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Aspect, Tense and Action in the Arabic Dialect of Beirut By
LEIDEN | BOSTON
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bruweleit, Stefan, author. Aspect, tense and action in the Arabic dialect of Beirut / by Stefan Bruweleit. pages cm. — (Semitic languages and linguistics; 79) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-90-04-28753-2 (hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-90-04-28754-9 (e-book) 1. Arabic language— Dialects. 2. Arabic language—Variation. 3. Urban dialects—Beirut (Lebanon) 4. Arabic language—Social aspects. 5. Languages in contact—Arab countries. 6. Beirut (Lebanon)—Languages. I. Title. PJ6709.B78 2015 492.7’7—dc23
issn 0081-8461 isbn 978-90-04-28753-2 (hardback) isbn 978-90-04-28754-9 (e-book) Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill nv incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Nijhoff and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper.
Contents Preface ix List of Figures xi List of Abbreviations xii
Part 1 The Theoretical Basis 1 General Reflections on Universal Grammar 3 2 Tense 10 3 Aspect 15 3.1 General Remarks 15 3.2 still-situations 17 3.3 while-situations 18 3.4 until-situations 18 3.5 before-situations 19 3.6 since- / for-situations 20 3.7 circumstantial situations 21 3.8 after-situations 21 3.9 Verbs of Perception 22 3.10 Resultative Verbs 23 4 Action 24 4.1 General Remarks 24 4.2 complex : simplex 29 4.3 punctual : durative 30 4.4 telic : atelic 31 5 The Categorial Interplay 33 5.1 General Remarks 33 5.2 Tense and Aspect 35 5.2.1 + Tense and Imperfectivity 35 5.2.2 + Tense and Perfectivity 38 5.2.3 – Tense and Aspect 38 5.3 Action and Tense 39 5.4 Action and Aspect 41 5.5 Summary 45 6 Negation 47 7 The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages 50
Part 2 The Arabic Dialect of Beirut 8 9 10
Introductory Remarks 63 Some Remarks on the Phonology and the Verb Forms 65 9.1 Phonology 65 9.2 The Verb Forms 67 Anteriority to the Speech Time 72 10.1 Non-habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time 72 10.1.1 Main Clauses 72 10.1.2 Subordinate Clauses 79 10.2 Habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time 81 10.2.1 Main Clauses 82 10.2.2 Subordinate Clauses 87 Plural Situations 89 11.1 Main Clauses 89 11.2 Subordinate Clauses 90 Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Past 91 12.1 Simple Simultaneity 92 12.1.1 Main Clauses 92 12.1.2 Subordinate Clauses 95 12.2 since- / for-situations and still-situations 97 12.2.1 Main Clauses 97 12.2.2 still-situations 99 12.2.3 Subordinate clauses of since- / for- and still-situations 100 Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Past 102 13.1 Main Clauses 102 13.2 Subordinate Clauses 105 13.3 before-situations 113 13.4 until-situations 114 Posteriority to a Reference Point in the Past 116 14.1 Main and Subordinate Clauses 116 The Speech Time 120 15.1 Non-habituality with Present Time Reference 120 15.1.1 Simultaneity with the Speech Time 120 184.108.40.206 Main Clauses 120 220.127.116.11 Subordinate Clauses 124
Since- / for-situations 124 18.104.22.168 Main Clauses 124 22.214.171.124 Subordinate Clauses 127 15.1.3 Situations that are Restricted to a Limited Period of Time 127 126.96.36.199 Main Clauses 127 188.8.131.52 Subordinate Clauses 129 15.2 Habituality with Present Time Reference 130 15.2.1 Main Clauses 130 15.2.2 Subordinate Clauses 132 16 Extratemporality 134 17 Posteriority to the Speech Time 135 17.1 Main Clauses 135 17.2 Subordinate Clauses 144 18 Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Future 146 18.1 Main and Subordinate Clauses 146 19 Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Future 149 19.1 Main and Subordinate Clauses 149 20 Verbs of Perception 154 21 Circumstantial Clauses 158 22 Conditional Clauses 161
Part 3 Summary and Analysis 23
Summary Arranged According to Chapter 167 23.1 Non-habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time 167 23.2 Habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time 167 23.3 Plural Situations 168 23.4 Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Past 168 23.5 Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Past 169 23.6 Posteriority to a Reference Point in the Past 170 23.7 Simultaneity with the Speech Time 170 23.8 Habitual Situations with Present Time Reference 171 23.9 Extratemporality 171 23.10 Posteriority to the Speech Time 171 23.11 Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Future 172
27 28 29
23.12 Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Future 172 23.13 Verbs of Perception 173 23.14 Circumstantial Clauses 173 23.15 Conditional Clauses 174 Summary Arranged According to Verb Form 175 24.1 The AP 175 24.2 qatal 189 24.3 yiqtul 192 24.4 byiqtul 193 24.5 raḥyiqtul 196 24.6 ʿamyiqtul 197 The Oppositions in the Verbal System 200 Some Remarks on the Evolution of the Arabic Verbal System 206 26.1 Introduction 206 26.2 The Verb Forms in Classical Arabic 208 26.3 The Transition from the Old Arabic to the New Arabic Verbal System 216 Aspects or Discussed and Narrated World? 219 Substitution Test 225 The Results of this Work 238
Appendices Texts in the Dialect of Beirut 243 Bibliography 267 Index 270
Preface The topic of this monograph is the verbal system of the Arabic dialect of Beirut. Its goal is to find out in which way temporal and aspectual categories are expressed. Part 1 defines the categories tense, aspect, and action (Aktionsart) at a metagrammatical level and investigates the categorial interplay between these three categories. In due consideration of the findings of the first part, in part 2 the actual language data from the dialect of Beirut are presented. Part 3 analyses the data from part 2 and tries to decide whether the examined verb forms are used to designate temporal or aspectual categories as defined in part 1. Apart from the Arabic speaking population, there live minorities in Beirut that speak Armenian, Kurdic, and Aramaic. Arabic is spoken by members of different sects and religions—most of them being Shiites, Sunnites and Christians—whose language differs slightly at a phonological level, which will be dealt with in part 2. At a grammatical level, however, no differences can be found between Shiites, Sunnites and Christians. The data were furnished by the following informants: 1. 2.
Ali Serhan, living in Nordenham and about 55 years old. Ali is Sunnite and lived until the year 2000 in Beirut where he had attended school for four years. He is the narrator of texts nos. iii, vi, vii and viii. Fuad and Mustafa Hamidjou, brothers, living in Burhave and Hannover respectively and 54 and 51 years old. Fuad and Mustafa are Sunnites, but they grew up in a Christian quarter and accordingly speak the Christian dialect. They came to Germany at the age of 19 and 16 resp., but they still use their dialect when among their friends and relatives. Both of them have a very good command not only of their dialect but also of Standard Arabic. Fuad is the narrator of texts nos. ii and v. Hasan and Layal el Rayyis, related by marriage, residents of Brake and about 25 years old. They are Shiites, went to school and graduated in Beirut before coming to Germany in 2010. Texts nos. ii and iv were narrated by Hasan. ash—Shafiʿ Hammadi, living in Wilhelmshaven and about 35 years old. ash—Shafiʿ is also Shiite and graduated in Beirut before coming to Germany at the age of 20.
There are two sources for the data used in this work. One source are the eight texts mentioned above, that can be found in the appendix (Texts i–viii), and
texts nos. vi–viii published in G. Schukro’s thesis on the dialect of Beirut (pp. 209–234, abbreviated Schu. vi–viii). The primary source for the data, however, are the questionnaires I had prepared before interviewing my six informants. The questions and their answers were recorded on tape and then evaluated. The recorded language data available for this examination have a length of about 80 hours.
List of Figures FIGURE Caption
1.1 The categories at a metagrammatical and a specific-language level 4 2.1 The metacategory tense 11 2.2 The temporal categories 13 3.1 The aspectual categories 16 3.2 Still-situations 17 3.3 While-situations 18 3.4 Until-situations 19 3.5 Before-situations 19 3.6 Since- / for-situations 20 3.8 After-situations 22 4.1 The actional categories 29 25.1 The aspectual verb forms in Beirutian Arabic 202
List of Abbreviations AC action AP active participle chapt. chapter RF reference point A ⇓ B category A is incompatible with category B A >> B category A is necessarily combined with category B ~ variant
part 1 The Theoretical Basis
General Reflections on Universal Grammar Verbal syntax is one of the most difficult and demanding topics within linguistics, and in spite of the fact that major advances have been made in recent years, there are still many questions left open, both at the general linguistic level and at the language specific level, so that this introductory chapter on the method and the theoretical basis does not need any justification. This work shall not adhere strictly to any linguistic school, but it goes without saying that it is influenced by the works of several scholars, in particular by those of Carl Bache and Erwin Koschmieder. In order to investigate a linguistic topic, in this case the verbal system of an Arabic dialect, it is advisable to examine it first at a higher, general-linguistic level. Categories like tense and aspect cannot be described in an adequate way at a language-specific level before they have been defined at a general, notional level. Thus, the starting point for any linguistic investigation should be a metagrammar that is based upon the principles of noetics whose task consists, according to Koschmieder (Grundlagen, 79), in the description of the ‘Gemeinten’. The ‘Gemeinte’ is a notion that is of the utmost importance for this work. The ‘Gemeinte’ is the content of thought, the grammatical category a speaker has in mind when he makes an utterance and for which I shall use the Latine word ‘intentum’. The intentum comprises all grammatical categories a speaker is capable of conceiving independently of his native language, for example the temporal category ‘past’. The intentum is designated by the category of the ‘Bezeichnenden’, i.e. the signum, for example the category ‘Simple Past’ (he went, he wrote) that indicates in English past time reference. The signum has a main function and may also have one or several secondary functions. In addition to the intentum and signum there is a the third category that has to be mentioned. This category is the ‘Bezeichnete’, i.e. the category a signum refers to in its main function, and that cannot be designated in a substitution test by any other signum.1 The term ‘Bezeichnetes’ may be translated with ‘designatum’. Let us have a look at an example Koschmieder (Grundlagen, 76) gives to illustrate the relationship between these three categories. In German, the 1 For the main function of a category, see Koschmieder, “Funktionen,” 20.
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category Präsens (= signum) is used to describe situations2 that are progressing simultaneously with the speech time (= main function and designatum). If a speaker uses the Präsens, his intentum can be identical with the designatum, i.e. he describes a situation that is going on at the moment. But he can also intend a habitual or an extratemporal situation which are also expressed by the Präsens so that the context has to decide whether in a sentence like Die Kuh frisst Gras a cow’s actually eating grass is meant (= the cow is eating grass) or rather the distinctive feature of cows: cows (always) eat grass. Thus, it may happen and regularly happens that there are more intenta than signa in a given language so that the speaker—in order to express what he intends—has to make use of signa that indicate in their main function categories which are different from the intended one. The main categories at a metagrammatical and a specific-language level can be summarized as follows: Metagrammar
Signum (e.g. Simple Present) ↓ Intentum (e.g. habituality)
Signum (e.g. Simple Present) expressed by verb forms (e.g. go, goes) ↓ ↓ Intentum Designatum (e.g. habituality) (= main function, e.g. habituality)
figure 1.1 The categories at a metagrammatical and a specific-language level
At a metagrammatical level, there is no difference between intentum and signum because only at a language-specific level one can find out how many categories a signum is able to designate. At a metagrammatical level, however, intentum and signum are always in the ratio one to one. Thus, the first step when establishing a metagrammar, is to work out and to define the intenta that are relevant for the research work, as Denz has done with regard to tense and aspect in the theoretical part of his work on the verbal system of the Arabic dialect of Kwayrīš. The mere enumeration of the categories, however, is not sufficient for establishing a metagrammar that is to provide the theoretical framework for the investigation of a specific language because tense, aspect and action (Aktionsart) are interrelated, and without an understanding of the interre2 The term ‘situation’ is used for everything that may be expressed by a verb form, be it an event, a process, a state etc.
General Reflections On Universal Grammar
lation we cannot understand the categories either. There is a close relationship between tense and aspect and especially between aspect and action; they necessitate each other in some cases, and they are incompatible with each other in other cases. Having described the categorial interplay at a metagrammatical level, one can go on to analyse the corresponding categories at a language-specific level and find out if they are subject to the same restrictions as those at a metagrammatical level. It is Carl Bache to whom we owe the elaboration of this way of analysis, and the following chapters on tense, aspect and action at a metagrammatical level are consequently largely based on his preliminary studies. A metagrammar is, in a manner of speaking, above the specific languages insofar as it describes the categories that can be realised in each of them. The specific languages that serve as source-languages,3 on the other hand, furnish the concrete language data that allow a survey of the possible categories so that metagrammar and specific-language grammar are in a state of mutual dependency. It is important to note, however, that the specific languages do not necessarily give a survey of the possible categories in their entirety, for it may well be that an intentum category does not appear in a grammaticalized form in any of the known languages at all. But in spite of this, the specificlanguage data give the researcher a fairly good idea of the categories he may expect to encounter in a certain group of languages or dialects. In order to investigate the category of aspect, for example, one is well advised to have a look at the Slavonic languages, that are generally considered aspect languages. If one goes through the literature to get to know where the difference is between aspectual oppositions like dyelayet : sdyelayet and dyelal : sdyelal (from dyelat ’ ‘to do’), one quickly finds out that there are almost as many different views as there are scientists4 even if one disregards such extreme positions like that of H. Weinrich who holds the opinion that verb forms in the Romance and Germanic languages do not express aspect or tense at all, but rather serve the purpose to let the reader know if a text belongs to the narrated or the discussed world.5 Thus, one ends up wondering how to define the metacategory of aspect if we do not even know what aspect means in the source-languages whose data are directly accessible to us. However, it must be taken into consideration here that the task of a metagrammar is not to describe a special grammatical feature of a given language but rather to define the possible intentum categories that may or may not be expressed in a grammaticalized form in the 3 For the term ‘source—language’, see Bache, ata, 63f. 4 cf. Forsyth, Aspect, 2–10; Bache, va, 51–91. For a review of previous works on tense and aspect in Arabic, see Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 4–24. 5 See Weinrich, Tempus, especially chapters I and iv.
source-languages. To this end it is sufficient to have an approximate understanding of the intentum lying behind the signa that are directly affailable in the data of the source-languages. This approximate and tentative understanding is the basis for the definition of the intentum category at a metagrammatical level that is the standard against which later the data of the object-language6— in our case the Arabic dialect of Beirut—will be measured, and in this capacity, it has first of all to be exact and unequivocal, irrespective of the question if the language data correspond to that definition or not. If they do not, the definition of the metacategory can be reformed subsequently. Let us assume that we have defined the metagrammatical (intentum) category perfectivity and then confront this category with a signum of a specific language (e.g. qatal in Arabic) in order to investigate whether the designatum of the latter is identical with the intentum of the metagrammar or not. If they are identical, we have identified the category of the specific language. If the designatum of the specific language and the intentum of the metagrammar are not identical, then we have to work out the differences and to find out to which intentum of the metagrammar it corresponds or to redefine the metagrammatical intentum. Above all, however, we have to keep in mind that the exact definition of the intentum at a metagrammatical level is decisive and not the name it is given. Whether the intentum x or the intentum y gets the name perfectivity is of little importance as long as their definitions are unambiguous and a designatum of the specific language can be identified with one of them. Before we go on, we have to discuss a matter that is chiefly of general epistemological interest but that has also some relevance to this work. I have mentioned above the disparity of views about the exact nature of the category of aspect, and the question arises how one and the same linguistic phenomenon can be regarded in so many different ways. The answer has already been given by philosophers and psychologists who teach us that the world around us is nothing more than the object of our perception: Es wird ihm dann deutlich . . . , daß die Welt, welche ihn umgiebt, nur als Vorstellung da ist, d.h. durchweg nur in Beziehung auf ein Anderes, das Vorstellende, welches er selbst ist.7 ‘And then he understands . . . that the world around him is nothing more than representation, i.e. it is always related to a perceiving being that is identical with himself’. Every perception of a human being, for example of a linguist, is influenced by his experiences of life and the constitution of his sensory organs and accordingly, the interpretation of his
6 For the term ‘object-language’, see Bache, ata, 63. 7 A. Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, tome 1 (Zürich: Haffmans, 1988), 31.
General Reflections On Universal Grammar
perception is also conditioned by these criteria that are, of course, different for each human being. The same is true for sender and receiver during the communication. When a sender wants to describe a situation, he does not encode the situation as it occurs in the objective world—whatever that might be—but rather as he perceives it. Then, when the receiver decodes the message, i.e. when he interprets it, he does not do so according to the sender’s perception of it but, of course, corresponding to his own perception that, in turn, is conditioned by his own experiences of life and the constitution of his sensory organs. In English, for example, the Simple Past and Present Perfect can be used to express situations with past time reference. According to the grammar books, the Simple Past is used when the exact date of the situation is specified by the context or by adverbs like yesterday or last week, the Present Perfect, on the other hand, when the exact date is not regarded as important but rather the fact that the situation has a bearing on the present. Let us assume that Lawrence has told his friends A and B that the trees in front of his house had been cut. Supposing he has given A the additional information that they had cut the trees the day before, whereas B does not know the date but has been informed about Lawrence’s not being happy that there are not any trees any more, then A will tell a third person: They cut the trees in front of Lawrence’s house, whereas B will describe the same situation using the Present Perfect: They have cut the trees in front of Lawrence’s house. The problem can also be illustrated by Chomsky’s famous example sentence: Flying planes can be dangerous. If the receiver of this message has some experience in flying planes, he is likely to take flying as a gerund and planes as an object, whereas someone who was nearly hit by a crashing aircraft is more likely to regard flying as a participle and accordingly flying planes as the subject of the sentence. These examples should have made clear that both sending and perceiving and consequently recognition are dependent on the perception of those participating in the communication. In the first example, two senders describe one and the same situation with two different signa, in the second example, two receivers attribute two different intenta to one and the same signum because—we have to emphasize this point—the ing-form is just one signum, even though the corresponding intenta, gerund vs. participle, are clearly different and have their own main functions. There are thus two prominent elements that complicate the insight of the researcher into linguistic phenomena. On the one hand, he can interpret the linguistic data only in that form in which they appear to his subjective perception, and on the other hand, the data go back to informants who are subject to the same restrictions. They, too, are only able to encode and decode the data
according to their subjective perception. These consideration should have made plain that the idea of an objective interpretation of linguistic data has to be regarded as an illusion; but they also suggest, on the other hand, that there is a constant element that exists irrespectively of man’s perception, namely the intentum categories. I dare not maintain that every individual is able to conceive of each of the possible intentum categories. A child needs a certain mental maturity first, and even an adult, when mentally disabled, may have some short-comings in this respect, but aside from this, one can, I think, postulate a general ability to think and to conceive of these categories. If one tries to explain, for example, the English Past Perfect or the German Plusquamperfekt to a pupil, it is possible that he first does not understand sentences like I had gone or: Ich war gegangen, i.e. he might not know what is intended with them. To understand the intentum itself, however, is hardly ever a problem for him, even if he is likely to use already in the next lesson a different signum to designate it. A theory of language that is to have a high degree of objectiveness should be based upon these constant elements, i.e. the intentum categories. As mentioned above, one is in need of a metagrammar that defines these categories and describes the interplay between them. This part of the work can be done comparatively independently from the subjective perception of the researcher, for even Weinrich will surely not deny the existence of these categories, he just relates them to different signa. The above reflections can be applied to all three communication functions of language Bühler (Sprachtheorie, 28f) has defined in his Organon model: descriptive, expressive and appealing function. Language performs an expressive function when it describes the inner attitude of the speaker towards his utterance: O that . . . the Everlasting had not fixed His canon ’gainst self-slaughter.8 When appealing, the speaker wants the receiver to react to his message: Shut the door! The expected reaction can also be an answer: When did you arrive? A communication is descriptive when the sender informs about circumstances and facts: It is raining. Finally, we have to settle here how to extract the definitions of the intentum categories from the data of the source-language or languages. The way has already been described by Bache in va (31–51) and ata (especially chapters 5 and 6). The starting point are substitution tests that are used to compare two 8 W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2. 129f.
General Reflections On Universal Grammar
sentences one of which contains the form, in our case a verb form, that is considered a possible signum for the category (intentum) under investigation. The two sentences have to be identical except for the verb forms. If we want to find out, for example, in which way the Arabic dialect of Beirut expresses the aspectual category imperfectivity, we can present the two sentences ʾAḥmad ʿamyiktub maktūb : ʾAḥmad katab maktūb to our informants and ask them to describe the differences in meaning. This approach allows in general a very quick identification of the signum in question. As a result of his investigations, Bache distinguishes between four types of sentences.9 Type i is related to sentences where a replacement is not possible owing to a systemic gap, i.e. there does not exist a morphological counterpart. The Russian imperfective form naxodit’sya ‘to be located’, for example, has no perfective counterpart.10 Type ii: A replacement is possible but results in ungrammaticality: John is reading the newspaper at the moment and: *John reads the newspaper at the moment. Type iii: The replacement yields a grammatically correct sentence with a different meaning: John is working in the office next door: John works in the office next door. Type iv: There is only a slight change in meaning and, we have to stress this point, the replacement does not result in any change of the other categories in the sentence. John works . . . differs from John is working . . . not only with respect to the category of aspect, the action of the two sentences is also different. John works . . . is habitual and thus non-actional, John is working . . . , on the other hand, is actional and atelic.11 An example for sentences of type iv is the following pair: I was having a chat with him the other day: I had a chat with him the other day.12 The importance of the fourth type for the definition of categories is obvious because only here they can be observed in unadulterated form without any changes of other categories blurring the view. The other types, especially number iii, are important to ascertain the categorial interplay because it is only with their help that we can investigate the bearing the change of a category has on other categories. This is the way a metagrammar of verbal categories can be established. There exist already important preliminary works in this field we can rely on in the following chapters. 9 cf. the chart on page 122 in ata. 10 See Bache, ata, 121. 11 This point is discussed in more detail below, chapter 4. 12 See Bache, ata, 117.
Tense We can proceed on the assumption that every language community is able to imagine the categories in question even if it does not have grammaticalized signa to designate them but has to make use of other means for this purpose. The category of tense is deictic in essence, i.e. it makes the ‘here’ and ‘now’ of the speaker a fixed reference point and marks situations as being anterior to, simultaneous with or posterior to this reference point. The here and now is without extension because as soon as something is perceived as being happening or progressing, it has already passed and belongs to the past. Koschmieder (Zeitbezug, 4) was perfectly right when he remarked that the self-awareness and thus the present is just a link between the past and the future. The present is equivalent to the conception that someone or something has been and also will be in the future.1 He is writing a letter implies that he has just been busy writing and that he will be busy doing so in the future. As noted in the previous chapter, the designation of a situation as past, present or future is dependent on the speaker’s conception only and can be regarded as real only within the limits of his conception. Closely following Bache (ata, 245), I want to define the metacategory of tense as follows: Tense concerns the assignment of temporal location to situations relative to a reference point conceived of as present by the speaker.2 The assignment of temporal location takes place during the encoding and the decoding. According to this definition, an expression can be temporal (+ Tense) if it assigns a temporal location to a situation relative to a reference point that is conceived of as present by the speaker, or it can be non-temporal (– Tense) if it does not do so. The metacategory tense can be subdivided as follows:
1 The notion ‘conception’ indicates in this work the result of a perception, i.e. the idea that goes back to what I have perceived. 2 In this work, the term ‘speaker’ refers to both the sender and the receiver.
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– Anteriority (= Past) – Simultaneity (= Present) – Posteriority (= Future)
figure 2.1 The metacategory tense
The three main tenses are also called ‘absolute tenses’.3 This classification can still be refined if we take the interval between the situation and the present (= reference point and speech time) into consideration. Some languages are able to express grammatically whether a situation is expected to happen in the near or in the remote future or if it took place in the near or in the remote past. Frequently, they differentiate if the situation took place on the day of the utterance or on the day before.4 Furthermore, a situation can be conceived of as being anterior to, simultaneous with or posterior to a second reference point that, in turn, is anterior to, simultaneous with or posterior to the first reference point, i.e. the present or speech time: a.
John had arrived by six o’clock.5
The second reference point is at six o’clock that is anterior to the first reference point (= speech time), whereas John’s arrival is anterior to this second reference point. Comrie (Tense, 64ff) calls tenses with two reference points ‘absoluterelative tenses’.6 From a noematic point of view one can also conceive of a future in the future, but the grammaticalization of this category is of such rare occurrence in the languages that it will not be considered in the following.7 Situations that are posterior to the speech time do often not only have a temporal reading but also a modal one insofar as they are not just regarded as posterior but also as wanted or supposed. Although it is often not easy to decide whether a sentence has a future time or a modal reading, there is an important difference between these two categories. A non-modal statement informs about a situation that is to be expected in the future, whereas a modal one describes a state that can result in a situation. Sentences like I want to / 3 cf. Comrie, Tense, 36ff. 4 cf. Comrie, Tense, 87; Denz, Kwayrīš, 15f. 5 Comrie, Tense, 65. 6 Following Reichenbach’s approach, Eisele (Arabic Verbs, 60) terms the three absolute tenses deictic and the absolute-relative tenses non-deictic. 7 For this category, see Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 172.
must read the book denote a desire or a duty, i.e. a state that can entail a situation, while I am going to read the book refers to the future situation only. So, even if the two categories seem to mingle at times, there can be no doubt about their independent status. Compare also a sentence like: b.
I will tell her as soon as she gets here (Bache, ata, 245)
whose subordinate clause can only have a temporal reading.8 Regarding the temporal category present, some explanations must be given. As mentioned above (p. 10), the present here and now is conceived of by the speaker as something that has been and also will be in the future. When I speak of simultaneity with the speech time, this period of time is meant. A situation can proceed simultaneously with this period and take the speech time as its reference point: He is working in the garden. The reference point can also go past this period and comprise a limited period of time that has not elapsed yet: c.
His office is in London, but he is working in Manchester this week.
In this case, the situation of working is conceived of as being a mere potential that can be activated during that period because the sentence does not mean that he is actually working at the moment. These periods can also be located in the past or the future: d.
He worked in Vienna that month.
Here, too, the situation is conceived of as just being a potential because the sentence does not imply that he really worked the whole time. Furthermore, the period can be conceived of as having no limits at all. The situation of such a period may be habitual: e.
He is in the habit of smoking a cigar after dinner.
It can also have past time or, if need be, future time reference: He used to smoke a cigar after dinner. If the subject is a generic term, the situation may lose its deictic character and become extratemporal:
8 For situations with future time reading in general, see Bache, ata, 255f.
Cows eat grass.
In dependence on Denz (Kwayrīš, 16), the temporal relationships can be charted as follows: Past a 2. rp
1. rp = First Reference Point = Speech Time 2. rp = Second Reference Point (Past or Future) a = Anteriority to a second reference point in the past b = Posteriority to a second reference point in the past a–b = Simultaneity with a second reference point in the past c = Anteriority to the first reference point (speech time) d = Posteriority to the first reference point (speech time) c–d = Simultaneity with the first reference point (speech time) e = Anteriority to a second reference point in the future f = Posteriority to a second reference point in the future e–f = Simultaneity with a second reference point in the future figure 2.2 The temporal categories
Things get a bit complicated when a speaker does not choose his own speech time as a reference point but rather the one of another person, for example the receiver of the message, as is often the case with letters in Arabic when the sender introduces his writing with the words katabtu ʾilayka ‘I wrote to you’, which is correct from the receiver’s point of view but not from the sender’s perspective.9 Similarily, the speaker sometimes quits his reference point in a narration, where the here and now of the speaker is less important than the reference point of the protagonists in the story, and thus invites the receiver to look at the situation from the inside.10 At this point, I have to say a few words about Denz’ discussion of what he calls ‘generelle Sachverhalte’, i.e. general situations (Kwayrīš, 18–20), because it is related to the notion of ‘implicature’ that will have some bearing on this 9 cf. Diem, “katabtu ʾilayka ‘Ich schreibe dir’ und Verwandtes,“ zdmg 154 (2004): 285–341. 10 cf. Denz, Kwayrīš, 17f.
work. Denz regards general situations like Hunde bellen ‘dogs bark’ as simultaneous with a reference point, whereas I prefer to take them for non-temporal, for they have no deictic quality. In order to express general situations, the German language can make use of the Präsens or the Perfekt. When analysing the use of the Perfekt in a sentence like Hunde haben noch immer gebellt ‘Dogs have always barked so far’, Denz takes two possible explanations into consideration. Either the Perfekt has to be interpreted as a real past time tense, or it has assumed the function of designating im Leerlauf (lit. ‘idling, at rest’) a category for which the language does not have any grammaticalized signum. The notion Leerlauf, which Denz has borrowed from Koschmieder (Funktionen, 13), means that a signum designates in its secondary function an intentum for which the language does not have any signum that would designate the intentum in question in its main function. He opts for the first explanation and states, I think with good reason, that the use of the Perfekt has to be regarded as a kind of hidden logical conclusion: As dogs have always barked so far, they will surely bark in the future, too. The logical conclusion mentioned above means an implicature, even if Denz does not use that notion explicitly. An implicature is to be understood as a conclusion that follows from the designatum of a word or a sentence. In a sentence like It is cold in here most receivers will probably relate the designatum to the temperature in the room. If the speaker, however, rather intends to express his desire someone may close the window, i.e. if designatum and intentum differ from each other, then there is an implicature. While the designatum is tied to the main function of a signum, the implicature is related to its secondary function that—on a diachronic plane—often supersedes the original main function of a signum and achieves the status of a main function. There is a close connection between implicature and the phenomenon that Denz calls Leerlauf insofar as a signum normally takes over the task of expressing an intentum for which the language system does not have any other signum only if the designatum which that signum expresses in its main function is similar to the intentum in question, or if the intentum is to be understood as an implicature that follows from the designatum. To put it another way, there is no need to choose between the two possible explanations mentioned by Denz because the Perfekt in German has taken over in its secondary function (im Leerlauf ) the task of expressing the extratemporalis for the simple reason that its use in the sense of an extratemporalis can be easily understood as an implicature that follows from its main function (past time reference): The fact that dogs have always barked implies that they bark in general.
As mentioned above, the category of aspect is chiefly found in the Slavonic languages and accordingly, the word ‘aspect’ is the equivalent to Russian vid ‘point of view’. vid denotes the point of view from which a situation is regarded. Following Bache (ata, 258), I would like to define the metacategory of aspect as follows: Aspect concerns the situational focus with which the speaker represents a situation. Accordingly, a situation can be aspectual (+ Aspect), if the speaker represents it with a definite situational focus, or it can be non-aspectual (– Aspect), if he does not do so, i.e. if the situational focus is neutral. The metacategory of aspect consists of the two subcategories perfectivity and imperfectivity. The definition of these two categories follows Bache (ata, 259): The perfective aspect conveys an external situational focus, i.e. the speaker looks at a situation from the outside as a complete whole. The imperfective aspect, on the other hand, conveys an internal situational focus, i.e. the speaker looks at a situation from the inside and describes it as something that is still in progress. The decisive point with regard to the category of aspect is not, as with tense, the temporal location of a situation but rather its temporal direction.1 Seen from an imperfective point of view, a situation is conceived of as having taken place in the past and as also taking place in the future, i.e. the temporal direction is from the past into the future. When viewed from the outside, i.e. perfectively, the situation approaches the speaker on the timeline from the future and then disappears into the past, i.e. here it is the other way round, the temporal direction is from the future into the past. If I say, John is writing a letter, i.e. I look at the situation from inside, John’s writing a letter can only be conceived of as 1 cf. Koschmieder, Zeitbezug, 11ff.
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proceeding simultaneously with me on the timeline into the future, and the temporal direction is past > future. If I expect John to write a letter, the situation of his writing approaches from the future to the present while I proceed on the timeline, and the temporal direction is future > past. In this case, I look at the situation from outside as a complete whole. The same is true when John has written the letter and the situation of writing belongs to the past. In this instance, too, the situation appears as a complete whole to me. Of particular importance for the category of aspect is the reference point from which a situation is regarded. With the speech time as reference point, the perfective aspect is impossible because the speaker cannot look at the present point where he is located from outside as a complete whole, i.e. with the temporal direction future > past. The imperfective aspect, as defined above, can be used in this case without problems. A sentence like: a.
I was having a chat the other day with an old friend of mine (Bache, ata, 260)
however, sounds strange if we regard the speech time as the reference point. If one looks back from the present to the past, one expects to find the perfective aspect, for the situation has already been accomplished and completed by now. If the imperfective aspect is used nevertheless, this must have a reason which can lie in the fact that the situation is viewed from a second reference point. This second reference point can be an adverb of time or another situation, for example: I was having a chat . . . when the door opened and . . . The first reference point is the speech time, the second one the situation the door opened. If such a second reference point in the form of an adverb, a subordinate clause or the context cannot be found, one has to allow for the possibility that the situation is viewed from the perspective of its subject, i.e. that the sender invites the receiver to identify himself with the subject and to regard the situation from his point of view.2 The findings of this chapter can be charted as follows: a
figure 3.1 The aspectual categories 2 cf. Denz, Kwayrīš, 30f.
With the speech time as reference point (= 1. rp), situations with past (a–b) and future (c–d) time reference are conceived of as perfective, those with present time reference (e–f) as imperfective. The situation may also be viewed from a second reference point which is inside that situation so that it is conceived of as imperfective. On the following pages I will be discussing the sentences and clauses where the investigation of aspect seems to be particularly promising. Important preliminary work has already been done by Denz (Kwayrīš, 22–48), so I can often refer to him. 3.2 still-situations A still-situation is a situation that has not been completed yet, when another situation occurs that, in turn, functions as a reference point for the stillsituation. This reference point must be located inside the still-situation: a b
figure 3.2 Still-situations
He was still working in the garden (c) when the guests arrived / were arriving (a–b)
The first reference point is the speech time, the second one the arrival of the guests (a–b) with regard to which the still-situation (c = working) is imperfective. c can coincide with b, but it can also extend beyond it or be completed between a and b, i.e. it is conceivable that he was still working after all guests had arrived, or that he stopped after the arrival of the first guests. It is crucial, at any rate, that c had already been taking place before situation a and that it had not been completed yet when a happened. The reference point may also be a punctual situation: b.
He was still working when the tv exploded
or have present or future time reference:
He is still sleeping (d).3
3.3 while-situations Just as still-situations, a while-situation is imperfective and implies simultaneity with its reference point. In contrast to still-situations, a while-situation does not emphasize that it has already been taking place before the reference point. An exact simultaneity between while-situation and reference point is not necessary, the one can extend beyond the other: a
figure 3.3 While-situations
He was working in the garden (c–d) while the guests were having a chat (a–b).
The situation of his working can be inside the boundaries of a–b (c2–d2), outside them (c3–d3) or their boundaries may be identical (c1–d1).4 3.4 until-situations The end of the main-clause situation is determined by the beginning of the until-situation: a.
He worked in the garden (a–b) until the guests arrived (c).
3 For still-situations, see Denz, Kwayrīš, 24f. 4 cf. Denz, Kwayrīš, 26–28.
c Figure 3.4 Until-situations
Both his working and the arrival of the guests are conceived of as a completed whole and are thus perfective. The perfectivity of the main-clause situation is especially evident if it is repeated: b.
He had to read the text twice until he understood it.
At times, however, it is hard to decide whether the main-clause situation is to be conceived of as including the beginning of the until-situation, and thus as being imperfective, or not. Sentence a implies that the main-clause and the until-situation do not overlap, for otherwise one would expect: He had been working in the garden until the guests arrived. From a noematic point of view, however, the main-clause situation can be conceived of as including the beginning of the until-situation or as being completed before it. Consequently, one can expect both a perfective or an imperfective verb form in the main clause. The until-situation, too, can be represented as perfective (a) or as imperfective: c.
Suddenly it started to rain, so I had to brake until I was going slow enough to avoid an accident.5
3.5 before-situations a.
He had been working in the garden (c–d) before the guests arrived (a–b).
figure 3.5 Before-situations 5 On until-situations, see also Denz, Kwayrīš, 32f.
Already Denz (Kwayrīš, 29) has shown that not the arrival of the guests (a–b) is the reference point of the working, but rather the previous period that extends from c to a. When related to this reference point, a situation can be conceived of as not having been completed yet and thus as imperfective. In this case, it is normally regarded as having the same temporal extension as the reference point, i.e. from c to a, and as progressing simultaneously with it. If, however, the actional value of the verb excludes a temporal extension, the situation of the main sentence can only be perfective: b.
He shot his wife before he fled the country.
since- / for-situations
A since- / for-situation can be imperfective or perfective, depending on whether it is the starting point from which another situation takes its course (perfective), or whether it progresses simultaneously with the second situation (imperfective): a. b.
Ever since the guests arrived (a), he has been sleeping (c – 1. rp). Ever since the guests have been sitting in the garden (a – 1. rp), he has been sleeping (c – 1. rp)
c figure 3.6 Since- / for-situations
The reference point for both situations is the speech time. The arrival of the guests in sentence a is thus perfective, the other situations are imperfective.6 After since / for an adverb of time can be inserted to indicate for how long a situation has already been going on when a second one occurred: c.
He had been working in the garden for two hours when the guests arrived.
6 cf. Denz, Kwayrīš, 29.
The situation of working overlaps with its reference point, the arrival of the guests, and is thus imperfective. The guests’ arrival, on the other hand, is perfective, for its reference point is the speech time, and seen from this perspective, of course, the situation has already been completed. 3.7
Circumstantial situations describe the circumstances that attend the situation of the main sentence. In German they are often introduced by the subjunction indem, in English they can be expressed by the Present Participle: a.
John slept lying on the back.
As with while-situations, the circumstantial situation is simultaneous with the situation of the main sentence. There is, however, an important difference between them insofar as a circumstantial situation is not independent but only specifies an aspect of the situation of the superordinate sentence, and thus cannot be the reference point of the latter because a situation, if it is to function as a reference point, has to be a seperate semantic unit and to be independent from the situation whose reference point it is supposed to be. A while-situation, on the other hand, as for example: b.
John was sleeping while it was raining outside
carries much more weight than John’s lying on the back in sentence a, for it does not denote a mere attendant circumstance, but rather a distinct situation. Thus, while the super- and the subordinate situation of a while-sentence are reference points to each other and consequently both imperfective, the reference point of the superordinate situation of a circumstantial sentence is the speech time. The superordinate situation is thus perfective; at the same time it functions as the reference point to the subordinate circumstantial situation because the latter takes place only with reference to the former and is thus imperfective. 3.8 after-situations An after-situation is perfective because its reference point is located outside of its boundaries:
He worked in the garden (c–d) after the guests had arrived (a–b). a
figure 3.8 After-situations
The reference point of the guests’ arrival is his working in the garden, the one of his working is the speech time. Both situations are perfective. 3.9
Verbs of Perception
Denz (Kwayrīš, 30) is principally right when noting that situations which are objects of verbs of perception are imperfective. In fact, if the object situations are simultaneous with their reference points, e.g. the seeing or hearing, and are conceived of in their progression, they can only be imperfective: a.
I can see him entering the house.
My seeing is the reference point of his entering the house, I can observe the whole situation or just a part of it. In either case the situation of entering is conceived of as imperfective, for the present tense form can see makes clear that both situations are taking place at the same time and that, consequently, the entering cannot have been completed yet. If, however, the verb of perception has past time reference, the object situation—viewed from the speech time—can be conceived of as progressing (= imperfective) or as a completed whole (= perfective): b. c.
I saw him entering the house (imperfective). I saw him enter the house (perfective).
In sentence c both my seeing and his entering are conceived of as having the speech time as their reference point, in sentence b, on the other hand, it is only the seeing that is viewed from the speech time, while the reference point of the entering is the situation of seeing (cf. below chapter 20).
Resultative verbs denote two situations that are causally connected with each other: an event and a state. The relationship between event and state can be a very close one, in such a way that the one of them is automatically conceived of as implying the other one. He has taken a seat implies that he is sitting now; he is sitting now, on the other hand, implies that he has taken a seat, i.e. the relationship is a mutual one. This is not necessarily always the case. He has come implies that he is here now, but he is here now does not automatically mean that he has come, it is also possible that he has never left. It is not always easy to decide whether the event or the state is regarded as more important. In He has taken a seat, the focus seems to be on the event, whereas the resulting state, that can also be expressed by the less ambiguous he is sitting, is felt to be a mere implicature. With Arabic ğālisun, on the other hand, it seems to be the other way round, i.e. the focus is on the state of sitting, while the event of taking one’s seat is the implicature (cf. below, chapt. 24.a). Whereever the focus may be, the event is at any rate perfective and the state—not being compatible with the category of aspect (cf. below)—is non-aspectual.7 7 On the resultative, see Denz, Kwayrīš, 48–51; Wild, “Partizip”.
Action or kind of action (Aktionsart) is often not accepted as an independent linguistic category but, if taken into consideration at all, lumped together with aspect in one category.1 It is sufficient to have a look at the following sentences to realise the questionability of such an equation: a.
He brought the boxes to the store.
He was bringing the boxes to the store.
They were bringing boxes to the store.
Sentences a and b differ with regard to aspect: a is perfective, b is imperfective. Sentence c is also imperfective but differs from b in respect to the action: b is simplex and atelic, c is complex or, to be exact: distributive.2 So we see, an identification of the sentences with regard to their aspectual value alone is not enough for their complete characterization. Before we go on, we should first define the category of action and find out how it differs from aspect. As noted in the previous chapter, aspect concerns the situational focus with which a situation is represented. It can be represented as a complete whole when the speaker looks at it from the outside (perfective), and it can be viewed from the inside in its progress (imperfective). The category of action, on the other hand, does not concern the speaker’s point of view but rather the situation itself. There are different kinds of action. One type specifies the way in which a situation takes place. In Russian, for example, the prefix za- indicates the delving into a situation or the excessive doing of something: govorit’ ‘to speak, to talk’ : zagovoritsya ‘to talk exceedingly’.3 In Arabic, the second form of the verb often denotes the intensification of the situation expressed by the first form: qatala ‘he killed’ : qattala ‘he massacred’. Furthermore, there are two other types of action that are of more importance 1 See, for instance, Aartun, Tempora, 17, note 3. 2 For distributive situations, see Bache, ata, 77f; va, 110f, and below, chapt. 4.2. 3 See Forsyth, Aspect, 20ff; Bache, va, 115.
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for this work, and which may be termed qualitative and quantitative action. The former concerns the phasal constituency of a situation. According to whether the beginning, the middle or the end of a situation is decisive for its characterization and classification, or whether a number of subordinate situations constitute one superordinate situation, one can differentiate between variant types of qualitative actions. For the characterization of durative situations, for instance, the middle phase is the decisive one because without an extension of its middle, a situation cannot be conceived of as durative. Punctual situations, on the other hand, are characterized by the fact that beginning, middle and end are more or less rolled into one point. Following Bache (ata, 218, 227),4 the category of qualitative action can be defined as follows: Qualitative action concerns the classification of situations according to their phasal constituency. It is important to note that it makes little sense to assign an actional value to the single verb forms because the action of a situation is not determined by the verb form alone but also by its syntactic embedding. The two German sentences: d.
Friedrich schrieb gerade einen Brief in seinem Zimmer ‘Frederic was just writing a letter in his room’, and
Friedrich schrieb den Brief in seinem Zimmer ‘Frederic wrote the letter in his room’
both have the verb form schrieb, Präteritum (Simple Past) of schreiben ‘to write’, but in spite of this, d is atelic and e telic. In sentence d, the focus is on the middle of the situation, the beginning and the end being of little importance; in e, however, the end is necessarily implied, for otherwise the sentence would lose its truth content. Bache (ata, 221) is thus right when he states that verbs have potentials as regards action, that their activation, however, is dependent not only on the verbs but also on the syntactic context. It is to be understood in this way when I speak of stative, punctual etc. verbs. The other important type of action is the quantitative one, that concerns the frequence of a situation. A situation can take place only once and be singular, 4 Bache, however, does not differentiate between qualitative and quantitative action.
or it can happen several times and be plural. A situation can have several repetitions that are restricted to a limited period of time, or the repetitions may be so numerous that the situation has to be regarded as habitual. Finally, the repetitions can be independent from time and the situation consequently be extratemporal. This facet of action will be dealt with below. The category of action5 is harder to be conceived of than tense or aspect because it is seldom designated by grammaticalized signa like German jagen ‘to hunt’ : erjagen ‘to hunt and catch’, but is rather determined by the lexical meaning and the syntactic embedding of the verb. The grammatical complexity of action, however, does not speak against its acceptance as an independent category. We are justified to do so not merely because of the reasons given above but also for the relevancy it bears with respect to the categorial interplay as will be shown in the next chapter.6 A situation can be conceived of as actional7 or as non-actional. The presupposition for its being conceived of as actional is that it exhibits properties which permit the application of the definition given above, i.e. it must be tangible enough to allow for the description of its phasal constituency. The term non-actional, on the other hand, does not mean that a situation does not have an action but only that it lacks phasal characteristics such as beginning, middle, end et cetera. These situations, too, have an action, but not a qualitative one. Let us have a look at a sentence denoting a stative situation like: f.
Carl knows Mozart’s Magic Flute.
The situation of knowing can, if necessary, be divided into a beginning, when he first heard the opera, a middle, when he knew it, and an end, when he forgot it, and there are surely cerebral processes with a distinct phasal constituency corresponding to the knowing. However, the speaker, when communicating, is surely not aware of this internal structure but rather conceives of the situation as vague and intangible and thus lacking a phasal constitueny.8 Stative situations have thus to be regarded as non-actional. Another important point with respect to the category of action, already hinted at above, is the frequency of a situation. A situation can be singular: g.
He went to the cinema
5 The term action, when used without an adjective, refers to qualitative action. 6 cf. Bache, ata, 224. 7 The adjective actional is used for the description of situations that have a qualitative action. 8 cf. Bache, va, 120.
or plural, if there is a determined or an undetermined number of repetitions: h.
He went to the cinema three times / several times.
It can be restricted to a limited period of time: i.
He normally works in London, but this week he is working in Manchester.
The repetitions can be so numerous that the situation is to be regarded as habitual: j.
Churchill used to smoke cigars.
Finally, a situation can be independent from time and space and be extratemporal: k.
Cows eat grass.
The last three categories (i.e. habituality, extratemporality, situations that are restricted to a limited period of time) can be divided into two subcategories, for they may be conditioned or not. Churchill used to smoke cigars has almost the same meaning as Churchill was a cigar smoker, i.e. his habit of smoking cigars is regarded as an essential part of his personality. This kind of habitual situations, that are not subject to any temporal constraints within the period they refer to—Churchill may have smoked a cigar at any time of his life—can be denoted as essential. In: Whenever I went past his house, I saw him sitting in the garden, on the other hand, his sitting in the garden is habitual, too, but this time, the habitual situation is conditioned by another situation, namely my going past his house. Thus, the conditioned situation has a reference point and is not, as with essential habituality, conceived of as a potential that may be activated at any time but rather as a situation that actually took place, if only with respect to its reference point. So conditioned habitual situations are—as contrasted with essential ones—to be classified as actional. This differentiation, that is also true for the other two categories in question, is relevant to the categorial interplay (see below, chapt. 5.4). In the following, when I speak of habitual and extratemporal situations without an additional adjective, I mean essential habitual and extratemporal situations. With respect to situations that are restricted to a limited period of time, the term essential does not seem appropriate to me. If I want to specify these sentences, I simply use the adjective conditioned.
The action of all these situations is quantitative. Quantitative categories of action differ from qualitative ones to the effect that they are not tied to special verbs. to arrive is normally found in punctual situations, to bring something to in telic ones, to work in atelic situations etc., but all of them can have a plural, habitual etc. reading: He used to arrive, to bring, to work. An important characteristic of habitual and extratemporal situations and situations that are restricted to a limited period of time lies in the fact that it is not the individual situation which is conceived of, but rather the abstract over-all situation that is composed of the iterated individual situations. The distinct individual situations, however, that alone can have a tangible phasal constituency, are just understood as potentials which can be activated in due course. John smokes cigars does not mean that he is actually smoking at the moment but only that he may do so. Because of these quantitative characteristics, the three types of situations mentioned above have to be considered non-actional. Plural situations, on the other hand, are actional because they are not conceived of as mere potentials but rather as situations that have actually taken place. To sum up the most important non-actional situations: – situations that are restricted to a limited period of time: He is working in Manchester this week – habitual situations: Churchill used to smoke cigars – extratemporal situations: Cows eat grass – situations that denote the existence or a property: Freud lived in Vienna; he was a great scientist – situations that concern perception and feelings: He knew him. He hated him. The group of non-actional situations thus consists of situations with a quantitative action except plural ones (the first three subgroups) and stative situations, as I want to term the last two subgroups.9 The group of stative situations can be subdivided into two subgroups. The first subgroup consists of situations whose continuance is principally conceived of as unlimited unless they are interrupted by a second situation. This subgroup contains situations like: to know, to be able to, to live, to hate, to be, and is referred to as kirih-type (from Arabic kirih ‘to hate’). The second subgroup comprises situations of the ṣāmtype (‘to fast’), i.e. situations that are also stative but whose continuance is normally not conceived of as unlimited: to sleep, to fast, live in, to wait. 9 cf. Bache’s abstract (va, 121) that, however, does not take situations of a limited period of time into account.
The category of actional situations (+ ac) still needs further subdivision, which has already been done by Bache. The results of his work can be summarized as follows:
atelic ‒ ac: Situations of a limited period of time, habitual, extratemporal (quantitative action) and stative situations. figure 4.1 The actional categories
complex : simplex
The first subdivision within the category ac refers to the categorial pair complex : simplex: a.
The arrow burst the balloon.
They were bursting balloons all over the place.10
The situation in a is punctual and is conceived of as an inseparable entity, whereas b is an over-all situation that is composed of several simplex situations. The most important subtypes of the category of complexity are iterative and, as in b, distributive situations.11 An iterative situation has a subject and possibly an object and is composed of various subsituations: c.
The flag flutters in the wind.
He thwacked his brother.
10 cf. Bache, ata, 232. 11 For a further subdivision, see Bache, va, 111.
It is decisive that the subsituations are not conceived of as independent entities because in this case the situation would be plural: e.
He went to the cinema three times yesterday.
A situation is distributive if the subsituations can be conceived of as independent entities whose subject and / or object are, however, composed of a multiplicity of people or things: f.
The men brought the boxes to the store.
Goethe wrote lots of poems.12
punctual : durative
Punctual situations have little or no extension in time, and their beginning, middle and end are rolled into one point. Durative situations, on the other hand, do have extension in time and allow a distinction between beginning, middle and end, the middle being the prominent phase. a.
The arrow burst the balloon.
He was reading when his brother came in.
Punctual situations can denote the beginning of a durative situation: c.
The war broke out
or its end: d.
He achieved his goal
or bear no relation to a durative situation as in sentence a.13
12 cf. above, note 2 on page 24. 13 cf. Bache, ata, 235–237 and va, 111f.
telic : atelic
Telic situations are durative and necessarily include an end without which they cannot be regarded as telic. Atelic situations are also durative but without implying an end. In a telic situation (a), special emphasis is given to the terminal point, in an atelic one (b) to the middle phase: a.
John went to work.
John was on his way to work.
Even though in b the terminal point of the situation is mentioned, it is not decisive for the truth content of the sentence whether that point was reached or not. Even if he never got to his place of work, he was nonetheless on his way thither at the time in question.14 Plural situations are regarded as telic in this work, notwithstanding that they are not distinguished by a qualitative characteristic alone but also by a quantitative one. The justification for regarding plural situations as telic is based on the fact that it is the terminal point that is conceived of as crucial for the truth content of the proposition. In a sentence like He went to the cinema three times all three subsituations preserve their independence, most prominent, however, is the last one that completes the over-all situation. One may object that the subsituations do not form a continuum so that the over-all situation cannot be considered durative, and in fact, there are intervals between the visits to the cinema that interrupt the continuum. These interruptions, though, are only perceivable if one accompanies the subject of the situation all the time. However, when hearing a sentence, as for instance He went to the cinema three times, the intervals, that have nothing to do with the proposition of the sentence, disappear and what remains is the conception of three intertwined visits that form a continuum. Bache15 differentiates furthermore between directed and self-contained atelic situations. The former progress towards but do not include a terminal point as in example sentence b, the latter do not have such a terminal point at all: c.
James and Georg were sailing along the coast.16
14 cf. Bache, ata, 237–240 and va, 112. 15 ata, 241–243 and va, 112f. 16 Bache, ata, 241.
Bache takes the justification for this distinction from the role directed situations play in the categorial interplay that will be described below. Bache’s observation is correct, but I do not think that there is a need to introduce a new category, for it is necessary to consider that the behaviour of directed and self-contained situations towards other categories does not differ. Both are compatible with the subcategories of tense and aspect. If one combines a telic situation with the imperfective aspect, the result may be a situation that Bache refers to as directed, but a directed atelic situation is and shall remain directed and atelic even if it is combined with the perfective aspect. Let us cite as an example the directed situation: d.
He was riding towards the mansion.
If we substitute the imperfective aspect for the perfective one, the actional value of the situation is still the same: e.
He rode towards the mansion at first, then he stopped and returned.
I will therefore not divide the category of atelic situations into two further subcategories. Finally, I have to mention that only sentences with atelic situations may supply minimal pairs of type iv in a substitution test that differ only with respect to the category of aspect without tense and action being affected: I was having a chat . . . : I had a chat. . . .17 17 For details, see Bache, ata, 260–271.
The Categorial Interplay 5.1
In the previous chapters I have already pointed to the fact that there are certain constraints as to the compatibility relations between the category members. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the compatibility and incompatibility relations at a metagrammatical level. Punctual and telic situations, for example, are incompatible with the imperfective aspect and simultaneity, i.e. they are necessarily perfective and may be anterior or posterior to a reference point. The reason for this lies in the fact that an imperfective situation is viewed from the inside without regard to its beginning and end, whereas punctual and telic situations are necessarily conceived of as implying an end. For the very same reason they are not compatible with simultaneity, be it simultaneity with a reference point in the past, in the future or with the speech time. The presentation of the compatibility rules is the same as in Bache’s works. The example given above is presented as follows: Rule 1: Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Imperfectivity, Simultaneity i.e.: Punctual and telic situations are incompatible with imperfectivity and simultaneity. Punctuality + Telicness >> Anteriority / Posteriority, Perfectivity i.e.: Punctual and telic situations are necessarily anterior or posterior to a reference point and perfective. Furthermore, I shall investigate what happens if two incompatible categories are combined with each other. To this end, one thinks of a situation that contains one of the categories in question, for example punctuality: The balloon burst. The situation of this sentence, that can be classified as punctual, anterior to the speech time and perfective, is to be combined with the imperfective aspect, whose incompatibility rule states: Rule 2: Imperfectivity ⇓ – Tense / Anteriority / Posteriority, Punctuality / Telicness / – ac
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Imperfectivity >> Simultaneity, + ac except Punctuality / Telicness The incompatibility of punctual situations with imperfectivity is caused by the coincidence of beginning, middle and end with punctuality so that it is impossible to conceive of them from the inside in their progress. If the speaker’s point of view forces its way into such a situation, the situation is—so to speak—broken open and the view is focused on its middle phase. In the example sentence with the bursting balloon, this phase extends from the moment when the air pressure reaches a critical point to the bursting of the balloon. The situation is atelic then and can be described with: The balloon was bursting / was about to burst. With simultaneous change of other categories, the punctual situation could also become complex: Balloons were bursting. A telic situation, on the other hand, is incompatible with the imperfective aspect because it necessarily leads up to and includes a terminal point. If the imperfective aspect is used, the terminal point is automatically excluded, and the telic situation becomes atelic. The rule for the combination of these two incompatible categories can be formulated as follows: Punctuality + Telicness (>> Anteriority / Posteriority, Perfectivity) ⇓ Imperfectivity (>> Simultaneity, + ac except Punctuality / Telicness) Atelicness / Complexity, Simultaneity, Imperfectivity i.e.: Punctual and telic situations, that are necessarily combined with the categories enclosed in brackets, are incompatible with the imperfective aspect. If they are combined with imperfectivity all the same, they will become atelic or complex, imperfective, and will be simultaneous with their reference point. The incompatibility rules can be established in both directions. As punctual situations are not compatible with imperfectivity, the imperfective aspect is consequently not compatible with punctuality either. The rules are, however, normally established for one direction only. The knowledge of the categorial interplay helps to decide in the practical part of this work whether the Arabic dialect of Beirut has available the signa to designate the intenta in question or not. If it does so, the respective signa must be subject to the same compatibility and incompatibility rules that have been predicted at a metagrammatical level. This insight, however, is complicated by the fact that categories can be marked or unmarked.1 The terms markedness and unmarkedness are used in a very simplified way that is just supposed to meet the requirements of this work: A signum is marked if it designates only 1 cf. Comrie, Aspect, 111–122; Forsyth, Aspect, 6ff; Bache, va, 60–73 and ata, 148f.
The Categorial Interplay
one designatum (= main function) and those intenta that can be understood as following from the designatum in question due to an implicature, supposing that they are normally designated by a different signum. A signum is regarded as unmarked if it can designate two or more intenta for whose designation no other signa are available. Thus, if we have identified a signum in a specific language that designates in its main function a given intentum, we have nevertheless allow for the possibility that it does not conform to the compatibility and incompatibility rules, namely in the event of its being unmarked. The meaning attributed to the Russian perfect, for example, corresponds more or less to the definition given above,2 and consequently they say in Russian: on uže pročital etu knigu ‘He has already read this book’, with the perfective verb form pročital. Besides this, however, one can also say: ja uže čital etu knigu ‘I have already read this book’, with the imperfective verb form čital.3 Although the definition of the function of the Russian imperfective verb forms is much more delicate than that of the perfective ones, there can be no doubt that their main function is not the designation of the perfective aspect,4 and one has good reason to regard the Russian perfective verb forms as marked and the imperfective ones as unmarked.5 Thus, when analysing the categorial interplay at a specific language level, one can also make sure if a category has to be classified as marked or unmarked. In the following sections, I will be discussing the compatibility and incompatibility relations between the individual category members. Let us start with tense and aspect. 5.2
Tense and Aspect
5.2.1 + Tense and Imperfectivity From among the absolute tenses, i.e. tenses with the speech time as their sole reference point, simultaneity with the speech time is compatible with the imperfective aspect: a.
He is just reading the newspaper.
2 cf. Forsyth, Aspect, 8–11. 3 Forsyth, Aspect, 5, 13. 4 cf. Forsyth, Aspect, 3–6. 5 On this point, see also Bache, va, 66ff.
Anteriority and posteriority to the speech time, on the other hand, are to be regarded as perfective because from the speaker’s point of view they are conceived of as an complete whole. I mentioned above (chapt. 2) the possibility that the speaker may invite the receiver to identify with the protagonist of a narration and thus to look at a situation with past or future time reference from the inside, i.e. imperfectively. In this case, however, the receiver automatically adopts the protagonist’s view so that the situation is not to be regarded as anterior to the speaker’s speech time but rather as simultaneous with that of the protagonist. So, these two categories have to be classified as incompatible with imperfectivity. Relative tenses, i.e. temporal categories that require a second reference point, display a similar constraint that concerns anteriority and posteriority: b.
He said he had already written the letter.
He said he would write the letter.
It does not make any difference if a situation is anterior or posterior to the speech time or to a second reference point, in either instance they are conceived of as perfective. In a sentence as for example: d.
He said that he had been writing the letter when his brother had entered his room
the situation of writing is anterior to that of the main clause and at the same time imperfective. This instance, however, does not contradict the rule formulated above. The two situations of writing and entering form a situational complex that has in its entirety the situation of the main clause as its reference point, and consequently it is just the complex that is conceived of as anterior and thus perfective, while the situation of writing has the brother’s entering as its reference point with which it is simultaneous and is consequently imperfective. Thus, situations that are anterior to their reference point are perfective. A corresponding example for posteriority is: e.
He said he would be working in the garden when they came the following day.
The situation can also be posterior to the second and anterior to the third reference point:
The Categorial Interplay
He said he would already have finished the work when they came the following day.
The fact, however, that anterior situations which do not include their reference point are incompatible with the imperfective aspect, does not mean that they are necessarily perfective. It will be shown below (chapt. 5.4) that non-actional situations are not compatible with aspectuality, i.e. they can neither be perfective nor imperfective, but yet stative and habitual situations and those of a limited period of time can be conceived of as anterior: g.
He said that he had lived in Vienna.
The reason for this lies in the fact that anteriority in the past and future are temporal categories, whereas the non-actional situations mentioned above are subject to constraints at an aspectual level only, or, to be more exact, they are neutral with regards to aspect, and this is the reason why they can be found in contexts that normally require the perfective aspect. With complex situations, that are compatible with imperfectivity only,6 things are different. If they are combined with the category of anteriority, they become perfective and their actional value changes accordingly. The third rule can be formulated as follows: Rule 3: Anteriority + Posteriority ⇓ Imperfectivity Anteriority + Posteriority >> Perfectivity / – Aspekt, ac except Complexity, Extratemporality Thus, anteriority and posteriority are incompatible with the imperfective aspect. If an completed anterior or posterior situation is viewed from inside, not only its aspect will change but its actional value, too: h.
After he had carried the boxes into the house, he guests came. (perfective and telic)
While he was still carrying the boxes into the house, he guests came. (imperfective and atelic)
Thus, we can establish the following rule: 6 For complex situations, see below, chapt. 5.4.
