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Grammatical and Lexical Cohesive Devices In Arabic Language

By Saif F. Al-Fanek

Philadelphia University

Faculty of Arts Department of English Language and Literature

Supervised by Professor: Suleiman Al Hajj


Grammatical and Lexical Cohesive Devices in Arabic Language Table of Contents

Table of Contents Introduction Grammatical cohesive devices Reference Anaphora / Cataphora Anaphora / Deixis Typology of Anaphors in Arabic Prominal Anaphora Lexical Anaphora Comparative Anaphora Verb Anaphora Arabic connectives and their functions Lexical cohesive devices Repetition Parallelism Paraphrase Conclusion Bibliography


Page Number I 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 5 6 6 6 13 13 16 17 18 19

Grammatical and Lexical Cohesive Devices in Arabic Language



Arabic writing has been characterized by using conjunctions to link discourse elements and it has been also described as formulaic, that is, relying on "fixed sets of words" to make semantic and syntactic links, and that what Halliday and Hasan (1976:4) stated when they provided a definition for cohesion " The grammatical and lexical links with in sentences that link into a text. Whether it is content oriented "grammatical cohesion" or language oriented "lexical cohesion", both be thought of a guide to coherence. Connectives – words or phrases that connect one part of discourse with another are a pervasive feature of syntax. Arabic sentences and clauses within a text are connected and interconnected by means of words or phrases (such as waand) that coordinate, subordinate, and otherwise link them semantically and syntactically. This frequent use of connectives results in a high degree of textual cohesion in Arabic writing that contrasts significantly with the style of written English. Connective words that link sentences within a text are referred to as "discourse markers". Analysis of discourse markers in English has tended to focus on spoken conversation, whereas analysis of discourse markers in Arabic (Al-Batal 1990) has focused particularly on the structure of the written narrative. This paper is an attempt to introduce some of the cohesive devices used by Arabic language which contribute to creating textuality. The paper is structured in 4 sections. In the second section, I present some grammatical cohesive devices used in Arabic discourse such as: reference and connectives. Section 3 presents some of the lexical cohesive devices used in Arabic discourse such as: repetition, parallelism, and paraphrase. Section 4 presents the conclusions.





References: Basic notions of Anaphora, Cataphora, and Deixis.

Anaphora is a linguistic relation between two textual entities which is defined when a textual entity (the anaphor) refers to another entity of the text which usually occurs before (the antecedent). When the anaphor refers to an antecedent and both have the same referent in the real world, they are called co referential. Although, co reference and anaphora are two different concepts, in reality, they most often co-occur except in some cases. Note that, not all varieties of anaphora are based on referring expressions such as verb anaphora in example (1) or bound anaphors in example (2). On the contrary, co reference may occur without anaphora. For example, the use of the same proper name consecutively with each one referring to the same entity. ]1[

‫هَيأ الوالد ابنه للنوم كما يفعل كل ليلة‬ The father prepared his brother for sleeping like he does each night


‫وضعت أمي في المزهرية أزهارا صفراء تتوسطها واحدة حمراء‬ My mother puts in the vase yellow flowers and in the centre a red one

2.1.1 Anaphora/Cataphora. The anaphora is defined as being the resumption of an entity already evoked previously in the text, whereas, the cataphora occurs when a reference is made on an entity mentioned further in the text. e.g: ‫هو الموت ل يترك حيا‬ It is the death does not give up a living 2.1.2 Anaphora/Deixis. The deixis is a linguistic phenomenon which identifies a person, object, place, etc. in a context or in a specific situation. e.g: ‫كتابي أخذت أنت‬ You took my book 2.1.3 Typology of Anaphors in Arabic. Anaphoric expressions could be one of four linguistic categories: pronouns, verbs, nouns and definite descriptions. 4

Pronominal anaphora.

Pronouns form a special class of anaphors because of their empty semantic structure; they do not have an independent meaning from their antecedent. In addition, not all pronouns are anaphoric: e.g., deictic pronouns such as: I, ‫انا‬, we , ‫ نحن‬,you , ‫ انت‬are not anaphoric ones (Hechiri C. 1998). Pronominal anaphora includes third personal pronouns ( ‫)الغغغغائب ضغغغمير‬, demonstrative pronouns ( ( ‫ أسماء الاشارة‬, and relative pronouns ( ‫ الموصولة ) السماء‬.

personal pronouns.

