The Syntax of Spoken Arabic

cover art
464 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407897 (0878407898)

September 2000
LC: 00-029360


Table of Contents

The Syntax of Spoken Arabic
A Comparative Study of Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian, and Kuwaiti Dialects
Kristen Brustad
This book is the first comparative study of the syntax of Arabic dialects, based on natural language data recorded in Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Kuwait. These four dialect regions are geographically diverse and representative of four distinct dialect groups.

Kristen E. Brustad has adopted an analytical approach that is both functional and descriptive, combining insights from discourse analysis, language typology, and pragmatics—the first time such an approach has been used in the study of spoken Arabic syntax. An appendix includes sample texts from her data.

Brustad's work provides the most nuanced description available to date of spoken Arabic syntax, widens the theoretical base of Arabic linguistics, and gives both scholars and students of Arabic tools for greater cross-dialect comprehension.
Kristen E. Brustad is an associate professor of Arabic at Emory University. She is co-author, with Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi, of the Arabic language program Al-Kitaab fii Ta callum al-cArabiyya: A Textbook for Arabic, published by Georgetown University Press.
"Thoroughly backed up by numerous solid references in the dialectological literature . . . an important publication advancing the field of comparative Arabic dialectology."—Journal of the American Oriental Society

"A welcome addition to Arabic linguistics. It is well written, with lucid explanations and transparent terminology. It breaks new ground in Arabic dialectology . . . Recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the Arabic language or Arabic linguistics, including teachers and professors, native and non-native alike. It is readable, clearly laid out, and written in an engaging style."—Modern Language Journal

Table of Contents
Notes on Transcriptions and Glosses


1. The Definiteness Continuum

2. Number, Agreement and Possession

3. Relative Clauses

4. Demonstrative Articles and Pronouns

5. Categorizing Verbs

6. Aspect

7. Tense and Time Reference

8. Mood

9. Negation

10. Sentence Typology


Appedix 1: Informants

Appendix 2: Texts






Subject Index

Author Index