Formulaic models and formulaicity in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic

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Classical Arabic [ClA], the historical antecedent of Modern Standard Arabic [MSA], is a language reconstructed from a selected, close textual corpus, clearly removed from everyday speech. The analysis focuses on the formulaic features ClA and MSA inherited from their models, which are consistently missing from spoken Arabic variants; these features range from text chunks to morphological and syntactic patterns (including redundant case affixes, and syntactically determined partial agreement). The general consequence of the hypothesis presented is that formulaicity in written languages can be strongly reinforced by the model of literary varieties, even long after the original textual constraints disappeared. The influence of MSA on modern spoken varieties shows the possibility that such formulaic features find their path through spoken languages.


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