Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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This paper investigates the constructional behaviour of three of the most frequent verbs in Modern Standard Arabic: , and . These verbs are considered somewhat synonymous according to many classical and modern dictionaries of Arabic. Nevertheless, each verb has a distinctive profile manifested in its constructional behaviour, which explains why these verbs are not easily interchangeable in various contexts of use. In this paper, I will examine the prototypical uses of the three MSA verbs based on corpus data (extracted from arabicorpus.byu.edu) by highlighting the lexico-syntactic frames they each associate with. This is achieved by annotating a large number of contextualized uses (per verb) for a variety of lexico-syntactic features. The data frame is subsequently probed with the help of Hierarchical Configural Frequency Analysis (von Eye 1990Gries 2004) as a means of highlighting recurring and significant patterns of variable co-occurrences. The quantitative analysis is followed by a qualitative analysis that further explores the lexico-syntactic frames that pertain to different aspects of a deictic motion event. The results obtained from both the quantitative and qualitative analyses highlight the idiosyncratic constructional properties that characterize the use of each verb in various physical and figurative motion event construals.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; constructions; corpus-based analysis; go verbs; quantitative analysis
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