Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The semantic prosody of natural phenomena in the Qur'an : a corpus-based study
Author: Alshahrani, Hala Jamal Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 7796
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the Semantic Prosody (SP) of natural phenomena in the Qur’an and five of its prominent English translations [Pickthall (1930), Yusuf Ali (1939/ revised edition 1987), Arberry (1957), Saheeh International (1997), and Abdel Haleem (2004)]. SP, scarcely explored in Qur’anic research, is defined as ‘a form of meaning established through the proximity of a consistent series of collocates’ (Louw 2000, p.50). Theoretically, it is both an evaluative prosody (i.e., lexical items collocating with semantic word classes that are positive, negative, or neutral) and a discourse prosody (i.e., having a communicative purpose). Given the stylistic uniqueness of the Qur’an and considering that SP can be examined empirically via corpora, the present study explores the SP of 154 words associated with nature referenced throughout the Qur’an using Corpus Linguistics techniques. Firstly, the Python-based Natural Language Toolkit was used for the following: to define nature terms via WordNet; to disambiguate their variant forms with Stemmers, and to compute their frequencies. Once frequencies were found, a quantitative analysis using Evert’s (2008) five-step statistical analysis was implemented on the 30 most frequent terms to investigate their collocations and SPs. Following this, a qualitative analysis was conducted as per the Extended Lexical Unit via concordance to analyse collocations and the Lexical-Functional Grammar to find the variation of meanings produced by lexico-grammatical patterns. Finally, the resulting datasets were aligned to evaluate their congruency with the Qur’an. Findings of this research confirm that words referring to nature in the Qur’an do have semantic prosody. For example, astronomical bodies are primed to occur in predominantly positive collocations referring to glorifying God, while weather phenomena in negative ones refer to Day of Judgment calamities. In addition, results show that Abdel-Haleem’s translation can be considered the most congruent. This research develops an approach to explore themes (e.g., nature) via SP analysis in texts and their translations and provides several linguistic resources that can be used for future corpus-based studies on the language of the Qur’an.
Supervisor: Brierley, Claire ; James, Dickins Sponsor: Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available