In Arabic, third personal pronouns can be classified in disjoint or joint pronouns and also in nominative, dative or accusative ones. Thus, we distinguish: a.

Nominative disjoint personal pronouns ‫) في محل رفع ( المنفصلة الضمائر‬ ّ ‫ه‬ ‫ن‬ ‫هم‬ ‫هما‬ ‫هي‬ ‫هو‬ Honna Houm Huma Hiya Huwa

]3[ ‫صيد المثيرة وهم يستمعون اليه‬ ّ ‫روى سيف لخوته ما شاهده في رحلة ال‬ ‫بانتباه وسرور‬ Saif told to his brothers all what he saw in the hunting trip and they were listening to him with an interest and a joy b.

Accusative dis-joint personal pronouns (‫)الضمائر المنفصلة في محل رفع‬ َ‫إَياهن‬ Iyahonna

‫إَياهم‬ Iyahum

‫إَياهما‬ Iyahumaa

‫إَياها‬ Iyahaa

‫إَياه‬ Iyahu


‫أعجب أحمد بالَلوحة اَلتي رسمتها فأهديته إَياها‬ Ahmed was impressed by the table which I drew then I offered it to him

c. ‫نصب وجر‬

Dative and accusative joint personal pronouns (‫الضمائر المَتصلة في محل‬ ) ّ ‫ــه‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ــهم‬ ‫ــهما‬ ‫ــها‬ ‫ــه‬ honna houm huma ha hu



‫جّديتي ليس لها من الهل سوانا وسوى ولد واحد يعيش في ديار الغربة مع زوجته وابنائه‬ My grandmother has no relative but only a family that consists of us and only one son who lives abroad with his wife and his children


Nominative joint personal pronouns (‫)الضمائر المَتصلة في محل رفع‬ ‫أ‬ ‫و‬ ‫ن‬ Alif Waw Noun


‫خرج الولد‬ (VSO) Have gone out, the children


‫الولد خرجوا‬ (SVO) The children have gone out

The dative and accusative joint personal pronoun is the pronoun that can not begin a sentence; contrary to the disjoint pronoun (nominative and accusative). So, the dative and accusative joint personal pronoun should be attached to a noun ( ‫ زوجته‬his wife), a verb ( ‫ يتره‬saw him) or a preposition ( ‫ لها‬to her) as shown in example (4). Nevertheless, the disjoint pronoun can also be attached to some prefixes (e.g, the conjunction of coordination “ ‫ ف‬،‫ )” و‬such as ( ‫ وهم‬and they) in example (3). The nominative joint pronoun is a particular pronoun which is always suffixed to a radical verb also called the clitic pronoun1 . This pronoun takes up the position of the subject in a (SVO) sentence [7] like in ]6b[. Consequently, in ] 6a[ we can not use the clitic pronoun because the subject ( ‫ ) الولد‬occurs after the verb. Pleonastic pronouns are considered non-anaphoric since they are not interpreted as linked to any expression (antecedent). For example, in English the pronoun “it” could be pleonastic (e.g., “It is important”, “It is necessary”…). Similarly, in Arabic language, the joint pronouns ( ‫ ) غغغه‬and ( ‫ ) هغغا‬can be non anaphoric in some cases as in ]7a[ and ]7b[. ]7a[

‫أرى أّنه من الواجب أن أعتذر لها‬ I think that it is obligatory to apologize for he


‫إّنها تمطر‬ It is raining 6

Relative pronouns.

The relative pronoun in Arabic is always anaphoric and is referring to the immediate previously mentioned noun phrase.“ ،‫ اللغغتين‬،‫ اللغغذين‬،‫ اللتغغان‬،‫ اللغغذان‬،‫ الغغتي‬،‫الغغذي‬ ‫ الذين‬،‫ اللئي‬،‫ اللوايتي‬،‫ الليتي‬..." For example, in ]8[ the relative pronoun ( ‫ ) اّلتي‬refers to the noun phrase ( ‫ الكتب‬the books). ]8[

‫يتصفحت الكتاب الذي ااشتريته‬ I skimmed the books which I have bought Demonstrative pronouns.

