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Microsoft word - jurnal bs no. 2 agt 2006 yusring _2_.docTHE PREVERBAL NEGATION PARTICLES
Yusring Sanusi Baso1
Abstract: This article discusses the use of negative particles in Arabic,
specifically the so-called "Modern Standard Arabic" (MSA). This vari-
ant of Arabic is commonly used in written form in newspapers, maga-
zines, and journals; and in oral form in academic seminars and formal
meetings. Results of analysis indicate that negative particles in Arabic
negate not only words in a sentence, but sometimes they also negate the
Key words: preverbal negation particles, Modern Standard Arabic
(MSA), International Phonetics Association (IPA).
The language described in this essay is Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), also known as Modern Written Arabic and Modern Literary Arabic, which is the uniform variety of Arabic used all over the Arabic speaking world as the medium of written communication in books, periodicals, journals, maga-zines, newspapers, signs, business and personal letters (Saad, 1982). MSA is also used as the medium of oral communication in radio and television broadcasts, in formal speaking, public and university lecturers, learned de-bates, conferences, and in general on occasions accompanied by some de-gree of formality and solemnity. Throughout this essay, transliteration of the Arabic writing system is given in appendix (Bateson, 1967). An articulatory phonetic chart of Arabic consonants and vowels (based on IPA) is given as well in the same appendix (Saad, 1982). Also, the definite article will always be transliterated as al- ( ) 1Yusring Sanusi Baso adalah dosen Jurusan Sastra Asia Barat, Fakultas Sastra Univeristas Baso, The Preverbal Negation Particles in Arabic 165 in spite of the fact that it has a hamza (( ) Glottal Plosive) in the Arabic
system of writing. Another thing is that long vowels are described as double
dots, for example a:, i: and u:.
The aim of this article is to describe the distribution of MSA preverbal negation particles; la: ( ), lam ( ), lan ( ), and ma: ( ). The distribution of these particles will be elaborated in perfect and imperfect tense of the MSA. The following points will be analyzed within article; they are (1) the prever-bal negation particles in Arabic, (2) the negative focus, and (3) the particle ma: ( ) in Imperfect Tense. Also, in the beginning and the end of it, intro-duction and conclusion are articulated. THE PREVERBAL NEGATION PARTICLES IN ARABIC
It is well known that languages differ in the light of how they mark sen- tence negation overtly. For example, West Flemish (Haegeman, 1995) marks sentence negation with two particles, whereas Italian (Belletti, 1990) and English mark it with only one particle. This second type is also found in MSA. The MSA has four preverbal negation particles; those are ma:, la:, lam and lan. The negative particle ma: is usually used to negate perfect tense as illustrated below: In contrast, particle la: is employed to negate progressive imperfect tense as can been seen in the following: 2 3 = third personal pronoun, Sg = Singular, M = Masculine, F = Feminime 166 BAHASA DAN SENI, Tahun 34, Nomor 2, Agustus 2006 The semantic meaning of negatives ma: and la: will be explained clearly later on, because these two particles have another meaning, such as topicalization, dependent on their position in sentences. The next two particles; lam and lan are always used to negate imperfect tense, particularly activities that will be done in the future. The negative lam carries a meaning in which a possible activity is planned for the future but the exact time of the action is not decided. To clarify the explanation, exam-ples below illustrate the use of lam: Zaid has not gone to Australia yet Maryam has not gone to university yet Sentence 3 indicates that at the time of utterance, Zaid has no activity, namely going to Australia , but it will be take place after a few hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. In other words, it is possible for Zaid to go to Australia in the future, despite the fact that the time has not yet been decided. Similarly in sentence 4, Maryam does not go to university now, today, this week or possibly even this month, but she will go at some time in the future. In other words, Maryam has the possibility of going to university, although the time of action is not yet decided. So, the negative particle lam indicates an important message in a sentence where there is the possibility of a certain activity taking place in the future, regardless of exactly when in the future as illustrated in the time line below: Baso, The Preverbal Negation Particles in Arabic 167 In contrast, the preverbal negative lan carries the meaning of impossibility. The following two sentences illustrate the case: In sentence 5, it is the case that it is impossible for Zaid ever to go to Australia. Similar to 5, sentence 6 shows an impossibility of ever going to university and that is because the preverbal negative particle lan precedes the sentence. In other words, the negative particle lan shows an important message in a sentence where there is the impossibility of a certain activity taking place from the time of utterance to in the future as illustrated in the time line below: NEGATIVE FOCUS
