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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Poetic Koine

(2,018 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
The term ‘poetic koine’ (also ‘poetico-Qurʾānic koine’) refers to a supratribal variety of Arabic which, according to some scholars, was the variety of Arabic used in pre-Islamic poetry. The linguistic situation in the pre-Islamic period is a controversial topic (history of Arabic). Opinions about this situation may be divided into two main theories. According to one theory, which was also that of the Arabic grammarians, the language of the Arab tribes in the pre-Islamic period was basically hom…
Date: 2018-04-01

Poetic License

(3,712 words)

Author(s): Geert Jan van Gelder
In a general sense, ‘poetic license’ is the freedom customarily given to poets to deviate from the normal rules of grammar, diction, or subject matter that are valid for prose, or even to depart from commonly accepted historical or scientific truth. Here, poetic license will be restricted to violations of the linguistic rules in the fields of morphology or syntax; other liberties of poets, such as being able to use far-fetched metaphors and imagery, to contradict themselves, to declare their lov…
Date: 2018-04-01

Poetry, Language of

(15 words)

see Meter ; Poetic License ; Rhyme ; Rajaz ; Šiʿr
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,734 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
The term ‘polarity’ is used for different meanings in linguistics. In connection with the Arabic system of numerals, for example, it is used for gender polarity in the agreement between numerals and counted nouns. In the present entry, it is used for the contrast between negative and positive expressions in a language, whether these are syntactic or morphological. Negative polarity is a property of sentences modified with negative or downward monotonic operators. Negative-polarity items are expr…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,929 words)

Author(s): Avihai Shivtiel
Politeness is a norm of social behavior that is expressed directly or indirectly by gestures or usage of common or personal expressions, either orally or in writing, showing endearment, respect, veneration; appreciation, esteem; awe; flattery; sycophancy or affection. Politeness may also indicate reservation or dissatisfaction in a way which does not bluntly offend or irritate another person (Brown and Levinson 1987). Thus, direct expression of politeness is the use of the words ‘thank you’ to i…
Date: 2018-04-01

Political Discourse and Language

(5,360 words)

Author(s): Nathalie Mazraani
This entry on Arabic and political discourse looks at language variation from a sociolinguistic perspective, together with aspects of rhetoric. It presents a number of factors that characterize Arabic political speeches, including contextual factors, register, code-switching, and discourse strategies, to show how language forms relate to language functions. Such factors are illustrated through selected examples of linguistic combinatorial rules (within and between dialects) that accompany language levels, and through examples of rhetorical tactics. 1. Contextual fact…
Date: 2018-04-01

Polygenesis in the Arabic Dialects

(3,279 words)

Author(s): Ahmad Al-Jallad
  1. Introduction In an idealized Stammbaum Model, each language descends linearly from a single ancestor. Historical linguists argue that a process of general drift will cause a language to experience changes to all levels of its grammar over time. If Xa signifies the language of a single speech community, it will develop over time to Xb, then Xc, where Xc is simply a later, changed form of Xa. Monogenesis:                                      Xa → Xb → Xc If the original speech community (Xa) becomes fragmented, each fragment is then able to change independently of the ot…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,027 words)

Author(s): Samia Naïm
Most of the modern dialects make use of two types of constructions, commonly referred to as synthetic vs. analytic, or direct vs. indirect, to encode relations of possession. The synthetic manner includes the processes of suffixation and juxtaposition ( status constructus) following the word order Possessed – Possessor (y – x). The analytic method makes use of a possession exponent (exp). These different methods are bound by semantic constraints, mostly according to the notion of possession expressed, for example, alienable, inalienable, and…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (Philippi’s Law - PP)

(1,667 words)

Philippi’s Law Andalusi Arabic Philippus Arabs Syria philosophy, Greek Majāz, Mawḍūʿ Phoenician Berber Loanwords, Dialect Literature, Energicus, Ethnicity and Language,
Date: 2018-04-01

P (PP-fronting - pseudoimpersonal construction)

(2,034 words)

PP-fronting Clitic praedicatum Maḥmūl pragmatic activation Word Order pragmatic axiom Ellipsis Pragmatic Highlighting Principle Functional Grammar pragmaticalization Connectives pragmaticization Grammaticalization pragmatics Coherence, Pragmatics…
Date: 2018-04-01

P (pseudoliterary feature - Puthi)