Some demonstrative pronouns are only deictic (e.g, ( ‫ هنا‬، ‫الن‬and some others can have different uses (deixis,cataphora or anaphora). But, contrary to the other languages, most of the demonstrative pronouns are cataphoric. For example, the demonstrative pronouns ) ‫ هنالغغك‬، ‫ ذاك‬، ‫ )هغغذا‬are successively deictic in ]9a[ , cataphoric in ]9b[ and anaphoric in (9a). ]9a[

‫لم يمّر في يتاريخ العائلة حدث كهذا‬ it has never happens in the family an event like this ]9b[ ‫ هنالك يمكن أن نجد جميع‬،‫أنواع اللعاب ااشترى أحمد كرة من ذاك المتجر‬ Ahmed has bought a ball from that shop where we can find all sorts of games

Lexical Anaphora

Lexical anaphora is realized when the referring expressions are definite descriptions or proper names. These definite expressions increase the cohesiveness of the text and moreover they convey some additional information (synonymy, generalization, specialization, etc.) Hechiri C.(1998). ]10[ ‫ولد ابن خلدون في تونس ثم هاجر العلمة الى مصر‬ Ibn Khaldoun was born in Tunisia then the scientist immigrates to Egypt


Comparative Anaphora

The comparative anaphora(Webber & Stone 2003) represents anaphora in which the anaphoric expressions are introduced by lexical modifiers (e.g, ‫ آخر‬،‫ أخرى‬other, ‫واحده‬one) or comparative adjectives (e.g, ‫ أكبر‬greatest, ‫أحسن‬best). This type of anaphora specifies the relationship (such as set-complement, similarity and comparison) between the entities invoked by the anaphor and the antecedent. ]11[

‫قد كان لكم آية في فئتين التقتا فئة تقاتل في سبيل ا وأخرى كافرة‬ There, you people have had an intellectual lesson to comprehend: Two forces met one fighting in favor of God and the other against God Verb Anaphora.

Verb anaphora is another variety of anaphora which is characterized by the use of the verb ( ‫ فعل‬did). ]12[

‫ فان لم نفعل فنحن الملمون‬، ‫خلقنا لنؤدي واجباتنا‬ We live to do our obligations and if we don’t, we are the only reproachable

Compared with other language such as English or French, anaphoric expressions in Arabic are almost classified similarly. Although, we noticed some particularities to the Arabic language. On the one hand, the third person pronouns can be used as demonstrative pronouns (e.g, ‫ هغو الّرئيغس القغغادم‬He is the president coming). On the other hand, there is a dual form for the pronouns (e.g, ‫ ) هما‬and the singular feminine pronoun (e.g, ‫ هي‬she) can refers to a plural non-human item. 2.2

Arabic connectives and their functions.

The purpose of this section is to highlight the cohesive category of connectives and their functions in Arabic. Arab grammarians usually refer to the connectives- according to their different significance- as [’adawa:t-u- l-rabT ] or [Hu:ru:f-u- l-‘aTf ], i.e. connective particles. Sometimes they are treated under the headings of [’aTf nasaq] ‘conjunction of sequence’ and [‘aTf baya:n] ‘explicative apposition’. For most of the Arab grammarians, connectives are treated as linking devices, and their function is mainly to coordinate units such as words, phrases, clauses, sentences, etc. 8

