The Creation of Terminology in Arabic | April 2016 | Translation Journal

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The Creation of Terminology in Arabic


Arabic language is the means whereby Arabs who inhabited the area extended from the Arabian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean can communicate and, as such, is a strong factor in the Arab nation unity. Due to the fact that new terms are being created almost every day, it was natural therefore that Arab grammarians advocate that word-formation should, as far as possible, be carried out using the native lexical resources of the language and that loan translations and direct borrowings from other languages should be discouraged. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the applicability of the main methods put forward by early Arab grammarians to create and introduce new Arabic terms in order to cope with the flow of modern terminologies. The study is based on a comparison between these methods to look into their workability and suitability in handling the problem of finding Arabic equivalents of foreign terms. 

Keywords: terminology, equivalence, methods, translation, Arabic, English

1. Introduction

Arabs are proud of their language for a number of reasons: it is the language of the Qur'an the Holy book of Islam. It is the language of their heritage and literature especially poetry which considers the main record of their history. However, Arabic before Islam was not equipped to function as a scientific language. Nasr and Leaman (2002 p. 905) argue that

the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula, to whom the Qur'an was first revealed, where simply not prepared to engage in scientific activity, nor where they in the least aware of the scientific and philosophical developments that had taken place in Greece, Persia and India more than a thousand years before the appearance of Islam.

Belyaev and Gourevitch (1969) also claim that among the Arabs at that time there were extremely very few individuals who could read and write. Most of them were not very eager to learn. Some historians are of the opinion that the culture of the period (the Times of Ignorance) was almost entirely oral. Two key factors contributed to the change of situation of Arabic after the spread of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula: first and foremost the teaching of Islam which encourages and cherishes seeking knowledge, and second the contact of Arabs with Greek, Indian and Persian civilizations heartens the translation activities. The translation from Greek and other languages presented an opportunity for a fresh, new look at the Arabic Language. The pioneer Arab translators such as Ibn-Ishaq, who lived during the Abased period, faced with the challenge of creating equivalent terms, set about developing the means to expand Arabic and enhance its ability to adjust changing realities. In the eighth century, Arabic was the medium by which Greek science passed to the West through translations into Arabic. "In nineteen century, there was a fantastic revival of the use of Arabic as a great language and as a vehicle of a new literate and literary culture" (Ferguson 1990 p. 42)

In the nineteenth century, however, Arabic has suffered from what Ferguson termed diglossia (varieties). He (Ibid. p. 49) states that

the Arabic language situation points up a weakness in one of the principal tools of linguistic analysis… Speakers of Arabic often do not have clear-cut intuitions for oral use of language, and the prevalence of intermediate and fluctuating variants between MSA and pure dialect makes grammaticality and judgments problematic in any case.

"Classical Arabic was manifestly unable to cope with the demands of the new age - dictionaries were full of obsolete words, a multiplicity of synonyms, and imprecise scientific terms" (Emry 1982 p. 85). Arabic, therefore, is divided into three varieties: Classical Arabic (CA): the language of the Qur'an, Islam and the heritage of Arabic literature. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) also called Literary Arabic: the language of school and university instruction, of formal speech, and of the media. MSA is some sort of a supra-national language of all Arab countries which, grammatically and syntactically, can be different from the spoken Arabic dialects to a point that they can be mutually incomprehensible.Colloquial Arabic: the language of informal speech, folklore, and popular drama.

This diglossia has caused the multiplicity of synonymous Arabic terms for the same concept.Sieny (1988) mentions three main causes of this multiplicity: (1) Richness of Arabic, this factor is intensified by the polysemous nature of the language. (2) Arabicization procedures account for synonymy in the area of terminology on many occasions. Terminologists in the Arab world are not in total agreement on specific and exact procedures because terminology as a science is a new field of investigation. (3) The Arab world is basically divided in two main blocks with regard to the main foreign/second language used by the countries. This means that the translation of any term is bound to be influenced by the source language (usually English or French), which sometimes forces terminologists to accept or adopt at least two Arabic equivalents for some technical terms.

