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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

Exclamation

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Daniela Rodica Firanescu
The traditional opinions of Arabic scholars about exclamation ( taʿajjub) in Classical Arabic are found in various discourses, not only in that of the grammarians, in fragments inserted in works belonging to grammar ( naḥw), rhetoric ( balāġa), foundations of grammar ( ʾuṣūl an-naḥw), scholastic theology ( kalām), Qurʾānic exegesis ( tafsīr), etc. We find in fact two ways of speaking about exclamation in the Arabic sciences of the language: i.the first in a limited acceptance of this concept, referring to an evaluative act, i.e. not only an act of admiration, but in general, that of …
Date: 2018-04-01

Modal Verbs

(3,283 words)

Author(s): Daniela Rodica Firanescu
1. Modal verbs in Classical Arabic The modal verbs in Arabic, as in other languages, are those verbs which through their meaning and function are linked to the category of ‘mood’ ( modus vs. dictus; cf. Ducrot and Schaeffer 1972), within a framework of ‘modalization’, borrowed from Aristotelian logic. The presence of a ‘modal’ verb in a sentence changes its content by offering information on the manner in which the speakers relate themselves to the respective content: whether they assume it to be true or false, known, necessary,…
Date: 2018-04-01