In relation to the MSA negation particle ma:, the scope of ma: is consis- tently restricted to the category immediately following it. Moreover, con-stituents negated by ma: must appear in the sentence initial position that cor-responds to the position usually occupied by proposed focus phrases. Con-stituent negation seems to be an instance of focus or to be a negative focus. 168 BAHASA DAN SENI, Tahun 34, Nomor 2, Agustus 2006 The examples below will clarify this point: Sentence 7 indicates that it is not Zaid who read the book, but possibly someone else. The negation particle ma:, in this case, focuses on the subject Zaid. However, in order to focus on the object or what is read, the object al-kita:ba in sentence 7, should immediately follow the negative ma: as illus-trated below: Sentence 8 negates the object and then carries a meaning in which Zaid did not read this particular book, but may have read another book. In terms of focusing on the activity in sentence 8, the verb qara a should immediately follow the negative particle ma:. This is also a method to negate meaning in which the whole sentence is absolutely negative. The case is illustrated in the sentence following: Sentence 9 means that it is not the case that Zaid read the book, but he may have glanced at it, written it or looked at pictures. In addition, these three sentences 7, 8, and 9, should be produced with a flat intonation (--). If it is produced, however, with rising falling rising intonation ( ), these sen-tences will carry an interrogative meaning such as in sentence 10: Baso, The Preverbal Negation Particles in Arabic 169 Thus the negative particle ma: functions as meaning focus and as an in- terrogative marker. In imperfect tense, particle la: is also employed to stimu-late a negative focus. The scope of la: is similar to ma: only if particle la: is immediately followed by a verb such as in example 11 below: It is not the case that Zaid reads the book However, in relation to the position of ma:, if particle la: is immedi- ately followed by either subject or object, the negative meaning focus still appears, and significantly, differs not only in tense but also in focus as illus-trated below: Nobody, called Zaid has read the book Zaid has not read any book at all In addition, particle la: also occurs in nominal sentences to restrict fo- cus on a constituent (subject in general), which immediately follows it as il-lustrated in the following: 170 BAHASA DAN SENI, Tahun 34, Nomor 2, Agustus 2006 None of the students are in the office In order to indicate the tense, sentence 14 should be followed by an ad- verb of time such as al-amsi yesterday or al-jauma today . Therefore, sen-tence 14 would be: None of the students were in the office yesterday/today In imperfect tense, tone or intonation does not play a role in differentiat- ing meaning between focus and interrogative as it does with the particle ma:. Thus tones or intonation such as a flat (--) or rising falling rising (~) in produc-ing sentences 11, 12, and 13, does not result in interrogative sentences. In contrast, the last two particles; lam and lan, cannot be used in to focus mean-ing. So, these following sentences are unacceptable in MSA. Baso, The Preverbal Negation Particles in Arabic 171 The negative particles lam and lan are meaningful only if they occur before verbs within sentences as illustrated in 3, 4, 5, and 6. THE PARTICLE MA: IN IMPERFECT TENSE
In addition to the negative and interrogative interpretation of the parti- cle ma: (if it occurs in perfect tense), it also occurs in imperfect tense, but it does not specify a negative meaning. In imperfect tense it becomes an inter-rogative marker. In this situation, particle ma: is only acceptable if an object immediately follows it, otherwise it is ungrammatical as illustrated in the following: CONCLUSION
In this essay, I have shown the distribution of MSA preverbal negation particles. The particle ma: with flat intonation (--) is usually used to specify a negative meaning in perfect tense. It is also used as an interrogative parti-cle with rising falling rising intonation (~) tone either in perfect or imperfect tense. However, the particle la: is usually employed in progressive imperfect tense and intonation does not effect its interpretation. It is also used to re-strict focus on a constituent (subject in general) in both perfect and imperfect tenses. Furthermore, I have also described the negative particles lam and lan that are usually used in future imperfect tense. These last two particles can-not be employed to focus on either subject or object. They only function to 172 BAHASA DAN SENI, Tahun 34, Nomor 2, Agustus 2006 negate the predicate or verb and thus lead the whole sentence to be inter-preted as absolutely negative. DAFTAR RUJUKAN
Bateson, Mary Catherine. 1967. Arabic Language Handbook. Massachu- Belletti, Adriana. 1990. Generalized Verb Movement. Turin: Rosenberg & Haegeman, Liliane. 1995. The Syntax of Negation. Cambridge University Saad, George Nehmeh. 1982. Transitivity, Causation, and Passivization. Baso, The Preverbal Negation Particles in Arabic 173 Appendix: The Arabic Writing System and The MSA Consonants and
Vowels (based on IPA)
Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal 174 BAHASA DAN SENI, Tahun 34, Nomor 2, Agustus 2006
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