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Essays in Arabic Dialectology

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Noureddine Guella

This volume brings together a number of previously published papers, which reflect a middle-of-the-road approach in Linguistic Analysis. The first part contains articles dealing with major grammatical techniques and strategies in Arabic dialects: articles on syllabication, stress and intonation in an urban Arabic dialect as well as on lexical borrowing. The second part deals with linguistic substitution as verbal dynamism, and with riddles and riddling in an Algerian context.
Ce volume est un ensemble des articles déjà publiés dans le domaine de l’analyse linguistique. La méthodologie suivie est structural-fonctionnaliste. La première partie contient deux articles traitant de sujets de dialectologie arabe, entre autres l’utilisation des marqueurs de la possession dans des dialectes arabes du Maghreb et de la Péninsule Arabique, les diverses structures syllabiques, l’accent et les contours d’intonation dans un dialecte arabe urbain. La deuxième partie s’occupe des énigmes en contexte algérien et deux autres articles sur la suppléance linguistique en arabe dialectal.
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Possessive constructions in Arabic: A cross-dialectal study

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This contribution is a cross-dialectal analysis of possessive constructions. The dialects under study include the Maghribin dialects and some of the dialects in the Arabian Gulf. The paper analyses the formal aspects involved in the construction of the notion of possession in individual dialects and its relation to Standard Arabic. The resulting strategies of possessive formation and structure will be exhibited and formalized in a vast array of Arabic dialects from a comparative perspective.

The approach adopted in the analysis of these phenomena is more linguistic than conceptual. It is supported by the underlying assumption that linguistic possession presupposes notional possession. After comparative description and analysis of Classical and dialectal Arabic possessive structures, it appears that an important linguistic shift has been and still is operating in the construction of possessive structure. This shift is due to many reasons. One of the most important reasons is the contact with other languages or linguistic structures. In the case of Maghribin dialects, the paper finds that the shift from ‘synthetic’ construction to a more ‘analytic’ construction is due to a recognized Berber substratum. On the other hand, and in the case of the Arabian Gulf regional dialects and Classical Arabic, European (mainly English and French) linguistic forces are in play in the formation of a more dynamic type of possessive structure.

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