Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Interrogative Sentences
(2,725 words)

Interrogative sentences in Classical Arabic are divided into yes/no questions, and questions with an interrogative pronoun or adverb (Reckendorf 1921:31–41; Wright 1964:II, 306–317). Yes/no questions are usually introduced by a question particle ʾa- or hal. In Classical Arabic, ʾa- is the general interrogative particle, but it may be used to express astonishment or indignation: ʾa-jāʾa zayd ‘Zayd didn't come, did he?’. With a negation, a positive answer is often anticipated, e.g. ʾa-lā tarā ʾanna… ‘don't you see that…; surely, you can see that…’; ʾa-lā or ʾallā may also express …

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Moha Ennaji, “Interrogative Sentences”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 20 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_vol2_0053>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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