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Transitivity

(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

Ṣanʿānī Arabic

(5,338 words)

Author(s): Janet Watson
1. General Ṣanʿānī Arabic is the dialect of the original inhabitants of the Old City of ṣanʿāʾ and its traditional suburbs, al-Bawniyah and al-Qāʿ (Qāʿ al-Yahūd). ṣanʿānī belongs to the Eastern Muslim dialect type, and it is also spoken by Jews who emigrated from ṣanʿāʾ to Israel after 1948. There are approximately one hundred thousand speakers in and around the Old City today, a figure which includes Ṣanʿānīs who left the Old City following the post–1991 Gulf War expansion of Ṣanʿāʾ. The number o…
Date: 2018-04-01

Adverbs

(3,060 words)

Author(s): Janet Watson
Classical Arabic has few words that function solely as adverbs. More often, a word with a basic nominal or adjectival function may be used as an adverbial in certain syntactic contexts. Prepositional phrases typically function as adverbials. The accusative is the fundamental marker of adverbiality in Classical Arabic. (The few exceptions to this rule will be dealt with below in sections 1.1 and 1.2.) This general pattern is most obviously apparent in forms such as dāʾim-an ‘always’ derived from the adjective dāʾim ‘lasting’ or dawām-an ‘permanently’ derived from the noun dawām ‘perma…
Date: 2018-04-01