Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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(1,162 words)

Author(s): Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila
1. Grammatical ʾIbdāl Various lists are given of consonants subject to grammatical ʾibdāl. Sībawayhi ( Kitāb II, 313–315) lists ʾ, ʾalif, h, y, t, m, j, n, l, w, and Ibn Manẓūr ( Lisān, root b-d-l) lists ʾ, ʾalif, y, w, m, n, t, h, ṭ, d, j, remarking that if one adds to these s and l while removing ṭ, d, and j, the list is identical with the ḥurūf az-ziyāda. Al-Qālī ( ʾAmālī II, 186) gives the mnemonic phrase ṭāla yawmun ʾanjadtuhū ( ṭ, ʾalif, l, y, w, m, ʾ, n, j, d, t, h). The cases of ʾibdāl listed by Sībawayhi include both standard morphophonological forms ( ʾ < y, as in qaḍāʾ < * qaḍāy) and rare variants ca…


(3,186 words)

Author(s): Reinhard Kiesler
1. Introduction The multifarious contacts between Arabic and Ibero-Romance have led to prolific cultural exchange. The linguistic aspect of this exchange materializes as mutual influence between different varieties of Arabic and the Ibero-Romance languages and dialects. Arabic loanwords are defined as ‘words introduced directly from Arabic into another language’. The superordinate term is Arabism, “an Arabic word or meaning introduced into another language, or a typical Arabic syntagm imitated in another language” (Kiesler 1994:44), e.g. Spanish azúcar < as-súkkar, llenar…

Ibero-Romance Loanwords

(2,247 words)

Author(s): Federico Corriente
1. Language contacts between Arabic and Romance At the beginning of the 8th century, armies of Muslim Arabs and somewhat Arabicized Berbers invaded the Iberian Peninsula. The lexical interference of Ibero-Romance with Arabic was the unavoidable consequence of contacts between these armies, who imported Arabic dialects, and the local inhabitants, who spoke Proto-Romance dialects derived from Low Latin. The invaders succeeded in creating a new geopolitical entity, soon called al-Andalus by its mixed population. The guest language obviously occupied a do…


(2,584 words)

Author(s): Chakri Iraqi-Houssaini
1. Ibtidāʾ in governance The ibtidāʾ indicates the governor ( ʿāmil) of the first noun of the nominal sentence, which is called mubtadaʾ, like zaydun in zaydun munṭaliqun ‘Zayd is going’. The nominal case of zaydun is assigned by a posited ‘abstract governor’, “characterized by the fact that it is phonetically void” (Bohas a.o. 1990:60, 69–70). In standard Arabic grammar, the ibtidāʾ operators both the mubtadaʾ and the attribute ( xabar), in the same way as the governance of operators like kāna ‘to be’, ḏ̣anna ‘to believe’, and ʾinna ‘indeed’ (emphatic particle) ( kāna wa-ʾaxawātuhā


(3,395 words)

Author(s): Karin C. Ryding
1. The ʾiḍāfa in the Arabic linguistic tradition Two Arabic nouns may be linked together in a noun phrase in such a way that the second noun in the sequence determines the first by limiting, identifying, possessing, defining, or amplifying it. The two nouns in this phrase function as a closely knit syntactic unit. In Arabic grammatical terminology, this structure is referred to as ʾiḍāfa ‘annexation; addition’; the first noun in the structure is muḍāf ‘annexed’ to the second noun, which is the muḍāf ʾilay-hi lit. ‘the added-to (or ‘annexing’) noun’. The annexing noun is in the …


(1,393 words)

Author(s): Janusz Danecki
It should be noted that although some cases of ʾidġām would be described in modern phonetics as assimilation, this does not mean that the two terms are identical; in a case like ʿanbar > ʿambar ‘amber’, Sībawayhi calls the assimilation of the /n/ to the place of articulation of the /b/ ʾibdāl , because the two consonants do not share the same place of articulation. In principle, ʾidġām is reserved for those cases where identical consonants or consonants with adjacent places of articulation are affected. Between ʾibdāl and ʾidġām there is yet another category of phonotactics, ʾixfāʾ lit. ‘c…


(5,554 words)

Author(s): Ludmila Torlakova
The term “idiom” has generally been used to cover both (1) fixed, irregular, and grammatical constructions in principle peculiar to a given language (e.g. “catch fire”, “make a comeback”, “by and large”, “to good effect” ) and (2) widely accepted collocations in one or more languages whose meaning at times cannot be deduced, or not readily deduced, from the literal meanings of their components (e.g. “kick the bucket”, “red herring”, “bite the bullet”) but whose meaning is most often nonetheless …


(1,522 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Carter
The term ʾiḍmār belongs to the oldest layer of Arabic grammatical terminology: it occurs already in the early exegetical literature, for instance in Muqātil's (d. 150/767) Tafsīr (Versteegh 1993:146–151). In the majority of passages in which Muqātil uses this term, it indicates the suppression of an attributive or prepositional phrase, e.g. Q. 33/50 fa-sajada l-malāʾikatu ‘and the angels bowed down’, to which Muqātil ( Tafsīr III, 653.11) adds allaḏīna kānū fī l-ʾarḍ: ʾiḍmār ‘the ones that were on the earth: suppression’. In such cases, ʾiḍmār indicates the suppression of an el…