Anteriority + Posteriority ⇓ Imperfectivity (>> Simultaneity, Atelicness / Complexity) Simultaneity, Imperfectivity, Atelicness / Complexity 5.2.2 + Tense and Perfectivity As already mentioned above, simultaneity with a reference point, be it in the past, present or future, is incompatible with the perfective aspect. If the perfective aspect is imposed on such situations, they will be conceived of as either anterior or posterior to their reference point. Thus we can formulate the fourth rule: Rule 4: Simultaneity ⇓ Perfectivity Simultaneity >> Imperfectivity / – Aspect, ac except Punctuality / Telicness Simultaneity ⇓ Perfectivity (>> + Tense except Simultaneity, + ac except Complexity) Anteriority / Posteriority, + ac except Complexity, Perfectivity These rules can be illustrated by taking the example of Russian. If in Russian a present tense verb form is combined with a prefix that is used to designate the perfective aspect, the resulting sentence has a future time reading: a.
skolko vremini on syuda poyedyet? ‘How long will it take, before he arrives here?’7
poyedyet is the present tense form of idti ‘to go; to come’ with the perfective prefix po-. 5.2.3 – Tense and Aspect Only extratemporal situations are non-temporal which, in turn, are incompatible with the category of aspect as will be shown below (chapt. 5.4). Accordingly, the categories—Tense and + Aspect are not compatible either: Rule 5: – Tense ⇓ + Aspect – Tense >> – Aspect, Extratemporality – Tense ⇓ + Aspect (>> + Tense, + ac) + Tense, + ac, + Aspect 7 Forsyth, Aspect, 131.
The Categorial Interplay
Dogs bark (– Tense, – Aspect)
The dogs barked (+ Tense, + Aspect)
Action and Tense
The category of action is subdivided into the subcategories + ac and—ac. From among the situations classified as non-actional, we have to mention extratemporal situations first. The corresponding rules may seem trivial, but for the sake of completeness they are listed here nevertheless. Extratemporal situations are by definition not bound to time and space: Rule 6: Extratemporality ⇓ + Tense Extratemporality >> – Tense, – Aspect Extratemporality ⇓ + Tense (>> ac except Extratemporality, + Aspect / – Aspect) ac except Extratemporality, + Aspect / – Aspect, + Tense See the example sentences a and b in 5.2.c above. It goes without saying that situations which are restricted to a limited period of time are compatible with this period only. He worked in Manchester that week can only have past time reference, He is working in London this week only present time reference. The other members of the category—ac, i.e. habitual and stative situations, are not subject to these constraints. Although habitual situations are normally combined with the absolute tenses past and present, they can principally also have other time references: a. He used to read the newspaper in the garden. (anterior to the speech time) b.
He said his brother had been in the habit of reading the newspaper in the garden. (anterior to a second reference point in the past)
c. He will spend the rest of his life in prison and pick oakum. (posterior to the speech time)
The actional category of complexity is incompatible with perfectivity8 and thus with anteriority and posteriority, too: Rule 7: Complexity ⇓ Anteriority / Posteriority Complexity >> + Tense except Anteriority / Posteriority, Imperfectivity Complexity ⇓ Anteriority / Posteriority (>> Perfectivity, ac except Complexity / Extratemporality) Punctuality / Telicness, Anteriority / Posteriority, Perfectivity d.
He was just knocking at the door when I saw him. (complex, simultaneous with a reference point in the past)
After he had knocked at the door, he entered the room. (punctual, anterior to a reference point in the past)
Furthermore, punctual and telic situations are subject to a constraint with respect to tense that has already been mentioned in rule 1: Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Imperfectivity, Simultaneity Punctual and telic situations necessarily imply a terminal point without which they cannot be regarded as punctual or telic. As soon as this terminal point has been reached, the situation cannot be conceived of as being simultaneous, be it simultaneous with the speech time or with a reference point in the past or the future, because it is already anterior. From this it follows that: Punctuality + Telicness >> Anteriority, Perfectivity Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Simultaneity (>> Atelicness / Complexity, Imperfectivity) → Atelicness / Complexity, Imperfectivity, Simultaneity Examples: f.1 The balloon burst (anterior to the speech time, punctual) f.2 The balloon is about to burst (simultaneous with the speech time, atelic) 8 The reasons for this incompatibility will be discussed below, chapt. 5.4.
The Categorial Interplay
g.1 He drank a glass of milk (anterior to the speech time, telic) g.2 He is drinking a glas of milk (simultaneous with the speech time, atelic) 5.4
Action and Aspect
I have already mentioned above (5.2.a) that non-actional situations are incompatible with the category of aspect. The reason for this incompatibility is closely linked to the same characteristic that also excludes their classification as actional. As already seen, it is not the individual situation that is conceived of with extratemporal, habitual situations and situations that are restricted to a limited period of time, but rather the abstract over-all situation which is composed of the iterated individual situations. Sentences like Dogs bark and He smokes cigars do not denote a concrete barking or smoking but rather the potential to do so or the characteristics associated with the subjects: He is a smoker. Potentials or characteristics, however, are states that do not progress and consequently cannot be conceived of as imperfective. The same, of course, is true for stative situation. As already mentioned above (chapt. 4.1), habitual and extratemporal situations and those that are restricted to a limited period of time can be conditioned or unconditioned. What has been said above, is true for unconditioned or essential situations only. A conditioned habitual etc. situation, on the other hand, can be conceived of as imperfective: a.
Whenever I went past his house, I saw him sitting in the garden. (cf. above, chapt. 4.1)
Now let us shift attention to the perfective aspect. The conditioned situations mentioned above are not only compatible with imperfectivity but also with perfectivity: b.
Whenever I came home, my brother had already read the newspaper.
Things are somewhat different with the unconditioned counterparts of these categories and stative situations. Apart from extratemporal situations, they can easily be conceived of as anterior to the speech time: c.
Churchill smoked cigars.
Churchill is dead and consequently does not smoke any more. This does, however, not automatically mean that the situation has to be perfective, for the vagueness and intangibility of non-actional situations and especially their lack of a phasal constituency is also of prime importance for their compatibility relation to the perfective aspect. The smoking of a cigar has a concrete phasal constituency with a beginning, a middle and an end. The situation is different with the habit of smoking. Even if one can imagine the beginning of the habit, the first cigar, and its end, the last cigar, such reflections are of small importance for an ordinary conversation. When we talk, we rather conceive of a habitual situation as a potential whose beginning and end are vague and hardly tangible. We have to remember that the temporal directions plays a central role in aspect. A perfective situation approaches the speaker on the time line from the future and then disappears into the past (cf. chapt. 3.1). In order to decide, however, if a situation approaches or disappears, one has to know its exact beginning and end because otherwise one cannot be sure whether it has already started or has already been completed. For clarification let us have a look at two stative situations: d.
He hated his teacher.
He will hate his teacher.
With the speech time as a reference point, these two situations can easily be conceived of as future, i.e. posterior, or past, i.e. anterior, because the category of tense is deictic. We point to the situation, it was or will be. The category of aspect, on the other hand, is dynamic. If we want to think of the hate as something that approaches us from the future, we can, if need be, imagine an event which will cause the hate, so that the latter will not have been there before that event and will be there afterwards. The conception of hate as something that disappears in the past, however, is much more difficult because hate does not stop suddenly but rather wears off by degrees. So it is very hard to decide whether such a situation has already been completed or not. The same is true for situations that are restricted to a limited period of time. Even though the period can be conceived of as completed or not, this does not hold true for the situation. He worked in Manchester that week does not automatically imply that he started to work at the beginning of the week. Though non-actional situations can neither be perfective nor imperfective, the incompatibility between non-actionality and perfectivity and that between non-actionality and imperfectivity are of different cast. The basis for the use of the imperfective aspect is the existence of a phasal constituency, especially of
The Categorial Interplay
a middle phase. This condition is not met for non-actional situations. If the imperfective aspect is to be applied to such a situation, its middle phase has to be brought into being first, whereby its actional status automatically changes: f.
He thought (= believed) that Freud was a great man. (non-aspectual and non-actional)
He was thinking (= contemplating) about Freud’s works. (imperfective and atelic)
He smoked cigars. (non-aspectual and non-actional)
He was smoking a cigar. (imperfective and atelic)
The use of the perfective aspect, on the other hand, implies that the focus is on the beginning and the end. Stative situations do have a beginning and an end, save that they are vague and hardly tangible. If a perfective verb form is used to express such situations, the result will be unsatisfactory because beginning and end are still blurred and vague and consequently, the situation is still not perfective, but at least the actional status of the situation has not changed, for it still lacks a middle phase. So the use of a perfective verb form will bring about that the boundaries of the situation are possibly felt to be a bit less vague, but that does not change the fact that it is still not conceived of as perfective. The same holds true for the other unconditioned members of the category of action (i.e. habitual and extratemporal situations and those that are restricted to a limited period of time) because the boundaries of the over-all situations they denote are similarily vague as those of stative situations. These considerations are relevant to the classification of verb forms, i.e. signa, as marked or unmarked because if a signum that is normally used to designate the perfective aspect can also denote non-actional situation, this does not necessarily mean that the signum in question is unmarked. But this does not alter the principal incompatibility between the categories of aspect and non-actionality:9 Rule 8: – ac ⇓ + Aspect – ac >> – Aspect 9 For non-actional situations, see also Bache, va, 120 and ata, 271f.
– ac ⇓ + Aspect (>> + ac, + Tense) → + ac, + Tense, + Aspect Examples: j. He reads the newspaper every day. (non-actional, non-aspectual) k. He is just reading the newspaper. (actional, imperfective) From among actional situations, I would like to discuss complex ones first, i.e. iterative and distributive situations: l.
Somebody was tapping him on the shoulder.10
m. Bombs were exploding all over the town. It goes without saying that such situations are compatible with the imperfective aspect. To conceive of a complex situation as perfective, however, is much more problematic. Bache (ata, 273f) has convincingly shown that a perfective focus on the boundaries of a complex situation normally results in a redefinition of the situation as simplex. Somebody tapped him on the shoulder is more likely to be understood as a single tapping, i.e. as punctual, and not as a sequence of tappings. The complex situation, especially a distributive one, may also be redefined as telic: They were bringing the boxes to the store: They brought the boxes to the store. So it seems more appropriate to regard complexity as incompatible with perfectivity: Rule 9: Complexity ⇓Perfectivity Complexity >> Imperfectivity, + Tense Complexity ⇓ Perfectivity (>> + ac except Complexity, + Tense except Simultaneity) Punctuality / Telicness, + Tense except Simultaneity, Perfectivity The incompatibility between Punctuality + Telicness and Imperfectivity has already been dealt with (see above, chapt. 5.1). The corresponding rule (1) is: 10 cf. Bache, ata, 273.
The Categorial Interplay
Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Imperfectivity Punctuality + Telicness >> Perfectivity, + Tense except Simultaneity Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Imperfectivity (>> Simultaneity, + ac except Punctuality / Telicness) + ac except Punctuality / Telicness, Simultaneity, Imperfectivity n.
After he had hit his brother, his father told him off. (punctual, perfective)
While he was thrashing his brother, his father was reading the newspaper. (complex, imperfective)
Finally, I have to make mention of atelic situations once more. From among the actional categories, only atelic situations are compatible with all temporal and aspectual categories. This means that aspectual categories in their pure form can be investigated in atelic situations only, for a replacement of perfective and imperfective verb forms does not automatically imply a change of other categories. Substitutional pairs that differ from each other with respect to aspect only, can solely be found among atelic situations. Sentences like: They sailed along the coast: They were sailing along the coast11 are identical as to tense and action, only the aspect is different. 5.5 Summary The rules formulated in this chapter are the following: Rule 1: Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Imperfectivity, Simultaneity Rule 2: Imperfectivity ⇓ – Tense / Anteriority / Posteriority, Punctuality / Telicness / – ac Rule 3: Anteriority + Posteriority ⇓ Imperfectivity Rule 4: Simultaneity ⇓ Perfectivity Rule 5: – Tense ⇓ + Aspect Rule 6: Extratemporality ⇓ + Tense Rule 7: Complexity ⇓ Anteriority / Posteriority Rule 8: – ac ⇓ + Aspect Rule 9: Complexity ⇓ Perfectivity 11 Bache, ata, 242.
Sorted according to categories: Action – ac ⇓ + Aspect Punctuality + Telicness ⇓ Simultaneity, Imperfectivity Extratemporality ⇓ + Tense Complexity ⇓ Anteriority / Posteriority, Perfectivity Tense – Tense ⇓ + Aspect Simultaneity ⇓ Perfectivity, Punctuality / Telicness Anteriority + Posteriority ⇓ Imperfectivity, Extratemporality / Complexity Aspect + Aspect ⇓ – Tense + Aspect ⇓ – ac Imperfectivity ⇓ – Tense, Anteriority / Posteriority, Punctuality / Telicness / – ac Perfectivity ⇓ – Tense / Simultaneity, – ac / Complexity
Negation Different parts of a sentence can be negated, and all negations have in common that they have an affirmative counterpart: Nobody wrote a letter : Somebody wrote a letter. I did not write a letter : I wrote a letter. Of particular importance is the fact that a negated situation gets its semantic content only with respect to an affirmative situation, for example its affirmative counterpart. A negated sentence, as for instance I did not write the letter, does not convey any information to the receiver if it is uttered without reference to the context. This claim might seem questionable or even downright wrong, and one could object that the receiver had now positive knowledge of the would-be existence of the letter or about the fact that the sender did not perform a certain action and consequently must have done something else. These considerations are justified, however, one has to take into account that the receiver, by drawing these conclusions, has already related the negated situation to an affirmative one he is able to conceive of. The negated situation in and of itself, on the other hand, eludes perception and consequently does not have any semantic content. Thus, if the receiver of a negated utterance does not have available information on the context, he is forced to draw corresponding conclusions. If the context is known to him, however, he will relate the utterance to this context. The receiver could have been informed of the sender’s intention to write a letter, and now he learns that he did not realise his intention. These considerations are significant for the relationship of negated situations to the categories of aspect and tense. If a negated situation can only be conceived of in relation to an affirmative situation or to the context that, in turn, have a definite time reference, the negated situation is automatically referred to the same point or period of time. By way of illustration, we may cite as an example the sentence with the aid of which Denz (Kwayrīš, 35) has explained the perfectivity of a negated situation:
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Er freute sich darüber, dass er beim Spielen nicht verloren hatte ‘He was glad that he had not lost the match.’
The equivalents to not-having-lost are the win and the draw which can both be conceived of as possible results of the match and may function as positive reference points for the negated situation. As the context clarifies the end of the match, the temporal and aspectual identification of the negated situation is also possible: it is anterior to a reference point in the past (= he was glad) and perfective. Let us take another example. The mother asks the father: b.
Are the children doing their homework?
and the father answers: c.
No, they are not doing their homework, they are playing in the garden.
The affirmative counterpart of the not-doing-their-homework is the doingtheir-homework that has been specified by the additional information that they are playing in the garden as having present time reference. Thus, the negation is compatible with the absolute tenses past, present and future and also with the perfective aspect. The context and the structure of the sentence normally make clear when a negated situation would have taken place if it had been carried out. For example: d.
He failed the examination because he had not learnt the vocabulary.
The not-having-learnt is the reason for his failing, so it must be anterior and perfective, and it makes no difference that a negated situation has neither beginning nor end so that his not-having-learnt is still true at the moment of his failing because at that time the question of his having or not-havinglearnt does not arise any more. The crucial point of time is rather the one before his failing because the reason for his failing can only be anterior to the examination. The same holds true for concessive clauses: e.
Although he had not read the newspaper, he threw it away.
The use of the subjunction although implies that the situation of reading cannot be calculated on any longer and thus has to be regarded as perfective.
A negated situation can also be imperfective, namely if the affirmative counterpart would be imperfective: f.
As the professor was not taking great pains to give an interesting lecture, the students fell asleep.
Thus, in sum, negated situations have the same aspectual value as their affirmative counterparts.
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages In the previous chapters I have occasionally made mention of reference points with regard to which a situation can be perfective or imperfective. Already these few remarks should have brought to mind the prominent role reference points play with respect to temporal and aspectual categories. In this chapter the facts already known will be summarized and completed and especially the relationships of the reference points to main and subordinate clauses be worked out at a noematic level. Furthermore, I will be discussing the differences that are to be expected between aspectual and tense languages in this respect. First of all, however, some general remarks on aspectual and tense languages are needed. If one speaks of aspectual or tense languages, that does not necessarily mean that the verb forms of the language in question can designate aspectual or temporal categories only. It is easily conceivable that a language has available both signa for aspectual and for temporal categories, or that a verbal system which is dominated by, for example, aspectual signa has also an isolated verb form that expresses a temporal category. One can distinguish between four types of languages: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Languages with aspectual signa only: + aspect / – tense Languages with temporal signa only: – aspect / + tense Languages with aspectual and temporal signa: + aspect / + tense Languages with neither aspectual nor temporal signa: – aspect / – tense
Moreover, I have to make some remarks about the relationship between intenta and signa referring to tense and aspect. Both aspectual and temporal categories can be expressed by adverbs or infinite verb forms alone. The intentum of a sentence, as for instance: a.1 He went to the cinema yesterday could also be expressed by: a.2 *He to go to the cinema yesterday. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���5 | doi ��.��63/9789004287549_008
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages
Instead of: b.1 When he came home yesterday, his brother had already read the newspaper the speaker of a language without temporal and aspectual signa could say: b.2 *When he to come home yesterday, his brother already to read the newspaper. In such cases it does not make much sense to speak of temporal or aspectual forms. Thus, the following remarks refer to languages that make use of finite verb forms to designate aspectual and temporal categories. Aspectual verb forms indicate that a situation is perfective or imperfective with regard to a reference point, and it is principally conceivable that a single perfective verb is used for both situations that are anterior and situations that are posterior to their reference points. A language with a higher capacity to differentiate between categories will use two verb forms, one for anteriorperfective situations, another one for posterior-perfective situations. The following remarks refer to languages that have two verb forms for that purpose. If such a language were just able to indicate the relationship of a situation to one reference point, namely the speech time, it would need three different verb forms: one for anterior-perfective situations, a second one for posteriorperfective situations, and a third one for imperfective ones. In this case, it would be impossible to decide whether the verb forms really express aspectual categories because they could equally be interpreted as designating the temporal categories anteriority, simultaneity and posteriority. More informative are sentences with a second or even third reference point: c.
Yesterday at six o’clock he had already read the newspaper.
The first reference point of the reading is the time speech, the second one, to which the verb form relates directly, is the time specification at six o’clock. The aspectual status of the situation is clear. Viewed from the speech time, it is anterior not just to the speech time itself but also to the second reference point in the past and must consequently be perfective. As the time reference is sufficiently determined by the second reference point (at six o’clock), it is conceivable that a language which disposes of aspectual verb forms describes this situation with the same anterior-perfective verb form that it also uses with the speech time as sole reference point so that the verb form just denotes the
aspectual relationship between the situation it expresses and the second reference point, whereas the time reference is determined by the second reference point only. In this case, I will say that the verb form ‘orientates itself’ by the second reference point. It is, however, also thinkable that the temporal determination by the time specification at six o’clock is not regarded as sufficient so that the verb form will not only be specified as aspectually anterior-perfective with respect to the second reference point, but additionally as temporally anterior to make clear that the situation expressed by the verb form is not only anterior to the second reference point in the past but also to the first one, i.e. the speech time. In this instance the verb form orientates itself by the first reference point. Temporal verb forms, on the other hand, are deictic; they point to the situation they express, and the viewpoint from where they point to the situation is normally the speech time. Thus, if in sentence c the same temporal verb form were used that is also employed to designate anteriority to the speech time, the situation of reading would automatically have the same time reference as the second reference point (six o’clock), that is also anterior to the speech time, and the situation of reading and the reference point would be represented as being simultaneous. Therefore, we can assume that temporal verb forms usually orientate themselves in main clauses by the speech time.1 At this point, the question arises as to the specification of the verb form in sentences with more than one reference point and orientation by the speech time. I assumed above that the verb form is specified aspectually and temporally, but one could also consider it double perfective, perfective with regard to the speech time and perfective with respect to the second reference point. This interpretation, however, does not seem appropriate because an aspectual verb form designates a situation as perfective or imperfective with regard to a reference point, but it is not deictic. If, though, we want to describe from our present point of view a main-clause situation that is anterior to a reference point, we have necessarily to point to that situation, for it does not, as with simple anterior-perfectivity, refer directly to the speech time but rather to a reference point that is different from the speech time. We need thus a deictic verb form, i.e. a temporal one. The assumption of an aspectual double specification of the verb forms becomes even more problematic if the situation in question is not perfective but imperfective. For example: Yesterday at six o’clock he was reading the newspaper. In this instance, the situation of reading would have to 1 Orientation of a temporal main-clause verb form by a second reference point, however, is thinkable if this reference point is an independent main clause to which the verb form is closely related as is the case with situations that are posterior to a second situation with past time reference. cf. below, chapt. 14.a.
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages
be regarded as imperfective and perfective at the same time. So it is better to proceed on the assumption that such verb forms are not only specified aspectually as perfective but also temporally as anterior. If, on the other hand, the verb form in sentence c is temporal, it is to be interpreted as double anterior. Although the speech time is of particular importance, one cannot predict with certainty whether verb forms in the specific languages orientate themselves by the first or the second reference point. Some reflections about this point can be found below. If there is a second or third reference point, we can differentiate between aspectual and temporal verb forms. With just one reference point, any language will use three verb forms, no matter whether these are temporal or aspectual. With more than one reference point, however, we have to take into consideration the opposition perfectivity : imperfectivity: d.
Er schrieb gestern einen Brief. ‘He wrote a letter yesterday.’ (perfective)
Er schrieb gerade einen Brief, als ich ihn besuchte. ‘He was just writing a letter when I visited him.’ (imperfective)
Temporal verb forms serve the purpose of designating temporal categories and are not specified with respect to aspect. Consequently, they can denote both the imperfective and the perfective aspect as long as there are no incompatibilities at a noematic level. This is the reason why the German temporal form schrieb in d and e is able to denote both perfectivity and imperfectivity. The situation is different with a language that has aspectual verb forms that are specified with respect to aspect; the speaker of such a language has to take into account the difference between imperfectivity and perfectivity and consequently has to use two different forms. Thus, a language with aspectual verb forms needs more signa than a language with temporal forms because it is not able to designate imperfective and perfective situations that have the same time reference with one and the same signum but always needs two of them. Now that the main differences between aspectual and temporal verb forms have been worked out, we can go on to discuss the reference points in main and subordinate clauses and the specifications of the verb forms. Let us start with main clauses. The first reference point of a main clause is the speech time with regard to which a situation can be anterior, simultaneous or posterior. A situation can be regarded as simply anterior to this reference point: f.
He read the newspaper.
Such a situation can be designated with an aspectual verb form that is specified as anterior-perfective or with a temporal form that is specified as anterior. The situation can be related to a second reference point and then be conceived of as being simultaneous with this reference point as in example sentence e. As seen above, a language with temporal verb forms can use in this case the same form as in sentence f, whereas a language with aspectual verb forms has to employ a different one. Moreover, a situation can be conceived of as anterior to a second reference point as in c: Yesterday at six o’clock he had already read the newspaper. The choice of the verb form is again dependent on its point of orientation. If it orientates itself by the second reference point (six o’clock), a language with aspectual verb forms can make use of the same form as in sentence f. If it orientates itself by the first reference point (= speech time), it must not only be specified as anterior-perfective to the second reference point, but also as anterior to the speech time. A temporal verb form, on the other hand, can only orientate itself by the speech time for the reasons given above, and consequently one form has to be used to express a situation that is anterior to the speech time and another one for situations which are anterior to a second reference point in the past. Thus, with orientation by the speech time, a language with aspectual verb forms needs three forms to designate the three intenta mentioned so far, which in a language with temporal verb forms can be denoted by two forms only. Posteriority of a situation in the past, when viewed from the speech time, is conceived of as a succession of two situations, and consequently we expect the same verb form that is used for simple anteriority. Viewed from a second reference point in the past, however, the situation is posterior: g.
He wrote a letter. Later he would read the newspaper.
Viewed from the speech time, the two situations are conceived of as: h.
He wrote a letter, and later he read the newspaper.
Posterior situations which are viewed from a second reference point in the past will be denoted by verb forms that are specified as posterior-perfective (if aspectual) or as posterior (if temporal). These considerations can be referred to the future, too, not taking into account the noematically conceivable category of posteriority to a reference point in the future. A language with aspectual verb forms will need three signa
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages
then again, one for designating posteriority to the first reference point (He will work in the garden), one for simultaneity with the second reference point (At six o’clock he will be working in the garden), and a third one for anteriority to it (At six o’clock he will already have finished his work). A language with temporal verb forms, on the other hand, will use one form for the first two sentences and another one for the third sentence. In order to express a situation that is simultaneous with the speech time, a language with aspectual verb forms will use a signum that is specified as imperfective, a temporal form will be specified as simultaneous. The temporal component needs not be part of the specification of an aspectual verb form, for imperfectivity implies simultaneousness. Now let us shift attention to subordinate clauses. With subordinate clauses there are at least two reference points that are to be taken into consideration. The first one is always the speech time that functions as the direct reference point for the superordinate clause, and the second reference point is the superordinate clause itself to which the subordinate clause refers: i.
He knew that his brother had written the letter.
The speech time is the direct reference point and the point of orientation of the superordinate clause (he knew) that is anterior to the former. The superordinate clause in its turn is the second reference point to which the situation of the subordinate clause (he had written) is anterior. Unlike in main clauses, a temporal verb form in subordinate clauses may orientate itself by the speech time or the second reference point. In a main clause like Yesterday at six o’clock he had already read the newspaper both the second reference point (yesterday at six o’clock) and the situation expressed by the verb form (had read) are viewed from the speech time and conceived of as an unit so that a temporal orientation of the verb form by the second reference point and thus the use of a verb form that designates simple anteriority could only be interpreted as anteriority to the speech time. If, however, the second reference point is a main clause with an own subject, the situation of the subordinate clause is first of all viewed from the main clause—while the superordinate-clause situation is viewed from the speech time—so that the verb form might also orientate itself by the second reference point, not by the speech time. If the verb form of the subordinate clause orientates itself by the second reference point, one can expect the same form that is used to designate anteriority to the speech time, be it an aspectual or a temporal one; if it orientates
itself by the speech time, however, we will find a different form, namely one that is specified as anterior and anterior-perfective (if aspectual) or as double anterior (if temporal). A comparison between sentences i (Past Perfect) and f (Simple Past) makes clear that the verb form in i orientates itself by the first reference point because otherwise we had to expect the Simple Past as in f. Besides the speech time and the superordinate clause there may be a third reference point: j.
He was sure that his brother had been watching tv when he knocked at his door the previous day.
The third reference point is the temporal clause (when he knocked at his door), the second one is the main clause (he was sure) and the first one the speech time. Let us now have a closer look at some types of subordinate clauses. I would like to start with object clauses. Object clauses have, as the term already indicates, the grammatical function of an object that is directly dependent on the predicate of a superordinate clause, often a main clause,2 and can be substituted by a pronoun: k.
Und da erfuhren wir, dass er im Gefängnis saß. > Und da erfuhren wir es. ‘And then we came to know that he was in prison. > And then we came to know it.’
The relationship of dependency between super- and subordinate clause is here much closer than with relative and temporal clauses, and consequently it is more likely that the verb form of the object clause orientates itself by the superordinate clause, not by the speech time. So if the situation of the superordinate clause has past time reference and the one of the object clause is thought to be simultaneous with the former, then we may expect a verb form that is solely specified as imperfective (if aspectual) or as simultaneous (if temporal): l.
Und da erfuhren wir, dass er im Gefängnis sitzt. ‘And then we came to know that he is in prison.’
Example sentence k with saß (Präteritum) instead of sitzt (Präsens) makes clear that the use of the verb forms is not a matter of inflexible rules but rather 2 Of course, the superordinate clause can also be a subordinate clause: We were very surprised when we came to know that he was in prison.
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages
of expectations. At least in colloquial German, both sentences are acceptable, and we can surely not take for granted that the verb forms of object clauses in all individual languages orientate themselves by one and the same reference point. It is quite evident that reference points can easily cause misunderstandings between sender and receiver, namely in the event that during the process of encoding and decoding different points of orientation are postulated. The sentence: Und da erfuhren wir, dass er im Gefängnis sitzt means that he was still in prison at the time we learnt about it if we suppose that the verb form of the object clause orientates itself by the superordinate clause. If the receiver, however, thinks that the point of orientation is identical with the speech time, he will assume that the person in question is still in prison. Let us first assume that the verb form of an object clause orientates itself by a superordinate clause with past time reference. In order to indicate simultaneity of the object-clause situation with the one of the superordinate clause, a language with aspectual verb forms will use a form that is specified as imperfective, a language with temporal verb forms, on the other hand, will choose a form that is specified as simultaneous. Thus, we can expect the same verb forms that are used to designate simultaneity with the speech time. Anteriority to the situation of the superordinate clause will be indicated by a verb form that is specified as anterior-perfective (if aspectual) or as anterior (if temporal), and for posteriority the form must be posterior-perfective or posterior respectively. Thus, we have to expect the same verb forms that indicate anteriority, simultaneity and posteriority in main clauses where the speech time is the sole reference point. If, on the other hand, the verb form of the object clause orientates itself by the speech time, it has additionally to be specified temporally with respect to the speech time. Next we have to discuss relative clauses. A relative clause conveys information about an antecedent in the superordinate clause. The relationship of dependency is not as close as with object clauses, for a relative clause only gives an additional information that could normally also be dispensed with. If we omit a relative clause, the superordinate clause remains grammatically correct, only the semantic content is somewhat diminished. Moreover, relative clauses can usually be substituted by independent main clauses: m. I saw a man who was reading the newspaper. > I saw a man. The man was reading the newspaper. So with relative clauses it appears less likely that the verb form orientates itself by the superordinate clause than with object clauses, and at least in German a sentence like:
Ich sah einen Mann, der im Park Zeitung liest ‘*I saw a man who is reading the newspaper in the park’
sounds indeed a bit strange, one would rather expect las ‘was reading’ instead of liest. But that does not mean, of course, that the same is necessarily also true for other languages. In principle every verb form can orientate itself by both the superordinate clause or the speech time, and consequently the same rules are applicable with respect to the verb forms as with object clauses. In temporal clauses the relationship of dependency is similar to the one in relative clauses. There are two sentences that are temporally interrelated with each other and, as with relative clauses, the subordinate clause can be substituted by a main clause: o.
After he had read the newspaper, he went into the garden. > He read the newspaper. Then he went into the garden.
Here, too, one has to allow for the possibility that the verb form orientates itself by the speech time and not by the superordinate clause. Finally, the criteria may be summarized that can be used to distinguish between aspectual and temporal verb forms. Unambiguous criteria can be deduced from situations only where the change of aspect does not automatically result in a change of the temporal category because just in these cases languages that dispose of temporal verb forms will need only one form to designate both the perfective and the imperfective aspect, whereas languages with aspectual signa will have to use two different forms. Simultaneity with the speech time is not compatible with the perfective aspect so that in languages with aspectual and in languages with temporal signa only one verb form can be used: an aspectual form has to be specified as imperfective, a temporal form as simultaneous, and there is no way to identify them as aspectual or temporal. As to situations that are anterior or posterior to the speech time, however, there is an opposition between imperfectivity and perfectivity: He was writing / will be writing : He wrote / will write. A language with temporal verb forms can express both categories with one and the same signum in each case, whereas a language with aspectual verb forms has to use one form for the imperfective and another one for the perfective aspect. The same is true for past and future time reference in subordinate clauses: He said that he was writing : wrote etc. The same distinction can be observed in while-clauses. If the situation of the superordinate clause is punctual or telic and thus incompatible with the imperfective aspect, it is necessarily perfective: While the other students were still writing their essays, John suddenly got up and left the classroom. In such
The Reference Point in Aspectual and Tense Languages
a case a language with temporal verb forms has to express the simultaneity of the students’ writing and John’s getting up only and can use for both situations one and the same verb form. A language with aspectual verb forms, on the other hand, has to take into account that were still writing is imperfective, while got up and left are perfective and consequently must use two different signa. Moreover, we have to make mention of object sentences after verbs of perception with past time reference. From a noematic point of view, the situation of the object sentence can be conceived of as perfective or imperfective according to whether it is looked at as a complete whole or not. If a language is able to make such a differentiation, it will use two verb forms (= aspectual), if it is not able to do so, it will use only one form (= temporal). We have seen that temporal verb forms have to orientate themselves in main clauses with a second reference point by the speech time, while an aspectual verb form may orientate itself by the speech time or the second reference point. Thus, if we can prove that a main-clause verb form orienates itself by a second reference point, we may conclude that this verb form is specified as aspectual. Another point that has to be taken into consideration is the markedness of a verb form. As outlined above, a verb form is regarded as marked if it used to designate in its main function only one intentum. If a verb form which is regarded as marked and as aspectual denotes simultaneity with the speech time, that form is rather unlikely to designate also habitual situations with present time reference and extratemporality, i.e. two categories that are incompatible with imperfectivity. If a verb form is specified as temporal, however, there is a higher probability that it can designate all three categories, even if it is marked, for a temporal form only indicates whether a situation is conceived of as posterior or anterior to or as simultaneous with the speech time or another reference point, and all three categories have in common that they have present time reference. The same is true for habitual and non-habitual situations with past time reference. These categories may be expressed by one temporal verb form or by two aspectual ones.
part 2 The Arabic Dialect of Beirut
Introductory Remarks In this part the metagrammatical findings of part A will be applied to the dialect of Beirut. The aim of this part is to find out how the intenta discussed so far are designated and thus to decide whether the signa, i.e. the verb forms, are to be classified as temporal or aspectual or in another way. The chapters are arranged according to intenta, the main criterion for the division being a temporal one. Thus, I will start with intenta that require one single reference point only (main clauses) or two identical reference points (subordinate clauses), i.e. anteriority to, simultaneity with and posteriority to the speech time. The first situations to be discussed will consequently be those that have simple past time reference. Then I will deal with intenta that have a second reference point in the past, i.e. situations that are anterior to, simultaneous with and posterior to such a second reference point, and so on. Each chapter will be introduced by some remarks on the incompatibility relations of the intentum in question. These remarks will help analyse the verb form or verb forms that are used to designate it. In a second step, example sentences of both main and subordinate clauses are listed that contain the intentum under investigation. These sentences are arranged according to the actional value of the situations expressed by them. First, the actional category of punctuality is combined with or imposed on the intentum, then telicness and atelicness etc. In this way and with the help of the incompatibility rules formulated in chapter 5 we get a first impression as to the classification of the verb forms used to designate the situations. If we investigate, for example, the category of simultaneity in the past, i.e. an imperfective category that is incompatible with punctuality and telicness, then the verb form, that is supposed to be its signum, should not be able to express punctual or telic situations if it is an aspectual form. A tighter definition of the verb form will follow from a substitution test. As seen above (chapt. 1), there are four types of sentences that may result from the replacement of a verb form: a replacement is not possible due to a systemic gab (type I), the replacement results in ungrammaticality (type ii), in a distinct change of meaning (type iii), or in a slight change of meaning or no change at all (type iv). If the replacement of a verb form results in sentences of the types i, ii and iii only, i.e. if no other verb form is able to designate the intentum in question, then we know that the main function of that verb form consists in designating the corresponding category.
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The definite classification of a verb form is not possible before all its uses have been discussed and will thus be postponed until part 3. At the end of each chapter, however, a preliminary classification will be given. Finally, I have to make some remarks on the way I gathered the language data from my informants. To this end, I had prepared questionnaires similar to those used by Dahl for his investigation on tense and aspect.1 To find out how, for example, simultaneity in the past is designated, questions and answers had been pre-formulated, as for instance: What was he doing when you entered the room? Answer: he + verb form + supplement. Except for the verb forms, questions and answers were given in German or English in order not to influence the informants. The predicate in the answer was inserted in the qatal-form of the verb, e.g. katab, misik. For each category I showed the informants an arrow diagram that helped illustrate the situation in question, for example:
The arrow represents the progressing situation (he was doing), x the supervening event ( you entered). Furthermore, texts vi–viii of Schukro’s thesis mentioned above and my own texts were evaluated. In this way each (non-)aspectual and (non-)temporal category discussed in the previous chapters was combined with the single actional categories. Before we turn to the use of the verb forms in Beirut, however, some general notes on the dialect seem to be appropriate. 1 See Dahl, tas, 198ff.
Some Remarks on the Phonology and the Verb Forms 9.1 Phonology As this work is concerned with syntax, it does not seem necessary to me to give a detailed description of the Beirutian phonetic and phonological system. So I will confine myself to some remarks on the vowels that are necessary to understand my transcription.1 Before I start to deal with the vowels, I have to say a few words on the language communities in Beirut. As outlined at the beginning of this work, there live members of different sects and religions in Beirut that speak Arabic, the vast majority being Christians, Sunnites and Shiites. Although there are districts in Beirut that are predominantly inhabited by Christians and Sunnites or Shiites respectively—the earstern part of the city is chiefly Christian, the western part Muslim—this does not mean that there are fixed borders between the religions and thus between the language communities.2 Christians and Muslims meet at the workplace and in the street and may live in the same neighbourhood. My informants Fuad and Mustafa Hamidjou, for example, are Sunnites, but they grew up in a Christian quarter and accordingly speak the Christian dialect. There are some differences between Christian and Muslim Arabic at a phonological level, that will be dealt with below, but not, as far as I can see, at a grammatical level, and the dialects do surely not differ from each other with respect to the functions of the verb forms. Beirutian Arabic has three short vocalic phonemes: a, u, i. a: madrasi ‘school’, katab ‘to write’. u: luġa ‘language’, bukra ‘tomorrow’, ʿumr ‘life’, ṣubḥ ‘morning’. i: bint ‘daughter’, ʾiza ‘if’, bismār ~ mismār ‘nail’, misik ‘to seize’. i sometimes goes back to an old u: ʾixt ‘sister’ (< ʾuxt), ʾimm ‘mother’ (< ʾumm), mixx ‘brain’ (< muxx), or an old a: kilmi ‘word’ (< kalima). 1 For a description of the consonants, see Schukro, “Beirut,” 43–58; Mattsson, Études. 2 An exception, of course, was the time of the civil war between 1975 and 1990. cf. Schukro, “Beirut,” 19.
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Minimal pairs with i and u are chiefly found in unstressed final syllables: baddi ʾǟkul ‘I want to eat’ : ʾana ʾǟkil ‘I have eaten’ ktǟbak ‘your (mas.) book’ : ktǟbik ‘your (fem.) book’ ʾahlan ‘welcome’ : ʾahlun ‘their family, relatives’ ḍuhr ‘noon’ : ḍahr ‘back’ min ‘from’ : mīn ‘who’ According to Schukro (Beirut, 33), short i in stressed open or closed syllables and in unstressed closed syllables becomes ə, e.g. bint > bənt, miftǟḥ > məftǟḥ ‘key’. This statement, however, is in contradiction to both my language data and her own texts where the corresponding vowel is sometimes transcribed with i, sometimes with ə: ḥizno (vi, 3) : ḥəzno (vi, 3); kill (vi, 11) : kəll (vi, 1); mniržaʿ (viii, 17) : mnəržaʿ (viii, 15);ʾiyyǟm (vi, 4) : ʾəyyǟm (vi, 6); ʾibno (vi, 3) : əbno (vii, 7); ʾiddǟmu (vi, 6) : ʾəddǟmu (vi, 3); ʿind (vi, 16) : ʿəndo (vi, 7); yinṭur (vi, 15) : yənṭur (vii, 14). It is true that i is sometimes lowered, but this lowering is conditioned by the vicinity of pharyngeal and velar consonants, as for example in ʾiṣṣa ‘story’. In all other positions, however, i is pronounced—independently from the language community—as a short close front unrounded vowel. When I quote from Schukro’s texts, I will consequently substitute ə in the corresponding positions by i. The same applies to u that is mostly transcribed with u in Schukro’s texts but sometimes with o: yəʾʿud (vi, 15); tədxul (vii, 3); yəṭlub (vii, 7); yitrok (vi, 10); btəʿmol (viii, 15); təḥmol (viii, 18); nəškor (viii, 24). The vowel u is often lowered to o in word-final position, especially in pausa, but my informants pronounce it quite clearly as u in the middle of a word, and I think there are no doubts about its phonemic status. I will consequently replace o in her texts by u. Apart from this, I will leave her texts unchanged. Furthermore, there are five long vocalic phonemes: ā, ī, ū, ê, ô. Minimal pairs: ā: kbār ‘big (pl.)’ : kbīr ‘big (sg.)’ ū: tūm ‘garlic’ : tôm ‘twins’ ô: dôr ‘turn (e.g. in: it is your turn)’ : dêr ‘monastery’ ê: ṭêr ‘bird’ : ṭār ‘he flew’ ī: rīḥ ‘wind’ : rūḥ ‘soul’ In the vicinity of pharyngeal and velar consonsants, including r, ā is usually pronounced as [a:]: rāḥ ‘he went’, ṭabbāx ‘cook’. In the other cases, the allophone ǟ is used: šǟf ‘he saw’, ktǟb ‘book’, bǟb ‘door’. At times ā is even raised
Some Remarks On The Phonology And The Verb Forms
to ê. This holds especially true for Christian Arabic: kǟtib ‘secretary’ (Muslim) : kêtib ~ kǟtib (Christian). I will, however, not differentiate between the two allophones and transcribe both of them with ǟ. In Muslim Arabic the old diphthongs aw and ay are normally monophthongized in closed syllables ( > ô and ê) and retained in open syllables: bêt (< bayt) ‘house’ : baytu ‘his house’ môt (< mawt) ‘death’ : mawtu ‘his death’ štarêt (< štarayt) ‘I bought’ : štaraytu ‘I bought it’ In Christian Arabic, on the other hand, aw and ay are usually retained in open and in closed syllables: bayt and baytu, mawt and mawtu, štarayt and štaraytu.3 ê < ay is often pronounced as [ε:] and has then the same phonetic value as ǟ < ā. However, I do not consider it advisable to indicate this difference in the transcription. I will thus consequently transcribe ê < ay with ê. In a sequence of three or more consonants or two consonants at the end of a word, a vowel—mostly ə or i—is normally inserted, e.g. šifət < šift ‘I saw’. This vowel is not indicated either. 9.2
The Verb Forms
The following outline will anticipate some of the results of this work and will, I think, make the following chapters more easily comprehensible. Let us start with the verb forms that are used in Beirutian Arabic: – qatal: katab ‘he wrote’ raḥykūn qatal: raḥykūn katab ‘he will have written’ bykūn qatal: bykūn katab ‘he has written’ (habitual) kān qatal: kǟn katab ‘he would have written’ (only in conditionals) – active participle (ap): kǟtib ‘he has written’; ḥifẓān (qitlān) ‘he has learnt by heart’ kān ap: kǟn kǟtib ‘he had written’ raḥykūn ap: raḥykūn kǟtib ‘he will have written’ bykūn ap: bykūn kǟtib ‘he has written’ (habitual) – ʿamyiqtul: ʿamyiktub ‘he is writing’ kān ʿamyiqtul: kǟn ʿamyiktub ‘he was writing’ raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul: raḥykūn ʿamyiktub ‘he will be writing’ 3 cf. Schukro, “Beirut,” 41.
bykūn ʿamyiqtul: bykūn ʿamyiktub ‘he is (normally) writing’ – byiqtul: byiktub ‘he (normally) writes’ kān byiqtul: kǟn byiktub ‘he used to write’ – yiqtul: yiktub ‘that he writes’ kān yiqtul: kǟn yiktub ‘he used to write’ baddu yiqtul: baddu yiktub ‘he will / wants to write’ – raḥyiqtul: raḥyiktub ‘he will write’ kān raḥyiqtul: kǟn raḥyiktub ‘he was about to write’ ʿamyiqtul is a compound of the prefix ʿam- and the verb form byiqtul, the consonant b, however, is normally not pronounced when occurring in a sequence of more than two consonants. Thus, one normally says ʿambyʾūl ‘he says’, but ʿamtibki ‘she is weeping’. A verb may be resultative, i.e. be expressive of an event that results in a state. As outlined above, the state can follow automatically and necessarily from the event, as for example with to sit down > to sit (type ʾǟʿid), or it has to be concluded from the event: to eat > to be satiated (type ʾǟkil). Verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type can be subdivided into verbs whose qatal-form may express the event and the state, and verbs whose qatal-form refers to the event only. The following resultative verbs have been investigated: Type I: qatal can express the event and the state ʾaʿad: to sit down; to sit ḥabb: to fall in love; to love ziʿil: to become angry; to be angry ʿirif: to come to know; to know libis: to put on; to wear nǟm: to fall asleep; to sleep wiʾif: to stand up; to stand Type ii: qatal can express the event only biki: to weep; to be tear-dimmed tʿabba: to be filled; to be full tiʿib: to become tired / exhausted; to be tired / exhausted ḥifiẓ: to learn by heart; to know by heart ṭiliʿ: to rise (sun); to be in the sky kibir: to grow up; to be grown up misik: to seize; to hold našaf: to dry out; to be dried out
Some Remarks On The Phonology And The Verb Forms
If qatal can express both the event and the state, byiqtul and kān yiqtul can do so, too: a.
huwwe dayman byilbus ṭaʾmu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘He always puts on his suit in front of a mirror.’
huwwe dayman byilbus ṭaʾm ʾaswad bil-maktab ‘He always wears a black suit in the office.’
huwwe dayman kǟn yilbus ṭaʾmu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘He always put on his suit in front of a mirror.’
huwwe dayman kǟn yilbus ṭaʾm ʾaswad bil-maktab ‘He always wore a black suit in the office.’
Habitual states may also be expressed by (bykūn) lǟbis and kǟn lǟbis. With resultative verbs of type ii, on the other hand, states have to be indicated by the ap: e.
in-nahr nišif ‘The river dried out.’
in-nahr nǟšif ‘The river is dried out.’
in-nahr dayman byinšaf biṣ-ṣêf ‘The river always dries out in summertime.’
in-nahr dayman nǟšif biṣ-ṣêf ‘The river is always dried out in summertime.’
in-nahr kǟn dayman yinšaf biṣ-ṣêf ‘The river always dried out in summertime.’
in-nahr kǟn dayman nǟšif biṣ-ṣêf ‘The river was always dried out in summertime.’
The next group comprises motion verbs. The following verbs have been investigated: ʾiža ʿa / min : to come to / from rižiʿ ʿa / min : to return to / from rāḥ ʿa : to go to
sǟfar ʿa : to travel to ṭār biṭ-ṭayyāra ʿa : to fly to maraʾ + obj. : to go past sb. / sth. nizil ʿa : go down to These verbs, which are all telic, share the characteristic that their aps may express uncompleted situations. The difference between the ap and ʿamyiqtul is rather slight and not tangible with all verbs to the same extend. In general, the ap implies that the beginning of the movement has already been completed and that the subject is on his way, while ʿamyiqtul often refers to the start or the initial phase of the movement. k.
ʾAḥmad nǟzil ʿal-baḥr
means that Ahmad has already left the house and is now on his way down to the sea. ʿamyinzal, on the other hand, has reference to the beginning of the movement and does not necessarily imply that he has already left the house. Thus, verbs like nizil und sǟfar may be classified as resultative. First, there is an event, the beginning of the movement (ʿamyiqtul), then there follows a kind of state, the being on one’s way (ap). Another characteristic of motion verbs is the fact that the ap is compatible with adverbs like bukra ‘tomorrow’ and can describe situations with future time reference. The next group we have to mention are verbs of perception like šǟf ‘to see’, simiʿ ‘to hear’, ḥass ‘to feel’ and šamm ‘to smell’. They share the characteristic that the simple ap in main clauses expresses uncompleted situations: l.
ʾana šǟyif / sǟmiʿ / ḥāsis / šǟmim . . . ‘I (can) see / hear / feel / smell at the moment . . .
In subordinate clauses and in combination with kān, however, only ḥāsis and šǟmim indicate that the situation has not been completed yet, whereas the aps of the other two verbs designate its completion: m. ʾāl ʾinnu sǟmiʿ ṣôt ġarīb ‘He said that he had heard a strange noise.’ n.
ʾāl ʾinnu ḥāsis bil-bard ‘He said that he felt cold.’
ḥass can be regarded as stative, and thus the use of the ap is not surprising. šamm, on the other hand, behaves like a resultative verb; šǟmim means that he
Some Remarks On The Phonology And The Verb Forms
has breathed in a scent through the nose and that the scent is now in his nose, it is thus also expressive of a state. Finally, I have to make mention of stative verbs. The states these verbs express can be subdivided into two groups. The first group comprises states whose end can normally be conceived of without problems, as for example ṣām ‘to fast’, while the end of states expressed by verbs of the second group is not so easily conceivable, as for instance kirih ‘to hate’. A state like fasting is normally restricted to a limited period of time and can be brought to an end without problems. Hatred, on the other hand, does not stop overnight but wears off in the course of time so that its end is hardly conceivable (cf. above, chapt. 4.1). The classification of stative verbs is not always easy, but I think the following verbs have to be regarded as belonging to the kirih- and ṣām-group respectively: kirih-group
ḥabb : to love tmanna : to wish fakkar : to mean, to think kirih : to hate ʿirif : to know ʿāš : to live
ḥtǟž : to need xāf : to be afraid sakan : to reside ṣabar : to be patient ṣām : to fast ṭawwal : to take long tʿažžab : to be surprised naṭar : to wait ziʿil : to be angry
Anteriority to the Speech Time 10.1
Non-habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time
The topic of this chapter are situations that are simply anterior to the speech time and thus have past time reference without a second reference point being involved. According to rules 3 and 7, such situations are incompatible with imperfectivity and complexity which, however, does not mean that they are necessarily perfective. Situations that are neutral with respect to perfectivity, i.e. non-actional situations, will remain neutral even if they are anterior to the speech time (cf. chapt. 5.2.1). The reference point of both main and subordinate clauses is the speech time; as to subordinate clauses, this means that their superordinate clause can only have present time reference. If the verb form that designates the intentum of this chapter is aspectual, it has to be specified as anterior-perfective, if it is temporal, it is specified as simply anterior. The category under investigation may be combined with adverbs of time like yesterday: He shot him at six o’clock yesterday. These adverbs, however, are no reference points as the situations are not described as perfective / imperfective or anterior / posterior with respect to this adverbs as is the case in sentences like Yesterday at six o’clock he had already read the newspaper (cf. above, chapt. 7). Here, with an absolute tense, the adverb just determines the time reference. 10.1.1 Main Clauses The usual verb form applied to designate anteriority to the speech time in both the questionnaires and the texts is qatal. The evidence is so ample that I will cite one example for each actional category only: punctual a. waṣṣal ʿa-madīni ḥilwi (Schu. vi, 7) ‘He came to a lovely town.’ telic b. rāḥ ʿal-baḥr la-ḥatta yitṣayyad (Schu. vi, 2) ‘He went to the sea in order to cast for fish.’
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Anteriority To The Speech Time
atelic c. ḍiḥkit is-samke b-ṣawt ʿǟli w ʾalitlu (Schu. vi, 4) ‘The fish let out a guffaw and said to him.’ complex d. daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb is-sǟʿa sitti ‘He knocked at the door at six o’clock.’ (complex > punctual) stative e. ʾinta l-layli lli fǟtit ma nimt mnīḥ (Schu. vi, 5) ‘You did not sleep well last night.’ According to my informants, the focus in daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb (d) is clearly on the overall situation that is hardly conceived of as consisting of individual knocking sounds, and one is well advised to regard the situation as punctual.
A replacement of qatal by kān qatal is rated as ungrammatical regardless of the actional category (type ii). kān ap, on the other hand, is possible but denotes anteriority to a second reference point in the past if the participle indicates completed situations. To a question, as for instance: šu ʿimil mbǟriḥ ?, one could reply: f.
huwwe ʾawwas il-kalb mbǟriḥ ‘He shot the dog yesterday.’
kǟn mʾawwis means that he had already shot the dog and would not be used as an answer to the above question but rather in contextes that are to be discussed in chapter 13. See also: g.
ʾAḥmad wuṣil mbǟriḥ is-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ‘Ahmad came home at six o’clock yesterday.’
ʾAḥmad kǟn wāṣil mbǟriḥ is-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ‘Ahmad had already come home at six o’clock yesterday.’
With resultative verbs one has to distinguish if qatal can designate both the event and the resulting state such as libis ‘to put on; to wear’ or just the event, as for example ḥifiẓ ‘to learn by heart’. In the former case, the event is designated
by qatal, the state by qatal or kān ap, in the latter case, qatal indicates the event and kān ap the state: i.
libis ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad mbǟriḥ ‘He put on his black suit yesterday’ or: ‘He was wearing his black suit yesterday (= kǟn lǟbis).’
ḥifiẓ il-mifradǟt mbǟriḥ ‘He learnt the words by heart yesterday.’
kǟn ḥifẓān il-mifradǟt bil-madrasi ‘He (had learnt and) knew the words at school.’
With verbs of motion the ap denotes the subject’s still being on his way: l.
kǟn nǟzil ʿal-baḥr mbǟriḥ ‘He was on his way down to the sea yesterday.’
This sentence leaves open if he actually reached the sea or not. kān ap is normally used if a second reference point is mentioned, as for example: lamma šiftu ‘when I saw him.’ The same holds true for stative situation. Here, too, qatal can be replaced by kān ap, and in most cases my informants could not tell the difference between them. In sentence e, for instance, instead of nimt one could also say kint nǟyim.1 The difference between the sentences becomes evident only when a second reference point is inserted. Instead of: m. ʾAḥmad ṣām mbǟriḥ ‘Ahmad fasted yesterday’ one can also say kǟn ṣāyim. If, however, the temporal clause lamma zirtu ‘when I visited him’ is added, only kǟn ṣāyim is possible if we want to express that
1 Likewise in the following examples, qatal can be replaced by kān ap without a change in meaning: Schu. vi, 5: martu staġrabit ražʿtu ʿal-bǟt ‘His wife was surprised at his return home’ (~kǟnit mistaġrabi); Schu. vii, 14: tḥayyar iš-šabb ‘The young man was astonished’ (~kǟn mitḥayyar); Text I, 6: haš-ši ma ʿažab il-kahani ‘This was not to the priests’ liking’ (~ma kǟn ʿāžib); Text I, 7: ṭṭarru l-kahani ‘The priests were forced’ (~kǟnu miṭṭarrīn); Text I, 18: biʾi Binyamīn la-ḥālu ‘Benjamin remained all by himself’ (~kǟn bǟʾi); Text ii, 2: kǟn Sinūhe sǟkin . . . ‘Sinuhe was living . . . ’ (~sakan).
Anteriority To The Speech Time
Ahmad had already been fasting when I came. The simple verb form ṣām would mean that he started fasting when I visited him. kān ʿamyiqtul is normally used to express a situation that was progressing simultaneously with a second reference point. But nevertheless, kān ʿamyiqtul in main clauses with only one reference point and adverbs like mbǟriḥ is accepted as grammatically correct. The meaning of kān ʿamyiqtul becomes clear when it is derived from punctual or telic verbs: n.
ḥifiẓ il-mifradǟt mbǟriḥ ‘He learnt the words by heart yesterday.’
kǟn ʿamyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt mbǟriḥ ‘He was learning the words by heart yesterday.’
The telic ḥifiẓ means that he learnt the words and implies that he also knew them by heart, whereas kǟn ʿamyiḥfuẓ simply states that the learning process took place, but not that it was crowned with success, i.e. without focus on the terminal point of the situation. Examples likes these seem to indicate that qatal is used to designate the perfective aspect and kān ʿamyiqtul the imperfective one. The difference is much more subtle when qatal and kān ʿamyiqtul are derived from atelic verbs. As mentioned above (chapt. 5.5), the aspectual opposition perfectivity: imperfectivity can best be observed with atelic verbs because only here a change of the aspect does not automatically result in a change of other categories. Thus, if the perfective form of such verbs is replaced by its imperfective counterpart, only the perspective changes from which the situation is viewed. The reply to the answer: šu ʿmilt mbǟriḥ ? ‘What did you do yesterday?’ can be: p.
štaġalt biž-žnayni ‘I worked in the garden’
kint ʿambištiġil biž-žnayni ‘I was working in the garden.’
Neither in p nor in q a second reference point is mentioned, and viewed from the speaker’s perspective, i.e. the speech time, they are both completed. Thus, the reason for the use of kint ʿambištiġil can only be seen in a change of the perspective, i.e. the speaker invites the receiver to view the situation from its subject’s point of view, that is to say, from the inside and thus imperfectively.
kān ʿamyiqul can also be used with resultative verbs and denotes in these cases the event, not the state, as in kǟn ʿamyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt mbǟriḥ (cf. j above). In narrations qatal can be replaced by byiqtul. The use of byiqtul is not determined by grammatical but rather by stylistic aspects. According to my informants, byiqtul, that is normally employed with present time reference, makes the presentation of the goings-on in the narration more illustrative than qatal would be able to. This can be seen in Text iii about the Trojan War. In the beginning of the story, the narrator makes use of qatal, but then, when describing the dramatic events in Greece and Menelaus’ preparations for war, he switches to byiqtul and keeps using it also for the narrative of the events in Troy. The next form, the ap, requires a thorough discussion. The ap, too, can designate situations that are anterior to the speech time, and sometimes differs in meaning only slightly from qatal. All in all, however, their applications are clearly distinguishable from each other. The ap is chiefly used with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type in order to express states that result from anterior events. In these cases, i.e. when the event necessarily implies the following state (to sit down > to sit), only the ap can be used, not qatal: r.
wên il-ʿarab ?—il-ʿarab nǟzlīn ʿala ʾabwǟb il-madīni ‘Where are the Bedouin?—The Bedouin are camping at the gates of the town.’
nǟzlīn ʿala ʾabwǟb il-madīni means that they have settled at the gates of the town and implies that they are still there. nizlu would only refer to the event and would not be an adequate reply to the question as to their whereabouts. s.
wên ʾAḥmad ?—huwwe ʾǟʿid / wǟʾif ʾiddǟm il-bêt ‘Where is Ahmad?—He is sitting / standing in front of the house.’
Ḥasan žǟhiz lal-madrasi ?—ʾǟ, huwwe ḥāfiẓ il-mifradǟt ‘Is Hasan prepared for school?—Yes, he knows the words by heart.’
minrūḥ minsabaḥ ?—laʾ, in-nahr nišfǟn ‘Shall we go swimming?—No, the river has dried out.’
niḥna b-ḥāžit mayy ?—laʾ, il-barmīl mitʿabbi ‘Do we need water?—No, the water drum is filled.’
Anteriority To The Speech Time
In no one of these sentences, qatal would necessarily imply that the state resulting from the event is still lasting, and the answer would consequently be rated as inadequate. Things are different with resultative verbs of the ʾǟkil-type, i.e. the state has to be concluded from the event (to eat > to be satiated). With most verbs of this kind, qatal and the ap are possible, the difference between them being felt as rather subtle: w.
bitḥibb tǟkul ši ?—laʾ, ʾana ʾakalt (~ʾǟkil) ‘Do you want to eat anything?—No, I have eaten (and am satiated now).’
bitrūḥ maʿi ʿal-marʾaṣ ?—laʾ, ʾana ḥalaft (~ḥālif) ma brūḥ ʿala hêk maḥallǟt ‘Will you go with me to the dance hall?—No, I have sworn not to go to such places.’
šūf iz-zalami mrakkib (~rakkab) ʿašara bit-taksi ‘Look! The man has put ten people into the taxi.’2
Both, qatal and the ap, indicate that the man is still satiated, the oath still binding and the people are still in the taxi. With the ap, however, the event leading up to the present state is felt to be more remote and indistinct, whereas the state seems to be more stressed. The same is true for the examples with resultative verbs of the ʾǟkil-type given by Wild (Partizip, 249): z.
niḥna mǟddīn (~maddayna) iš-šrīṭ w mrakkbīn (~rakkabna) kahraba3 ‘We have installed the wire and the electricity.’
aa. w ʾana šu ʿǟmli (~ʿmilt) la-xayyak ? ‘What have I done to your brother (so that he is angry with me)?’ bb. bintak ʿǟmli (~ʿimlit) had-dār kirxāni ‘Your daughter has made a brothel out of this house.’ According to Mitchell (Aspect, 18f), qatal is used in Jordanian Arabic if the speaker wants to guarantee the reliability of an assertion, otherwise the ap is
2 For the corresponding sentence in Cairene Arabic, see Woidich, Kairo, 292. 3 Wild’s examples are adopted to the dialect of Beirut.
preferred. If, for example, a surgeon has performed a successful operation and wants to convey the news to the patient’s relatives, he will prefer qatal: cc. bahannīku, l-ʿamaliyye naǧhat ‘I congratulate you, the operation has been successful.’ (Mitchell, ibid.) In Beirut, too, qatal is the preferred verb form in this sentence. When both the ap and qatal can be used, the situation expressed by the ap is often perceived as more remote than the corresponding situation denoted by qatal. This fact can be interpreted to the effect that the speaker does not want to accept responsibility for the truth value of his assertion, for a remote situation is often associated with an element of doubtfulness. We have, however, to bear in mind that, all in all, qatal can be replaced by the ap only to a very limited extend, and there is no clear-cut evidence to suggest that the ap’s function is to express uncertainty on the part of the speaker. To a question like: dd. minnên hayda li-ktǟb ? ‘Where is this book from?’ the usual reply is: hayda li-ktǟb žǟbu ʾAḥmad min maṣr ‘This book, Ahmad has brought it from Egypt.’ The ap žǟybu would be regarded as uncommon, no matter whether the assertion is regarded as certain or uncertain. The same holds true for the following sentence: ee. wên il-kalb ?—il-kalb ʾawwasu Ḥasan ‘Where is the dog?—The dog, Hasan has shot it.’ With adverbs of time like mbǟriḥ ‘yesterday’, only qatal can be used. But this does not mean that temporal indefiniteness has necessarily to be expressed by the ap. If we want to denote that a situation which took place once upon a time, without the exact moment being important, the preferred verb form is qatal again, even though the ap is normally also accepted: ff. lǟzim nidbaḥ il-xarūf. ʾinta btaʿrif tidbaḥu ?—ʾǟ, ʾana min ʾabl dabaḥt (~dǟbiḥ) xwǟrīf ‘We have to slaughter the lamb. Do you know how to slaughter it?—Yes, I have slaughtered lambs before.’ gg. btaʿrif il-maktab ?—ʾǟ, hal-maktab ʾana fittillu (~fǟyitlu) ‘Do you know the office?—Yes, that office, I have entered it before.’