1.1 Terminology and the Language Academies

As far as Arabic is concerned, a term is defined as an expression whose meaning is altered for certain purposes and this alteration is agreed upon by a specialized group. Al-Jurjani (1988 p. 28) defines the process of terminology as "an agreement among people to name a thing by using a word transferred from its original meaning". Khassara (1994 p. 102) adds that, "in Arabic, for an expression to be a term, there are crucial requirements: verbalism, meaning alteration and agreement". Term creation is the main part of translation, which is an old craft in Arabic heritage. Translation activities can be traced back to the Arab Islamic Empire especially during the Abbasid Rule. Therefore, there was a need for methods of creating and introducing new terms into Arabic to regulate the overflow of foreign terms. This comes as a result of the growing demand for translation due to the coexistence between Arabs and aCājim (foreigners/aliens) especially, after the expansion of Islamic empire outside the Arabian Peninsula.

Nowadays, no discussion of Arabic terminology would be complete without a reference to the influence of Western languages upon the vocabulary of the language. It was originally because of the contact with European culture that lexical reform of Arabic was initiated. This influence came as a result of the European ambitions of domination and expansion. This situation of Arabic accelerated the establishment of the language academies in the Arab world in order to deal with lexical reform which focused principally on scientific terminology. The first language academy in the Arab world was established in Damascus in 1919. Significantly it was called al-majmaC al-Cilmī al-Carabī (The Scientific Arabic Academy) (Emry 1982). Three other language academies were subsequently set up in different Arab countries like Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. This proliferation of institutions reflected a major problem in terminology creation in the Arab world such as duplication of effort and a consequent lack of uniformity.

2. Methods of Creating New Arabic Terms

Before the end of the first Islamic century, the Arabs had already expanded the area of their empire outside the Arab peninsula to include the major centers of civilizations of the time. This, of course, meant new challenges to their language as it had to compete with well-established languages such as Greek and Persian. During this time which was referred to as the golden age, Arab scholars and scientists came into contact with these languages through translation as they were translating medical, scientific and technical books from Greek and Latin into Arabic. As a result, new expressions and new technical terms started to go through the language because of the transference of these sciences. This phenomenon had made it necessary for Arab grammarians and philologists to create and introduce new methods in order to face the challenge of foreign terms and neologisms to protect the purity of the language. For instance, Al-Shihabi (1995) mentions some of these methods: (i) modifying the original concept of the word (semantic extension) to incorporate the new concept. (ii) deriving new expressions from original Arabic roots or from arabicized roots to designate new concepts (iii) arabicizing foreign words according to the Arabic molds. Al-Khuri (1988) includes al-naht (blending) and al-iŠtiqāq (derivation) procedures. These methods are used by Arab scholars for what they called al-tawlīd (generation, literally: to give birth) which is the creation of a new word that does not exist either in the old or modern language. Al-Shihabi (1995 p. 28) adds another method which is transferring (i.e., translating) foreign words with their meanings (loan translation) as well as arabicized foreign words and their meanings.

The main methods discussed in this paper are: (i) al-iŠtiqāq (derivation); (ii) al-taCrīb (arabicization); (iii) al-naht (blending) which can also be referred to as (compounding and coining) and (iv) al-majāz (figurative speech). It remains to be mentioned that these methods were developed by early Arab scholars and grammarians in order to customize the new terms to suit the properties of Arabic.

