Repetition in Arabic Discourse

Paradigms, syntagms and the ecology of language

ORCID logoBarbara Johnstone | Texas A & M University
ISBN 9789027250285 (Eur) | EUR 99.00
ISBN 9781556192845 (USA) | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027282941 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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In this examination of expository prose in contemporary Arabic, structural and semantic repetition is found to be responsible both for linguistic cohesion and for rhetorical force. Johnstone identifies and discusses repetitive features on every level of analysis. Writers in Arabic use lexical couplets consisting of conjoined synonyms, which create new semantic paradigms as they evoke old ones. Morphological roots and patterns are repeated at close range, and this creates phonological rhyme as well. Regular patterns of paraphrase punctuate texts, and patterns of parallelism mark the internal structure of their segments. Johnstone offers an explanation for how repetition of all these kinds can serve persuasive ends by creating rhetorical presence, and discusses how the Arabic language and the Arab-Islamic cultural tradition especially lend themselves to this rhetorical strategy. She suggests, however, that discourse repetition serves a crucial function in the ecology of any language, as the mechanism by which speakers evoke and create underlying paradigmatic structure in their syntagmatic talk and writing.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 18] 1991.  viii, 130 pp.
Publishing status: Available
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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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