Anteriority To The Speech Time
Thus, there are some cases where only the ap is possible, and others where the preferred form is qatal although the ap is normally also accepted. In other contexts, however, only qatal is possible. I have already made mention of situations that are temporally fixed by adverbs like mbǟriḥ ‘yesterday’. Furthermore, the ap cannot be used to express sequences of situations. We find a good example for such a sequence in Schu. vi, 14. A young man was sitting at the shore and: hh. ṭallaʿ šǟf is-samke . . . ʿaṭyitu n-nabti w ixtafit. ʾaxad in-nabti w rāḥ la-ʾaṣər il-malik. ‘He looked up and saw the fish . . . (The fish) gave him the herb and disappeared. He took the herb and went to the castle of the king.’ Instead of qatal one could also make use of byiqtul, but not of the ap that is regarded as directly wrong (type ii). qatal is also applied for sequences of situations in dialogs: ii.
šu ʿmilt mbǟriḥ ?—zirt xayyi w baʿdǟn riḥt ʿal-maktab w katabt maktūbên ‘What did you do yesterday?—I visited my brother, then I went to the office and wrote two letters.’
Neither byiqtul nor the ap are accepted in sentences like this. Finally, the sudden occurrence of an event can only be expressed by qatal. Such events may be introduced by fažʾa ‘suddenly’: jj.
fažʾa ḍarab xayyu ‘Suddenly, he hit his brother.’
10.1.2 Subordinate Clauses The situation of a subordinate clause can only be simply anterior to the speech time if its superordinate situation has present time reference, i.e. if the first and the second reference point are identical. The used verb form is qatal: punctual a. btaʿrif iz-zalami li ʾawwas kalbu mbǟriḥ ? ‘Do you know the man who shot his dog yesterday?’ b.
byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu wuṣil mbǟriḥ ‘He knows that his brother arrived yesterday.’
telic d. mīn ʾilli xalaṭ in-nbīd ? (Text V, 7) ‘Who (is it) who has mixed the wine?’ atelic e. ma byaʿrif ʾinnu ʾibnu štaġal bil-maṣnaʿ mbǟriḥ ‘He does not know that his son worked in the factory yesterday.’ f.
mīn iz-zalami li tmašša bil-ġābi mbǟriḥ ? ‘Who is the man that had a walk in the forest yesterday?’
complex g. mīn daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ?—xayyi li daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘Who knocked at the door?—My brother (is it) who knocked at the door.’ h.
mnaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb mbǟriḥ ‘We know that his brother knocked at the door yesterday.’ (complex > punctual)
stative i. ma byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ʿāš bil-qāhira ‘He does not know that his brother lived in Cairo.’ j.
ʾana baʿrif ʾinnu fi ḥada nǟm b-ʾūḍtu mbǟriḥ ‘I know that someboby slept in his room yesterday.’ Substitution Test
As to the replacement of qatal, there are no differences between main and subordinate clauses except for the use of verbs of perception and the substitution by byiqtul. The aps šǟyif and sǟmiʿ can indicate in main clauses only simultaneity to the speech time so that qatal has to be used when it comes to expressing anteriority to the speech time. In subordinate clauses, however, the ap of verbs of perception denotes the completed situation: k.
ʿambyʾūl ʾinnu šǟyif il-barnǟmiž ‘He says that he has watched the programme.’
In subordinate clauses qatal cannot be replaced by byiqtul, neither in narrative texts nor in dialogs. Moreover, I have to mention the opposition qatal: kān
Anteriority To The Speech Time
ʿamyiqtul once again. The question in example sentence f (tmašša) can be posed if we saw a man coming out of the woods after his walk or if we learnt that someone had had a walk there. kǟn ʿamyitmašša, on the other hand, is adequate in the case that we observed him during his walk for a while and now want to enquire about his identification. Conclusion The verb form that is most often used to designate anteriority to the speech time is qatal. The opposition qatal: kān ʿamyiqtul and the fact that a complex situation becomes punctual if it is expressed by qatal seems to point to the perfective character of the verb form. In narrations it can be replaced by byiqtul, and in texts that Weinrich terms discussing (cf. above, chapt. 1), it can sometimes be substituted by the ap. Sentences with qatal and the corresponding sentences with its substitutes are, however, normally not completely synonymous. byiqtul serves the purpose to render the narration more illustrative, and situations expressed by the ap are conceived of as more remote. Moreover, the application of the ap to indicate anteriority to the speech time is so limited—in the main, it seems to indicate states that follow from an event— that it can hardly be regarded as a substitute for qatal. Thus, the signum that serves to designate in its main function non-habitual anteriority to the speech time seems to be qatal. It appears to be specified as anterior-perfective. 10.2
Habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time
In chapter 4.1, a differentiation was made between essential and conditioned habituality. The habituality of a situation is essential if there are no temporal constraints within the period it refers to: Churchill smoked cigars. If there are such constraints, i.e. if the situation only takes place in the case that a given condition is met, then the habituality is conditioned: Whenever I went past his house, I saw him sitting in the garden. Let us start with essential habituality. Habitual situations of this kind are non-actional and thus incompatible with the category of aspect (rule 8) because only individual situations with a tangible phasal constituency can be conceived of from the inside in their progress (imperfective) or from the outside in their entirety (perfective) but not an abstract over-all situation that is composed of numerous individual situations. The fact, however, that a habitual
situation cannot be perfective does not mean that it is incompatible with perfective verb forms. For reasons adduced above (chapt. 5.4), the use of a perfective verb form will just bring about that the boundaries of the situation are possibly felt to be a bit less vague but will not change its non-aspectual character. In contrast to non-habitual situations dealt with in the previous section, habitual ones can be conceived of as simultaneous with a second reference point in the past without their actional and aspectual value being changed, and consequently the verb form may orientate itself by the speech time or by the second reference point. The verb forms are thus—not neccesarily but—likely to be specified as anterior and non-aspectual, supposing that they orientate themselves by the speech time; they are specified as non-aspectual and simultaneous if they orientate themselves by a second reference point in the past with which they are simultaneous. A conditioned habitual situation, on the other side, can be perfective or imperfective. Habituality is a quantitative category, that is, it describes how often a situation takes or took place and can be applied to every actional category like punctuality, telicness etc. which, however, will lose their actional value in this case and become non-actional. When I speak of punctual, telic etc. situations in the following, I mean that the verbs used for their expression normally have these actional values when found in a non-habitual context. In chapter 7, I listed the criteria for the differentiation between aspectual and temporal verb forms. One of this criteria says that an aspectual verb form is unlikely to be used for the designation of habitual and non-habitual situations, for habituality is incompatible with aspectuality, and it is rather improbable that one and the same verb form may designate two categories that are incompatible with each other. Thus, if qatal is an aspectual verb form, one may expect that it is not used for habituality in the past, too. If, on the other hand, it were a temporal form, it might well designate habituality and non-habituality in the past because it would indicate the temporal location of a situation, and both categories have past time reference. 10.2.1 Main Clauses Habitual situations that are anterior to the speech time are mostly expressed by kān yiqtul or kān byiqtul.4 In order to emphasize the habitual character of 4 According to Mitchell (Aspect, 69), kān yiqtul and kān byiqtul have distinct meanings in Levantine Arabic. While kān yiqtul refers to habitual situations in the past that have since ceased, kān byiqtul leaves open the question of cessation. Such a usage cannot be asserted for the dialect of Beirut. cf.: il-malik kǟn yḥibb bintu ktīr ‘The king loved his daughter very
Anteriority To The Speech Time
a situation, one can also use kān mʿawwad (~ mitʿawwid) + yiqtul ‘to be in the habit of’: punctual a. hal bint kitru xiṭṭǟba bass il-bayy kǟn yirfuḍ kill waḥad yitʾaddamla (Schu. vii, 1) ‘This daughter had lots of suitors, but her father would reject everyone who asked for her hand.’ telic b. kill il-mzǟrʿīn kǟnu yžību l-ʾamḥ (Text I, 10) ‘All peasants would bring wheat.’5 atelic c. kint ʾištiġil w ʾidrus nafs il-waʾt (Text iv, 1) ‘I used to work and study at the same time.’ komplex d. il-ʿalam kǟn yrafrif kill yôm ‘The flag used to flutter every day.’ statisch e. il-malik kǟn yḥibb bintu ktīr (Schu. vii, 5) ‘The king loved his daughter very much.’ f.
kǟnu ʾixwǟtu li-kbār yikrahū ktīr . . . w kǟn yḥibb Binyamīn kamǟn (Text I, 1) ‘His elder brothers hated him very much . . . and he loved Benjamin, too.’
First and foremost, kān yiqtul expresses that a situation took place repeatedly, but without the help of adverb phrases one can impossibly say how often it was and if it is appropriate to regard the situation as habitual. In sentence a, for example, the reader can only speculate how often the king rejected the suitors. Other examples make clear that kān yiqtul is used for situations of very different duration and number of repetitions. In Text I, 6 it says: much’ (Schu. VII, 5); in VII, 7 it says: ʾahl ḥartu kǟnu byḥibbū ktīr ‘The residents of his quarter loved him very much.’ 5 See also: Text I, 6 (kǟn yfassir ‘interpreted’); Text I, 9 (kǟnu ywizzu ‘set against’); Text I, 11 (kǟn yihdīyun ʿa- ‘led them to’); Text II, 2 (kǟn yihzum ‘defeated’).
ʾahl maṣr b-haydǟk il-waʾt kǟnu yaʿbdu ʾāmūn. ‘The Egyptians worshiped Amun at that time.’
Yūsif ma kǟn baddūyǟha w kǟn yitharrab minna ‘Joseph did not want her and would avoid her.’
It goes without saying that the worship of Amun lasted over a longer period than the situation in h. The duration of habitual situations can be defined more closely by adverb phrases, as for instance ʿa-ṭūl, dayman ‘always’ and kill yôm ‘every day’. i.
kǟn yiži (~byiži) kill yôm is-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ‘He came home at six o’clock every day.’ Substitution Test
The replacement of kān (b)yiqtul by qatal or kān ap is regarded as ungrammatical (type ii) unless the corresponding verbs are stative or resultative. Interestingly enough, kān ʿamyiqtul, that is otherwise used to express the imperfective aspect (see the previous section), can also designate habituality if the habitual character of the situation is sufficiently made clear by corresponding adverb phrases. Without such phrases, kān ʿamyiqtul does not describe the situation as habitual but rather as simplex and progressing. But even if the situation is identified as habitual by the context or adverbs, kān ʿamyiqtul means first of all that the situation was repeatedly in progress without being completed and is just used to designate conditioned habitual situations. Only if the actional value of the verb and the context make clear that the imperfective aspect cannot be intended, kān ʿamyiqtul can also express habitual situations whose individual subsituations have to be regarded as completed. In this case, kān ʿamyiqtul can also denote punctual situations, that are incompatible with imperfectivity: j.
Ḥasan dayman kǟn ʿamyūṣal (~yūṣal) is-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ‘Hasan always came home at six o’clock.’
The reply to the question: šu ʿimil mbǟriḥ is-sǟʿa sitti ? ‘What did he do at six o’clock yesterday?’ could not be kǟn ʿamyūṣal, for in this context the situation is not habitual any longer but rather simplex, and kān ʿamyiqtul could only
Anteriority To The Speech Time
express its progress, which is not possible with a punctual verb. We have to add, however, that even in sentences like j, the clearly preferred form is kān yiqtul. With stative verbs it is evident that the situation cannot be progressive, and thus kān ʿamyiqtul can be used although it is less common than kān yiqtul and kān ap and not accepted with all verbs: k.
huwwe kǟn dayman ʿambyḥiss (~yḥiss) ʾinnu bayyu byikrahu ‘He always felt that his father hated him.’
Ḥasan kǟn dayman ʿamyinṭur (~yinṭur) xayyu ʾiddǟm il-maktab ‘Hasan always waited for his brother in front of the office.’
It is difficult to establish binding rules as to the use of kān ʿamyiqtul in these cases, the more so as my informants are divided over this point. At least kǟn ʿambyʿīš and kǟn ʿambyikrah in the sense of ‘to live’ and ‘to hate’ are normally rejected, probably for the reason that kǟn ʿambyʿīš has also the meaning ‘to live through, to fall on (hard times)’ and that kǟn ʿambyikrah usually designates the beginning of the hatred. With resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, kān ʿamyiqtul is usually rejected when it comes to expressing the state that followed from an event even if qatal, kān yiqtul and byiqtul can be used to indicate both the event and the state: m. huwwe dayman kǟn yilbus (~kǟn lǟbis) ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad bil-maktab ‘He always wore a black suit in the office.’ kǟn ʿamyilbus would mean that he was putting on the suit in the office. In other cases, kān ʿamyiqtul indicates conditioned habitual situation, i.e. when a second reference point is given. But here—as contrasted with kān yiqtul—kān ʿamyiqtul has an imperfective reading: n.
kill marra lamma kint ʾiži ʿal-bêt kǟn ʾAḥmad ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Each time I came home, Ahmad was reading the newspaper.’
The perfective aspect is expressed by kān ap: o.
kill marra lamma kint ʾiži ʿal-bêt kǟn ʾAḥmad ʾǟri ž-žarīdi ‘Each time I came home, Ahmad had already read the newspaper.’
With stative verbs one can also use kān ap and qatal in addition to kān yiqtul, and kān ap must be employed to express states with resultative verbs if qatal, byiqtul and kān yiqtul can only express the event: p.
Ḥasan kǟn dayman ḥifẓān il-mifradǟt bil-madrasi ‘Hasan always knew the words by heart at school.’
kǟn Sinūhe sǟkin b-manṭiʾa ʿala ḥdūd filasṭīn (Text ii, 3) ‘Sinuhe was living in an area that bordered on Palestine.’
ʿǟšu maʿ baʿḍun b-hana w saʿǟdi (Schu. viii, 24) ‘They lived happily together.’
It is in the nature of stative verbs, especially verbs of the kirih-type, that one can often hardly decide whether they have a habitual or a non-habitual reading, for they always imply a certain temporal extension, and on that score the use of qatal, that is normally found with non-habitual situations, is not surprising. qatal, however, is not compatible with adverbs like dayman. In these cases, one has to make use of kān yiqtul, kān ap or kān ʿamyiqtul.6 There is a slight difference in meaning between kān ap and kān yiqtul, at least for native speakers with a pronounced awareness of the subleties of language. With verbs like kirih ‘to hate’, tʿažžab ‘to wonder’, xāf ‘to be afraid’ and ṣabar ‘to be patient’, the ap is conceived of as a kind of resultative, in the sense that a state had come up at some time and had been lasting since then: s.
huwwe kǟn dayman kirhān mʿallmu ‘He always hated his teacher.’
With kān ap the hatred is perceived as lasting and unchangeable. kǟn yikrah, on the other hand, describes the hatred as a process and as something that might be stopped or intensified by the subject. Other verbs like ṣām ‘to fast’, where an intensification is hardly imaginable, do not allow such differentiations. In: t.
huwwe dayman kǟn yṣūm b-ramaḍān
6 For the use of qatal for habitual events in Cairene Arabic, see Woidich, Kairo 280, note 2.
Anteriority To The Speech Time
kǟn yṣūm can be replaced by kǟn ṣāyim without the meaning being changed. It does, however, not seem advisable to classify verbs like kirih as resultative because there is no tangible event the state has resulted from. At times, if the time reference is unmistakable, simple byiqtul is used to denote habitual situations: u.
id-dǟye ma ḍarbitu ʿa-ṭīzu mitil ma btaʿmul maʿ kill mawlūd ždīd (Schu. viii, 15) ‘The midwife did not give a slap on his buttocks as she would do with every newborn.’7
10.2.2 Subordinate Clauses The reference point in the form of the superordinate clause may be identical with the speech time. In this case, the same verb forms are used as in main clauses: Syndetic relative clause a. mīn iz-zalami li kǟn yiržaʿ is-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ? ‘Who is the man who used to come home at six o’clock?’ Asyndetic relative clause b. baʿrif ḥada kǟn ysǟfir kill sini ʿal-qāhira ‘I know someone who used to travel to Cairo every year.’ Object clause c. byʾūl ʾinnu xayyu kǟn kill yôm bil-lêl yištiġil bil-maktab ‘He says that his brother used to work in the office at night every day.’ If the superordinate clause has past time reference, byiqtul or the ap are used in the subordinate clause, i.e. the same verb forms that indicate habitual situations with present time reference (see below, chapter 15.2.1). Thus, the verb form orientates itself in main clauses by the the speech time and in subordinate clauses by the second reference point:
7 byiqtul is attested in this function also in Bišmizzīn: II, 10 (binǟm); VII, 2 (bižīb); IX, 9 (birūḥ, biġīb, byiržaʿ).
Asyndetic relative clauses d. kǟn wǟhid rižžǟl mʿattar ʿǟyiš maʿ martu b-kūx zġīr (Schu. vi, 1)8 ‘Once upon a time there was a poor man who lived with his wife in a small hut.’ e. f.
ʿirif ʾinnu hinne xawǟt ʿǟyšīn maʿ baʿḍun byiġzlu ṣūf w byaʿmlu minnu xiyǟm (Schu. viii, 1) ‘He came to know that they were sisters, who lived together, span wool and made tents thereof.’ simiʿ Sībawayh ʾinnu s-sulṭān ʿambydawwir ʿala kǟtib la-ʾilu ʾilli byžīd il-luġa l-ʿarabīyi (Text V, 7) ‘Sibawayh heard that the sultan was looking for a scribe for himself who had a good command of the Arabic language.’
Object clauses g. ʿirif mn il-ʿālam ʾinnu hal-ʾaṣər bykūn ʾaṣər il-malik (Schu. vi, 7) ‘He learnt from the people that this castle belonged to the king.’ h.
w maʿ il-waʾt lǟḥaẓ il-malik ʾinnu haydi btixtlif ʿan xawǟta (Schu. viii, 7) ‘As time went by, the king noticed that this one differed from her sisters.’
ʾakkadlu ʾinnu martu w ʾibnu ʿǟyšīn (Schu. viii, 22) ‘He assured him that his wife and his son were alive.’
Conclusion The signum to designate habitual situation that are anterior to the speech time seems to be kān yiqtul ~ kān byiqtul. Although there are some other verb forms that may also have a habitual reading, especially with states, their application is so constrained that one can hardly regard the expression of the intentum in question as their main function. The fact that habitual and non-habitual situations are expressed by two different signa (qatal and kān yiqtul), seems to confirm that qatal is to be regarded as an aspectual rather than a temporal verb form. kān yiqtul ~ kān byiqtul, on the other hand, are specified as anterior and non-aspectual. 8 See also Schu. VII, 7 (ʿǟyiš ‘lived’).
A situation is plural if it takes place repeatedly without its subsituations losing their independent character. It is telic and perfective because it reveals itself as being plural only after it has been completed and thus can be viewed from the outside (cf. above, chapt. 4.4). The plural situations discussed in this chapter are anterior to the speech time—and thus the verb forms have to be specified as anterior-perfective (if aspectual) or as simply anterior (if temporal)—but they can also be anterior to a second reference point in the past or posterior to the speech time. 11.1
The dialect of Beirut designates plural situation with qatal. The repetition can be indicated by an expression like x-marrāt ‘x times’. punctual a. ʿAli fǟt xams marrāt ʿal-maktab ‘Ali entered the office five times.’ telic b. huwwe nizil ʿiddit marrāt ʿal-baḥr ‘He went down to the sea several times.’ atelic c. ʿimlit hiyye w kahanit maʿbad ʾāmūn ʿiddit mḥāwalǟt . . . (Text I, 10) ‘She and the priests of the temple of Amun made several attempts . . .’ complex d. daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb xams marrāt ‘He knocked at the door five times.’ This sentence can mean that he made either five individual knocking sounds or five times several knocking sounds. In either case the over-all situation is conceived of as telic. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���5 | doi ��.��63/9789004287549_012
stative e. sakan tlǟt marrāt b-bayrūt ‘He lived in Beirut three times.’
The replacement of qatal by kān yiqtul or kān ʿamyiqtul is regarded as ungrammatical (type ii). With stative verbs kān ap is also accepted although qatal is the clearly preferred form: f.
huwwe kǟn sǟkin / kǟn ʿāyiš tlǟt marrāt b-bayrūt ‘He stayed / lived in Beirut three times.’
huwwe š-šahr il-māḍi kǟn ṣāyim tlǟt marrāt ‘Last month he fasted three times.’
kān ap, however, has to be used with resultative verbs if qatal can only designate the event but not the state: h.
kǟn Ḥasan dayman hifẓān darsu ?—laʾ, huwwe bass ʾǟxir xams marrāt kǟn ḥifẓānu ‘Did Hasan always know his lesson by heart?—No, he only knew it by heart the last five times.’
With other than resultative or stative verbs, kān ap or kān ṣāyirlu + ap designate anteriority to a second reference point: i. 11.2
laḍ-ḍuhr kǟn nǟzil xams marrāt ʿal-baḥr ‘Until noon he had gone down to the sea three times.’ Subordinate Clauses
In subordinate clauses the same verb forms are used as in main clauses, i.e. qatal and, with resultative verbs, kān ap: a.
byʾūl ʾinnu nizil tlǟt marrāt ʿal-baḥr ‘He says that he went down to the sea three times.’
Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Past
The situations dealt with in this chapter imply two reference points, the first one is the speech time, the second one is located in the past. As seen above (chapter 7), a temporal verb form in main clauses can orientate itself by the speech time only, but apart from this, the verb forms can orientate themselves by the speech time or by the second reference point in the past. According to rules 1 and 4, simultaneity with a reference point is incompatible with perfectivity, punctuality and telicness. The situation that is simultaneous with a reference point in the past can be actional or non-actional. In the former case and with orientation by the second reference point, the verb form that expresses it must be specified as imperfective (if aspectual) or simultaneous (if temporal), in the latter case as non-aspectual or simultaneous. When orientated by the speech time, the verb form is specified as anterior and imperfective or as simply anterior respectively. A comparison between the signum that designates simultaneity in the past and the one for anteriority to the speech time (chapter 10) might help decide whether the verb forms in question are to be considered as aspectual or temporal. In the former case, there should be available two different signa for the intenta in question, in the latter case, they may be expressed by one and the same signum (cf. above, chapt. 7). The reference point a situation is simultaneous with can be a point in time, e.g. at six o’clock, or a period of time that may be referred to in the dialect of Beirut by bwuʾta or b-hayda l-waʾt ‘at or during that time’. There are different situations that may be simultaneous with a reference point in the past. The speaker can intend to stress that the situation had not been finished yet when the reference point intervened (still-situations), he can emphasize its beginning (since-situations) or simply state that it was simultaneous with its reference point. I will start with situations that are simply simultaneous with a point in or a period of time.
© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���5 | doi ��.��63/9789004287549_013
12.1.1 Main Clauses The informants were asked in German or English: What were you / was he doing at that moment / at six o’clock? In the answers kān ʿamyiqtul and, with states, kān ap were used. When kān ʿamyiqtul is combined with punctuality, the resulting sentence is either ungrammatical (type ii): a.
*kint ʿamlǟʾi bêt ‘*I was finding a house.’
*kǟn ʿamyūṣal ʿala l-qāhira ‘*He was arriving at Cairo’
or complex: c.
b-hayda l-waʾt kǟnit ktīr ʿālam ʿambitmūt biž-žnūb (Text iv, 3) ‘In those days many people died / were dying in the south’
or atelic: d.
kint ʿamfūt ʿal-maktab tabaʿi ‘I was just entering / about to enter my office.’
The same holds true for telic situations: e.
kint ʿambidfun kalbi ‘I was just interring my dog.’ (telic > atelic)
The other actional categories remain unchanged: atelic f. kint ʿambitmašša bil-madīni ‘I was just having a walk in the town.’ g.
ṣārit fi ḥarb kamǟn b-libnǟn, kǟn ʿamyištiġil w žarraḥu l-ʾannǟṣ1 ‘There was war again in Lebanon. He was working and a marksman injured him.’
1 From an unpublished text by Ali Serhan.
Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Past
complex h. kǟn ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘He was just knocking at the door.’ stative i. kǟn sǟkin il-walad ḥadd rfīʾu ‘The boy was living next to his friend.’ If the reference point is a period of time, the situation can be conceived of as being completed within that period and thus as perfective, as having been completed before it and perfective, or as still uncompleted and thus imperfective. A situation that took place within that period is expressed by qatal (sit. a), one that had been completed before by kān ap (sit. b) and a situation that was proceeding simultaneously with it by kān ʿamyiqtul or kān ap (sit. c): punctual j. mbǟriḥ tġaddayna s-sǟʿa sitti ‘Yesterday we had dinner at six o’clock.’ b-hayda l-waʾt wuṣil xayyi ‘At that time my brother arrived.’ (sit. a) k. b-hayda l-waʾt kǟn wāṣil xayyi ‘At that time my brother had already arrived.’ (sit. b) l.
(There was war in Lebanon) b-hayda l-waʾt kǟnit ktīr ʿālam ʿambitmūt biž-žnūb (Text iv, 3; punctual > complex; see above sentence c; sit. c)
telic m. mbǟriḥ ʾiža xayyi ‘Yesterday my brother came.’ b-hayda l-waʾt dafant kalbi ‘At that time I interred my dog.’ (i.e. I started to do so after my brother had arrived; sit. a) n.
b-hayda l-waʾt kint dǟfin kalbi ‘At that time I had already interred my dog.’ (sit. b)
b-hayda l-waʾt kint ʿambidfun kalbi ‘At that time I was interring my dog.’ (telic > atelic; sit. c)
atelic p. mbǟriḥ is-sǟʿa sitti zāritna ʾixti ‘Yesterday at six o’clock my sister visited us.’ b-hayda l-waʾt štaġalt sǟʿatên biž-žnayni ‘During that time I worked for two hours in the garden.’ (i.e. while my sister was present; sit a)
b-hayda l-waʾt kint mištiġil biž-žnayni ‘At that time I had already worked in the garden.’ (sit. b)
b-hayda l-waʾt kint ʿambištiġil biž-žnayni ‘At that time (i.e. when she came) I was just working in the garden.’ (sit. c)
complex s. mbǟriḥ is-sǟʿa sitti kint ʿambiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Yesterday at six o’clock I was reading the newspaper.’ b-hayda l-waʾt daʾʾ xayyi ʿal-bǟb ‘At that time my brother knocked at the door.’ (complex > punctual; sit. a) t.
b-hayda l-waʾt kǟn dǟʾiʾ xayyi ʿal-bǟb ‘At that time my brother had already knocked at the door.’ (complex > punctual; sit. b)
b-hayda l-waʾt kǟn ʿambydiʾʾ xayyi ʿal-bǟb ‘At that time my brother was knocking at the door.’ (sit. c)
As will be shown in the next chapter, anteriority of states can normally be disambiguated with the help of adverb phrases only. The same holds true for bwuʾta-situations: stative v. mbǟriḥ zārna xayyi ‘Yesterday my brother visited us.’ b-hayda l-waʾt nimt biž-žnayni ‘During that time I slept in the garden.’ (i.e. all the time after my brother’s arrival; sit. a); w.
b-hayda l-waʾt kint nǟyim sǟʿatên biž-žnayni ‘At that time I had already slept for two hours in the garden.’ (sit. b)
b-hayda waʾt kint nǟyim biž-žnayni ‘At that time I was sleeping in the garden.’ (i.e. I was already asleep when my brother came; sit. c)
The relationship between qatal and kān ʿamyiqtul has already been discussed in chapter 10. If kān ʿamyiqtul, when designating simultaneity with a point
Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Past
in time, is replaced by qatal, the situation will be conceived of as beginning at that moment. kint ʿambitmašša (example sentence f) ‘I was having a walk (e.g.: at six o’clock)’. tmaššêt means that I started my walk at that time. As can be seen from example sentences n, q and t, the replacement of kān ʿamyiqtul by kān ap with non-resultative verbs has as a consequence that the situation becomes anterior and perfective. With resultative verbs of type I, on the other hand, kān ʿamyiqtul designates the event and kān ap the resulting state: kǟn ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu ‘He was putting on his suit’ : kǟn lǟbis ṭaʾmu ‘He was wearing his suit.’ With some stative verbs there is also a slight difference in meaning between kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap, in that the former expresses the process that leads up to the state, whereas kān ap describes the state itself: kǟn ʿamyikrah mʿallmu ‘He was developing a hatred for his teacher’ : kǟn kirhān mʿallmu ‘He hated his teacher.’ Furthermore, I have to add that situations within a period of time can also be expressed by kān yiqtul if they are regarded as habitual: y.
kǟnit fi ḥarb. b-hal waʾt kǟn kill yôm yištiġil b-bayrūt ‘There was war. At that time he used to work in Beirut every day.’
With verbs of motion there is sometimes a difference in meaning between kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap. kān ʿamyiqtul designates the beginning of the movement in these cases, kān ap the middle phase when the subject was already on his way: z.
huwwe kǟn nǟzil ʿal-baḥr lamma šiftu ‘He was on his way down to the sea when I saw him.’
kǟn ʿamyinzal would mean that he was just about to go, he could still have been at home. kān ʿamyiqtul, however, cannot be used with all verbs of motion, as for instance ʾiža ‘to come’ or rāḥ ‘to go’. 12.1.2 Subordinate Clauses The superordinate clause may have present or past time reference. In the former case, the situation of the subordinate clause is expressed by the same verb forms as in main sentences: Syndetic relative clause a. mīn iz-zalami li kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma žīna ? ‘Who is the man who was bringing the beverages to the shop when we came?’
Object clause b. byʾūl ʾinnu kǟn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni b-haydǟk il-waʾt ‘He says that he was working in the garden at that time.’ If the superordinate clause has past time reference and is at the same time the direct reference point of the subordinate clause, ʿamyiqtul or the ap without kān are used. The same verb forms are used to express simultaneity with the speech time (see below, chapter 184.108.40.206), i.e. no need is felt to explicitly indicate the past time reference of the subordinate clause; consequently, the verb forms orientate themselves by the second reference point: Syndetic relative clause c. lamma šǟfit is-sulṭān ʾilli lǟbis tyǟb ktīr ḥilwīn kirhit il-fiʾr ʾaktar min ʾayya waʾt maḍa (Text v, 4) ‘When she saw the sultan, who was wearing beautiful clothes, she hated (her) poverty more than ever before.’ Asyndetic relative clauses d. šǟf sabaʿ sanǟbil ʾamḥ xaḍra ʿamtǟklun sabaʿ sanǟbil yǟbsi (Text I, 7)2 ‘He saw seven green ears of wheat which seven dried out ears were eating.’ (telic > atelic) e.
šǟf ʾiddǟmu samke bil-mayy ʿambtiḥki maʿu (Schu. vi, 6) ‘He saw a fish in the water in front of him, that was talking to him.’
Object clauses f. kǟn ʿārif ʾinnu xayyu ʿāyīš bil-qāhira ‘He knew that his brother was living in Cairo.’ g.
simiʿ Sībawayh ʾinnu s-sulṭān ʿambydawwir ʿala kǟtib la-ʾilu (Text V, 7) ‘Sibawayh heard that the sultan was looking for a scribe.’
The verb forms in temporal clauses introduced by lamma ‘when’, however, orientate themselves by the speech time, i.e. kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap are used: h.
lamma kǟn ʿamyiʾʿud ʿal-kirsi xayyu šallūyǟ ‘Just when he was about to sit down on the chair, his brother pulled it away.’ (punctual > atelic)
2 For the subject-verb and noun-adjective agreement, see below, appendix A, p. 245, note 2.
Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Past
lamma martu l-ʾawwalanīyi kǟnit ʿambitxallif Binyamīn mǟtit (Text I, 1) ‘When his first wife was giving birth to Benjamin, she died.’ (telic > atelic) Substitution Test
If the superordinate clause has present time reference, the replacement of kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap yields the same results as in main clauses. The replacement of ʿamyiqtul and simple ap, i.e. when the reference point has past time reference, will be discussed in the chapter on anteriority to a reference point in the past (see below, chapter 13). 12.2
since- / for-situations and still-situations
12.2.1 Main Clauses Verbs of motion are hardly ever found in sentences with ‘since’ or ‘for’—the corresponding intentum is usually designated by a prepositional phrase with the meaning ‘to be on one’s way’—and have thus not been taken into account in this chapter. A since- / for-situation is normally expressed by kān ṣāyirlu + period of time + ʿamyiqtul. Besides ṣāyirlu one finds also ṣārlu, but with situations leading up to and including a reference point in the past, the former is usually preferred, while ṣārlu is used with situations whose reference point is the speech time (cf. below, chapter 15.1.2). For states expressed by stative verbs and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, the ap is used instead of ʿamyiqtul. As seen in the previous section, imperfectivity is incompatible with punctuality and telicness. Accordingly, since- / for-situations with punctual or telic verbs are ungrammatical: a.
* kǟn ṣāyirlu sǟʿa ʿambyʾawwis kalbu lamma šiftu ‘*He had been shooting his dog for an hour when I saw him’
or become complex or atelic: b.
kǟn ṣāyirlu sǟʿa ʿambyʾawwis fyūli lamma šiftu ‘He had been shooting elephants for an hour when I saw him. (punctual > complex)
lamma fitit ʿal-ʾūḍa kǟn ṣāyirlu xams dʾāyi ʿamyinfux il-balôn ‘When I entered the room, he had been blowing air into the balloon for five minutes.’ (telic > atelic)
The situation of blowing had not been completed yet when I entered the room and is thus atelic. With atelic, complex and stative situations there are not such constraints: atelic d. lamma fitit ʿal-ʾūḍa kǟnit ṣāyirla sǟʿa ʿamtibki ‘When I entered the room, she had been weeping for an hour.’ complex e. kǟn ṣāyirlu xams dʾāyi ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb lamma ftaḥt ‘He had already been knocking at the door for five minutes when I opened.’ stative f. lamma zirtu kǟn ṣāyirlu sini sǟkin b-bayrūt ‘When I visited him, he had already been living in Beirut for one year.’
The replacement of kān ʿamyiqtul by qatal in since- / for-situations does not result in a change of meaning but in ungrammaticality. Apart from this, there are hardly any differences between since- / for-situations and those discussed in the previous section. Here, too, kān ʿamyiqtul from resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type indicates the event, kān ap the following state: g.
waʾt il ʾana šiftu kǟn ṣāyirlu xams dʾāyi ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad ‘When I saw him, he had been putting on his black suit for five minutes.’
kǟn lǟbis means that he had already been wearing the suit for five minutes when I saw him. The period of time after ṣāyirlu may be so extended that the situation can be regarded as habitual: h.
kǟn ṣāyirlu xams snīn ʿambydaxxin lamma zirtu ‘He had been smoking for five years when I visited him.’
Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Past
In this case, kān ʿamyiqtul can be replaced by kān (b)yiqtul. Finally, I have to make mention of a noteworthiness as to the use of the ap. If the ap denotes a completed situation, ṣāyirlu + period of time does not have the meaning ‘since’ or ‘for’ but rather ‘before’, and the situation is perfective: i.
lamma šiftu kǟn ṣāyirlu xams dʾāyi mʾawwis il-kalb ‘When I saw him, he had already shot the dog five minutes before.’
12.2.2 still-situations still-situations are expressed by kān + baʿd + pronoun + ʿamyiqtul / ap: atelic a. kǟnit baʿda ʿamtibki b-ʾūḍta lamma fǟt bayya ‘She was still weeping in her room when her father entered.’ complex b. kǟn baʿdu ʿambyrafrif il-ʿalam lamma habaṭ il-bêt ‘The flag was still fluttering when the house collapsed.’ stative c. kǟn baʿdu ʿāyiš bil-qāhira lamma zirtu ‘He was still living in Cairo when I visited him.’
still-situations have almost the same restrictions as to a replacement as sincesituations, except for the substitution of kān ʿamyiqtul by kān ap if the latter indicates a completed situation. The result would not be a change of meaning but an ungrammatical sentence (type ii): d.
lamma ftaḥt kǟn baʿdu ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘When I opened, he was still knocking at the door.’
kǟn dǟʾiʾ would designate the completion of the situation and is consequently not compatible with the meaning expressed by baʿdu ‘still’. With resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, however, a replacement of kān ʿamyiqtul by kān ap results in the same change of meaning as described above with since- / for-situations:
kǟn baʿdu lǟbis ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad lamma fitit ʿal-ʾūḍa ‘He was still wearing his black suit when I entered the room.’
kǟn baʿdu ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad lamma fitit ʿal-ʾūḍa ‘He was still putting on his black suit when I entered the room.’
12.2.3 Subordinate clauses of since- / for- and still-situations In subordinate clauses we find (ṣārlu) ʿamyiqtul or the ap, thus the verb forms orientate themselves by the superordinate clause, for otherwise the same forms as in main clauses, i.e. kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap, would have to be used: atelic a. ʾāl ʾinnu ʾixtu ṣāyirla sǟʿa ʿamtibki bil-ʾūḍa ‘He said that his sister had been weeping in the room for an hour.’ b.
šift ḥada ṣāyirlu sǟʿa ʿamyibki ʾiddǟm il-bêt ‘I saw someone who had been weeping in front of the house for an hour.’
complex c. kǟn ʿārif ʾinnu xayyu baʿdu ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘He knew that his brother was still knocking at the door.’ d.
šifna ʿalam ṣāyirlu sǟʿa ʿambyrafrif ʾiddǟm il-bêt ‘We saw a flag that had been fluttering in front of the house for an hour.’
stative e. ʿirif min bayyu ʾinnu xayyu baʿdu sǟkin b-bayrūt ‘He learnt from his father that his brother was still living in Beirut.’ f.
mīn kǟn iz-zalami li ṣāyirlu sǟʿa nǟyim biž-žnayni? ‘Who was the man who had been sleeping in the garden for an hour?’ Substitution Test
If ʿamyiqtul and the ap are replaced by the corresponding forms with kān, the situation of the subordinate clause is conceived of as being simultaneous with a third reference that is anterior to the situation of the main clause:
Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Past
ʾāl ʾinnu ʾixtu kǟn ṣāyirla sǟʿa ʿamtibki bil-ʾūḍa lamma ʾiža bayya ‘He said that his sister had already been weeping for an hour in the room when her father came.’
Conclusion The signa to designate simultaneity in the past seem to be kān ʿamyiqtul (main clauses) and ʿamyiqtul (subordinate clauses with past time reference point) if the situation is non-stative. As simultaneity with the speech time is indicated by ʿamyiqtul (cf. chapt. 220.127.116.11), one can conclude that kān ʿamyiqtul (main clauses) orientates itself by the speech time and ʿamyiqtul (subordinate clauses) by the second reference point in the past. They show all constraints the metagrammar requires for imperfective verb forms. They cannot be used to express punctual or telic situations, and when imposed on a stative verb, the resulting situation is not represented as a state but rather as a process that leads up to a state, i.e. the situation has now the actional value that is necessary if it is to be represented as imperfective. There are no other verb forms that could express simultaneity of an imperfective situation with a reference point in the past, the ap and kān ap merely being able to indicate states. Though the imperfective character of ʿamyiqtul is quite obvious, it can nevertheless be used to indicate habitual situation (kǟn ṣāyirlu xams snīn ʿambydaxxin lamma zirtu (cf. above, chapt. 12.2.1). We will revisit this point in part 3 (see chapt. 25). The dialect of Beirut makes use of two different verb forms to express simultaneity in the past (kān ʿamyiqtul) and anteriority to the speech time (qatal) respectively, which thus seem to be specified as aspectual, not as temporal (cf. chapt. 7).
Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Past As to the categorial interplay and the incompatibility rules, there are no differences between anteriority to a reference point in the past and the above (chapter 10) discussed anteriority to the speech time. There is, however, a difference with respect to the orientation of the verb forms. As anteriority to a reference point in the past requires two reference points, the verb forms may orientate themselves by the one or the other. A temporal verb form can orientate itself in main clauses by the speech time only (cf. above, chapt. 7), the point of orientation of an aspectual verb form, on the other hand, may be the speech time or the second reference point in the past. If an aspectual verb form orientates itself by the speech time, it has to be specified as anterior to the speech time and as anterior-perfective with respect to the second reference point; if it orientates itself by the second reference point, it must be specified as simply anterior-perfective. In subordinate clauses, on the other hand, temporal and aspectual verb forms can orientate themselves by the speech time or the second reference point. In this case, a temporal verb form has to be specified as anterior or, respectively, as double anterior. 13.1
The category in question is most commonly found in subordinate clauses, less often in main clauses. In order to investigate it, the informants were asked to translate sentences of the following kind: He said, ‘Do not do it!’ but he had already done it. For example: He said to his brother, ‘Do not sell the car!’ but the brother had already sold it. Furthermore, anteriority to a reference point in the past can be studied in main clauses of temporal sentences: When I saw him, he had already sold the car. Moreover, before- and until-situation will be discussed in this chapter. Anteriority in the past is designated by kān ap:1
1 The same form is used in Biš. ix, 23: kunna mribbǟyīn ‘we had brought up’. For more evidence, see Feghali, Syn., 108f.
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Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
punctual a. ʾallu la-xayyu: ‘ma tiʾtul il-kalb !’ bass xayyu kǟn ʾǟtlu “He said to his brother, ‘Do not kill the dog!’ but his brother had already killed it.” b.
kǟn yḥibb wlǟdu xṣūṣan ʾibnu w kǟn msammi ʾibnu Sībawayh (Text V, 1) ‘He loved his children, especially his son. He had given his son the name Sibawayh.’
il-bayy kǟn sǟmiʿ ʾinnu s-sulṭān šaxṣ ktīr ʿāṭil (Text V, 5) ‘The father had heard that the sultan was a very bad person.’
telic d. ʾallu la-xayyu: ‘ma tžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall !’ bass huwwe kǟn žǟyib il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall “He said to his brother, ‘Do not bring the beverages to the shop!’ but he had already brought the beverages to the shop.” e.
ʾallu: ‘ma tinzal ʿal-baḥr !’ bass huwwe kǟn nǟzil ʿal-baḥr “He said to him, ‘Do not go down to the sea!’ but he had gone down to the sea (before).”
Sībawayh kǟn b-haydǟk il-waʾt miktišif il-ʾaṣr (Text V, 8) ‘At that time Sibawayh had already explored the castle.’
atelic g. ʾallu: ‘ma tištiġil biž-žnayni !’ bass huwwe kǟn mištiġil biž-žnayni “He said to him, ‘Do not work in the garden!’ but he had already worked in the garden.” h.
lamma zirtu kǟn šǟyif is-sayyāra li baddu yištrīha ‘When I visited him, he had already seen the car he intended to buy.’
A complex situation becomes punctual (rule 7): i.
ʾallu: ‘ma tdiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb!’ bass huwwe kǟn dǟʾiʾ ʿal-bǟb “He said to him, ‘Do not knock at the door!’ but he had already knocked at the door.”
As can be seen from example sentences c and e, kān ap designates anteriority also with verbs of motion and perception, although simple ap in main clauses has present time reference with these verbs (cf. below, chapter 18.104.22.168). With resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, kān ap indicates anteriority of the event. The resulting state may include the moment of the instruction, or it may have come to an end before: j.
ʾallu: ‘ma tilbus iṭ-ṭaʾm il-ʾaswad !’ bass huwwe kǟn lǟbsu l-yôm il-māḍi “He said to him, ‘Do not put on the black suit!’ but he had already worn it the day before.”
Without the temporal adverb il-yôm il-māḍi, the receiver will take the sentence to mean that he was still wearing the suit when he was told not to do so. Thus, the state expressed by the ap of a resultative verb does not necessarily lead up to and include its reference point as is the case in Egyptian Arabic. According to Mitchell (Aspect, 78), a sentence, as for instance: kān lābis il-badla lamma šuftuh can in Egyptian Arabic only mean that he was still wearing the suit when I saw him, whereas in Jordan the same utterance can also be taken to mean that he had already doffed it at that time (ibid.). The dialect of Beirut is in line with Jordanian Arabic in this case, for here, too, one can say: k.
lamma žīt la-ʿindu kǟn lǟbis ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad w šǟlḥa ‘When I came to him, he had put on (and worn) his black suit and doffed it.’
saʾaṭ bil-ʾimtiḥān. lamma rāḥ ʿal-madrasi kǟn ḥifẓān darsu w nisyǟnu ‘He failed the exam. When he went to school, he had learnt (and known) his lesson by heart and had forgotten it.’
Sentence l means that he had already forgotten the lesson when he left the house. If the ap nisyǟnu is replaced by qatal, i.e. w nisī, then the state of knowing the lesson by heart will be conceived of as leading up to the leaving of the house and the forgetting as taking place subsequently. With stative verbs, too, one cannot express without the help of adverbs and the context that the state indicated by kān ap had already come to an end before its reference point: m. ʾallu: ‘ma tikrah xayyak !’ bass huwwe kǟn kirhānu “He said to him, ‘Do not hate your brother!’ but he hated him.”
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
The anteriority could be made clear by an adverb phrase like la-mbǟriḥ ‘until the day before’ or by adding another situation: n.
lamma žīt kǟn ʾAḥmad ṣārlu sǟʿa nǟyim w fǟʾ ‘When I came, Ahmad had slept for one hour and had already got up again.’ Substitution Test
In the substitution test, kān ap was replaced by qatal, kān ʿamyiqtul and kān qatal. qatal is accepted, but differs in meaning from kān ap in that the forbidden situation is now represented as being performed after the subject had been told not to do so: He said . . . but he did it nevertheless. If kǟn ʾǟtlu in sentence a were replaced by ʾatalu, the meaning would be: . . . but he killed it nevertheless. kān qatal, on the other hand, is regarded by most of my informants as ungrammatical.2 kān ʿamyiqtul is possible with actional verbs, but it indicates that the situation was carried out simultaneously with the order: o.
ʾallu: ‘ma tištiġil biž-žnayni !’ bass huwwe kǟn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni “He said to him, ‘Do not work in the garden!’ but he was working in the garden.” Subordinate Clauses
In subordinate clauses qatal is used: punctual Syndetic relative clause a. Sībawayh kǟn taʾrīban ʿindu nafs iz-zaka ʾilli kǟn ʿind il-ʾadīb ʾilli tsamma ʿala ʾismu (Text V, 1) ‘Sibawayh possessed almost the same brain power the scholar had been blessed with after whom he had been named.’ 2 In Jiha’s texts I have found one example for kān qatal: kunt ʾana tillayt batni (Biš. Ib, 6) ‘I had stuffed myself with food.’ According to Mitchell (Aspect, 74), kān qatal is regarded in Jordan, unlike in Syria and Egypt, as ungrammatical, too.
Asyndetic relative clause b. šift nǟs kabbu xayyun bil-bīr ‘I saw people who had thrown their brother into the well.’ Temporal clauses c. lamma wuṣlu ʿala maṣr ʿarraḍū lal-bīʿ (Text I, 3) ‘When they had arrived in Egypt, they offered him for sale.’ d.
baʿd ma kabbū bil-bīr ʾaxadu ʾamīṣu (Text I, 3) ‘After they had thrown him into the well, they took his shirt.’ 3
Object clauses e. Yūsif ʾamar ḥirrāsu ʾinnu yfattšu žmǟlhun b-ḥižžit ʾinnun saraʾūlu timsǟl dahab. (Text I, 19) ‘Joseph told his guards to search the camels on the basis that they had stolen a golden statuette from him.’4 f.
šǟf ʾinnu ʾixtu kamǟn nisyitu (Text v, 7) ‘He saw that also his sister had forgotten him.’
telic Syndetic relative clause g. w il-xiddǟm yalli nazzalu ž-žarrǟt il-faḍyīn fakkaru ʾinnun . . . (Schu vii, 9) ‘The servants who had brought down the empty jugs thought that they . . .’5 Asyndetic relative clause h. šift šabb katab maktūb ‘I saw a joung man who had written a letter.’
3 qatal in punctual situations after lamma ~ lammin and baʿd ma is very often attested; for lamma, see: Schu vi, 15 (ʿirfu ‘came to know’), Schu vii, 12 (šǟf ‘caught sight of’), Schu viii, 16 (wiṣlit ‘arrived’), Text I, 3 (wuṣlu ‘arrived’), Text I, 15 (ʾiltaʾu ‘met’); for baʿd ma see: Schu vii, 9 (samaḥūlu ‘allowed him’), Schu vii, 13 (xallaṣ ‘finished’), Text ii, 1 (nʾatal ‘was killed’). 4 For furher object clauses, see: Schu vi, 12 (ʾaṭaʿu l-ʾamal ‘gave up hope’), Schu viii, 5 (nisyit ‘forgot’), Schu viii, 12 (mǟtit ‘died’), Text iii, 2 (rāḥit ‘went’). 5 See also: Schu viii, 24 (marrit fiyun ‘endured them’).
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
Temporal clause i. lamma ṭallaʿū min il-bīr saʾalū . . . (Text I, 3) ‘When they had pulled him out of the well, they asked him . . . ’6 Object clauses j. ʾālu ʾinnu Yūsif ʾakalu d-dīb (Text I, 2) ‘They said that a wolf had eaten Joseph.’ k.
Sībawayh xabbaru šu ʿimil is-sulṭān fī (Text v, 10) ‘Sibawayh told him what the sultan had done to him.’7
atelic Syndetic relative clause l. ḥtār bil-manamǟt yalli šǟfun (Text I, 7) ‘He was confused by the dream visions he had had.’ Asyndetic relative clause m. šift ḥada tʿallam ʿarabi ‘I saw someone who had learnt Arabic.’ Temporal clause n. baʿd ma bikyit b-ʾūḍta ṣārit ḥāla ʾaḥsan ‘After she had wept in her room, she felt better.’ Object clause o. ʿirif ʾinnu xayyu štaġal bil-qāhira ‘He came to know that his brother had worked in Cairo.’ complex (> punctual) Syndetic relative clause p. šift iz-zalami li daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘I saw the man who had knocked at the door.’
6 See also: Schu viii, 8 (ʾarrab ‘approached’), Schu viii, 9 (žǟha ‘came to her’), Schu viii, 19 (haddā ‘calmed her’), Text I, 4 (kibir ‘grew up’). 7 See also: Schu vi, 8 (žǟb ‘brought’), Schu viii, 12 (xallafit ‘gave birth’), Text I, 12 (žibnā ‘brought him’), Text ii, 2 (rižiʿ ‘returned’).
Asyndetic relative clause q. kǟn fi ḥada daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb w rāḥ ‘There was someome who had knocked at the door and had gone.’ Temporal clause r. baʿd ma daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb fǟt ʿal-ʾūḍa ‘After he had knocked at the door, he entered the room.’ Object clause s. kǟn ʿārif ʾinnu l-ʿalam ʾiddǟm il-bêt rafraf ʾabl bi-nhār ‘He knew that the flag in front of the house had fluttered the day before.’ stative Syndetic relative clause t. laʾêt il-mʿallim li ʿāš bil-qāhira ‘I met with the teacher who had lived in Cairo.’ Asyndetic relative clause u. kint baʿrif ḥada sakan bil-qāhira ‘I knew someone who had lived in Cairo.’ Temporal clause v. baʿd ma sakant bil-qāhira naʾalt ʿa-bayrūt ‘After I had lived in Cairo, I moved to Beirut.’ Object clause w. ʾalli ʾinnu naṭarni ʾiddǟm il-maktab ‘He told me that he had waited for me in front of the office.’
In most cases, a replacement of qatal results in a change of meaning or ungrammaticality. Let us start with the use of the ap in relative and object clauses. The ap cannot be used with stative verbs, for the corresponding situation would not be anterior to the reference point in this case but rather simultaneous with it. In other circumstances, the ap is often possible, but my informants are hardly able to tell the difference between qatal and the ap. They agree with each other, however, that the situation is to be regarded as more remote and vague with the ap than it is the case with qatal. If qatal in h is replaced by the
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
ap, i.e.: šift šabb kǟtib maktūb, the sentence implies that the letter had already been completed when I saw him, but the time of the completion is indistinct. While with katab I might have seen him writing the letter, with kǟtib this is definitely not the case. The same holds true for sentence m: šift ḥada mitʿallim ʿarabi ‘I saw someone who had learnt Arabic at one time or another and then knew Arabic.’ It is the very same with object clauses. Here, too, the situation expressed by the ap is felt to be temporally more remote and vague. ʾālu ʾinnu Yūsif ʾakalu d-dīb in sentence j means that they were still under the impression of the event and had possibly witnessed Joseph’s being eaten. ʾǟklu, on the other hand, eliminates such a possibility. In this case, they only made a supposition as to Joseph’s destination. kān ap would indicate a situation that is anterior not only to the second reference point, i.e. the superordinate clause, but anterior also to a third reference point that in its turn is anterior to the second reference point. kǟn mitʿallim in m would mean that the subject of the sentence did not know Arabic any longer when I saw him. kǟn ʾǟklu instead of ʾakalu in j could be used in a sentence like: ʾālu ʾinnu Yūsif kǟn ʾǟklu d-dīb lamma ʾižu ‘They said that the wolf had already eaten Joseph when they came.’ However, we have to state expressively that the replacement of qatal by the ap is by no means possible in every sentence, even where the analogy with the cases mentioned above might suggest such a possibility. kǟbbīn instead of kabbu in b, for instance, or dǟʾiʾ instead of daʾʾ in p are regarded as simply uncommon. Of particular interest are object clauses after laʾa ‘he found’: laʾa + object + ap ‘He found that someone had done something’ where the object after laʾa is identical with the subject of the object clause. In this construction only the ap is possible: x.
žīt ʿal-bêt laʾêt ʾAḥmad ḥāṭiṭ li-ktǟb ʿaṭ-ṭawli ‘I came home and found that Ahmad had put the book on the table.’
. . . laʾêt ʾAḥmad fǟtiḥ il-bǟb ‘. . . found that Ahmad had opened the door.’
. . . ʾǟxid il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘. . . that he had brought the beverages to the shop.’
. . . wāṣil ʾabli ‘. . . that he had arrived before me.’
. . . nǟʾil ʿa-bayrūt ‘. . . that he had moved to Beirut.’
. . . ʾǟkil kill il-ʾakl ‘. . . that he had eaten all the food.’
. . . širbǟn kill iš-šāy ‘. . . that he had drunk all the tea.’
w b-ʾaktar il-ʾaḥwǟl bass kǟn yiržaʿ ʿala l-bêt ylǟʾi bintu bǟkyi b-ġurfita (Text V, 2) ‘Mostly, when he came home, he would find his daughter with teardimmed eyes in her room.’
With verbs of motion, the ap indicates at least the completion of the initial phase of the movement: y.
žīt ʿal-bêt laʾêt ʾAḥmad rāyiḥ ʿas-sīnəma ‘I came home and found that Ahmad had gone to the cinema.’
. . . msǟfir ʿa-maṣr ‘. . . that he had travelled to Egypt.’
. . . nǟzil ʿal-baḥr ‘. . . that he had gone down to the sea.’
These sentences inform the receiver that Ahmad had not been at home any more when I came, but they leave open whether he had reached his destination or not. If one uses ʿamyiqtul instead of the ap, the situation is described as being simultaneous with its reference point: z.
žīt ʿal-bêt laʾêt ʾAḥmad ʿamyǟkul tiffǟḥa ‘I came home and found that Ahmad was eating an apple.’
With stative verbs things are quite complicated. First of all, we have to recall the difference between states whose end can be conceived of without problems—e.g. ṣām ‘to fast’ = type ṣām—and states that are normally permanent if they are not interrupted by an intervening event, as for instance kirih ‘to hate’ = type kirih (cf. above, chapt. 4.1). It is hardly possible to indicate without
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
the help of adverb phrases that a state which is expressed by a verb of the kirihtype had already come to an end at a specific moment in time. Let us take a sentence from Schu. viii, 1 for clarification. A king went past a house and heard three girls talking to each other: aa. min ḥadīsun ʿirif ʾinnu hinne xawǟt ʿǟyšīn maʿ baʿḍun ‘From their conversation he learnt that they were sisters who lived together.’ Let us now replace the two subordinate clauses by one object clause and then insert different verb forms as predicates: bb. min ḥadīsun ʿirif ʾinnu l-xawǟt. . . . ‘From their conversation he learnt that the sisters . . . ’ The first verb forms are of the ṣām-type:
. . . . l-xawǟt ṣāmu / kǟnu ṣāymīn / kǟnu yṣūmu / kǟnu ʿambyṣūmu
According to my informants, all four verb forms characterize the situation as anterior, i.e. the fasting had taken place before the king overheard their conversation. ṣāmu is accepted but regarded as a bit strange because with the simple qatal-form an adverb phrase is expected that makes clear for how long they had fasted, e.g. xams ʾiyyǟm ‘for five days’. With kān ap and kān ʿamyiqtul the siuation is also conceived of as anterior to the conversation but not as completed any more, as can be seen from the fact that these two verb forms have to be used when the situation of fasting is interrupted by another situation, as for instance: lamma zārun xayyun ‘when their brother visited them’. In this case, kǟnu yṣūmu is rated as strange, and ṣāmu would mean that they started fasting when their brother arrived. The opposition kān ʿamyiqtul: kān yiqtul can be observed with non-stative verbs, too: cc. min ḥadīsun ʿirif ʾinnu l-xawǟt kǟnu ʿamyištiġlu / kǟnu yištiġlu biž-žnayni Both kǟnu ʿamyištiġlu and kǟnu yištiġlu mean that the sisters worked repeatedly in the garden before the conversation. If, however, the temporal clause lamma zārun xayyun is added, kǟnu ʿamyištiġlu has to be used, that does not indicate a repeated working in the garden now, but rather the actual working at the moment of their brother’s visit. kǟnu yištiġlu, on the other hand, is regarded
as strange or even ungrammatical in this case, for kān yiqtul can describe repeated situations only (cf. above, chapter 10.2), whereas kān ʿamyiqtul is able to express repeated situations and actual ones that are progressing. Simple ʿamyištiġlu would mean that the sisters were just working in the garden when the king overheard them, and byištiġlu that they regularly worked there. Let us now return to stative verbs. The simple ap ṣāymīn means that they were just fasting when the king went past their house, whereas ʿamyiqtul and byiqtul describe the fasting as habitual, e.g. b-šahr yôm wāḥad ‘one day every month’. There are some other verbs of the ṣām-type, as for example tʿažžab ‘to wonder’, ṣabar ‘to be patient’, ḥtǟž ‘to need’. With these verbs completed anteriority in the past can be expressed without the help of adverb phrases, but it is rather delicate to lay down binding rules as to the use of the single verb forms. In general, it can be stated that with all these verbs kān ap can be used to designate anteriority to the reference point, and the simple ap to indicate simultaneity with it. qatal is preferred when the period of time it refers to is defined more closely. kān ʿamyiqtul and kān yiqtul, on the other hand, are not equally common for all verbs. kān yiqtul of ḥtǟž and naṭar, for instance, is often rated as strange although not directly as ungrammatical. With stative verbs of the kirih-type, the completion of the state cannot be expressed by the verb form alone. A sentence like: dd. min ḥadīsun ʿirif ʾinnu l-xawǟt kirhu l-malik ʾilli mǟt states that they hated the deceased king, but it leaves open whether the hatred had already worn off at the time of the conversation, even though the king had died in the meantime. The same is true for kǟnu kirhānīn and kǟnu yikrahu although with the latter the hatred is, according to my informants, most likely to be conceived of as having no continuance. Simultaneity is designated by ʿamyiqtul, byiqtul and the ap, the first two ones being more or less interchangeable. The difference between them will be dealt with in chapter 15.2. The reference point in the past, to which a subordinate situation is anterior, does not necessarily have to be specified as past by a finite verb form. It can also be a nominal clause: ee. ʿašǟn huwwe li ʾatal il-malik Sisostris (Text ii, 5) ‘Because (it was) he who killed king Sesostris.’ In narrative passages, sequences of events can be expressed by byiqtul (cf. above, chapt. 10.1.1). In this case, anteriority is indicated by qatal:
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
ff. byʾūm malik il-yunǟn byḥiss ʾinnu martu rāḥit maʿ ʾibn il-malik tabaʿ trôya (Text iii, 3) ‘And then the king of Greece comes to know that his wife has eloped with the prince of Troy.’ 13.3 before-situations As has been shown in part 1 (chapt. 3.5), the situation of the main-clause of a before-construction can be imperfective or perfective according to whether it is conceived of as completed or uncompleted. before-constructions are normally used when the situation of the main clause is regarded as completed and hence perfective. With the imperfective aspect, the situation of the main clause is uncompleted and normally conceived of as directly leading up to the before-situation. Main-clause situations that are always perfective, i.e. punctual, telic and plural ones, can only be thought of as completed before the before-situation takes place if it is to remain its actional value. The perfective aspect is designated by qatal: punctual a. ʾaṭaʿla ʾīda ʾabil ma tġaṭṭī biṭ-ṭrāb (Schu viii, 18) ‘He cut off her hand before she could cover him with dust.’ b.
ʾabl ma yfūt ʿal-maṭbax wuṣil xayyu ʿal-bêt ‘Before he entered the kitchen, his brother had come home.’
telic c. ʾabl ma yūṣalu ʿala trôya nuṣṣ iṭ-ṭarīʾ ʾām xabbar la-xayyu . . . (Text iii, 1) ‘Before they reached Troy, halfway through, he informed his brother . . . ’ d.
huwwe ḥiki ʾiṣṣit ʿanṭara ʾabl ma rāḥ ʿaš-šiġl ‘He had told the story of Antara before he went to work.’
atelic e. ʾAḥmad tmašša bil-ġābi ʾabl ma yzūr xayyu ‘Ahmad had had a walk in the forest before he visited his brother.’ stative f. huwwe ʿāš b-bayrūt ʾabl ma naʾal ʿala maṣr ‘He had lived in Beirut before he moved to Egypt.’
