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Nawāsix

(1,052 words)

Author(s): Nadia Anghelescu
The term nawāsix (sg. nāsixa) ‘cancelers’ is borrowed from Muslim canonic law, where the verb from which it is derived, nasaxa ‘to make something disappear’, is used with the technical sense ‘to abolish’, with reference to a verse from the Qurʾān or a tradition about the Prophet which revokes another one. Used by the later Arab grammarians, probably not earlier than the time of ʾAbū Ḥayyān (d. 1344; see Carter 1981:207), to designate a category of ‘operators’ ( ʿawāmil, sg. ʿāmil; ʿamal) grouped by some previous grammarians under headings which indicate that these elements …
Date: 2018-04-01

Theme/Rheme

(2,282 words)

Author(s): Nadia Anghelescu
‘Theme’ and ‘rheme’ are terms of the Prague school taken over by various types of functional grammars and by pragmatic sentence analysis. They essentially refer to the two elements that make up an ordinary sentence with a binary structure: the ‘theme’ expresses old, familiar information, while the ‘rheme’ expresses new information (which, from another perspective, can be called ‘focus’). In Anglophone linguistics (including works on the Arabic language), the equivalents are sometimes considered …
Date: 2018-04-01