Volume 8 (2008)
Edited by Alex Metcalfe with Joseph Norment Bell & Lutz Edzard
Editors' Introduction (pdf file, 16 kB, p. i)
Michael G. Carter: A Bibliography (pdf file, 179 kB, pp. 1-10)
Abstract: The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish is well known for his intertextual playfulness and inventiveness, and indeed, in one of his last books, Fi Hadrat al-ghiyab (In the Presence of Absence, 2006) he alludes to classical Arabic poetry, the Quran and his own previous oeuvre. Drawing on a celebrated qasida by the Umayyad poet Malik Ibn al-Rayb as his model, Darwish composed this work as a funeral speech for himself. Essentially, it is an oration in prose, but snatches of poetry also appear in a stylistic pattern where rhetorical figures abound. Speaking from the barzakh between life and death, the poet reflects on his wordly existence from cradle to grave. Published less than two years before Darwish death in August 2008, the text has the double character of prediction and testament. The thesis of this article is that the death of the author adds meaning to it not by his absence, but paradoxically, by his increased presence as an unavoidable point of reference and source of identification for the reader.
Maria Persson, The Role of the b-prefix in Gulf Arabic Dialects as a Marker of Future, Intent and/or Irrealis (pdf file, 211 kB, pp. 26-52)
Abstract: This paper presents arguments for a re-analysis of the b-prefix in Gulf Arabic dialects. Similar to several other dialects, Gulf Arabic possesses a b-prefix that is inserted before the p-stem (prefix form) of the verb. However, the Gulf Arabic b-prefix differs substantially from the one encountered in other Arabic dialects. According to most previous studies, the Gulf Arabic b-prefix encodes future tense or intentive mood or a combination of these. Based on a thorough survey of the use of this particle in modern speech, I suggest that it is used in Gulf Arabic today as a generalized marker of the irrealis mood rather than being limited to function as a future/intentive marker. Futurity is one - but not the only or necessarily the most important one - of its connotations. Meanwhile, another marker, rah, emerges as an obvious future marker in some parts of the dialectal area.
Heikki Palva, Sedentary and Bedouin Dialects in Contact: Remarks On Karaki and Salti Dialects in Jordan (pdf file, 224 kB, pp. 53-70)
Abstract: El-Karak and es-Salt are two Jordanian towns which have traditionally been in close contact with Bedouin neighbours. Part of their population also claims Bedouin origin. The dialects spoken in the towns can be classified as rural dialects of mixed type. They display a number of Bedouin-type features, e.g., the voiced g variant of *q. The Bedouin traits of Karaki are typical of the dialects spoken in Arabia Petraea, in Salti they belong to the dialects of the Syro-Mesopotamian group. Diachronically, some of the features shared with Bedouin dialects may be regarded as conservative sedentary traits, e.g., the retention of interdentals as well as gender distinction in plural of finite verbs and personal pronouns. Both Karaki and Salti use the b-imperfect, whereas they differ from each other in the use of negations. Salti makes use of the compound negation, in Karaki it is not used.
Lutz Edzard, Principles Behind the Eighth Revised Edition of Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow's and August Fischer's Arabische Chrestomathie aus Prosaschriftstellern: A Tribute to the Scholarly Methods of Michael G. Carter (pdf file, 223 kB, pp. 71-83)
Abstract: This paper examines the editorial principles underlying the eighth revised edition of Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow's and August Fischer's Arabische Chrestomathie aus Prosaschriftstellern, as carried out by Lutz Edzard and Amund Bjørsnøs. An essential feature of the added commentary to the text excerpts is the recourse to the methods and terminology in native Arabic grammatical theory. Throughout his career in research and teaching, Michael G. Carter has placed much weight on the appropriate application of native Arabic scholarship to an apt description and analysis of both Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, a principle attempted also in this new edition.
Anne Sofie Roald, From Theocracy to Democracy? Towards Secularization and Individualization in the Policy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan (pdf file, 226 kB, pp. 84-107)
Abstract: There is a common assumption that 'Islam' has an inherent opposition between the sacred and the secular which obstructs the secularization process witnessed in western societies. This study argues that Weber's notion of Protestant religion as a driving force in the rationalization of society might be an indicator of how political Islam in itself in the end might lead to a differentiation between the religious and the secular sphere; an individualization and a secularization of the Islamic message and thereby to a privatization of religion. The political experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is analysed in view of western theories of secularization, particularly Steve Bruce's study on secularization in British society. As Islamists work within the democratic system there seems to be a transformation from being a radical organization towards becoming 'just another comfortable denomination', as expressed in Bruce's claim that 'the sectarian project' is 'largely self-defeating'.
Gunvor Mejdell, What is Happening to Lughatuna 'l-Gamila? Recent Media Representations and Social Practice in Egypt (pdf file, 204 kB, pp. 108-124)
Abstract: In one of his more recent papers, Michael Carter traced the linguistic arguments and sources according to which the early grammarians based their description and rules of the Arabic language, and how with time this language came to be sanctified and given additional authority by identifying it as the language of the Quran. Carter ends his article by addressing the challenges facing it, as the authority of grammar and of grammarians to control the language of the community fades away, and the 'language of the people', that is the vernacular varieties, takes over the domains of Classical Arabic. This article presents views and arguments found in Egyptian printed media over the past decade and relates them to earlier studies on the language debate. Finally, it discusses the extent to which these media representations reflect observed linguistic practice and social processes at work in the Egyptian language community.
Ludmila Torlakova, The Notion Weapon in Arabic Idioms (pdf file, 202 kB, pp. 125-141)
Abstract: This study presents a group of Arabic idioms that have as at least one of their components a word denoting a weapon. Handling and using weapons together with exploring their potential is one of the primary experiences people have had. Thus it is worthwhile to investigate how 'weaponry' idioms contribute to expanding figuratively the world picture included in the realm of Arabic phraseology. Weaponry idioms are considered here within the framework of general cognitive linguistics and 'conventional figurative language theory' as developed by Dmitri Dobrovol'skij and Elisabeth Piirainen. An attempt is made to test whether this framework can accommodate semantic analysis of Arabic idioms containing the concept weapon. Selected phrasemes denoting situation and behavior are examined in order to look into their semantic structure and type of motivation. Since the majority of the idioms studied have been collected from dictionaries, an attempt is made to present a contemporary evaluation and assessment of their use in Modern Standard Arabic based on Internet sources.