Department of Arabic and Translation Studies

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Work by the faculty and students of the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies


Recent Submissions

  • Publication
    Almajalla Newsletter Issue 02
  • Publication
    Almajalla Newsletter Issue 01
  • Publication
    ARA-besque: Department of Arabic & Translation Studies Newsletter (Fall 2022, Issue 01, English Edition)
    "The Department of Arabic and Translation studies is proud to introduce the first issue of its newsletter, Arabesque, which is meant to cover relevant news about its faculty. courses. scholarship activities and much more. Being the custodian of Arabic and Islamic Heritage, ATS strives to strike a balance between providing quality education and creating an enjoyable learning experience for our students who belong to all academic disciplines in AUS. The newsletter also aims to provide correct information regarding our course offerings and the minors hosted by the department. As there is always a room for creativity and originality, Arabesque welcomes all contributions for publication from AUS students. faculty and staff members to enrich the future issues. I would like to thank all the current contributors as well as the Newsletter Editor and Designer of the newsletter for their tremendous efforts. and I wish you all a productive and fruitful year.
  • Publication
    Tradition and its significance within Islam and the Abrahamic faiths
    (USIM Press (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia), 2022-05-22) Ghani, Usman
    The present article looks into the position and significance of tradition within Islam and the Abrahamic Faiths. Tradition in its very theological sense is generally believed to have divine authority albeit not as part of the sacred scripture. The main interest here is to shed light on how different tradition in Islam in comparison to Judaism and Christianity is. Drawn upon examples and evidence, this article thus, studies the idea of tradition and underlines its notional and applied similarities and differences within the said three world religions. Further, this article also investigates and discusses the intricacies of the Islamic tradition.
  • Publication
    Infixed -nn- in Northern Emirati Arabic
    (Akaki Tserteli State University, 2020) Wilmsen, David; Al Muhairi, Fatimah
    An infixed -nn- between active participles having verbal force and their suffixed pronominal objects has been noted for the Arabic dialects of the southern Arabian Peninsula, including those of eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and the Yemen. It has also been observed in the UAE, but it has not been investigated fully there. This study reports on ongoing work in documenting features of northern Emirati Arabic, derived from analysis of oral histories related by pre-nineteen-sixty residents of the old town of Sharjah, the recordings and transcriptions of which are housed in the Collection of Oral Heritage and Stories of the Sharjah Museums Authority. These are augmented by observations of spontaneous conversations amongst speakers of northern Emirati Arabic and, for comparative purposes, a television serial set in Abu Dhabi. Through this, a systematic view of the features of infixed -nn- in northern Emirati Arabic emerges: As opposed to the dialects of Abu Dhabi, where an infixed -nn- is optional, in northern Emirati varieties, it is obligatory when the dative pronoun intervenes, -nn- assimilates to -ll-; and -nn- may rarely appear between verbs and their object pronouns. These observations augment existing work on the peninsular and the few datable extra-peninsular dialects that infix -nn- between the participle and its object pronoun. The infixed -nn- is one of a small bundle of phonological and morpho-syntactic features that have been observed only in southern peninsular dialects of Arabic. Its presence in those dialects as well as the operation of infixed -nn- in Arabic dialects separated by wide distances and time periods indicates a prediasporic southern Arabian origin. To this bundle may be added a rare lexical item, hintēn (< itnayn/tintayn ‘two’), it, too, shared only amongst Arabic dialects of the southern Arabian Peninsula, including those of the northern Emirates.
  • Publication
    A Procedural Analysis of kadhalik in Modern Standard Arabic: Demonstrative or Discourse Marker?
    (Emerald, 2011) Zaki, Mai
    The objective of this chapter is to apply a procedural analysis to the demonstrative form kadhalik in Modern Standard Arabic. It is argued that the form kadhalik can function either as a demonstrative or as a discourse marker. In the first use it consists of kaaf ’al tašbiih (kaaf for simile)+distal demonstrative dhalik, while in the second use it has grammaticalised into a single semantic unit. Using corpus examples, these two uses will be differentiated as the chapter further argues that the semantic contribution of both kaaf ’al tašbiih and kadhalik as a discourse marker can be systematically accounted for in procedural terms. This explains how both terms are used to make a discourse relation explicit by encoding procedural constraints on the interpretation process. The distinction of the two uses of kadhalik in procedural terms also explains distribution patterns in corpus data.
