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Volume :10 Issue : 37 1990      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Aspects of the Functional Use of Language (in Arabic)

Auther : Abu Aws Ibrahim Al-Shamsan

The aim of this paper is to study the functional use of language which is related to the phonetic, morphological and structural levels in general and the semantic level in particular. The denotative meaning of words and structures is equivalent to their function as perceived by the speaker of the language, regardless of their etymology and derivational relationships.

At first the denotative, figurative and functional uses of lexical items were explained. Examples of the functional use of phonemes, words and structures were given. Since this study focuses on meaning, no distinction was made between standard and colloquial usage of the language. A number of proverbs both at the standard and colloquial levels were studied.

It was found that the functional use of language at the phonetic level is responsible for understanding the same lexical item, regardless of the allophonic variations. For instance the phoneme /q/ has several allophones such as [?I, [g], [j], [k], [jZ] , [q], as evident in the different dialects.

The functional use of the language explains some linguistic phenomena such as synonymy and homonymy. It plays a part in language change, word formation, semantic shift and structural shift. Proper names in Arabic are originally lexical items, but they are used functionally without paying attention to their original meaning. It is also related to the expressions showing different feelings and emotions. It plays an important role in foreign language teaching and learning, because the non-native speaker will learn to use the language correctly. However, teaching the functional use of language apart from the denotative meaning might cause ambiguity. Finally, the functional use of language is important in translation. The translator should translate the literal meaning of words and structures and their functional use as well, to avoid confusion and inaccuracy.

 

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