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In: Gender and Number Agreement in Arabic
In: Gender and Number Agreement in Arabic
In: Gender and Number Agreement in Arabic
In: Gender and Number Agreement in Arabic
In: Gender and Number Agreement in Arabic
This book offers a comprehensive survey of the agreement phenomena found in written and spoken Arabic. It focuses on both the synchronic description of these agreement systems, and the diachronic question of how they evolved. To answer these questions, large amounts of data have been collected and analysed, ranging from 6th century poetry and Quranic Arabic to the contemporary dialects. The results presented by the authors of this research greatly improve our understanding of Arabic syntax, and challenge some well-established views. Can Arabic be envisioned as possessing more than only two genders? Are some contemporary dialects more similar to the pre-Classical version of the language than MSA is? And is the Standard rule prescribing feminine singular agreement with nonhuman plurals a more recent development than previously thought?

Abstract

This study introduces and analyzes proximal and distal singular demonstratives in fourteen varieties of Musandam Arabic, a little-documented dialect group located on Musandam Peninsula in northern Oman and neighbouring areas of the United Arab Emirates. Following an overview of the dialect group in its regional context, the study provides a description of singular demonstratives from the point of view of phono-logy, morphology, and geographical distribution. The study then focuses on two salient features found in several of the varieties under investigation: gender distinction based on consonantal alternation (d-based masculine forms vs t-based feminine forms); and gemination of the feminine t-element. While the former is attested, albeit rarely, in other Arabic dialects, the latter is unheard of. In the last section of the article, some hypotheses are put forward as to how these forms could have developed from a historical point of view, in light of data from different Arabic and Semitic varieties. While the gemination of the t-element is best regarded as a Musandam-internal innovation, the d : t consonantal alternation reinforces the putative historical link between south-western Arabia and Oman.

Open Access
In: Arabica