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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Poetic Koine

(2,018 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
The term ‘poetic koine’ (also ‘poetico-Qurʾānic koine’) refers to a supratribal variety of Arabic which, according to some scholars, was the variety of Arabic used in pre-Islamic poetry. The linguistic situation in the pre-Islamic period is a controversial topic (history of Arabic). Opinions about this situation may be divided into two main theories. According to one theory, which was also that of the Arabic grammarians, the language of the Arab tribes in the pre-Islamic period was basically hom…
Date: 2018-04-01

Poetic License

(3,712 words)

Author(s): Geert Jan van Gelder
In a general sense, ‘poetic license’ is the freedom customarily given to poets to deviate from the normal rules of grammar, diction, or subject matter that are valid for prose, or even to depart from commonly accepted historical or scientific truth. Here, poetic license will be restricted to violations of the linguistic rules in the fields of morphology or syntax; other liberties of poets, such as being able to use far-fetched metaphors and imagery, to contradict themselves, to declare their lov…
Date: 2018-04-01

Poetry, Language of

(15 words)

see Meter ; Poetic License ; Rhyme ; Rajaz ; Šiʿr
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,733 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
The term ‘polarity’ is used for different meanings in linguistics. In connection with the Arabic system of numerals, for example, it is used for gender polarity in the agreement between numerals and counted nouns. In the present entry, it is used for the contrast between negative and positive expressions in a language, whether these are syntactic or morphological. Negative polarity is a property of sentences modified with negative or downward monotonic operators. Negative-polarity items are expr…
Date: 2019-05-11


(3,929 words)

Author(s): Avihai Shivtiel
Politeness is a norm of social behavior that is expressed directly or indirectly by gestures or usage of common or personal expressions, either orally or in writing, showing endearment, respect, veneration; appreciation, esteem; awe; flattery; sycophancy or affection. Politeness may also indicate reservation or dissatisfaction in a way which does not bluntly offend or irritate another person (Brown and Levinson 1987). Thus, direct expression of politeness is the use of the words ‘thank you’ to i…
Date: 2018-04-01

Political Discourse and Language

(5,360 words)

Author(s): Nathalie Mazraani
This entry on Arabic and political discourse looks at language variation from a sociolinguistic perspective, together with aspects of rhetoric. It presents a number of factors that characterize Arabic political speeches, including contextual factors, register, code-switching, and discourse strategies, to show how language forms relate to language functions. Such factors are illustrated through selected examples of linguistic combinatorial rules (within and between dialects) that accompany language levels, and through examples of rhetorical tactics. 1. Contextual fact…
Date: 2018-04-01

Polygenesis in the Arabic Dialects

(3,279 words)

Author(s): Ahmad Al-Jallad
  1. Introduction In an idealized Stammbaum Model, each language descends linearly from a single ancestor. Historical linguists argue that a process of general drift will cause a language to experience changes to all levels of its grammar over time. If Xa signifies the language of a single speech community, it will develop over time to Xb, then Xc, where Xc is simply a later, changed form of Xa. Monogenesis:                                      Xa → Xb → Xc If the original speech community (Xa) becomes fragmented, each fragment is then able to change independently of the ot…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,027 words)

Author(s): Samia Naïm
Most of the modern dialects make use of two types of constructions, commonly referred to as synthetic vs. analytic, or direct vs. indirect, to encode relations of possession. The synthetic manner includes the processes of suffixation and juxtaposition ( status constructus) following the word order Possessed – Possessor (y – x). The analytic method makes use of a possession exponent (exp). These different methods are bound by semantic constraints, mostly according to the notion of possession expressed, for example, alienable, inalienable, and…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (padding device - Philippaki-Warburton, Irene)

(2,170 words)

padding device Media Arabic Padgett, Jaye Epenthesis, Obligatory Contour Principle, Phonotactics, Phonotactics Padilla, Amado M. Child Bilingualism Padova Arabic Studies in Europe Pagliuca, William Grammaticalization Pahlavi Classical Arabic, Greek Loanwords, Ibero-Romance, Iran, Language Contact, Persian, Persian, Persian Loanwords, Tajik, Uzbekistan Arabic Pajas, Petr Computational Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics Pakistan Bangladesh, Bengali, Culture and Language, Gulf States, India, Language Contact, Pakistan Pakistan, Arabic in Language Contact, Pak…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (Philippi’s Law - PP)

(1,667 words)

Philippi’s Law Andalusi Arabic Philippus Arabs Syria philosophy, Greek Majāz, Mawḍūʿ Phoenician Berber Loanwords, Dialect Literature, Energicus, Ethnicity and Language, Etymology, Libya, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Proverb, South Semitic Languages, South Semitic Languages, Toponyms, Tunisia Phoenician past of Lebanon Nationalism and Language Phoenician script Arabic Alphabet: Origin, Arabic Alphabet: Origin, Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic phonaestheme Slang phonatio…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (PP-fronting - pseudoimpersonal construction)

(2,034 words)