Old classical Arab grammarians were mainly interested only in [al-’i‘ra:b], i.e. case or mood inflection, in their descriptions of the connectives. That is, the textual function fulfilled by the connectives in discourse has been completely neglected or overlooked. However, recently, the textual function of connectives in Arabic has attracted the attentions of many discourse analysts (Al-Jubouri, 1983). In his book The Syntax of Modern Arabic Prose published in (1974), Cantarino puts forward a full account and detailed analysis and description of the syntactic and semantic features of the cohesive category ‘connectives’ in Arabic. He investigates the different functions a single connective may perform in different contexts. The most commonly used connective particles in Arabic are: [wa] ‘and’, [fa] ‘and/then’, [thumma] ‘then’, [’am] ‘or’, [’aw] ‘or’, [la:kinna] and [la:kin] ‘but’. These are presented under the following major headings:). 2.2.1 [wa] ‘And’ The conjunctive particle [wa] ‘and’ is the most generally used particle in Arabic. Clive Holes (1995: 217) notes that: [wa] is the primitive conjunctive particle: it is the most commonly encountered sentence connective and has the widest variety of uses, analogous in these aspects to English ‘and’. Unlike English ‘and’, however, [wa] regularly functions as a textual, as well as a sentence-connective. Regarding the use of [wa] and [fa], Wright (1974: 330) asserts that: The Arabs, as well as other Semites, often connect single verbs and entire sentences with one another merely by means of the particles [wa] and [fa]… They use [wa]… where we would prefer a disjunctive or adversative particle; as [Allah-u ya‘lam-u wa ’antum la: ta‘lamu:n] ‘Allah knows, but you do not know’. In such cases, however, [wa] has in reality only a copulative force; the adversative relation lies in the nature of the two clauses themselves. Wright also notes that “[wa] in Arabic, like its equivalent in other Semitic languages, often serves to connect two clauses, the second of which describes either the state or condition of an element (i.e. the subject or one of its complements) in the preceding one, or else of a new subject” (Wright, 1974: 332). 9

Another type of [wa] exists in Arabic called by Arab grammarians [wa:w l ma‘i:ya] or sometimes called [wa:w l-muSa:Haba], both of which mean the [wa:w] of simultaneousness actions. This type of wa is used according to Wright when: a. The governed verb expresses an act subordinate to, but simultaneous with, the act expressed by the previous clause”; as in: [13] la: tanha: ‘an khuluq-in wa ta’ti: mithlahu: ‫ل تنهى عن خلق وتأتي مثله‬ Do not restrain (the others) from any habit, whilst you (yourself) practice one like it (Wright, 1974: 32) b. The conjunctive particle [wa] is also used to connect two nouns in such a way that the second is subordinate to, and not coordinate with the first, as in: [14] sa:ra zayd-un wa t-tari:q ‫سار زياد والطريق‬ zayd went along the road (Wright, 1974: 83) c. Another usage of the conjunctive particle [wa] identical to the above is when it is used to connect two nouns; in this case it is known as [wa:w alluzu:m], i.e. [wa:w] of adherence, if the two nouns belong necessarily together, as in: [15] a.

kullu shay’in wa thamanah-u ‫كل شئ وثمنه‬ Each thing has its won price


kullu ’insa:n-in wa hammah-u ‫كل انسان وهمه‬ Every man has his own care (Wright, 1974: 84)

However, [wa] in the above instances and in similar instances is not regarded here as cohesive device because it is used to link phrases in a structural sense similar to the structural ‘and’ in English (cf. Halliday and Hasan for complete 10

reference on the structural ‘and’). Unlike the English structural ‘and’ however this use of the conjunctive particle [wa] has no additive function either. Rather, the function may be rhetorical. In terms of functions, the conjunctive particle [wa] has subtle and varied functions; it may express one of the following relations: a. To signal the beginning of a chunk of information In simple narrative, the conjunctive particle [wa] is sometimes used to signal the beginning of every paragraph except the first. Its function in such texts is simply to mark the beginning of the next episode in the report, as in: [16] wa there were a few women, some of them revealing dainty arms which carried handbags resembling shoe- or jewel-boxes. Wa there was not a single peasant woman among them. b. To express additive relations (X and Y). The conjunctive particle [wa], can be used to express additive relations between clauses that are intended as equally important in the exposition or the narratives, as in: [17] wa there were a few women, some of them revealing dainty arms… wa there was not a single peasant woman among them. (Holes, 1995: 217) c. To express temporal relations (X then Y). The conjunctive particle [wa] can also be used to express temporal relations between the clauses that it connects, i.e. it links successive episodes in a narrative, as in: [18] They brought out the pot wa took the mashed dates wa threw them into the middle of the pot wa mashed them… (Holes, 1995: 218) d. To express simultaneous action (X at the same time as Y). The conjunctive particle [wa] can be also used in Arabic to express simultaneous action without giving particular topical prominence, as in: [19] I watered the crops wa ate (Holes, 1995: 218) c. To express circumstantial relations (X in circumstance Y). According to Holes (1995), the conjunctive particle [wa] can also be used to signal circumstantial relations between clauses in discourse, as in:


