chapter  17
2 Pages

Numbers and counting ﺩﻭﺪﻌﻤﻟﺍ ﻭ ﺩﺍﺪﻋﻷﺍ

One very basic and high-frequency Arabic noun phrase or adverbial phrase is known by the name 'idafa. Syntactically, the 'idafa comprises two adjacent terms. Morphologically, the first term is usually a noun, a gerund, a temporal or locative adverbial noun, or less commonly an adjectival noun. The second term is usually a noun, a gerund, or a pronoun suffix. The second term provides information, or specificity, about the first. Neither of the terms is an adjective. English has similar arrangements, but in comparison with Arabic the order of this arrangement in English is inverted. English examples: the first term amplifies the second one. That is, contrary to Arabic, the second noun is made more specific by the preceding one. An idafa phrase can be longer than two terms. In an English expression such as: 'a summer night', the amplifying or specifying term 'summer' precedes the substantive noun 'night'.