Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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Mafʿūl

(4,367 words)

Author(s): Zeinab Ahmed Taha
1. Definition The word mafʿūl is derived from the Arabic root f-ʿ-l ‘to do, make’ and refers to somethi…

Mafʿūl fīhi

(2,963 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
In early Arabic gr…

Maġribī

(2,350 words)

Author(s): Adam Gacek
Although maġribī is easily identifiable as a group, there is still much research that needs to be done before we can attempt a comprehensive history of its development and its various styles. In a way, the problem here is similar to the situation with the nasx script, the bookhand of the Islamic East ( Mašriq). There are a number of theories as to the origin of the maġribī scripts. The traditional view is given by Ibn Xaldūn (d. 808/1406), who was of the opinion that maġribī scripts developed from ʾandalusī, which eventually (after the collapse of Muslim rule in Spain) supp…

Maḥmūl

(1,761 words)

Author(s): Miklós Maróth
The term maḥmūl ‘ predicate’ is part of Arabic philosophical terminology, equivalent to the Latin praedicatum (Georr 1948:217; Afnan 1969:80–81; Versteegh 1993:24–25). Its meaning in philosophical terminology corresponds to that of xabar in linguistics (Elamrani-Jamal 1983:138–144; Fārābī, Ḥurūf 111.5–7), or ṣifa as opposed to mawṣūf in theological terminology (Wolfson 1976:112–132; Ibn Sīnā, Maqūlāt 18–19). …

Mahmūsa

(4 words)

see Majhūra/Mahmūsa

Maintenance

(6 words)

see Language Shift: Amazigh

Malagasy

(1,618 words)

Author(s): Narivelo Rajaonarimanana
The medieval contacts between Madagascar, called by the Arab geographers Jazīrat al-Qamar (this term later came to designate the Comoros), and the Arabo-Islamic world gave rise to a culture in the southeastern part of the country which preserved several traits of Arab origin, without fully adopting Islam or the Arabic language, even after the reorientation of the maritime relations toward Europe as a result of the Portuguese colonization. Among these traces is the use of Arabic script, adapted to the structure of Malagasy, known as sorabe or arabico-malgache, which was used for re…

Malay

(4 words)

see Indonesian/Malay

Malayalam

(3,835 words)

Author(s): R.E. Asher
1. Historical background Malayalam, a So…

Malaysia

(5,378 words)

Author(s): Peter G. Riddell
This article considers the role of the Arabic language in the area covered broadly by the modern state of Malaysia, from the establishment of Islam in the region up to the early 21st century. Strictly speaking, the term “Malaysia” only applies to the nation established in 1963, consisting of the Federation of Malaya on the Malay Peninsula, Singapore (which withdrew to become an independent state two years later), and the former British colonies of Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo. However, in light of the relevance of b…

Mali

(4,490 words)

Author(s): Dinie Bouwman
After the Islamic conquests and the subsequent spread of the Arabic language to Egypt and North Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries C.E., the language started to play an increasingly important role as a lingua franca in commercial relations with the We…

Maltese

(8,381 words)

Author(s): Manwel Mifsud
1. General The affiliation of Maltese within other Arabic vernaculars is a controversial issue. It is likely that successive waves of impact reached the Maltese shores from different Arab stations and at different points in the island's history (for theories about a Phoenician origin of Maltese, Malta). Most linguists (see, for example, Aquilina 1961, 1979) agree that typologically Maltese fits well into the general characteristics of Maghrebi dialects, including the most distinctive isoglosses such as the n- prefix for t…

Maʿnā

(3,646 words)

Author(s): Djamel Eddine Kouloughli
1. Introduction In a modern Arabic-English dictionary, the term maʿnā is rendered by such words as ‘sense’, ‘ meaning’, and ‘signification’, so that it forms with its conceptual counterpart a semantic pair quite akin to the signifier/signified couple familiar to contemporary linguistics. Yet, a close examination of a number of Arabic texts of different periods in which both these terms show up, separately or together, reveals that it has not always been so, and that it is only in the final stage of a long evolution that the lafḍ/maʿnā couple ended up with its present-day functional…
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