Enas Moustafa


This study aims at investigating the functions of interrogatives in classical Arabic and the differences/similarities regarding the syntactic features of interrogatives in classical Arabic and modern standard Arabic. The study depends on gathering data from Classical Arabic (Quran) and Modern Standard Arabic (newspapers). The investigation of this study adopts a qualitative method procedure. The current research focuses on four interrogatives: /kayf/, /matā/, /hal/, and /ʔayn/. The study identified the functions of interrogatives in classical Arabic: denial, wonder, determination, threat, wish, etc. Furthermore, the study concludes that there are syntactic structures used in both classical Arabic and modern standard Arabic and other structures that are limited to Classical Arabic only or Modern Standard Arabic only. Results of the linguistic analysis of the data suggest that AFL textbooks need to include rhetorical meaning of interrogatives besides the lexical meaning in order to assist foreign learners when dealing with classical texts. It is recommended that the study be replicated on other interrogatives. This may help reveal more functions and syntactic structures associated with specific interrogatives.

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Taha, Zeinab

Committee Member 1

Abu Al Saud, Dalal

Committee Member 2

Serag, Mohamed


101 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item