Grammaticalization of Arabic Prepositions and Subordinators

A Corpus-Based Study

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Previous scholarship on Arabic prepositions typically has presented these as a static closed class of words. Inevitably, such a treatment does not take into account the diachronic development of prepositions into new functions in syntax, semantics and discourse. The present study applies grammaticalization theory to the analysis of prepositions and subordinators across varieties of Arabic. It goes beyond the traditional single-word focus and treats prepositions as parts of multiword complexes. Drawing upon a sizeable base of authentic historical and present-day Arabic data, it presents a rigorously descriptive and quantitative analysis of evolutionary processes involving prepositional forms and subordinators.
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Biographical Note

Mohssen Esseesy, Ph.D. (2000) in Arabic, Georgetown University, is Assistant Professor of Arabic at The George Washington University. He has published a number of articles on Arabic linguistics, including 'Apposition', 'Grammaticalization', 'Reanalysis', 'Semantic bleaching', and 'Semantic extension' in the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2006-2009).

Table of contents

CONTENTS
Figures .................................................................................................. xi
Table ...................................................................................................... xiii
Preface .................................................................................................. xvii
Acknowledgements ............................................................................. xix
Symbols and Abbreviations .............................................................. xxi
Transcriptions ..................................................................................... xxiii
Chapter One Background on Language Change in Arabic ..... 1
1.1 Grammatical Categories within Arabic Varieties ............ 1
1.2 Prevailing Attitudes and New Assumptions .................... 3
1.3 The Case for Grammaticalization ....................................... 9
1.4 Grammaticalization and Prepositions ............................... 13
1.5 Early Scholarly Treatments of Arabic Prepositions ........ 17
1.6 Recent Studies of Arabic Prepositions .............................. 25
1.7 Overview ................................................................................. 30
Chapter Two Grammaticalization ................................................ 31
2.1 Scope, Aim, Data Sources, and Limitations of the
Present Study ......................................................................... 31
2.2 Theoretical Background ....................................................... 36
2.2.1 Basic Lexical Sources ................................................ 38
2.2.2 Classes of Lexical Sources ........................................ 40
2.2.3 Grammaticalized Constructions ............................. 48
2.3 Motivating Strategies for Semantic Extensions
through Grammaticalization ............................................... 52
2.3.1 Metaphor and Meaning Extensions ....................... 53
2.3.2 Metonymy .................................................................. 60
2.3.3 Metaphor and Metonymy in the Stages of
Grammaticalization ................................................... 63
2.3.4 Reanalysis ................................................................... 64
2.3.5 Pragmatic Strengthening .......................................... 66
2.3.6 Synthesis of Mechanisms ......................................... 67
2.4 Unidirectionality of Change ................................................ 68
2.5 Measuring Grammaticalization .......................................... 69
2.6 Textual Frequency and Grammaticalization .................... 72
Chapter Three Complex Prepositional Phrases .......................... 75
3.1 Introduction ........................................................................... 75
3.2 Formal Properties of PNP-Constructions ......................... 77
3.3 General Characteristics of PNP-units in Arabic .............. 78
3.4 Grammaticalization of bi-n-nisbati li-/ʾilā ‘in regards to,
in comparison with’ .............................................................. 81
3.5 Grammaticalization of ʿalā/bi-r-raγmi min ‘in spite of,
despite’ .................................................................................... 85
3.6 Grammaticalization of bi-ḥājatin ʾilā/li- ‘in need of ’ ..... 90
3.7 Grammaticalization of bi-n-naḏ̣ari ʾilā ‘in view of ’ ........ 94
3.8 Grammaticalization of bi-n-niyābati ʿan ‘on behalf of ’ .... 97
3.9 Grammaticalization of bi-taḥrīḍin min ‘with incitement/
prodding from/of ’ .................................................................... 99
Chapter Four Compound-Like Prepositions .............................. 105
4.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 105
4.2 Grammaticalization of fī ʾat̠nāʾi ‘during’ ............................ 108
4.3 Grammaticalization of bi-faḍli ‘thanks to, owing to’ ...... 113
4.4 Grammaticalization of min-nāḥiyati ‘with respect to’ .... 115
