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Book Information


Title: Information Structure in Spoken Arabic
Edited By: Jonathan Owens
Alaa Elgibali
Series Title: Routledge Arabic Linguistics Series

This book explores speakers’ intentions, and the structural and pragmatic
resources they employ, in spoken Arabic – which is different in many
essential respects from literary Arabic. Based on new empirical findings
from across the Arabic world this book elucidates the many ways in which
context and the goals and intentions of the speaker inform and constrain
linguistic structure in spoken Arabic.

This is the first book to provide an in-depth analysis of information
structure in spoken Arabic, which is based on language as it is actually
used, not on normatively-given grammar. Written by leading experts in
Arabic linguistics, the studies evaluate the ways in which relevant parts
of a message in spoken Arabic are encoded, highlighted or obscured. It
covers a broad range of issues from across the Arabic-speaking world,
including the discourse-sensitive properties of word order variation, the
use of intonation for information focussing, the differential role of
native Arabic and second languages to encode information in a codeswitching
context, and the need for cultural contextualization to understand the role
of "disinformation" structure.

The studies combine a strong empirical basis with methodological and
theoretical issues drawn from a number of different perspectives including
pragmatic theory, language contact, instrumental prosodic analysis and
(de-)grammaticalization theory. The introductory chapter embeds the project
within the deeper Arabic grammatical tradition, as elaborated by the
eleventh century grammarian Abdul Qahir al-Jurjani. This book provides an
invaluable comprehensive introduction to an important, yet understudied,
component of spoken Arabic.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard
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Format: Electronic
ISBN: 0203875834
ISBN-13: 9780203875834
Pages: 288
Prices: U.S. $ 135.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415778441
ISBN-13: 9780415778442
Pages: 288
Prices: U.S. $ 135.00