Cognate and Analogical Curses in Moroccan Arabic: A Comparative Study of Arabic Speech Genres

in Arabica
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This study describes the form and function of Moroccan Arabic cognate and analogical curses. Drawing on scholarship on curses in other Arabic dialects, it provides a comparative discussion of the Moroccan variety and analyzes a corpus of cognate curses that includes many of the standard members of the genre. It then defines the analogical curse, arguing that this particular type of curses derives from proverbs based on the simile. It suggests that the speech genre of curses in the Arabic dialects goes back to a common repertoire that predates the Islamic period.

Cognate and Analogical Curses in Moroccan Arabic: A Comparative Study of Arabic Speech Genres

in Arabica

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References

7

F. Dunkel“Verwünschungen und Flüche bei den Arabern in Palästina” Das Heilige Land74/2 (1930) p. 65-171; Tawfik Canaan “The Curse in Palestinian Folklore” Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 15 (1935) p. 235-279; A. Boudot-Lamotte “L’expression de la malédiction et de l’insulte dans les dialectes arabes maghrébins” p. 53-71; Sadok Masliyah “Curses and Insults in Iraqi Arabic” Journal of Semitic Studies 46/2 (2001) p. 267-308; Dominique Caubet “Du Baba (Papa) à la Mère des emplois parallèles en arabe marocain et dans les parlures jeunes en France” Cahiers d’études africaines 163-164 (2001) p. 735-48; Veronika Ritt “Flüche Schimpf- und Tabuwörter im südtunesischen Beduinendialekt der Marāzīg—eine erste Bestandsaufnahme” Estudios de Dialectología norteafricana y andalusí 8 (2004) p. 163-184; Aline Tauzin (ed.) Insultes injures et vannes: En France et au Maghreb Paris Éditions Karthala 2008 especially the following studies: Aline Tauzin “Introduction” p. 5-10; Norman A. Stillman “Invectives et malédictions affectueuses et injurieuses en judéo-arabe marocain” p. 11-32; Hayat Bakhti “Approche thématique de l’injure dans le parler oranais” p. 43-60; Dominique Caubet et al. “Des insultes aux vannes ici et là-bas en passant par les proverbes” p. 111-34.

12

WestermarckRitual and Belief p. 483-485.

13

ColinLe dictionnaire Colin p. 695; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe-français V p. 283-284.

16

WestermarckRitual and Belief p. 481-482.

17

Ibid. p. 481.

18

Ibid. p. 480.

20

WestermarckRitual and Belief in Morocco p. 480-481 484-485.

21

ColinLe dictionnaire Colin p. 1135; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe-français I p. 55; VI p. 170; VIII p. 213.

22

Stillman“Invectives et malédictions” p. 23.

24

ColinChrestomathie marocaine p. 36.

28

Ibid. p. 163.

30

Ibid. p. 236; Henkin “The Cognate Curse in Negev Arabic” p. 174 177-178.

31

See Kratz“Genres of Power” p. 640-643 for a discussion of the hierarchical relationships that determine who can utter an effective curse to whom in Okiek society.

34

Stillman“Invectives et malédictions” p. 15-19 27-28 (insults); 20-21 28-30 (“may I see [. . .]”); 21-24 30-31 (diseases disasters etc.); and 24-25 32 (proverbs).

35

WestermarckRitual and Belief p. 481 485-486.

36

ColinLe dictionnaire Colin p. 1808; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe-français XI p. 129.

37

See Charles A. Ferguson“Root-echo Responses in Syrian Arabic Politeness Formulas”Linguistic Studies in Memory of R.S. HarrellWashington Georgetown University Press 1967 p. 37-45; id. “God-wishes in Syrian Arabic” Mediterranean Language Review 1 (1983) p. 65-83; Devin J. Stewart “Root-Echo Responses in Egyptian Arabic Politeness Formulae” in Alaa Elgibali (ed.) Understanding Arabic: Essays in Contemporary Arabic Linguistics in Honor of El-Said Badawi Cairo The American University in Cairo Press 1996 p. 157-180.

39

Ibid. p. 241.

40

Ibid. p. 243.

41

Ibid. p. 241.

42

Ibid. p. 246.

43

Ibid. p. 247.

44

Ibid. p. 246.

45

Ibid. p. 244.

46

Ibid. p. 244; II p. 163.

48

Ibid. p. 243.

49

Ibid. p. 245.

50

Roni Henkin“The Cognate Curse in Negev Arabic” p. 169-206; id.Negev Arabic p. 182-184.

53

Henkin“The Cognate Curse in Negev Arabic” p. 182-202.

61

See Edward LaneArabic-English LexiconCambridgeThe Islamic Texts Society1984I p. 222.

63

ColinLe dictionnaire Colin p. 981; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe-français VII p. 172.

65

ColinLe dictionnaire Colin p. 1333; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe-français IX p. 250.

69

ColinLe Dictionnaire Colin p. 863; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe français VI p. 211.

70

ColinLe Dictionnaire Colin p. 981; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe français VII p. 172.

