The Word in Arabic


This is the first monograph-length volume entirely devoted to the theoretical and empirical issues raised by the definition of ‘word’ and related concepts in Arabic, both at the historical and synchronic level. Some of the best-known scholars in the field of Arabic linguistics debate such issues as the technical definition of words and morphemes in the Arabic grammatical and rhetorical traditions, the theoretical status of the root and its interactions with morphology, the analysis of word in the computer treatment of Arabic texts, some relevant phenomena in the contact of Arabic with other languages. The result is a fresh portrait of some of the most interesting research currently under way in Arabic linguistics from different theoretical and methodological viewpoints.

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Giuliano Lancioni, Ph. D. (1995) in Linguistics, Roma Tre University, is Professor of Linguistics at Roma Tre University. He has published extensively on the history of the Arabic grammatical tradition and on Arabic generative and computational linguistics.

Lidia Bettini is professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Florence. Her research interests include Arabic medieval linguistic thinking and modern Arabic Bedouin dialects. Her recent publications include the volumes Contes féminins de la Haute Jézireh syrienne – Matériaux ethno–linguistiques d’un parler nomade oriental, (Firenze, 2006) and Min sawālif al–ḥarīm fī l–Jazīra al–sūriyya al–‘ulyā, published by the Ministry of Culture of the Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus.
Giuliano Lancioni and Lidia Bettini

Section I: The Word in the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
1. The Concept of kalima in Old Arabic Grammar
Aryeh Levin
2. What is a kalima? ʾAstarābāḏī’s Answer
Pierre Larcher
3. Defijining the Word within the Arabic Grammatical Tradition: ʾAstarābāḏī’s Predicament
Jean-Patrick Guillaume
4. Ellipsis in the Arabic Linguistic Thinking (8th–10th century)
Cristina Solimando

Section II: The Word in the Arabic Rhetoric Tradition
5. ‘Word’ in the linguistic thinking of ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī
Antonella Ghersetti
6. On lafḏ̣ and maʿnā Again: Some Aspects of Their Relationship According to the balāġiyyūn
Lidia Bettini

Section III: The Arabic Word in Contemporary Linguistic Theory
7. Levels of Analysis of the Word in Arabic
Georges Bohas
8. Automatic Extraction of Prepositions in a Corpus of Modern Standard Arabic Written Texts
Giuliano Lancioni

Section IV: The Arabic Word in Contact
9. Heavy and Light Borrowing of Arabic Verbs
Kees Versteegh
10. When Arabic Resonates in the Words of an African Language: Some Morphological and Semantic Features of Arabic Loanwords and Calques in Bambara
Francesco Zappa

Index of Names
Subject Index
Index of Arabic Words
Language Index
List of Contributors
All those interested in Arabic linguistics (including morphology and syntax), general and typological linguistics, computational linguistics, language contact, the history of the Arabic linguistic thinking.