Instead of yiqtul one can also use qatal after baʿd ma, yiqtul, however, is the more common variant. A replacement of qatal in the main clause by kān qatal is rated as ungrammatical (type ii).8 A substitution by kān ap, on the other hand, is possible, but results in a change of meaning. The situation of the main clause is now conceived of as anterior to a reference point that in its turn is anterior to the before-situation. Only with stative verbs like ʿāš and sakan, kān ap has the same meaning as qatal. The use of kān ʿamyiqtul entails that punctual and telic situations become complex or atelic (type iii) and that the situation is not regarded as completed any more but as leading up directly to the before-situation: huwwe kǟn ʿamyiḥki ʾiṣṣit ʿanṭara ʾabl ma rāḥ ʿaš-šiġl, i.e. the story had not been told to its end when he went to work. The opposition qatal : kān ʿamyiqtul is also found with atelic, complex and stative verbs: g.
ʾabl ma yfūt ʿal-bêt kǟn ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘Before he entered the house, he had been (continuously) knocking at the door.’
lêš huwwe ma daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb?—huwwe daʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ʾabl ma yfūt! ‘Why did he not knock at the door?’—He had knocked at the door before he entered!’
kǟn ʿambyʿīš b-bayrūt ʾabl ma naʾal ʿala maṣr (cf. f).
kǟn ʿambyʿīš means that he moved from Beirut directly to Egypt, whereasʿāš and kǟn ʿāyiš only state that he had lived in Beirut before his move to Egypt and leave open whether or not he had moved somewhere else after his stay in Beirut. 13.4 until-situations The most common verb form in the main clause is ḍall ‘to remain’ + yiqtul / ap, while in the subordinate clause after ta or ḥatta ‘until’ qatal is used. As mentioned above (chapt. 3.4), it is often hard to decide whether or not the main-clause situation is conceived of as including the beginning of the until8 Feghali (Syn., 445) quotes an example with kān qatal: ya baiye ma lqatš ʿeneb ʿend el-bīyǟʿ. qabl ma wṣelt kān naffeq kell el-ḥeml ‘Father, I did not find any grapes at the seller’s. Before I arrived, he had already sold the whole stock.’ This sentence, however, is rated as ungrammatical by my informants; the correct forms would be qatal or kān ap.
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
situation. Consequently, one can expect both a perfective or an imperfective verb form: a.
ḍall yištiġil biž-žnayni ḥatta wuṣlu ḍ-ḍyūf ‘He worked in the garden until the guests arrived.’
ḍall ʿāyiš bil-qāhira ḥatta naʾal ʿala bayrūt ‘He lived in Cairo until he moved to Beirut.’
In the main clause one can also use qatal: c.
tžǟdalu b-mawāḍiʿ ktīri ḥatta ziʿil il-malik min Sinūhe (Text ii, 3) ‘They argued about a large number of affairs until the king got angry with Sinuhe.’9
The use of kān ʿamyiqtul in main clauses is rated as uncommon.10 Conclusion Except for until- and before-situation, anteriority to a reference point in the past is designated by kān ap (main clauses) and qatal (subordinate clauses). As qatal and the simple ap are used to indicate anteriority to the speech time (cf. above, chapter 10.1), it is save to say that kān ap orientates itself by the speech time, qatal, however, by the the second reference point, i.e. the superordinate clause. kān ap seems to be the signum to express anteriority to a reference point in the past in main clauses, for it cannot be replaced by any other verb form. We have already found kān ap in the same function in a previous chapter (cf. chapt. 12.1.1). qatal, on the other hand, can sometimes be substituted by the ap, but the replacement normally results in a change of meaning and is by no means possible with every verb. Thus, it seems more appropriate to regard qatal as the signum to designate subordinate-clause situations that are anterior to a reference point in the past. In until- and before-constructions, the main clause has qatal if the situation is conceived of as completed and perfective. Thus, the verb form orientates itself by the subordinate clause, for with orientation by the speech time one would expect kān ap. The perfective character of qatal is plain in beforeconstruction where one can find minimal pairs with kān ʿamyiqtul for the imperfective and qatal for the perfective aspect. 9 Further instances for qatal in main clauses are listed in: Feghali, Syn., 416ff. 10 Feghali (Syn., 416ff) does not list any examples for kān ʿamyiqtul either.
Posteriority to a Reference Point in the Past
For posteriority the same incompatibility rules hold true as for anteriority, i.e. it is not compatible with imperfectivity and complexity (rules 3 and 7). Situations that are posterior to a reference point in the past can be viewed from the speech time or from a second reference point in the past. Seen from the speech time, the reference point and the posterior situation are conceived of as a sequence similar to the sequence of events in a narrative, and consequently one has to expect the same verb form that is used to express anteriority to the speech time. However, the verb form can also orientate itself by the second reference point, as might be the case when one talks about a plan: He had a plan: He would enter the bank and . . . The situation of the first sentence (He had a plan) is viewed from the speech time, would enter, on the other hand, orientates itself by had a plan and is thus posterior to this situation. The verb forms in such sentences have to be specified as posterior-perfective (if aspectual) or as simply posterior (if temporal). In subordinate clauses, the posterior situation can be related to a third reference point that is located between the speech time and the second reference point and can be conceived of as being perfective or imperfective with respect to this third reference point: He said he would be reading / would have read the newspaper when I came. 14.1
Main and Subordinate Clauses
If one negates the occurrence of a situation at a particular time and then affirms that it took place afterwards, the posterior situation orientates itself by the speech time. In this case, qatal is used: a.
laʾ, ma wṣult nhār iž-žumʿa, baʿdǟn wṣult ‘No, I did not arrive on Friday, I arrived afterwards.’
laʾ, ma kint sǟkin / ʿāyiš b-maṣr b-hayda l-waʾt, baʿdǟn sakant / ʿišt ‘No, I did not stay / live in Egypt at that time, I stayed / lived (there) afterwards.’
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Posteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
If the posterior situation is viewed from a second reference point in the past, raḥyiqtul is applied: c.
taḥt il-ʾaṣr kǟn fi ʾabw w ġiraf w zawǟy ktīr. raḥyxaddir is-sulṭān w yidfnu b-ʾalb ḥayṭ (Text V, 9) ‘In the castle basement there were the dungeons and a large number of nooks and corners. He would narcotize the sultan and wall him up.’
d. xabbaru ʿan xiṭṭitu yaʿni l-ʾazam raḥyḥiṭṭ tǟni yawm mxaddir bi-nbīd is-sulṭān (Text V, 10) ‘He informed him about his plan: The dwarf would put the narcotic into the sultan’s wine the following day.’
Substitution Test (main clauses)
With stative verbs and orientation by the speech time, qatal can be replaced by kān pa, but the former is considered the better variant. With orientation by the second reference point, raḥyiqtul can be substituted by baddu yiqtul. The meaning remains the same (type iv). In subordinate clauses raḥyiqtul is used: e.
ḥalaf yamīn ʾinnu yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm raḥyiʾtul is-sulṭān (Text V, 6) ‘He made an oath that he would kill the sultan one day.’
fakkar ʾinnu hayda raḥysǟʿdu (Text V, 9) ‘He thought that this (dwarf) would help him.’1
If the posterior situation is related to a third reference point, simultaneity to this reference point is designated by raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul or, with stative verbs and verbs of motion, raḥykūn ap. Anteriority to the third reference point is expressed by raḥykūn qatal or, unless the verbs are stative or indicate a movement, raḥykūn ap: g.
ʾāl ʾinnu raḥykūn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma bitġīb iš-šams ‘He said that he would be working in the garden at the setting of the sun.’
1 See also Schu. vi, 12.
ʾāl ʾinnu xayyu raḥykūn wāṣil min is-safar lamma bzūru ‘He said that his brother would have returned from his journey when I visit him.’
With certain verbs of motion, raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul describes the beginning of the movement, raḥykūn ap its middle phase: i.
ʾāl ʾinnu raḥykūn nǟzil / ʿamyinzal ʿal-baḥr is-sǟʿa sitti ‘He said that he would be on his way down to the sea / would be about to go down to the sea at six o’clock.’
raḥykūn ʿamyinzal does not inevitably imply that he would already have left the house at six o’clock. He could still have been busy making the necessary preparations.
Substitution Test (subordinate clauses)
Instead of raḥyiqtul and raḥykūn ap / ʿamyiqtul, one can also make use of byiqtul, baddu yiqtul or, with verbs of motion, the ap and bykūn or baddu ykūn ap / ʿamyiqtul without any change of meaning. If raḥyiqtul, byiqtul or baddu yiqtul are preceded by kān, they indicate that someone was about to do something but finally did not do it: j.
harab Sinūhe ʿala ṣ-ṣaḥra . . . w kǟn raḥymūt ʿaṭaš (Text ii, 1) ‘Sinuhe escaped into the desert . . . and was about to die of thirst.’
il-malik . . . kǟn raḥyxazziʾ tyǟbu (Schu. viii, 22) ‘The king . . . was about to tear his clothes.’
kǟn raḥyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma ʾiža xayyu ‘He was about to work in the garden when his brother came.’
m. ʾāl ʾinnu xayyu kǟn raḥyiržaʿ ʿa-bayrūt ‘He said that his brother was about to return to Beirut.’ A closer look at the examples makes clear that this category is not compatible with all actional categories. A situation that is about to take place is not conceived of in its entire temporal extension, but the speaker rather focuses on its beginning. The terminal point of a telic situation might be so far away
Posteriority To A Reference Point In The Past
from its beginning that it does not make much sense to assert that it is about to be before the situation has begun. In this case, the ‘to-be about’ refers only to the beginning of the situation, which consequently becomes ingressive. A sentence like He was about to read Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ can only mean that he was about to start reading the book. The situation in l, for instance, can merely be interpreted as ingressive, i.e. that he was about to start his gardening. The beginning of a state is often very vague so that kān raḥyiqtul with stative verbs often sounds rather strange, as for example in: n.
*kǟn raḥyʿīš bil-qāhira ‘He was about to live in Cairo.’
With resultative verbs, kān raḥyiqtul refers automatically to the event, not to the state: o.
kǟn raḥyḥibb il-bint ‘He was about to fall in love with the girl.’
Conclusion Posterior situations that are viewed from a reference point in the past are designated by raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul. In subordinate clauses one can furthermore use byiqtul. In order to decide which of these verb forms expresses the category in question in its main function and is thus to be regarded as its signum, one has to discuss their other applications first. So we have to postpone a decision until later.
The Speech Time 15.1
Non-habituality with Present Time Reference
Two categories have to be discussed in this chapter. The first one is simultaneity with the speech time that concerns situations which are actually taking place while the sender is speaking. Along with this category, I will be discussing since- / for-situations that are leading up to and including the speech time. The second one comprises situations that are restricted to a limited period of time. Although this period includes the speech time, the situations are not conceived of as necessarily taking place at the moment but rather as a potential that can be activated in due course: He is working in London this week. Simultaneity with the speech time and since- / for-situations leading up to and including the speech time are incompatible with perfectivity, punctuality and telicness (rules 1 and 4), actional verb forms have consequently to be specified as imperfective (if aspectual) or as simultaneous (if temporal). Situations that are restricted to a limited period of time, on the other hand, are non-actional and thus incompatible with aspectuality (rule 8), and their verb forms have to be specified as non-aspectual and simultaneous. The verb forms of either category and in both main and subordinate clauses orientate themselves by the speech time. 15.1.1 Simultaneity with the Speech Time 22.214.171.124 Main Clauses The simultaneity with the speech time is designated by ʿamyiqtul1 or, with stative verbs and verbs of motion, the ap: punctual a. huwwe ʿamyiḍrub xayyu halla ‘He is thrashing his brother at the moment.’ (punctual > complex) telic b. huwwe ʿamyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt halla ‘He is just learning the words by heart.’ (telic > atelic) 1 cf. Feghali, Syn., 39ff. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���5 | doi ��.��63/9789004287549_016
The Speech Time
huwwe žǟy min il-madrasi halla ‘He is on his way home from school.’ (telic > atelic)2
atelic d. ʾana šǟmim (~ ʿamšimm) rīḥit Yūsif (Text I, 17 + 20) ‘I am smelling Joseph’s scent.’3 complex e. huwwe ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb halla ‘He is just knocking at the door.’ stative f. il-walad ʿāyiš bil-qāhira halla ‘The boy is living in Cairo at the moment.’ g.
ʾana ʿǟrfe (~ baʿrif) ʾinnu . . . ‘I (fem.) know that . . .’ (Schu. vii, 3+18) Substitution Test
If ʿamyiqtul is replaced by byiqtul, the non-habitual situation becomes either habitual (cf. below, chapter 15.2) or, supposing the context or adverbs disambiguate its non-habitual character, it gets a future time reading (cf. below, chapter 17): h.
ʾana bdillak ʿala ḥakīm (Text I, 7) ‘I will take you to a sage.’
It is often hard to decide whether a state expressed by a verb of the kirih-type is conceived of as habitual or as referring to the present moment only; in these cases, the ap can normally be replaced by byiqtul without the meaning being changed: ʾana baʿrif ‘I know (at the moment or always)’ (cf. sentence g). As already mentioned in chapter 12, the ap of a resultative verb designates the state, while ʿamyiqtul expresses the event: i.
huwwe ʿambynǟm ‘He is falling asleep.’ : huwwe nǟyim ‘He is sleeping.’
2 See also Biš. Ia, 5 (rǟžʿa ʿa); vi, 12 (ʾǟxdu); xv (rāyḥīn ʿa). 3 See also Biš iv, 2 (ʿantiʿmil); V, 8 (ʿambtištġil).
ʾana ʿambaʿrif il-ʾiṣṣa šwayy šwayy ‘Little by little I am learning about the matter’ : ʾana ʿirfǟn (~baʿrif) il-ʾiṣṣa ‘I know the matter.’
huwwe ʿamyilbus tyǟb ḥilwīn ‘He is putting on beautiful clothes’ : huwwe lǟbis tyǟb ḥilwīn ‘He is wearing beautiful clothes.’
This difference between the ap and ʿamyiqtul holds also true when qatal and byiqtul can designate both the event and the state as with libis, ʾaʿad and wiʾif; in these cases, ʿamyiqtul can only express the event, i.e. ‘to put on’, ‘to sit down’, ‘to get up’ but not the resulting state, that has rather to be indicated by the ap. At times the difference between the ap and ʿamyiqtul is very slight, as can be seen from sentence d above: šǟmim : ʿamšimm. šǟmim means that he has breathed in the scent through the nose and that his nose is now full of it. ʿamšimm, on the other hand, implies that he is still breathing in the scent.4 Accordingly, šamm can be classified as resultative. As already mentioned in chapter 12.1.2, there is a difference between kān ap and kān ʿamyiqtul with certain verbs of motion. While kān ʿamyiqtul refers to the beginning of the movement, kān ap describes its middle phase and implies that the beginning and the preparations have already been completed. The same difference applies to simple ʿamyiqtul and ap: l.
huwwe nǟzil ʿal-baḥr ‘He is on his way down to the sea.’
ʿamyinzal would mean that he is just getting ready to go down. m. Ḥasan msǟfir ʿala maṣr ‘Hasan has departed and is now on his way to Egypt.’ ʿambysǟfir does not necessarily imply that he has already departed. He can still be at the station or the airport. In other cases, however, ʿamyiqtul is rated as directly ungrammatical, so, for example, if one replaces žǟy in sentence c by ʿamyiži. The ap can be used in a resultative sense when derived from stative verbs like tʿažžab ‘to wonder, to be surprised’ and ṣabar ‘to be patient’, insofar as it represents the state as something that has come about and has been lasting ever since, while ʿamyiqtul does not describe the situation as something unchangeable but rather as a process that has not been completed yet: 4 cf. Wild, “Partizip,” 246.
The Speech Time
huwwe mitʿažžib min xayyu ‘He wonders at his brother.’
This sentence means that the brother has given him reason to wonder at him and that the wonderment is still lasting. ʿamyitʿažžab either means that he starts to wonder, or that the brother gives him repeated reason to do so. If a sentence like bass yimkin xayyu yitġayyar ‘but maybe his brother will change’ is added, ʿamyitʿažžab is the clearly preferred verb form. o.
Ḥasan ṣābir ʿala xayyu ‘Hasan is patient with his brother.’
Here, too, the ap describes a state. ʿamyiṣbur, on the other hand, implies that the brother is trying Hasan’s patience. It is the preferred form if there is an additional sentence like bass baʿd žumʿa bykūn ṣabru nafad ‘but after a week his patience will be exhausted.’ p.
huwwe xāyif min li-klǟb ‘He is afraid of dogs.’
ʿambyxāf is normally understood as ingressive: He is getting scared of dogs. Of special interest are the verbs of perception šǟf and simiʿ. Simultaneity with the speech time can be expressed in the first and second person by the ap or ʿamyiqtul: q.
ʾana šǟyif il-barnǟmiž ‘I am watching the programme.’
ʾinta šǟyif hal bint ? ‘Do you see that girl?’
In the third person, however, only ʿamyiqtul can be used: s.
wên ʾAḥmad ?—ʾAḥmad bil-ġurfi w ʿambyšūf il-barnǟmiž ‘Where is Ahmad?—Ahmad is in the room and is watching the programme.’
The use of the ap with these two verbs is remarkable in other respects, too, for it designates a progressing situation only in main clauses with present time reference. In all other sentences the situation is represented as completed:
ʾAḥmad kǟn šǟyif il-barnǟmiž lamma ʾiža xayyu ‘Ahmad had already watched the programme when his brother came.’
Simultaneity with the brother’s coming can only be expressed by kǟn ʿambyšūf. 126.96.36.199 Subordinate Clauses In subordinate clauses the same verb forms are used as in main clauses: punctual a. huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ʿambyfūt ʿal-ʾūḍa halla ‘He knows that his brother is just entering the room.’ (punctual > atelic) telic b. mīn iz-zalami li ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ? ‘Who is the man who is just bringing the beverages to the shop?’ (telic > atelic) atelic c. btaʿrif il-mara li ʿamtibki hawnīk ? ‘Do you know the woman who is weeping over there?’ complex d. mīn iz-zalami li ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ? ‘Who is the man who is just knocking at the door?’ stative e. ʾana baʿrif ḥada ʿāyiš b-bayrūt halla ‘I know someone who is living in Beirut at the moment.’ 15.1.2 Since- / for-situations 188.8.131.52 Main Clauses Since- / for-situations that are leading up to and including the speech time are expressed by (ṣārlu + period of time +) ʿamyiqtul or, with stative verbs, the ap: punctual a. ṣārlu sǟʿa ʿamyiḍrub xayyu ‘He has been thrashing his brother for an hour.’ (punctual > complex) telic b. ṣārlu sǟʿa ʿamyiḥfuẓ darsu ‘He has been learning his lesson for an hour.’ (telic > atelic)
The Speech Time
atelic c. ṣārlu sǟʿatên ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ‘He has been working in the garden for two hours.’ complex d. ṣārlu ʿašr dʾāyi ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘He has been knocking at the door for five minutes.’ stative e. ṣārlu sini l-walad sǟkin b-ʾalmānya ‘The boy has been living in Germany for a year.’ The reference point in the past from which the since- / for-situation is leading up to the speech time can be given in the form of a temporal clause introduced by min lamma ‘since’. The verb forms in the main clause are the same: f.
min lamma ḍahart min il-ʾūḍa hiyye ʿamtibki ‘Since I left the room, she has been weeping.’
The intentum can also be expressed by a ḥāl-clause in the form: w huwwe ʿamyiqtul / AP: g.
min lamma ḍahart min il-ʾūḍa w hiyye ʿamtibki (see above)
min lamma mǟt xayyu w huwwe ʿāyiš bil-qāhira ‘Since his brother died, he has been living in Cairo.’
min waʾt wafǟt ʾimmi w ʾana ʿambištiġil hawnīk (Text V, 3) ‘Since my mother’s dead I have been working there.’
If ṣārlu + ʿamyiqtul of non-stative and non-resultative verbs is replaced by ṣārlu + ap, ṣārlu does not have the meaning ‘for’ any longer, but ‘ago’, and the situation becomes perfective: j.
ṣārlu sǟʿa ḍārib xayyu ‘He hit his brother one hour ago.’
ṣārlu sǟʿa ʾǟxid il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought the beverages to the shop one hour ago.’
qatal can be used after ṣārlu only when it is negated and then conveys the meaning that something has not happened since the time expressed after ṣārlu: l.
ṣārlu šahr ma ḍarab xayyu ‘He has not hit his brother for one month.’
m. ṣārlu šahr ma štaġal / nǟm biž-žnayni ‘He has not worked / slept in the garden for one month.’ The use of byiqtul is not regarded as directly ungrammatical and wrong but as uncommon and weak. Merely with some stative verbs like ʿirif ‘to know’, byiqtul is accepted: n.
ṣārlu šahr byaʿrif Ḥasan ‘He has known Hasan for one month.’
Apart from that, the ap is used to express states. byiqtul, however, may also be applied if the period of time is so extended that the situation can be conceived of as habitual: o.
ṣārlu xams snīn kill yôm bydaxxin pakīt ‘For five years he has been smoking a packet of cigarettes every day.’
ṣārli sintên ma bǟkul laḥmi ‘For two years I have not eaten meat.’
Instead of byiqtul, one can also make use of ʿamyiqtul in these cases without the meaning being changed. With resultative verbs, ʿamyiqtul indicates the event and the ap the resulting state: q.
ṣārlu xams dʾāyi ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘He has been busy putting on his suit in front of the mirror for five minutes.’
ṣārlu yawmên lǟbis ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad ‘He has been wearing his black suit for two days.’
The Speech Time
184.108.40.206 Subordinate Clauses There are no differences between main and subordinate clauses as to the use of the verb forms: Syndetic relative clauses a. hayda z-zalami li ṣārlu sintên ʿambyfattiš ʿal-maʾbara ‘This is the man who has been searching for the tomb for two years.’ b.
hayda l-walad li ṣārlu sintên kirhān il-madrasi ‘This is the boy who has hated school for two years.’
Asyndetic relative clauses c. bil-ʾūḍa fi ṣabi ṣārlu sǟʿa ʿamyibki ‘There is a lad in the room who has been weeping for one hour.’ d.
baʿrif ḥada ṣārlu sini kirhān li-klǟb ‘I know someone who has hated dogs for one year.’
Object clauses e. byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ṣārlu sǟʿa ʿamyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt ‘He knows that his brother has been learning the words by heart for one hour.’ (telic > atelic) f.
byaʿrif ʾinnu l-bint ṣārla sǟʿatên ʿamtibki b-ʾūḍta ‘He knows that the girl has been weeping in her room for two hours.’
byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ṣārlu sǟʿa nǟyim biž-žnayni ‘He knows that his brother has been sleeping in the garden for one hour.’
15.1.3 Situations that are Restricted to a Limited Period of Time 220.127.116.11 Main Clauses These situations are expressed by ʿamyiqtul or, with states, by the ap: punctual a. ʾinta dayman btūṣal ʿal-bêt is-sǟʿa tnāš ?—laʾ, ʾana bass haydi ž-žumʿa ʿambūṣal ʿal-bêt is-sǟʿa tnāš ‘Do you always get back home at 12 o’clock?—No, I am getting home at 12 o’clock just this week.’
telic b. huwwe byinzal kill yôm ʿal-baḥr ?—laʾ, huwwe bass iž-žumʿa hāy ʿamyinzal. ‘Does he go down to the sea every day?—No, he is just going down this week.’ atelic c. w halla ʾana ʿambištiġil b-širki maʿ ʿammi (Text iv, 2) ‘And now I am working in a company with my uncle.’ d. ‘btištiġli ʾinti kill yawm hôn ?’ saʾal is-sulṭān. ‘laʾ, ʾana bass hal ʾisbūʿ ʿambištiġil maʿ bayyi.’ (Text V, 3) ‘Do you work here every day?’ the sultan asked. ‘No, I am working with my father just this week.’ complex e. il-ʿalam byrafrif kill yôm ?—laʾ, ʿambyrafrif bass il-yôm ‘Does the flag flutter every day?—No, it is fluttering just today.’ stative f. huwwe sǟkin dayman bil-qāhira ?—laʾ, huwwe sǟkin hawnīk bass haydi s-sini ‘Does he always live in Cairo?—No, he is living there just this year.’ g. Ḥasan dayman bynǟm biž-žnayni ?—laʾ, huwwe bass iž-žumʿa hāy ʿambynǟm biž-žnayni. ‘Does Hasan always sleep in the garden?—No, he is sleeping in the garden just this week.’
When referring to a limited period of time, ʿamyiqtul is compatible with much more verbs than in cases where it designates simultaneity with the speech time. In combination with halla ‘now’, for example, a form like ʿamyiži is rated as ungrammatical; when used to describe a situation that is restricted to a limited period of time, however, it is accepted: h. byiži huwwe dayman min il-madrasi hêk bakkīr ?—laʾ, huwwe bass iž-žumʿa hāy ʿamyiži hêk bakkīr.
The Speech Time
‘Does he always come home from school so early?—No, he is just coming home so early this week.’
It is important to note that ʿamyiqtul designates here and also with other telic verbs the whole situation and not just a part of it. Interestingly enough, with resultative verbs ʿamyiqtul is also able to express the event and the resulting state, supposing the same is true for qatal, kān yiqtul and byiqtul: i.
huwwe bass iž-žumʿa hāy ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad ‘He is wearing his black suit only this week.’
huwwe bass iž-žumʿa hāy ʿamyilbus ṭaʾmu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘He is putting on his suit in front of a mirror this week only.’
ʿamyiqtul is, however, not accepted with all verbs. Especially with stative verbs like ʿāš ‘to live’ or ḥtǟž ‘to need’ it is normally rejected as uncommon. Except for the cases mentioned above, ʿamyiqtul is the only accepted verb form to express the intentum in question. byiqtul is rated as ungrammatical; the same holds true for the ap of actional verbs. 18.104.22.168 Subordinate Clauses There are no differences between main and subordinate clauses as to the verb forms: a.
huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ʿambyištiġil b-bayrūt bass iž-žumʿa hāy ‘He knows that his brother is working in Beirut only this week.’
Conclusion As regards actional situations, the signum for the intenta discussed in this chapter seems to be ʿamyiqtul. States and movements, on the other hand, are chiefly expressed by the ap. On the one hand, ʿamyiqtul seems to be an imperfective verb form (cf. above, chapter 12), on the other hand, it expresses situations whose actional value is incompatible with aspectuality (situations restricted to a limited period of time).
Habituality with Present Time Reference
The incompatibility relations of habitual situations and the distinction between essential and conditioned habituality have already been discussed in chapter 10.2 on habituality with past time reference. 15.2.1 Main Clauses Essential habitual situations are expressed by byiqtul5 or, with stative verbs, the ap: punctual a. huwwe byūṣal ʿal-bêt kill yôm bakkīr ‘He gets home early every day.’ telic b. ʾinta baʿdak btixluṭ in-nbīd ? (Text V, 9) ‘Do you still mix the wine?’ atelic c. btištiġli ʾinti kill yawm hawn ? (Text V, 3) ‘Do you work here every day?’ complex d. bydiʾʾ ʿa-bǟbu kill yôm ‘He knocks at his door every day.’ stative e. ʾAḥmad dayman sǟkin b-šiʾʾa zġīri ‘Ahmad always lives in a small flat.’ f.
hiyye ʿāyši b-ʾalmānya ‘She lives in Germany.’
huwwe kill yôm miḥtǟž maṣāri ‘He needs money every day.’
5 For habitual situations expressed by byiqtul, see also Feghali, Syn., 21ff, 27f.
The Speech Time
If byiqtul is used with stative verbs, the situation is represented as a kind of process that has not been completed yet, whereas the ap describes the state as constant and lasting. In most cases ʿamyiqtul conveys the same meaning as byiqtul: h.
huwwe dayman byitʿažžab (~ ʿamyitʿažžab) min xayyu ‘He always wonders at his brother’
i.e. the brother regularly gives him reason to wonder at him. With non-stative verbs—even with those of motion—a substitution of byiqtul by the ap is not possible. ʿamyiqtul, on the other hand, is also accepted and may replace byiqtul in sentences a–d, although the latter is considered the more common variant:6 i.
huwwe kill žumʿa ʿambysǟfir (~ bysǟfir) ʿala bayrūt ‘He travels to Beirut every week.’
The condition for the use of ʿamyiqtul is that the habituality of the situation is made clear by adverbs like dayman. Otherwise, the situation would be understood as actually progressing. If the habitual situation is conditioned by a second situation or an adverbial phrase, it can be conceived of as perfective or as imperfective. The imperfective aspect is designated by bykūn ʿamyiqtul: j.
kill yôm bass ʾana ʾiži ʿal-bêt bykūn Ḥasan ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Every day when I come home, Hasan is reading the newspaper.’
kill ma bšūf Ḥasan bykūn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘Each time I see Hasan, he is bringing the beverages to the shop.’
The perfective aspect can be expressed by bykūn qatal or bykūn ap without difference in meaning: l.
btǟklu ʾintu dayman is-sǟʿa tnāš ?—laʾ, is-sǟʿa tnāš minkūn dayman ʾǟklīn (~ ʾakalna). ‘Do you always eat at 12 o’clock?—No, at 12 o’clock we always have already eaten.’
The event of a resultative situation may be expressed by byiqtul or ʿamyiqtul: 6 This use of ʿamyiqtul in Levantine Arabic has already been mentioned by Mitchell, Aspect, 92, 99.
m. ʾana dayman baʿrif (~ ʿambaʿrif) ʿindu kill il-ʾaxbār ‘I always learn of all news when I am with him.’ n.
huwwe dayman byilbus (~ ʿamyilbus) tyǟbu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘He always puts on his suit in front of a mirror.’
hayda n-nahr dayman byinšaf (~ʿamyinšaf) biṣ-ṣêf ‘This river always dries out in summertime.’
If qatal can designate both the event and the state, byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul can do so, too: p.
huwwe dayman byilbus (~ ʿamyilbus) ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad bil-maktab. ‘He always wears his black suit in the office.’
Ḥasan kill yôm byūʾaf (~ ʿamyūʾaf) ʾiddǟm baytu ‘Hasan stands in front of his house every day.’
huwwe dayman bynǟm (~ʿambynǟm) biž-žnayni ‘He always sleeps in the garden.’
However, if qatal can express the event only, the state must be designated by the ap: s.
hayda n-nahr dayman nǟšif biṣ-ṣêf ‘This river is always dried out in summertime.’
huwwe dayman ḥifẓān il-mifradǟt bil-madrasi ‘He always knows the words by heart at school.’
yiqtul is rated as ungrammatical with all actional categories. 15.2.2 Subordinate Clauses In subordinate clauses the same verb forms are used as in main clauses: Syndetic relative clauses a. hayda z-zalami li byūṣal ʿal-bêt kill yôm is-sǟʿa tnāš ‘This is the man who arrives home at 12 o’clock every day.’ b.
hayda z-zalami li byžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿas-sūʾ kill yôm ‘This is the man who brings the beverages to the market every day.’
The Speech Time
Asyndetic relative clauses c. hayda rižžǟl byitʿallam ʿarabi kill yôm ‘This is a man who learns Arabic every day.’ d.
ʿindi ʾixt sǟkni b-maynts ‘I have got a sister who lives in Mainz.’7
Object clauses e. huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu byfūt ʿal-maktab kill lêl ‘He knows that his brother enters the office every night.’ f.
baʿrifkun ʾinnu ma btismaʿu ḥaky l-ʾanbiya (Text I, 13) ‘I know that you do not listen to the words of the prophets.’
w bḍall baʿmallu kill yalli byirḍī (Schu. viii, 4) ‘I will do everything for him that is to his liking.’
In Schukro’s texts one finds one example for yiqtul with a habitual reading: h.
ʾana ʿǟrfe ʾinnu kill il-ʿirsǟn yalli tʾaddamūli . . . tinʾaṣun baʿd iṣ-ṣifǟt yalli int bitʾaddira (vii, 3) ‘I know that all suitors who asked for my hand . . . lack certain qualities that you are appreciative of.’
According to my informants, tinʾaṣun is ungrammatical in this position; the correct form would be btinʾaṣun. Conclusion Habitual situations with present time reference are expressed by byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul, the latter being considered the less common variant, or, with stative verbs, the ap. Here, too, ʿamyiqtul, that is normally used to express imperfective situations, designates a category that is incompatible with imperfectivity. byiqtul, on the other hand, that is also used to denote habituality of subordinateclause situations with past time reference (cf. above, chapt. 10.2.2) and extratemporality (cf. below, chapt. 16), but which is not able to designate situations that are going on simultaneously with the speech time, seems to be neither aspectual nor temporal. 7 From an unpublished text by Ali Serhan.
Extratemporality Extratemporality is incompatible with aspectuality and temporality (rules 5 and 6). The verb forms are specified as non-aspectual and non-temporal. Extratemporal situation do not have a special reference point, and accordingly byiqtul is used in both main and subordinate clauses: a.
byiʾtul il-ʾasad il-ġazǟl ‘Lions kill gazelles.’
b. btiržaʿ l-ʿaṣāfīr biṣ-ṣayfīyi ‘Birds return in summertime.’ c.
in-niswǟn byiḥku ktīr ‘Women chatter very much.’
d. wlǟd il-ʾanbiya ma bykazzbu ‘The sons of prophets do not lie.’ (Text i, 15) e.
byikrahu li-klǟb li-bsaynǟt ‘Dogs hate cats.’
(kǟn) byaʿrif ʾinnu n-niswǟn byiḥku ktīr ‘He knows (knew) that women chatter very much.’
yiqtul, that in Egyptian Arabic is used to express extratemporal situations (Mitchell, Aspect, 22), is not rated as wrong but as uncommon and belonging to Standard Arabic.
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Posteriority to the Speech Time
Posteriority is incompatible with imperfectivity and complexity (rules 3 and 7). The reference point in main clauses is the speech time, in subordinate clauses the superordinate clause, that normally has present time reference. The verb forms used to express actional situations are to be specified as posteriorperfective (if aspectual) or as simply posterior (if temporal). Although modal categories are not the topic of this work, we can not avoid them completely, for, as noted above (chapt. 2), temporal and modal situations with future time reference are not always clearly distinguishable from each other, and in line with this, the dialect of Beirut sometimes uses one and the same verb form to designate both temporal and modal categories. 17.1
The verb forms most often used for future events are raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul. The former goes back to the combination of the ap rāyiḥ ‘going’ and yiqtul,1 while the latter is probably composed of the preposition b and classical wudd ‘wish, desire’.2 Furthermore, byiqtul and, with verbs of motion, the ap can denote future events.3 The occurrence of a future situation can be regarded as sure and may be qualified by adverbs like certainly or surely. The occurrence itself can be doubtful (maybe) or just the time when it has to be expected (one day or other). A situation may be about to happen (immediately) or be predicted by a prophecy. According to Feghali (Syn., 50–54), a situation whose occurrence is considered sure and is expected in the near future is expressed by raḥyiqtul, whereas doubtful situations of the remote future are indicated by byiqtul. Mitchell (Aspect, 19) comments on this point in a similar way and adds, without 1 See, for example, Cairene Arabic where the original form is still found: raḥīn nākul minên? ‘Where from are we going to eat?’ (Woidich, Kairo, 280, note 2). 2 cf. Feghali, Syn., 64f. 3 For the ap of verbs of motion indicating future events in Cairene Arabic, see Woidich, Kairo, 295f.
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reference to a special dialect, that byiqtul is incompatible with adverbs like ʾakīd ‘surely’. These statements are not confirmed by my own language data. It is true that raḥyiqtul is used in a modal sense much less frequently than byiqtul and especially baddu yiqtul, but both byiqtul and raḥyiqtul can be used to describe situations whose occurrence is regarded as sure, even though not all informants are sensible of the difference between them. Let us first have a look at situations whose occurrence is taken for sure or for unsure. Most common is the use of raḥyiqtul if the the occurrence is regarded as sure, independently from the actional value of the verb. The situations can be specified by adverb phrases like ʾakīd, bukra ‘tomorrow’ or iš-šahr iž-žǟy ‘next month’: punctual a. ʾinta ʾawwast il-kalb ?—laʾ, bass ʾana ʾakīd raḥʾawwsu ‘Have you shot the dog?—No, but I will surely shoot it.’ telic b. huwwe ʾakīd raḥyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He will surely bring the beverages to the shop.’ c.
ʾakīd ʾana bukra raḥʾinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘I will surely go down to the sea tomorrow.’
atelic d. ʾana ʾakīd bukra raḥʾištiġil bil-maḥall ‘I will surely work in the shop tomorrow.’ complex e. huwwe ʾakīd raḥydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ʾabl ma yfūt ‘He will surely knock at the door before he enters.’ (complex > punctual) stative f. ʾakīd ʾana raḥʿīš b-maṣr ‘I will surely live in Egypt.’ With resultative verbs, raḥyiqtul designates both the event and the state if qatal and byiqtul do so, too: g.
ʾAḥmad ʾakīd raḥyilbus ṭaʾmu ʾiddǟm mrāy ‘Ahmad will surely put on his suit in front of a mirror.’
Posteriority To The Speech Time
h. ʾAḥmad ʾakīd raḥyilbus (~ bykūn lǟbis) ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad bil-maktab ‘Ahmad will surely wear (be wearing) his black suit in the office.’ i.
huwwe ʾakīd raḥyiʾʿud ʿala l-kirsi ž-ždīdi ‘He will surely sit down on the new chair.’
huwwe ʾakīd raḥyiʾʿud (~ bykūn ʾǟʿid) ʾiddǟm baytu ‘He will surely sit (be sitting) in front of his house.’
With the other resultative verbs, raḥyiqtul can only express the event, while the state is designated by bykūn ap: k.
huwwe ʾakīd raḥyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt ‘He will surely learn the words by heart.’
huwwe bykūn ʾakīd ḥifẓān il-mifradǟt ‘He will surely know the words by heart.’
The texts, too, provide evidence for the use of raḥyiqtul designating situations whose occurrence is to be rated as sure. At this point I will also cite the corresponding examples for byiqtul: m. baʿdǟn baʿṭīkun ʾamḥ (Text I, 16) ‘(bring your brother to me,) then I will give you wheat.’ n. kīf baddak txallīni hawn baʿdǟn bayyi bymūt (Text I, 18) ‘How can you make me stay here? My father will (surely) die then.’ o.
niḥna ma mnǟxud ʾilla yalli saraʾna (Text I, 19) ‘We will keep in custody only the one who has stolen from us.’
p. hêk hêk byiži ḥadan min ʿābrīn iṭ-ṭarīʾ byǟxdu (Text I, 3) ‘One way or another, there will come a traveller who will take him with him.’ q. miš miškli ʾana raḥdabbir il-mawḍūʿ (Text I, 18) ‘No problem, I will settle the matter.’ r.
ʾana bdillak ʿala ḥakīm (Text I, 7) ‘I will take you to a sage.’
bukra bxalli wazīri yiʿlin ʾarāri (Schu. vii, 5) ‘Tomorrow I will make my vizier announce my decision.’
hiyye bint ktīr ḥilwi w ʾana raḥitžawwaza (Text V, 5) ‘She is a very handsome girl, and I will marry her.’
raḥyiqtul and byiqtul can mostly be replaced by baddu yiqtul without any change in meaning. baddu yiqtul, however, often has a modal reading, and without the help of the context it is often very hard to decide whether baddu yiqtul designates a situation that will, should, can or has to take place. The following examples are very likely to have a modal reading: u. wên baddi nǟm ? (Text I, 18) ‘Where am I supposed to sleep?’ v.
šu baddna nʾūl halla la-bayyna ? (Text I, 2) ‘What shall we tell our father now?’
w. kīf baddak txallīni hawn ? (Text I, 18) ‘How can you make me stay here?’4 The next sentence seems to have a modal reading, too: x. baddna niʾtlu (Text I, 2) ‘Let us kill him.’ Sentence y is clearly non-modal: y.
lêš ʿmilt hêk ? baddu yṣīr mašǟkil w baddu yṣīr fi ḥarb (Text iii, 1) ‘Why did you do that? There will be problems, and there will be war.’
As already mentioned above, raḥyiqtul and byiqtul are regarded in most instances as synonymic, and the difference between them is indeed very slight. It would seem, however, that the speaker is more strongly bound by a prediction or promise expressed by byiqtul than is the case with raḥyiqtul. According 4 See also Feghali, Syn., 61–64.
Posteriority To The Speech Time
to some of my informants, the speaker cannot make excuses if something he had predicted by using byiqtul did not take place. raḥyiqtul leaves a bit more scope in this respect: z.
lêš ma žibt il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ?—bukra ʾakīd bžībun ʿal-maḥall ‘Why did you not bring the beverages to the shop?—Tomorrow I will surely bring them to the shop.’
bžībun expresses a firm promise. With raḥžībun he could make excuses if he did not care about the beverages. The same holds true for the next examples: aa. lêš ma riḥt la-ʿind ʾAḥmad ?—bukra brūḥ la-ʿindu ‘Why did you not go to Ahmad?—Tomorrow I will go to him.’ bb. bukra s-sǟʿa sitti bkūn ʿindak ‘At six o’clock tomorrow I will be at your home.’ Furthermore, the ap of verbs of motion can have future time reference. When preceded by yalla the movement is expected to be forthcoming in the immediate future or already taking place: cc. wênak ʾinta ?—yalla žǟyi ! ‘Where are you?—I am coming at once!’ dd. wênak ʾinta ?—yalla rǟžiʾ ʿal-bêt ‘Where are you? (using a mobile phone)—I am on my way home’.5 Without yalla the ap is compatible with adverbs like bukra ‘tomorrow’ and does not necessarily mean that the movement will follow at once: ee. niḥna manna rāyḥīn min hawn ʾilla ma taʿṭīnayǟ w ʾilla bayyna byiġḍab ʿalayna (Text I, 20) ‘We will not go away from here unless you give him to us, for, if you do not do so, our father will be angry with us.’ ff. ṭayyib niḥna rāyḥīn ʿa-maṣr (Text I, 13) ‘All right, we will go to Egypt.’ 5 cf. Bišmizzīn: yalla, yalla žǟyi žǟybi (xvi) ‘(Calm down!) I am on my way, I am bringing . . .’; see also xvii (ʾāyim, rāyiḥ), and Feghali, Syn., 110f.
gg. ʾakīd ʾana bukra nǟzil ʿal-baḥr ‘I will surely go down to the sea tomorrow.’ Moreover, the ap negated by the particles miš or man + pronoun is used— independently from the actional value of the corresponding verb—to express an emphatic denial of volitionality.6 In this case, the ap does not have descriptive, but expressive function. It is often found after an imperative when the speaker intents to make sure that he does not want to comply with the order: hh. ʾôm !—laʾ, ʾana miš (~manni) ʾāyim ! ma baddi ʾūm ‘Get up!—No, I will not get up! I do not want to get up.’ ii. šrāb !—laʾ, ʾana miš (~manni) šǟrib ! ma baddi ʾišrab ‘Drink!—No, I will not drink! I do not want to drink.’ jj. ktôb il-maktūb !—laʾ, ʾana miš kǟtbu ! ‘Write the letter!—No, I will not write it!’ kk. štiġil !—laʾ, ʾana manni mištiġil ! ‘Work!—No, I will not work!’ ll. nôm !—laʾ, ʾana miš nǟyim ! ‘Sleep!—No, I will not sleep!’ The same meaning can be expressed by negated baddu yiqtul or raḥyiqtul. miš / mannu + ap may also indicate a negated future event without volitional aspect. When giving an answer in the negative to a question with raḥyiqtul, the preferred verb form in the answer is raḥyiqtul, but miš / mannu + ap is also tolerated: mm. raḥtiktub maktūb ?—laʾ, ʾana manni kǟtib ‘Will you write a letter?—No, I will not write.’ nn. raḥtišrab šāy ?—laʾ, ʾana manni šǟrib ‘Will you drink some tea?—No, I will not drink.’
6 The same use of the ap is found in Cairene Arabic: ʾana miš wākil ‘I will not eat’, manīš ʾāri il-kitāb da ‘I will not read this book’ (Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 141. See also Woidich, Kairo, 296 and “Partizip,“ 285f).
Posteriority To The Speech Time
miš / mannu + AP can also be used for a third person: oo. raḥyiḍrub xayyu ?—laʾ, mannu ḍārbu ‘Will he hit his brother?—No, he will not hit him.’ We have to keep in mind, however, that this use of the ap is tied to the particles miš and mannu. An affirmative form like ʾana šǟrib can only mean ‘I have drunk’. If the occurrence of a situation is regarded as uncertain, one can put yimkin ‘it is possible’ in front of the above mentioned verb forms: pp. yimkin raḥʾinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘Maybe I will go down to the sea.’ I think there is no need to give examples for the other actional categories, too. The uncertainty may also refer to the time when the situation is to be expected: When will you do it?—I do not know, sometime I will do it. In the answer raḥyiqtul, baddu yiqtul and byiqtul can be used, but not the ap, which is rated as strange or ungrammatical even when derived from a verb of motion: qq. ʾaymata bitʾawwis il-kalb ?—ma baʿrif, ši yôm raḥʾawwsu (~ baddi ʾawwsu ~ bʾawwsu) ‘When will you shoot the dog?—I do not know. One day I will shoot it.’ rr. ma baʿrif, ši yôm raḥsǟfir ʿa-maṣr ‘I do not know. One day I will travel to Egypt.’ ss. ma baʿrif, ši yôm raḥʿīš b-bayrūt ‘I do not know. One day I will live in Beirut.’ Situations that are expected to be forthcoming in the immediate future are expressed in the same way. The ap of verbs of motion, too, is very often found when it comes to expressing the immediate future. Situations that extend over a period of time usually become ingressive when combined with expressions like halla ‘now’. Stative verbs are left out of consideration in the following because states, that do not have a tangible phasal constituency, are only hard to be conceived of as being about to begin:
punctual tt. halla raḥʾawwis il-kalb ‘I am just about to shoot the dog.’ telic uu. miš miškli raḥbīʿkun halla (Text I, 16) ‘No problem. I will sell (corn) to you now.’ vv. ʾūḍtak žǟhze w xǟdmi raḥydillak ʿal-ʾūḍa (Schu. vii, 11) ‘Your room is prepared and my servant is going to take you to the room.’ ww. id-dǟyi raḥtišraḥlak il-ʾiṣṣa (Schu. vii, 11) ‘The midwife is going to explain the matter to you.’ (The midwife is already present.) xx. halla nǟzil ʿal-baḥr ‘I am just about to go down to the sea.’ atelic yy. halla raḥʾištiġil biž-žnayni ‘I am just about to work in the garden.’ complex zz. ʾaymata raḥyiži ʾAḥmad ?—halla raḥydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘When will Ahmad come?—He is going to knock at the door right now.’ (complex > punctual) A future situation can also be prophesied. The informants were asked to imagine a fortune teller who predicted their future. The preferred verb form is raḥyiqtul although baddu yiqtul and byiqtul are also accepted on the grounds that the context makes the intentum sufficiently plane so that the verb forms are not so important. The use of the ap with verbs of motion, on the other hand, is rated as uncommon: punctual aaa. ʾālit is-sāḥra: ‘yôm min il-ʾiyyǟm raḥtiʾtul il-wazīr’ “The sorceress said, ‘One day you will kill the minister.’ ” telic bbb. ʾinta raḥitsǟfir ʿa-maṣr ‘You will travel to Egypt.’
Posteriority To The Speech Time
atelic ccc. ši yôm raḥtištiġil b-bayrūt ‘One day you will work in Beirut.’ complex ddd. ši yôm raḥydiʾʾ malik ʿa-bǟbak ‘One day a king will knock at your door.’ (complex > punctual) stative eee. hal walad raḥyiʿīš w ši yawm mn il-ʾiyyǟm baddu yṣīr malik (Schu. vi, 4) ‘This boy will live, and one day he will become king.’ As mentioned previously, a statement about a future event often has a modal connotation, and thus byiqtul, raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul can be used for the purpose of expressing a command, supposing that the context makes sufficiently clear what is meant. In Text I, 14 it says: fff. ʾallun lal-xadam: ‘btistaʾblūhun ʾistiʾbǟl bylīʾ bil-ʿuẓama’ “He told the servants, ‘You will give them a welcome as is dignitaries’ due.’ ” Here the speaker’s rank makes clear that btistaʾblūhun can only be taken as an order. Without this piece of information, the sentence could also be understood as expressing a habit or a question: Will you . . .? The imperative character of these three verb forms is sufficiently clear when they are preceded by a contradiction. The father tells his son to go to school. The son says he does not feel like it, whereupon the father commands: ggg. bitrūḥ (~ raḥitrūḥ ~ baddak trūḥ) ʿal-madrasi ! ‘You will go to school!’ byiqtul has also a modal connotation when used in the sense of a cohortative: hhh. halla mniržaʿ lal-walad hayda (Schu. viii, 15) ‘Let us now return to the child.’
iii. mniržaʿ lal-ʿaskari (Schu. viii, 17) ‘Let us now return to the soldier.’7 In these instances, byiqtul does not have descriptive but rather expressive and, respectively, appealing function. In Cairene Arabic the oath wallāhi la + pronoun can be used to stress the volitional character of an utterance with future time reference: wallāhi l-ana ʾayillu kulli ḥāga lamma yīgi ‘By God, I will tell him everything when he comes’ (Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 139).8 In Beirut, however, this use of the ap is not possible. A sentence like: wallāhi ʾana mʾawwas la-ʾAḥmad can only mean: ‘By God, I have shot Ahmad’, with past time reference. 17.2
When preceded by a superordinate clause expressing a wish, an obligation etc., the verb form used in the subordinate clause is yiqtul: a.
mnitmanna ʾinnak tūfīlna b-waʿdak (Text I, 17) ‘We wish that you keep your promise.’
Such sentences are not the topic of this work. In non-modal subordinate clauses, the same verb forms are used as in main clauses: Syndetic relative clauses b. hayda z-zalami li raḥyūṣal bukra ʿa-maṣr ‘This is the man who will arrive in Egypt tomorrow.’ c.
hayda z-zalami li raḥyinʾul bukra ʿal-qāhira ‘This is the man who will move to Cairo tomorrow.’
Asyndetic relative clause d. hêk hêk byiži ḥadan min ʿābrīn iṭ-ṭarīʾ byǟxdu byaʿmlu ʿabd (Text I, 3) ‘One way or another, there will come a traveller who will take him with him and enslave him.’ 7 See also Biš. vi, 6: kīb btiʿṭī yǟ ‘How shall I (lit.: you) give it to him?’; ii, 33 (btiržaʿ ‘you may return’); iv, 7 (bitrūḥu ‘you may go’); V, 13 (btilbis ‘you want to put on’); ix, 2 (minsammī ‘we will call him’); xivf, 3 (ma btǟxdu ‘you do not want to take it’). 8 See also Woidich, Kairo, 296 and “Partizip,“ 284f.
Posteriority To The Speech Time
Object clauses e. huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu raḥyūṣal il-yôm is-sǟʿa waḥdi ‘He knows that his brother will arrive at one o’clock today.’ f.
ʾana baʿrif ʾinnu xayyi nǟzil ʿal-baḥr bukra ‘I know that my brother will go down to the sea tomorrow.’
ʾinta bitẓunn ma raḥykimšūna ? (Text V, 10) ‘Do you think they will not catch us?’
Conclusion Posteriority to the speech time can be designated by raḥyiqtul, byiqtul, baddu yiqtul and, with verbs of motion, the ap. The replacement of one of them by the others results in no or only a slight change of the meaning. byiqtul, however, seems to express in its main function habitual situation, and baddu yiqtul appears to be a modal verb form in the first instance so that it is probably raḥyiqtul which designates in its main function the intentum in question. As simultaneity with a reference point in the future is designated by a different verb form (cf. the next chapter), we may conclude that raḥyiqtul is not temporally specified but rather aspectually as posterior-perfective, for otherwise we would expect it to denote both categories.
Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Future
Situations that are simultaneous with a reference point in the future are, as their counterparts with past and present time reference, incompatible with perfectivity, punctuality and telicness (rules 1 and 4). There are two or, in subordinate clauses, three reference points: I will be writing the letter tomorrow at six o’clock. The first reference point is the speech time, the second one the adverb phrase tomorrow at six o’clock. He says that he will be writing the letter tomorrow at six o’clock. The first reference point is the speech time, the second one the main clause, that is identical with the speech time, and the third one the adverb phrase tomorrow at six o’clock. Within the restrictions outlined above (chapt. 7), the verb forms may orientate themselves by the speech time or by the third reference point in the future; in the former case they are specified as posterior and imperfective (if aspectual) or simply posterior (if temporal), in the latter case as imperfective or simultaneous. The category under investigation allows to draw conclusions about the classification of the applied verb forms as aspectual or temporal. If two different verb forms are used to express posteriority to the speech time and simultaneity with a reference point in the future, these two forms are aspectual; if only one verb form is used for both intenta, this form has to be regarded as temporal. 18.1
Main and Subordinate Clauses
Simultaneity in the future is designated by a future form of kān—the most common form is bykūn, but raḥykūn is also used—and ʿamyiqtul or, with states and movements, the ap.1 The verb forms thus orientate themselves by the speech time: punctual a. bukra s-sǟʿa tnāš bkūn ʿambiḍrub xayyi ‘At 12 o’clock tomorrow, I will be thrashing my brother.’ (punctual > complex) 1 cf. Feghali, Syn., 68, 100f.
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Simultaneity With A Reference Point In The Future
telic b. huwwe s-sǟʿa tnāš bykūn ʿamyidfun kalbu ‘At 12 o’clock he will be interring his dog.’ (telic > atelic) atelic c. il-ʾisbūʿ iž-žǟy b-nafs il-waʾt hayda bkūn ʿambištiġil ʾana ʿind il-xabbǟz (Text V, 3) ‘This time next week, I will be working at the baker’s.’ complex d. bukra s-sǟʿa tnāš raḥykūn ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘At 12 o’clock tomorrow, he will be knocking at the door.’ stative e. wên ʾinta s-sini ž-žǟyi b-hal-waʾt ?—is-sini ž-žǟyi mitl hal-waʾt bkūn ʾana ʿāyiš b-maṣr ‘Where will you be this time next year?—This time next year, I will be living in Egypt.’
bykūn byiqtul is rated as ungrammatical. With resultative verbs, bykūn ʿamyiqtul designates the event and bykūn ap the state: f.
šu baddak taʿmal bukra s-sǟʿa sitti ? —bukra s-sǟʿa sitti bkūn nǟyim bižžnayni ‘What will you do at six o’clock tomorrow?—At six o’clock tomorrow, I will be sleeping in the garden.’
bkūn ʿambnǟm means that I will be falling asleep at six o’clock. Stative situations like to be afraid of, to wonder, to think, to hate etc. do normally not make much sense when described as progressing in the future, and consequently bykūn ʿamyiqtul is not accepted with most stative verbs. With some verbs of motion, ʿamyiqtul describes the beginning of the movement, the ap its middle phase: g.
bukra s-sǟʿa sitti bkūn nǟzil / ʿambinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘At six o’clock tomorrow, I will be on my way down to / will be setting off for the sea.’
bykūn ap and bykūn qatal express the completion of a situation when derived from non-stative and non-resultative verbs (cf. the next chapter). raḥyiqtul in combination with adverbs of time like bukra s-sǟʿa sitti means that the situation will start at that time: h. bukra s-sǟʿa sitti raḥyinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘At six o’clock tomorrow, he will go down to the sea.’ In subordinate clauses the same verb forms are used: Syndetic relative clause i.
hayda z-zalami li raḥykūn ʿamyinʾul ʿal-qāhira ž-žumʿa ž-žǟyi ‘This is the man who will be moving to Cairo next week.’ (telic > atelic)
Asyndetic relative clause j. ʿala ʾakīd fi ḥada bykūn nǟyim bukra bi-nhǟyit id-dars ‘There is surely someone who will be sleeping at the end of the lesson tomorrow.’ Object clause k. byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu raḥykūn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall bukra s-sǟʿa tnāš ‘He knows that his brother will be bringing the beverages to the shop at 12 o’clock tomorrow.’ (telic > atelic) Conclusion The signa to designate simultaneity with a reference point in the future seem to be bykūn ~ raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul and, with states and movements, bykūn ~ raḥykūn ap. The dialect of Beirut makes use of two different verb forms to express posteriority to the speech time and simultaneity in the future. bykūn ~ raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul thus seems to be specified as posterior and imperfective.
Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Future
Situations that are anterior to a reference point in the future show the same constraints as their counterparts with past time reference (cf. above, chapter 13), i.e. they are incompatible with imperfectivity and complexity (rules 3 and 7). As with simultaneity in the future, there are two reference points in main clauses and three reference points in subordinate clauses. If a verb form orientates itself by the speech time, it has to be specified as posterior (to the speech time) and as anterior-perfective to the second reference point (if aspectual) or as posterior to the speech time and anterior to the second reference point (if temporal). If, on the other side, it orientates itself by the third reference point, it must be specified as anterior-perfective or as simply anterior. 19.1
Main and Subordinate Clauses
Let us leave stative and resultative verbs out of consideration for a moment. With the remaining verbs, anteriority in the future in main clauses is designated by a future form of kān—byiqtul or raḥyiqtul—and following ap or qatal. The verb forms thus orientate themselves by the speech time, for otherwise one would expect the same forms that indicate anteriority to the speech time: punctual a. raḥyūṣal ʾAḥmad bukra s-sǟʿa sitti ʿal-bêt ?—laʾ, bukra s-sǟʿa sitti bykūn ʾAḥmad wāṣil (~ wuṣil) ʿal-bêt ‘Will Ahmad arrive home at six o’clock tomorrow?—No, by six o’clock tomorrow, Ahmad will already have arrived home.’ telic b. bass tiržaʿ ʿal-bêt bkūn ʾana nǟzil (~ nzilt) ʿal-baḥr ‘By the time you return home, I will already have gone down to the sea.’ c.
waʾt il hinne bylaʾū minkūn niḥna min zamǟn tarakna l-balad (Text V, 10) ‘By the time they find him, we will already have left the country.’
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atelic d. ʾabl ma tiži bkūn mitʿašša (~tʿaššêt) ‘Before you come, I will already have had dinner.’ complex e. bukra s-sǟʿa tnāš bykūn dǟʾiʾ (~daʾʾ) ʿal-bǟb ‘By 12 o’clock tomorrow, he will already have knocked at the door.’ (complex > punctual) We have already seen in previous chapters that a mere verb form is seldom able to express the end of a state. Thus, if one wants to make clear that a state is anterior to a reference point, one has to make use of adverb phrases or mention a further situation that is located between the reference point and the state: f.
is-sini ž-žǟyi mitl halla bykūn ʿišt bil-qāhira w naʾalt ʿala bayrūt ‘Next year by this time, I will have lived in Cairo and will have moved to Beirut.’
Without the addition w naʾalt ʿala bayrūt this sentence would be rated as strange. bykūn ap, of course, cannot be used with stative verbs. It would indicate that the state will be simultaneous with the reference point in the future. With resultative verbs, bykūn qatal and bykūn ap express that the event has already taken place while the resulting state is still lasting: g.
bass tiži ʿal-bêt bkūn ʾana ḥfiẓt (~ bkūn ḥifẓān) il-mifradǟt ‘By the time you come home, I will already have learnt the words by heart (and will know them).’
h. is-sini ž-žǟyi mitl halla bykūn ʿirif (~bykūn ʿirfǟn) il-walad kīf iṭ-ṭarīʾ la-yūṣal ʿa-ʾalmānya ‘Next year by this time, the boy will already have found out (and thus know) how to get to Germany.’ However, the apparent synonymy of bykūn qatal and bykūn ap in these cases must not hide the fact that bykūn qatal refers first and foremost to the event, not to the state. The synonymy is rather the result of a subsequent implicature. If the implicature is not so apparent as in the above examples, bykūn qatal does not necessarily designate a state:
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Future
bukra bass tiži bkūn msikt il-kalb w ʾataltu w dafantu ‘By the time you come tomorow, I will have got hold of the dog, will have killed and interred it.’
bukra bass tiži bkūn lbist iṭ-ṭaʾm w šalaḥtu ‘By the time you come tomorrow, I will have put on the suit and doffed it.’
In these examples it is out of the question that he is still holding the dog or wearing the suit.
The most common forms are bykūn qatal and bykūn ap,1 but instead of bykūn one can also use raḥykūn. Every other replacement changes the meaning of the sentences. bykūn ʿamyiqtul and, with stative verbs, bykūn ap would mean that the situation is simultaneous with the reference point (cf. the previous chapter). raḥyiqtul, on the other hand, indicates that the beginning of the situation coincides with the one of the reference point: k.
bukra s-sǟʿa sitti raḥyinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘At six o’clock tomorrow, he will go down to the sea.’
bykūn ap of verbs of motion does not describe the progressing of the movement, but rather the completion of either the whole situation or at least its initial phase: l.
bukra s-sǟʿa waḥdi bkūn rǟžiʿ ʿal-bêt
means that I will already have arrived home by one o’clock. The same hold true for: m. is-sǟʿa waḥdi bykūn žǟy min il-madrasi ‘By one o’clock he will have come home from school.’ n. bukra s-sǟʿa sitti bkūn msǟfir ʿa-maṣr 1 Feghali, too, cites examples with bykūn qatal and bykūn ap only (Syn., 14ff).
signifies that I will have departed by six o’clock, but it leaves open whether I will already have arrived in Egypt by that time or not. bkūn ʿamsǟfir instead of bkūn msǟfir clearly implies that I will still be on my way at six o’clock. bykūn qatal may also be used in order to speculate upon a past situation:2 o.
halla bykūn malik il-yunǟn ʿirif ʾinnu martu manna mawžūdi (Text iii, 2) ‘By now the king of Greece will have come to know that his wife is not there.’
