Collective Nouns in the Qur'Ān: Their Verbal, Adjectival and Pronominal Agreement

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Collective nouns are a familiar category not only in Arabic but also in other languages. This article starts with a definition of this category, followed by a comparison between the western and the Arabic definitions of the term 'collective nouns'. Defining this term leads to a better understanding of the agreement of such nouns; namely, that there is a choice between singular and plural concord marks. The former involves agreement with the syntactic form of the subject and the latter involves agreement with its meaning. This study focuses on the agreement of collective nouns in the Qur'ān, and thus the second part of the article presents statistical data that present the agreement types ex isting in the Qur'ān and clarifies in which structures agreement in plural is preferable to agreement in singular. The third part is dedicated to the different factors affecting the agreement patterns presented in the second part, while some new observations will be introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-137
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the University of Manchester. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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