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AlHedayani, Rukayah.pdf (1.67 MB)

Antonymy in Modern Standard Arabic

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posted on 2023-06-09, 04:05 authored by Rukayah AlHedayani
Lexical relations have been thoroughly investigated cross-linguistically (Lyons, 1977; Cruse, 1986; Murphy, 2003). Antonymy is particularly interesting because antonymous pairs share both syntagmatic as well as paradigmatic relations. Studies (such as Raybeck and Herrmann, 1996) agree on the universality of this lexical relation; however, different perspectives towards opposition have been noted among different cultures (Murphy et al., 2009; Jones et al., 2012; Hsu, 2015). The present corpus-driven study investigates antonym use in Modern Standard Arabic text using an on-line corpus (arTenTen12) and a newspaper corpus (arabiCorpus). This thesis shows that antonym functions in Arabic are to a certain degree similar to those found in other languages. A new classification of these functions is presented and compared to previously identified functions in English text (Jones, 2002; Davies, 2013). The main difference between this classification and previous ones is in the category Ancillary Antonymy. In this category, canonical antonyms trigger contrast in non-contrastive pairings. The ancillary use of antonyms is presented as an effect projected on other words regardless of the hosting construction. As a consequence of removing this category, other functions of antonym use were identified. The present study also shows that a Sign-Based Construction Grammar (SBCG) account of antonyms can capture their syntagmatic and paradigmatic properties. Antonyms lend themselves well as pairings of meaning and form and therefore can be treated as constructions (Jones et al., 2012). Therefore, a treatment of antonyms using SBCG is presented in this study. Based on this treatment, I present a SBCG account of Arabic coordination as a contrastive construction in which antonyms frequently occur. The coordination construction is then compared to one use of coordination that presents antonym pairs as units referring to one concept.


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