New PDF release: Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A

By David Wilmsen

ISBN-10: 0198718128

ISBN-13: 9780198718123

This e-book strains the origins and improvement of the Arabic grammatical marker s/si, that's present in interrogatives, negators, and indefinite determiners over a large dialect zone that stretches from the southern Levant to North Africa and comprises dialects of Yemen and Oman. David Wilmsen attracts on information from outdated vernacular Arabic texts and from various Arabic dialects, and exhibits that, opposite to a lot of the literature at the diachrony of this morpheme, s/si does no longer derive from Arabic say 'thing'. as an alternative, he argues that it dates again to a pre-Arabic degree of West Semitic and possibly has its origins in a Semitic demonstrative pronoun. in this concept, Arabic say may perhaps in reality derive from s/si, and never vice versa.

The ebook demonstrates the importance of the Arabic dialects in figuring out the heritage of Arabic and the Semitic languages, and claims that glossy Arabic dialects couldn't have built from Classical Arabic. it will likely be of curiosity to old linguists of all persuasions from graduate point upwards, rather all these engaged on Arabic and different Semitic languages.

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Extra info for Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A Linguistic History of Western Dialects

Example text

8). e. fs ‘the fire will not touch us but a number of days’ (Qur’ān 2:80) Here, the plural noun ayyām ‘days’ attracts deflected agreement in its adjective maʿdūda ‘numbered’, exactly as it came to be prescribed. 12) a. il-bitinžānāt yalli h·at· t·ē-nā-hon istaw-ū the-eggplants that put-we-them cooked-they ‘The eggplants that we put [on the fire] are done’ b. 12b). 13) qad 6 This particular phrase, however, does appear in modern writing, apparently as a deliberate evocation of the ancient Arabic cadences of the Qur’ān.

70). The two categories ‘Old Arabic’ and ‘Neo-Arabic’ are thus ‘inherited baggage from the nineteenth century’ which should not ‘be recognized as independent entities in contemporary Arabic linguistics’ (p. 74). D. D. 500 onwards to include an enormous amount of medieval literature, belonging to the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish communities, some of which shows considerable linguistic variation of the kind usually called Middle Arabic. Further, ‘Arabic’ encompasses the modern standard language of the Arab countries and the modern vernaculars from Mauritania to Oman and from Anatolia to Lake Chad.

Owens first remarks that what is called Old Arabic was itself diverse, and that many of the features that are regarded as characteristic of the modern dialects are actually attested for Old Arabic as well (here notably in the realization of vowels: 2006: 67–9). e. that which prevailed before Muslim Arabic speakers left the Arabian Peninsula in large numbers], while others have innovated’ (2006: 69). The crucial point is that in these particulars, if some modern dialects have not innovated but retain older forms, ‘there is no linguistic basis here for differentiating ‘Old’ from ‘Neo-’ Arabic’ (2006: 69).

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Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A Linguistic History of Western Dialects by David Wilmsen


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