71

ColinLe Dictionnaire Colin p. 1787; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe français XI p. 73.

72

Philippe MarçaisTextes arabes de Djidjelli Introduction Textes et transcription traduction glossaireParisPresses Universitaires de France1954 p. 37 223.

73

ColinLe Dictionnaire Colin p. 1801; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe français XI p. 107-109.

74

ColinLe Dictionnaire Colin p. 1801; De Prémare Dictionnaire arabe français XI p. 108.

75

Boudot-Lamotte“L’expression de la malédiction” p. 67-68.

76

ColinChrestomathie marocaine p. 60. This translation would be in English “May He scatter your belongings and may He disperse your load!” I disagree with the interpretation of šeml here as biens (“goods belongings”) and suggest instead that it refers to one’s companions: “May he scatter your companions and disperse your caravan.

77

Stewart“Impoliteness Formulae” p. 356.

78

ColinChrestomathie marocaine p. 74.

79

Ibid. p. 73.

80

Ibid. p. 74.

81

Stewart“Impoliteness Formulae” p. 333.

82

Dilworth B. ParkinsonConstructing the Social Context of Communication: Terms of Address in Egyptian ArabicBerlinMouton de Gruyter1985.

83

Stewart“Impoliteness Formulae” p. 344-346; Henkin “The Cognate Curse in Negev Arabic” p. 175 179-180; id.Negev Arabic p. 183.

85

WestermarckWit and Wisdom in MoroccoLondonRoutledge1930 p. 72 (no. 45) 97 (nos. 219-20).

87

Stewart“Impoliteness Formulae” p. 347-348 351-354. On the dysphemistic equivalents of common verbs in Jordanian Arabic see Mohammed Farghali “Dysphemism in Jordanian Arabic” Zeitschrift für arabische Linguistik 30 (1995) p. 50-61 esp. p. 54-55.

88

Evans-PritchardNuer Religion p. 165-66; Petko Khristov “The Parental Curse—A Regulator of Social Justice” Bulgarska Etnografia 3/5/6 (1992) p. 19-34.

89

El-Said Badawi and Martin HindsDictionary of Egyptian Arabic p. 68.

91

WestermarckWit and Wisdom p. 95 (nos. 205 204).

93

Stewart“Impoliteness Formulae” p. 350-351.

95

Moses Sister“Metaphern und Vergleiche im Koran”Mitteilungen des Seminars für orientalische Sprachen34 (1931) p. 194-254.

97

Stillman“Invectives et maledictions” p. 24.

98

WestermarckWit and Wisdom p. 105 (no. 280).

99

Hayat Bakhti“Approche thématique” p. 48.

102

Ibid. p. 540.

103

Hayat Bakhti“Approche thématique de l’injure dans le parler oranais” p. 51. Bakhti’s translation in my view does not convey the syntax of the curse adequately: Que Dieu te donne ce qu’il a donné au voleur qui court et qui est poursuivi. Specifically the relative pronoun qui makes this a restrictive statement about a particular thief. The point is that thieves in general have this characteristic and the curse applies it to the interlocutor.

104

Peter Seitel“Proverbs: The Social Use of Metaphor”Genre2/2 (1969) p. 143-161.

106

Mohammed Ben ChenebProverbes de l’Algérie et du MaghrebParisMaisonneuve et Larose2003 p. 134. Ben Cheneb’s original work was published in three volumes as Paris E. Leroux 1905-1907.

107

WestermarckWit and Wisdom p. 70 no. 30.

108

Ibid. p. 72 no. 43.

109

Ibid. p. 77 no. 78.

110

Ibid. p. 89 no. 159. A similar proverb is r-rājel bla ulād bḥal l-xēma bla utād “A man without children is like a tent without tent-pegs”.

111

Ibid. p. 95 no. 208.

112

Ibid. p. 133 no. 493.

113

Ibid. p. 134 no. 495.

114

Ibid. p. 134 no. 496.

115

Ibid. p. 166 no. 763.

116

Ibid. p. 175 no. 840.

117

Ibid. p. 183 no. 910.

118

Ibid. p. 189 no. 954.

119

Ibid. p. 200 no. 1030.

120

Ibid. p. 213 no. 1127.

121

Ibid. p. 273 no. 1600.

122

Ibid. p. 290 no. 1751.

123

Ibid. p. 299 no. 1827.

124

Ibid. p. 198 no. 1020.

125

Ibid. p. 235 no. 1293.

126

Ibid. p. 257 no. 1476.

128

F. Corriente and H. BouzinebRecopilación de refranes andalusíes de Alonso del CastilloZaragozaUniversidad de Zaragoza1994.

129

Corriente and BouzinebRecopilación p. 51 67 81 107. I have followed the transcription given despite some reservations but I have omitted accent marks. The English translations are my own.

130

Ahmed-Salem Ould Mohamed BabaEstudio dialectológico y lexicológico del refranero andalusí de Abū Yaḥyā AzzajjālīZaragozaUniversidad de Zaragoza1999.

131

Ibid. p. 79-85.

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