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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Sociolinguistics of Palestinian Arabic

(7,053 words)

Author(s): Uri Horesh | William Cotter
1. Introduction The aim of this lemma is partly to highlight various studies done over the years analyzing the high degree of linguistic variability in Palestinian Arabic. More than that, though, there is a sense that the linguistic situation, and indeed sociolinguistic complexity in Palestine more generally, are emblematic of the history of region and the speech community described in these studies. This is a community that has known, in the few decades since the commencement of scholarly socioli…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,973 words)

Author(s): Andrzej Zaborski
Arabic and the Somali language are related, though distantly, because Arabic belongs to the Semitic branch and Somali to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic/Hamito-Semitic family. This does not mean that the Somalis are Arabs, and as a matter of fact the membership of Somalia in the League of Arab States is based on a political decision rather than on linguistic relationship. The contacts between Arabic and Somali are as old as the cultural contacts that culminated in the Islamization of the…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,629 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Haji Mukhtar
1. Land and people On February 14, 1974, Somalia joined the League of Arab States and made Arabic an official language of the country. In doing so, Somalia became the first Arab League country to use a second official language along with Arabic. Somali, which had become the official language in 1973, was based on the spoken form, Af-Mahaa, of the northern and central regions of the Somali peninsula. A Roman-based script had been introduced by the state in 1972. After the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, speakers of other Somali languages introduce…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,734 words)

Author(s): Sergio Baldi
1. The Songhay Empire and Islam Songhay is spoken by about 700,000 people in Mali, Niger, Upper Volta, Dahomey, and Nigeria and is the westernmost subgroup of Nilo-Saharan. Its dialects or closely related languages are Dendi (in Dahomey) and Dyerma (Zarma, especially in Niger), and the intercomprehension does not seem total. Songhay was considered an isolated linguistic group until Greenberg classified it as one of the six branches of the Nilo-Saharan family (Tersis 1972:17–18). It is a language relatively little described but on whi…
Date: 2018-04-01


(6 words)

see South Arabian, Modern
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Kurdish
Date: 2018-04-01

Sound Symbolism

(5,824 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
1. Definition of sound symbolism In the introduction to their standard work on sound symbolism, Hinton a.o. (1994b) distinguish four types of sound symbolism, which they define as “the direct linkage between sound and meaning” (1994b:1): i.Corporeal sound symbolism: “the use of certain sounds or intonation patterns to express the internal state of the speaker, emotional or physical” (Hinton a.o. 1994b:2); ii.Imitative sound symbolism: “the use of onomatopoeic words and phrases representing environmental sounds” (Hinton a.o. 1994b:3), e.g. sounds of animal…
Date: 2018-04-01

South Africa

(2,263 words)

Author(s): Iris Hoedemakers
At the end of the 15th century, European seafaring nations established contact with southern Africa. The first to arrive were the Portuguese, but in the 17th century the Dutch established a monopoly on trade in this region when Jan van Riebeeck founded the Cape Colony in 1652. The first Muslims arrived almost simultaneously with the Dutch, because the Dutch East Indies Company (V.O.C.) started to use the colony as an exile place for slaves and political prisoners from the Dutch East Indies and I…
Date: 2018-04-01

South Arabian Loanwords

(1,467 words)

Author(s): Martin R. Zammit
Pre-Islamic Arabia was far from immune from cultural and linguistic influences exerted by two prestigious cultural centers, namely the Fertile Crescent in the north and the Yemen in the south (Beeston 1981:180). The material civilization of the Yemenite kingdoms of Sabaʾ, Maʿīn, Qaṭabān, and Ḥaḍramawt, renowned for their achievements in agriculture, administration, architecture, and commerce, undoubtedly attracted the Arabs' attention. Robin (1991–1993:72, 77) reports that, as early as the 6th c…
Date: 2018-04-01

South Arabian, Modern

(2,635 words)

Author(s): Antoine Lonnet
The Modern South Arabian languages (Johnstone 1977, 1981, 1987; Leslau 1938, Lonnet 1994), which are still spoken, constitute the substratum for Arabic in the southern part of the Peninsula, as they did for Ancient South Arabian. Their relationship with Arabic has not always been the same, depending on historical circumstances, and in particular it is noteworthy that mere occasional contacts with rival Arabic tribes did not produce the same linguistic result as the inexorable increase in the cultural weight of the language of Islam. The Modern South Arabian language family was …
Date: 2018-04-01

