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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Swahili

(3,815 words)

Author(s): Sergio Baldi
1. Swahili and Arabic Swahili is a Bantu language, more specifically a member of the Sabaki subgroup of North East Coast Bantu. It has been suggested that the ancestor of the modern dialects was spoken in an area along the East African coast, somewhere between the Webi Shebelle River in what is now Somalia and the Tana River in Kenya (Nurse and Spear 1985:46; Nurse and Hinnebusch 1993:490–496). Between 1100 and 1500 C.E., the Swahili dominated trade between the African interior and the Indian Ocean, a hegemony that was interrupted in the 16th century by…
Date: 2018-04-01

Swearing

(4 words)

see Insults
Date: 2018-04-01

Syllable Structure

(1,428 words)

Author(s): Maher Jesry
1. What is a syllable? The syllable is a fundamental unit of speech in any language studied both on the phonetic and phonological level of analysis. Phonetically, syllables “are usually described as consisting of a centre which has little or no obstruction to airflow and which sounds comparatively loud; before and after that centre…there will be greater obstruction to airflow and/or less loud sound” (Roach 1991:67). Phonologically, Laver (1994:114) defines the syllable as “a complex unit made up of nuclear and marginal elements”. The nuclear elements are the vowels or syllabic segm…
Date: 2018-04-01

Syncope

(939 words)

Author(s): David Teeple
Syncope involves the loss of a vowel. In Arabic dialects, syncope is typically driven by metrical constraints. The most common targets of syncope are high vowels and central vowels, which are relatively low in sonority, but there are dialects in which even the highly sonorous [a] syncopates. Two fairly representative dialects are Bedouin Ḥijāzī Arabic and Cairene Arabic. 1. Bedouin Ḥijāzī Arabic Bedouin Ḥijāzī Arabic is remarkable among Arabic dialects in that the most sonorous vowel, [a], is the target of syncope (gahawa-syndrome). Examples in (1) are from Al-Mozainy a.o. (…
Date: 2018-04-01

Synonym

(4 words)

see Mutarādif
Date: 2018-04-01

Syntax

(6,577 words)

Author(s): Elabbas Benmamoun
1. Introduction Syntax is the study of phrasal and sentential patterns of natural language. It is the engine that combines the sound/gesture and meaning components of language. Syntax deals primarily with how words combine to form phrases and sentences, and the dependencies that obtain between the constituents of the phrase or sentence. Such dependencies include agreement, Case, anaphoric relations, filler gap/pronominal relations, and thematic relations, among many others. Another area that has occupied a prominent position within syntactic debates concerns word order alte…
Date: 2018-04-01

Syria

(4,749 words)

Author(s): Peter Behnstedt
  1. Arabic and minority languages In addition to Arabic, the following languages (in order of number of speakers) are spoken in Syria (see Map 1). Kurdish is spoken on the northern border with Turkey, the main areas being to the northwest of Aleppo and in the northeast in the Qāmišli area. Approximately one hundred thousand Kurds from Turkey live in northeastern Syria. Most linguistic maps used in connection with the Kurdish problem are not exact and ascribe too large an areal distribution to Kurdish (cf. the map in Behnstedt 1992a for northeastern Syria). Turkish…
Date: 2018-04-01

Syriac

(5 words)

see Aramaic/Syriac Loanwords
Date: 2018-04-01