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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(3,783 words)

Author(s): Sven-Olof Dahlgren
1. Introduction ‘Topicalization’ refers to the placing of a constituent in a place other than its default, or normal, position in order to mark it as the theme or topic of the sentence. In VSO and SVO languages, it means fronting or moving toward the front, according to the principle ‘old information precedes new information’. In the Chomskyan tradition, topicalization is regarded as a transformation from an underlying deep structure, which results in a surface structure with a topicalized constituent. Many contemporary theories today do not posit any u…
Date: 2018-04-01

Topic and Comment

(4,400 words)

Author(s): James Dickins
1. Definition of terms The topic of an utterance/sentence is defined here as that element which expresses information that is currently in the addressee's mind, or that is more generally expected to be known by the addressee, or that is relatively predictable as a whole, or that contains significantly predictable aspects, or that is presented by the speaker/writer as if it is known or predictable. ‘Comment’ is the converse of topic (i.e., it is that element of the utterance/sentence which conveys inf…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4,777 words)

Author(s): Stefan Wild
1. Introduction Toponyms start out as meaningful nouns or combinations of nouns, and some may conserve that meaning in spite of what becomes their primarily identifying and nondescriptive function. But often they become, in analogy to proper names, pure ‘meaningless marks’. Others acquire in the course of their linguistic history a meaning that they did not have before (popular etymology). Toponyms share two contradictory qualities. They often conserve ancient linguistic stages because these names…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,815 words)

Author(s): Philipp Reichmuth
Transcription is usually defined as “the operation of representing the elements of a language, either sounds or signs, however they may be written originally, in any other system of either sounds or signs” (Wellisch 1975). As opposed to transliteration, the operation of representing the graphemic units of a language's writing system using another writing system, most transcription systems for Arabic attempt to represent the Arabic original more or less phonetically, including unwritten vowels, and reducing archaic orthographic forms such as عمرو ʿAmr to their phonetic value. Two …
Date: 2018-04-01


(602 words)

Author(s): Eid, Mushira | Elgibali, Alaa | Versteegh, Kees | Woidich, Manfred | Zaborski, Andrzej
Transcription is always a problem, especially in the case of an encyclopedia that brings together data from Standard Arabic and dialects. The transcription follows in the main the one adopted by Fischer and Jastrow in the Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte (1980:11–14), but with some adaptations. The editors have decided to use ḏ̣ (not ) throughout, except in proper names (thus ḏ̣uhr, but Ibn Manẓūr). In the transcription of Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, the following rules have been followed: – hamza at the beginning of the word is always transcribed –the article is tra…
Date: 2018-04-01

Transformational Grammar

(4,675 words)

Author(s): Ferid Chekili
1. Introduction There are a number of areas where Arabic, in both its Standard varieties and its modern dialects, can provide important insights into (and ultimately contribute to the search for an adequate) linguistic theory (cf. Eid 1987; Comrie 1991). Conversely, although the study of Arabic has a long tradition (cf. Bakir 1980:1ff.), and it is possible at times to find similarities between Transformational Grammar and Arabic grammarians' analyses (see below), modern linguistic theory allows for even more insightful and rigorous analyses of Arabic. 2. A survey of Transformat…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,791 words)

Author(s): Janet Watson
1. Basic definition of transitivity Transitivity is defined narrowly as a state of direct dependence of a nominal phrase (i.e. noun or noun phrase) on a verbal element (i.e. verb or verblike element). A transitive clause involves a minimum of two participants – a subject (prototypically an agent) and an object (prototypically an affected entity), contrasting with an intransitive clause that involves a single participant subject (prototypically an agent or experiencer). Transitivity is considered here in respect of Standard Arabic and modern Arabic dialects. In Stan…
Date: 2018-04-01

Transitivity: Object

(3,868 words)

Author(s): Usama Soltan
The transitivity of a verb refers to whether or not it requires an object, where ‘object’ is taken here to represent a grammatical function in the sentence, in the same way ‘subject’ does. Note that transitivity is not the same as valency, even though the two terms are related. Transitivity is concerned with the relation between a verb and its object(s) only, whereas valency refers to the range of dependents that a verb may take, including its subject (see Payne 1997; Whaley 1997). While there i…
Date: 2018-04-01

Translation Literature

(4,116 words)

Author(s): Uwe Vagelpohl
This entry describes some of the linguistic features of the language of 8th-10th-century Greek/Arabic and Syriac/Arabic translations, links them to the history of the translation movement from Greek into Arabic, and attempts to place them in the context of contemporary linguistic change from ‘Classical Arabic’ to ‘Middle Arabic’. 1. The Greek/Arabic translation movement The term ‘Greek/Arabic translation movement’ describes a wave of translations of Greek scientific and philosophical texts either directly into Arabic or by way of Syriac. Unsystematic translation activiti…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Transcription
Date: 2018-04-01

Tripoli Arabic

(5,807 words)

Author(s): Christophe Pereira
1. General Tripoli, the Mediterranean port and de facto capital of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, is located in northwestern Libya, around 100 km from the Tunisian border. With a population of 1.7 million, it is the country's most populous city. Vernacular Arabic is the spoken mother tongue of its inhabitants. This dialect, like others in the Maghrebi group, is characterized by the prefix n- for the 1st person singular and the prefix n- with the suffix -u for the 1st person plural of the imperfect of the verb; this difference in 1st person verbal form…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Diptosis
Date: 2018-04-01


