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Case Endings in Spoken Standard Arabic

Hallberg, Andreas LU (2016) In Studia Orientalia Lundensia. Nova Series 4.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

Morphologically marked case is a salient Standard Arabic feature without parallel in Arabic dialects. As such it is a grammatical system learned by native speakers of Arabic through formal education. Case endings are traditionally regarded as an essential feature of Standard Arabic, but morphological case endings are used only sporadically in extemporaneous speech in formal situations where Standard Arabic is the expected variety. This study presents a critical discussion of traditional descriptions of the Arabic case system and explores the possibility of there being covert linguistic norms governing where case is and is not marked in formal speech. This is done by quantitatively analyzing... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

Morphologically marked case is a salient Standard Arabic feature without parallel in Arabic dialects. As such it is a grammatical system learned by native speakers of Arabic through formal education. Case endings are traditionally regarded as an essential feature of Standard Arabic, but morphological case endings are used only sporadically in extemporaneous speech in formal situations where Standard Arabic is the expected variety. This study presents a critical discussion of traditional descriptions of the Arabic case system and explores the possibility of there being covert linguistic norms governing where case is and is not marked in formal speech. This is done by quantitatively analyzing televised interviews with Arab politicians for their use of morphologically marked case. The data show that the rate of case marking differs widely between speakers, but also that there are patterns, consistent between speakers, of how case endings are proportionally distributed in various grammatical contexts. The findings presented in this study have important implications for Arabic curriculum development, both in first and second language teaching, and also shed light on the role of the use of case endings in Arabic diglossia. (Less)
Abstract
Morphologically marked case is a salient Standard Arabic feature without parallel in Arabic dialects. As such it is a grammatical system learned by native speakers of Arabic through formal education. Case endings are traditionally regarded as an essential feature of Standard Arabic, but morphological case endings are used only sporadically in extemporaneous speech in formal situations where Standard Arabic is the expected variety. This study investigates how case endings that are used in speech are distributed in relation to morphosyntactic parameters with the aim of finding covert linguistic norms governing where case is and is not marked in speech. This is done by a quantitative analysis of a corpus consisting of 17 televised interviews... (More)
Morphologically marked case is a salient Standard Arabic feature without parallel in Arabic dialects. As such it is a grammatical system learned by native speakers of Arabic through formal education. Case endings are traditionally regarded as an essential feature of Standard Arabic, but morphological case endings are used only sporadically in extemporaneous speech in formal situations where Standard Arabic is the expected variety. This study investigates how case endings that are used in speech are distributed in relation to morphosyntactic parameters with the aim of finding covert linguistic norms governing where case is and is not marked in speech. This is done by a quantitative analysis of a corpus consisting of 17 televised interviews of highly educated native speakers of Arabic. Only speech by the interviewees was analyzed, totaling 35 000 words or 5 h and 22 min. Nouns and adjectives in the corpus are annotated for morphosyntactic features, including if and how the case ending is produced. The data show that the rate of case marking differs widely between speakers, but also that there are patterns, consistent between speakers, of how case endings are proportionally distributed in various morphosyntactic contexts. It was found that case endings are very rarely used in words with the definite article al-, in adjectival attributes, and on words at the end of utterances. Case marking is strongly favored on words where it would be orthographically represented in writing and on words with an enclitic pronoun. It was also found that these patterns are not the result of speakers relying on a set of fixed phrases to include case endings in their speech. The findings presented in this study have important implications for Arabic curriculum development, both in first and second language teaching, and also shed light on the role of the use of case endings in Arabic diglossia. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Van Mol, Mark, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgien
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Modern Standard Arabic, corpus linguistics, spoken language
categories
Higher Education
in
Studia Orientalia Lundensia. Nova Series
volume
4
pages
304 pages
publisher
Lund University, Faculties of Humanities and Theology
defense location
Sal C126, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund
defense date
2016-04-23 10:15
ISSN
0281-4528
ISBN
978-91-87833-69-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
530e5fe6-ec77-4e84-9a45-0935598e86a8 (old id 8524489)
date added to LUP
2016-03-24 11:35:45
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:48
@phdthesis{530e5fe6-ec77-4e84-9a45-0935598e86a8,
  abstract     = {Morphologically marked case is a salient Standard Arabic feature without parallel in Arabic dialects. As such it is a grammatical system learned by native speakers of Arabic through formal education. Case endings are traditionally regarded as an essential feature of Standard Arabic, but morphological case endings are used only sporadically in extemporaneous speech in formal situations where Standard Arabic is the expected variety. This study investigates how case endings that are used in speech are distributed in relation to morphosyntactic parameters with the aim of finding covert linguistic norms governing where case is and is not marked in speech. This is done by a quantitative analysis of a corpus consisting of 17 televised interviews of highly educated native speakers of Arabic. Only speech by the interviewees was analyzed, totaling 35 000 words or 5 h and 22 min. Nouns and adjectives in the corpus are annotated for morphosyntactic features, including if and how the case ending is produced. The data show that the rate of case marking differs widely between speakers, but also that there are patterns, consistent between speakers, of how case endings are proportionally distributed in various morphosyntactic contexts. It was found that case endings are very rarely used in words with the definite article al-, in adjectival attributes, and on words at the end of utterances. Case marking is strongly favored on words where it would be orthographically represented in writing and on words with an enclitic pronoun. It was also found that these patterns are not the result of speakers relying on a set of fixed phrases to include case endings in their speech. The findings presented in this study have important implications for Arabic curriculum development, both in first and second language teaching, and also shed light on the role of the use of case endings in Arabic diglossia.},
  author       = {Hallberg, Andreas},
  isbn         = {978-91-87833-69-4},
  issn         = {0281-4528},
  keyword      = {Modern Standard Arabic,corpus linguistics,spoken language},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {304},
  publisher    = {Lund University, Faculties of Humanities and Theology},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Studia Orientalia Lundensia. Nova Series},
  title        = {Case Endings in Spoken Standard Arabic},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2016},
}