Anterior situations with future time reference are rarely found in relative clauses, and the sentences proposed in the questionnaires were regarded as rather artificial by my informants. Corresponding object clauses, however, sound less strange. The verb forms are the same as in main clauses: p. huwwe mitʾakkid ʾinnu raḥykūn rǟžiʿ (~ rižiʿ) ʿal-bêt las-sǟʿa tnāš ‘He is sure that he will have returned home by 12 o’clock.’ q. ʾana mitʾakkid ʾinnu xayyi bykūn ʿirif haš-ši la-bukra ‘I am sure that my brother will have come to know the affair by tomorrow.’ In temporal clauses introduced by baʿd ma ‘after’, lamma ‘when’, bass ‘when, as soon as’ the usual verb form is yiqtul: r.
baʿd ma yūṣal ʿal-qāhira raḥyzūr xayyu ‘After he arrives in Cairo, he will visit his brother.’
bass yiži xayyi minrūḥ ʿas-sīnəma ‘When (as soon as) my brother comes, we will go to the cinema.’
t. lamma šūfu raḥʾillu ‘When I see him, I will tell him.’ yiqtul can be substituted by byiqtul without the meaning being changed. qatal, on the other hand, is only accepted with certain verbs as for example xallaṣ: u. bass il-bayy xallaṣ šiġlu mnǟkul ‘As soon as father has finished his work, we will eat.’ 2 cf. the Future Perfect in English: You will have heard about it = I suppose you have heard about it.
Anteriority To A Reference Point In The Future
A sentence like bass ʾiža l-bayy mnǟkul, however, is regarded as strange. Conclusion Anteriority to a reference point in the future is designated by bykūn qatal and bykūn ap. bykūn ap cannot express anteriority with stative verbs, but apart from this the two verb forms seem to have the same semantic content.
Verbs of Perception The topic of this chapter is the construction: šift / smiʿt + object + verb form ‘I saw / heard him do / doing.’ The verbs of perception may have past time (šift and smiʿt) or present time reference (šǟyif and ʿambismaʿ).1 The object governed by the verb of perception is identical with the subject of the object clause. With the verb of perception having past time reference, the verb of the object clause may orientate itself by the speech time or by the superordinate clause. After šǟyif and ʿambismaʿ, the situation of the subordinate clause is always imperfective and thus incompatible with punctuality and telicness (rule 1); after šift and smiʿt, however, it can be imperfective or perfective (cf. above, chapt. 3.9). In order to investigate which verb forms are used after šǟyif and ʿambismaʿ, the informants were asked to imagine a boy who is standing at the window and informs his younger brother, who is not tall enough to look out of the window, about the things that are going on outside. In the object clause ʿamyiqtul and, with states and verbs of motion, the ap are used: punctual a. šǟyfu ʿamyaʿṭi xayyu l-miftǟḥ ‘I can see him giving the key to his brother.’ (punctual > atelic) telic b. šǟyfu nǟzil ʿala l-baḥr ‘I can see him going down to the sea.’ (telic > atelic) c.
ʿambismaʿu ʿamyiḥki ʾiṣṣit ʿAnṭara ‘I can hear him telling the story of Antara.’ (telic > atelic)
atelic d. šǟyfu ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ‘I can see him working in the garden.’
1 ʿamšūf and sǟmiʿ are also possible, but šǟyif and ʿambismaʿ are rated as more common.
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Verbs Of Perception
ʿambismaʿa ʿamtibki b-ʾūḍta ‘I can hear her weeping in her room.’
complex f. ʿambismaʿu ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘I can hear him knocking at the door.’ stative g. šǟyfu nāṭir xayyu ‘I can see him waiting for his brother.’
We have already seen that with most verbs of motion one can use ʿamyiqtul or the ap, the former describing the beginning of the movement, the latter one its middle phase. Thus, sentence b with nǟzil means that he is just on his way down to the sea; with ʿamyinzal he may still be at home and be busy with the preparations. The difference between ʿamyiqtul and the ap as to resultative verbs has also been mentioned before: ʿamyiqtul refers to the event, the ap to the state: h. šǟyfu nǟyim biž-žnayni ‘I can see him sleeping in the garden.’ i.
šǟyfu ʿambynǟm biž-žnayni ‘I can see him falling asleep in the garden.’
šǟyfu ʾǟʿid ʾiddǟm baytu ‘I can see him sitting in front of his house.’
šǟyfu ʿamyiʾʿud ʾiddǟm baytu ‘I can see him sitting down in front of his house.’
With all other verbs, the ap is regarded as ungrammatical. The same holds true for qatal. byiqtul, however, is accepted: l.
šǟyfu byištiġil biž-žnayni ‘I can see him working in the garden.’
After šiftu and smiʿtu the same verb forms are used: punctual m. šiftu ʿambyfūt ʿal-bêt ‘I saw him entering the house.’ (punctual > atelic) telic n. šǟfa ʿamtiḥmul iṣ-ṣabi mn is-salli (Schu. viii, 18) ‘He saw her taking the child out of the basket.’ (telic > atelic) atelic o. šǟf martu ḥabībtu ʿamtibki (Schu. viii, 11) ‘He saw his beloved wife weeping.’ complex p. smiʿtu ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘I heard him knocking at the door.’ stative q. šiftu nāṭir xayyu ‘I saw him waiting for his brother.’
The verb forms after šǟf and simiʿ thus orientate themselves by the superordinate clause. The combination of ʿamyiqtul and the ap with kān, and thus orientation by the speech time, is possible, but rated as uncommon. Here, too, ʿamyiqtul can be replaced by byiqtul, but ʿamyiqtul is regarded as the more usual form: r.
simiʿ ḥada byʿayyiṭlu b-ʾismu (Schu. vi, 2) ‘He heard someone calling him by name.’
šift ʾAḥmad byinzal ʿal-baḥr (= ʿamyinzal) ‘I saw Ahmad setting out for the sea.’
With past time reference, the subject of šǟf and simiʿ can have seen or heard the situation in its entirety, and consequently one can make use of a perfective verb form:
Verbs Of Perception
simiʿ / šǟf ḥada ʾawwas ḥṣānu ‘He heard / saw someone shoot his horse.’
Accordingly, in Schu. vi, 2 (simiʿ ḥada byʿayyiṭlu b-ʾismu, see above, r) byiqtul can be replaced by qatal and ʿamyiqtul. With qatal he would hear his name a single time (perfective), with ʿamyiqtul he would be called repeatedly (imperfective). The use of qatal, however, underlies certain restrictions. Nota bly, if the object governed by the verb of perception is definite, as in: u. šiftu fǟt baytu ‘I saw him enter his house.’ v.
šiftu ʾawwas kalbu ‘I saw him shoot his dog’
qatal is not regarded as straightforwardly ungrammatical but as uncommon. The intentum in question is normally designated by a temporal clause: šiftu lamma fǟt baytu / lamma ʾawwas kalbu.
Circumstantial Clauses A circumstantial clause describes the manner, circumstances or conditions under which the situation of the main clause occurs. In the Arabic dialect of Beirut it normally has the form of a ḥāl-clause, i.e. w + subject + ʿamyiqtul / ap. The subject—usually a pronoun—is most often identical with the subject of the superordinate clause, can, however, also refer to a aforementioned object. The normal word order is w + subject, but w can also be preceded by the subject, i.e. subject + w + ʿamyiqtul / ap. As set forth above (chapt. 3.7), circumstantial situations are always imperfective, and consequently incompatible with punctuality and telicness (rule 1). ḥāl-clauses very seldom refer to superordinate clauses with present time reference, thus I have just investigated ḥāl-clauses with past time reference. Consequently, there are always two reference points the verb forms may orientate themselves by. w + subject + pa is used with stative, ʿamyiqtul with non-stative verbs; resultative situations and movements can be expressed by both the ap and ʿamyiqtul, with the differences in meaning already described above: punctual a. b-yôm min il-ʾiyyǟm w huwwe ʿambyfūt ʿa-baytu simiʿ ṣôt ‘One day, when he was about to enter his house, he heard a voice.’ (punctual > atelic) telic b. w b-yawm mn il-ʾiyyǟm w huwwe hêk mǟriʾ ḥadd šibbǟk mn iš-šbǟbīk simiʿ ṣôt (Schu. viii, 1) ‘One day, while going past a window, he heard a voice.’ (telic > atelic) c.
Sībaywayh w huwwe rǟžiʿ ʿala l-bayt šǟf min bʿīd kīf il-ʿaskar ʾatalu bayyu (Text V, 6) ‘Sibawayh, who was just returning home, saw from afar the soldiers kill his father.’ (telic > atelic)
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atelic d. rižiʿ hal rižžǟl ʿal-bayt w ṣawt is-samke baʿdu ʿambyrinn b-dayntu (Schu. vi, 5) ‘The man returned home, the voice of the fish still ringing in his ears.’ e.
ḥamal iṣ-ṣabi mn il-žūra w huwwe ʿamyṣarrix (Schu. viii, 19) ‘He took the crying lad out of the hole.’
f. w huwwe hêk mahmūm w ʿambyfakkir xaṭrit ʿa-bǟlu s-samke (Schu. vi, 13) ‘And while he was thus worrying and pondering, the fish sprang into his mind.’ complex g. ṣaraḥ b-ṣôt ʿāli w huwwe ʿambydiʾʾ ʿal-bǟb ‘He shouted at the top of voice while knocking at the door.’ stative h. rižʿu ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif ʿa-blǟd kinʿān la-ʿind bayyun w hinne fazʿānīn (Text I, 20) ‘Being in a blue funk, Joseph´s brothers returned to Canaan to their father.’ i. yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm w hinne ʾǟʿdīn ʿala ṭawlit il-ʾakl saʾalit mart is-sulṭān . . . (Text V, 7) ‘One day, while they were at table, the sultan´s wife asked . . .’
The use of qatal is not possible. The same applies to the ap, unless it is derived from the verbs mentioned above. Thus, anteriority cannot be expressed in ḥāl-clauses: j.
* b-yôm min il-ʾiyyǟm w huwwe ʾǟkil kill il-ʾakl rāḥ ʿal-maḥall w . . . ‘One day, after he had eaten the whole food, he went to the shop and . . .’
In order to express anteriority in such cases, one has to use a temporal clause. A replacement by byiqtul, on the other hand, is accepted although ʿamyiqtul is the preferred form. It would seem that byiqtul is accepted above all in such cases where the actional value of the verb implies a certain duration of the
situation, as for instance in the atelic example sentences d—f, where ʿamyiqtul could be substituted by byiqtul without any problems. A replacement of the complex ʿambydiʾʾ (g) or the punctual ʿambyfūt (a) by byiqtul, on the other hand, is rated as strange. If the verb form of the ḥāl-clause is repeated in order to express that the situation took place more than once, not only byiqtul but also yiqtul can be used: k.
marrit ʾiyyǟm w hal ġawwāṣīn yġūṣu w yġūṣu bass maʿ il-ʾasaf ma šǟfu hal nabti (Schu. vi, 10) ‘Days went by while the divers were diving and diving, but unfortunately they did not find the herb.’
Instead of yiqtul one could also use byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul. In ḥāl-clauses with a single verb form, however, yiqtul is rated as ungrammatical. The use of kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap, and thus orientation by the speech time, is not very common, but possible: l.
ma laʾūni w ʾana kint nǟyim (Text viii) ‘They did not find me, for I was sleeping.’
I think it is not necessary to illustrate the difference between ʿamyiqtul and the ap with motion and resultative verbs again. I would rather conclude this chapter with the remark that the state in a ḥāl-clause may also be denoted by a prepositional phrase or an adjective: m. w huwwe ʿala hal ḥǟle ʾindaʾʾ il-bǟb (Schu. viii, 10) ‘While he was in this condition, someone knocked at the door.’ n. bass is-sulṭān yġammiʾ b-nawmu raḥyǟxdū ʿala l-ʾabw yʿammrū w huwwe ḥayy b-ʾalb il-ḥayṭ (Text V, 10) ‘As soon as the sultan has fallen asleep, they would take him to the dungeons and wall him up while he is still alive.’
Conditional Clauses The condition mentioned in the protasis can have present or future time reference or past time reference and can be considered by the speaker as having different degrees of hypotheticality. Conditionals with present or future time reference can have a low hypotheticality, i.e. the speaker thinks that the condition may well be fulfilled: a.
If he comes, we will go to the cinema.
It can also be highly hypothetical: b. If he came, we would go to the cinema. or counterfactual: c.
If I were you, I would not tell him.
Conditions with past time reference are always counterfactual if the speaker knows about their not having been fulfilled: d. If you had read the book, you would have passed the exam. i.e. the speaker knows that he did not read the book. If, on the other hand, the speaker does not know whether the condition was fulfilled or not, the conditional is factual: e.
If you read the book yesterday, you will pass the exam.1
Conditionals with present or future time reference and a low degree of hypotheticality have ʾiza + qatal or byiqtul in the protasis and byiqtul or raḥyiqtul in the apodosis: f.
ʾiza mnǟxud maʿna marrt iž-žǟyi xayyna Binyamīn raḥyaʿṭīna ʾamḥ ʾaktar (Text I, 16)
1 For a characterization of conditionals, see Woidich, Kairo, 372f; Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 69ff.
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‘If we bring with us our brother Benjamin the next time, he will give us more wheat.’
ʾiza ma rāḥ la-ʿindu raḥymūt min il-hamm (Text I, 19) ‘If he does not go to him, he will die with grief.’2
If a condition with present or future time reference is looked upon as having a high degree of hypotheticality or as being counterfactual, the protasis has law + qatal or byiqtul, the apodosis byiqtul or raḥyiqtul: h. law kint ʾana maḥallak ma bʾillu ‘If I were you, I would not tell him.’ i.
law byiži ʾAḥmad bukra mirrūḥ ʿas-sīnəma ‘If Ahmad came tomorrow, we would go to the cinema.’
law ʾAḥmad saraʾ li-ktǟb bayyu byiḍrbu ‘If Ahmad stole the book, his father would hit him.’
The situation expressed in the protasis can also be imagined as being simultaneous with the speech time. In this case, ʿamyiqtul is used with preceding ʾiza or law: k.
ʾiza ʾAḥmad ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ʾana raḥžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘If Ahmad is working in the garden right now, I will bring the drinks to the shop.’
With law and ʿamyištiġil in the protasis, the speaker regards the probability of Ahmad´s being at work in the garden as rather low. If the speaker knows that a condition with past time reference has not been complied with, the conditional is counterfactual, and we find law + qatal in the protasis and kān qatal in the apodosis: l.
law kint ʾana maḥallak ma kint ʾiltillu ‘If I had been you, I would not have told him.’
2 For qatal in the protasis, see also: Schu. vii, 11 (ʿmilt ‘if you do’); Schu. viii, 2 + 4 (tžawwazni ‘if he marries me’); Text V, 11 (ma ʾabarnǟha ‘if we do not bury her’).
m. law tʿallamt il-qawāʿid kint nžiḥt bil-faḥṣ ‘If you had learnt the grammar, you would have passed the exam.’ If, however, the speaker does not have any knowledge of this, he can only speculate and the conditional is factual. In this case, the protasis has ʾiza and qatal: n. ʾiza tʿallamt mbǟriḥ il-qawāʿid btinžaḥ bil-faḥṣ ‘If you learnt the grammar yesterday, you will pass the exam.’
Conditionals with present or future time reference and a low degree of hypotheticality can also have raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul in the protasis: o. marrt iž-žǟyi ʾiza baddkun tižu (~raḥtižu) ʿa-maṣr žību maʿkun xayykun (Text I, 16) ‘Next time you come to Egypt, bring your brother with you.’ As can be seen in this sentence, the apodosis may also have an imperative. The protasis with law + qatal may be used alone without an apodosis in order to express a wish whose fulfillment is not expected: p. law kint ʾana hêk ġanīyi ! (Text V, 4) ‘Would that I were so rich!’
part 3 Summary and Analysis
Summary Arranged According to Chapter 23.1
Non-habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time
The verb forms orientate themselves by the speech time, because there is either only one reference point (main clauses), or the second reference point is identical with the speech time (subordinate clauses). Non-habitual situations that are anterior to the speech time are denoted by qatal, byiqtul (foreground situations in narrations) or kān ap (states). As to resultative verbs, one has to differentiate whether qatal can express the event and the state (libis ‘to put on’ and ‘to wear’) or just the event (ḥifiẓ ‘to learn by heart’). In the latter case, the event is designated by qatal and the state by kān ap. kān ap is also utilized with stative verbs, that are incompatible with aspectuality. The substitution test has shown that the aspectual opposition perfectivity: imperfectivity is expressed by qatal and kān ʿamyiqtul. With atelic situations the opposition can be observed in pure form, that is, a change of the aspectual category does not affect other categories, the difference just referring to the perspective from which the situation is viewed. Moreover, we have investigated the relationship between qatal and the ap. The ap is not able to express perfectivity with stative and motion verbs and, in main clauses, verbs of perception. However, the ap must be used with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type (ʾaʿad ‘to sit down’ > ‘to sit’) if one intends to express that an event in the past has resulted in a state that is leading up to and including the speech time. With resultative verbs of the ʾǟkil-type (ʾakal ‘to eat’), one can also use the ap, but qatal is the more common variant. The use of the ap often causes the situation to be conceived of as more remote and indistinct than when expressed by qatal. In other cases, the application of qatal is obligatory, namely if one wants to designate sequences of situations, situations that are temporally fixed by adverbs such as mbǟriḥ, and suddenly occurring situations. 23.2
Habitual Anteriority to the Speech Time
Habitual situations can be conditioned or essential according to whether their occurrence is conditioned by certain circumstances or not. Conditioned
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habituality is designated by kān ʿamyiqtul (imperfective) and kān ap (perfective). Essential habituality, on the other hand, is expressed by kān yiqtul and, occasionally, by kān byiqtul. kān yiqtul can describe situations of very different duration, and it is not always appropriate to refer to a situation expressed by kān yiqtul as habitual. If the context or adverb phrases make clear that a situation is to be conceived of as habitual, kān yiqtul can be replaced by kān ʿamyiqtul, that is usually used to express imperfectivity. kān ʿamyiqtul can maintain its imperfective character and express that a situation was always in its progress at a given time. This use is chiefly found with conditioned habituality. With stative verbs one can also use qatal and kān ap. The latter is obligatory with resultative verbs if the state is to be expressed and if kān yiqtul can describe the event only. There is a difference between kān ap and kān yiqtul with certain stative verbs like kirih where kān ap functions as a kind of resultative, whereas kān yiqtul does not describe the state as fixed and constant but rather as a process that has not been completed yet. In subordinate clauses the same verb forms are used as in main clauses if the reference point is identical with the speech time. If, on the other hand, the reference point has past time reference, habituality is expressed by byiqtul and the ap, that consequently orientate themselves by the superordinate clause. The fact that two different verb forms are used to designate habitual and non-habitual anteriority to the speech time may be indicative of the aspectual character of qatal, for if it were a temporal verb form, it would be likely to denote both categories. 23.3
Situations that took place repeatedly without their subsituations losing their independent character are similar to perfective, simple situations and are expressed by the same verb form, namely qatal. qatal is also preferred with stative verbs although kān ap is also accepted. With resultative verbs, however, kān ap must be used to express the state if qatal can denote the event only. 23.4
Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Past
The topic of this chapter are since- / for- and still-situations and situations that are simply simultaneous with a reference point in the past. All these situations are expressed by kān ʿamyiqtul and, with states, kān ap. In some cases both
Summary Arranged According To Chapter
forms can be used. With some stative verbs, e.g. kirih ‘to hate’, kān ʿamyiqtul describes the process leading up to the state while the state itself is designated by kān ap; the same applies to verbs of motion where kān ʿamyiqtul stands for the beginning of the movement, kān ap for its middle phase. With resultative verbs kān ʿamyiqtul indicates the event, kān ap the state. Furthermore, we discussed situations that refer to a period of time that can be identified by adverb phrases like bwuʾta or b-hayda l-waʾt ‘at that time’. Such situations can have taken place within that period (qatal), can have been completed previously (kān ap) or can have been simultaneous with it (kān ʿamyiqtul or, with states, kān ap). The verb forms in main clauses orientate themselves by the speech time, i.e. the past time reference is expressly indicated by kān; in subordinate clauses they orientate themselves by the second reference point. 23.5
Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Past
Anteriority to a past reference point in main clauses is designated by kān ap:ʾallu: ‘ma tiʾtul il-kalb,’ bass huwwe kǟn ʾǟtlu “He said to him, ‘Do not kill the dog!’ but he had already killed it.” With stative and resultative verbs, kān ap indicates simultaneity of the state with its reference point; anteriority has to be expressed by additional adverb phrases in these cases. In subordinate clauses qatal is used. The verb form thus orientates itself by the superordinate clause. With verbs that do not indicate states, qatal can often be replaced by the ap. In this case, the situation is felt to be more remote. The ap is also employed in the construction laʾa + object + ap ‘He found that he had done something’. If the ap is substituted by ʿamyiqtul, the situation of the object clause is represented as simultaneous with the superordinate clause. With stative verbs one has to differentiate between verbs of the ṣām-type— the end of the state can be conceived of without problems—and of the kirihtype—this is not the case. With the former ones, anteriority can be expressed by verb forms like qatal, kān ap, kān yiqtul and kān ʿamyiqtul alone, while the latter ones require adverb phrases which make explicitly clear that the state had come to an end. In this chapter we also dealt with until- and before-constructions. In both constructions the main clause has qatal if the situation is conceived of as completed and perfective. The perfective character of qatal can be clearly seen in before-construction where one finds minimal pairs with kān ʿamyiqtul for the imperfective, and qatal for the perfective aspect.
Posteriority to a Reference Point in the Past
A situation that is posterior to a reference point in the past can be viewed from the speech time. In this case, the reference point and the posterior situation are conceived of as a sequence in the past, and consequently the latter is expressed by qatal, i.e. by the same verb form that is used for situations which are anterior to the speech time. If, on the other hand, the situation is seen from the second reference point, it is designated by raḥyiqtul or baddu yiqtul. These verb forms are used in subordinate clauses, too. The posterior situation may be conceived of as simultaneous with, i.e. imperfective, or as anterior to, i.e. perfective, a third reference point that is located between the speech time and the second reference point. Simultaneity is indicated by raḥykūn ~ bykūn ~ baddu ykūn + ʿamyiqtul or, with states and movements, raḥykūn ~ bykūn ~ baddu ykūn + ap, anteriority by raḥykūn ~ bykūn ~ baddu ykūn + qatal or, unless the verbs are stative or indicate a movement, raḥykūn etc. + ap: ʾāl ʾinnu bykūn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma bzūru ‘He said he would be working in the garden when I visit him.’ raḥyiqtul preceded by kān indicates that a situation was just about to happen but eventually did not take place. 23.7
Simultaneity with the Speech Time
The topic of this chapter have been non-habitual situations that are simultaneous with the speech time or leading up from the past to and including the speech time (since- / for-situations) and situations with present time reference that are restricted to a limited period of time. Simultaneity with the speech time is designated by ʿamyiqtul or, with states, the ap. With resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type ʿamyiqtul designates the event and the ap the state; in a similar way, ʿamyiqtul describes the beginning of a movement and the ap its middle phase. With some stative verbs, too, there is a difference between ʿamyiqtul and the ap. The former represents the situation as a kind of process that has not been completed yet and is leading up to the actual state, wheras the state itself is designated by the ap. since- / for-situations are expressed by ṣārlu and ʿamyiqtul or the ap, their distribution being the same as with simple simultaneity. Instead of ʿamyiqtul one can also use byiqtul if the period of time is so extended that the situation can be regarded as habitual. A replacement of ʿamyiqtul by the ap with non-stative and non-resultative verbs has as a consequence that ṣārlu does not express the notion of ‘since’ any more but has rather the meaning ‘ago’. qatal
Summary Arranged According To Chapter
can only be used in negated sentences and indicates that something has not taken place since the time determined after ṣārlu. Situations that are restricted to a limited period of time are designated in the same way, i.e. by ʿamyiqtul and the ap. ʿamyiqtul, however, can be employed with more verbs than is the case with the situations discussed above. So it can designate the event and the state with resultative verbs if qatal, kān yiqtul and byiqtul can do so, too, and it is compatible with punctual and telic verbs and verbs of motion like ʾiža with which it cannot be combined when designating simultaneity with the speech time. In all these cases, ʿamyiqtul describes the whole situation, not just a part of it. 23.8
Habitual Situations with Present Time Reference
Habitual situations can be essential or conditioned. Essential habituality is designated by byiqtul or, with states, the ap. If the habitual character of the situation is sufficiently made clear by the context or adverb phrases, byiqtul may be replaced by ʿamyiqtul. With some stative verbs, the situation can be represented as a process that is leading up to the state (byiqtul or ʿamyiqtul) or as an actual state (ap). If qatal can designate both the event and the state of a resultative situation, byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul can do so, too. Otherwise, byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul have to be used for the event and the ap for the state. Conditioned habituality is expressed by bykūn ʿamyiqtul (imperfective) and bykūn qatal ~ bykūn ap (perfective): kill yôm bass ʾana ʾiži ʿal-bêt bykūn Ḥasan ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Every day, when I come home, Hasan is reading the newspaper’: is-sǟʿa tnāš minkūn dayman ʾǟklīn (~ʾakalna) ‘At 12 o’clock we always have already eaten.’ 23.9 Extratemporality Extratemporality is incompatible with aspectuality and temporality and does not have a special reference point. It is designated by byiqtul. 23.10
Posteriority to the Speech Time
Situations that are posterior to the speech time are expressed by raḥyiqtul, baddu yiqtul, byiqtul or, with verbs of motion, by the ap. byiqtul and especially
baddu yiqtul can also have a modal reading. All four verb forms may be used if the occurrence of the situation is regarded as sure. Particularly byiqtul is able to emphasize the binding character of an utterance. bukra bkūn ʿindak gives only little margin for excuses if he does not come. raḥyiqtul can express both the event and the state of a resultative situation if qatal and byiqtul can do so, too. Uncertainty as to the occurrence of the situation may be expressed by a preceding yimkin ‘maybe’. In the event that the time of the occurrence is unknown, the above mentioned verb forms can be used except for the ap, that is rated as directly ungrammatical even with verbs of motion. The ap may, however, be used to designate situations that are expected to be forthcoming in the immediate future. With prophecies, on the other hand, the ap is rated as rather uncommon; the most appropriate verb form to express them is raḥyiqtul, although the other two forms are not regarded as ungrammatical. byiqtul, raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul can be applied in the sense of a command if the context makes the intentum sufficiently clear: bitrūḥ (~ raḥitrūḥ ~ baddak trūḥ) ʿal-madrasi ! ‘You will go to school!’ Finally, we have to make mention of an interesting function of the ap. When negated by miš or mannu, it is expressive of an emphatic denial of volitionality, independently from the actional value of the corresponding verb: šrāb !—laʾ, ʾana miš (~ manni) šǟrib ! ‘Drink!—No, I will not drink!’ miš ~ mannu + ap may also be used in a non-volitional sense: raḥtišrab šāy ?—laʾ, ʾana manni šǟrib ‘Will you drink some tea?—No, I will not drink.’ 23.11
Simultaneity with a Reference Point in the Future
Situations that are simultaneous with a reference point in the future are designated by bykūn ʿamyiqtul ~ raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul or, with states and movements, by bykūn ap ~ raḥykūn ap. With resultative verbs bykūn ʿamyiqtul is applied for the event and bykūn ap for the state, with verbs of motion the former is expressive of the beginning of the movement, whereas bykūn ap indicates its middle phase. 23.12
Anteriority to a Reference Point in the Future
Situations in main and subordinate clauses that are anterior to a reference point in the future are expressed by bykūn ap ~ raḥykūn ap or by bykūn qatal ~
Summary Arranged According To Chapter
raḥykūn qatal. The verb forms thus orientate themselves by the speech time. Anteriority of states to a reference point in the future cannot be indicated by the verb forms alone; their completion has to be made clear with the help of the context or suitable adverb phrases. As to resultative verbs, one has to keep in mind that bykūn qatal designates first of all the event, the following state being the result of an implicature. Anteriority in subordinate clauses introduced by baʿd ma ‘after’, lamma ‘when’ or bass ‘when; as soon as’ is normally not indicated by qatal but rather by yiqtul: baʿd ma yūṣal ʿal-qāhira raḥyzūr xayyu ‘After he arrives in Cairo, he will visit his brother.’ yiqtul may be replaced by byiqtul. qatal, on the other hand, is only accepted with certain verbs like xallaṣ ‘to finish’. 23.13
Verbs of Perception
After šǟyif / ʿambyismaʿ + object, ʿamyiqtul and, with states and verbs of motion, the ap are used. With some verbs of motion ʿamyiqtul designates the beginning of the movement and the ap its middle phase, with resultative verbs the former indicates the event, the latter the state. šǟf and simiʿ govern the same verb forms in the object clause. The expression of the perfective aspect by qatal in the object clause is possible but underlies certain restrictions. The intentum in question is usually designated by a temporal clause, so instead of: šiftu ʾawwas kalbu ‘I saw him shoot his dog’, one normally says: šiftu lamma ʾawwas kalbu ‘I saw him when he shot his dog.’ Orientation of the verb form in the object clause by the speech time, indicated by kān ʿamyiqtul and kān ap, is possible but rated as uncommon. 23.14
Circumstantial clauses describe the manner or circumstances under which the situation of the main clause occurs. They normally have the form of ḥāl-clauses, i.e. w + subject + ʿamyiqtul / ap. The ap is used with states, ʿamyiqtul with nonstative verbs. As to motion and resultative verbs, for circumstantial clauses the same holds true as for object clauses. With certain restrictions ʿamyiqtul can be replaced by byiqtul. A substitution by qatal, and thus the expression of anteriority of the circumstantial clause to the superordinate clause, however, is not possible. The verb form in the circumstantial clause may be repeated to indicate that the situation happened more than just once. In this case, not only
ʿamyiqtul and byiqtul can be used but also yiqtul. As with object clauses after verbs of perception, the verb form usually orientates itself by the superordinate clause, but orientation by the speech is also possible. 23.15
Conditionals may be conceived of as having different degrees of hypotheticality. Conditionals with present or future time reference and a low degree of hypotheticality have ʾiza + qatal or byiqtul in the protasis, and byiqtul or raḥyiqtul in the apodosis. If the condition is regarded as being highly hypothetical or even counterfactual, the protasis has law + qatal or byiqtul, the apodosis byiqtul or raḥyiqtul: law kint ʾana maḥallak ma bʾillu ‘If I were you, I would not tell him.’ If the situation of the protasis is conceived of as progressing simultaneously with the speech time, ʾiza / law + ʿamyiqtul are used in the protasis:ʾiza/ law ʾAḥmad ʿamyištiġil . . . Counterfactual conditionals with past time reference are designated by law + qatal in the protasis and kān qatal in the apodosis: law kint ʾana maḥallak ma kint ʾiltillu ‘If I had been you, I would not have told him.’ If the speaker does not know whether a past condition has been fulfilled or not, the conditional is factual and the protasis has ʾiza and qatal: ʾiza tʿallamt mbǟriḥ il-qawāʿid btinžaḥ bil-faḥṣ ‘If you learnt the grammar yesterday, you will pass the exam.’
Summary Arranged According to Verb Form 24.1 The ap The ap in predicative position can be used in its simple form or in combination with a form of the auxiliary verb kān. Let us start with the simple ap in subordinate clauses. It can indicate anteriority in the past, if the superordinate clause has past time reference (ʾāl ʾinnu . . . ‘He said that . . . ’), or anteriority to the speech time if the superordinate clause has present time reference (byʾūl ʾinnu . . . ‘He says that . . . ’). This use, however, is subject to certain restrictions. With stative verbs and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, the ap does not indicate anteriority to its reference point but rather simultaneity with it. This is also true for verbs of motion, apart from the construction laʾa + object + ap ‘He found him having done it’ where only the beginning of the movement is considered that has already been completed at the moment of the finding or meeting. Although the ap is able to indicate anteriority to a reference point with the other actional categories, the usual verb form in this position is qatal. Moreover, the ap is not accepted with all verbs. In cases where the ap is accepted, the situation is perceived as more remote than the corresponding situation expressed by qatal. The ap of stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type indicates, as noted above, simultaneity with its reference point and thus describes subordinateand main-clause situations that are simultaneous with their reference points, no matter whether these have past or present time reference: huwwe ʿirif min bayyu ʾinnu xayyu baʿdu ʿāyiš bil-qāhira ‘He learnt from his father that his brother was still living in Cairo.’ huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ʿāyiš bil-qāhira ‘He knows that his brother is living in Cairo.’ huwwe ʿāyīš bil-qāhira ‘He is living in Cairo.’ With some stative verbs like tʿažžab ‘to wonder, to be surprised’ a difference in meaning can be observed in main and subordinate clauses between (kān) ap on the one hand, and (kān) ʿamyiqtul / byiqtul / yiqtul on the other hand. While the ap describes the situation as stative, the other verb forms represent it as a process that has not come to an end yet. This opposition can be observed with habitual situation (kān ap: kān yiqtul [past]; ap: byiqtul [present]) and with non-habitual situations (kān ap: kān ʿamyiqtul [past]; ap: ʿamyiqtul [present]).
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A similar opposition exists with respect to verbs of motion. Here, the ap indicates that the beginning of the movement has already been completed and that the subject is on his way now, whereas the beginning of the movement is represented by ʿamyiqtul: huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu nǟzil ʿal-baḥr ‘He knows that his brother is on his way down to the sea’: huwwe byaʿrif ʾinnu xayyu ʿamyinzal ʿal-baḥr ‘He knows that his brother is about to go down to the sea.’ With stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, the ap can also describe states that have to be considered as habitual. The habitual state may have present or past time reference according to the time reference of the superordinate clause. With resultative verbs, the ap can be substituted by byiqtul if the latter is able to express both the action and the state, as is the case with byilbus (< libis) ‘he (usually) puts on’ or ‘he usually wears’. In main clauses the ap can indicate situations that are anterior to the speech time. It is obligatory with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type if the speaker intends to indicate that the state following from the event is still lasting: huwwe lǟbis ṭaʾmu l-ʾaswad ‘(he has put on and) is still wearing his black suit.’ The ap may also be used with resultative verbs of the ʾǟkil-type (ʾakal ‘to eat’ > ‘to be satiated’) although it can almost always be replaced by qatal with these verbs: ʾana ʾǟkil ~ ʾakalt ‘I have eaten (and am satiated now).’ Apart from this, the use of the ap for past situations in main clauses is very restricted, the usual form being qatal. It is completely impossible with stative verbs, verbs of motion and perception—in these cases the ap is expressive of situations that are simultaneous with the speech time—and furthermore with successive and suddenly occurring situations and those whose time reference is fixed by adverbs like mbǟriḥ ‘yesterday’ —in all these instances qatal must be used. With stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type and verbs of motion, the ap indicates, as noted above, situations that are simultaneous with the speech time. Here, too, ʿamyiqtul is in opposition to the ap, the former describing the beginning of a situation or, with resultative verbs, the event, the latter expressing the middle phase (state). When negated by miš or mannu, the ap can have a future time reading regardless of the actional value of the corresponding verb: manni ʾǟkil ‘I will not eat’. More often, however, the negated ap expresses an emphatic denial of volitionality, especially when used in reply to an order: ʾôm !—laʾ, manni ʾāyim !’ ‘Get up!—No, I will not get up’ ( = I do not want to get up). Without the negative particles, the ap can have a future time reading with verbs of motion only. After verbs of perception and when used with stative or resultative verbs
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
of the ʾǟʿid-type, the ap describes a state; it describes the middle of a movement when used with verbs of motion. If the verb of perception has past time reference, the ap can be preceded by kān. In circumstantial clauses (subject + w + ap or w + subject + ap), the ap is used in the same way. kān ap expresses on principle the same as simple ap does, except that the situation is now additionally marked as past. Consequently, kān ap is used with stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type in subordinate clauses to indicate anteriority of a state to the situation of the superordinate clause. With the other actional categories, where already the simple ap denotes completed situations, kān ap expresses situations that are anterior to a third reference point, which for its part is situated even before the situation of the superordinate clause. In main clauses, kān ap describes thus situations—of all actional categories except for states—that are anterior to a reference point in the past, whereas with stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type it expresses situations that are anterior to the speech time. With the last-named verbs, kān ap can often be substituted by qatal, supposing that the state is not related to a second reference point and that, with resultative verbs, qatal is able to express both the event and the state. If qatal can only denote the event, as with ḥifiẓ ‘to learn by heart’ and ‘to know by heart’, or if there does exist a second reference point, then only kān ap can be used: kǟn ʿāyiš ~ ʿāš bil-qāhira ‘He lived in Cairo’, but only: kǟn ʿāyiš bil-qāhira lamma xayyu zāru ‘He was living in Cairo when his brother visited him.’ kǟn ḥifẓān il-mifradǟt ‘He knew the words by heart’, but: ḥifiẓ il-mifradǟt ‘He learnt the words by heart.’ Finally, kān ap is capable to denote habitual states with past time reference. raḥykūn ap and bykūn ap are used to denote a state that is simultaneous with a reference point which in its turn is posterior to a second reference point in the past or to the speech time: ʾāl ʾinnu raḥykūn ʿāyiš bil-qāhira lamma bzūru ‘He said that he would be living in Cairo when I visit him.’ bukra s-sǟʿa sitti raḥykūn nǟyim biž-žnayni ‘Tomorrow at six o’clock he will be sleeping in the garden.’ With verbs of motion raḥykūn ap and bykūn ap indicate that the subject will be on his way. bykūn ap and raḥykūn ap of the remaining verbs is perfective and denotes anteriority to a reference point in the future or in the past: ʾāl ʾinnu xayyu raḥykūn wāṣil min is-safar lamma bzūru ‘He said that his brother would have returned from his journey when I visit him.’ waʾt il hinne bylaʾū minkūn niḥna min zamǟn tarakna l-balad (Text V, 10) ‘By the time they find him, we will have left the country well before.’ Finally, bykūn ap may be used to denote anteriority of conditioned habitual situation with present time reference: is-sǟʿa sitti minkūn dayman ʾǟklīn ‘At 12 o’clock we always have already eaten.’
Aspect and Tense
The time reference indicated by the ap is highly dependent on the actional value of the corresponding verb. With stative and resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿidtype and verbs of motion it has present time reference, with the other verbs it seems at first glance to have past time reference. With verbs of motion and generally when negated by miš or mannu, it can describe future situations. If one compares these findings with the rules established for grammatical identification of a verb form, it soon becomes clear that the ap cannot be regarded as a temporal form, for its different uses with past, present and future time reference can impossibly be derived from one temporal main function. If we assume for a moment that its main function is to designate simultaneity with the speech time, as it does with stative and resultative verbs and verbs of motion, then we would expect punctual and telic situations to become atelic when expressed by the ap. But they do not. huwwe ḍārib ʾAḥmad does not mean: ‘He is thrashing Ahmed’ but rather ‘He has hit him.’ And if its main function consists in expressing past situations, how then can it denote in the negated form future situations? The same holds true for the aspectual categories. With verbs of motion it seems to indicate the imperfective aspect, with stative verbs it is neutral with respect to aspect, and with other verbs it describes situations that are already completed and perfective, i.e. it can indicate two categories, perfectivity and imperfectivity, that are in opposition to each other. We can conclude then that the ap expresses neither temporal nor aspectual categories. In order to find out its main function, one should have a look at those uses where it cannot be substituted by any other form. There are two of them. Firstly, the ap is obligatory with resultative verbs if one intends to indicate that a state is the necessary result of a preceding event, supposing that byiqtul is able to express the event only, but not the state: huwwe ʾǟʿid ‘He (has sat down and) is sitting now.’ The intentum of this sentence can be designated by no other form than the ap. The second use concerns the construction laʾa + object + ap: laʾa ʾAḥmad kǟtib il-maktūb ‘He found that Ahmad had written the letter.’ Here, too, the ap cannot be substituted by any other verb form. In both instances the ap asserts a state that has resulted from a previous event. In a sentence like: laʾa ʾAḥmad kǟtib il-maktūb the subject of laʾa did not find or observe Ahmad’s writing—Ahmad does not necessarily have to be present any longer—but rather the result of his doing so, and this result can only be regarded as stative, not as verbal. It seems, thus, that the main function of the ap is to denote states that have resulted from a previous event. In order to
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
better understand its true nature and to be able to derive its secondary functions from this main function, it seems quite promising to me to have a look at the usage of the ap in Classical Arabic first.1 Already H. Reckendorf stated more than hundred years ago that the participle in Classical Arabic does not denote an actual event but rather a quality (Verhältnisse, 65), and the following will show that he was perfectly right. In general, the participle retains the meaning of the verb it is derived from. Thus, it can be stative and be used like an adjective, especially when derived from the verbal patterns qatula and qatila: bāridun ‘cold’ (< baruda ‘to be cold’), šāṭirun ‘smart’ (< šaṭura ‘to be smart’), ḥārrun ‘hot’ (< ḥarra ‘to be hot’).2 Participles can function as attributes (laylatun bāridatun ‘a cold night’) or as predicates (ʾal-laylatu bāridatun ‘the night is cold’). They may get independent from their reference words and become nouns: muʿallimun ‘teacher’ (< ʿallama ‘to teach’), kātibun ‘secretary’ (< kataba ‘to write’), ṭāʾirun ‘bird’ (< ṭāra ‘to fly’). There are also several nouns of the qātilun-type that do not have any apparent relationship with existing verbal roots: sāhilun ‘shore, coast’, sāʿidun ‘forearm’, fākihatun ‘fruit’, hāğiratun ‘midday heat’. Other substantival qātilun-forms are derived from nouns: tāmirun ‘someone who has dates’ (< tamrun ‘date’), fārisun ‘rider, horseman’ (< farasun ‘horse’).3 When derived from verbs that express an event or a process, the participle, too, seems to have a verbal character. It can govern an object: Zaydun ḍāribun ʿAmran which, according to the old grammarians, has the same meaning as Zaydun yaḍrubu ʿAmran ‘Zayd hits or is thrashing Amr’,4 or: Zaydun ḍāribu ʿAmrin = Zaydun ḍaraba ʿAmran ‘Zayd hit Amr’, and it can be combined, although rarely, with the suffix of the first person singular -nī, that is usually suffixed to a verb form: ḍāribunī ‘hit me’.5 The participle is found in main and in subordinate clauses, and very often has a habitual reading.
1 For the justification to compare classical with dialectal forms, see below, chapt. 26.1. 2 cf. Youssef, Partizip, 65, 95f. 3 See Youssef, Partizip, 71, 94f. 4 I know, however, of no convincing example from Classical Arabic where the ap of an actional verb like ḍaraba expresses a situation that is actually progressing simultaneously with its reference point. cf. below, this chapter. 5 cf. Youssef, Partizip, 136f; Fischer, Grammatik, 100, note 1.
Main clauses: a.
ʾal-yadu l-ʿulyā hiya l-munfiqatu wa-s-suflā hiya s-sāʾilatu ‘The upper hand is the one that gives, and the lower hand is the one that asks.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 63)
b. lastu bi-ʾākilihī wa-lā bi-muḥarrimihī ‘I do not eat it, and I do not forbid it.’ (ibid. 99) c.
mā ʾanta bi-muṭīʿin rasūla llāhi ‘You do not obey the envoy of God.’ (ibid. 99)
d. ʾinna n-nāsa fāġiratun ʾafwāhuhum naḥwa man ʿindahū darāhimu ‘Verily, the people’s mouths are turned towards the one who has money.’ (ibid. 83) e.
fa-ʾinna mā ʿindakum yanfadu wa-mā ʿinda llāhi bāqin ‘Verily, that which is with you that passes away, and that which is with God that persists.’ (ibid. 83)
wa-faqru miṯlika muḍāʿifu l-ʾalami ‘Poverty such as yours multiplies the pain.’ (ibid. 167)
ʾinna l-ḥirṣa la-mufsidun lid-dīni ‘Verily, greediness spoils the religion.’ (ibid. 167)
h. ʾinnama naḥnu ʿabīduka sāmiʿūna laka muṭīʿūna ‘Verily, we are your servants, we listen to you, we obey (you).’ (ibid. 209) i.
kullu nafsin ḏāʾiqatu l-mawti (Quran) ‘Every soul will taste death.’ (Fischer, Grammatik, 100)
Participles in circumstantial clauses can have a habitual reading, too: j.
. . . ʾanna rasūla llāhi kāna yuṣallī wa-huwa ḥāmilun ʾUmānata binta Zaynabin ‘. . . that the envoy of God used to pray while carrying Umana, Zaynab’s daughter.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 143)
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
wa-kayfa yastaṭīʿu ḏālika wa-huwa ʾākilu ʿušbin wa-ʾana ʾākilu laḥmin? ‘And how can he do this, considering that he is herbivorous and I am carnivorous?’ (ibid. 163)
The participle with a non-habitual reading can have past time reference. Main clauses: l.
ʾanta l-qātilu sabʿata ʾalāfin min ʾahli l-qiblati fī ġadātin wāḥidatin ‘You are the one who killed 70,000 people of the Qibla (= muslims) in one morning.’ (ibid. 135)
m. hāḏā bnu Ziyādin qātilu l-Ḥusayni ‘This is Ibn Ziyād, the one who killed al-Husayn.’ (ibid. 162) The past time reference can be indicated by kāna: n. kuntu nāʾimatan ʾilā ğanbi rasūli llāhi ‘I was sleeping at the side of the envoy of God’ (ibid. 97) o. wa-kāna nn wāqifan bayna yadayhi ‘nn was standing in front of him’ (ibid. 97) I do not have any certain examples at hand where participles in circumstantial clauses indicate simple anteriority to the situation of the superordinate clause. All examples are resultative, i.e. the participle expresses a state that has resulted from a previous event and is still lasting when the situation of the superordinate clause occurs: p. fa-ğāʾa A.B. wa-rasūlu llāhi wāḍiʿun raʾsahū ʿalā faxiḏī. qad nāma ‘Then there came A.B., the envoy of God having put his head on my thigh (where it still was). He had fallen asleep.’ (ibid. 64) q. yaqdumu min safarihī wa-huwa mufṭirun ‘He is returning from his journey having stopped fasting (and being allowed to eat again).’ (ibid. 193) r.
fa-ğāʾanī wa-ʾanā nāʾimun (Sīra, p. 41, 6) ‘He came to me while I (had fallen asleep and ) was sleeping.’
wa-rağaʿū ʾilayhā wa-ʾanā wāqifun fī makānī ḏālika (ibid. 42, 8f) ‘They returned to her while I (had taken my stand and) was standing at this my place.’
fa-tafarraqa l-qawmu ʿalā ḏālika wa-hum muğmiʿūna lahū (ibid. 59, 9f) ‘And then the people dispersed (having reached an agreement and) agreeing with each other on that point.’
The participle can have future time reference. Main clauses: u. lastu bi-mufāriqihā ʾillā ʾan taʾḏana lī ‘I will not leave her unless you give me your permission.’ (Youssef, Partizip 64) v.
ʾinnā xāriğātun fī ġadin ‘Verily, we (fem.) will leave tomorrow.’ (ibid. 64)
w. wa-ʾanā ʾin šāʾa llāhu mubtadiʾun hāḏā l-kitāba bi-ḏikri nn ‘And I will, deo volente, start this book with the narrative of nn.’ (ibid. 82) x.
fa-ʾinnī baʿda ḏālika la-ʿāʾidun ʾilayhi ‘Verily, after that I will return to him.’ (ibid. 98)
ʾa-ʾinnā la-kāʾinūna baʿdaka ? ‘Will we still exist after you?’ (ibid. 98)
mā ʾanta bi-ḏāʾiqin min ḏālika šayʾan ḥattā . . . ‘You will not taste anything from that until . . .’ (ibid. 108)
aa. ʾimraʾatuhū ṭāliqun ʾin ʾanta lam tadxuli d-dāra ‘His wife will obtain a divorce if you do not enter the house.’ (ibid. 111) bb. fa-hal ʾantum mubliġūna ʿannī Muḥammadan risālatan ? ‘And will you deliver M. a message from me?’ (ibid. 144) cc. ʾinnakum lāqū l-qawmi ġadan ‘Verily, you will meet with the people tomorrow.’ (ibid. 195) dd. ʾinnī rāʾiḥun ʾilayka l-ʿašīyata ‘Verily, I will come to you in the evening.’ (ibid. 195)
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
ee. lā wa-llāhi mā naḥnu bi-tārikī zamīlika ‘No, by God, we will not release your companion.’ (ibid. 170) ff. ʾanā rāğiʿun ʾilayhim fa-dāʿīhim ʾilā l-ʾislāmi ‘I will return to them and call upon them to embrace Islam.’ (Fischer, Grammatik, 100) It is often not easy to ascertain the exact nature of a participle with future time reference. At times it seems to have a rather modal than temporal reading. Examples dd and ff may also be understood as: I want to come and I want to return. The modal meaning is quite apparent in: gg. ʾa-fa-hādimun mā qad banaytu? ‘Do you want to destroy what I have erected?’6 The participle is also able to express situations in subordinate clauses that are posterior to the one expressed in the superordinate clause: hh. ḏālika bi-ʾanna llāha . . . wa-ʾanna s-sāʿata ʾātiyatan lā rayba fīhā (Quran) ‘That is how it is because God . . . and because the hour will come without doubt.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 97) ii. mā tarawna ʾannī fāʿilun fīkum ? (Sīra, p. 58, 15) ‘What do you (pl.) think I am going to do with you?’ Finally, the participle can indicate non-habitual situations that are simultaneous with their reference points. In most cases, the participle is derived from stative or resultative verbs—and the situation thus stative—or from verbs of motion. Main clauses: jj. fa-ʾinnī xāʾifun ʿalayka ‘Verily, I am anxious about you.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 64) kk. huwe muqīmun bil-kūfati ‘He is staying in Kufa.’ (ibid. 96)
6 A. Denz, “Struktur des klassischen Arabisch,” 72.
ll. wa-llāhi ʾinnī la-kārihun ʾan yahlika ʾašrāfu ʿašīratī l-yawma ‘By God, I hate (the idea) that the nobility of my house shall perish today.’ (ibid. 98) Corresponding examples for participles in circumstantial clauses have already been quoted above (see sentences p–t). Here are some more: mm. fa-ʿtaraḍtu lahū wa-huwa rāʾiḥun ʾilā l-masğidi ‘I blocked his way while he was going to the mosque.’ (ibid. 64) nn. qāla yawman wa-huwa ğālisun fī . . . ‘One day he said while sitting in . . .’ (ibid. 64) oo. lam yalbaṯ nn . . . ʾan halaka wa-ʾummu rasūli llāhi ḥāmilun bihī (Sīra, p. 38, 2–4) ‘Soon after nn . . . died while the mother of the envoy of God was pregnant with him.’ Very often the participle is found after the subjunctions baynā and baynamā ‘while’: pp. baynā ʾanā nāʾimun . . . ʾiḏ ğaʾānī G� ibrīlu ‘While I was sleeping . . . suddenly there came Gabriel to me.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 197) The other participles after baynā / baynamā mentioned by Youssef (Partizip, 197) are: ğālisun (4x; ‘sitting’), wāqifun (2x; ‘standing’), munṣarifun (‘departing for’), nāzilun (‘descending’), ḏāhibun (‘leaving’), qāʿidun (‘sitting’). The participle is very seldom used to indicate actional situations—apart from movements—that are progressing simultaneously with their reference points. The only unequivocal examples I have at hand show the participles in the object case with the ending –an: qq. fa-kallamahum rāfiʿan ṣawtahū ḥattā xarağa ṣawtuhū min bābi l-masğidi (Sīra, p. 63, 13f) ‘And he spoke to them raising his voice until his voice could be heard even outside the mosque.’ rāfiʿan can only mean that he was raising his voice while giving his speech and that consequently the telic verb rafaʿa ‘to raise’ has become atelic.
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
rr. māta bi-ʾarḍi r-rūmi ġāziyan ‘He died while raiding in Byzantine territory’ (Youssef, Partizip, 53) ss. fa-ğalastu ʾilā faxiḏihā muḍīfan ʾilayhā (Sīra, p. 28, 10f) ‘And I sat down at her thigh nestling to her.’ Both ġāziyan and muḍīfan describe the circumstances that attend the main actions of dying and sitting down and must consequently be simultaneous with them. The participle in the subject case with the ending –un, however, seems hardly ever to be used for progressing situations in circumstantial or other clauses. The preferred form is yaqtulu: tt. ʾaqbalat ʿīrun wa-naḥnu nuṣallī ‘A caravan approached while we were praying.’ (Fischer, Grammatik, 185) uu. ʾatā ʿUmaru wa-huwa yuʿṭī l-masākīna mina ṣ-ṣadaqati ‘Umar came handing out alms to the poor.’ (ibid. 185) According to those of my informants who are familiar with Classical Arabic, a substitution of yaqtulu by the ap in such sentences would be ungrammatical. To sum up the main facts: The ap can function as an adjective (bāridun) and a noun (muʿallimun) and it often expresses habitual situations. It may have future time reference, especially when negated, and it is able to denote events that are anterior to their reference point if their effects are still existent at this point, i.e. if the ap has a resultative meaning. Except when derived from verbs of motion, the ap in the subject case with the ending –un seems hardly ever to express situations that are actually progressing simultaneously with their reference point. In order to denote such situations, the object case has to be used or the verb form yaqtulu. I think the question why the object case has to be employed to express a progressing situation is decisive for the understanding of the true nature of the ap, and we should have a closer look at it. The object case or the accusative is able to specify a quality that is associated with the subject of a given situation: vv. halaka hunāka musliman ‘He perished there as a Muslim.’ (Youssef, Partizip, 80) ww. ğāʾa rākiban ‘He came riding.’ (Fischer, Grammatik, 173)
xx. ṭalaʿa l-qamaru badran ‘The moon rose as a full moon.’ (ibid. 173) It should be noted at first that the ap in ww is used in the same syntactical position as a noun like badrun, i.e. it is nominal again. The sentences have in common that there are several properties that may be associated with the subjects in the circumstances described there. The man in vv could have been the son or the brother of nn, he could have been a tradesman or a soldier. The moon in xx could have been crescent or been on the wane, and there exist a lot of possibilities how the man in ww might have come. All these properties, however, are of no importance in these sentences, they exist as mere potentials that are deactivated at the moment. By using the object case with the ending -an, the narrator makes clear which of the numerous properties was of current interest when the situation in question took place, i.e. which of the potentials was actually activated. The man died as a Muslim, the moon was full when it rose, the man came riding. Thus, if the object case is needed to indicate the activation of a potential, the subject case can only be indicative of its deactivation, i.e of its mere existence and association with the subject. The subject forms decreasing moon, waxing moon, half moon, full moon denote nominal designata that are always associated with the notion moon, but they are mere potentials because the moon can manifest itself only in one form at a time. In order to indicate which form the moon actually has, i.e. which potential is activated, one has to use the object case. The same holds true for the subject form rākibun, that differs from badrun etc. only insofar as it denotes no nominal designatum but rather a verbal one whose being associated with a subject it indicates. This, I think, is the main function of the ap: it denotes the association of a verbal designatum with a subject, the realisation of the corresponding situation being represented as a mere potential that may be activated by the subject. The ap does thus not indicate the realisation of a situation but only the potential of its realisation. Whether or not the potential is activated so that the situation is conceived of as actually taking place, depends on the case endings of the ap: in the subject case it indicates the mere potential, in the object case it denotes the activation of the potential. Zaydun muʿallimun, for example, means that Zayd is associated with the designatum of taʿlīmun ‘teaching’ but not that he is actually teaching at the moment. Let us check now if this definition is in agreement with the finding of this section. It goes without saying that this definition explains the use of the ap to indicate habituality. It has already been shown above that habitual situations are
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
not conceived of as actually taking place but rather as potentials that may be activated in due course. ʾinna l-ḥirṣa la-mufsidun lid-dīni (see sentence g) does not mean that greediness is spoiling the religion right now but that it is generally associated with the spoiling of the religion. The association can be so close that the subject is identified with the designatum and that the ap is used as a noun: muʿallimun ‘teacher.’ The ap of stative verbs functions as an adjective and does not only indicate the mere association with a state but also the actual presence of that state. bāridun does not only mean that it is usually cold, it can also signify the present temperature. This peculiarity is, however, not due to the nature of the ap but rather to the actional value of the corresponding verbs. A state does normally not stop and then start again at will, but it is lasting and permanent, i.e. it fills out the whole space of time in question and is consequently more easily conceived of as being actual—and not merely potential—than habitual situations with, for example, a punctual or telic verb. The same is true for resultative verbs. fa-ğāʾanī wa-ʾanā nāʾimun (see sentence r) means that I was associated with the actual state of sleeping with the implicature that I had fallen asleep before. The ap, however, is also used when the subject is not only associated with a situation but seems to actually perform or have performed it: hāḏā bnu Ziyādin qātilu l-Ḥusayni (see sentence m). There can be no doubt that Ibn Ziyād killed al-Husayn, but the demonstrative pronoun hāḏā makes clear that the speaker does not point out to the past action of killing but rather to Ibn Ziyād’s being associated with the murder. He intends to say: This is Ibn Ziyād who (killed al-Husayn and) is the murderer of al-Husayn. If the speaker just wanted to mention the murder without any reference to the present, for example in a narration, he would have to use qatala. I do not know of any convincing example for the use of the ap in such a position. The indication of a mere association between a verbal designatum and a subject gives ample scope to the determination of the temporal and modal circumstances that attend the realisation of the corresponding situation, and so it is not surprising to find the ap referring to events with future time reference, too: ʾinnakum lāqū l-qawmi ġadan (see sentence cc). lāqū l-qawmi means that you are now associated with the situation of meeting with the people and that the potential of its realisation can be activated by you. ġadan determines the time when this activation is supposed to take place. It is surely no mere accident that the subject of an ap with future time reference or a modal reading is very often a first person, for only the speaker has an exact knowledge of his intentions and wishes. With verbs of motion, the ap does not indicate the simple association with a movement, but rather its actual progression. But before we label the definition
of the ap given above as inadequate, we should have a look at the use of the ap in the dialect of Beirut. As noted above (chapt. 15.1.1.a), ʿamyiqtul and the ap can be used to denote a movement, the former indicating its beginning, the latter its middle phase, and I have already speculated upon the possibility that verbs of motion have to be regarded as resultative, i.e. the ap asserts a state (the being on one’s way) that goes back to an event (the beginning of the movement). It is, of course, hard to say to what degree movements were felt to be stative in Classical Arabic, but they were surely regarded as being more uniform than other non-stative situations, and I think they do not necessitate us to change our definition of the ap. A final point we have to mention is the use of the ap with the ending -an in circumstantial clauses after wa + subject. These clauses describe situations that attend the situation of the superordinate clause, and here the ap with the ending –un, that simply denotes the association with a designatum, cannot be used because the situation of the circumstantial clause is actually performed and not merely regarded as potential and being associated with a subject. So it seems that the definition comes up to the findings in Classical Arabic and consequently also to those in the dialect of Beirut because there are no important differences between the two languages with respect to the use of the ap. In Beirutian Arabic the ap denotes states when it is derived from stative verbs or resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type including verbs of motion, or when it is preceded by laʾa + object where it describes a state that has resulted from a previous event: laʾêt ʾAḥmad kǟtib il-maktūb means that I found Ahmad being associated with the situation of writing the letter and implies that the letter had already been written. When derived from non-stative verbs and used without laʾa, the situation is often described by my informants as being more remote than when expressed by qatal. This observation fits the definition of the ap very well. As the ap asserts the present association of a situation with a subject and only implies its having been performed, the performance of the situation is necessarily felt as somewhat vague and indistinct, and this vagueness is then interpreted as remoteness. Consequently, the ap cannot be used to denote foreground situations in narrative passages or a sequence of events because here the speaker stresses the performance of a situation and not its being associated with someone or something. In the negated form, the ap emphasizes the denial of volitionality, i.e. it indicates the lack of association that is interpreted as implying a lack of volitionality: ʾana manni šǟrib = I am not associated with the situation of drinking, so why should I drink? = I do not want to drink.
