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Ellipsis

(1,978 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Definition Ellipsis is “a discourse phenomenon, in the sense that the interpretation of the missing constituent sometimes depends on something said in an earlier sentence – possibly even by another speaker” (Sag and Wasaw 1999:313). For example, in (1) the sentential subject of the embedded clause, inni aftaḥ il-bāb ‘that I open the door’, is e…
Date: 2018-10-01

Pragmatics

(3,996 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Pragmatics, in its broadest sense, is “the study of action deliberately undertaken with the intention of causing the intended interpreter to re-assess his model of how things are, including his system of values and his model of the speaker's beliefs, attitudes, and intentions” (Green 1996:5). Pragmatics, according to this definition, encompass…
Date: 2019-05-11

Performatives

(1,985 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Performatives are utterances that are unambiguous with regard to their illocutionary force (Austin 1962, 1979). For example, the performative utterance I hereby promise that I will come at noon can only be interpreted as a promise, whereas the nonperformative statement I will come at noon can be intended and/or interpreted as a promise, a threat, a prediction, or a warning, among other possible illocutionary forces. A performative utterance is issued …
Date: 2018-04-01

Nominalization

(2,965 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Event nominals, also known as verbal nouns, derived nominals, and action nominalizations, are nouns that refer to events, e.g. suqūṭ ‘falling’, wuṣūl ‘ar…
Date: 2019-03-26

Relative Clause

(5,408 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
1. Subordination and relative clauses Subordination is a syntactic configuration in which a clause functions as a constituent within the structure of another clause either as an argument (subject or complement) or as a modifier. What distinguishes subordinate clauses from independent (or main) clauses is that the former cannot be used in isolation. For example, the subordinate purpose clause li-yaktuba ‘for him to write’ and ʾan yaktubū ‘that they write’ cannot be used as independent sentences. Even a subordinate relative clause with no relative pronoun cannot be used independ…
Date: 2020-08-01