Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(4,767 words)

In Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs are morphologically marked for number. Three categories of number are recognized by both medieval and modern grammarians: singular (mufrad), dual (mut̲annā), and plural (jamʿ). The singular in general refers to a single item in a class, the dual to two items of a class, the plural to three or more. An important exception to this generalization is that for a small set of nouns, termed ‘collectives’, the unmarked singular form refers to a collection or group, and a singulative (ism al-waḥda lit. ‘noun of the…

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Robert R. Ratcliffe, “Number”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 19 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_vol3_0237>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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