Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Asseverative Particle
(1,801 words)

The proclitic particle la- was used in early literary Arabic as a marker of the category known to Jakobsonian structuralism as ‘status’, which has been defined as “the subjective evaluation of the narrated event by the speaker” (Aronson 1991:114). The principal role of la- seems to have been to underscore the speaker's commitment to the veracity of his or her utterance, and it was thus often encountered in oaths (e.g. la-'in kašafta ʿannā r-rijza la-nu'minanna lakala-if you remove the penalty from us, la-we shall believe in you’, Q 7/134), in evaluations or assessments (e.g. wa-ma'wāhum…

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David Testen, “Asseverative Particle”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 23 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0009>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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