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Tense and Text in Classical Arabic

A Discourse-oriented Study of the Classical Arabic Tense System

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Michal Marmorstein

In Tense and Text in Classical Arabic, Michal Marmorstein presents a new discourse-oriented analysis of the indicative tense system in Classical Arabic. Critical of commonly held assumptions regarding the binary structure of the tense system and the perfect-imperfect asymmetry, the author redefines the discussion by analysing the extended syntactic and textual environments in which the paradigm of the indicative forms is used.The study shows that the function of Classical Arabic tenses is determined by the interaction of their inherent grammatical meaning and the overall dialogic, narrative, or generic contexts in which they occur. It also demonstrates the particularizing effect of context, so that temporal and aspectual meanings are always more nuanced, delicate, and pragmatically motivated in actual discourse.

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Edited by Aaron Butts

Semitic Languages in Contact contains twenty case studies analysing various contact situations involving Semitic languages. The languages treated span from ancient Semitic languages, such as Akkadian, Aramaic, Classical Ethiopic, Hebrew, Phoenician, and Ugaritic, to modern ones, including languages/dialects belonging to the Modern Arabic, Modern South Arabian, Neo-Aramaic, and Neo-Ethiopian branches of the Semitic family. The topics discussed include writing systems, phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. The approaches range from traditional philology to more theoretically-driven linguistics. These diverse studies are united by the theme of language contact. Thus, the volume aims to provide the status quaestionis of the study of language contact among the Semitic languages.
With contributions from A. Al-Jallad, A. Al-Manaser, D. Appleyard, S. Boyd, Y. Breuer, M. Bulakh, D. Calabro, E. Cohen, R. Contini, C. J. Crisostomo, L. Edzard, H. Hardy, U. Horesh, O. Jastrow, L. Kahn, J. Lam, M. Neishtadt, M. Oren, P. Pagano, A. D. Rubin, L. Sayahi, J.Tubach, J. P. Vita, and T. Zewi.