(10 words)

see Biradicalism ; Lexicon: Matrix and Etymon Model
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,985 words)

Author(s): Lutz Edzard
  1. Definition The term ‘truncation’ can be understood generally as referring to a process of word shortening which is phonologically predictable. Morphological processes of clipping and acronymy also belong to this category. The former process derives a shorter form from a simple lexeme, while the latter derives forms consisting of the first letters of a compound lexeme (cf. Kreidler 2000:956ff.). In the context of Arabic linguistics, the term ‘truncation’ makes sense as an umbrella term for vari…
Date: 2018-04-01

T (Tabrīzī, Mīrzā Jaʿfar - teaching of Arabic in Jordan)

(1,620 words)

Tabrīzī, Mīrzā Jaʿfar Nastaʿlīq tabsīṭ ʿArabiyya, Culture and Language Tābūk Northwest Arabian Arabic, Northwest Arabian Arabic tabyīn Tamyīz Tachelhit → Berber, Tachelhit taḍāfur al-qarāʾin Qurʾān taḍāmm Qurʾān, Qurʾān taḍammun Majāz tadāwul Coherence tadāxul al-luġāt Muštarak, Semantic Extension taḍʿīf Causative, Pausal Forms, Verb taʿḏ̣īm Ḍamīr, Speech Acts taʿdiya Causative, Taʿaddin, Verb Tadjoura Djibouti/Eritrea taḏkīr Luġa, 651, Tanwīn taḍmīn Ḍidd, Poetic Koine Taeschner, Traute Child Bilingualism Taez → Taʿizz tafaʿʿala Middle Verbs tafāʿul Ḍidd tafḍīl ʿAma…
Date: 2018-04-01

T (tāʾ - Tabrīzī, Mīr ʿAlī)

(247 words)

tāʾ Berber Loanwords, Dialects: Classification, Juba Arabic, Ki-Nubi, Maltese, Moroccan Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Morocco tāʾ at-taʾnīṯ Gender, Kalām tāʾ at-taṯniya Ḥarf tāʾ maftūḥa India tāʾ marbūṭa Analogy, Arabic Alphabet for Other Languages, Arabic Alphabet for Other Languages, Arabic Alphabet: Origin, Christian Middle Arabic, Coptic, Declension, Dialects: Classification, Diminutive, Diptosis, Gender, India, Indonesian/Malay, Jerusalem Arabic, Judaeo-Arabic, Kinship Terms, Kurdish, Linguistics and Arabic, Luġa, Maġr…
Date: 2018-04-01

T (teaching of Arabic in Mali - tonic accent)

(1,691 words)

teaching of Arabic in Mali Mali teaching of Arabic in Malta Malta teaching of Arabic in Nigeria Nigeria, Nigeria teaching of Arabic in North America North America teaching of Arabic in Pakistan Pakistan, Pakistan teaching of Arabic in Senegal Sentence teaching of Arabic in Somalia Somalia teaching of Arabic in the Ottoman empire Ottoman Empire teaching of Arabic in the United States North America teaching of Arabic in Turkey Turkey, Turkey teaching of Berber Ethnicity and Language teaching of English Educated Arabic, English Loanwords, Gypsy Arabic, Language Policies and…
Date: 2018-04-01

T (Tonk - Tyre Arabic)

(1,706 words)

Tonk India Topaloğlu, Ahmed Ottoman Empire Toparlı, Recep Turkish topic Agreement, Aktionsart, ʿAmal, ʿAmal, Argument, Case Theory, Cataphora, Cohesion, Collocation, Contrastive Grammar, Contrastive Grammar, Copula, Ḍamīr, Discourse Analysis, Focus, Fronting, Functional Grammar, Functional Grammar, Ibtidāʾ, ʾIlġāʾ, Implicational Scale, ʾInna wa-ʾaxawātuhā, Ism al-fiʿl, ʾIsnād, Jumla, Mafʿūl, Minimalism, Nisba, Nominal Clauses, Nominal Clauses, Passive, Passive (Syntax), Predicate, Specificity, Subject, S…
Date: 2018-04-01

T̲ulut̲ ̲

(2,004 words)

Author(s): Adam Gacek
Although the t̲ulut̲ ‘one-third’ script appears in some early classical texts, not much is known about this ancient script, except that one of its main features, in its smaller version, was the roundness of its letters. Ibn an-Nadīm (d. 380/990), for example, reports that the large t̲ulut̲ ( at̲-t̲ulut̲ al-kabīr at̲-t̲aqīl) was ‘invented’ by Quṭba (d. 154/771) as one of the four leading scripts, the others being jalīl, ṭūmār al-kabīr, and niṣf at̲-t̲aqīl. The smaller ( xafīf) version apparently developed from a small and round script called al-mudawwar aṣ-ṣaġīr, which was used for …
Date: 2018-04-01

Tunis Arabic

(5,390 words)

Author(s): Maik Gibson
1. General The Arabic spoken in Tunis is by nature something of a contact variety, given the vast population influx from all over Tunisia during the 20th century. What is described here is the Muslim variety spoken by the majority of those who now live in Tunis, a koineized variety, which Singer (1984:28) describes as the “allgemeine stadttunisische Koiné” (general koine of the town of Tunis), rather than the somewhat similar traditional dialect of the long-established dwellers of the medina (now mainly living in the quartiers nords), often referred to as baldi, a variety whose very e…
Date: 2018-04-01
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