The pervasiveness of coordination in Arabic, with reference to Arabic>English translation
This article analyses aspects of the greater use of coordination in Modern Standard Arabic as compared to English, illustrating this through Arabic>English translation. It argues that Arabic ‘favours’ coordination linguistically, textually and rhetorically, as follows: 1. The linguistic resources of Arabic favour coordination while those of English favour subordination – whether these are lexical (Arabic و wa- and ف fa- vs. English ‘and’), or semantic (the possibility of backgrounding coordinated clauses in Arabic compared to the marginality of backgrounded coordinated clauses in English); 2. Accompanying Arabic textual norms, e.g. (near-)synonym repetition and chained coordination, favour coordination while those of English favour subordination; 3. Further associated ‘rhetorical semantic’ uses of coordination are found in Arabic, e.g. hyperonym-hyponym repetition and associative repetition, which do not exist in English; 4. These extended usages further entrench coordination as a norm in Arabic as compared to English.
Keywords: coordination, subordination, backgrounding, English, Arabic
Published online: 19 September 2017
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