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(3,031 words)

Author(s): Samia Naïm
1. Synthetic or direct constructions In the process of suffixation, the Possessor (x) is represented by a pronoun suffixed to the Possessed element (y–suf). Suffixation is primarily compatible with so-called inalienable relations. The semantic domains covered by inalienability (+Time-stable and −control) are not the same in all dialects. This is one reason why suffixation appears to be more productive in some dialects than in others, contrary to claims made in the literature. McCarthy and Raffouli (1964), for instance, asser…

Beirut Arabic

(6,303 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…