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By Hussein Abdul-Raof

Investigates the common different types ’subject’, ’theme’, and ’agent’ with precise connection with their useful prestige in smooth regular Arabic (MSA) and the way those 3 detailed services may perhaps or won't coincide in Arabic sentences. those capabilities are inexplicitly characterized via classical and sleek Arab linguists and Arabists alike.
It has been discovered that the pre- (viz. sentence - preliminary) or post-verbal noun word (NP) in Arabic could be assigned the syntactic functionality ’subject’ yet would possibly not inevitably imagine the semantic functionality ’agent’, that the pre-verbal NP, that may no longer unavoidably be the ’subject’, has the pragmatic functionality ’theme’, and that those designated capabilities occasionally cluster round a unmarried NP in yes sentences, reckoning on genre.
It has additionally been stumbled on that during MSA the order of sentence elements is comparatively unfastened, topic to a verb-initial choice, specifically whilst had to hinder ambiguity.
The current examine finds the truth that even supposing coding positive aspects similar to be aware order, case marking, and cross-referencing (viz. contract) may supply a transparent indication of which NPs are ’subjects’ in MSA, they don't offer a straight forward indication of semantic relatives similar to ’agent’; the ’subject’ place in MSA isn't really inevitably the canonical ’agent’ place.

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Additional resources for Subject, Theme and Agent in Modern Standard Arabic

Example text

In short, the term 'subject' as used in modern linguistic discourse refers basically to a relational notion, denoting the function performed by a particular clause constituent with respect to the whole clause or to the verbal constituent of that clause. The present chapter seeks to establish that one may properly speaks of 'subject' in Arabic and attempts to identify its properties. 3 TRADITIONAL ARAB ACCOUNT Traditional Arab grammarians have identified various constituents of the simple Arabic clause in diverse ways, using diverse terms, some of which appear to overlap and some of which have different denotations according to the grammarian or the school to which he belongs; Let us consider (1-2): 1.

3 We shall only deal in the present study with 'full' simple declarative sentences; we do not consider sentences like (64): 64a. ) 64b. , one that goes beyond individual sentences) as elliptical sentences, in which the 'real' NP 1 is recoverable from the larger verbal context, as in (65): 65a. ) 65b. , the form of the verb indicates the NP l ; in such cases, the NP I is realised by a bound pronoun suffixed to the verb, as in (63) above, where the NP I is realised implicitly by the pronominal masculine/feminine bound morpheme (he) and (she) respectively.

Similar statements may be made in respect of accusative and genitive markers. Pronominal NP's have a pronoun as head. ). ). However, NP's with common noun heads allow a considerable amount of pre- and post-modification, as in (6-9): 6. ) 7. ) 8. ) 9. akiyyu def-clever-noun al-fuqara:'i def-poor-gen ma:tu: died-3m-pl najaHna succeeded-3f-pl rija:lin ind-men-gen Subject in Arabic 21 While the head word governs types of agreement between the NP and the verbal group, case markers designating clausal function of the NP may appear on all of the elements or only on some of them.

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