[20] He abandoned them wa they were small (Holes, 1995: 219) d. 6. To express adversative relations (X but Y). The conjunctive particle [wa] is used also in Arabic to express an adversative relation between the clauses it connects. Holes (1995:219). [21] ’innaki: l-yawma tajhali:n-a wa ghad-an ta‘lami:n ‫انك اليوم يتجهلين و غدا يتعلمين‬ You do not know today, but you will tomorrow (Cantarino 1975: 18) 2.2.2 [fa] ‘So’ The conjunctive particle [fa], according to some linguists is called the ‘particle of classification’. It indicates coordination together with the idea of development in the narrative. For Holes (1995), [fa] usually creates a relationship between two clauses or between two paragraphs of a text such that the second clause describes a state or an action which occurs as a consequence of the first one. In order to illustrate this, Holes presents the following examples: [22] a. I discovered from the first puff that smoke was escaping from lots of holes ‘fa’ I stubbed it out in the ashtray b. One day I heard a boy selling books who kept calling out ‘Diary of a Tough-Guy’ ‘fa’ I called him over and bought a copy. In terms of functions, the conjunctive particle [fa], like [wa], has varied functions. It may express one of the following relations: a. To express result and causal relations. The conjunctive particle [fa] is regarded by Arab grammarians as a signal of causality between clauses where the first clause implies a reason and the second a result. Sometimes also ‘fa’ marks a conclusion. [23] qad adlayta bi-Hujjat-in qa:Ti‘at-in li-ha:dha: fa-a‘taqidah-u ‫قد ألدليت بحجة قاطعة لهذا فاعتقدته‬ You have adduced a decisive argument for this, so I will believe it (Beeston, 1968: 56)


b. To express adversative relations. The conjunctive particle [fa], like the conjunctive particle [wa], may express an adversative relationship existing between the two clauses/sentences it connects. [24] a.


fattish-tu ‘an kalimat-in ’aqu:luha: fa-lam agedaha: ‫فتشت عن كلمة اقولها فلم اجدها‬ I searched for a word to say, but I could not find any sami‘-a l-sha:bb-u l-kala:m-a fa-lam yuSaddiq ‫سمع الشاب الكلم فلم يصدق‬ The young man heard it but did not believe (Cantarino, 1975: 39)

c. To express sequential/temporal relations. The conjunctive particle [fa], like [wa], may be used to express sequential and temporal relations. [25] qa:m-a l-wazi:r-u ‘an majlisih fa-nSaraf-a ‫قام الوزير عن مجلسه فانصرف‬ The minister rose from his seat, and departed (Beeston, 1968: 56) As there is an overlapping between the functions of the two conjunctive particles, [wa] and [fa], it is important to differentiate between them. Beeston (1968: 56) highlights this by saying: […] and whereas [wa] simply links two items [sentences/clauses] without implication as to the priority of one over the other, [fa] implies that what precedes it has some sort of priority over what follows it. 2.2.3 [thumma] ‘Then’ The conjunctive particle [thumma] is one of the commonly used particles in Arabic. Like [wa], [thumma] can signal sequential action. The difference between the two particles is highlighted by Holes (1995: 220-21) as follows: The difference between the two […] is that thumma marks a new development, event, or change of direction in the action described in the narrative […] thumma acts as a superordinate staging marker for the narrative as a whole; wa adds information within each of the narrative frames thus created without taking the narrative forward…


