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ʿĀʾid

(1,207 words)

Author(s): Yishai Peled
When dealing with anaphoric reference, the Medieval Arab grammarians normally use the verb ʿāda ( yaʿūdu ʾilā ‘referring to’). The term ʿāʾid (occasionally rābiṭ, rājiʿ) is typically used to denote the resumptive pronoun in either a clausal predicate ( jumla xabar) or a relative clause ( jumla ṣila/ṣifa). The underlying principle in both cases is that the basic form of the predicate and the attribute is a phrase referring back to the mubtadaʾ (the subject in a non-VS sentence, sometimes translated as ‘topic’, a pragmatic term that does not cover all instances of mubtadaʾ) or head ( manʿūt) …
Date: 2018-04-01

Cataphora

(1,019 words)

Author(s): Yishai Peled
The term ‘cataphora’ designates anticipatory pronouns and other forward-referring proforms. In this entry, however, the focus is on cataphoric pronouns occurring prior to the nominals they refer to, as opposed to anaphoric pronouns referring back to their antecedents. Compared to European languages, the use of cataphora in Arabic, especially in written Arabic, appears to be uncommon if not rare. Yet, in modern written Arabic, highly influenced as it is by such languages as English and French, ca…
Date: 2018-04-01

Xabar

(2,567 words)

Author(s): Yishai Peled
1. The grammarians' usage of the term xabar The term xabar, like many other medieval grammatical terms, developed out of the literal meaning of the word, which is ‘message’, ‘story’, etc. The verb ʾaxbara means ‘to relate something (new) about something’. Right from the early stages of the medieval Arab grammatical tradition, the term xabar and its derivatives have been used in the sense of ‘ predicate’, cutting across the two sentence types jumla ismiyya and jumla fiʿliyya. One often finds the grammarians using xabar in the sense of ‘predicate’, whether to a mubtadaʾ (ibtidāʾ) or to a …
Date: 2018-04-01

Ḍamīr

(3,161 words)

Author(s): Yishai Peled
In Medieval Arabic grammatical literature, the concept of ḍamīr ‘pronoun’ (pl. ḍamāʾir) constitutes a subcategory of kināya ‘proform’. The term kināya refers to a nominal substitute realized either as a vague noun such as fulān ‘so-and-so’, kayta wa-kayta ‘such and such’ and kaḏā wa-kaḏā ‘so-and-so many’, or otherwise as a pronoun. Kināya is thus a device used for the sake of vagueness or economy. The ḍamīr, as a special case of kināya, is used as a short version of the noun and often serves for disambiguation. Ibn Yaʿīš ( Šarh III, 84) explains that, whereas in zaydun faʿala zaydun ‘Zayd, Z…
Date: 2018-04-01