South Semitic Languages

(10,109 words)

Author(s): Anna Gr. Belova
1. Extralinguistic situation In this discussion of the relationship between Arabic and the South Semitic languages, Arabic is represented by its two forms: (i) the literary written form, Classical Arabic, and its somewhat modified modern variant, Modern Standard Arabic; and (ii) the spoken form, called Neo-Arabic, represented by a large number of local and social dialects and ‘intermediate’ interregional forms of spoken koine (usually called Middle Arabic). The modern Arabic dialects, which are spread over v…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,605 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
1. Specificity in linguistic theory Specificity has been used by linguists in several theoretical traditions to describe a property of noun phrase interpretation. It is most often used in describing the interpretation of indefinite noun phrases, which is the focus of this entry. The term has been used inconsistently and with little precision to describe a number of related but logically distinct notions. An extensive literature in the generative-compositional semantic tradition is devoted to unpacking these different notions, using a var…
Date: 2018-04-01


(5 words)

see X-Bar Syntax
Date: 2018-04-01

Speech Accommodation

(5,403 words)

Author(s): Sonia Shi'ri
What kind of language do speakers of Arabic from geographically remote parts of the Arab world use when they meet? Which language do Moroccans use, for instance, when communicating with Egyptians, and why? These are commonly asked questions posed by non-Arabic speakers upon realizing how linguistically diverse the varieties of Arabic (or ‘dialects’) are. With the tremendous amount of linguistic variation not only across borders in the Arab world but also within the boundaries of the same country…
Date: 2018-04-01

Speech Acts

(4,651 words)

Author(s): Daniela Rodica Firanescu
1. Speech act theory and modern pragmatics Verbal communication as a form of human action has preoccupied European linguists, more conspicuously since the 19th century (Wilhelm von Humboldt, Karl Bühler, Roman Jakobson, and others), but the first elaborate theory of speech acts appeared only in the second half of the 20th century with the work of the English philosopher J.L. Austin, in a series of lectures that were included in the well-known work How to do things with words (1962). Reflecting on ‘enunciation’ as an essential process in verbal communication, Austin drew a…
Date: 2018-04-01

Speech Errors

(2,577 words)

Author(s): Stefan A. Frisch
A speech error is an unintended deviation from the intended utterance. Speech errors can involve units from articulatory gestures of individual phonemes to entire phrases (slips of the tongue). 1. General introduction to speech errors The easy and automatic production of speech makes the cognitive processes that are involved in speech production difficult to detect. The study of mistakes in speech production provides a window through which to view the mental organization of language and the processes that are used to turn languag…
Date: 2018-04-01

Speech Processing

(7 words)

see Automatic Language Processing
Date: 2018-04-01


(5 words)

see Phonological Split
Date: 2018-04-01

S (ṣawt - second language acquisition)

(1,710 words)

ṣawt Ḥarf, Ism, Ism al-fiʿl, Kalām, Majhūra/Mahmūsa, Phonological Merger, Sound Symbolism ṣawt murakkab Diphthongs ṣawtī, harf Ḥaraka Sawyer, John F.A. Religion and Language Saxāwī, as- Nisba Saxon genitive Linguistics and Arabic, Minimalism Ṣaxr, Bani Bedouin Arabic šaxṣ Ism, Parts of Speech šaxṣi Mawḍūʿ šayʾ ʾAṣl, Interrogative Pronoun, Tanwīn Sayah, Mansour Language Policies and Language Planning Šaybānī, ʾAbū ʿAmr aš- Faṣīḥ, ʾInšāʾ, Lexicography: Bilingual Dictionaries, Lexicography: Classical Arabic, Pre-Islamic Arabic Ṣaydāwī, aṣ- Script and Art Sayf Chad Arabic Sa…
Date: 2018-04-01

S (second language learning - ṣifāt Allāh)

(1,881 words)

second language learning Cohesion, Dialect Koine, Grounding, Pidginization, Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Acquisition, Substrate second language learning, massive Substrate second language teaching Contrastive Grammar, Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Teaching secondary focus Tense secondary meaning Tense secret language Secret Languages sectarian dialect → communal dialect secularization Culture and Language, Diglossia, Indonesia, Religion and Language, Turkey secularization of grammar Language Policies and Language Planning seden…
Date: 2018-04-01
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