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Rooted in the Body: Arabic Metaphor and Morphology (Hardcover)


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Rooted in the Body: Arabic Metaphor and Morphology Cover Image
By Lisa J. White, Mahmoud Shaltout (Illustrator)
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A unique comic-illustrated exploration of the rich vocabulary derived from body parts in Arabic

We are all married to our bodies, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. As a result, the body is a hard-wired, powerful presence in thought and speech. Rooted in the Body: Arabic Metaphor and Morphology considers this basic premise of linguistic embodiment and shows how it is especially true of Arabic. Consciously and unconsciously, speakers of Arabic use reams of vocabulary derived from the body, making it an ideal springboard for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Arabic morphology. Structurally speaking, Arabic is a language built on abstract roots, short sequences of single consonants that are systematically modified to produce actual vocabulary. Learning to recognize and manipulate those roots is an invaluable skill, especially for non-native adult learners, because it lightens their memorization load significantly.

Rooted in the Body uses delightful side-by-side essays and comic illustrations to invite readers to explore Arabic's signature morphology as they reflect on some 120 metaphorically charged body parts. On the long road to proficiency, lexical precision is important, but so, too, is cultural fluency. As it demystifies the links between morphology and semantics, Rooted in the Body also uses citations from Arabic's rich cultural history to highlight the body's vital role in language. This book will be a fascinating and invaluable resource, not only for advanced learners of Arabic but for linguists, rhetoricians, and philosophers of language.

About the Author

Lisa J. White (author) and Mahmoud Shaltout (illustrator) currently reside in Cairo, Egypt.
Product Details
ISBN: 9789774169779
ISBN-10: 9774169778
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press
Publication Date: February 9th, 2021
Pages: 296
Language: English