Tense and Text in Classical Arabic

A Discourse-oriented Study of the Classical Arabic Tense System


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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Michal Marmorstein, Ph.D. (Jerusalem, 2014), is a Kreitman Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ben-Gurion University. She has published articles on Classical Arabic syntax and discourse, focusing on topics such as the tense system, clause combining, narrative structure, and generic utterances. In Fall 2016 she will start as lecturer at the Department of Linguistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Scholars of Classical Arabic syntax and discourse, Arabic grammatical tradition, comparative Semitic syntax, and anyone concerned with Arabic linguistics.
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