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
Finally, the ap can have a future time reading when derived from verbs of motion. If we regard verbs of motion as resultative and interpret a sentence like: ʾana rāyiḥ ʿal-bêt as ‘I am on my way home’, i.e. as stative, it is easy to understand that the ap can also denote future movements. A state is not confined to the speech time or any other reference point but necessarily extends to the future. My being on my way home now implies that the movement must still go on for at least some time so that the ap has automatically future time reference, and is then also used when the movement has not yet begun. Thus, to answer the question raised at the beginning of this section, the ap is neither aspectual nor temporal but just asserts the association of a verbal designatum with a subject. In this function it cannot be replaced by any other verb form. This definition is quite similar to that given by Eisele for the ap in Cairene Arabic. He states that, whereas qatal asserts an event and may imply a state, the ap asserts a state and implies an underlying event (Arabic Verbs, 130). It is true that the ap asserts a state insofar as an association is in the main stative, but this does not necessarily mean that the underlying event entails a state. b-hayda l-waʾt kint mištiġil biž-žnayni means that I was associated with the situation of working (at that time) and that the work had already been finished, but it does not imply that the working led up to a state because mištiġil can hardly be regarded as resultative. So the main function of the ap seems to be to assert an association and not a state. 24.2 qatal The qatal-form kān is chiefly used as an auxiliary verb and can be combined with different other verb forms. In its function as a main verb, qatal occurs alone or in conjunction with bykūn and raḥykūn. kān qatal, on the other hand, is only accepted in the apodosis of counterfactual conditionals with past time reference. In main clauses qatal designates anteriority to the speech time and is used to indicate sequences of events, plural situations, suddenly occurring situations and situations that are temporally defined by adverbs like mbǟriḥ. qatal thus indicates categories that require a specification of the designating verb form as anterior to the speech time and perfective (if regarded as aspectual) or as simply anterior (if regarded as temporal). A replacement of qatal in these cases is only possible in narrations where it may be substituted by byiqtul. Furthermore, qatal is applied for past situations that are temporally undefined and with resultative verbs of the ʾǟkil-type, i.e. with verbs that are expressive of
an event that results in a state which, however, does not follow automatically from the event but has to be inferred from it (to eat > to be satiated). In most of these cases, qatal can be replaced by the ap. The ap is obligatory with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type if the state is conceived of as still lasting and being simultaneous with the speech time. qatal, however, has to be used if the focus is on the event and it is regarded as insignificant whether the state is still lasting or not. With several resultative verbs qatal, kān yiqtul, byiqtul and raḥyiqtul may express both the event and the state (e.g. libis ‘to put on’ and ‘to wear’). With stative verbs especially of the kirih-type, qatal may—in addition to kān ap and kān yiqtul—describe habitual states. In the main clauses of beforeand until-constructions qatal is used to express the perfective aspect, and in before-constructions, too, it forms a minimal pair with kān ʿamyiqtul that indicates imperfectivity. When negated, it can also be applied in since-clauses after ṣārlu and describes that a situation has not been carried out since the time mentioned after ṣārlu. In subordinate clauses qatal designates anteriority to the situation of the superordinate clause that may have past time (ʾāl ʾinnu . . . ‘He said that . . .’) or present time reference (byʾūl ʾinnu . . . ‘He says that . . .’). The verb form qatal alone, however, is not able to indicate anteriority of stative situations of the kirih-type without the help of suitable adverb phrases. ʾiza / law + qatal in the protasis designates factual and counterfactual conditionals with present and with past time reference, kān qatal is used in the apodosis of counterfactual conditionals with past time reference. qatal may also be used in object clauses after verbs of perception in order to express the perfective aspect (šǟfu ʾawwas kalbu ‘He saw him shoot his dog’) although the intentum in question is usually designated by a temporal clause. Finally, the compound bykūn qatal indicates perfectivity of conditioned habitual situations: is-sǟʿa tnāš minkūn dayman ʾakalna ‘At 12 o’clock we always have already eaten.’ The same construction can be used—besides raḥykūn qatal—to express anteriority in the future and anteriority to a third reference in the past that is located between the speech time and a second reference point in the past.
Aspect and Tense
The association of qatal with the perfective aspect has been repeatedly hinted at in part B. qatal and perfectivity are incompatible with the same categories, namely with simultaneity, non-temporality and complexity (rules 4, 5 and 9),
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
and a combination of qatal with these categories yields the same results that have been predicted at a metagrammatical level with respect to a combination of perfectivity and the categories in question. As set out above (chapt. 5.4), complex situation are supposed to be perceived as punctual when viewed from the outside, i.e. perfectively. And this is exactly the way my informants perceive a situation like: daʾʾ il-bǟb ‘He knocked at the door.’7 A temporal verb form would designate the situation as simply anterior to the speech time, and the knocking could still be perceived as complex. Furthermore, a non-temporal situation like wlǟd il-ʾanbiya ma bykazzbu ‘The sons of prophets do not lie’ (Text I, 15) becomes temporal if bykazzbu is replaced by kazzabu: ‘they lied.’ A simultaneous situation like: huwwe ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ‘He is working in the garden’ becomes anterior if ʿamyiqtul is substituted by qatal: štaġal: ‘he worked.’ Consequently, qatal is compatible with categories that are incompatible with imperfectivity, that is to say, with punctuality and telicness (rule 1). Furthermore, qatal is used after ʾiza and law in the protasis of conditionals with present and past time reference. The situation of the protasis has to be completed, i.e. has to be perfective, before the situation expressed in the apodosis, i.e. the consequense, can follow. If qatal were a temporal verb form used to indicate anteriority to the speech time, it could not be applied in conditionals with present time reference. Moreover, qatal occurs in the main clauses of until- and before-construction, and here, too, it is expressive of the perfective aspect (cf. chapters 13.c and d). On the other hand, qatal is also applied to designate states that are anterior to the speech time although these are non-actional and thus incompatible with aspectuality (rule 8). However, it has been shown that there is a restriction of this rule as regards perfectivity, insofar as a perfective verb form may well be used to express states without changing their aspectual value (cf. chapt. 5.4). In fact, even the use of qatal for states confirms its perfective character, insomuch as it cannot be applied when the stative situation is to be viewed from the inside, i.e. in a context where one expects the imperfective aspect. In this case, only kān ap can be used: huwwe kǟn ṣāyim lamma zirtu ‘He was fasting when I visited him.’ In part A (chapt. 5.4) the criteria have been establish with the help of which one may decide whether a language has to be regarded as aspectual or as temporal. If a given situation may be represented as perfective or as imperfective without the time reference being changed, then an aspectual language will make use of two different verb forms to express the two situations, whereas a tense language, that has signa for temporal categories only, will designate them 7 cf. chapt. 10.1.a.
with one and the same verb form. The dialect of Beirut makes use of two verb forms in these cases: raḥyiqtul: bykūn ʿamyiqtul with future time reference (see below, chapt. 24.f), and qatal: (kān) ʿamyiqtul with past time reference. žǟb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought the beverages to the shop’ (perfective): kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He was bringing the beverages to the shop’ (imperfective). The same holds true for object clauses after verbs of perception: šǟf ḥada ʾawwas kalbu ‘He saw someone shoot his dog’: šǟf ḥada ʿambyʾawwis kalbu ‘He saw someone shooting his dog.’ The aspectual difference may also be observed in while-situations if the situation of the subordinate clause is imperfective and the one of the superordinate clause is perfective: lamma kǟn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ʾiža xayyu ‘While he was working in the garden (imperfective), his brother came’ (perfective; cf. above, chapt. 12.1.b). As the ap, that may in some cases replace qatal, indicates in its main function the association of a verbal designatum with a subject, one can conclude that it is thus qatal that designates in its main function anterior-perfectivity. 24.3 yiqtul yiqtul is used after auxiliary verbs and in subordinate clauses and often has a modal reading. After baʿd ma ‘after’, lamma and bass ‘when’ it designates anteriority in the future: lamma yūṣal ʿal-qāhira raḥyzūr xayyu ‘When he arrives in Cairo, he will visit his brother.’ After baddu it expresses posteriority to the speech time or a modal state: he wants to, is supposed to etc. In circumstantial clauses after w + subject, yiqtul may be repeated in order to express that the situation took place more than once. In conjunction with kān, yiqtul designates habitual situations that are anterior to the speech time. Habituality in the past can also be expressed by kān ap and, on condition that there is no doubt as to the habitual character of the situation, by kān ʿamyiqtul. With some resultative verbs, qatal, byiqtul, raḥyiqtul and kān yiqtul can designate the event and the state (libis), with others they can only express the event (ḥifiẓ). In subordinate clauses kān yiqtul indicates habitual situations that are anterior to the speech time if the superordinate clause has present time reference (byʾūl ʾinnu . . .). If, on the other hand, the superordinate clause has past time reference, kān yiqtul describes situations that are anterior to the situation of the superordinate clause: ʾāl ʾinnu xayyu kǟn yištiġil bil-qāhira ‘He said that his brother had been in the habit of working in Cairo.’
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
yiqtul is also found in verb forms like byiqtul and raḥyiqtul. These are, however, discussed in seperate section, for they are not perceived as being composed of different elements but rather as integral wholes.
Aspect and Tense
Combined with kān and in circumstantial clauses of the type w + subject + yiqtul + yiqtul, it indicates the repetition of a situation, and is thus not expressive of aspect or tense, but rather of an actional category. Aside from this, yiqtul is found in modal subordinate clauses, after auxiliary verbs like baddu or subjunctions like bass and lamma. The main function of yiqtul seems thus to be the designation of modal categories. 24.4 byiqtul byiqtul can express situations in the foreground of narrations and differs in this function from qatal only at a stylistic level insofar as it gives a more lively description of the plot. Moreover, it expresses extratemporal situations and habitual situations with present time reference in both main and subordinate clauses, is, however, not able to describe situations that are restricted to a limited period of time. The last-named situations have rather to be expressed by ʿamyiqtul that can also be used to indicate habitual situations with present time reference. In subordinate clauses byiqtul designates habituality in the past if the superordinate clause has past time reference. With stative verbs, however, habituality is normally not indicated by byiqtul but rather by the ap. With some of these verbs, as for example tʿažžab ‘to wonder’, there is an opposition between byiqtul / ʿamyiqtul and the ap. While byiqtul and ʿamyiqtul describe the situation as a kind of process that is leading up to the state, the state itself is expressed by the ap. As to resultative verbs, byiqtul may express the event and the state if qatal, raḥyiqtul and kān yiqtul can do so, too. byiqtul may also express situations that are posterior to a second reference point in the past: fakkar ʾinnu hayda raḥysǟʿdu (~ bysǟʿdu; Text V, 9) ‘He thought that this (dwarf) would help him.’ In circumstantial clauses and object clauses after verbs of perception, byiqtul may replace ʿamyiqtul: simiʿ ḥada byʿayyiṭlu b-ʾismu (Schu. vi, 2) ‘He heard someone calling him by name.’ In sentences like these it does not express habituality but imperfectivity.
After ṣārlu ‘since’ byiqtul can only be used with certain verbs like ʿirif ‘to know’, or if the period of time mentioned after ṣārlu is so extended that the situation can be regarded as habitual. byiqtul occurs in the protasis and apodosis of conditionals with present or future time reference. Moreover, byiqtul may express situations that are posterior to the speech time, especially if the utterance is regarded as binding. byiqtul can also be used for situations with future time reference if the time of their occurrence is regarded as unsure or if they are predicted by a prophecy although raḥyiqtul is the preferred verb form in the latter case. Furthermore, byiqtul in the second person may function as an imperative and, in the first person, as a cohortative. In temporal clauses after bass, lamma and baʿd ma, it indicates anteriority to a superordinate clause with future time reference.
Aspect and Tense
At a temporal level, byiqtul can indicate posteriority to the speech time or to a second reference point in the past, i.e. categories that are necessarily perfective. At an aspectual level, it may express imperfectivity in ḥāl-clauses and in object clauses after verbs of perception although it is not accepted with all verbs in this function. In narrations, after the subjunctions baʿd ma, bass, lamma, law and ʾiza it indicates perfectivity. It has a modal meaning when used to express an imperative or a cohortative. Most often, however, byiqtul indicates habituality, be it in the simple form or in the compound kān byiqtul, that may replace the more common form kān yiqtul. In order to define the main function of a verb form, one should first of all make sure whether the intenta in question may also be designated by other verb forms. Posteriority to the speech time or a second reference point in the past may also be expressed by raḥyiqtul, baddu yiqtul and, with verbs of motion, the ap. In circumstantial clauses and object clauses after verbs of perception it can always be replaced by ʿamyiqtul that is rated as more common. After the subjunctions bass, lamma and baʿd ma it may be substituted by yiqtul, and in conditionals after ʾiza and law by qatal. Commands can also be expressed by raḥyiqtul, baddu yiqtul and the proper imperative form. In order to designate habituality, one may also make use of ʿamyiqtul, supposing that context or cotext make clear that the situation is supposed to be habitual. Without such help, only byiqtul is able to identify a situation unambiguously as habitual. So
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
let us tentatively regard the designation of habituality as the main function of byiqtul and try to derive its other functions therefrom. It does not pose any difficulties to reconcile habituality and extratemporality, the difference between them being merely the lack of time reference on the part of the latter. byiqtul is used imperfectively in circumstantial clauses and in object clauses after verbs of perception. Imperfectivity and habituality have in common that they both imply simultaneity with a reference point; as to imperfectivity, it is the simultaneity of the single situation with its reference point, as to habituality, it is the over-all situation that is simultaneous with its reference point. Thus, when byiqtul is used in an imperfective sense, the speaker just shifts his point of view from the over-all situation to one of the individual situations which the former one is composed of. With respect to its use as a future form, one has to bear in mind that byiqtul is chiefly applied to express situations whose occurrence is regarded as certain. Certainty is a feature that is also associated with habituality, for if a situation has been repeated over and over again, one will expect it to happen in the present, too, and might well conclude that it will surely take place in the future as well.8 This usage of byiqtul is in direct relation to its use as an imperative form because an action someone is supposed to carry out is located in the future, too. It is surely no coincidence that the two other verb forms which may express imperatives, namely raḥyiqtul and baddu yiqtul, are also future forms. The usage of byiqtul in a cohortative sense can be explained in the same way. Let us now shift attention to the perfective use in narrations and after subjunctions. The incompatibility of habituality with aspectuality refers to the over-all situation, not to the individual situations. Although the speaker, when using byiqtul, focuses on the over-all situation, he nevertheless conceives of the indivudal situation as implicitely completed, for he has to make use of ʿamyiqtul or bykūn ʿamyiqtul if he wants to represent them in their progress. Thus, with the perfective use of byiqtul, too, the speaker shifts his point of view from the over-all situation to the individual situation, but this time, 8 According to Eisele (Arabic Verbs, 138f), byiqtul and yiqtul, when used with future time adverbials, show only an extension of their habitual uses, i.e. they still have a habitual reading: (bi)yrūḥ il-maktab bukra ‘He goes to the office tomorrow’ (i.e. he usually goes on that particular day of the week). This analysis, however, is contradicted by an example with byiqtul and bukra given by Woidich (Kairo, 281) that is clearly non-habitual, and it is surely not valid for the dialect of Beirut. Non of the examples with byiqtul and future time reference given above can be understood as having a habitual reading.
the individual situation is not referred to its reference point, with regard to which it is imperfective, but rather remains in its habitual context, for here it is perfective. Seen from this point of view, the habitual situation is conceived of as a sequence of several individual situations, i.e. in exactly the same way as the events in a narration. At the same time, the identical subsituations are replaced by the individual events that constitute the narration. By this means, the individual events are represented as perfective—an obligatory presupposition for a narration—and at the same time the narration, and consequently the single events, adopt the time reference indicated by byiqtul in its habitual use, namely present time reference. Once established as a perfective verb form in narrations, byiqtul could also be used to express the perfective aspect after subjunctions. In conclusion, we may say that byiqtul is neither an aspectual nor a temporal verb form but rather the signum which designates habituality that has not been completed with respect to a reference point. 24.5 raḥyiqtul raḥyiqtul is used in the simple form and in the compound kān raḥyiqtul. Simple raḥyiqtul designates posteriority to a reference point, that may have past time reference: ʿrift ʾinnu raḥyiʾtul il-wazīr baʿd bi-nhār ‘I came to know that he would kill the minister the following day’, or present time reference: raḥyiʾtul il-wazīr ‘He will kill the minister.’ The occurrence of the future situation designated by raḥyiqtul can be regarded as certain or uncertain or as immediately following, or it may be predicted by a prophecy. Moreover, raḥyiqtul can express a command (You will do it!). In most instances, raḥyiqtul may be replaced by baddu yiqtul, byiqtul or, with verbs of motion, the ap. baddu yiqtul, however, often has a modal reading. The difference between raḥyiqtul and byiqtul, on the other hand, is rather slight, but it seems that raḥyiqtul renders an utterance less binding; this appears to be the reason why raḥyiqtul is preferably used in prophecies. Moreover, raḥyiqtul occurs in the protasis (after ʾiza and law) and in the apodosis of conditionals with future time reference. With certain resultative verbs, raḥyiqtul can express both the event and the state if qatal, byiqtul and kān yiqtul are able to do so, too. The compound kān raḥyiqtul indicates that someone was about to do something but finally did not do it. With resultative verbs kān raḥyiqtul refers to the event, not to the state.
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
Aspect and Tense
raḥyiqtul designates posteriority to a reference point, it is, however, not specified as temporal but rather as aspectual, strictly speaking: as posteriorperfective, for it cannot be used to express situations that are simultaneous with a second reference point and thus imperfective. In this case, one has to make use of bykūn / raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul: huwwe raḥyištiġil biž-žnayni ‘He will work in the garden’, but: huwwe bykūn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma bzūru ‘He will be working in the garden when I visit him.’ If raḥyiqtul were a temporal form, one would expect to find it in the second sentence, too. Posterior-perfectivity may also be indicated by byiqtul, baddu yiqtul and the ap, but none of these verb forms expresses this category in its main function: byiqtul is the signum for habituality, baddu yiqtul is a modal verb form in the first place, and the ap designates the association of the subject with a given designatum. It is thus raḥyiqtul that is to be regarded as the signum for posterior-perfectivity. From this main function one may easily derive its secondary use for commands and in conditionals (cf. above, chapt. 24.d). 24.6 ʿamyiqtul ʿamyiqtul may be used in the simple form or in the compounds kān ʿamyiqtul and bykūn / raḥykūn ʿamyiqtul. ʿamyiqtul is normally not used for states. With the other actional categories, it expresses simultaneity with its reference point that may have past, present or future time reference. In main clauses, ʿamyiqtul describes situations that are simultaneous with the speech time, and is thus specified as imperfective (if it is regarded as an aspectual verb form) or as simultaneous (if it is interpreted as a temporal form). The situations do not necessarily proceed while the speaker talks, but can be thought of as potentials that may be activated in a limited period of time (e.g. this week). In subordinate clauses it indicates simultaneity with the situation expressed by the superordinate clause. With some stative verbs, there is an opposition between ʿamyiqtul and the ap. While ʿamyiqtul describes the situation as a kind of process that has not been completed yet, the ap represents it as something stative that is not supposed to change. With verbs of motion, ʿamyiqtul indicates the beginning of the movement, the ap its middle phase, and with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid-type, ʿamyiqtul indicates the event, whereas the ap designates the state. If
ʿamyiqtul expresses situations that are restricted to a limited period of time, it can also be used with punctual and telic verbs and verbs of motion like ʾiža ‘to come’, that are incompatible with ʿamyiqtul in other contexts. Here, ʿamyiqtul describes the situation in its entirety and not just a part thereof. ʿamyiqtul may also be used for habitual situations, supposing that the intentum is sufficiently made clear by the context or suitable adverb phrases. Here, too, it expresses the whole situation and may be used with the verb forms mentioned above. With resultative verbs, it indicates both the event and the state.9 In circumstantial clauses and in object clauses after verbs of perception, ʿamyiqtul indicates the imperfective aspect. The compound kān ʿamyiqtul in main clauses is used to describe situations that are simultaneous with a reference point in the past: kǟn ṣāyirlu sǟʿa ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma zirtu ‘He had been working for an hour in the garden when I visited him.’ is-sǟʿa sitti kint ʿambištiġil biž-žnayni ‘At six o’clock I was working in the garden.’ The reference point may also be a period of time defined by adverb phrases like bwuʾta or b-hayda l-waʾt. As with simple ʿamyiqtul, the compound may express habituality and replace kān yiqtul if the context makes clear that the situation is supposed to be habitual. It has to be used if one wants to express a conditioned habitual situation: kill marra lamma kint ʾiži ʿal-bêt kǟn ʾAḥmad ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Each time I came home, Ahmad was reading the newspaper. Furthermore, ʿamyiqtul can be combined with bykūn and raḥykūn. The compound raḥykūn ~ bykūn ʿamyiqtul expresses situations that are simultaneous with a reference point in the future or with a reference point that is posterior to a second reference point in the past: bass tiži raḥkūn ʾana ʿambištiġil biž-žnayni ‘When you come, I will be working in the garden.’ ʾāl ʾinnu bykūn ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni lamma bzūru ‘He said he would be working in the garden when I visit him.’ bykūn ʿamyiqtul is used to express imperfectivity of conditioned habitual situations with present time reference: kill yôm bass ʾana ʾiži ʿal-bêt bykūn Ḥasan ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ‘Every day when I come home, Hasan is reading the newspaper.’
9 It is not unheard of that one verb form can indicate both progressive and habitual situations, as for example byiqtul in Cairene Arabic. cf. Woidich, Kairo, 281f; Eisele, Arabic Verbs, 91f.
Summary Arranged According To Verb Form
Aspect and Tense
It has already been mentioned in 24b that ʿamyiqtul does not designate a temporal category but rather the imperfective aspect. This is in agreement with the fact that ʿamyiqtul is incompatible with the same categories as imperfectivity, namely with punctuality, telicness, non-temporality and non-actionality (rules 1, 5 and 8). A combination of ʿamyiqtul with these categories yields the same results that have been predicted by the metagrammar for the case that imperfectivity is combined with them, i.e. punctual or telic situations become atelic or complex, non-temporality and non-actionality become temporal and actional respectively: huwwe ḥifiẓ il-mifradǟt ‘He learnt the words by heart’: huwwe ʿamyiḥfuẓ il-mifradǟt halla ‘He is learning the words by heart at the moment’ (telic > atelic). huwwe kirhān mʿallmu ‘He hates his teacher’: huwwe ʿamyikrah mʿallmu ‘He is developing hatred for his teacher’ (non-actional > actional). Moreover, ʿamyiqtul can express habitual situations and situations that are restricted to a limited period of time, i.e. it may be used to designate categories that are incompatible with aspectuality. The characteristic feature of imperfective situations is that they are viewed from the inside while they have not been completed yet. The same holds true for habitual situations and situations that are constrained to a limited period of time, apart from the fact that, here, an over-all situation is viewed, not a single situation. Thus, the explanation for the use of ʿamyiqtul in this function seems quite similar to that offered for the use of the habitual verb form byiqtul in an imperfective sense. With the imperfective use of byiqtul, the speaker shifts his point of view from the over-all situation to one of the individual situations. Here, it is the other way round: the speaker shifts his point of view from the individual situation to the over-all situation, or, to be more exact: he projects the individual situation into the timeframe that is normally filled by a habitual situation, for there has not existed such thing as an over-all situation before the shift of the perspective. As there is no other verb form that designates imperfectivity in its main function, we have to regard ʿamyiqtul as its signum.
The Oppositions in the Verbal System All criteria that have been established for the identification of aspectual verb forms (cf. chapt. 7) are met: in order to express situations that are anterior or posterior to the speech time, the dialect of Beirut makes use of two different verb forms to indicate perfectivity and imperfectivity: huwwe žǟb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought the beverages to the shop’ as opposed to: huwwe kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma zāru xayyu ‘He was just bringing the beverages to the shop when his brother visited him.’ huwwe raḥyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He will bring the beverages to the shop’ as opposed to: huwwe bykūn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma byzūru xayyu ‘He will be bringing the beverages to the shop when his brother visits him.’ The same holds true for subordinate clauses: ʿambyʾūl ʾinnu žǟb / kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall. . . . etc. In sentences with while there are also used two verb forms if the situation of the superordinate clause is punctual or telic: lamma kǟn ʿamyiʾra ž-žarīdi ʾiža xayyu ‘While he was reading the newspaper, his brother came.’ After verbs of perception the use of qatal is subject to certain restriction but not impossible. If qatal is employed, the situation of the object clause is conceived of as a completed whole, i.e. perfectively, while the imperfective aspect is denoted by ʿamyiqtul:
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The Oppositions In The Verbal System
šǟf ḥada ʾawwas ḥṣānu ‘He saw someone shoot his horse.’ šǟf ḥada ʿambyʾawwis ḥṣānu ‘He saw someone shooting his horse.’ Habitual and non-habitual situations with identical time reference are normally expressed by different verb forms, which suggests a classification of the verb form used for non-habitual situations as aspectual. As pointed out above (chapt. 7), a temporal verb form is likely to express both habitual and nonhabitual situations. In Beirut, however, one says: žǟb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought the beverages to the shop’ as opposed to: kǟn yžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He used to bring the beverages to the shop.’ ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He is just bringing the beverages to the shop’ as opposed to: byžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He (usually) brings the beverages to the shop.’ Another criterion for the differentiation between aspectual and temporal verb forms is their orientation in main clauses. While temporal verb forms can orientate themselves in main clauses only by the speech time, an aspectual verb form may choose the speech time or a second reference point as its point of orientation (cf. chapt. 7). Unfortunately, all main-clause verb forms orientate themselves by the speech time so that we cannot draw any conclusions from this point. The dialect of Beirut has thus an aspectual system that consists of three signa: a. b. c.
qatal for anterior-perfectivity ʿamyiqtul for imperfectivity raḥyiqtul for posterior-perfectivity
In noematic terminology: signum qatal
designatum = main function anterior-perfectivity
imperfectivity habituality habtituality
posterior-perfectivity figure 25.1
The aspectual verb forms in Beirutian Arabic
Intenta and designata are identical in most cases. Only ʿamyiqtul fulfills a secondary function in addition to its main function. The main function of a signum is, as explained above (chapt. 1), that function which can be fulfilled by no other signum in its main function. The main function of these three signa may also—with reservations—be fulfilled by other verb forms, but none of these verb forms designate the corresponding designata in their main function but merely in a secondary function. In their secondary functions, the three aspectual signa designate automatically also temporal categories, that have not been mentioned in the figure above, for an imperfective situation is also simultaneous, an anterior-perfective one also anterior and a posterior-perfective situation automatically posterior.
The Oppositions In The Verbal System
These three signa form three oppositional pairs: qatal : ʿamyiqtul qatal : raḥyiqtul ʿamyiqtul : raḥyiqtul The temporal relationship between the verb forms and their reference point is indicated by a form of the auxiliary verb kān. If the verb forms orientate themselves by their reference points with regard to which they are perfective or imperfective, no form of kān is needed, as in: huwwe žǟb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought the beverages to the shop’ His bringing is anterior-perfective to the speech time, which is the reference point and the point of orientation at the same time. If reference point and point of orientation are not identical, the situation has to be temporally qualified by kān: ʾāl ʾinnu kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma zāru xayyu ‘He said that he had been bringing the beverages to the shop when his brother had visited him.’ The reference point of his bringing is now the visit of his brother with regard to which it is imperfective. kǟn ʿambyžīb, however, does not orientate itself by its reference point (zāru), for in this case one would expect simple ʿamyiqtul that is used to designate simultaneity with the speech time in main clauses, but rather by ʾāl ‘he said’, to which it is anterior. There is only one irregularity in this system. If an anterior-perfective verb form does not orientate itself by the reference point in the past with regard to which it is perfective but rather by another reference point, one would expect to find kān qatal, but instead kān ap is used: ʾāl ʾinnu kǟn žǟyib il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma zāru xayyu ‘He said that he had already brought the beverages to the shop when his brother had visited him.’ After bykūn and with future time reference, however, qatal may be used:
huwwe bykūn žǟb (~ žǟyib) il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall lamma byzūru xayyu ‘He will have brought the beverages to the shop when his brother visits him.’ The forms of kān do not designate aspectual categories in these compounds but temporal ones, for they are used with both perfective and imperfective situations; they merely indicate posteriority or anteriority to a reference point. The use of raḥyiqtul and qatal is restricted to their main function so that they are to be regarded as marked. The fact that they may also designate temporal categories, results automatically from their perfective main function and should not prevent us from considering them marked. ʿamyiqtul, on the other hand, does not only indicate imperfectivity but also non-actionality. It can express habitual situations, and it must be used if one wants to express situations that are restricted to a limited period of time. Though the latter use may be explained by its imperfective function, it does not result automatically from it, and one should regard ʿamyiqtul as unmarked. The second determining factor in the verbal system beside aspect is the category of action. If a verb form that expresses habitual situations is replaced by an aspectual form like qatal, ʿamyiqtul or raḥyiqtul, then a non-aspectual situation does not only become aspectual, but furthermore it is no longer the over-all situation that is viewed but rather the simple situation whose actional value is qualitative, not quantitative. There are the following oppositions: qantitative : qualitative kān yiqtul qatal / ʿamyiqtul / raḥyiqtul byiqtul -’kǟn yžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He used to bring the beverages to the shop.’ (habitual, quantitative action) byžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He is used to bringing the beverages to the shop.’ (habitual, quantitative action) žǟb / ʿambyžīb / raḥyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘He brought / is bringing / will bring the beverages to the shop.’ (non-habitual, telic / atelic) The verbal system is complemented by yiqtul and the ap. yiqtul is not in opposition to other verb forms because it is only used in positions where other forms occur either as mere variants or not at all. The ap, on the other hand,
The Oppositions In The Verbal System
indicates in its main function the association of a subject with a verbal designatum and is hence first of all stative. In this function it is in opposition to all other verb forms: huwwe lǟbis iṭ-ṭaʾm ‘He (is associated with the situation of putting on the suit and now) is wearing the suit’ as opposed to: libis iṭ-ṭaʾm ‘He put on / wore the suit’ ʿamyilbus iṭ-ṭaʾm ‘He is putting on the suit’ etc. There are instances, however, where this original meaning of the ap is hardly perceptible any more and where it seems to refer to the occurrence of the situation itself and not to indicate a mere association with it. This is especially the case when the ap is used in combination with kān. Here, the ap seems rather to designate perfectivity and is consequently found in opposition to ʿamyiqtul: b-hayda l-waʾt kǟn žǟyib / kǟn ʿambyžīb il-mašrūbǟt ʿal-maḥall ‘At that time he had already brought / was just bringing the beverages to the shop.’
Some Remarks on the Evolution of the Arabic Verbal System 26.1 Introduction Everyone who wants to have a diachronic look at the Arabic dialects faces a grave problem. While we can examine the result of the evolution, i.e. the contemporary dialects, without further ado, this is not true for its starting point because it is generally accepted nowadays that the modern dialects did not develop from Classical Arabic but from the Old Arabic dialects.1 An investigation that wants to find out in which way the modern dialects have become what they are today has to start with the Old Arabic dialects about which we know very little. The Arab armies that set out from the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century to conquer the neighbouring territories consisted largely of Bedouins who brought with them their dialects that were adopted little by little by the native population. The way the new language was adopted and the shaping of the New Arabic speech area took place was very complex and influenced by many factors, among other things by population shifts and different kinds of substrate so that it is impossible to proof a single direct connection between an Old Arabic and a New Arabic dialect.2 It is true that the old grammarians mentioned several peculiarities of the Old Arabic dialects, that have been analysed by Ch. Rabin, but the information supplied in their works do not even allow an approximate reconstruction of the verbal system of an Old Arabic dialect. Another source are the ‘Kutub Laḥn al-ʿĀmmah’ in which—beginning with the eighth century—the only imperfectively educated classes are blamed for their solecisms. The colloquial forms that are found in these books do not originate from the Old Arabic dialects, which were considered correct Arabic, but rather from the New Arabic dialects that developed after Arabic had been spread into the conquered territories and had been adopted by the non-Arab 1 cf. e.g. W. Diem, “Studien zur Frage des Substrats im Arabischen,” Der Islam 56 (1979): 12–80, p. 13. 2 cf. Rabin, “Beginnings,” 26; on the development of the New Arabic dialects in general, see Blau, “Beginnings”; Bruweleit, “ʿĀmmah,” 5–10.
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Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
population. The use of these books is, however, pretty limited because they contain hardly any information about the verbal system.3 Finally, we have to make mention of the Middle Arabic texts whose often non-Arabic authors tried to use the standard language but who did not master the Arabic language to such a degree as to meet the requirements of the standard grammar. For that reason, they frequently used colloquial forms or tried to avoid them intentionally by using hypercorrect forms. Although Middle Arabic texts are more useful for the knowledge of early New Arabic than the Kutub Laḥn al-ʿĀmmah—we find there, inter alia, examples for the use of byiqtul4— they do not enable us to study the verbal system of a New Arabic dialect in its entirety, because their authors tried—as I said—to express themselves in Standard Arabic, and consequently most passages of their texts are free of dialectal forms.5 Besides the modern standard language and the contemporary dialects there is thus only Classical Arabic that places data at our disposal that are sufficient for a thorough examination of the verbal system. Several linguistic sources joined in the formation and standardization of the classical language the result of which lies before us in a more or less complete form in Sibawayh’s great work. The most important source where the grammarians took their examples for correct usage from were the Old Arabic poems, followed by the Quran, Hadiths and proverbs.6 The language of the poets in its turn was formed by poets from different tribes so that Classical Arabic is to be considered a conglomerate of different Old Arabic dialects.7 As mentioned above, the differences between the dialects did not escape the old grammarians’ notice, and they do not only inform us about special features of the vocabulary and the nominal inflexion but also about peculiarities regarding the verb forms. So we learn from their treatises, for example, 3 On the Laḥn-books composed in Western Arabic, see: P.D. Molan, “Medieval Western-Arabic: Reconstructing Elements of the Dialects of al-Andalus, Sicily and North Africa from the Laḥn al-Āmmah Literature” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1978); on the Eastern Laḥn-books, see Bruweleit, “ʿĀmmah”. 4 See Blau, “Middle Arabic Dialects,” 70f; Nöldeke, Beiträge, 63–68. 5 On Middle Arabic in general, see Blau, “Das frühe Neuarabisch,” 39–60. 6 On the documentary evidence of the grammarians, see S. Wild, Das Kitāb al-ʿAin und die arabische Lexikographie (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1965), pp. 42–53; W. Diem, “Das Kitāb al-G� īm des Abū ʿAmr aš-Šaibāni” (PhD diss., University of Munich, 1968), pp. 59–73. 7 On the language of the poets, see J. Blau, The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic: A Study of the Origins of Middle Arabic (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 2; M. Zwettler, The Oral Tradition of Classical Arabic Poetry: Its Character and Implications (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1978), pp. 111–113.
that the inflectional prefix had the vowel a in Hijazi Arabic (yaqtulu), whereas the Tamim and some others had an i in the same position (yiqtulu), or that the Tayyiʾ said mittu ‘I died’ and mā dimtu ‘as long as I’ instead of muttu and mā dumtu.8 But unfortunately, the grammarians do not waste a word on the question whether the old dialects differed from each other also with regard to the functions of the verb forms. So we do not know if qatala or yaqtulu were used in the same way in every dialect or not. I think we can interpret their silence on this point to the effect that major differences in the functions of the verb forms did not exist. This view is supported by the fact that drastic alterations of a verbal system at a functional level is normally accompanied by corresponding alterations of the morphology, and if verb forms like byiqtul or ʿamyiqtul had been used in the old dialects, the grammarians would surely have mentioned them. For that reason it does not seem to me too daring if we assume that the old dialects did not differ basically from each other nor from Classical Arabic at a functional level. Isolated functions, that were of minor importance in Classical Arabic, might have been fulfilled by different verb forms in the dialects, but these differences are not inconsistent with the assumption of a fundamental uniformity of the dialects and Classical Arabic which could have been seriously impaired by the existence of new verb forms only. It has hence to be regarded as methodically admissible to take the verbal system of Classical Arabic as the starting point for the development of the New Arabic dialects. In the following, I will examine the use of the verb forms qatala, yaqtulu, yaqtula and yaqtul in Classical Arabic. The data for the investigation are taken from the passages of Ibn Hišām’s biography of the prophet Muhammad that are published in the Chrestomathie of Brünnow and Fischer (pp. 39–66) and from grammar books. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to decide if Classical Arabic has to be looked upon as an aspectual or a tense language, its only aim is to establish the main functions of the verb forms. 26.2
The Verb Forms in Classical Arabic
qatala Let us start with the use in main clauses. qatala, negated lam yaqtul, is used to express situations that are anterior to the speech time:9 8 Rabin, awa, 206. 9 On qatala in general, see Fleisch, Traité, 180ff; Wright, Grammar, ii 1ff.
Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
a. ṯumma qaḏafa t-tamarāta min yadihī wa-ʾaxaḏa sayfahū fa-qātala l-qawma ḥatta qutila (Sīra, p. 56, 11f) ‘Then he threw away the dates in his hand and took his sword and fought until he was killed.’ The same is true for discussing texts (cf. below, chapter 27): b. fa-nimna tilka l-laylata maʿ qawminā (Sīra, p. 45, 15) ‘We slept that night with our folks.’ The evidence for this use of qatala is so large that we can do without further examples. Moreover, qatala can have resultative function when used with resultative verbs of the ʾǟʿid- or the ʾǟkil-type. First some examples for the second type, i.e. the event leads up to a state that does not follow automatically from the event but only by means of a conclusion. Muhammad’s father Abdullah asked a woman why she did not offer her services to him any longer as she had done the day before. She answered: c.
fāraqaka n-nūru llaḏī kāna maʿaka bil-ʾamsi (Sīra, p. 37, 11) ‘The light that was with you yesterday has left you (and now it is not with you any longer).’
During the battle of Badr, Muhammad said to Abu Bakr: d. ʾabšir yā ʾAbā Bakrin ʾatāka naṣru llāhi (ibid. 56, 4) ‘Rejoice, o Abu Bakr, God’s assistance has come to you (and now it is here).’ And now some examples for the first type: e. fa-qīla lahā: ‘ʾinnaki qad ḥamalti bi-sayyidi hāḏihī l-ʾummati’ (ibid. 37, 16f) “And she was told, ‘You have conceived the master of this community (and now you are pregnant).ʾ ” f.
la-qad ʿalimtum mā ğiʾnā li-nufsida l-ʾarḍa (Fischer, Grammatik, 190) ‘You have come to know (and now you know) that we have not come to ruin the territory.’
yā ʾayyuhā llaḏīna ʾāmanū ([Quran], ibid. 191) ‘O you, who (have come to believe and now) believe.’
The compound kāna qatala indicates anteriority to a reference point in the past: h. ṯumma nṭalaqat ʾilā Waraqati bni Nawfalin wa-huwa bnu ʿammihā wa-kāna Waraqatu qad tanaṣṣara (Sīra, p. 42, 16f) ‘And then she went to Waraqa ibn Nawfal, the son of her uncle; Waraqa had become a Christian.’ yakūnu qatala denotes anteriority to a reference point in the future: i. wa-sa-ʾastaʾğiru ʾaqwāman yaḥmilūnahū ʾilā manzilī wa-ʾakūnu ʾanā ʾāxirahum wa-lā yakūnu baqiya warāʾī šayʾun yušġilu fikrī (Wright, Grammar, ii 22) ‘And I shall hire some people to carry it to my house, and I shall be the last of them (to depart), and there shall not have been left behind me anything to occupy my mind.’10 In subordinate clauses simple qatala indicates anteriority to the superordinate clause, e.g. in temporal clauses: j.
ʾağīʾuka ʾiḏā ḥmarra l-busru (Wright, Grammar, ii 9) ‘I will come to you when the green dates will have become red.’
The main clause can have past time reference: k.
ṯumma ḥaddaṯtuhā bi-llaḏī raʾaytu (Sīra, p. 42, 13) ‘Then I told her what I had seen.’
fa-ʿarafa n-nāsu ʾanna rasūla llāhi lam yastaxlif ʾaḥadan (ibid. 63, 3f) ‘The people came to know that the envoy of God had not appointed a successor’
or present time reference: m. ʾiqraʾ bi-smi rabbika llaḏī xalaqa l-ʾinsāna min ʿalaqin (ibid. 41, 12f) ‘Read in the name of your master who created man out of a blood clot.’ 10 Translation by Wright.
Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
Anteriority to the speech time may also be expressed by kāna qatala: n. mā laki ? lā taʿriḍīna ʿalayya l-yawma mā kunti ʿaraḍti ʿalayya bi-l-ʾamsi? (ibid. 37, 9f) ‘What is the matter with you? Do you not offer to me today what you offered to me yesterday? Subordinate-clause situations expressed by qatala of stative and resultative verbs are simultaneous with the situation of the main clause: o.
wa-raʾat ḥīna ḥamalat bihī ʾannahū xarağa minhā nūrun (ibid. 38, 1) ‘She saw, when she had conceived him (and was thus pregnant), that a light was emanating from her.’
p. fa-xuḏ li-nafsika wa-li-rabbika mā ʾaḥbabta (ibid. 47, 4f) ‘So take for yourself and for your master what you (have taken pleasure in and thus) like.’ qatala occurs in ḥāl-clauses introduced by wa when the situation described there is anterior to the one of the superordinate clause: q. ṯumma tazāḥafa n-nāsu wa danā baʿḍuhum min baʿḍin wa-qad ʾamara rasūlu llāhi ʾaṣḥābahū ʾan lā yaḥmilū ḥattā yaʾmurahum (ibid. 54, 10–12) ‘Then the people advanced and approached each other, the envoy of God having ordered his companions not to attack until he told them.’ qatala seems to be rarely used after verbs of perception, but if used there, it describes the situation as a completed whole: r.
raʾaytu ʿAmran fī l-manāmi kasānī ridāʾahū (Fischer, Grammatik, 196) ‘I saw in my dream Amr put his cloak on me.’
The examples given so far are quite clearly perfective. qatala is, however, also used in sentences where one would not expect a perfective verb form. Firstly, it can indicate extratemporality, i.e. a category that is not compatible with aspectuality: s.
ḍalla saʿyu man rağā ġayra llāhi (Fleisch, Traité, 184) ‘Everyone who pins his hopes on someone other than God goes astray.’
Furthermore, it occurs in the apodosis of factual and counterfactual conditional clauses. Here the aspect of qatala is perfective again but in contrast to its other applications, the situation expressed by qatala is posterior to its reference point: t.
ʾin tābaʿtumūhu ʿala ʾamrihī kuntum mulūka l-ʿarabi wa l-ʿağami (Sīra, p. 53, 3f) ‘If you follow him on his way, you will become the kings of the Arabs and the Persians.’
u. law xalada l-mulūku ʾiḏan xaladnā (Fischer, Grammatik, 203) ‘If kings lived forever, we would live forever, too.’ Moreover, it can be used to express wishes and curses: v.
dāma mulkuhū / laʿanahū llāhu (Wright, Grammar, ii 3) ‘May his reign last / May God curse him.’
Finally, we have to make mention of its use in predictions: w. wa-barazū li-llāhi ğamīʿan fa-qāla ḍ-ḍuʿafāʾu . . . ([Quran] Aartun, Tempora, 88) ‘They will all appear before God. Then the weak will say . . .’ yaqtulu yaqtulu is used to express situations that are simultaneous with the speech time: a.
ʾayna taḏhabu ? (Sīra, p. 36, 12) ‘Where are you going?’
b. mā tantaẓirūna ? (ibid. 54, 1) ‘What are you waiting for?’11 and habitual situations with present time reference: c.
naʿam ʾanā ʾaqūlu ḏālika (ibid. 53, 9) ‘Yes, that is what I say (= that is my opinion)’
11 See also Fleisch, Traité, 184; Fischer, Grammatik, 93.
Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
d. li-ma taqūlūna mā lā tafʿalūna ? ([Quran] Fleisch, Traité, 183) ‘Why do you say things that you do not do?’ and extratemporal situations: e.
ʾat-timsāḥu yaʿīšu fī l-māʾi (Fischer, Grammatik, 93) ‘Crocodiles live in water.’
Besides sa- or sawfa yaqtulu (negated lan yaqtula), simple yaqtulu (negated lā yaqtulu), too, can designate posteriority to the speech time: f.
lā yamūtu fī n-nāri wa-lā yaḥyā (Fischer, Grammatik, 94) ‘He will neither die nor live in hellfire.’
Consequently, it can also express situations that are posterior to a reference point in the past: g.
ʾiğtamaʿū ʿalā bābihī yarṣudūnahū matā yanāmu fa-yaṯibūna ʿalayhi (Sīra, p. 52, 13f) ‘They gathered in front of his door to see when he would fall asleep, then they would pounce on him.’
In subordinate clauses yaqtulu expresses situations that are simultaneous with the one of the superordinate clause: h. fa-ḥaḍara maʿakum li-yasmaʿa mā taqūlūna ? (Sīra, p. 50, 10) ‘So he turned up at you to hear what you were saying?’ i.
ʿaraftu ʾannahū yurīduhū (ibid. 65, 6) ‘I understood that he wanted it.’
yaqtulu is also used to express situations that were just proceeding when suddenly a second one, introduced by ʾiḏ, happened: j.
baynamā naḥnu namšī ʾiḏ ʿaraḍa rağulun (Fischer, Grammatik, 200) ‘While we were walking along, suddenly there appeared a man.’
yaqtulu may also be used in independent sentences to express situations that are simultaneous with another one that is expressed by qatala:
fa-waqaftu ʾanẓuru ʾilayhi fa-mā ʾataqaddamu wa-mā ʾataʾaxxaru wa-ğaʿaltu ʾaṣrifu wağhī ʿanhū fī ʾāfāqi s-samāʾi fa-lā ʾanẓuru fī nāḥiyatin minhā ʾillā raʾaytuhū (Sīra, p. 42, 4–6) ‘I stopped and looked at him, I moved neither forward nor backward. Then I started to avert my face from him towards the sky, but whereever I looked I saw nothing but him.’
ʾataqaddamu and ʾataʾaxxaru proceed parallel to waqaftu ʾanẓuru and describe the attendant circumstances. fa-lā ʾanẓuru refers to ğaʿaltu ʾaṣrifu and outlines what he saw while averting his face. yaqtulu is, however, also used to express independent situations that are posterior to a second one expressed by qatala: l.
ʾiḏā ʾaṣbaḥa ʿAmrun qāla: ‘man ʿadā ʿalā ʾilāhinā ?’ ṯumma yaġdū yalta misuhū ḥatta ʾiḏā wağadahū ġasalahū (Fischer, Grammatik, 93) ‘When it dawned, Amr said, ‘Who wronged our God?ʾ Then he departed early in the morning to look for it. When he had found it, he cleaned it.’
In circumstantial clauses introduced by wa and after verbs of perception, yaqtulu indicates simultaneity with the situation of the superordinate clause: m. xarağa ʾilā n-nāsi wa-hum yuṣallūna (Sīra, p. 62, 4) ‘He went out to the people while they were praying.’ n. samiʿtu ʿĀʾišata taqūlu (ibid. 65, 16) ‘I heard Aisha say.’ The compound kāna yaqtulu denotes habituality in the past: o.
fa-kāna rasūlu llāhi yuğāwiru fī ḥirāʾa min kulli sanatin šahran (ibid. 40, 11) ‘The envoy of God used to spend a month in Ḥira every year for the sake of contemplation.’
The same function may, however, also be fulfilled by simple yaqtulu: p. lima taqtulūna l-ʾanbiyāʾa min qablu ? ([Quran] Fischer, Grammatik, 93) ‘Why did you always kill the prophets in former times?’ yaqtula and yaqtul lam yaqtul negates situations whose affirmative counterparts are expressed by qatala. lammā yaqtul expresses situations that have not taken place yet:
Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
lam yaʾti ‘He did not come.’
b. lammā yaʾti ‘He has not come yet.’ yaqtul can be used instead of qatala in the apodosis and protasis of conditional clauses; after an imperative it describes the consequence of the order: c.
ʾin tasxarū minnā fa-ʾinnā nasxaru minkum (Quran) ‘If you mock at us, we will mock at you.’
d. sammin kalbak yaʾkulka ‘Fatten your dog, and he will devour you.’ After li- yaqtul expresses instructions, after lā prohibitions: e.
li-yaʾti / lā taqtul ‘He shall come! / Do not kill!’12
yaqtula is used after subjunctions like ʾan ‘that’ or kay ‘so that’ and describes situations that are intended, wanted and so on: f.
ʾinnī la-ʾarğū ʾan takūna nabīya hāḏihī l-ʾummati (Sīra, p. 42, 15) ‘I hope that you are the prophet of this community.’
It also occurs in formally independent sentences that are only semantically dependent on a superordinate clause: g.
ʾiġfir lī yā rabbi fa-ʾadxula l-ğannata (Fischer, Grammatik, 97) ‘Forgive me, master, that I may enter paradise.’
With preceding lan it negates future situations: h. lan yazūraka (Fischer, Grammatik, 87) ‘He will not visit you.’
12 All examples for yaqtul are taken from Fischer, Grammatik, 96f, 202.
The ap The ap has already been dealt with in the previous chapter (cf. above, chapt. 24.a) 26.3
The Transition from the Old Arabic to the New Arabic Verbal System
The verb forms that are the starting point for the development of the New Arabic verbal systems are thus qatala / qatal and the ap on the one hand, and yaqtulu and yaqtula, that became yaqtul or yiqtul after final short vowels had been deleted.13 Classical Arabic yaqtul on the other hand, cannot have been merged with the other forms in yiqtul, as Denz (Kwayrīš 107, note 9) convincingly pointed out, but probably simply fell into disuse. qatala / qatal seems to have designated anterior-perfectivity in the first place as is suggested by its use in subordinate clauses where it was in direct opposition to yaqtulu / yiqtul that indicated imperfectivity and simultaneity with its reference point. Aside from this, however, qatala was also used to express extratemporal situations and predictions and could be employed in the apodosis of conditionals, i.e. it was used in functions that are neither compatible with anteriority nor with perfectivity. Although these uses may be derived with the help of an implicature from its perfective function,14 they are nevertheless kinds of misfits in the verbal system, that have already been noted by the old grammarians who saw themselves forced to expound that qatala in predictions had the meaning of yaqtulu.15 In the predecessor dialect of Beirut, the use of qatal was restricted to its anterior-perfective function while the other uses were distributed among those verb forms that indicate in their main function habituality and posterior-perfectivity, namely byiqtul and raḥyiqtul. yaqtula was chiefly restricted to subordinate clauses introduced by certain subjunctions. The functional load of yaqtulu, on the other hand, was much heavier. It was used to denote habituality in the past and the present, extratemporality, posteriority to and simultaneity with a reference point. yaqtulu thus designated aspectuality (perfectivity and imperfectivity) and non-aspectuality 13 There are good reasons to believe that this process had already started in preislamic time. cf. Diem, “Philologisches zu den arabischen Aphrodito-Papyri,” Der Islam 61 (1984) 271–273. 14 The use of a perfective verb form to express extratemporality, for example, can be explained on the assumption that, if a situation regularly took place in the past, it is likely to take place in the present and the future, too. 15 See Aartun, Tempora, 90.
Some Remarks On The Evolution Of The Arabic Verbal System
(habituality) at the same time. At a temporal level it could indicate anteriority (with habitual situations), simultaneity and posteriority. It is not unusual that a verb form fulfills different functions. The German ‘Präsens’, for example, may indicate simultaneity with and posteriority to the speech time, habituality and extratemporality. The Präsens, however, is a temporal verb form, yaqtulu, on the other side, was in subordinate clauses with past time reference in direct opposition to qatala, and this opposition could only be perceived as an aspectual one, not a temporal one, and yaqtulu consequently as an imperfective verb form. This imperfective use of yaqtulu was contradictory to its application for non-aspectual and posterior situations. The Arabs will not have perceived this contradiction as troublesome, for irregularities hardly ever cause difficulties in primary language acquisition. The situation is different with secondary language acquisition, i.e. when adults try to learn a foreign language, as was very often the case after the expeditions of conquest. Adults normally have the slightest problems in secondary language acquisition when the structure of the language in question is regular and coherent, and often they do not hesitate to increase the structural regularity by replacing irregular forms by regular ones. This holds especially true if there is no systematic schooling so that the adults are forced to learn the language all by themselves by, for example, listening to conversations of native speakers as was surely often the case with the new subjects of the Arabs. The first step towards a structural unification and standardization was to seperate from yaqtulu / yiqtul that function which is most contradictory to its imperfective main function, namely the designation of habituality and extratemporality. This was done in the predecessor dialect or dialects of Beirut by prefixing the consonant b to yiqtul. This consonant is probably not identical with the b mentioned by Nöldeke (Beiträge, 65f) that is used to express intended and future situation and possibly goes back to a verb form bū ‘he wanted’. It is more likely that b is just the reflex of the classical preposition bi- that was probably prefixed to the first person ʾiqtul to replace the phonetically rather weak Hamza at the beginning of the word, as Feghali (Syn., 22–26) assumes. Initially, byiqtul probably designated imperfectivity and habituality / extratemporality while the use of yiqtul was restricted to indicating modal categories. byiqtul had certainly already been established in the language system when the prefix ʿam- (< ʿammāl ‘making’)16 was introduced to designate the imperfective aspect, for the b is regularly found in ʿamyiqtul / ʿambyiqtul. The reason why ʿam- was prefixed to byiqtul rather than to yiqtul, seems to be the fact that the latter was used to designate modal categories that are incompatible with aspectuality while byiqtul could denote both aspectuality and non-aspectuality. 16 See Nöldeke, Beiträge, 63.
Things are different with raḥyiqtul, that surely goes back to rāyiḥ + yiqtul. The combination of a form like rāyiḥ ‘going’ and a modal verb form does not pose any difficulties: he is going in order to do something > he will do something. Thus the functions of yaqtulu had been redistributed to byiqtul, ʿambyiqtul and raḥyiqtul. A casual glance at the other Arabic dialects, however, makes clear that the way of evolution outlined above is just one among many others. In Cairene Arabic, for instance, byiqtul does not only designate habituality but also simultaneity with the speech time while posteriority to the speech time is indicated by ḥayiqtul (Woidich, Kairo, 281f). There does also exists an imperfective form that corresponds to ʿamyiqtul, namely ʿammāl / ʿammāla yiqtul, that is, however, chiefly used to emphasize duration and intensity of a situation (Woidich, ibid., 282f), whereas usual simultaneity with the speech time is indicated by byiqtul. In the qəltu-dialect of the Khawêtna in Syria, byiqtul is only rarely used in borrowings from other dialects, the main verb form being yiqtul that may designate habituality, posteriority to and simultaneity with the speech and furthermore modal categories.17 A diachronic investigation of the verbal systems of these dialects will surely yield results that differ from the ones of this work. The same applies to the ap. In Beirut it is chiefly used to indicate the association with a verbal designatum but refers only seldom to the actual realisation of a situation. It is thus perceived as stative in most cases. In the dialect of the Khawêtna, on the other hand, the ap is used in almost the same way as qatal and may describe the foreground in narrations: awwal ma hū šêyəf əl-mara têfəl b-wəğəhha, qāl, tfūy yā bətt əl-qaḥba. qêyəltəllu, lêš ? qêyəl . . . mêxəḏ əl-bākīya w-ṭāləʿ (Talay, Khawêtna, 180f) “As soon as he saw (ap) the woman, he spat (ap) in her face and said, ‘Pew, you harlot daughter!’ She said (ap) to him, ‘Why?’ He said (ap) . . . He took (ap) the cigarette packet and went out (ap).” Thus, in sum, one can state that the evolution of the Beirutian verbal system is dominated by a strong analytical tendency, i.e. functions that had been fulfilled by one verb form were distributed to different verb forms as can clearly be seen in the case of yiqtul (< yaqtulu) whose functions have been assumed by byiqtul, ʿamyiqtul and raḥyiqtul. At the same time the verbal system was unified and standardized, and this process led to a system that is dominated by three aspectual oppositions (ʿamyiqtul : qatal; ʿamyiqtul : raḥyiqtul; qatal : raḥyiqtul) and one actional opposition (quantitative: qualitative) and is complemented by a modal verb form (yiqtul) and the ap. A comparison with other dialects, however, makes clear that the verbal system could just as well have developed in a different direction. The factors, however, that determined the direction of evolution are, I am afraid, lost in the mists of time. 17 Talay, “Khawêtna,” 178ff.
Aspects or Discussed and Narrated World? As seen above, byiqtul is normally used to express habitual situations. In narrative passages, however, it can replace qatal and describe sequences of situations that are not habitual but singular. Moreover, it turned out that the ap has certain features in common with qatal, but that it cannot be used in narrative passages where only qatal is possible. In these cases the use of the verb forms does not seem to be determined by grammatical factors, but rather by the nature of the texts in which they occur, i.e. discussing texts on the one hand and narrating ones on the other. Should it not be possible then that also the other verb forms do not express tenses or aspects as we have assumed so far but that they are rather determined by the nature of the texts, or that they serve the purpose of letting the receiver know what kind of text he hears? As already mentioned at the outset, Harald Weinrich maintains in his work Tempus: besprochene und erzählte Welt that the function of verb forms does not consist in the designation of aspectual or temporal categories but rather in identifying passages in a text as discussing (besprechend) or narrating (erzählend). Weinrich illustrates his theory with the help of the beginning of an essay by Thomas Mann where the author describes the death of Goethe. Weinrich divides the text into two passages. The first one starts as follows: “Der 22. März 1832 war gekommen. In seinem Lehnstuhl, ein Oberbett über den Knien, den grünen Arbeitsschirm über den Augen, starb Goethe” (Tempus, 26). The second one starts as follows: “Ein Schriftsteller. Es ist, meine Damen und Herren, eine recht unfruchtbare kritische Manie, zwischen Dichtertum und Schriftstellertum lehrhaft zu unterscheiden . . .” (ibid. 27). According to Weinrich (ibid. 31), the first passage is narrative. After the date and the place have been mentioned, the way Goethe died is narrated. In the second passage, however, Mann addresses the readers with meine Damen und Herren ‘ladies and gentlemen’ and thus makes clear that this passage differs from the first one. Furthermore, one can observe a difference in the use of the verb forms: Präteritum ‘Simple Past’ (war ‘was’, starb ‘died’) in the first one, Präsens ‘Simple Present’ (ist ‘is’) in the second one. Weinrich found out that the first passage is dominated by four verb forms that are usually called Präteritum, Plusquamperfect ‘Past Perfect’, Konditional I and Konditional ii. In the second Passage, on the other hand, we find the Präsens, Perfekt ‘Present Perfect’, Futur I
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and Futur ii. Weinrich calls the first group narrating tenses, the second one discussing tenses (ibid. 31). Narrating and discussing passages are not marked by verb forms only but also by other signals Weinrich deals with in chapters ix and x. The address meine Damen und Herren, for example, is a signal for discussing texts. The verb forms mentioned so far, are traditionally supposed to designate temporal categories. But also forms usually considered to be aspectual have a place in Weinrich’s theory. They serve to distinguish between the foreground and the background of a narration. The foreground of a narration is the unprecedented event on behalf of which the story is told at all. The essential events without which we were not able to understand the plot make up the foreground of the narration, whereas all other components constitute the background.1 In French, for example, the opposition foreground: background is expressed by the verb forms Passé Simple (il alla ‘he went’): Imparfait (il allait ‘he went’) and Passé anterieur (il fut allé ‘he had gone’): Plus-que-parfait (il était allé ‘he had gone’),2 in English by Simple Past (he went): Past Progressive (he was going).3 Even though discussing and narrating texts or foreground and background are not marked by verb forms alone, we have to presuppose—assuming the validity of Weinrich’s theory—that these forms are used consequently because they are supposed to inform the reader or listener about the exact way something is communicated to him, and for this reason they have to be unambiguous in the first place. It is important to keep this point in mind when we check in the following if Weinrich’s theory is able to explain the use of verb forms in the dialect of Beirut in a more appropriate way than an approach that ascribes temporal and aspectual functions to them. The fact that Weinrich’s work is mainly based on written texts does not mean that it cannot be applied to a spoken dialect because one can discuss or narrate in oral language use, too. Let us start with the ap. The simple ap can be used in main clauses of discussing texts, irrespectively of the actional value of the corresponding verb, it is, however, not able to express a sequence of events in narrating main clauses. On the other hand, it can describe background situations in narrating subordinate clauses, for example in ḥāl-clauses: b-yôm min il-ʾiyyǟm w huwwe ʾǟʿid ʾiddǟm baytu zāru xayyu ‘On day, while he was sitting in front of his house, his brother visited him’ (see above, chapt. 21) 1 Tempus, 118. 2 Ibid. 118ff. 3 Ibid. 149ff.
Aspects or Discussed and Narrated World ?
or in relative clauses: kǟn wǟḥid rižžǟl mʿattar ʿǟyiš maʿ martu b-kūx zġīr (Schu. vi, 1) ‘Once upon a time there was a poor man who lived with his wife in a small hut.’ The following passages make clear that the most important piece of information of this sentence is the man’s poverty. The fact that he lives with his wife in a hut is not necessary for understanding the plot of the story. But even if ḥāl-clauses are essentially restricted to narrations, this is not true for other subordinate clauses where the ap occurs. The sentence from Schu. vi, 1 is in the first place marked as belonging to a narration by the introducing kǟn wǟḥid rižžǟl ‘once upon a time there was a man’, not by the ap-form ʿǟyiš. A similar sentence could be uttered by someone giving evidence in court where—according to Weinrich (Tempus, 99)—we should expect discussing verb forms. If a witness mentions a man whom he saw in connection with a criminal act, he can perfectly well describe his observation in the following manner: ʾiltaʾêt wǟḥid rižžǟl ʿāyiš b-kūx zġīr ‘I met a man who lived in a small hut.’ Here, too, the situation expressed by the ap can be regarded as belonging to the background. Thus, the ap can fulfill one and the same function in both narrating and discussing texts. The compound kān ap can also be found in narrating and discussing passages alike: kǟn Sinūhe sǟkin b-manṭiʾa ʿala ḥdūd filasṭīn (Text ii, 3) ‘Sinuhe was living in an area that bordered on Palestine.’ The witness in court may as well say: kǟn sǟkin b-kūx zġīr. We can thus conclude that the ap in main clauses is only found in discussing texts, that, on the other hand, such a restriction does not exist for subordinate clauses and for the compound kān ap. qatal is used to describe foreground situations in narrating texts. The corresponding evidence is so large that we can do without giving any examples here. If Weinrich’s approach is also valid for the Arabic dialect of Beirut, we should expect to find a verb form that is different from qatal and that expresses the retrospective view in discussing texts as do the German Perfekt (ich habe gelesen) or the French Passé composé (j’ai lu). This, however, is not the case, for the retrospective view is also expressed by qatal and not by the ap although the latter can replace qatal in some cases. Let us have a look at the second passage of T. Mann’s essay that Weinrich has chosen as an example for a discussing text: “Emerson hat Shakespeare den größten Dichter und Goethe . . . dagegen
den größten Schriftsteller genannt” (Tempus, 27). hat genannt ‘called’ could be translated only with samma, i.e. with a qatal-form. Another example can be found in Text I, 20. When Jacob’s sons returned from Egypt and told him that Benjamin had been arrested, the father called them liars and said: ʿmiltu fī mitl ma ʿmiltu b-xayyu ‘You have done the same to him as you had done to his brother.’ Jacob expresses a suspicion and discusses his sons’ alleged crime. Countless other examples could be cited. So the use of qatal is even less in line with Weinrich’s theory than the use of the ap is. The next verb form to be investigated is byiqtul. In discussing texts byiqtul indicates habituality in main and subordinate clauses:
ktašaft ʾana ʾinnu ʾinta ʾinsǟn kwayyis, maḥbūb w il-ʿǟlam byʾadrūk w byifdūk b-rūḥun (Schu. vii, 18) ‘I found out that you are a good man and liked, that people think highly of you and are ready to give their lives for you.’
