1887
Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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Abstract

It is well documented that there is a one-to-many relationship between Arabic and English genitival constructions. However, it is unclear whether, given this syntactic variation, such constructions show equivalence in semantic function. For this purpose, a corpus-based contrastive analysis of these genitive constructions in a bilingual novel is carried out. As a prelude to a quantitative and qualitative inspection of the data, the (non)interchangeability of the alternative English genitives is determined by eliciting intuitive judgments from 10 linguistically naïve native speakers of British English. Quantitatively, the study shows that the Arabic genitive almost covers the semantic functions expressed by the various English genitives found in the corpus. Qualitatively, the study reveals that the flexibility derived from the English genitive variation, as opposed to the fixed word order of the Arabic genitive, allows the speaker to convey additional meaning. However, the Arabic genitive which employs various formal devices such as overt markers of case, gender, number, definiteness and person can express the same semantic functions. These features render Arabic functional with one genitive and require English to vary its genitive relative to certain phonological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic conditions.
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/content/journals/10.1075/lic.14.2.01als
2014-01-01
2019-12-07
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/lic.14.2.01als
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): annexation construction , Arabic/English , equivalence , genitive construction and semantic function
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