The difference between the conjunctive particles, [fa] and [thumma], is highlighted by Cantarino (1975: 35): The conjunctive particle thumma emphasizes the sequence existing between two structurally independent statements as an interval, contrary to [fa], which stresses the connected series; thus, before [thumma], a pause or an interval in the narrative to be understood. In terms of functions, unlike the preceding two conjunctive particles [wa] and [fa], [thumma] has only one function. It is used to signal a temporal relation. This is highlighted by Cantarino (1975: 36) who writes: As a consequence of its temporal meaning, ‘thumma’ usually implies that the action of the preceding sentence has been completed, thus introducing a new event or situation. [26] ’ishtaryt-u l-kita:b-a bi-thaman-in gha:li-n thumma dhahabtu naHiyat-a rukn-in fi: qahwat-in ‫اشتريت الكتاب بثمن غال ثم ذهبت ناحية ركن في القهوة‬ I bought the book at a high price, and then I went to a corner at a coffee shop 2.2.4 [la:kinna] and [la:kin] ‘But’ The prototypical adversative conjunction in Arabic is [la:kinna]. Both [la:kinna] and [la:kin], which is another version of [la:kinna], are said to denote the general meaning of what is called by Arab grammarians [’istidra:k] ‘concessive’, i.e. particles that signal an adversative meaning. The difference between the two particles [la:kinna] and [la:kin] is highlighted by various linguists. Cantarino, for example, notes that Arab grammarians consider the particle [la:kinna] as the basic form, whereas [la:kin] is seen to be the lightened form derived from it. Arab grammarians do not go into detail in discussing the differences between the two particles in terms of scope and functions. In terms of functions, the two conjunctive particles- [la:kinna] ‘but’ and its derived form [la:kin]- are very frequently used to express an adversative relationship to a preceding statement or situation.


[27] 'arrad-tu 'an adhhaf la:kina 'Taqsa mana'ani ‫ن الطقس منعني‬ ّ ‫ارت ان اذهب لك‬ I wanted to go but the weather prevent me from going 2.2.5 [’aw] , [’am] and ]imma[ ‘Or’ The disjunctive particle [’aw] ‘or’ is the prototype of disjunctive conjunctions whereas [’am] ‘or’ is the prototype of alternative conjunctions in Arabic. One of its basic functions is described by Beeston (1968: 57) as follows: [’aw] is a connective linking two items which are mutually exclusive possibilities, of such a nature that they could be marked in English by [the correlative conjunction] ‘either … or alternatively …’: [e.g. ‘qad taSduq-u qiSSatuh-u ’aw tazi:f-u] ‘his story may be true or false’. Modern usage, however, tends to extend the use of [’aw] to all contexts where English uses ‘or’. And just as in English ‘or’ can be reinforced by a preceding ‘either’, this can be represented in Arabic by [’imma:]. To illustrate this, Beeston presents the following example: [28] …’imma: fi: miSr ’aw fi:-l-sha:m ‫اما في مصر او الشام‬ …either in Egypt or in Syria (Beeston, 1968: 57) 3.




Al-Jubouri was among the first contemporary scholars to investigate this phenomenon in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Al-Jubouri (1983) investigates the role of repetition in Arabic argumentative discourse and identifies three levels of repetition: morphological level, word level, and the chunk level. The term ‘chunk’ is used by Al-Jubouri to refer to the Arabic grammatical notions [jumla] and [shibh jumla] which do not always correspond exactly to the English concepts of ‘phrase’, ‘clause’ and ‘sentence’. These are presented as follows:



Repetition at morphological level

According to Al-Jubouri, Arabic, being a Semitic language, is characterized by its root system referred to by modern linguists as [aljudhu:r] and patterns of the derived form of [al-awza:n]. Al-Jubouri (1983: 100) notes that: Arabic roots are ordered sets of usually three, but occasionally four consonants. Each root has a general meaning which is the common denominator of the meanings of all the forms in which it is realized: e.g., [k-t-b] has to do with writing and [s-m-‘] has to do with hearing [….] Morphological repetition is enhanced in words that lie in close syntactic proximity, and is manifested in their root or pattern similarity. Al-Jubouri distinguishes two types of repetition at the morphological level: pattern repetition and root repetition. The former, according to Al-Jubouri, involves “using words that have an identical or similar morphological pattern.” This is exhibited in the following example: [29] a. al-munHanaya:t-u l-lati: ta‘arrajat da:khilaha: hubu:T-an wa Su‘u:d-an ‫المنحنيات التي تعرجت داخلها هبوطا وصعودَا‬ b.


wa yaqif-u minna: mauqif l-‘ida:’a ‫و يقف منها موقف عدائيا‬ And stands from us a hostile standing