The king, who is talking here, is discussing the character of the young man who wants to marry his daughter. In narrations byiqtul can express sequences of foreground events, and has here the same function as qatal (see appendix, Text iii), but it is also used in subordinate clauses to express habitual situations: lǟḥaẓ il-malik ʾinnu haydi btixtlif ʿan xawǟta (Schu. viii, 7) ‘The king noticed that this one differed from her sisters.’ This sentence is narrating and not discussing because only the one who observed the difference between the sisters could discuss the matter, i.e. the king, but not the narrator of the story. Thus, the use of byiqtul is not in accordance with Weinrich’s theory either. It is true that it can express sequences of events in narrations only, but in subordinate clauses it has the same function in both discussing and narrating texts. Finally, we should have a look at ʿamyiqtul. In this work ʿamyiqtul is regarded as an aspectual verb form, and according to the approach under investigation here, it is consequently supposed to express background situations in narrations. And it is indeed this purpose that ʿamyiqtul serves in ḥāl-sentences. A fisherman met a talking fish that prophesied a blissful future for his son. Then the narration goes on as follows:
rižiʿ hal rižžǟl ʿal-bayt w ṣawt is-samki baʿdu ʿambyrinn b-dayntu (Schu. vi, 5) ‘The man returned home, the voice of the fish still ringing in his ears.’
Aspects or Discussed and Narrated World ?
The foreground event is his return home, rižiʿ continues the actual narration, whereas the ringing in his ears just represents the background situation, an attendant circumstance that describes the way he gets home.4 In temporal clauses, kān ʿamyiqtul is used to describe situations that can mostly be understood as belonging to the background. Text I, 1 gives some information about Jacob and his first wife: lamma martu l-ʾawwalanīyi kǟnit ʿambitxallif Binyamīn mǟtit ‘When his first wife was giving birth to Benjamin, she died.’ The narrator’s main intention is to inform about the fact that Jacob’s wife had already died, the manner of her dying being a mere background information. ʿamyiqtul, however, is also used after verbs of perception, and here it seems rather improbable that it describes no more than background situations. To be sure, ʿamyiqtul is directly dependent on the verb of perception, but it has nevertheless more semantic weight in this construction than it has in ḥālsentences. Let us take an example from Schu. viii, 18. Being alarmed by the crying of a child, a soldier follows a midwife who is carrying a baby with her that she intends to bury in a hole. He observes her and then: šǟfa ʿamtiḥmul iṣ-ṣabi mn is-salli ‘He saw her taking the lad out of the basket.’ The situation expressed by ʿamtiḥmul cannot be regarded as belonging to the background. On the contrary, it continues—with a different subject—the narration that starts with the ‘hearing’ of the crying (simiʿ), goes on with the ‘following’ (liḥiʾ) and the ‘observing’ (lammaḥ, ṣār yrǟʾiba) until the midwife takes the lad out of the basket. The event introduced by šǟf is surely no background situation but rather the consequence of the foregoing narration. After the reader or listener has followed the narration until šǟf, he wants to know what exactly the midwife intends to do. After the reader has been informed that the soldier had observed the midwife, the narration could as well go on with a new sentence and the verb form qatal: id-dǟyi ḥamalit iṣ-ṣabi mn is-salli, or after šǟf there could follow an object clause with qatal introduced by kīf: . . . šǟf kīf id-dǟyi ḥamalit . . . Moreover, we have to take into consideration that ʿamyiqtul is not found in narrating texts only. If we inquire after someone’s whereabouts and get the answer: huwwe ʿamyištiġil biž-žnayni ‘He is working in the garden’, the information is a discussion of his doing, not a narration. 4 See also the other examples in chapter 21.
The example from Text i, 1, cited above, is taken from a narrative passage. The circumstances of Jacob’s life are not discussed there, they are narrated. But the same sentence could occur in a discussing passage, too. Assuming someone asks about the way Jacob’s wife died, then we could answer in the same way: lamma kǟnit ʿambitxallif Binyamīn mǟtit. In this case, the wife’s death is not narrated but discussed, for it is just a discussion of the circumstances which the question demands. After verbs of perception ʿamyiqtul is not confined to narrations either but is found in discussions as well. If a witness in court is told to describe a criminal act, he can pretty well say: šiftu ʿambyfūt ʿal-bêt . . . ‘I saw him entering the house . . .’ I think there is no need to examine the remaining verb forms, too. It seems already now quite clear that a distinction between narrating and discussing verb forms in the dialect of Beirut creates more problems than it solves.5 Especially the eminent place qatal holds in both narrations and discussions seems to forbid such a distinction. And if we look at the problem a bit more closely we find that it is not necessary either, for the aspectual function of qatal and ʿamyiqtul explain their use in narrations and discussions very well. Both a discussed situation that has already been completed and a narrated event are viewed by the narrator or the discussing person as a completed whole, i.e. as perfective, because otherwise they could neither be narrated nor discussed. For this reason, it is near at hand to use a perfective verb form, i.e. qatal. The same holds true when the plot of the story is projected into the future. The narrator already knows the plot, it is before him as a completed whole, and consequently he can narrate the story as if it has already happened. The imperfective ʿamyiqtul, on the other hand, can be used for background situations in narrations because these are imperfective, too. A background situations describes the circumstances that attend a foreground event, and for that reason it is not conceived of in its entirety as an independent unity but only in relation to the event it attends, and a situation can only be attendant as long as it is not completed, i.e. imperfective. The use of ʿamyiqtul in discussing passages can be explained in the same way. If an situation is still uncompleted while it is being discussed, it can only be imperfective.
5 This, however, does not refer to the distinction between narrating and discussing texts as such, which may turn out to be useful in the field of Arabistics, too. cf. Bauer, “Verben und Textpartikeln,” 10; Denz, “Struktur des Klassischen Arabisch,” 73.
Substitution Test The findings of this work are now to be checked with the help of a substitution test. To this end I replaced selected verbs of Schukro’s text ʾibn iṣ-ṣayyǟd (pp. 209–216) and asked Fuad Hamidjou, my informant from Burhave, to explain the differences in meaning. ʾibn iṣ-ṣayyǟd 1. kǟn wǟḥid rižžǟl mʿattar ʿǟyiš (a) maʿ martu b-kūx zġīr ʾarīb mn šaṭṭ il-baḥr. baʿd santayn mn žwǟztun ʾalla razaʾun (b) ṣabi ḥilu mahḍūm w killu ʿǟfyi, bass hal rižžǟl badal ma ykūn mabsūṭ w farḥān mitl kill bayy b-hêk munǟsbi, kān ḥazīn w zaʿlǟn. Once upon a time there was a poor man who lived with his wife in a small hut near the sea coast. After they had been married for two years, God bestowed on them a handsome and healthy son. The man, however, instead of being joyful as every father would have been on such an occasion, was sad and worried. a.
ʿǟyiš (ʿāš ‘to live’)
kān ap:ʿǟyiš 1 introduces an asyndetical relative clause and expresses a state that is simultaneous with the situation of the superordinate clause, by whichʿǟyiš orientates itself. A replacement by kǟn ʿǟyiš would consequently designate anteriority to the superordinate clause, i.e. at the time of the narration the man would not live any longer in his hut (type iii). byiqtul: The situation of living has to be regarded as habitual, and habitual situations in subordinate clauses that are simultaneous with their reference point are normally expressed by byiqtul. Accordingly, my informant considers byʿīš and ʿǟyiš synonymous, although the ap is rated as the more common variant with a stative verb (type iv). yiqtul: yʿīš is rated as ungrammatical (type ii). qatal: For qatal the same holds true as for kān ap; ʿāš would designate anteriority to the superordinate clause. We have already mentioned above that there 1 My informants, however, pronounce long a after ʿ as ā, not as ǟ, and consequently say ʿāyiš, notʿǟyiš; cf. above, chapt. 9.1.
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is hardly any difference between qatal and kān ap with stative verbs unless they are related to a reference point that is located within their boundaries. In this case, only kān ap is possible. b. razaʾ (to bestow) byiqtul: With razaʾun the actual narration starts, and, as seen above (chapt. 10.1.1), foreground situations in narrating passages may be expressed by qatal or byiqtul (type iv). ap: The ap, on the other hand, is regarded as ungrammatical. The same holds true for all other verb forms. 2. w mitl il-ʿǟdi wiʿi (a) bakkīr maʿ ṭlūʿ iḍ-ḍaww w rāḥ ʿal-baḥr la-ḥatta yitṣayyad, w badal ma yitṣayyad ḥaṭṭ ʿiddtu ʿa-žanab w ḍallu ʾǟʿid ʿa-ṣaxra yfakkir w yiški hammu lal-baḥr, w huwwe hêk ʿala hal ḥǟli simiʿ (b) ḥada byʿayyiṭlu (c) b-ʾismu. As usual he got up early at first daylight and went to the sea to cast for fish, but instead of fishing, he put his equipment aside and sat on a rock in order to ponder and complain about his worry to the sea. And while he was doing so, he heard someone calling him by name. a.
wiʿi (to get up)
byiqtul: qatal can be replaced by byiqtul without any change in meaning (cf. above 1.b). In this case, the following rāḥ has also to be substituted by byrūḥ. ap: The ap and all other forms are rated as ungrammatical (cf. above 1.b). b. simiʿ (to hear) byiqtul = qatal (cf. above 1.b) ap: ungrammatical (cf. above 1.b) c.
byʿayyiṭlu (ʿayyaṭ ‘to call’)
ʿamyiqtul: The verb form byʿayyiṭlu in this sentence has already been discussed above (see chapt. 20). As has been explained there, imperfectivity after verbs of perception is usually indicated by ʿamyiqtul although byiqtul is normally accepted, too.
qatal: qatal would denote perfectivity, i.e. he would have heard his name just once. 3.
ʿalla rāsu, šǟf (a) ʾiddǟmu samki b-ʾalb il-mayy btiḥki w btisʾalu (b) ʿan sabab ḥiznu w hammu. ʾirtaʿb w huwwe bayn msaddiʾ w miš msaddiʾ yalli ʿamyšūfu w yalli ʿamyismaʿu (c). žǟwaba w ʾalla ʾinnu sabab ḥiznu w hammu huwwe wlǟdit ʾibnu yalli byitmannǟlu (d) mistaʾbal mnīh w šaraḥla ḥǟltu ʾinnu huwwe mannu ʾilla rižžǟl faʾīr mʿattar ma byirbaḥ mn šiġlu ʾaktar mn liʾmtu.
He raised his head and saw a fish in front of him in the water; it talked to him and asked him for the reason of his sadness and his worry. He was aghast, wondering if he should believe his eyes and ears or not. He answered and told the fish that the reason for his sadness and worry was the birth of his son whom he wished a bright future. He explained that he was just a poor man who could hardly make his bread. a.
ʿalla (to raise), šǟf (to see)
ap . . . ap: ʿalla and šǟf continue the narration, a replacement by the ap is thus not possible (cf. above 1.b) byiqtul . . . byiqtul = qatal . . . qatal ḥāl-clause: The situation of raising his head may also be expressed by a circumstantial clause: w huwwe ʿambyʿalli rāsu šǟf. . . . b. btiḥki (ḥiki ‘to talk’) btisʾalu (saʾal ‘to ask’) byiqtul . . . byiqtul: byiqtul can be used without problems, supposing that btiḥki introduces a new sentence: He saw a fish in front of him in the water; the fish talked to him and . . . In this case, byiqtul continues the narration. If the two verb forms belong to an object clause that is governed by šǟf, the preferred form is ʿamyiqtul as in 6.b below, although byiqtul is also accepted.2 The assumption, however, that byiqtul or ʿamyiqtul may be the 2 I have regarded clauses after verbs of perception as object clauses so far. However, it cannot be completely ruled out that such sentences are rather to be analysed as asyndetic relative clauses, i.e.: He saw someone who was doing it. Especially the sentence under investigation suggests such an interpretation, for one normally does not see someone talking and asking, but one hears him doing so. If, however, the object after the verb of perception, that is identical with the subject of the following subordinate clause, is definite, e.g. in: šǟfu “He saw
predicates of an object clause is a bit problematic from a logical point of view, for it presupposes that the fish had already been talking when the man saw it. qatal . . . qatal: qatal can be used, no matter if the verb forms are part of a main or of an object clause. In the former case, qatal is the verb form of the narration; in the latter case, ḥikyit and saʾalitu would indicate perfectivity after a verb of perception. ap . . . ap: The use of the ap is regarded as ungrammatical. c.
ʿamyšūfu . . . ʿamyismaʿu
qatal . . . qatal: qatal would indicate anteriority to the superordinate clause, i.e.: . . . what he had seen and heard. byiqtul . . . byiqtul: Although byiqtul may sometimes indicate imperfectivity and thus replace ʿamyiqtul, it is not accepted with every verb and in every position. For reasons my informant did not know, byiqtul is rated as very strange in this sentence. ap . . . ap: The ap would designate the same as qatal, namely anteriority to the superordinate clause. It is, however, regarded as uncommon in this position. d. byitmannǟlu (tmanna ‘to wish’) qatal: tmannǟlu would mean that the situation of wishing is anterior to the superordinate-clause situation and that the man did not wish any longer. qatal could be used if the sentence had an addition, as for example: but unfortunately, the son had already died. kān yiqtul: If kān yiqtul is used in a subordinate clause and with orientation by the superordinate clause, it denotes anteriority of a habitual situation to its reference point. With stative verbs the difference between habitual and non-habitual situations are perceived as very little, and thus, according to my informant, kān yiqtul has the same meaning as qatal in this sentence. ʿamyiqtul: Even though ʿamyiqtul is normally not used with stative verbs, it is accepted in this sentence and is rated as synonymous with byiqtul (type iv). 4.
ḍiḥkit (a) is-samki b-ṣawt ʿǟli w ʾalitlu: ‘ma tiḥmul hamm ! hal walad raḥyiʿīš (b) w ši yawm mn il-ʾiyyǟm baddu yṣīr malik, malik ʾawi w zingīl w saʿīd’, w fažʾa xtafit (c) is-samki bil-mayy him”, such an interpretation is out of the question, for in this case, a relative clause would have to be introduced by the relative pronoun yalli.
The fish let out a guffaw and said to him, ‘Do not worry! This boy will live, and one day he will become a mighty, rich and happy king.’ And all of a sudden it disappeared in the water. a.
ḍiḥkit (ḍiḥik ‘to laugh’)
byiqtul: qatal may be replaced by byiqtul if the following ʾalitlu is substituted, too (cf. 2.a). All other replacements are regarded as ungrammatical. b. raḥyiʿīš byiqtul: byiqtul can be used to designate posteriority to the speech time, especially if the speaker wants to stress the reliability of his utterance (cf. above, chapt. 17.a). Accordingly, byʿīš is also accepted, the preferred verb form, however, is raḥyiqtul, for byiqtul would ascribe a degree of certainty to the situation that does not sort very well with a prophecy. baddu yiqtul: What has been said about byiqtul, also applies to baddu yiqtul. ap: The ap is rated as straightforwardly wrong, for it can denote posteriority to the speech time with verbs of motion only. c.
xtafit (xtafa ‘to disappear’)
byiqtul = qatal ap: The ap cannot be used to express the sudden occurrence of a situation and is rated as ungrammatical after adverbs like fažʾa (cf. above, chapt. 10.1.a). 5. rižiʿ hal rižžǟl ʿal-bayt w ṣawt is-samki baʿdu ʿambyrinn (a) b-dayntu. martu staġrabit ražʿtu ʿal-bayt hêk bakkīr. sǟʿita xabbara (b) ʾiṣṣit is-samki bass hiyye ma saddaʾit (c) hal xabrīyi w ʾalitlu: ‘ʾinta l-layli lli fǟtit ma nimt (d) mnīḥ, w mn it-taʿb bitkūn ġfīt w ḥlimt bis-samki.’ w min hal yawm hal ʾiṣṣa ma ʿǟdit nzakarit. The man returned home, the voice of the fish still ringing in his ears. His wife was surprised that he returned home so early. Instantly, he told her the story of the fish, but she did not believe him and said, ‘You did not sleep well last night, and due to your fatigue you will have dozed off and dreamt about the fish.’ From that day forth, the matter did not get a mention any more. a.
ʿambyrinn (rann ‘to ring’)
qatal: qatal cannot be used in ḥāl-clauses and is rated as ungrammatical here. ap: The same applies to the ap. byiqtul: byiqtul may be used in ḥāl-clauses, especially with atelic verbs, in this sentence, however, it is regarded as uncommon. kān ʿamyiqtul: The verb form in ḥāl-clauses may orientate itself by the superordinate clause or by the speech time, and for this reason the compound kān ʿamyiqtul can also be used although simple ʿamyiqtul is rated as more common. b. xabbara (xabbar ‘to report, to give an account’) byiqtul: byiqtul may replace narrative qatal even if adverbs like sǟʿita or fažʾa indicate the sudden occurrence of an event. Other verb forms are not tolerated. c.
ma saddaʾit (saddaʾ ‘to accept as true’)
byiqtul: The presupposition for the use of byiqtul is that the preceding qatal form xabbara is also replaced by byiqtul. d. ma nimt (nǟm ‘to sleep’) kān ap: As pointed out above (1.a), states with past time reference may usually be expressed by qatal or kān ap without any difference in meaning. Other verb forms such as byiqtul, however, are not possible because this sentence is not part of the narration. 6. w marrit il-ʾiyyǟm w is-snīn w hal walad kibir w ṣār šabb w ṣār ysǟʿid bayyu b-ṣayd is-samak. b-yawm mn il-ʾiyyǟm rāḥ la-waḥdu ʿal-baḥir la-ḥatta yitṣayyad, w huwwe hêk mašġūl b-fatḥ iš-šabki simiʿ ṣawt ḥada yindahlu (a). baram ṣawb iṣ-ṣawt šǟf ʾiddǟmu samki bil-mayy ʿambtiḥki (b) maʿu w tʾillu: ‘halla ṣār il-waʾt w ṣār lǟzim trūḥ min hawn’ w ixtafit marra tǟnyi. Days and years went by, and the boy grew up, became a young man and assisted his father with fishing. One day he went to the sea all by himself in order to cast for fish, and while he was unfolding the net, he heard someone calling him. He turned to the noise and saw a fish in front of him in the water talking to him. It said, ‘Now the time has come and you have to go away from here.’ Then the fish disappeared again.
yindahlu (nadah ‘to call’)
yiqtul: Accoring to my informant, yindahlu is not allowed here. The correct verb form would be ʿamyiqtul. kān ʿamyiqtul: The verb form in object clauses after verbs of perception may orientate itself by the superordinate clause or by the speech time. ʿamyiqtul can thus be replaced by kān ʿamyiqtul (cf. 2.c). b. ʿambtiḥki See 3.b. above. 7.
rižiʿ hal walad ʿal-bayt, waddaʿ (a) ʾimmu w bayyu w ḍallu rāyiḥ min ġayr ma yiʿrif la-wayn. w baʿd ʾiyyǟm w lyǟli waṣṣal ʿa-madīni ḥilwi ʿažbitu ktīr. ṣār yitmašwar b-hal madīni w waṣṣal la-ḥadd ʾaṣər kbīr w faxim w ʿirif mn il-ʿālam ʾinnu hal ʾaṣər bykūn (b) ʾaṣər il malik w ʿirif ʾinnu ʿindu bint marīḍa mn isnīn w ʿǟyši b-ġaybūbi, wala ḥakīm ma ʾidir (c) yišfīya.
The boy returned home, took farewell of his mother and his father and departed without knowing where to go. After some days and nights he came to a beautiful town he liked very much. He started to wander about that town and came to a big and stately castle. He learnt from the people that the castle belonged to the king and was told that the king had a daughter who had been ill for years and was in a coma. No doctor was able to cure her. a.
rižiʿ (to return) . . . waddaʿ (to take farewell)
byiqtul = qatal ( cf. 1.b); other replacements are not possible. b. bykūn (kǟn ‘to be’) qatal: bykūn orientates itself by the superordinate clause. kǟn ʾaṣər il-malik would denote anteriority and imply that the castle did not belong to the king any longer. c.
ʾidir (be able to)
qatal: qatal can be employed here, supposing that ʾidir introduces a new sentence. If it were dependent on ʿirif ʾinnu and thus part of an object
clause, it would designate anteriority to the superordinate clause, i.e.: He learnt . . . that he had not been able to . . . kān ap: kān ap has the same meaning as qatal (cf. 5.d) although qatal is the preferred variant. kān yiqtul: Instead of qatal one could also use kān yiqtul (cf. 3.d). byiqtul: byiqtul could be used on the understanding that ʾidir were the predicate of an object clause, and would then denote simultaneity with the superordinate clause (ʿirif ʾinnu): He learnt . . . that no doctor was able . . . 8. w mn ġayr ma yiʿrif layš ṣār kill il-waʾt yfakkir b-hal ʾamīra il-marīḍa mn ġayr ma yšūfa, w ṣār ytǟbiʿ ʾaxbāra. w b-yawm mn il-ʾiyyǟm simiʿ ʾinnu ilmalik žǟb (a) ḥakīm mašhūr mn blǟd barra la-ḥatta ydǟwīlu bintu l-marīḍa. Not knowing why and without seeing her, he started to think of the ill princess the whole time and to follow the news about her. One day he heard that the king had sent for a famous doctor from abroad so that he may attend his ill daughter. a.
žǟb (to bring, here: to send for)
ap: The ap may be used to denote anteriority of a non-stative situation to a superordinate clause and can thus replace qatal in this sentence although the latter is regarded as the more common form. As outlined above (chapt. 10.1.a), a situation expressed by the ap is normally perceived as more remote and indistinct than the corresponding situation with qatal. Accordingly, žǟyib ḥakīm is taken as more remote than žǟb. kān ap: kān ap would indicate anteriority to a third reference point that is temporally located before the situation of the superordinate clause (simiʿ). In this case, the doctor would already have departed when he heard about the king’s having sent for him. raḥyiqtul: raḥyiqtul would denote posteriority to the superordinate-clause situation (cf. chapt. 14): . . . he heard that the king would send for . . . 9. baʿd il-kašf w il-faḥṣ ʾakkad (a) il-ḥakīm lal-malik ʾinnu šifa bintu ma ʾilu ġayr nabti baḥrīyi mlawwani b-ʾalwǟn ʾawṣ w ʾadaḥ w hal nabti nǟdra ktīr w il-ḥṣūl ʿlǟya ṣaʿb ktīr liʾanna mawžūdi b-ʿimʾ il-bḥūra. After the medical examination the doctor assured the king that the healing of his daughter was only possible with the help of a sea herb in the colours of the
rainbow and that this herb was very rare and hard to come by, for it could only be found in the depth of the sea. a.
ʾakkad (to assure)
byiqtul = qatal. Other replacements are rated as ungrammatical. 10. ma liḥiʾ il-ḥakīm yitruk ʾūḍit il-ʾamīra ḥatta kǟn il-malik bǟʿit wara kill ġawwāṣīn il-balad w ʾamarun ta ynabbšu ʿa-hal nabti. marrit ʾiyyǟm w hal ġawwāṣīn yġūṣu w yġūṣu (a) bass maʿ il-ʾasaf ma šǟfu (b) hal nabti. No sooner had the doctor left the princess’ chamber than the king sent for all divers of the country and ordered them to search for that herb. Days went by while the divers were diving and diving, but unfortunately they did not find the herb. a.
yġūṣu w yġūṣu (ġāṣ ‘to dive’)
yiqtul: For the use of repeated yiqtul in ḥāl-clauses, see above, chapt. 21. ʿamyiqtul: ʿamyiqtul is rated as the more common variant in ḥāl-clauses. byiqtul: byiqtul can also be used, for the situation took place repeatedly. qatal: For the use of qatal in ḥāl-clauses, see above 5.a. ap: The ap would, like qatal, describe the completion of the situation and could not be used in this sentence. b. ma šǟfu ʿamyiqtul: ʿamyiqtul may be employed if yġūṣu in the ḥāl-clause is also replaced by ʿamyiqtul. In this case, the situation of not-seeing is represented as simultaneous with the diving. byiqtul: byiqtul is not accepted. The same holds true for the other verb forms. 11. hayda š-šabb kǟn yḍallu kill il-waʾt ḥadd il-baḥər yitfarraž ʿal-ġawwāṣīn w yitmanna ši wǟḥid minnun ylǟʾi hal nabti l-maṭlūbi. The young man spent the whole time by the sea watching the divers and hoping that one of them may find the requested herb.
12. ṣabāḥ yawm mn hal ʾiyyǟm bakkar hal šabb w rāḥ (a) ʿal-baḥər ta yrǟʾib il-ġawwāṣīn, bass hal marra ma šǟf wala ḥada minnun hawn. ʿirif ʾinnu l-ġawwāṣīn ʾaṭaʿu (b) l-ʾamal w ma raḥydawwru ʿa-hal nabti baʾa. One morning the young man got up early and went to the sea to watch the divers, but this time he did not see anyone of them there. He came to know that the divers had given up hope and would not search for the herb any longer. a.
bakkar . . . w rāḥ (‘to be early and go’, ‘to go early’)
byiqtul = qatal. No other replacements are accepted. b. ʾaṭaʿu (ʾaṭaʿ l-ʾamal ‘to give up hope’) ap: As stated above (8.a), the ap may be used to denote anteriority of nonstative situations to a superordinate clause, but the situation is then perceived as more remote than if expressed by qatal. The preferred variant, at any rate, is qatal. ʿamyiqtul: ʿamyiqtul would mean that the divers were just giving up or were about to give up hope when the young man heard about it. raḥyiqtul: raḥyiqtul denotes posteriority to the young man’s coming to know it: . . . that they would give up hope . . . 13. w huwwe hêk mahmūm w ʿambyfakkir (a), xaṭrit (b) ʿa-bǟlu s-samki lli naṣaḥitu (c) bir-rawḥa. w fakkar law yiržaʿ ʿa-baladu la-nafs il-maṭraḥ yalli šǟf is-samki hawnīk liʾannu hiyye bit-taʾkīd btaʿrif (d) maṭraḥ in-nabti. And while he was thus worrying and pondering, the fish that had advised him to depart sprang into his mind. And he reflected upon returning to his country to the same place where he had seen the fish, for it would surely know where to find the herb. a.
ʿambyfakkir (fakkar ‘to ponder’, ‘to reflect’)
No other form than byiqtul is accepted here. b. xaṭrit (xaṭar ʿa-bǟlu ‘to come / spring into one’s mind’) byiqtul = qatal. Other replacements are not tolerated
naṣaḥitu (naṣaḥ ‘to advise’)
ap: Although the ap is able to indicate anteriority to a reference point and could theoretically replace qatal in this sentence, it is nevertheless rated as uncommon here. kān ap: The use of kān AP would presuppose the existence of a third reference point between his pondering and the advice of the fish. kān ap is thus not suitable in this sentence. d. btaʿrif byiqtul: byiqtul is the only suitable verb form at this place, for only btaʿrif may denote the required simultaneity with the situation of the superordinate clause. The ap of ʿirif would also have the meaning ‘to know’ but with the implicature that the knowledge is the result of an event, namely the ‘coming to know’, and this is not what the narrator wants to express. 14. w huwwe hêk ġirʾǟn b-tafkīru simiʿ ṣawt maʾlūf ʿambyʿayyiṭlu (a). ṭallaʿ šǟf is-samki, is-samki zǟta w b-timma nabti mlawwani b-ʾalwǟn ʾawṣ w ʾadaḥ, ʿaṭyitu n-nabti w ixtafit (b). ʾaxad in-nabti w rāḥ la-ʾaṣər il-malik. And while he was thus absorbed in thought, he heard a familiar voice calling him. He looked up and saw the same fish; in its mouth was a herb in the colours of the rainbow. It gave the herb to him and disappeared. He took the herb and went to the king’s castle. a.
qatal: qatal after a verb of perception indicates perfectivity (cf. 2.c). byiqtul = ʿamyiqtul ap: The ap is rated as ungrammatical. b.
ʿaṭyitu . . . w ixtafit (ʿaṭa ‘to give’; xtafa ‘to disappear’)
byiqtul = qatal; other replacements are not possible. 15. ḥǟwal yidxul, il-ḥirrǟs manʿū (a) bil-ʾawwal, bass lammin ʿirfu ʾinnu maʿu d-dawa š-šǟfi lal-ʾamīra samaḥūlu yfūt yiʾʿud bi-ʾūḍa w ṭalbu minnu yinṭur ʾawǟmir il-malik.
He tried to enter, but the guards withheld him at first, but when they learnt that he had the remedy for the princess with him, they allowed him to enter and take a seat in a room; they told him to wait for the king’s orders. a.
ḥǟwal . . . manʿū (ḥǟwal ‘to try’, manaʿ ‘to prevent’, ‘to withhold’)
byiqtul = qatal. Other substitutions are not possible. 16. baʿd kam dʾīʾa ʾiža ḥǟžib il-malik ʾaxad (a) minnu n-nabti w rāḥ. baʿd ši sǟʿa simiʿ (b) ṣawt zlāġīṭ w mūsīʾa. rižiʿ ʾiža l-ḥǟžib w ʾaxadu maʿu la-ʿind ilmalik. After some minutes the servant of the king came, took the herb from him and went. After about an hour he heard music and people trilling. The servant came back and took him to the king. a.
ʾiža (to come) . . . ʾaxad (to take)
byiqtul = qatal. No other replacements are possible. b. simiʿ (to hear) byiqtul = qatal. No other replacements are possible. 17. il-malik staʾbal la-hal šabb bil-ʾaḥḍǟn w ʾallu (a): ya ʾibni ʾinta riddayt (b) ḥayyǟt binti, w ḥayyǟta ʿindi bid-dini w ʾaġla mn knūz il-ʾarḍ killa, w ʾana ḥlafit (c) ʾinni raḥitnǟzal (d) ʿan ʿarši w sarwati la-yalli yžibla d-dawa š-šǟfi. w b-hal laḥẓa daxalit il-ʾamīra ʿa-bayya w ʾawwal ma wiʾʿit (e) ʿayna ʿala š-šabb daxal ʾalba w ḥabbitu. The king welcomed the young man by embracing him and said to him, ‘My son, you have restored the life of my daughter, and her life is dearer to me on earth than all treasures of the world. I have made an oath that I would renounce my throne and my wealth in favour of the one who would bring her the remedy.’ At that moment the daughter entered and stepped up to her father, and as soon as she laid eyes on the young man, he won her heart, and she fell in love with him. a.
staʾbal (to welcome) . . . ʾallu (ʾāl ‘to say’)
byiqtul = qatal.
b. riddayt (radd ‘to bring back’) Only qatal is accepted and makes sense. As this sentence is not part of the narration, byiqtul would designate posteriority. The ap, on the other hand, is rated as uncommon here. c.
ḥlafit (ḥalaf ‘to make an oath’)
ap = qatal (cf. above, chapt. 10.1.1) byiqtul: byiqtul would denote the coincidence of utterance and performance, a category not dealt with in this work: Herewith I swear . . . d. raḥitnǟzal (tnǟzal ʿan il-ʿarš ‘to renounce the throne’) byiqtul: byiqtul is also able to denote posteriority (cf. above, chapt. 17.a), and is regarded as synonymous with raḥyiqtul. baddu yiqtul: baddu yiqtul may also be used. e.
daxalit (daxal ‘to enter’) . . . wiʾʿit (wiʾiʿ ‘to fall’)
byiqtul = qatal. No other substitutions are accepted. 18. baʿd mrūr kam šahər mn hal ʾiṣṣa w šifa l-ʾamīra baʿat (a) hal šabb wara ʾimmu w bayyu la-ḥatta yiḥḍaru ʿirsu ʿal-ʾamīra w yiḥḍaru ḥaflit tatwīžu malik. Some months after the cure of the princess, the young man sent for his parents that they may attend his wedding to the princess and his coronation festivities. a.
baʿat (to send)
byiqtul = qatal. Other replacements are not possible.
The Results of this Work I think that the methodical approach to use as the starting point for the investigation a metagrammar that is based upon the principles of noetics has stood the test. On the one hand, a metagrammar allows at a theoretical level a thorough understanding of the categories under investigation. On the other hand, especially the rules regarding the categorial interplay have turned out to be very useful for the identification of the forms in the Beirutian verbal system. It has become clear that action has to be regarded as an independent category by all means. The Beirutian verbal system has three aspectual verb forms: qatal (anterior-perfective), raḥyiqtul (posterior-perfective) and ʿamyiqtul (imperfective). These three verb forms form three oppositional pairs: qatal : ʿamyiqtul qatal : raḥyiqtul ʿamyiqtul : raḥyiqtul If the direct reference points of the verb forms, with regard to which the situations they express are perfective or imperfective, are not identical with their points of orientation, the temporal relationship between situation and point of orientation (anterior or posterior) has to be indicated by a form of the auxiliary verb kān. The second determining factor of the Beirutian verbal system is the opposition quantitative action : qualitative action. Aspectual categories are compatible with situations with a qualitative actional value only, i.e. with situations that have a tangible phasal constituency, but not with situations whose actional value is quantitative as is the case with habitual and extratemporal situations. The actional oppositions are: qantitative : qualitative kān yiqtul qatal / ʿamyiqtul / raḥyiqtul byiqtul -’The verbal system is complemented by yiqtul and the ap. While yiqtul designates first of all modal categories and is not in opposition to other verb forms, the ap indicates in its main function the association of a subject with a verbal
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The Results Of This Work
designatum and is hence chiefly stative although it may—in some instances— also refer to the actual performance of a situation and has then an aspectual and actional value. In a separate chapter H. Weinrich’s theory was discussed according to which verb forms in Romance and Germanic languages do not designate temporal and aspectual categories but rather serve the purpose to qualify a text as narrating or discussing. The differentiation between discussing and narrating verb forms in Beirutian Arabic, however, turned out to be rather problematic, for most verb forms perform important functions in both narrating and discussing texts. Finally, the verbal systems of Classical and Beirutian Arabic were discussed from a diachronic point of view. It turned out that the development from Classical to Beirutian Arabic had been dominated by a tendency towards analysis and unification. A comparison with other dialects, however, made clear that there are several possible ways a verbal system may develop.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut Text I: in-nabi Yūsif (Fuad Hamidjou) 1.
in-nabi Yaʿʾūb kǟn ʿindu ʿašr wlǟd w kǟn mitžawwaz tlǟt niswǟn. ʾaṣġar walad kǟn ʾismu Yūsif w tǟni walad kǟn ʾismu Binyamīn. lamma martu l-ʾawwalanīyi kǟnit ʿambitxallif Binyamīn mǟtit w kǟn Yūsif baʿdu zġīr w kǟnu ʿalamǟt in-nubūwi mbayynīn ʿalǟ. kǟn Yūsif zaki ktīr w kǟn šaklu ḥilw ktīr ktīr. kǟnu ʾixwǟtu li-kbār yikrahū ktīr laʾinnu bayyu la-Yūsif kǟn yḥibbu ktīr w kǟn yḥibb Binyamīn kamǟn. ʾarraru ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif ʾinnu baddun yʿāmlūlu ši la-Yūsif w ṭṭafaʾu ʾinnu yirmu Yūsif bil-bīr. xiṭṭit ʾixwǟtu kǟnit ʾinnu yǟxdū maʿun ʿar-raʿy w baʿdǟn yfakkru šu baddun yaʿmlu fī.
The Prophet Joseph
The prophet Jacob had ten children and was married to three wives. The youngest son was named Joseph and the second one Benjamin. His first wife died giving birth to Benjamin when Joseph was still a little boy. Prophethood had left its mark on him. He was very intelligent and very beautiful. Joseph’s elder brothers hated him because of the strong love of Joseph’s father to him and Benjamin. Joseph’s brothers decided to do Joseph a mischief, and they agreed upon throwing him down a well. The plan was to take him with them to the pasture and then decide what to do with him. 2.
ʾixwǟtu ʾālu: ‘baddna niʾtlu’. radd xayyu z-zġīr ʾallun: ‘laʾ ma baddna niʾtlu minšǟn bayyna w kaza’. ʾarraru ʾinnu yirmu Yūsif bil-bīr. ʾālu: ‘šu baddna nʾūl halla labayyna šu ṣār b-Yūsif ?’ ‘minʾūl ʾinnu Yūsif ʾakalu d-dīb’. tražžu l-ʾixwǟt bayyun ʾinnu yxalli Yūsif yrūḥ maʿun ʿar-raʿy. Yaʿʾūb xāf yaʿṭīyun xayyun Yūsif la-yrūḥ maʿun, yaʿni ʾalbu ḥāsis ʾinnu baddun yaʿmlu ši la-Yūsif. ʾālu la-bayyun: ‘layš ma bitʾamminna ʿala Yūsif w bitxāf minna niḥna, Yūsif xayyna w niḥna minḥibbu ktīr’. ʿimlu ktīr mḥāwalǟt la-yiʾnaʿu Yaʿʾūb. bil-ʾǟxir wǟfaʾ Yaʿʾūb w ʿaṭāhun Yūsif la-yrūḥ maʿ ʾixwǟtu.
The brothers said, ‘We will kill kim,’ but Joseph’s youngest brother argued, ‘No, we will not kill him because of our father.’ They decided to throw Joseph down a well. ‘What shall we tell our father has happened to Joseph?’ they asked themselves. ‘We will tell him that Joseph was eaten by a wolf.’ The brothers asked Jacob to let Joseph come with them to the pasture. Jacob had misgivings about letting Joseph go with them, that is to say, deep in his heart he felt that they wanted to do something to Joseph. They
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
asked their father, ‘Why do you not entrust us with Joseph? Why do you have reservations against us? Joseph is our brother, and we love him very much.’ They made many attempts to persuade Jacob, and finally he agreed and let Joseph go with his brothers. 3.
ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif ʾaxadū la-maḥall bʿīd. ḥāwalu la-yiʾtlu Yūsif bass xayyun li-kbīr ʾismu Lāwi ʾallun: ‘ma tiʾtlū bass kibbū bil-bīr. hêk hêk byiži ḥadan min ʿābrīn iṭ-ṭarīʾ byǟxdu w byaʿmlu ʿindu ʿabd’. baʿd ma kabbū bil-bīr ʾaxadu ʾamīṣu la-Yūsif w ḥaṭṭu ʿalǟ damm il-ḥayyawǟn w rižʿu la-ʿind bayyun w hinne ʿamyibku ʿala Yūsif w ʿaṭyu l-ʾamīṣ la-bayyun. ʾālu ʾinnu Yūsif ʾakalu d-dīb bass Yaʿʾūb ʾallun: ‘Yūsif ma mǟt, Yūsif ʿāyiš.’
The brothers brought Joseph to an abandoned place and tried to kill him, but the eldest brother named Lawi said to them, ‘Do not kill him, throw him down a well. One way or another, there will come a traveller who will take him with him and enslave him.’ After they had thrown him down the well, they took Joseph’s shirt and scattered animal blood all over it. Weeping over Joseph, they returned to their father and gave him the shirt. They said that a wolf had eaten Joseph, but Jacob answered, ‘Joseph is not dead, Joseph is alive.’ 4.
maraʾu tižžār ʿaž-žmǟl w mayyalu ʿal-bīr la-yšarrbu mayy laž-žmǟl w nazzalu l-ḥabl la-yšīlu mayy. w lamma šaddu l-ḥabl laʾu walad ḥilw ktīr ʾǟʿid bid-dalw. lamma ṭallaʿū min il-bīr saʾalū: ‘mīn ʾinta ?’ ʾallun: ‘ʾana ḍāyiʿ’ w kǟn xāyif ktīr ʾinnu yražžʿū la-ʿind ʾixwǟtu. ʾālu t-tižžār: ‘miš miškli mnǟxdu maʿna ʿas-sūʾ il-ʿabīd b-maṣr minbīʿu mnistafīd min ḥaʾʾu.’ lamma wuṣlu ʿa-maṣr ʿarraḍū lal-bīʿ b-siʿr ʾalīl ʾalīl. štaritu Zlīxa martu la-ʿazīz maṣr laʾinnu huwwe ḥilw ktīr ktīr w laʾinnu hiyye ma kǟn ʿinda wlǟd.
Tradesmen came passing by on camels and leaned over the well to give water to their camels. They let down a rope to get some water. When they pulled up the rope, they found a very handsome boy sitting in the bucket. After having pulled him out of the well, they asked him, ‘Who are you?’ and Joseph answered, ‘I have got lost,’ because he was afraid they would bring him back to his brothers. The tradesmen said, ‘No problem, we will take him with us to the slave market in Egypt, sell him there and gain from his sale’s price.’ When they had arrived in Egypt, they offered him for sale at a very low price. Zlixa, the wife of the Asis of Egypt,1 bought him, for he was of extraordinary beauty and because she did not have any children.
1 ʿazīz maṣr is an official title, it is, however, not clear what exactly one has to understand by it. Anyhow, the Asis was a high official.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut 5.
ʿāmalitu hiyye w žawza mitl ʾibnun w ʿallamitu l-luġa l-maṣrīyi. kǟn Yūsif ḥilw ktīr. lamma kibir Yūsif w ṣār šabb Zlīxa kǟnit badda Yūsif ykūn laʾila ḥabīb bass Yūsif ma kǟn baddūyǟha w kǟn yitharrab minna. lamma fišlu kill xiṭaṭa la-tfūz b-ʾalbu fawwatit Yūsif ʿal-ḥabs. xallat žawza yiḥbis Yūsif b-ḥižžit ʾinnu ʿamyitḥarraš fīha w haš-ši ma kǟn maẓbūṭ. ḥabasu Yūsif sabaʿ snīn b-ḥabs ʾismu Zawwīra.
She and her husband treated him like a son and taught him the Egyptian language. Joseph was very beautiful. When Joseph had grown up and had become a young man, Zlixa wanted him as her lover, but Joseph did not want her and tried to avoid her. After all her attempts to win his heart had failed, she gave orders to put him in prison. She told her husband to send Joseph to prison because he would provoke her and begin to quarrel with her, which was not the truth. They put him in a prison named Zawwira for 7 years. 6.
lamma kǟn Yūsif bil-ḥabs kǟn ysǟʿid il-maḥābīs w kǟn yihdīyun ʿa-dīn ʾalla wǟḥid. ʾahl maṣr b-haydǟk il-waʾt kǟnu yaʿbdu ʾāmūn. kǟn Yūsif yfassir lal-masāžīn ʾaḥlǟmun w kill il-manamǟt yalli kǟn yfassirun kǟnu yithaʾʾaʾu. marra min il-marrāt šǟf malik maṣr manǟm, šǟf b-manǟmu ʾinnu ṭilʿu min in-nīl sabaʿ baʾarāt nāṣḥīn w sabaʿ baʾarāt ḍʿāf. šǟf ʾinnu s-sabaʿ baʾarāt iḍ-ḍʿāf ʿamyǟklu s-sabaʿ baʾarāt in-nāṣḥīn.
While Joseph stayed in prison, he would help the other prisoners and led them to the religion of the one God. The Egyptians worshipped Amun at that time. Joseph would interpret the dreams of the prisoners, and all his dream interpretations proved themselves true. One day the king had a dream. He saw in his dream seven fat and seven weak cows coming up out of the Nile. He saw that the seven weak cows were eating the seven fat cows. 7.
ḥtār bil-manamǟt yalli šǟfun w baʿat wara kahanit il-maʿbad. ṭalab minnun ʾinnu yfassrūlu l-manamǟt yalli šǟfun lǟkin killun fišlu bit-tafsīr. min baʿd minna šǟf il-malik manǟm tǟni. šǟf sabaʿ sanǟbil ʾamḥ xaḍra ʿamtǟklun sabaʿ sanǟbil yǟbsi.2 kamǟn baʿat wara l-kahani ḥatta yfassrūlu l-manǟm. fišlu bit-tafsīr ma kǟnu
2 Verbal predicates in the third person normally agree with subjects in the plural in number even if these are non-personal. A subject in the plural may, however, also be referred to by a verb form in the singular (cf. Feghali, Syn., 124f). The same holds true for adjectives that refer to nouns in the plural; if the nouns designate something non-personal, the feminine singular form of the adjective may be used or the masculin plural form (cf. Feghali, Syn., 144f).
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut yaʿrfu ʾiṣṣit3 il-manǟm. kǟn fi wǟḥid b-ʾaṣr il-malik ʾismu Binyarôz kǟn yištiġil sǟʾi l-mayy. ʾallu lal-malik: ‘ʾana bdillak ʿala ḥakīm byfassir il-manǟm ṣaḥīḥ. huwwe šāṭir b-tafsīr il-ʾaḥlǟm.’
He was confused by the dreams he had seen and sent for the priests of the temple. He ordered them to interpret the dreams he had seen, but they all failed. After that the king had a second dream. He saw seven green ears of wheat that seven dried out ears of wheat were eating. Again he sent for the priests that they may interpret his dream. They failed again and did not know the meaning of this dream. There was a man in the castle named Binyaroz, who worked as a cup-bearer. He said to the king, ‘I will take you to a sage who will interpret the dream correctly. He is very skilled in the interpretation of dreams.’ 8.
ʾallu l-malik: ‘wayn minlǟʾi hayda š-šaxṣ li byfassir il-manamǟt ?’ ʾallu: ‘bitlaʾī b-ḥabs Zawīra. huwwe masžūn min middit sabaʿ snīn.’ baʿat wǟḥid la-ʿindu la-yžību la-Yūsif ḥatta yfassirlu l-ʾaḥlǟm. lamma ʾiža Yūsif la-ʿind il-malik fassarlu l-ḥilm il-ʾawwal b-ʾinnu s-sabaʿ baʾarāt in-nāṣḥīn yalli btǟklun is-sabaʿ baʾarāt iḍ-ḍʿāf hinne sabaʿ snīn fīhun raḥitkūn il-ġalli mitwaffra, w is-sabaʿ baʾarāt iḍ-ḍʿāf hinne sabaʿ snīn žǟffīn raḥymirru ʿala maṣr w in-nīl raḥyinšaf.
The king asked, ‘Where can I4 find this person who can interpret the dreams?’ and the cup-bearer answered, ‘You will find him in the prison Zawira. He has been in prison for seven years.’ He sent someone to get Joseph so that he may interpret his dreams. When Joseph came to the king, he interpreted the first dream to the effect that the seven fat cows being eaten by the seven weak cows figure seven years of abundance while the seven weak cows figure seven dry years coming to Egypt in which the Nile will dry out. 9.
saʾalu l-malik la-Yūsif: ‘šu s-sabaʿ sanǟbil il-xaḍra yalli btǟklun is-sabaʿ sanǟbil il-yǟbsi?’ ʾallu Yūsif lal-malik: ‘is-sabaʿ sanǟbil yaʿni sabaʿ snīn xayra raḥyižu ʿala maṣr w lǟzim ʾahl maṣr yxazznu min il-ʾamḥ lis-sabaʿ snīn iž-žǟyīn raḥyiži fīhun žafǟf.’ ʾtanaʿ il-malik b-ḥaky Yūsif w karramu w ʿaṭā manṣib ʿāli bil-mamlaki. haš-ši ma ʿažab il-kahani. kǟnu ʿa-ṭūl il-kahani yḥāwlu ʾatl Yūsif bass kill mḥāwalǟtun fišlit. kǟnu ywizzu ʾimmu lal-malik ʿala Yūsif kǟn ʾismaṬīy w kǟnit mitʿaṣṣbi ktīr la-ʿibǟdit ʾāmūn.
3 ʾiṣṣa = tafsīr 4 Literally: Where can we find. Dignitaries like to use the plural when they speak about themselves (cf. Feghali, Syn., 129).
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
The king asked Joseph, ‘What do the seven green ears of wheat mean which the seven dried out ears of wheat eat?’ and Joseph answered, ‘The seven ears mean seven good years coming to Egypt. During this time the Egyptians have to store wheat for the following seven dry years.’ The king was satisfied with Joseph’s interpretation, he honored him and assigned him a very important post in the kingdom. The other priests did not like this at all and tried to kill Joseph many a time, but all their attempts failed. They set the king’s mother, Teyye, who was an ardent devotee of the Amun cult, against Joseph. 10. ʿimlit hiyye w kahanit maʿbad ʾāmūn ʿiddit mḥāwalǟt la-ʾatl Yūsif bass kill il-mḥāwalǟt fišlit. b-haydǟk il-waʾt kǟn il-kahani hinne msayṭrīn ʿala l-ḥikm. baʿd middi tḥaʾʾaʾit tafsīrāt Yūsif lal-malik. ballašit is-sabaʿ snīn il-xayra. il-malik ʿayyan Yūsif masʾūl ʿan iz-zarʿ. ballaš Yūsif yṣalliḥ il-ʾarāḍi l-barrīyi w kǟn yxazzin il-ʾamḥ min il-fǟyid b-sarādīb. šǟraku biz-zrāʿa kill il-fallāḥīn b-maṣr. kill il-mzǟrʿīn kǟnu yžību l-ʾamḥ yiḥfaẓūha bis-sarādīb. lamma xilṣit is-sabaʿ snīn il-xayra ballašit is-sabaʿ snīn il-ʾaḥṭ. She and the priests of the Amun-temple tried to kill Joseph several times, but all attemps failed. At that time the priests were the holders of power. After some time Joseph’s interpretations for the king came true. The seven good years began. The king appointed Joseph as the person responsible for the sowing, and therefore Joseph started to make all land useable. He used underground storages to store the surplus wheat. All farmers in Egypt took part in the tillage and brought their wheat to store it in the underground storages. When the seven good years had come to an end, the seven dry years started. 11. b-hal waʾt kǟnu ywazzʿu l-ʾamḥ ʿan-nǟs bil-ʿadl bass il-kahani ma kǟn yaʿṭīyun Yūsif ʾilla b-siʿr ktīr ġāli. kǟn hadafu min haš-ši ʾinnu yʾallil min ḥikmun ʿa-maṣr. ṭṭarru l-kahani ʾinnu yitxallu ʿan žiz kbīr min sarwit il-maʿbad. ma ʾibil Yūsif ʾinnu l-kahani yiḥṣalu ʿa-ši min li-ḥbūb la-yǟklu w ballašit sulṭit il-kahani tiḍʿaf. b-hal waʾt hada Yūsif il-malik w martu kǟn ʾisma Nafartīti ʿala dīn it-tawḥīd w xallǟhun yitrku dīn il-ʾaṣnǟm. baʿd ma ṣār il-malik min il-muʾminīn ġayyar ʾismu la-ʾAxnatūn. halla ballašit il-ḥarb bayn Yūsif w ʾAxnatūn min žiha w bayn ilkahani w il-maʿbad min žiha tǟni. The wheat was given in equal shares to the people at that time, but to the priests, however, Joseph gave (wheat) at a very high price only. His aim in doing so was to reduce the power of the priests over Egypt. The priests were forced to sell a big part of the temple property. Joseph prohibited the supply of the priests with wheat, and
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
therefore their power started to lessen. At the same time Joseph led the king and his wife, Nefertiti, to monotheism and prompted them to give up idolatry. After the king had become a monotheist, he changed his name in Akhenaten. Now there started a war between Joseph and Akhenaten on the one side and the priests and the temple on the other. 12. b-hal-fatra min iz-zaman ṣār šaʿb maṣr yḥibbu ktīr la-Yūsif w yūsaʾu fī xṣūṣan min baʿd ma ṣaḥḥ tafsīr Yūsif la-ʾaḥlǟm il-malik. bil-fiʿl ʾiža ʿala maṣr sabaʿ snīn xayra w sabaʿ snīn žafǟf w ballašit sulṭit il-maʿbad w il-kahani txiff šwayy šwayy laʾinnu ma kǟnu yʿāmlu š-šaʿb mnīḥ. b-hal-waʾt ṣār fī kamǟn ʾaḥṭ ʿind il-kanʿānīyīn b-blǟd bani ʾIsrāʾīl. kamǟn ʾahlu la-Yūsif kǟnu raḥymūtu b-blǟd kanʿān. žammaʿhun innabi Yaʿʾūb la-wlǟdu w ʾallun: ‘baddīyǟkun trūḥu ʿala maṣr fīha malik ḥakīm w ʿambyʾūlu ʾinnu fi ʾamḥ ktīr hawnīk. baddkun tištru w tižu ʾaḥsan ma ymūtu wlǟdkun w nmūt niḥna.’ During that time the Egyptian people became very fond of Joseph and trusted him, especially after the king’s dreams had proved to be interpreted correctly by Joseph. Indeed, there came seven rich years and seven years of drought, and the power of the temple and the priests decreased little by little because they did not treat the people well. At that time there was also a drought among the Canaanites in the land of the sons of Israel, and Joseph’s family in Canaan was about to die, too. The prophet Jacob assembled his sons and said to them, ‘I want you to go to Egypt; there is a wise king, and it is said that there is a lot of wheat. You will buy (wheat) and come back before your children and we all die.’ 13. ʾawwal ši wlǟdu lan-nabi Yaʿʾūb ma kǟnu baddun yrūḥu ʿala maṣr la-yištru ʾamḥ. ʾālu: ‘kīf baddna nrūḥ ʿala maṣr w maṣr bʿīdi. balki 5 ma ʿaṭūna ʾamḥ hawnīk.’ bayyun ziʿil minnun w ʾallun: ‘baʿrifkun ʾinnu ma btismaʿu ḥaky l-ʾanbiya. ʾintu wlǟd miš kwayysīn.’ baʿdǟn ʾālu: ‘miš miškli minrūh minžarrib. bykaffi ʾinnu bayyna baʿdu zaʿlǟn minna miššǟn Yūsif.’ ʾālūlu la-bayyun: ‘ṭayyib niḥna rāyḥīn ʿa-maṣr.’ ʾallun: ‘rūḥu ʿa-maṣr w byḍall hawn ʿindi xayykun Binyamīn’, w Binyamīn huwwe xayyun min ʾimmu la-Yūsif. At first, the sons of the prophet Jacob did not want to go to Egypt in order to buy wheat. They said, ‘How shall we get to Egypt, for Egypt is so far away? Maybe they will not give us any wheat there.’ Their father got angry with them and said, ‘I know that you do not listen to the words of the prophets. Bad sons you are.’ Then they said, ‘No problem. We will go and try. It is already enough that our father is still angry with us 5 balki ~ barki
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
because of Joseph.’ So they told their father, ‘All right, we will go to Egypt.’ Their father answered, ‘Go to Egypt, but your brother Benjamin will stay here with me.’ Benjamin, their brother, had the same mother as Joseph. 14. ḥaḍḍarūlhun niswǟnun zawwǟdi w sǟfaru ʿa-maṣr. lamma wuṣlu ʿa-maṣr kǟnit madīnit ṭība yalli kǟn6 fīha l-malik ʾAxnatūn w Yūsif sǟknīn. kǟn lǟzim kill wǟḥid žǟy min barra yaʿṭi ʾismu w yʾūl šu baddu ʾabl ma yfūt ʿal-madīni. ḥāris bawwǟbit madīnit ṭība sažžal ʾasǟmīhun la-ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif w ʾaxad il-ʾasǟmi ʿarraḍun ʿa-Yūsif w ʾallu ʾinnu hawdīk ʾilli ʾižu min blǟd kanʿān baddun yištru ʾamḥ laʾinnu fi ʿindun ʾaḥṭ b-kanʿān. bass ʾara Yūsif il-ʾasǟmi ʿirif ʾinnu hawdīk ʾixwǟtu. ʾallun lal-xadam: ‘btistaʾblūhun ʾistiʾbǟl bylīʾ bil-ʿuẓama w ʾana baʿd tlǟt ʾiyyǟm bisʾalhun šu baddun.’ Their wives prepared food for the journey for them, and they travelled to Egypt. When they arrived in Egypt, it was Thebes where king Akhenaten and Joseph were staying. Every person who came from the outside had to declare his name and to say what he wanted before he was allowed to enter the town. The gatekeeper of Thebes wrote down the names of Joseph’s brothers and gave the list to Joseph. He said that those who had come from Canaan wanted to buy some wheat, since there was a drought in Canaan. When Joseph read the names, he knew that those were his brothers. He said to the servants, ‘You will give them a welcome as is dignitaries’ due, and after three days I will ask them what they want.’ 15. w baʿd tlǟt ʾiyyǟm ʾiža Yūsif w saʾal ʾixwǟtu: ‘layš ʾintu žǟyīn ʿa-maṣr ? šu baddkun ?’ ʾālūlu: ‘niḥna wlǟd in-nabi Yaʿʾūb. fi b-blǟdna b-hal ʾiyyǟm ʾaḥṭ w mažǟʿa w žǟyīn ništri ʾamḥ w ʾakl la-wlǟdna w la-bayyna. bayyna zalami xiṭyār ʾaʿma ma byiʾšaʿ.’ saʾalun Yūsif ʾallun: ‘ʾintu bass ʿašar fi ġayrkun ʾixwǟt ?’ ʾālūlu: ‘mballa fi ʿinna xayy ʾismu Binyamīn bass bayyna ma ʾibil yibʿatu maʿna. fiziʿ ʿalǟ laʾinnu zamǟn xayyu rāḥ maʿna ʿar-raʿy w ʾakalu dīb.’ ʾallun Yūsif: ‘bass ʾana šu byʿarrifni ʾinnkun ʾintu sǟdʾīn ?’ ḥalafu b-ʾalla ʾinnhun hinne sǟdʾīn w ʾālūlu: ‘wlǟd il-ʾanbiya ma bykazzbu.’ After three days Joseph came and asked his brothers, ‘Why have you come to Egypt? What do you want?’ And they answered, ‘We are the sons of the prophet Jacob. There are drought and starvation in our country, and we have come to buy wheat and food for our children and our father. Our father is a blind old man who does not see anything.’ Then Joseph asked them, ‘You are only ten people, are there any other brothers?’
