Said AlGorn


The purpose of this study was to examine the semantic development, specifically the Arabization versus the derivation, of quadrilateral verbal nouns and trilateral verbal nouns augmented by one letter in Modern Standard Arabic (“MSA”). These types of verbal nouns are commonly used in written and spoken Arabic today and it is of great importance to anyone studying the Arabic language to understand the development of these forms. The main sources used in this study were issues form three Arabic language newspapers, nemely Asharq Al-Awast, Okaz and Al-Ahram. The method used in this analysis consisted first of identifying verbal nouns in the source newspapers and then comparing the rates of occurance of these words across these periodicals. These verbal nouns were then cross-referenced in dictionaries, including العرب لسان , as representative of old, Arabic-Arabic dictionaries, المعجم الوسيط , as representative of modern, Arabic-Arabic dictionaries, and القريب المورد and Hans Wehr, as representative of modern, Arabic-English dictionaries and a subsequent comparison across dictionaries was carried out. The analysis resulted in the conclusion that derivation is more common than Arabization in MSA and that derivation leverages many patterns, the most common of which include: (taf3il) تفعيل and (fa3lanat) فعلنة , while Arabization mostly leverages the pattern of (fa3lalat) فعللة . In addition, these types of verbal nouns appear more frequently in Asharq Al-Awast, as compared to the other newspapers, and in the modern ArabicEnglish dictionaries, as compared to the Arabic-Arabic dictionaries.

Date of Award


Online Submission Date

September 2012

First Advisor

Ibrahim, Zeinab

Second Advisor

Badawi, Mohammed

Document Type



131 p.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Arabic language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Arabic language -- Phonology.


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