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Features of Annexion Strings in Colloquial and Literary Arabic and Hebrew

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Arabic annexion is a basic and frequent nominal (phrase) structure which can be important not only in itself but also for translation and automatic text generation applications. The structure is expanded by concatenating to it more nouns, thus forming annexion strings. We examine here whether in colloquial and Modern Literary Arabic similar limitations exist, whether there are differences between them. Limitations and constraints on the number of words that can be connected in an annexion string were investigated for another Semitic language, Hebrew (Rosenhouse, “On the use”, “Construct”, and here). This study compares also Hebrew and Arabic annexion strings from the point of view of their length limitations. The article is based on literary Arabic as used in newspapers and books and on transcribed texts of colloquial Arabic. Some Hebrew journalese and spoken texts have also been examined for comparison. Our findings suggest positive answers to our questions.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Humanities and ArtsTechnion (Israel Institute of Technology)

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