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Beirut Arabic

(6,186 words)

Author(s): Samia Naïm
1. General Remarks Beirut has a population of 1,500,000 people. The country's oldest urban communities are the Sunnis and Greek-Orthodox. Successive waves of migration brought Maronites, Shiʿis, Druzes, Greek-Catholic, Syriacs, as well as Syrians, Palestinians, Kurds, Armenians, and others. Colloquial Arabic is the means of communication, par excellence. To varying degrees, the population is bilingual: French or English is taught at the primary school level. It is mostly among the upper classes that foreign languages are used, often alternating with A…
Date: 2018-04-01

Possession

(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