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Abstrakt

Giorgio Maria Ciaceri was a Jesuit missionary from Sicily who spent about ten years in North Africa during the mid Nineteenth century. From his Jesuit center located near Algiers, he travelled all over Algeria and arrived until Tunis where he spent the last period of his journey. His travelogue, published in 1885–86, is almost unknown to scholarly research and is a very rich source for anthropological, ethnographical, historical, social, religious and linguistic information about the countries and the cultures he visited. The present article deals with his travelogue and attempts to draw the attention to some aspects of his work and in particular to the linguistic issues that it contains.
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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, Om an, 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.
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In his article on the one hand the author gives an edition of three letters of the pioneer of archaeology in Finland, J.R. Aspelin (1842–1915), to the ethnographer and editor of the journal Globus, Richard Andree (1835–1912), form the years 1890–1892, and on the other hand describes the role of Aspelin in the history of the “pre-history” of Old Turkic studies.
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More than 30 years ago Andrzej Zaborski (1983; 1987 {1983}) collected and analyzed all Cushitic and Omotic numerals, which were described in his time, and tried to analyze their internal structure. His two pioneering studies stimulated the present attempt to collect all available relevant data about Omotic numerals and to analyze them in both genetic (Afroasiatic) and areal (Cushitic, Ethio-Semitic and Nilo-Saharan) perspectives, all at the contemporary level of our knowledge. With respect to the long mutual interference between various groups of Cushitic and Omotic languages, it is necessary to study the numerals in both the language families together. The presented material is organized in agreement with the genetic classification of these languages. On the basis of concrete forms in individual languages the protoforms in partial groups are reconstructed, if it is possible, and these partial protoforms of numerals in the daughter protolanguages are finally compared to determine the inherited forms. The common cognates are finally compared with parallels in other Afroasiatic branches, if exist, or with counterparts in Ethio-Semitic or Nilo-Saharan languages, if they could be borrowed from or adapted into the Cushitic or Omotic languages.
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Building on the argument of an earlier contribution of James K. Aitken (2000), this article aims to explain why the Greek toponym Σαττιν does not translate the word הַ שּׁ טּים (Shittim) in LXX Micah 6:5. The Massoretic text reads ‘from Shittim to Gilgal’. The LXX translator uses σχοῖνος to appeal to all readerships. While the educated reader is aware of the location and significance of Shittim, these might not be obvious for the less educated majority. As the meaning of σχοῖνος varies (rush, reed, bramble, thorn, and a type of measure used in Egypt, or even a more generic bush), its interpretation changes as one contemplates in context each of these meanings. Ultimately, the simplest audience could read this extension of time/space of ἀπὸ τῶν σχοίνων ἕως τοῦ Γαλγαλ as referring to the whole history of Exodus, from the burning bush to Gilgal.
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East Dangla and West Dangla, two dialects of the Dangla language which belongs to the Chadic language family, differ substantially in their tone systems. In numerous lexical items, entire or partial tonal inversions are observable. Earlier research has not succeeded in boiling this down to regular sound correspondences. In the meantime, data from Central Dangla as a third dialect have become available, which provide important insights into the matter. Based on all available materials, a new attempt to establish the tonal correspondences is undertaken here. This results in a reconstruction of the tone system of Proto-Dangla, the hypothetical ancestor of the modern varieties, together with a chronological elaboration of the tonal changes that occurred in the individual dialects.
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This article is a presentation of the EtymArab© project, a start-up (“zero”) version of an etymological dictionary of Modern Standard Arabic. Taking the etymology of some generosity-related lexical items as examples, the study introduces the reader to the guiding ideas behind the project and the online dictionary’s basic features.
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Malgré sa valeur symbolique, il est étonnant de constater la totale absence du personnage biblique de Lamech et de ses péripéties dans toute la création littéraire de notre culture judéo-chrétienne; à l’inverse de ce qu’on remarque à propos de son aïeul Caïn, dont la tradition biblique a inspiré de nombreuses oeuvres. Seule la littérature apocryphe judéochrétienne a su développer la dimension symbolique de ce personnage. Nous voulons attirer l’attention sur les principaux traits de cette figure biblique, placée à l’aube de la violence développée de nos jours par ses contemporains ‘Enfants de Lamech’, traits qui attendent toujours leur moderne réélaboration littéraire: libération sexuelle, progrès technique, violence incontrôlée.
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The present paper investigates agreement patterns with plural controllers in Fezzani Arabic (southwestern Libya). During the last three decades, research has proved that the agreement system found in Classical Arabic is the result of a process of standardization, while agreement in the dialects feature the same type of variation observed in pre-Islamic poetry and the Qur’an. Nonhuman plural controllers, in particular, strictly require feminine singular agreement in Classical Arabic, while feminine singular alternates with feminine plural agreement in the pre-Islamic texts and the Qur’an. Most contemporary dialects exhibit a great range of variation in this field. Fezzani Arabic largely favors plural (syntactic) agreement with plural controllers. Syntactic agreement is systematic with human controllers and it represents the most frequent choice also with nonhuman ones. The main factor triggering feminine singular agreement is not humanness, bu t individuation. Within this conservative syntactic behavior, finally, masculine plural seems to be eroding feminine plural agreement with both feminine human and nonhuman controllers, for sociolinguistic reasons that still need to be investigated.
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Actuellement la linguistique arabe met en usage le terme et la notion du type “néo-arabe” afin que definer les changements structureles communs aux dialectes arabes modernes. L’analyse contrastif des categories grammaticales et de leurs paradigms montre qu’il n’est pas facile de construir un modèle commun au “Néo-arabe”. Il ne s’agit que d’une tendance commune des reductions et des innovations.
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This article offers a survey of Arabic consonantism, compared with other Semitic and Hamito-Semitic languages, mainly Berber. Particular attention has been given to the phenomenon of spirantization of stops and to the origin of «emphatic» phonemes.
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Cet article propose de considérer le processus de construction d’une idée grammaticale en se penchant sur la distinction généralement opérée entre les deux opérateurs du futur en arabe, sa- et sawfa dans le sens futur proche vs. futur lointain. Si, comme cet article le rappelle, cette distinction est linguistiquement contestée, il montre qu’elle est aussi contestable d’un point de vue grammatical, et ce même si un grand nombre de grammairiens arabes médiévaux de haute stature la relaient. Cet article se propose donc d’en retracer l’origine probable et, incidemment, revient sur l’édition du Kitāb de Sībawayhi faite par Hartwig Derenbourg qui aurait pu être perçue, en le cas d’espèce, comme l’une des origines probables de cette distinction. L’article propose alors de replacer celle-ci dans son contexte intellectuel: une affinité élective faisant se rejoindre des principes grammaticaux et ceux du courant rationaliste du muʿtazilisme ainsi que l’irruption de la logique grecque dans les études arabes seraient au berceau de cette antienne grammaticale.
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