(169 words)

pseudoliterary fe…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,996 words)

Author(s): Mustafa Mughazy
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,277 words)

Author(s): Frederick Hoyt
1. Introduction …
Date: 2018-04-01

Pre-Islamic Arabic

(7,307 words)

Author(s): Mohamed El-Sharkawy
1. The sources for pre-Islamic Arabic …
Date: 2018-04-01

Prepositional Clause

(6 words)

see Mafʿūl fīhi
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,142 words)

Author(s): Stephan Procházka
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,597 words)

Author(s): Geoffrey Khan
The term ‘presentative’ is used here to refer to a variety of constructions containing particles that have the function of drawing the attention of the hearer/reader. The particles draw attention either to a referent or to a proposition expressed by a clause. In Classical Arabic, this function is performed by demonstrative particles and
Date: 2018-04-01


(4,414 words)

Author(s): Mushira Eid
The term ‘pro-drop’ has been used since the early 1970s to refer to languages that do not require pronouns or nouns to appear in subject position, i.e., the subject is ‘understood’ but not lexically expressed. A significant majority of the world's languages, approximately 61 percent of the 674 languages sampled in Dryer (2005), are of this type. When first introduced (Perlmutter 1971, 1972), pro-drop was proposed as a ‘free deletion’ rule (cf. Pronoun Deletion in Hankamer 1972) that applies in t…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,246 words)

Author(s): Ahmed-Sokarno Abdel-Hafiz
  1. Introduction Pronominalization is a term that is used in different contexts (Crystal 2003:376). In traditional transformational grammar, pronominalization is a rule replacing lexical items with a pronoun, whereas later approaches analyzed the pronouns as bei…
Date: 2018-04-01

Proper Names

(4,923 words)

Author(s): Franz-Christoph Muth
Arabic proper or personal names ( ism, pl. ʾasmāʾ, ʿalam; or ism ʿalam, pl. ʾasmāʾ ʾaʿlām) (Wright 1896:I, 107B), known from many sources and particula…
Date: 2018-04-01

Prosodic Template

(9 words)

see Obligatory Contour Principle ; Morphology
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,141 words)

Author(s): Thami Benkirane
Date: 2018-04-01

Prothetic Vowel

(1,090 words)

Author(s): Munther A. Younes
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,835 words)

Author(s): Jonathan Owens
  Introduction …
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,784 words)

Author(s): Avihai Shivtiel
1. General observation …
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,899 words)

Author(s): Robbert Woltering
  Definition ‘Pseudo-Arabic’ is the preferred term to describe the use of Arabic lettering in which the author or artist does not intend to compose meaningful words or phrases (Mack 2001: 51). ‘Pseudo-Kufic’ or ‘Kufesque’ are other terms that have been applied to the same phenomenon, particularly (though unfortunately not exclusively) in those cases where the Arabic in question recalls the so-called Kufic calligraphic style. Pseudo-Arabic includes the imitation of Arabic letters by those not familiar with Arabic script, often leading to inscriptions in which only fragments can be recognized as letters. The phenomenon is often occasioned by the esthetic appreciation of the Arabic script and hence, its perceived suitability for decorative application. De Longpérier (1846) was the first to call attention to this phenomenon. He argued that the adoption of Arabic calligraphy in Medieval Europe as a means of decoration was followed by its evolution into increasingly stylized, and therefore ever less legible, pseudo-Arabic ornament. Christie (1922) and Erdmann (1953) followed in this vein. The gradual nature of this development make…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Hypercorrection
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,048 words)

Author(s): Kerstin Eksell
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,112 words)

Author(s): Bernard Comrie
In all varieties of Arabic, there is in general a clear distinction between verbs and other parts of speech. Morphologically, only verbs have an opposition between perfect and imperfect, with subject-verb agreement in person-gender-number shown by means of suffixes in the perfect and a combination of prefixes and suffixes in the imperfect. Even when a verb lacks certain forms, as when Classical/Modern Standard Arabic laysa has no imperfect forms (defective verb), the existing forms can be readily assigned to a position in the verbal paradigm…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,386 words)

Author(s): Siamak Rezaei
Punctuation ( tarqīm) is an important and cohesive device in written texts. Writers use punctuation to separate groups of words for meaning and emphasis; to signal the beginning or end of sentences, phrases or clauses; and to help avoid contextual…
Date: 2018-04-01
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