Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

Get access 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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(3,683 words)

Author(s): Mark S. LeTourneau
Government is a concept in Arabic grammatical theory, both traditional and modern, with a long history. For instance, Wright (1974:3.I.A.3, B.2) discusses functions of the cases under the rubric of verbal and nominal governance. The medieval Arab grammarians designated it by the terms ʾiʿmāl and ʿamal, together with the corollary role assignments ʿāmil ‘governor [operator]’ and maʿmūl ‘governed [operand]’ (Farghal 1986:7; Gaballa 1986:24; Haq 1998:61–63). In both traditions, the word designates the relationship holding between a verb or, secondarily,…
Date: 2018-10-24

Government and Binding

(6 words)

see Binding
Date: 2018-04-01


(4,521 words)

Author(s): Mohssen Esseesy
Grammaticalization (Arabic intiḥāʾ) is commonly defined, in Kuryłowiczian (1965) terms, as a gradual evolutionary process of change whereby contentive lexical units and structures acquire grammatical meanings and functions and less-grammatical forms become more grammatical. The term ‘grammaticalization’, while selected here for its widespread use and without theoretical predilections, has alternatives: ‘grammacization’ (Hopper 1991) and ‘grammatization’ (Matisoff 1991), which stand for divergent theoretical underpinnings. The term ‘ grammaticalization’ is Fren…
Date: 2018-04-01

Grammatical Tradition: Approach

(5,055 words)

Author(s): Jean-Patrick Guillaume
1. Sources and historical overview Throughout its historical development (grammatical tradition: history), the Arabic grammatical tradition's approach to language and language description was founded on a remarkably self-consistent set of general principles (of axioms, so to speak) defining its object, its aims, and its methods. These principles, however, were not explicitly and systematically set forth by the first generations of grammarians, who usually took them for granted, or referred to them ca…
Date: 2018-04-01

Grammatical Tradition: History

(6,345 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Carter
Arabic is unique among languages as the chosen medium of divine communication in a direct, complete revelation exclusively to a single prophet. That revelation has been preserved to this day in the document known as the Qurʾān. The special character of Arabic did not discourage Muslims from exploring the language as a purely human vehicle, and they were easily able to separate the celestial from the sublunar Arabic to describe and analyze the language spoken in this world: for them Adam was certainly the first created person to speak Arabic in heaven, but on earth he spoke Syriac, and Arabi…
Date: 2018-04-01

Greek Loanwords

(2,671 words)

Author(s): Dimitri Gutas
Despite the very extensive contacts between speakers of Greek and Arabic for over a thousand years between Alexander the Great and the advent of Islam, the paradoxical fact is that the forms of the two languages extant in recoverable documents show very few traces of such contacts. In an area where mutual influence was presumably most profound, that of spoken forms of the languages, no documentation has survived for either the Greek or the Arabic spoken in places where such interpenetration coul…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,703 words)

Author(s): Nagwa Elzeiny
1. The definition of greetings The term ‘greetings’ refers to any verbal behavior that a speaker engages in upon recognizing another, or one that has the function of recognition of an encounter with a person as socially acceptable (Firth 1972:1). Greetings are also defined as the set of linguistic and/or nonlinguistic devices used for the initial management of encounters (Yusuf a.o. 1976), that is of paramount significance in everyday interaction. They are aspects of politeness routines (Ervin-Tripp 1964:195) that are tied to conversational exchange; hence, their manipulation…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,175 words)

Author(s): Esam N. Khalil
Grounding is a discourse semantic notion. It pertains to the organization of meaning in terms of a foreground/background structure. This structure is not a binary opposition but rather a gradual scale of meaning distribution and distinction among whole propositions in terms of ‘grounding values’, based on the assignment of degrees of importance to information. A grounding value is a measure of the relative worth of a textual proposition on the foreground/background gradient. Roughly, a propositi…
Date: 2018-04-01

Gulf States

(4,500 words)

Author(s): Clive Holes
1. Arabic and minority languages A number of languages in addition to Arabic are used in all the modern Gulf States: Persian. Persian is widely understood throughout the Persian Gulf, though perhaps less than was the case fifty years ago. Older immigrants of Iranian origin, born in Iran in the first half of the 20th century, have retained their Persian alongside the Arabic they learned on the Arab side of the Gulf, but the younger generations, brought up and educated through the medium of Arabic, are well assimilate…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Nasalization
Date: 2018-04-01