is the dialect for which we have a large original corpus. This corpus, which is supervise…
Date: 2018-10-19


(5 words)

see Vowel Fronting
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,364 words)

Author(s): Wafaa Batran
Fronting ( taqdīm) is “an informal term to denote a movement operation by which a word or phrase is moved to the front of some phrase or clause” (Radford 1997:261). The fronting process has been given several terms in the literature, such as ‘topicalization’ and ‘focus’. This entry investigates the syntactic notion ‘fronting’ in Arabic syntax within two frameworks: the Arabic grammatical tradition, represented partly by al-Jurjānī (d. 471/1078), and Chomsky's Minimalist Program. Section 1 deals wi…
Date: 2018-10-19

Frozen Expression

(590 words)

Author(s): Elizabeth M. Bergman
Frozen expressions are also known as ‘set expressions’ or ‘frozen structures’. They are “[a] group of words standing in a fixed association” (Crystal 2001:304–305). Examples of frozen expressions include a number of structures and genres. They may have general applicability, as do phrasal verbs (such as daʿā li- ‘to pray for’ and daʿā ʿalā ‘to curse’) and other collocations, or be restricted to particular events and situations, as are certain courtesy expressions (such as the Levantine yaʿṭīk ilʿāfiya ‘may God give you strength’, said to a person who is working; greeting…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,539 words)

Author(s): Rolf Theil
Fulfulde, a language belonging to the Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo family, is spoken by approximately 20 million people in West Africa, chiefly in the Sahel region. From Maasina (Mali) and eastward, the name of the language is Fulfulde; west of Maasina it is called Pulaar, except in Fuuta Jaloo (Guinea), where it is called Pular. Compare English Fulani (< Hausa Filā̀nī, pl. of Bàfilācḕ ‘Pullo’) and Fula (from a Mande language), French peul (< Wolof pël ‘Pullo’), and German Ful (the root of Fulfulde, Pullo, etc.). Speakers of Fulfulde call themselves Fulɓe (pl. of Pullo); the most co…
Date: 2018-04-01

Functional Grammar

(3,879 words)

Author(s): Ahmed Moutaouakil
1. Overview Functional Grammar as an instantiation of the Functional Paradigm is a pragmatically oriented linguistic theory meant to describe and explain the grammatical organization of natural languages primarily conceptualized as instruments of social interaction. It is commonly opposed to the Formal Paradigm as represented, for example, by Generative Grammar. An excellent account of the theory of Functional Grammar is found in Mackenzie (1995). Functional Grammar was initially proposed by Simon…
Date: 2018-10-20


(9 words)

see Classical Arabic ; Faṣīḥ ; ʿArabiyya
Date: 2018-04-01

Future Particles

(4,169 words)

Author(s): Liesbeth Zack
In Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, the future can be expressed by either the imperfect verb ( muḍāriʿ), which is also used to indicate the present tense, or by prefixing the imperfect with the future markers sa- or sawfa-. In the various Arabic dialects, the future tense can also be expressed in several ways, such as the imperfect verb form (e.g., Northern Sinai aǧīk bukṛah ‘I shall come to you tomorrow’, De Jong 2000: 478), or the active participle (e.g., Cairo Arabic ilmaʾzūn zamānu gayy ‘the maʾzūn will come right away’, Woidich 2006:280). There are some dialects which d…
Date: 2018-04-01