4.5 Grammaticalization of ʿan ṭarīqi ‘by way of, via’ ............ 118
4.6 Grammaticalization of bi-sababi ‘because of ’ ................... 122
Chapter Five Simple Stem Prepositionals ................................... 129
5.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 129
5.2 Grammaticalization of fawqa ‘over, above’ ....................... 129
5.2.1 Semantic grammaticalization of fawqa .................. 129
5.2.2 Formal grammaticalization of fawqa ...................... 135
5.3 Grammaticalization of taḥta ‘under, beneath’ .................. 139
5.3.1 Semantic grammaticalization of taḥta ................... 139
5.3.2 Formal grammaticalization of taḥta ....................... 144
5.4 Grammaticalization of ʾamāma ‘in front of, before’ ......... 147
5.4.1 Semantic grammaticalization of ʾamāma .............. 147
5.4.2 Formal grammaticalization of ʾamāma .................. 150
5.5 Grammaticalization of xalfa ‘back, behind’ ...................... 153
5.5.1 Semantic grammaticalization of xalfa .................... 153
5.5.2 Formal grammaticalization of xalfa ........................ 160
Chapter Six Simple Stem “Primary” Prepositions ...................... 167
6.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 167
6.2 Grammaticalization of fī ‘in, at’ ........................................... 167
6.2.1 Semantic grammaticalization of fī ........................... 167
6.2.2 Formal grammaticalization of fī .............................. 177
6.3 Grammaticalization of ʿalā ‘on, above’ ............................... 186
6.3.1 Semantic grammaticalization of ʿalā ....................... 186
6.3.2 Formal grammaticalization of ʿalā .......................... 195
6.4 Grammaticalization of min ‘from, of ’ ................................ 202
6.4.1 Semantic grammaticalization of min ...................... 202
6.4.2 Formal grammaticaization of min ........................... 211
Chapter Seven Bound-Stem Prepositional Forms ...................... 225
7.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 225
7.2 Grammaticalization of li- ‘to, for’ ........................................ 226
7.2.1 Semantic grammaticalization of li- ......................... 226
7.2.2 Formal grammaticalization of li- ............................. 236
7.3 Grammaticalization of bi- ‘in, at, with’ .............................. 240
7.3.1 Semantic grammaticalization of bi- ........................ 240
7.3.2 Formal grammaticalization of bi- ............................ 250
Chapter Eight From Preposition to Clause Subordination ...... 257
8.1 Prepositional Subordinators and Non-Prepositional
Equivalents ................................................................................. 257
8.2 Prepositions and Subordinators: Formal Distinctions ... 259
8.3 Interclausal Linkage Strategies .............................................. 263
8.4 Layering of Prepositional Subordinators ........................... 266
8.5 Layers of Meanings .................................................................. 272
8.5.1 Gricean Utterance Meaning ...................................... 272
8.5.2 Principle of Informativeness and Implicatures .... 274
8.6 Scales of Grammaticalization for Subordinators ............. 285
Chapter Nine Causal, Concessive-Conditional, and Concessive
Subordinators ..................................................................................... 289
9.1 Introduction .............................................................................. 289
9.2 Causal Relations ....................................................................... 289
9.2.1 Purpose ........................................................................... 291
9.2.2 Cause/Reason ................................................................ 295
9.2.3 Textual Frequency of liʾanna ‘because’ .................. 298
9.2.4 Textual Frequency of bi-mā ʾanna ‘since,
because’ ....................................................................... 306
9.2.5 Diachronic Frequency of li-d̠ālika ‘therefore’ ...... 309
9.2.6 Textual Frequency of mund̠u ‘since’ ....................... 311
9.3 Concessive-Conditional Relations ....................................... 314
9.3.1 Diachronic Frequency ................................................ 325
9.3.2 Concessive Relation .................................................... 327
9.4 Diachronic Textual Frequency ............................................. 334
Chapter Ten Summary and Conclusion ....................................... 339
Appendix A .............................................................................................. 351
Bibliography ............................................................................................ 357
Indices
Author Index ...................................................................................... 371
Subject Index ...................................................................................... 374

Readership

Researchers in Arabic Linguistics, Semitic Linguistics, Historical Linguistics and Grammaticalization, Cognitive Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, and Linguistic Typology.

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