Repetition at word level

At this level, repetition is realized by two types: word repetition and word strings. (1) Word repetition. This type of repetition involves the use of the same lexical item (with the same referent) several times within a given paragraph. (2) Word strings. This type of repetition is realized through the use of ‘word strings’. ‘Word strings’ is a term referring to the use of two or more different lexical items strung together to form one group, roughly sharing the same meaning. These lexical items are of the same syntactic category. The use of 16

word strings may create semantic elaboration through the use of: Nouns, as in [Huru:b wa muna:za‘a:t] ‘wars and conflicts’ Verbs, as in [neqash wa baHath] ‘debated and discussed’ Adjectives, as in [wa:DiH wa qa:Ti‘] ‘clear and decisive’ Adverbs, as [sakhiT-an wa Ha:qid-an] ‘grudgingly and maliciously’ Since the term ‘word strings’ is used in the sense that its constituents share a similar semantic spectrum, this would lead us to consider AlJubouri’s categories. Al-Jubouri identifies eight groups of word strings: (a) Group one: In this group, the constituents of the string are synonymous. [30] taDHiyat-un wa badhl-un wa fida:’-un ‫تضحية وبذل وفداء‬ Sacrifice and sacrifice and sacrifice (b) Group two: This group is similar to the previous one. The elements are near synonyms. [31] al-Sawa:‘iq-u wa l-Daraba:t-u ‫الصواعق والضربات‬ the-thunderbolts and the-blows (c) Group three: In this group, there is a relation of implication between the constituents. The former constituent can lead to the latter or vice versa. [32] istithma:r-an wa maka:sib ‫استثمارا ومكاسب‬ Exploitation and gains (d) Group four: In this group, though the constituents share a common meaning to a certain extent, they differ in that the first is more particular while the other is more general. [33] al-Hurri:yat-i wa Huqu:q-i l-’insa:n ‫الحريات وحقوق النسان‬ [the-liberty and rights the-man]


(e) Group five: In this group, one of the constituents, usually the second, though it can be the first, modifies the meaning of the other. [34] al-’iqna:‘-i wa l-Hujjat-i wa d-dali:l ‫القناع والحجة والدليل‬ the-persuasion and the-proof and the-evidence (f) Group six: The constituents in this group imply gradation of meaning and tend to form a semantic scale. [35] al-‘umda wa ra'i:s el Haras wa l-muHa:fiz ‫العمدة ورئيس الحرس والمحافظ‬ the-mayor and chief the-guards and the governor (g) Group seven: The constituents in this group are antonyms or near-antonyms, as in: [36] Hakamat thumma Hukimat ‫حكمت‬ ُ ‫حكمت ثم‬ Ruled then got-ruled (h) Group eight: The word strings in this group are freezes, or near-freezes, as in: [37] al-yawma wa kulla yawm ‫اليوم وكل يوم‬ Today and every day (Al-Jubouri, 1983: 102) III. Repetition at chunk level. Repetition at the chunk level is manifested through two major processes: parallelism and paraphrase. The former refers to repetition of form, whereas the latter refers to the repetition of substance. These two types are presented as follows: 3.2


According to Al-Jubouri (1983), parallelism is a rhetorical as well as textbuilding device. It keeps the discourse recipient (hearer/reader) to a definite viewpoint while at the same time attracting new material to it. Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) listings of cohesive devices excludes parallelism; however, its role in creating textual semantic unity, which is what cohesion is all about, has been commented on by many linguists.


Al-Jubouri identifies two types of parallelism: complete parallelism and incomplete parallelism. These two types are discussed under the following headings: a. Complete parallelism. Al-Jubouri (1983: 105) defines complete parallelism as occurring when “there is total, or almost total, coincidence between parallel forms”. [38] wa kam min aHza:b-in Hakamat thumma Hukimat, / wa tawallat thumma ndatharat / wa rtafa‘at thumma saqaTat./ ‫حكمت وتوالت ثم اندثرت وارتفعت ثم سقطت‬ ُ ‫وكم من احزاب حكمت ثم‬ and how many parties ruled then got-ruled / and took power then perished / and rose then fell./ (Al-Jubouri, 1983: 107) b. Incomplete parallelism. According to Al-Jubouri, incomplete parallelism takes place when “there is a partial coincidence between parallelistic forms”. He notes that both complete and incomplete parallelism, give the effect of commutation of claims which makes the argument more persuasive. This is exhibited in the following example: [39] a. b.


