Investigating Arabic: Current Parameters in Analysis and Learning

Investigating Arabic: Current Parameters in Analysis and Learning

Investigating Arabic: Current Parameters in Analysis and Learning

Investigating Arabic: Current Parameters in Analysis and Learning

Synopsis

This book offers a wide range overview of current research issues in Arabic linguistics, extending from the general to the specific. It includes in depth investigations of theoretical and applied topics that are of interest to general and Arabic linguistics: computational analysis of Arabic, Arabic dialectology, acquisition of Arabic as a native language, learning and teaching Arabic as a first or foreign language, sociolinguistic analysis of Arabic, and the status of Arabic in European academe. Despite the seeming diversity of the topics, they fall thematically into two major inter-related categories, analysis and learning. Each chapter is a thoughtful reflection of a major current trend in the study of Arabic.

Excerpt

Alaa Elgibali

This book offers a wide range overview of current research issues in Arabic linguistics, extending from the general to the specific. It includes in depth investigations of theoretical and applied topics that are of interest to general linguistics, Arabic linguistics, and learning and teaching Arabic as a first or foreign language. Despite the diversity of the topics, they fall thematically into two major inter-related categories, analysis and learning.

Language Analysis

In chapter I, Kees Versteegh discusses the importance of investigating linguistic features exhibited in the production of Middle Arabic by native speakers. He uses the term 'Middle Arabic' in the sense outlined by Blau in 1965 to refer to texts that include mixed features from standard and colloquial Arabic varieties, regardless of the text time period. Versteegh examines systematic errors, or deviations from standard Arabic grammar, which appear in native speakers' writings. He concludes that these errors not only show interference from regional or native dialects but also point out a regular pattern of hypercorrection. the study demonstrates with textual evidence that this pattern of hypercorrection is not a new phenomenon to the Arabic language situation, but extends back in time for many centuries. Versteegh concludes that such sociolinguistic behavior by native speakers reflects the tension between societal attitudes and community expectations which demand the use of certain language features in writing, on the one hand, and the inability of the speakers to perform successfully due to insufficient knowledge of Arabic grammar, on the other.

In chapter ii, Alaa Elgibali explores the implications of studying the acquisition of Arabic as a first language to the process of formulating grammatical rules that are adequate, general, and cognitively sound. To illustrate, the author examines a number of analytically . . .

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