The Connectors in Modern Standard Arabic

41xaseIJp2L._SY300_by Nariman Naili Al-Warraki & Ahmed Taher Hassanein
American University Press, 1994
209 pages, $24.95, paperback
ISBN 978-9774243547
Rating: ✭✭✭✭  

I used to be all of the time looking for Arabic words in the dictionary and not finding them and getting all pissy about it because I couldn’t understand why. The because is that there are a number of one-letter prefixes that add meaning to a word but aren’t part of the word itself. Fa, for example can mean then, and then, for or but. (Plus a few other things.) It gets attached to the nose of the following word, and you end up looking at something akin to fotter. You understand the rest of the sentence but what is a fotter? Because you can’t find it in the dictionary no way no how.

Connectors in Modern Standard Arabic seemed like it might be the answer to my vexation, but it’s a bit too tough for me to decipher. Partly it’s just too advanced and partly there just isn’t enough English translation of the (sometimes) very dense sentences. Actually, I have now twice borrowed it from the library; the second time, a few months after the first, I was able to get more from it.

So this is a valuable book, but not until you have a fairly good facility for reading. At by that time, you would know about these one-letter prefixes, so would you still want this book? Yes, because these connectors have many meanings depending on context, and I think this is a book to return to many times.




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