’idha: asa:'a ela sum'at al dawleh ‫اذا اساء الى سمعة الدولة‬ if tarnished the reputation of the state ’idha: ertakaba jenayah ‫اذا ارتكب جناية‬ if committed a crime (Al-Jubouri, 1983: 108)


Here, Al-Jubouri (1983: 110) notes, “While parallelism […] is repetition of form, paraphrase refers to a repetition of substance. It involves a restatement of a certain point or argument a number of times”. He asserts that the objective of this type of repetition is a reflection of a tendency the writers have towards forceful assertion. In this category, Al-Jubouri distinguishes the following two types: a. Paraphrase type one. Al-Jubouri (1983: 110) defines this type as “an action or event which is described a number of times from one perspective. It is similar to a rephrasing of a statement.” 19

[40] al-kalima:t-i ’ila: ’af‘a:l-in wa l-wu‘u:d-a ’ila: Haqa:’aq ‫الكلمات الى افعال والوعود الى حقائق‬ The-words into actions and the-promises into realities b. Paraphrase type two. Al-Jubouri defines this type as “an action or event which is described from two opposite perspective.” [41] \la: qi:mat-a li-Hizb-in wa huw-a fawq-a l-kara:si,/( \wa ’amma: qi:matu-hu l-Haqi:qi:yat-u fataZhar- u ‘indama: yanqudu l-sulTa:n-a/ ‫ل قيمة لحزب وهو فوق الكراسي واما قيمته الحقيقية فتظهر عندما ينقد السلطان‬ \no value to-party as it in the-powerseats,/ and as-for value-his, thetrue appears when criticizes the-ruler/ (Al-Jubouri, 1983: 110) 4.


The Arabic text is highly cohesive within the sentence boundaries and across it. Unites of meaning belong to a bigger unite which is the text. Lexical cohesion with its different types plays a great role in cohesion in Arabic text. These devices and the links they establish between the unites of meaning make the texture of the text. The components of reference in written Arabic text were discussed separately and one main reference item in written Arabic, as discussed, is the personals: personal pronouns, relative, and demonstrative pronouns. Detached pronouns are not frequent in written Arabic discourse, like (ana, ‫انا‬, anta, ‫انت‬,… etc).They are used mainly for special stylistic purpose, like emphases. Pronouns attached to the verbs which inflect for number and gender are more frequent. Conjunctions are used in the text, and the simplest conjunction in Arabic is (wa): (and). However (wa) does not have the same structural role as English (and). (wa) rather related and unifies those unites of the meaning which compose the text. The most widely-used cohesive relation is lexical cohesion and its frequently used in written text. Repetition, as one instance, is used in Arabic discourse on a wide scale and plays a considerable role in the sense that it links one unit of meaning to a previous one. Occurrences of super ordinates of reiteration: the same noun, synonymy, near synonymy or general words are all very frequent but that are still found in Arabic texts. Bibliography 20


Al-Batal, Mohammad. (1990), Connectives as Cohesion Elements in a modern Expository Arabic Text. In perspectives on Arabic linguistics, Eid, Mushira and John McCarthy (eds), 234 ff


Al-Jubouri, A.J.R. (1983). The role of repetition in Arabic argumentative discourse. In Sawles, J. and H. Mustafa (eds) 99-117


Beeston A.F.L. & Beeston Alfred F. (1968). Wriiten Arabic: An approach to basic structures. London: Cabridge University Press


Cantarino, V. (1974). Syntax of modern Arabic prose. Bloomington: Indiana University Press for the international affairs Center.


Clive Holes, (1995). Modern Arabic-structure, functions, and varieties. London: Longman.


Halliday, M.A.K., and Ruqaiya Hasan. (1976), Cohesion in English. London : Longman


Hechiri C. (1998) « ‫» الضمير ودوره في الجمل‬, PhD thesis, faculty of letters and humanities of sfax .


W. Wright. (1974). A Grammar of the Arabic Language. (Third ed). Beirut: Lebanon Library. Retrieved 12 May, 2011 from


Webber B., Stone M., Joshi A., and Knott A. (2003). Anaphora and Discourse Structure. Computational Linguistics, 29:545–587


Grammatical and lexical cohesive devices in arabic  

discourse anylsis

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