Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A - download pdf or read online

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By David Wilmsen

ISBN-10: 0198718128

ISBN-13: 9780198718123

This ebook strains the origins and improvement of the Arabic grammatical marker s/si, that's present in interrogatives, negators, and indefinite determiners over a wide dialect quarter that stretches from the southern Levant to North Africa and comprises dialects of Yemen and Oman. David Wilmsen attracts on information from previous vernacular Arabic texts and from numerous Arabic dialects, and indicates 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 doubtless has its origins in a Semitic demonstrative pronoun. in this concept, Arabic say may possibly actually derive from s/si, and never vice versa.

The publication demonstrates the importance of the Arabic dialects in realizing the heritage of Arabic and the Semitic languages, and claims that sleek Arabic dialects couldn't have constructed from Classical Arabic. it is going to be of curiosity to ancient linguists of all persuasions from graduate point upwards, fairly 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

Sample text

Bayt il-ʿatīq house the-old ‘The old house’ (a village in Syria) Medieval grammarian al-Taʿālibī (d. 430/1038) discusses this feature under the rubric ‘The annexation of a thing to its descriptor’ (id·āfat al-šayʾ ilā ·sifatih) calling it Unusually for the construct state, the first item of the false id·āfa may host the article if the entire phrase is definite: rajulun h·asanu l-wagˇhi ‘a man fair of face’ as opposed to al-rajulu l- h·asanu l-wagˇhi ‘the man fair of face’. 5 Shared Semitic retentions 31 ‘a practice of the Arabs’ (sunan al-ʿarab) (2010: 379).

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.

In it, he demonstrates that neither the assumptions about the relative lateness of the Arabic dialects nor indeed the labels Old Arabic and Neo-Arabic is founded in any historical linguistic reality based in a principled comparative method. Applying that method, he finds that most of the iconic features marking the differences between the two are demonstrably old features likely to have been inherited from the proto-language. 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).

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


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