PP-fronting Clitic praedicatum Maḥmūl pragmatic activation Word Order pragmatic axiom Ellipsis Pragmatic Highlighting Principle Functional Grammar pragmaticalization Connectives pragmaticization Grammaticalization pragmatics Coherence, Pragmatics Prague Computational Linguistics Prague Arabic Dependency Treebank Computational Linguistics Prague School Computational Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Textlinguistics, Theme/Rheme, Topic and Comment, Topic and Comment, Word Order praise song West Sudanic Arabic Prasse, Karl-Gottfried Etymology Prätor, Sab…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (pseudoliterary feature - Puthi)

(169 words)

pseudoliterary feature Judaeo-Arabic pseudoloan Persian pseudolongitudinal research Language Loss pseudonym Proper Names pseudopreposition Root pseudoverb Argument, Argument, Bedouin Arabic, Damascus Arabic, Defective Verbs, Grammaticalization, Ḥassāniyya Arabic, Jerusalem Arabic, Linguistics and Arabic, Possession, Pseudoverb, Reanalysis, Wādī Ḥaḍramawt Arabic psycholinguistics First Language Acquisition ptōsis Declension public space Language and Gender Publilius Syrus Proverb publishing Culture and Language Puech, Emile Old Arabic (Epigraphic) Pulaar …
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,996 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Pragmatics, in its broadest sense, is “the study of action deliberately undertaken with the intention of causing the intended interpreter to re-assess his model of how things are, including his system of values and his model of the speaker's beliefs, attitudes, and intentions” (Green 1996:5). Pragmatics, according to this definition, encompasses all intentional communicative acts whether verbal or nonverbal. For example, a hand gesture that is characteristic of Egyptians involves holding the fin…
Date: 2019-05-11


(3,275 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
1. Introduction The term ‘ predicate’ (along with the associated terms ‘subject’ and ‘ predication’) has been used for centuries in the Western logical and grammatical traditions to describe the second portion of a bipartite division of a sentence into a subject and as predicate. How predicate and predication are used in contemporary linguistics varies considerably between users and between theoretical frameworks. The parameters of variation include the following: i.The domain of predication: whether predication is defined over sentences, over clauses, or over pr…
Date: 2019-05-11

Pre-Islamic Arabic

(7,307 words)

Author(s): Mohamed El-Sharkawy
1. The sources for pre-Islamic Arabic Pre-Islamic Arabic is the cover term for all varieties of Arabic spoken in the Arabian Peninsula until immediately after the Arab conquests in the 7th century C.E. Scholars disagree about the status of these varieties (Rabin 1955). Three different points of view stand out. Some scholars (Nöldeke 1904, 1910; Fück 1950; Blau 1965; Chejne 1969; Versteegh 1984) assume that the language of pre-Islamic poetry and the Qurʾān was similar, if not identical, to the varieties spoken in the Arabian Peninsula before the emergence of Islam. I…
Date: 2018-04-01

Prepositional Clause

(6 words)

see Mafʿūl fīhi
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,142 words)

Author(s): Stephan Procházka
Prepositions may be defined as function words indicating the relation of a noun or pronoun to other words in the clause. Thus, the study of prepositions includes aspects of morphology and syntax as well as the lexicon itself. This entry classifies the prepositions of Arabic, briefly describes their most important forms, and outlines their usage in Classical, Modern Standard, and modern dialectal Arabic. All prepositions in Arabic, regardless of whether they are classified as ‘primary prepositions’ or ‘secondary prepositions’ (see discussion below), share se…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,597 words)

Author(s): Geoffrey Khan
The term ‘presentative’ is used here to refer to a variety of constructions containing particles that have the function of drawing the attention of the hearer/reader. The particles draw attention either to a referent or to a proposition expressed by a clause. In Classical Arabic, this function is performed by demonstrative particles and ʾiḏā (bi-). When a presentative particle is used to draw attention to a referent, it forms a complete clausal unit, e.g. hāḏā zaydun, ʾiḏā zaydun ‘here is Zayd’. The presentative function of the demonstrative particles should be distinguished…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4,414 words)

Author(s): Mushira Eid
The term ‘pro-drop’ has been used since the early 1970s to refer to languages that do not require pronouns or nouns to appear in subject position, i.e., the subject is ‘understood’ but not lexically expressed. A significant majority of the world's languages, approximately 61 percent of the 674 languages sampled in Dryer (2005), are of this type. When first introduced (Perlmutter 1971, 1972), pro-drop was proposed as a ‘free deletion’ rule (cf. Pronoun Deletion in Hankamer 1972) that applies in t…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,246 words)

Author(s): Ahmed-Sokarno Abdel-Hafiz
  1. Introduction Pronominalization is a term that is used in different contexts (Crystal 2003:376). In traditional transformational grammar, pronominalization is a rule replacing lexical items with a pronoun, whereas later approaches analyzed the pronouns as being generated in the base. In Government and Binding theories, pronominals are a type of noun phrase with special government properties. On pronominalization in Standard and colloquial Arabic in this sense, see, for instance Mohammad (1999). In this entry, the term ‘pronominalization’ is used in a text-lingui…
Date: 2019-05-11
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