LINGUIST List 11.2018

Sat Sep 23 2000

Qs: "at least", Arabic Conditional Markers

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  1. Suzette Haden Elgin, At least
  2. Eerik Dickinson, Arabic conditional markers

Message 1: At least

Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 07:01:21 -0600
From: Suzette Haden Elgin <>
Subject: At least

Sptember 21, 2000

Dear Linguists,

I've been searching for materials regarding "at least" constructions,
without success, and would be grateful for any references or suggestions
that you might have. You can reply to me directly at, and I'll post a summary if responses justify that.

I'm especially interested in constructions such as "You could at LEAST get
to WORK on time!" and their various permutations; I'm especially interested
in "at least" equivalents in languages other than English. However, I would
be grateful for anything at all having to do with "at least."

Thanks for your help.

Suzette Haden Elgin
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Message 2: Arabic conditional markers

Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 11:42:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eerik Dickinson <>
Subject: Arabic conditional markers

Dear Sirs

In the course of preparing a grammar of Libyan Arabic, we have run
into a terminological question for which we have no answer. In
applied linguistics, the treatment of the three main conditional
markers in Arabic (law, in, idhaa) occurs under the heading of
"Conditional Sentences." Nevertheless, it is commonly recognized that
idhaa often carries a sense far closer to "when" rather than "if." Is
there any single term which covers the entire range of meanings
represented by the these particles? We considered something along the
lines of "Circumstantial Sentences," but have discovered that this is
often applied to events which have already occurred (closer to indamaa
or lammaa, although we have discovered that lammaa in Libyan is often
used in the sense of idhaa). Any ideas?

Eerik Dickinson

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