  • Publication
    Verbal negation in the Lebanese dialect of Zeitoun, Keserwan
    (Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans (IREMAM), 2019) Khairallah, Natalie; Wilmsen, David
    The dialect of Zeitoun village in the northern Keserwan district of Lebanon exhibits both the split-morpheme negators mā…š of the southern and highland Levant and the pre-verbal negator mā without the post-positive -š of the northern Levant, with the -š of negation optionally appearing in identical contexts. It also exhibits the form a…š of southern and highland Levantine Arabic dialects. Some researchers propose that the negator a- can only appear before labial consonants, such as the b- prefix marking habitual action or imminent futurity. Others note that it may also occur with the prohibitive, usually marked by the 2nd-person prefix t-. Neither of these observations holds for the Zeitouni dialect, in which prohibitives negated with sole -š may be formed without the prefix, the initial consonant being whatever the radical might be. Sole post-positive -š also occurs in negation of an unmarked imperfective verb, there, too, sometimes without an overt proclitic person marker. Another feature that is occasionally noted in the literature is the negation of perfective verbs with sole post-positive -š. This, too, occurs in the Zeitouni dialect. This type of verbal negation is characteristic of dialects from the Lebanese highlands and through the Ḥawrān. Finally, it is noticed that a word-final consonant cluster generated by the enclitic -š does not necessarily attract stress.
  • Publication
    On Morpho-Syntactic Levantisms in Maltese
    (Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans (IREMAM), 2019) Wilmsen, David; Al-Sayyed, Amany
    Maltese is usually classified as a North African Arabic variety. Yet some researchers have remarked “some curious similarities with the Eastern dialects”. Investigations of these tend to concentrate upon the phonology and lexicon, with slight attention paid to morphology and syntax. We report on a long-term project in documenting some of those, including polar interrogation with a reflex of /š/; the prohibitive/dehortative system, also exhibiting reflexes of /š/; double object marking with reflexes of /l-/; and pronominal circumstantial clauses. None of these is excusive to Maltese and the Levant alone. Polar interrogation with /š/ is found in the Levantine, and North African, and Andalusi Arabic. The Maltese prohibitive is largely southern Levantine in form, but its dehortative is common to eastern Mediterranean dialects of Arabic. Double object marking with reflexes of /l-/ appears in Andalusi, Levantine, and Mesopotamian varieties. The Maltese pronominal circumstantial clause is similar to Syro-Lebanese Arabic, the Beʿēri Arabic of Upper Egypt, and some dialects of the United Arabic Emirates.
  • Publication
    The Dehortative in the Spoken Arabics of the Eastern Mediterranean
    (University of Bucharest, 2016) Wilmsen, David
    A few authors mention a hortative mood in Arabic, formed in a variety of manners, usually involving a pre-verbal element and an unmarked imperfective verb, sometimes thought of as the jussive or subjunctive. Not an imperative, the Arabic hortative may apply to all three persons. Its opposite, the dehortative, similarly not a prohibitive, also applies to all three persons, and it, too, is expressed in a variety of manners, all involving the unmarked imperfective verb and preverbal elements, often not negators but expressing an inherent negation. It may also be formed with reflexes of the negator miš preceding an unmarked imperfective verb. Such negation has been remarked in Egyptian Arabic in five types of constructions: in contrastive, metalinguistic, and rhetorical negation, in negations of progressive aspect, and in the dehortative. Not restricted to Egyptian Arabic, verbal negation with miš/muš/mhūš occurs in Levantine Arabics, Tunisian Arabic, and the closely related Maltese.
