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Studies on Arabic Dialectology and Sociolinguistics

 | 
Catherine Miller
, 
Alexandrine Barontini
, 
Marie-Aimée Germanos
, 
et al.

Arabic Dialectology - Linguistic Descriptions

Zaraʿnā Law Ṭalaʿet Yā Rēt! On Wish, Hope, and other Bouletic Modalities in Spoken Arabic from Syria

Daniela Rodica Firanescu

Résumé

In this paper we deal with bouletic (or boulomaic) modalities in spoken Arabic from Syria, a modal variety intimately related to the area of irrealia, possibilia or possible worlds. While the categories of alethic and deontic are rather the domain of truth and reality, bouletic modalities are, par excellence, the realm of interlocutors' subjectivity. Our paper analyzes conventionalized expressions used in spoken Arabic from Syria to convey the meanings of wish and hope (that form the hard core of the larger bouletic modality); we focus on the 'hard core' of bouletic: the semantically complex expression yā rēt (would God...!; if only...!), with its possible combinations, as marker of desirable, and on desiderative operators law, ʾizā, ʿalaww, wēn, barki, etc.

The interpretative approach highlights the hybrid character of the illocutionary acts performed through the use of bouletic operators, proving that in Syrian - as in natural languages, in general - the bouletic modality is deeply connected with (and even dependant on) other modalities, especially evaluative and deontic. Ultimately, our approach sheds light on the linguistic creativity manifested by Syrian Arabic speakers when modalizing their discourse: an aspect that emphasizes the virtues of the colloquial mode that sets no limits to expressivity.

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Extrait du texte

Introduction

With this paper, we pursue our journey with modalities in spoken Arabic from Syria, illustrated through articles presented, for their great majority, in AIDA conferences1. It focuses on the bouletic (also 'boulomaic') category, intimately related to the area of irrealia, possibilia or 'possible worlds'. While the alethic and deontic modalities (that we have examined elsewhere2) are rather the domain of truth and reality (although the literature on modalities acknowledges that certain varieties of deontic are necessarily imbued with a volitive, speaker-oriented illocutionary force), bouletic modalities are, par excellence, the realm of subjectivity that pertains to volition and possible worlds.

We analyze conventionalized expressions used in spoken Arabic from Syria to convey the meanings of wish and hope that form the core of the bouletic modality: mainly desiderative operators (law, ʾizā, ʿalaww, wēn, barki), the semantically complex expression yā rēt (would God...!; if...

Auteur

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

© Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans, 2019

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540