A pragmatic analysis of English and Arabic adverbial positions and their pedagogical implications
This study is concerned, as its title suggests, with the syntactic order of adverbials in Standard English and Modern Standard Arabic. It is motivated by the fact that the area of adverbials is an extremely intractable area of English and Arabic grammars. Hence, it is a good candidate for an investigation. It is hypothesized that the particular problems which adverbials pose lie in the relative distributional freedom they enjoy in both languages. Semantic generalization will be related to the syntactic order of adverbials where necessary. Chapter one gives a brief survey of related work on adverbials. The scope of the study will delimit the relevant sections to be dealt with by drawing up lines for the major or minor points. The introduction presents a section of the rationale of the study and defines the data sources that constitute the corpus of the work. Chapter two is devoted to the factors influencing adverbial placement in English. Chapter three presents different views held towards the adverbial category, focusing on the work of those who have dealt with this class extensively. It also presents the different classifications given by grammarians concerned with the problem of adverbials. The classification adopted in this study is presented here. Chapter four is devoted to English adverbial positions with emphasis on the normal positions that each exponent of the three classes occupies. Other possible positions are investigated as well. Adverbials are classified on the grounds of function and position. Positions elicited from grammar books will be attested by citation from the material found in the newspapers which make up, in part, the corpus of the study. Still, it is questionable whether one can draw a clear-cut demarcation between the semantic/ syntactic orientation of adverbials since the crucial relationship remains indivisible between these two levels. Thus, this chapter manifests some semantic aspects, particularly those which are germane to the distributional properties of adverbials. In essence, chapter four can be considered an outgrowth of the foregoing chapters as it approaches the core of the problem. Chapter five involves a questionnaire comprising different types of structures which assist in the identification of English adverbial positions. This chapter can be considered as an attestation to what has been explored in the previous chapters. Thus far the study can be deemed as a practically-oriented one. Chapter six is an attempt to set out accounts of adverbial positions in Arabic. The topic of 'Arabic adverbial positions' is a virgin subject and needs extensive research work. No real consensus among grammarians exists on such linguistic explorations. Therefore, no comprehensive and reliable studies are available in the published literature. So the main contribution of this study is the presentation of data which categorise Arabic adverbials as a separate word class. Approximately the same procedure of classification adopted in chapter four will be followed. Chapter seven contains a questionnaire which can serve as a productive basis for testing Arabic adverbial positions investigated in the previous chapter. Chapter eight intends to give a contrastive study of the adverbial positions in the two languages under study on the basis of the data so far accumulated in this study. The three sources of data can be compared to show whether there is any affinity and/or disparity among adverbial positions. With this variety of data, we are in a position to distinguish the positions which adverbials are liable to occupy. Finally, the study ends with a pedagogy, which constitutes chapter nine, suggesting techniques for teaching such positions, after they have been refined and made easier to detect, to learners of both languages. It is hoped that the findings of the study will be utilised by language teachers and by textbook writers for materials preparation in this specific area of syntax.