  • Publication
    Croft’s cycle in Arabic: The negative existential cycle in a single language
    (De Gruyter, 2020-05) Wilmsen, David
    The negative existential cycle has been shown to be operative in several language families. Here it is shown that it also operates within a single language. It happens that the existential fī that has been adduced as an example of a type A in the Arabic of Damascus, Syria, negated with the standard spoken Arabic verbal negator mā, does not participate in a negative cycle, but another Arabic existential particle does. Reflexes of the existential particle šay(y)/šē/šī/ši of southern peninsular Arabic dialects enter into a type A > B configuration as a univerbation between mā and the existential particle ši in reflexes of maši. It also enters that configuration in others as a univerbation between mā, the 3rd-person pronouns hū or hī, and the existential particle šī in reflexes of mahūš/mahīš. At that point, the existential particle šī loses its identity as such to be reanalyzed as a negator, with reflexes of mahūš/mahīš negating all manner of non-verbal predications except existentials. As such, negators formed of reflexes of šī skip a stage B, but they re-enter the cycle at stage B > C, when reflexes of mahūš/mahīš begin negating some verbs. The consecutive C stage is encountered only in northern Egyptian and southern Yemeni dialects. An inchoate stage C > A appears only in dialects of Lower Egypt.
  • Publication
    Grammaticalization and Degrammaticalization in an Arabic Existential Particle šay
    (Polska Akademia Nauk (PAN), 2017-12) Wilmsen, David
    Against the usual assumption that Arabic grammatical operators based on reflexes of šay derive from the Arabic word for 'thing' šayʔ, it is argued here that indefinite quantifiers and partitives instead derive from an existential particle šay that is present in some spoken Arabic dialects of the Arabian Gulf, Oman, and the Yemen. The ambiguity of the existential particle in constructions in which it sets off items in a series lends itself to its reanalysis as a quantifier, and its ambiguity as a quantifier motivates its reanalysis as a partitive. This is consistent with grammaticalization theory, whereby lexical forms give rise to grammatical forms, which themselves give rise to even more grammatical forms. Yet, existential šay likely did not arise from a lexical form. Instead, it is either a borrowing from Modern South Arabian or it is an inherited Semitic feature, ultimately deriving from an attention-focusing demonstrative. Either way, the grammaticalization of a quantitative šī/šē/šay cannot have proceeded directly from word 'thing'. To the contrary, the word šayʔ meaning 'thing' can easily derive from an indefinite quantifier or partitive šay, in a process of degrammaticalization.
  • Publication
    Translation and the Quest for Meaning: Adūnīs and Yūsuf al-Khāl's Translation of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land
    (Arabic Translators International, 2018-04) Nsiri, Imed
    This article examines some Arabic translations of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land with special reference to Adunis (͑Ali Ahmad Sa'id) and Yusuf al-Khal's al-Ard al-kharab (1958). Translation requires a close reading of an original text; however, in the case of Adunis's and al-Khal's (1958) al-Ard al-kharab, I found that the translation is the offspring not of one original text, but of an original and a translation, which are Eliot's The Waste Land (1922) and its earliest French translation by Pierre Leyris (1983/1947). The reason for Adunis and al-Khal's (1958) inclusion of and reliance on the French version may be attributed to the fact that, at the time of the translation, Adunis' English was limited - it was, at most, at the intermediate level. The article shall discuss this multiplicity in the recreation of the text viz-a-viz the decisions that Adunis and al-Khal (1958) made to agree or disagree with Leyris' (1983) choices. I shall also use other translations of The Waste Land, such as those by ͑Awad (1968), Lu'lu'ah (1980), and Saqqal (1996) in order: i) to show the other possibilities that Adunis and al-Khal (1958) had in rendering the text into Arabic and, ii) to underscore the point that the choices that they made shed light not only on their activity as translators, but also on the nature of their artistry as poets. Drawing on translation theories and the poetics of translation, the article will have a twofold focus: to trace Adunis and al-Khal's (1958) understanding of a key poem in the development of modern Arabic poetry and their aesthetic principles as they emerge in their decisions, to use Venuti's (1994) terms, to "domesticate" or "foreignize" their translation (p. 20). I will demonstrate how, despite the mistakes that the two poets made, their translation is sound and holds an important place in the history of Arabic literature inasmuch as, on the poetic level, it communicates the essence of the original poem. I conclude that there is ample room for many more translations.