The Demonstrative Particle ḏālika and its Anaphoric Function in the Qurʾān

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Demonstrative pronouns in Arabic may function as deictic or anaphoric pronouns. The demonstrative pronoun <em>ḏālika</em> in the Qurʾān is of interest for two principal reasons: first, it is deictic only in three cases; secondly, it is marked for gender (m) and number (sg), yet it refers to a noun in feminine singular and in plural or even to a compound antecedent (e.g. a complete paragraph). Three parameters of <em>ḏālika</em> are addressed here: its antecedents’ type, its context, and its function. Results show that <em>ḏālika</em> can refer to any antecedent that is a segment located within the sentence/verse boundaries of <em>ḏālika</em>, or its antecedent can be an extended paragraph that spans sentence or verse boundaries. <em>ḏālika</em> can function as subject, direct object, or indirect object, depending the structure in which it occurs. Additionally, each structure containing <em>ḏālika</em> has its own function in the discourse: indicating causal relation, specification and identification, similarity between two things, preventing repetition of the same segment, and intimating that what was previously said is evidence of God’s might.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
JournalStudia Orientalia Electronica
StatePublished - 26 Apr 2016


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