ظرف المكان ﻓﻲ النحو العرﺑﻲ وطرق توظيفه ﻓﻲ الشعر / The Adverbs of Place in Arabic Grammar and Poetry



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حسنين, أحمد طاهر; Hassanein, Ahmad Taher

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Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[The adverbs in Arabic strike the comparative grammarian by their limited number when contrasted with English adverbs. The fundamental difference can be explained by the fact that the adverb in English specifies the action of a verb, while in Arabic the variety and semantic nuances of verbs allow the precision to surface without the need for adverbs. Thus in English, it is said "[The wind] blew gently" while in Arabic the same may be said as "nasamat [al-rīh]"; the verb nasamat carries the meaning of 'blew' and 'gently' simultaneously. Man exists within surroundings. From the womb to the tomb, his sense of space and place is developed. Reference to place-- in the form of nouns of place or adverbs of place -- is evidently part of discourse. Creative writers have made artistic use of this linguistic phenomenon. In the Arabic language, ism al-makān (noun of place) is distinguished from ẓaraf al-makan (adverb of place). An example of the first is masna '(a place of making, that is, a workshop or a factory) which is derived from the verb sana'a (to make). The forms of derivation of names of place follow identifiable linguistic patterns, such as maf'al, maf'il, etc. As for the adverbs of place, they tend to be sanctioned by usage (simā'ī) rather than analogy (qiyāsī). Arab grammarians, including Ibn Mālik, Ibn 'Aqīl and Ibn Hishām, have discussed semantic properties as well as possibilities and typologies of declension of adverbs of place. An investigation of the occurrence of adverbs of place in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry (Imrū' al-Qays, Ṭarafa ibn al-'Abd, Ka'ab ibn Zuhayr) throws light on certain tendencies in the creative use of such adverbs. A statistical analysis of these poems shows that bayna (between, among) is the most prominent. A stylistic analysis of the verses where bayna occurs shows that the multiplicity of its meanings renders this adverb useful in different semantic contexts, hence its ambiguity makes it a privileged adverb in poetic use. The special position of this adverb in classical poetry established it as an enduring poetic convention in later poetry. Its use became a poetic cliché which points to the fact that continuity and tradition in Arabic poetry were not only based on prosody and structure, but also on poetic lexicon and diction. One of the most fascinating uses of bayna in poetry is its manipulation as both an adverb of place and an adverb of time. Furthermore, its ambivalent signficance, implying both union and separation, is played upon in poetry.]

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