Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Agent
(2,230 words)

There has been a terminological mix-up and indeterminacy over the syntactic and the semantic notion of fāʿil by Arab grammarians, who distinguished between transitive and intransitive verbs, but did not focus on inherent componential features of the verb or the noun (phrase) when investigating the semantic role of fāʿil in a given proposition. Arab grammarians did not provide clear-cut semantic criteria for the potentially agentive nominal. Their characterization, therefore, was syntactic, rather than semantic. Arab grammarians assigned the role of Agent (fāʿil) to post-verb…

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Hussein Abdul-Raof, “Agent”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 18 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0003>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831



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