6 Correct: kǟnu
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
and they answered, ‘Yes, we have another brother named Benjamin, but our father did not want to send him with us. He feared for him because some time ago Benjamin’s brother went to the pasture with us and was eaten by a wolf.’ Then Joseph said, ‘Just how shall I know that you are telling the truth?’ And they swore by God that they were telling the truth and asserted, ‘The sons of prophets do not lie.’ 16. maʿ ʾinnu Yūsif ʿrifhun ʾinnun ʿambykazzbu ʾallun: ‘miš miškli raḥbīʿkun halla bass marrt iž-žǟyi ʾiza baddkun tižu ʿa-maṣr žību maʿkun xayykun baʿdǟn baʿṭīkun ʾamḥ w baʿṭīkun ʾakl ʾaktar’, w ʾallun: ‘ma zǟlu bayykun zalami ʿambitʾūlu ʾinnu xiṭyār w ʾaʿma xdūlu hal ʾamīṣ hdīyi minni. ʾlūlu: ‘hal ʾamīṣ baʿatlakiyǟ ʿazīz maṣr.’ rižʿu ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif ʿa-blǟd kanʿān mḥammalīn bil-ʾamḥ. ʾālūlu la-bayyun ʾinnu ʿazīz maṣr karīm ktīr maʿna kǟn ʾismu Yūsarsīf. ʾallna ʾinnu ʾiza mnǟxud maʿna marrt iž-žǟyi xayyna Binyamīn raḥyaʿṭīna ʾamḥ ʾaktar w raḥyaʿṭīna l-ʾamḥ ʾarxaṣ. ʾallun in-nabi Yaʿʾūb: ‘hāy kill ši wa la baʿd fi ši ?’ ʾallu ʾibnu Šamôn: ‘mballa fi ši tǟni: baʿatlak hal ʾamīṣ hdīyi.’ Even though Joseph knew that they were lying, he said to them, ‘No problem. I will sell you wheat now, but next time you come to Egypt, take your brother along, then I will give you even more wheat and food,’ and he added, ‘Since your father is, as you say, an old blind man, take this shirt to him as a gift from me. Tell him, ‘This shirt the Asis of Egypt has sent to you.’ Joseph’s brothers returned to Canaan loaded with wheat. They said to their father, ‘The Asis of Egypt named Josarsif was very generous with us. He said that if we bring our brother Benjamin with us the next time, he will give us more wheat at a cheaper price.’ The prophet Jacob asked, ‘Is this all, or is there anything else?’ and his son Shamon answered, ‘Yes, there is something else: He has sent you this shirt as a gift.’ 17. bass ʾaxad il-ʾamīṣ in-nabi Yaʿʾūb ḥaṭṭu ʿa-ʿaynǟ ʾām ržiʿlu naẓaru w ʾāl ʾinnu ʾana šǟmim b-hal ʾamīṣ rīḥit Yūsif. ʾālūlu wlǟdu: ‘mnayn baddak tšimm rīḥit Yūsif w Yūsif ʾakalu d-dīb min ʿišrīn sini ?’ ʾallun in-nabi Yaʿʾūb: ‘Yūsif ma ʾakalu d-dīb bass ʾintu btitṣawwaru hêk.’ bil-marra ž-žǟyi yalli kǟnu baddun ysǟfru fīha ʿa-maṣr ʾaxadu maʿhun xayyun Binyamīn. bass wuṣlu ʿa-maṣr w ʾābalu ʿazīz maṣr ʾālūlu: ‘žibnǟlak maʿna xayyna Binyamīn mitl ma waṣṣaytna. mnitmanna ʾinnak tūfīlna b-waʿdak w taʿṭīna hal marra ʾamḥ ktīr.’ When the prophet Jacob had taken the shirt, he put it over his eyes, and he was able to see again. He said, ‘I can smell the scent of Joseph on this shirt,’ and his sons asked him, ‘How can you smell Joseph’s scent on this shirt when a wolf ate him twenty years ago?’ but the prophet Jacob answered, ‘Joseph was not eaten by a wolf, but you invented this.’ Next time when they wanted to travel to Egypt, they took their brother Benjamin
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
along. After they had arrived in Egypt and met the Asis of Egypt, they said, ‘We have taken our brother Benjamin along as you had told us. We wish that you keep your promise and give us a lot of wheat this time.’ 18. ʾallun Yūsif: ‘ʾahla w sahla fīkun.’ rāḥu nǟmu kill ʾitnên b-ʾūḍa. biʾi Binyamīn la-ḥālu. saʾalu la-Yūsif: ‘ʾana ya ʿazīz maṣr wayn baddi nǟm ?’ saʾalu Yūsif ʾallu: ‘layš ʾinta ma fi ʿindak xayy min ʾimmak ?’ ʾallu: ‘mballa kǟn ʿindi xayy bass ʾakalu d-dīb min ʿišrīn sini.’ ʿabbaṭu Yūsif w bawwasu la-xayyu w ʾallu: ‘ʾana xayyak Yūsif, baddi xallīk ʿindi b-maṣr’. ʾallu Binyamīn: ‘kīf baddak txallīni hawn baʿdǟn bayyi bymūt. huwwe ṣārlu byibki ʿalǟk ʿišrīn sini.’ ʾallu: ‘miš miškli ʾana raḥdabbir il-mawḍūʿ.’ tǟni yawm ḥammallhun žmǟl bil-ʾamḥ w ḥaṭṭ timsǟl dahab b-xirš xayyu Binyamīn. Joseph said, ‘Be welcome!’ They went to the bedrooms in pairs. Benjamin was left alone, and so he asked Joseph, ‘Where shall I sleep, Asis of Egypt?’ and Joseph asked, ‘Do you not have a brother born by the same mother as you are?’ and he answered, ‘Yes, I had a brother, but a wolf ate him twenty years ago.’ Joseph hugged and kissed his brother and said, ‘I am your brother, Joseph, and I want you to stay in Egypt with me!’ But Benjamin asked, ‘How can you make me stay here? My father will surely die then. He has been crying for you for twenty years.’ Joseph responded, ‘No problem, I will settle the matter.’ The next day he had camels loaded up with wheat for them, and he put a golden statuette under the saddle back of his brother Benjamin. 19. lamma ṣāru baddun yimšu w yiḍharu min bawwǟb ṭība la-yiržaʿu ʿa-blǟdhun Yūsif ʾamar ḥirrāsu ʾinnu yfattšu žmǟlhun b-ḥižžit ʾinnun saraʾūlu timsǟl dahab. il-ḥirrās fattašūhun killun laʾu t-timsǟl ʿaž-žamal b-xirš Binyamīn. ʾālūlu: ‘ya ʿazīz maṣr laʾayna t-timsǟl b-xirš hal kanʿāni’, w ʾaššaru ʿa-xayyu Binyamīn. ʾallun Yūsif la-ʾixwǟtu: ‘ha byḍall ʿinna laʾinnu saraʾna.’ ʾālūlu ʾixwǟtu: ‘hayda ma fīna nxallī hawn. naʾʾi wǟḥid ġayru txallī ʿindak laʾinnu bayyu ʾiza ma rāḥ la-ʿindu raḥymūt min il-hamm.’ ʾallun Yūsif: ‘niḥna ma mnǟxud ʾilla yalli saraʾna.’ When they got ready to leave through the gates of Thebes in order to return to their country, Joseph ordered his guards to search their camels on the grounds that they had stolen a golden statuette from him. The guards searched them all and found the statuette in the saddle bag of Benjamin’s camel. They said, ‘Asis of Egypt, we have found the statuette in the saddle bag of this Canaanite,’ and they pointed at Benjamin. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘This one will stay here with us because he has stolen from us,’ whereupon his brothers replied, ‘We cannot leave this one her; choose someone else to stay with you because his father will die of grief if he does not return to him,’ but Joseph answered, ‘We keep only the one here who has stolen from us.’
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
20. ʾālūlu: ‘niḥna manna rāyḥīn min hawn ʾilla ma taʿṭīnayǟh w ʾilla bayyna byiġḍab ʿalayna.’ ʾallun Yūsif: ‘rūḥu w žību bayykun, ʾana baʿṭīyǟh.’ rižʿu ʾixwǟtu la-Yūsif ʿa-blǟd kanʿān la-ʿind bayyun w hinne fazʿānīn. ʾālūlu ʾinnu ‘xayyna saraʾ w ḥabasū hawnīk b-maṣr bass ʾiza ʾinta bitrūḥ byražžʿū ʾillak.’ ʾallun bayyun: ‘huwwe ma saraʾ w ʾintu kizzǟbīn w ʿmiltu fī mitl ma ʿmiltu b-xayyu.’ ʾālu la-bayyun: ‘ʾiza miš msaddiʾna ʾimši maʿna w ʾinta btismaʿ il-ʾiṣṣa b-ʾidnak.’ rāḥ in-nabi Yaʿʾūb maʿhun ʿa-maṣr w bass wuṣil ʿal-ʾaṣr yalli fī Yūsif ʾāl: ‘ʾana ʿamšimm rīḥit Yūsif hawn.’ w bass šǟfu la-Yūsif ballaš Yūsif yibki w huwwe yibki. w lamma ʾixwǟtu šǟfu hêk sažžadu ʿal-ʾarḍ w ʾālu la-Yūsif: ‘sǟmiḥna !’ w ʾālu la-bayyun: ‘niḥna kinna kizzǟbīn.’ ʾallun Yūsif: ‘fūtu ʿa-maṣr ʾāmnīn la baʾs ʿalaykun w ʾana sǟmaḥtkun min zamǟn min ʿišrīn sini.’ w ʿayyanhun b-marākiz mhimmi b-maṣr kill waḥad ʿayyanu ḥākim la-wlǟyi w halla xilṣit ʾiṣṣit in-nabi Yūsif. They said to him, ‘We will not leave unless you give him to us, for if you do not do so, our father will be angry with us.’ Joseph answered, ‘Go and get your father. I will give him to your father.’ Being in a blue funk, Joseph’s brothers returned to Canaan to their father and said to him, ‘Our brother has stolen, and they have kept him in Egypt, but if you go there, they will return him to you.’ Their father replied, ‘He has not stolen, and you are lying. In fact, you have done the same to him as you had done to his brother,’ but they answered, ‘If you do not believe us, then come with us and you will hear the story with your own ears.’ The prophet Jacob went to Egypt with them, and when they arrived at the palace in which Joseph stayed, he said, ‘I can smell the scent of Joseph.’ When he saw Joseph, Joseph began to cry, and Jacob cried, too. When his brothers saw this, they prostrated themselves and said to Joseph, ‘Forgive us!’ and to their father, ‘We have lied.’ Joseph said, ‘Come to Egypt in peace, and do not be afraid because I forgave you twenty years ago.’ He gave them posts in important places in Egypt, each one of them he appointed as a governor of a province, and now the story of Joseph has come to its end.
Text ii: Sinūhe (Hasan el-Rayyis) The story is based on the Old Egyptian narration of the same name that has been paraphrased and embellished with some amendments and modifications. 1.
kǟn Sinūhe šabb žamīl, kǟn mawhūb bir-rasm w maʿrūf b-maṣr w kǟn huwwe sadīʾu la-Sīsôstris ʾibn il-malik ʾAmīnimhāt. baʿd ma nʾatal il-malik ʾAmīnimhāt bil-ʿāṣmi rižiʿ wali l-ʿahd Sīsôstris ʿal-ʿāṣmi la-yšūf šu ṣār hawnīk, w b-hayda l-waʾt harab Sinūhe ʿaṣ-ṣaḥra ḥatta ʿabar in-nīl w kǟn raḥymūt ʿaṭaš ḥatta xallaṣū nǟs min il-badw. ʿaṭyū mayy liš-širb w ṭaʿmū, w biʾi biṣ-ṣaḥra la-middi zġīri ḥatta rāḥ
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
ʿa-filasṭīn. baʿd haydi l-fatra tʿarraf Sinūhe ʿala ʾamīr filasṭīn w min xlǟl maʿriftu ʾilu lal-ʾamīr tʿarraf ʿala bintu w baʿd fatra ṭalab ʾīd bintu minnu w tžawwaza.
Sinuhe Sinuhe was a beautiful young man, skilled in writing and famous in Egypt. He was the friend of Sesostris, son of king Amenemhat. After king Amenemhat had been killed in the capital, crown prince Sesostris came back to the capital in order to find out what had happened there. At that time Sinuhe fled into the desert till he crossed the Nile. He was about to die of thirst when some Bedouins saved him. They gave him food and drink, and he stayed in the desert for a little while until he went to Palestine. Afterwards he became acquainted with the ruler of Palestine, and through the acquaintance with this ruler he got to know his daughter. After some time he asked for her hand and married her. 2.
maʿ il-ʾiyyǟm ṣār ʿindu wlǟd w ṣārit il-ʿalǟʾa ʾawwīyi baynu w bên ʾamīr filasṭīn ḥatta ʿayyanu la-Sinūhe qāʾid7 liž-žêš b-filasṭīn. w maʿ il-waʾt kamǟn ṣār Sinūhe baṭal mašhūr b-filasṭīn w ṣār ʾilu miʿžbīn ktār. w baʿd haydi l-fatra ṣāru yiṭlaʿu ʾabṭāl min filasṭīn ḥatta ywǟžhu Sinūhe lǟkin Sinūhe kǟn ʾaʾwa minnun w kǟn yihzum kill wǟḥid byiṭlaʿ b-wižžu. maḍa Sinūhe waʾt ṭawīl ʿind il-ʾamīr b-filasṭīn w lamma ṣār b-ʿumr bynǟhiz is-sittīn ʾaw is-sabaʿīn sini rižiʿ ʿala maṣr ḥatta ymūt hawnīk miššǟn ir-rūḥ tixlud baʿd il-môt.
As time went by, he got children, and the relationship between him and the ruler of Palestine became closer until he appointed him as the commander of the army of Palestine. Sinuhe became a famous warrior and his admirers became numerous. Eventually, the heros of Palestine came to challenge him, but Sinuhe was stronger than all of them and defeated everyone who confronted him. For a long time Sinuhe stayed at the side of the ruler in Palestine, and when he was nearly sixty or seventy years old, he went back to Egypt in order to die there and let his soul gain immortality after his death. 3.
w baʿd il-ġaybi ṭ-ṭawīli w ražʿatu ʿa-maṣr kǟn il-malik Sīsôstris baʿdu b-ʿaršu w ʿirif ʾinnu Sinūhe rižiʿ. w b-waʾta ʾiltaʾǟ w stafham minnu lêš ġāb haydi l-fatra ṭ-ṭawīli. w kǟn fi niʾǟš kbīr w tžǟdalu b-mawāḍiʿ ktīri ḥatta ziʿil il-malik min Sinūhe w baṭṭal yiḥki maʿu. w baʿd ma fall Sinūhe min ʿind il-malik kǟn Sīsôstris b-ḥāli nafsīyi taʿbǟni ktīr. kǟn Sinūhe sǟkin b-manṭiʾa ʿala ḥdūd filasṭīn w baʿd mrūr
7 The q in qāʾid has been retained under the influence of Standard Arabic.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut žumʿa yaʿni baʿd ma marrit žumʿa ʿala liqāʾu8 bil-malik kǟn Sinūhe ʾǟʿid b-baytu w simiʿ ʾinnu fi ḥarb badda tʾūm bên il-malik w iž-žêš il-filasṭīni. ʾām Sinūhe rāḥ la-ʿind il-malik ḥatta yšūf w yistafsir šu ʿambyṣīr. w ʾiz bylǟʾi ʾinnu fi ḥarb badda tʾūm bên iž-žêš il-filasṭīni w il-malik Sīsôstris.
After his long absence and his return to Egypt, king Seostris was still on the throne and heard about Sinuhe’s return. He met him at once and asked him for the reason of his long absence. They had a great disput and argued about a large number of affairs until the king got angry with Sinuhe and did not talk to him any more. After Sinuhe had left the king, Sesostris was in a very depressing mood. Sinuhe was living in an area that bordered on Palestine, and after one week, that is to say, one week after his meeting with the king, Sinuhe was sitting in his house and heard that there would be war between the king and the Palestinian army. Sinuhe set out for the king in order to find out what was going on, and there he found out that there would actually be war between the Palestinian army and king Sesostris. 4.
hôn ṣār mawʾaf Sinūhe ktīr miḥriž w nžabar Sinūhe ʾinnu yrūḥ ʿa-filasṭīn ḥatta yūʾaf maʿ ʿayltu w bima ʾinnu9 huwwe qāʾid iž-žêš b-filasṭīn ṭṭarr ʾinnu yūʾaf maʿ iž-žêš il-filasṭīni b-wižž il-malik Sīsôstris. w b-haydǟk il-waʾt ʾāmit ḥarb kbīri bên Sinūhe w bên il-malik Sīsôstris ḥatta mǟt fīha fôʾ il-xamst ʾalǟf ʿaskari min Sinūhe w fôʾ il-xamst ʾalǟf ʿaskari min il-malik Sīsôstris w b-ʾǟxir il-maʿraki ntaṣar Sinūhe ʿala l-malik Sīsôstris w rižiʿ ʿala filasṭīn maʿ žayšu mintiṣir w hêk nšahar ʾaktar Sinūhe b-filasṭīn w b-maṣr w ṣār ʾilu miʿžbīn ʾaktar.
Now Sinuhe was at a loss. He was forced to go to Palestine in order to stand with his family, and as he was the commander of the army in Palestine, he had to confront king Sesostris with the Palestinian army. At that time there started an enormous war between Sinuhe and Sesostris in which more than 5000 soldiers died on each side. At the end of the battle, Sinuhe prevailed over Sesostris and returned with his army victoriously to Palestine. In this way, Sinuhe became even more popular in Palestine and in Egypt, and the number of his admirers increased. 5.
w baʿd ma ntaṣar Sinūhe bil-ḥarb rižiʿ ʿala filasṭīn w tsallam medalīyi ḥarbīyi min iž-žêš takrīman la-ʾilu ʿašǟn huwwe kǟn il-mintiṣir bil-maʿraki w ʿašǟn huwwe li ʾatal il-malik Sīsôstris. w baʿd xams snīn ʿala ʾintihǟʾ il-ḥarb mǟt Sinūhe b-filasṭīn bass ʾaxadū ʿala maṣr w dafanū hawnīk ʿašǟn huwwe mwaṣṣi ʾahlu ʾinnu yidfnū b-maṣr. w hêk bitkūn ntahit ʾiṣṣit il-baṭal Sinūhe.
8 See the previous note. 9 bima ʾinnu comes from Standard Arabic.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
After Sinuhe’s victory in war, he came back to Palestine and was honoured with a war medal by the army because he was the victor of the battle, and because it had been him who had killed king Sesostris. Five years after the war, Sinuhe died in Palestine, but his body was transferred to Egypt and buried there, for he had ordered his family to bury him there. And this seems to be the end of the story of the hero Sinuhe.
Text iii: Trôya (Ali Serhan) This text is based on the cinema film Troy. 1.
wlǟd il-malik il-ʾitnên iz-zġīr w li-kbīr rāḥu ʿal-yunǟn la-yšimmu l-hawwa w la-yzūru malik il-yunǟn w rāḥu la-ʿind malik il-yunǟn. malik il-yunǟn staʾbalun stiʾbǟl ḥilw w sakkanun ʿindu bil-ʾaṣr. il-xayy iz-zġīr ḥabb martu lal-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn. ṣār fi ḥaky baynu w bên mart il-malik. baddu yxida maʿu ʿa-trôya w ʾaxada maʿu ʿas-safīni bil-lêl, xabbǟha bis-safīni min dūn ma yaʿrif xayyu li-kbīr. ʾāmu lamma baddun ysǟfru waddaʿu ʿal-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn w rāḥu bis-sifun. ʾabl ma yūṣalu ʿala trôya nuṣṣ iṭ-ṭarīʾ ʾām xabbar la-xayyu ʾallu: ‘maʿna bis-safīni martu lal-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn.’ ʾām xayyu ʾallu: ‘lêš ʿmilt hêk ? baddu yṣīr mašǟkil w baddu yṣīr fi ḥarb bên trôya w bên malik il-yunǟn.’
The two princes, the younger one and the elder one, set off to Greece in order to spend their holiday there and to visit the king of Greece. And so they went to the king of Greece. The king accorded a hearty welcome to them and let them live in his palace. The young prince of Troy fell in love with the wife of the king of Greece, and they got into conversation. He wanted to take her with him to Troy and took her aboard the ship at night; he hid her there without his brother’s knownledge. When they got ready to leave, they bade farewell to the king and sailed away. Before they reached Troy, halfway through, he (= Paris) informed his brother, ‘With us aboard the ship is the wife of the king of Greece.’ Thereupon his brother answered, ‘Why did you do this? There will be problems, and there will be war between Troy and the king of Greece.’ 2.
ʾallu: ‘ma fīna niržaʿ. bḥibba ʾana w baddīyǟha.’ ʾallu: ‘ṭayb minrūḥ la-ʿind bayyna mniḥki maʿu.’ ʾallu: ‘hêk hêk ma baʾa fīna niržaʿ, halla bykūn malik il-yunǟn ʿirif ʾinnu martu manna mawžūdi, rāḥit maʿna.’ ʾāmu wuṣlu ʿala trôya w rāḥu xabbaru la-bayyun ʾinnu xayyi žǟb mart il-malik w ḥabba w kaza w hêk. ʾāl: ‘ma fīna naʿmal ši. ṣārit il-bint b-ḥmǟyitna niḥna. niḥna mintiẓrīn malik il-yunǟn šu byiḥki, niḥna mistʿiddīn. baddu ḥarb baddu maṣāri mnaʿṭī.’
Then he (i.e. Paris) said, ‘We cannot turn back. I love her and I want her.’ He (i.e. Hector) responded, ‘Well then, we will go to our father and speak to him.’ (Paris) said to him,
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
‘Anyway, we cannot go back. By now the king of Greece will have come to know that his wife is not there any more and that she has gone with us.’ So they arrived at Troy and reported to their father that the younger brother10 had brought the wife of the king with him, that he loved her and so on. He (i.e. king Priam) said, ‘We cannot do anything about it. The girl is under our protection now. We will see what the king of Greece has to say, we are ready. No matter whether he wants war or money, we will give it to him.’ 3.
byʾūm malik il-yunǟn byḥiss ʾinnu martu rāḥit maʿ ʾibn il-malik tabaʿ trôya w byaʿlun il-ḥarb ʿalayyun. byʿayyiṭ qāʾid iž-žêš tabaʿ il-yunǟn. ʾāl: ‘ʿayyiṭūli la-ʾAxillis !’ byibʿat warā byžahhzu ḥālun w byžahhzu s-sifun w il-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn baddu yihžum ʿala trôya. byḥaḍḍru ḥālun tisʿat ʾalǟf šaxṣ w byrūḥu ʿa-šaṭṭ il-baḥr tabaʿ trôya. byṣīr maʿārik, byintiṣru l-yunǟnīyīn, baddun yihžmu ʿal-ʾalʿa tabʿit trôya, ma byiʾdaru laʾinnu l-ʾalʿa mḥaṣṣani w ʾawwīyi ktīr. byṣīr fi mašǟkil, byṣīru tabaʿu trôya baddun yihžmu bil-lêl, byaʿmalu ġazwi ʿala l-baḥr la-ḥatta yiʾtlu ʾAxillis. bykūn fi maʿu ʾibn ʿammu byišbahu, byiʾtul il-qāʾid tabaʿ trôya yaʿni ʾibnu lal-malik tabaʿ trôya hayda š-šabb yaʿni ʾibn ʿammu. byinsiḥbu byiržaʿu ʿal-ʾalʿa. byiži ʾibn ʿammu bylǟʾi ʾibn ʿammu mayyit. byʾūmu byaʿmalu madfan byiḥrʾu ž-žissi.
The king of Greece finds out now that his wife has left with the prince of Troy and declares war on them. He calls the commander of the Greek army and says, ‘Call Achilles!’ He sends for him. They prepare themselves and the ships because the Greek king wants to attack Troy. 9000 men get ready and sail to the coast of Troy. Combats are fought, the Greeks gain the victory; they want to attack the fortress of Troy, but they are not able to do so, since the fortress is fortified and very solid. There are problems. The Trojans want to attack at night, they conduct an attack by the sea in order to kill Achilles. Achilles’ cousin is with him, and he very much looks like Achilles. The commander of Troy, that is to say, the prince of Troy, kills this young man, the cousin of Achilles. They pull back and return to the fortress. Then the cousin (i.e. Achilles) comes and finds his cousin dead. They arrange a funeral and burn the corpse. 4. byrūḥ tǟni yôm iṣ-ṣubḥ byṣīr byʿayyiṭ la-ʾibnu lal-malik byʾillu: ‘nzǟl baddi tḥaddǟk.’ haydǟk ʿirif ḥālu baddu ymūt liʾannu ʾAxillis ʾaʾwa minnu. bywaddiʿ ʿa-bayyu, bywaddiʿ ʿala xayyu, bywaddiʿ ʿa-martu w byinzal, byinzal byitḥadda ʾAxillis w byiʾtlu ʾAxillis la-ʾibn il-malik tabaʿ trôya w byirbṭu bil-ʿarabīyi min wara w byžirru ʿa-šaṭṭ il-baḥr. byʾūm il-malik tabaʿ trôya byʾūm bil-lêl byrūḥ la-ʿind ʾAxillis w byṣīr yitražžǟ w bybūs ʾīdu byʾillu: ‘ʿaṭīni ʾibni !’ w ʾallu: ‘kīf ʾinta žīt lahôn ?’ ʾallu: ‘ʾana žīt minšǟn ʾibni la-ʾǟxdu maʿi.’ ʾāl ʾAxillis: ‘xidu !’ 10 Literally: that my brother . . .
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
In the morning of the following day (Achilles goes to the Trojan town walls) and calls for the prince, ‘Come down! I want to challenge you to a duel.’ Hector knows that he is going to die because Achilles is stronger than him. He bids farewell to his father, his brother, and his wife and goes down. He goes down and confronts Achilles. Achilles kills the Trojan prince, ties him up behind his chariot and drags him to the coast. The king of Troy goes to Achilles at night. He pleads with him, kisses his hand and says, ‘Give me my son!’ (Achilles) asked him, ‘How did you get here?’ and (the king) answered, ‘I have come to get my son.’ Achilles responded, ‘Take him!’ 5.
byšūf bint xayyu hawnīk kamǟn il-malik, bitʾillu: ‘ʾana rāyḥa maʿ ʿammi.’ byrūḥu ʿal-ʾaṣr, byaʿmalu madfan la-ʾibnu. il-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn baddu yfūt ʿal-ʾaṣr, byʿayyiṭ la-qāʾid iž-žêš byʾillu: ‘baddna naʿmal xiṭṭa. baddna nfūt ʿala l-ʾalʿa, ma fīna nfūt ʾilla b-xiṭṭa.’ w byaʿmalu ḥṣān byitxabbu b-ʾalb li-ḥṣān. byisḥabu s-sifun w byxabbūhun baʿīd ʿan iš-šaṭṭ. byižu ž-žnūd tabaʿu trôya, ma bylǟʾu ḥada ʿa-šaṭṭ il-baḥr. killun rāyḥīn ḥatta l-malik. byǟxdu li-ḥṣān ʿal-ʾalʿa žūwa, byiḥtiflu w byiskaru byḍallu las-sǟʿa t-tlǟti bil-lêl w hawdīk iž-žnūd tabaʿu l-yunǟn byinzalu min li-ḥṣān min taḥt. byṣīru yiʾtlu žnūd trôya, byiḥrʾu l-byūt w byfūtu byiftaḥu l-bêt ir-raʾīsi tabaʿ l-ʾalʿa w byiʾtlu l-malik tabaʿ trôya.
The king sees his niece there. She says to him, ‘I will go with my uncle.’ They go to the fortress and arrange the funeral of his son. The king of Greek wants to get access to the fortress; he calls the commander of the army and says to him, ‘We will have to use a special trick. We have to get into the fortress, but without a trick we will not manage.’ And so they construct a horse and hide inside the horse. They withdraw the ships and hide them far away from the coast. The Trojan soldiers come, but they cannot find anyone at the coast. All they come, even the king. They take the horse into the fortress. They celebrate and drink until three o’clock in the morning. The Greek soldiers climb from the bottom out of the horse. They kill the Trojan soldiers, set fire to the houses, get into the main building of the fortress and kill the king of Troy. 6.
ʾAxillis byḥibb hayl bint, ʿambyfattiš ʿalǟha minšǟn ma ḥada yiʾtla. byṣīr yfattiš ʿalǟha minšǟn ma yiʾtla l-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn, yaʿni malik il-yunǟn baddu yiʾtla la-hayl bint. byṣīr huwwe yfattiš ʿalǟha, byiži l-malik tabaʿ il-yunǟn baddu yiʾtla, bykūn hiyye maʿa xanžar w btiʾtlu. byiži ʾibnu lal-malik tabaʿ trôya w maʿu sahm. byṣīr baddu yiʾtlu la-ʾAxillis. bass yšūfu byiḍrub ʿalǟ b-sahm byṣību b-ʾižru. btiži bint ʿammu bitʾillu: ‘laʾ, ma tiʾtlu !’ bass huwwe byiḍrbu ʾarbaʿ ʾashum b-ṣidru w bymūt ʾAxillis.
Achilles loves that girl and searches for her so that nobody may kill her. He searches for her so that the king of Greece may not kill her, that is to say, the king of Greece wants to
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
kill the girl. He searches for her. The king of Greece comes and wants to kill her, but the girl has a dagger and kills him. Then the Trojan prince comes, and he is armed with an arrow. He wants to kill Achilles. As soon as he sees him, he shoots the arrow which hits him in the foot. His cousin comes and says to him, ‘No, do not kill him!’ but he shoots four arrows into his chest, and Achilles dies.
Text iv: Sīra zǟtīyi (Hasan el-Rayyis) 1.
ʾana xliʾt b-bayrūt b-libnǟn. darast ḥatta ʾana w biṣ-ṣaff il-ʿāšir w kint ʾištiġil maʿ bayyi bil-maḥall. ʿinna kǟn maḥall tyǟb. kint ʾištiġil w ʾidrus nafs il-waʾt ḥatta fitit ʿala ž-žǟmʿa. darast il-ḥʾūʾ la-middit sini w ġayyart il-ʾixtiṣāṣ darast biznizmänädž mänt tlǟt snīn w txarražt b-sint ʾalfên w tisʿa. b-haydi l-fatra štaġalt b-bank. kǟnit xibra ḥilwi ʾilli tʿarraft fīha ʿala ktīr ʿālam.
Live Career I was born in Beirut in Lebanon. I learned until I was in the tenth grade and worked in my father’s business. We had a clothing store. I used to work and study at the same time till I went to university. I studied law for one year, then changed my subject and studied business management for three years and left university in the year 2009. During this time I worked in a bank. That was a very nice experience during which I made the acquaintance of many people. 2.
w baʿd haydi l-fatra biṣ-ṣêf il-ʾalfên w tisʿa tʿarraft ʿala xaṭībti b-libnǟn w darast il-luġa l-ʾalmānīyi la-middit tlǟt šhūr. ʾawwal sint il-ʾalfên w ʿašara tžawwazt w ʿmilt ʿirsi b-libnǟn w kǟn ktīr ḥilw. baʿd ma tžawwazt sǟfart diġri ʿala ʾalmānya ʾana w marti. baʿd il-ʿirs bʾīt žumʿatên bil-ʾôtäl b-bayrūt w baʿda diġri sǟfart ʿala ʾalmānya. žīt la-hôn w halla ʾana ʿambištiġil b-širki maʿ ʿammi.
After that time in the summer of 2009, I made the acquaintance of my fiancée in Lebanon, and I learned German for three months. In the beginning of the year 2010 I got married and celebrated my wedding in Lebanon, that was very nice. After I had married, I travelled immediately to Germany with my wife. (That is to say,) after the wedding I stayed in a hotel in Beirut for two weeks, and after that I travelled to Germany. I have come here, and now I am working in a company with my uncle. 3.
b-haydi l-fatra sint il-ʾalfên w sitti kint ʾana b-bayrūt. biṣ-ṣêf il-ʾalfên w sitti kǟn nhār ʾaḥad nžaḥt bil-bakalôriya w baʿd yawmên ʾaw tlǟt ʾiyyǟm fiʾna bakkīr. min
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
iṣ-ṣubḥ smiʿna ʾaṣf ṭayyarān w ma ḥada ʿirfǟn šu ʿambyṣīr. niḥna ʿinna šiʾʾa ʾaw ʿinna bêt tǟni b-manṭʾit il-ḥamra b-bayrūt. nzilna ʿalǟ w skanna fī w min waʾta ḍallu ṭ-ṭayyarāt yiʾṣfu madīnit bayrūt la-middit tlǟta w tlǟtīn yôm. b-hayda l-waʾt kǟnit ktīr ʿālam ʿambitmūt biž-žnūb min ʾaṣf il-ʾisrāʾêli, ktīr wlǟd zġār kǟnu ʿambymūtu. At that time in the year 2006 I was in Beirut. In the summer of 2006, it was on a Sunday, I passed my masters-degree, and two or three days later we got up early. From early morning we heard an air attack, and nobody knew what was going on. We have a flat or, (to be more exact,) we have a second house in the area of al-Ḥamra in Beirut. We moved there and lived there. During that time the jets bombed Beirut without intermission for 33 days. In those days many people died in the south by Israeli air attacks, many children died. 4.
kǟn it-tlǟta w tlǟtīn yôm biṣ-ṣayfīyi ktīr ṣaʿbīn la-kill il-ʿālam b-libnǟn, kǟnu ʾaṣʿab tlǟta w tlǟtīn yôm min ḥayyǟti. kǟn ʿinna maḥall tyǟb w ʾaṣafū l-ʾisrāʾêlīyīn, dammarū, dammaru l-binǟyi killa. baʿd ḥarb tammūz ržiʿna ftaḥna maḥall tǟni.
Those 33 days in summer were very hard for all people in Lebanon, they were the hardest days of my life. We had a clothing shop, and the Israelites bombed it, destroyed it, destroyed the whole building. After the Tammuz-war we returned and opened another shop.
Text v: Sībawayh (Fuad Hamidjou) 1.
yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm kǟn fi zalami ʿalīm ʿāyiš b-kūx ʿala ʾaṭrāf il-ġābi. iz-zalami kǟn yḥibb iš-šiʿr w il-ʾawāʿid il-ʿarabīyi w ʾaġlab waʾtu kǟn yʾaḍḍī bi-drāsit il-kitub il-ʾadīmi ʾilli kǟn ʿindu minna ʿadad kbīr. ʾaktar min kitbu kǟn yḥibb wlǟdu xṣūṣan ʾibnu w kǟn msammi ʾibnu Sībawayh ʾilli kǟn yaʿṭī kill ʿilmu. Sībawayh kǟn taʾrīban ʿindu nafs iz-zaka ʾilli kǟn ʿind il-ʾadīb ʾilli tsamma ʿala ʾismu. kǟn kill yawm yitʿallam ʿiddit sǟʿāt maʿ bayyu w baʿdǟn ykammil taʿlīmu la-ḥālu.
Sibawayh Once upon a time there was a scholar who lived in a hut near the woods. The man loved poems and the Arabic grammar. Most of his time he would spend with the studies of old books, which he owned in large amounts. More than his books he loved his children, specially his son. He had given his son the name Sibawayh to whom he
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
passed all his knowledge. Sibawayh possessed almost the same brain power the scholar had been blessed with after whom he had been named. He would study several hours every day with his father and continue his education afterwards on his own. 2.
bintu kǟn ʾisma ʿĀyša w kǟnit bil-ʿaks ʿan xayya. il-ʾawāʿid w iš-šiʿr kǟnu ʾǟxir hamma w kǟnit dayman miš mirtāḥa laʾinnu kǟnit dayman tiḥlam bis-sarwi w it-taraf. il-bayy kǟn ktīr ḥakīm bass ma kǟn ġani w ʾaktar sarwitu kǟn yinfaʾha ʿala mištirāt il-kitub. w b-ʾaktar il-ʾaḥwǟl bass kǟn yiržaʿ ʿala l-bayt ylǟʾi bintu bǟkyi b-ġirfita. il-ʾimm kǟnit mayyti w min waʾt wafǟta kǟn il-bayy yihtamm b-wlǟdu. b-waʾt ʾiṣṣitna kǟn b-haydǟk iz-zamǟn sulṭān ʾismu Maḥmūd yiḥkum haydīk il-blǟd. kǟn sulṭān ʾāsi w ʾǟxir ʾihtimǟmu kǟn rafahīyit šaʿbu.
The girl’s name was Aisha, and she was exactly the opposite of her brother. Grammar and poems did not interest her at all, and she was always discontent because she dreamt of luxory and wealth all day. Her father though was very wise but not rich, and most of his property he would spend on books. Mostly, when he came home, he would find his daughter with tear-dimmed eyes in her room. The mother was dead. Since her death the father had been looking after the children. At the time of our story, a sultan named Mahmud ruled that country. He was a cruel sultan, and the welfare of his people was the last thing he was worried about. 3.
yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm kǟn il-bayy ʿamyiʾra b-kitbu w kǟnit bintu ʿamtištiġil bižžnayni, marr is-sulṭān maʿ mažmūʿa min xadamu w ʿaskaru žanb il-kūx w šǟf ilbint hiyye w ʿamtištiġil biž-žnayni. nizil ʿan ḥṣānu w rāḥ la-ʿinda: ‘šu ʾismik ya binti l-ḥilwi ?’, saʾal is-sulṭān. ‘ʿĀyša’, žǟwabitu l-bint w xdūda ḥmarru ktīr. is-sulṭān ṭalaʿ fīha maẓbūṭ w laʾa naẓaru ʿala l-kūx il-faʾīr ʾilli sǟkni fi. ‘btištiġli ʾinti kill yawm hawn ?’, saʾal is-sulṭān. ‘laʾ, ʾana bass hal ʾisbūʿ ʿambištiġil maʿ bayyi, il-ʾisbūʿ iž-žǟy b-nafs il-waʾt hayda bkūn ʿambištiġil ʾana ʿind il-xabbǟz biḍ-ḍayʿa. min waʾt wafǟt ʾimmi w ʾana ʿambištiġil hawnīk.’
One day the father was just reading in his books, and the daughter was working in the garden when the sultan with a group of his servants and soldiers passed the hut and saw the daughter working in the garden. He dismounted his horse and went to her. ‘What is your name, my pretty girl?’ asked the sultan. ‘Aischa,’ answered the daughter and blushed all over. The sultan looked at her thoroughly, then he took a look at the humble hut in which she was living. ‘Do you work here every day?’ the sultan asked. ‘No, I am working with my father just this week. This time next week I will be working at the baker’s in the village. Since my mother’s death I have been working there.’
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut 4.
lamma šǟfit is-sulṭān ʾilli lǟbis tyǟb ktīr ḥilwīn kirhit il-fiʾr ʾaktar min ʾayya waʾt maḍa. ‘ʾā, law kint ʾana hêk ġanīyi badal ma kill yawm rūḥ ʾištiġil b-hal maxbaz !’ ʿxabz il-xibz mannu la-hêk bint ḥilwi ktīr mitlik. taʿi maʿi ʿala l-ʾaṣr ʾilli ʿindi w ʿīši maʿi hawnīk.’ il-bint kǟnit ktīr mitʿažžbi w ma ṭilʿit maʿa ʾayya kilmi bitʾūla. rāḥit ʿala l-kūx w ʾālit la-bayya šu s-sulṭān ʾalla.
When she saw the sultan, who was wearing beautiful clothes, she hated (her) poverty more than ever before. ‘Would that I were so rich instead of working at the baker’s every day!’ ‘Baking bread is not for such a beautiful girl like you. Come to my palace with me and live there with me!’ The daughter was so astonished that she could not say a word. She went to the hut and told her father what the sultan had said to her. 5.
il-bayy ʿaʾad žbīnu w rāḥ la-ʿind is-sulṭān. nḥana l-bayy w ʾāl: ‘mitl ma smiʿt baddkun tǟxdu binti maʿkun.’ ‘hayda ṣaḥīḥ’, žǟwab is-sulṭān. ‘hiyye bint ktīr ḥilwi w ʾana raḥitžawwaza.’ il-bayy kǟn sǟmiʿ ʾinnu s-sulṭān šaxṣ ktīr ʿāṭil11 w hazz b-rāsu. ‘ʾana ʾāsif, bass binti baʿda zġīri laž-žīzi.’ wižž is-sulṭān ʿattam. ‘ma fi ʾayya šaxṣ lahalla rafaḍli ṭalabi. ʾana waʾt il bʾūl baddi ʾitžawwaza yaʿni raḥitžawwaza !’ ġiḍib il-bayy w ʾāl: ‘ʾana ʾilt laʾ !’
The father frowned and went to the sultan. He bowed and spoke, ‘As I heard, you wish to take my daughter with you.’ ‘That is correct,’ answered the sultan. ‘She is a very handsome girl and I will marry her.’ The father had heard that the sultan was a very wicked person and shook his head. ‘I am sorry, but my daughter is too young to get married.’ The sultan’s face darkened. ‘Never before has anyone rejected my demands. When I say that I want to marry her, I will marry her!’ Now the father got angry, too, and said, ‘I have said no!’ 6.
hawn ʾamar is-sulṭān ʿaskaru ʾinnu yiʾtlu l-bayy w ʾamarun ʾinnu yiḥrʾu kūxu. ʾaxad is-sulṭān il-bint w rakkaba ʿala ḥṣānu w rāḥ maʿa. Sībawayh w huwwe rǟžiʿ ʿala l-bayt šǟf min bʿīd kīf il-ʿaskar ʾatalu bayyu w ḥaraʾu kūxun. staʿžal la-ʿind bayyu bass lamma wuṣil kǟn bayyu mayyit. Sībawayh ṣār yibki w ḥalaf yamīn ʾinnu yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm raḥyiʾtul is-sulṭān. is-snīn marʾit w min il-walad Sībawayh ṣār šabb kbīr w ḥilw. ktīr ʾiṣaṣ mintišra b-hal blǟd ʿan baṭš is-sulṭān w kǟnu yʾūlu ʾinnu martu yaʿni ʾixtu la-Sībawayh kǟn baṭša ʾaktar minnu.
11 ʿāṭil = ‘idle’, ‘broken’, but also ‘bad’ and ‘wicked’.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
Now the sultan ordered his soldiers to kill the father and to set the hut on fire. The sultan took the daughter, sat her on his horse and rode away with her. Sibawayh, who was just on his way home, saw from a distant the soldiers kill his father and set the hut on fire. He hurried to his father, but when he arrived, his father was already dead. Sibawayh started to cry and swore to kill the sultan one day. The years went by and the boy Sibawayh became a beautiful and tall young man. Many stories circulated in the country about the sultan’s unscrupulousness, and it was said that his wife, that is to say, Sibawayh’s sister, was even worse than the sultan. 7.
yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm simiʿ Sībawayh ʾinnu s-sulṭān ʿambydawwir ʿala kǟtib la-ʾilu ʾilli byžīd il-luġa l-ʿarabīyi w li byiḥsin yiktiblu mkǟtību. Sībawayh ʾaddam ʿala hal waṣīfi w ʾaxada kamǟn. bil-ʾaṣr ma ḥada ʿirfu w šǟf ʾinnu ʾixtu kamǟn nisyitu ma tzakkaritu. min bayn il-xadam kǟn fi ʾazam kǟnu s-sulṭān w martu yʿāmlū b-ʾasāwi ktīr. yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm w hinne ʾǟʿdīn ʿala ṭawlit il-ʾakl saʾalit mart is-sulṭān ʿĀyša: ‘mīn ʾilli xalaṭ in-nbīd ?’ waḥdi min il-xadam žǟwabit: ‘ʾana manni mitʾakkdi, bass biʿtiʾid ʾinnu l-ʾazam huwwe li xalaṭu.’
One day Sibawayh heard that the sultan was looking for a scribe for himself who had a good command of the Arabic language and who was able to write letters for him. Sibawayh applied for the post and got it. Nobody in the palace recognized him, and he noticed that even his sister had forgotten him and did not remember him any more. Among the servants there was a dwarf whom the sultan and his wife would treat with special cruelty. One day, while they were at table, the sultan’s wife, Aisha, asked, ‘Who has mixed the wine?’ A woman from among the servants answered, ‘I am not quite sure, but I think it was the dwarf who has mixed it.’ 8.
mart is-sulṭān ʾamarit ʾinnu yžībūla l-ʾazam w kabbit in-nbīd ʿala wižžu w ʾalitlu: ‘baʿdak ma btaʿrif kīf il-wǟḥid byixluṭ in-nbīd ? b-hal ʾisbūʿ baddak tǟkul bass xibs w tnǟm maʿ il-baʾarāt !’ il-ʾazam huwwe w ʿamyitruk il-ʾāʿa w wižžu mʿattim nfažaru l-xadam min iḍ-ḍiḥk ʿalǟ. Sībawayh kǟn b-haydǟk il-waʾt miktišif il-ʾaṣr w kǟn ṣār ʿindu xiṭṭa kīf raḥyiʾtul fīha s-sulṭān.
The wife of the sultan ordered to bring the dwarf. She poured the wine in his face and said, ‘Do you still not know how to mix the wine? This week you will eat only bread and sleep in the cow-house!’ While the dwarf was leaving the hall with a darkened face, the servants burst into laughter at him. At that time Sibawayh had already explored the castle and had a plan how to kill the sultan.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut 9.
taḥt il-ʾaṣr kǟn fi ʾabw w ġiraf w zawǟy ktīr. raḥyxaddir is-sulṭān w yidfnu b-ʾalb ḥayṭ min zawǟy il-ʾabw. huwwe kǟn baddu miš bass yiʾtlu, huwwe baddu ʾinnu s-sulṭān yitʿazzab mitl ma kǟn yʿazzib šaʿbu. Sībawayh tsǟdaʾ maʿ il-ʾazam la-ʾinnu fakkar ʾinnu hayda raḥysǟʿdu. yawm min il-ʾiyyǟm ʾiltaʾǟ bil-maṭbax. ‘ṣārlak zamǟn hawn ?’, saʾalu Sībawayh. ‘ʾǟ, ṣārli snīn hawn’, žǟwab il-ʾazam. ‘ʾinta baʿdak btixluṭ in-nbīd ?’ ‘laʾ, in-nbīd xalaṭṭu ʾana bass iš-šahr il-māḍi. min lamma hǟy il-mara kabbit in-nbīd ʿala wižži ʾana mawžūd bil-maṭbax lat-tanḍīf.’
In the castle basement there were the dungeons and a large number of nooks and corners. He would narcotize the sultan and wall him up. He did not only want to kill him, he wanted the sultan to suffer as he made his people suffer. Sibawayh became friends with the dwarf because he thought that he would help him. One day he met him in the kitchen. ‘Have you been here for long?’ Sibawayh asked him. ‘Yes, I have been here for years,’ the dwarf answered. ‘Do you still mix the wine?’ ‘ No, I mixed the wine only in the last month. Since that woman poured the wine in my face, I have been in the kitchen for cleaning.’ 10. saʾalu Sībawayh: ‘bass ʾinta btaʿrif wayn in-nbīd mawžūd ʾilli byišrab minnu s-sulṭān ?’ l-ʾazam ḥana rāsu w Sībawayh xabbaru šu ʿimil is-sulṭān fī w xabbaru ʿan xiṭṭitu yaʿni l-ʾazam raḥyḥiṭṭ tǟni yawm mxaddir bi-nbīd is-sulṭān. bass is-sulṭān yġammiʾ12 b-nawmu raḥyǟxdū ʿala l-ʾabw w raḥyʿammrū w huwwe ḥayy b-ʾalb il-ḥayṭ. ‘ʾinta bitẓunn ma raḥykimšūna ?’ saʾal il-ʾazam. ‘laʾ’, žǟwab Sībawayh. ‘waʾt il hinne bylaʾū minkūn niḥna min zamǟn tarakna l-balad.’ il-ʾazam ḥaṭṭ ilmxaddir bin-nbīd tabaʿ is-sulṭān mitl ma ttafaʾu w lamma s-sulṭān nǟm w ġammaʾ b-nawmu ḥamalū b-ʾalb kīs ʿala l-ʾabw. Sibawayh asked him, ‘But you know where the wine is stored from which the sultan drinks?’ The dwarf nodded, and Sibawayh reported him what the sultan had done to him, and he informed him about his plan. (The plan was, that ) the dwarf would put a narcotic into the sultan’s wine the following day. As soon as the sultan is sound asleep, they would take him to the dungeons and wall him up while he is still alive. ‘Do you think that they will not catch us?’ the dwarf asked. ‘No,’ answered Sibawayh, ‘When they find him, we will have left the country well before.’ The dwarf put the narcotic
12 ġammaʾ—yġammiʾ. The ʿ of the classical root ʿmq has been shifted to ġ in other Lebanese words, too; cf. C. Denizeau, Dictionnaire, 378.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
into the wine as planned, and when the sultan was sound asleep, they carried him in a sack to the dungeons. 11.
w hinne w ḥǟmlīnu b-mamarrāt il-ʾaṣr fažʾa bayyanit ʾixt la-Sībawayh w saʾalit: ‘šu ʿamtaʿmlu hawn ?’ b-sirʿa ʾaxad il-ʾazam šamʿadǟn w ḍarab fī mart is-sulṭān ʿala rāsa ʾilli mubāšaratan 13 faʾadit waʿya w wiʾʿit ʿal-ʾarḍ. ḥtažž Sībawayh w ʾallu: ‘smǟʿ! haydi bitḍall ʾixti !’ ‘hiyye mara šrīra’, žǟwab il-ʾazam w ballaš yšadda min šaʿra warā. ‘hiyye raḥtifḍaḥna ʾiza ma ʾabarnǟha b-ʾalb il-ḥayṭ maʿ is-sulṭān.’ Sībawayh ma kǟn mabsūṭ bass kǟn lǟzim yaʿṭi l-ḥaʾʾ lal-ʾazam. w hêk waddu l-ʾitnên ʿala l-ʾabw w ʿammarūhun b-ʾalb il-ḥayṭ. Sībawayh w il-ʾazam b-nafs il-layli taraku l-ʾaṣr w min baʿdu ma rižʿu bayyanu.
When they were carrying him through the aisles of the castle, suddenly Sibawayh’s sister appeared and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ The dwarf grabbed quickly a candleholder and hit it on the head of the sultan’s wife who lost consciousness right away and dropped to the floor. Sibawayh protested, ‘Now you listen! After all she is my sister!’ ‘She is a bad woman,’ the dwarf answered, and he began to drag her behind himself by the hair. ‘She will betray us if we do not wall her up together with the sultan.’ Sibawayh did not have a good feeling about this, but he had to agree with the dwarf. Therefore they brought the two of them to the dungeons and walled them up. Sibawayh and the dwarf left the castle the same night, and have never been seen again.
Text vi (Ali Serhan) 1.
ʾana l-yôm fiʾit min nôm is-sǟʿa sitti. ʾimt ġassalt wižži w trawwaʾt is-sǟʿa tmǟni. ʾimt ʾaxadt taksi riḥt ʿaš-šiġl. ḍallêt las-sǟʿa tlǟti w žīt ʿal-bêt. ttaṣal rafīʾi fīyi w ʾāl: ‘taʿ mniltaʾa bil-ʾahwi la-nišrab finžǟn ʾahwi.’ ʾana ʾilt: ‘ʾana nāṭrak.’ huwwe ʾāl: ‘ʾǟ, ṭayb.’ ʾiža ṣaḥbi w riḥna ʿal-ʾahwi. ʾaʿadna w ṣirna ʿamnitḥaddas. ṣār ḥadīs bayni w baynu. ʾiltillu: ‘šu ʿmilt mbǟriḥ ?’
Today I got up at six o’clock. Then I washed my face and had breakfast at eight o’clock. I took a cap and went to work. I stayed (there) until three o’clock and came back home. My friend phoned me and said, ‘Come, let us meet in the café and drink a cup of coffee.’ I said, ‘I am waiting for you,’ and he said, ‘Yes, all right.’ My friend came, and we went to
13 mubāšaratan is a borrowing from Standard Arabic.
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut
the café. We sat down and started chatting. We were chatting, and I asked him, ‘What did you do yesterday?’ 2.
huwwe ʾāl: ‘ʾana mbǟriḥ riḥt ʿaš-šiġl štaġalt las-sǟʿa tlǟti w ʾižīt ʿal-bêt. ʾakalt w nimt. ʾana mbǟriḥ kint marīḍ ktīr. kǟn rāsi ʿambyžaʿni. ʾaxadt maraḍīyi l-yôm. tmaššêt šwayyi bil-madīni. štarêt kam ġaraḍ. ḍallêt las-sǟʿa ʾarbaʿ. ʾimt riḥt ʿal-bêt. ḍallêt ʾǟʿid ʿat-tilifisyôn w ma ḍahart ʿa-maḥall.’ ʾiltillu: ‘šu raʾyak, mirrūḥ il-yôm ʿas-sīnəma ?’ huwwe ʾāl: ‘yalla mǟši.’ ʾimna riḥna ʿas-sīnəma. baʿd il-film šribna ʿargīli w baʿdǟn riḥna ʿal-bêt.
He answered, ‘I went to work yesterday, worked until three o’clock and came home. I ate and slept. I was very ill yesterday. My head was aching. I took a medical certificate today. I had a little walk in the town and bought some things. I was (there) till four o’clock, then I went home. I kept sitting in front of the tv and did not go anywhere.’ I said to him, ‘What do you think? Shall we go to the cinema today?’ and he answered, ‘All right, let us go.’ We went to the cinema. After the film we smoked water pipe, and after that we went home.
Text vii (Ali Serhan) 1.
yôm il-xamīs is-sǟʿa tlǟti ʾiltaʾêt b-ṣaḥbi ʾAḥmad bil-ʾahwi w ʾaʿadna šribna ʾahwi w tḥaddasna. saʾalni ʾAḥmad: ‘šu ʿmilt ʾǟxir il-ʾisbūʿ ?’ ʾiltillu: ‘ʾǟxir il-ʾisbūʿ riḥt ʿala sūriya ʿind xayyi w kǟn nhār is-sabt. xayyi byištiġil hawnīk b-sūriya. huwwe mʿallim. saraʾu sayyārtu w riḥna ʿal-bôlīz. ʾaddamna šakwa ʾinnu s-sayyāra nsaraʾit. ržaʿna ʿal-bêt w riḥna ʿas-sūʾ il-ḥamadīyi. štarêt tyǟb lal-wlǟd. xallaṣna min is-sūʾ il-ḥamadīyi w riḥna štarayna laḥmi w štarayna fawǟkih wa štarayna xiḍra. w ʾinta ? šu ʿmilt ʾinta ?’
On Friday at three o’clock I met with my friend Ahmad at the café. We sat down, drank coffee and had a chat. Ahmad asked me, ‘What did you do at the weekend?’ and I answered, ‘At the weekend I went to Syria to my brother. It was on Saturday. My brother works there in Syria. He is a teacher. They stole his car, and we went to the police. We reported to the police that his car had been stolen. We returned home and went to the Ḥamadiye-marked. I bought clothes for the children.We left the Ḥamadiye-marked and went to buy meat, fruit and vegetables. And what about you? What did you do?’ 2.
‘ʾana yôm is-sabt ʾižīt min iš-šiġl is-sǟʿa tnāš. nimt sǟʿa sǟʿatên w ḍallêt ʾǟʿid las-sǟʿa sabaʿ ʿal-balkôn ʿambišrab ʾahwi w ʿambišrab ʿargīli. ʾimt is-sǟʿa tmǟni lbist tyǟbi w ḥaḍḍart ḥāli. naṭart la-yižu ʾaṣḥābi w riḥna. kinna ḥāžzīn krūti bi-bḥamdūn
Texts in the Dialect of Beirut la-ḥafli ḥilwi. ʾimna riḥna s-sǟʿa tisʿa ʿal-ḥafli. kǟnit fi ktīr ʿālam w kǟnit fi našwa. kinna ʿamnišrab w skirna. ḍallit il-ḥafli las-sǟʿa taʾrīban ʾarbaʿ iṣ-ṣubḥ. ʾiža l-bôlīz ʾaxadna ḥabasna w tǟni yôm iṣ-ṣubḥ il-bôlīz tarakna w žīna ʿal-bêt.’
‘On Saturday I came from work at twelve o’clock. I slept for an hour or two and sat on the balcony until seven o’clock, drinking coffee and smoking water pipe. At eight o’clock I put on my clothes and got ready. I waited for my friends to come, and we departed. We had booked tickets in Bḥamdūn for a nice party. So we left for the party at nine o’clock. There were lots of people, and spirits were high. We were drinking and got drunk. The party lasted until about four o’clock in the morning. The police came and arrested us. In the morning of the next day the police let us go, and we went home.’
Text viii (Ali Serhan) ʾana min zamǟn w kint bil-madrasi riḥt ʿas-sīnəma, w is-sīnəma ḥadd bêtna. fitit ʿas-sīnəma w ḥḍirt film wara film w ḍallêt ʾana ʿambiḥḍar ʾawwal film w ḥḍirt it-tǟni w it-tǟlit. ʾimt ʾana nimt bis-sīnəma. ʾām ʾahli ṣāru yfattšu ʿalayyi w ʿādu fattašu fattašu w ma laʾūni w ʾana kint nǟyim. ʾiža ʾibn žārna w fayyaʾni min nôm w ʾaxadni ʿal-bêt. w ʾiža bayyi baddu yḍrubni. ʾāmu ž-žīrān ma xallū yḍrubni. In former times when I was still at school, I went to the cinema, the cinema being next to our house. I entered the cinema and watched film after film. I was watching the first film, the second one and the third one. Then I fell asleep in the cinema. My family started to search for me. They searched and searched but did not find me, for I was sleeping. The son of our neighbour came and woke me. He took me home. My father came and wanted to hit me, but our neighbours did not let him hit me.
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Index Action 4ff, 9, 24ff, 45ff actional situations 26, 29ff, 44, 129, 135, 184 non-actional sit. 26, 28, 37, 39, 41ff, 72 after-situations 21f Aktionsart see action ‘amyiqtul 67f, 70, 96f, 100f, 110, 112, 120ff, 131ff, 154ff, 197ff bykūn ʿamyiqtul 68, 118, 131, 146ff, 151 kān ʿamyiqtul 67, 75, 81, 84ff, 90, 92ff, 100f, 105, 111ff, 122, 160 raḥykūn ‘amyiqtul 67, 117f, 146, 148 anteriority (in general) 11ff, 33f, 38, 40, 51, 55 ant. to the speech time 72ff, 167 ant. to a reference point in the past 73, 102ff, 169 ant. to a reference point in the future 149ff, 172f, 190, 192 AP (Active Participle) 67, 76ff, 175ff, 179ff bykūn AP 67, 131, 137, 147f, 150f, 171f, 177 kān AP 67, 70, 73f, 84ff, 90, 92f, 95ff, 109, 111ff, 122, 160, 177 raḥykūn AP 67, 117f, 148, 172, 177 appealing function of language 8, 144 aspect 4f, 9, 15ff aspect languages 50ff aspectuality 37, 82, 120, 129, 134, 167, 171, 191, 195, 199, 211, 216f atelicness / atelic 9, 24f, 28f, 31f, 34, 37f, 40ff, 45, 63, 158ff, 167, 178, 184, 199 baddu yiqtul 68, 117ff, 135ff, 140ff, 163, 170ff, 194ff, 229 before-situations 19, 113 Bezeichnetes, see designatum Bezeichnendes, see signum byiqtul 68f, 76, 79ff, 85ff, 112, 118f, 121f, 126, 129ff, 149, 152, 155ff, 159ff, 193ff kān byiqtul 68, 82, 88 Cairene Arabic 72n2, 86n6, 135n1+3, 140n6, 144, 189, 198n9, 218 categorial interplay 5, 9, 27, 33ff circumstantial clauses / situations 21, 158ff, 173
Classical Arabic 23f, 179ff, 205ff complexity / complex situations 24, 29, 34, 37ff, 44f, 190f, 199 descriptive function of language 8, 144 designatum 3–4, 6, 14, 35, 186–189, 192, 197, 205, 218, 239 discussed world 5, 219ff distributive situations 24, 29f, 44 durative situations 25, 29ff expressive function of language 8, 140, 144 extratemporality / extratemporal situations 26ff, 37ff, 43, 46, 59, 133f, 171, 193, 195, 211, 213, 216f, 238 Gemeintes, see intentum habituality (in general) 4, 27, 81ff, 130ff conditioned habituality 27, 41, 81f, 85, 131, 168f, 171, 190 essential habituality 27, 41, 81ff, 130, 168, 171 imperfectivity 15, 33ff, 42ff, 53, 75, 84, 97, 116, 133, 135, 149, 167f, 178, 190ff, 198ff, 216, 226 implicature 13–14, 23, 35, 150, 173, 187, 216, 235 intentum 3ff, 14, 34, 50, 63, 97, 202 iterative situations 29, 44 Khawêtna 218 Laḥn al-ʿᾹmmah 206f limited, situations of a limited period of time 12, 26ff, 37, 39, 41ff, 120, 127ff, 170f, 193, 197ff, 204 main function of verbs 3f, 14, 35, 59, 63, 178, 192ff, 199, 202, 204f, 216 mannu / miš (negation) 140–141, 172, 176, 178, 227, 261
INDEX markedness / marked 10, 34–35, 43, 59, 177, 204, 220–221, 265 metagrammar 3ff, 8f, 101, 199, 238 Middle Arabic 207 motion verbs / verbs of motion 69f, 74, 97, 110, 122, 139, 147f, 151, 170ff, 176ff, 185, 188ff narrated world 219 negation 47–48 noetics 3, 238 non-actional situation 28, 37, 41ff, 72 object clauses 56ff, 87f, 96, 106ff, 127, 133, 145, 148, 154, 169, 173f, 190ff, 200, 227n2 object-language 6 Organon model (Bühler) 8 orientation of a verb 52ff, 91, 102, 115, 117, 156, 160, 173f, 201, 203, 228, 238 perception, verbs of perception 22, 59, 70, 80, 123f, 154ff, 173 perfectivity (in general) 6, 15, 19, 33f, 37f, 40ff, 46, 53, 58, 72, 75, 91, 120, 146, 167, 178, 190f, 194, 200, 205, 216 anterior-perfectivity 51f, 54, 56f, 72, 81, 89, 102, 149 posterior-perfectivity 51, 54, 57, 116, 145, 197, 201f, 216 plural situations 26ff, 30f, 101f, 168 posteriority (in general) 11, 33f, 37ff, 45f, 51, 57, 204, 216f posteriority to the speech time 13, 36, 54f, 135ff, 146, 148, 171f, 192, 194, 213, 218 posteriority to a reference point in the past 13, 36, 54f, 116ff, 170, 196 punctuality / punctual 17, 25, 28ff, 33f, 38, 40, 44ff, 58, 63, 72ff, 81f, 84f, 91f, 97, 101, 113f, 120, 129, 146, 154, 158, 171, 178, 187, 200 qatal 6, 64, 67–69, 72–82, 84–86, 88–90, 93–95, 98, 101, 104–105, 108–109, 111–117, 122, 126, 129, 131–132, 136, 148–153, 155, 157, 159, 161–163, 167–177, 187–194, 196, 200–201, 203–204, 213–214, 216–219, 221–238 qatala (Classical Arabic) 24, 187, 208–212, 214–216
qualitative action 25f, 28, 204, 218, 238 quantitative action 25, 28f, 31, 82, 204, 218, 238 raḥyiqtul 68, 162, 174, 192, 232, 234 kān raḥyiqtul 68, 119, 196 reference point 10f, 16, 34, 50ff relative clauses 57f, 87f, 95f, 105ff, 127, 132f, 144, 148, 152, 221, 225, 227n2 resultative verbs 23, 68ff, 76f, 85, 90, 97ff, 104, 119, 121, 125f, 136f, 147ff, 150, 160 signum 3ff, 14, 26, 34f, 43, 50f, 53, 55, 58f, 63, 202 simplex situations 24, 29, 44, 84 simultaneity (in general) 11ff, 33f, 38, 40, 44ff, 51, 55, 57, 197, 216 simult. with the speech time 12f, 35, 58f, 80, 120ff, 170f, 203, 217f simult. with a reference point in the past 13, 63f, 91ff, 112, 168f, 214 simult. with a reference point in the future 13, 55, 146ff, 172 since- / for-situations 20f, 91, 97ff, 124ff, 168ff, 190 singular situations 25f, 219 source-language 5–6, 8 specific languages 5, 53 stative verbs / situations 25f, 28f, 37, 39, 41ff, 70f, 74, 84ff, 97f, 104, 108, 110, 117, 119f, 126, 129ff, 147, 151, 158, 167ff, 175ff, 187ff, 218 still-situations 17f, 91, 97, 99ff, 168 substitution test 9, 32, 63, 225ff telicness / telic 25, 28f, 31ff, 37f, 40f, 44ff, 58, 63, 70, 158ff, 178, 184, 191, 198ff tense 3ff, 10ff, 35ff, 44ff, 50, 178, 190, 193f, 197, 199, 219 tense languages 50ff universal grammar 3ff unmarkedness 34f, 43, 204 until-situations 18f, 114f, 169, 190 while-situations 18, 192