Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Number
(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 07 December 2019 <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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