Arabic-English/ English-Arabic lexicography
MetadataShow full item record
The present dissertation integrates theoretical and analytical work on qualitative dimensions of English-Arabic lexicography. The aim of the theoretical part is twofold; first, it relates monolingual Arabic lexicography to its bilingual counterpart and explains how English-Arabic dictionaries continue to be written in the light of early practices in Arabic-Arabic dictionaries. Second, an examination of state-of-the-art studies in the field highlights the dominant models in theoretical discussions on English-Arabic lexicography. The qualitative analysis further investigates the microstructure of landmark English-Arabic/Arabic-English dictionaries, and indicates problematic aspects while suggesting prototypical remedial entries at the same time. Future English-Arabic dictionaries should take user needs and active-passive typology into consideration and should provide consistent information for each group of users. The dissertation unveils highly pertinent language-related issues in the field. The constant interplay between Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and the vernaculars is conducive to unceasing variation at all linguistic levels, and offers linguists and lexicographers demanding challenges to the description and codification of ‘Modern Standard Arabic’. The mixed forms and structures in which the written language and the vernaculars are closely enmeshed constitute the essence of a pervasive MSA. Specific lexicographic techniques need to be carefully reconsidered to systematize the variation and diversity that characterizes the Arabic language. Arabic lexicography played a major role in the intact transmission of the Classical variety, and later in the revival of the Arabic language. Within the framework of a descriptive grammar, the discipline has a major role to play in the future, inevitable, standardization processes of the emergent varieties of Arabic. The goals of Arabic lexicography have to be related to a much grander plan which is that of ensuring the smooth development of the language, embracing linguistic change, and getting rid of prescriptive attitudes towards the language. Such positive feelings will rescue the discipline from a long period of stagnation. Arabic lexicography calls for a transdisciplinary approach that would involve linguists, terminologists, translators and corpus researchers by highlighting the contributions that one makes to the other and by opening up new perspectives for both theoretical and practical developments.