2.1. al-'iŠtiqāq (Derivation)

Derivation is a term used in morphology to refer to one of the two main categories or processes of word formation (derivational morphology), the other being inflectional (Crystal 1991). Basically, the result of derivational process is a new word, for instance: nation (noun) and national (adj.) whereas inflectional process results in a different form of the same word, for example: nation (noun) and nations (noun). A heated debate was raised among Arab scholars about the source of derivation in Arabic. For instance, Al-baṣrah (city in Iraq) Arab scholars claim that infinitive is the source of derivation whereas Al-kufah (also a city in Iraq) scholars state that the verb is the source of all derivatives in Arabic. However, the lexical meaning of derivation in Arabic is to create a new word from another. That is to say, it is the creation of new terms from word roots (radicals). Al-Marghani and Ibn-Faris (in Stetkevych 1970) are among Arab scholars who gave derivation special importance as one of the unique techniques employed to enrich Arabic vocabulary with new neologisms and as an important method to improve Arabic vocabulary.

Derivation from existing Arabic roots has always been considered the most natural way of growth for the language (Ibid.). It is also described as a treasure as it is an inventive process for creating new terms in Arabic. Thus, Arabic is always looked upon as luğat al-iŠtiqāq the language of derivation (Farihah 1973). Stetkevych (1970) states that Arabic philology distinguishes three main forms of derivation: (i) al-iŠtiqāq al-ağīr (simple derivation); (ii) al-iŠtiqāq al-kabīr (wider derivation/metathesis). Metathesis involves a change in the position of the root consonants and the retention of the original meaning. In addition, a relatively new form of derivation is introduced: (iii) al-iŠtiqāq bi al-tarjamah (circumlocution/paraphrasing) as one of the methods of producing numerous terms since the first Abbasid period. In the following discussion, it will be dealt with two forms, the first and third, as they are the most practical methods of terminology creation in Arabic (see also Elmgrab 2011).Štiqāq al-ṣağīr (Simple Derivation)

Simple derivation was used extensively during the Abbasid period for creating new vocabulary in the fields of philosophy, science and technology. It is the most practical process in creating new terms which has been used throughout the history of language. In this process, the radical consonants are not altered but are derived from and built upon. The roots of an Arabic word are traditionally represented by the three consonants, ', فاء (f) Caynعين (C) andلام lām (l) ف ع ل(f- C -l) according to al-mizān al-arfī the morphological pattern. The simplest way of derivation is that all words share the same trilateral root of the verb faCala (literally: to do) and they only vary in additional letters that function as morphemic indicators, for instance from the radicals d-r-b (ض ر ب) we can derive the following forms: darb (beat) (noun), madrib (place (noun), midrab (bat), dārib (hitter) and madrūb (beaten).

The derived forms of the trilateral verb are usually fifteen. However, the last three forms are rarely used:

(i) faCala          فعل                    (vi) tafāCala     تفاعل                 (xi) ifCālla        إفعالّ

(ii) faCCala       فعّل                    (vii) infaCala    إنفعل                  (xii) ifCawCala إفعوعل

(iii) fāCala        فاعل                  (viii) iftaCala    إفتعل                  (xiii) ifCawwla إفعوّل

(iv) afCala        أفعل                   (ix) ifCalla        إفعلّ                   (xiv) ifCanlala  إفعنلل

(v) tafaCCala    تفعّل                   (x) istafCala     إستفعل                (xv) ifCanlā      إفعنلى

It is worth noting that the third person singular masculine perfective is the simplest form of the verb in Arabic. However, for the sake of shortness, it is rendered into English by the infinitive. For instance, the trilateral verbفعل faCala which means he did or he has done is changed into English as to do. Despite the fact that derivation should be made from verbal root only according to the classical rules, a new type of derivation was added to the existing one during medieval times. This kind is based on derivation from abstract nouns by adding a final suffix like āniyyah or iyyah in order to coin a new word. This type is so productive in creating the abstract nouns:

qur'āniyyah     (Quranic)                                 from qurā'n     (Qur'an)

mizāniyyah      (budget)                                  from mīzān      (scale)

mas'ūliyyah     (responsibility)                        from mas'ūl,    (responsible person)

ruhāniyyah      (spirituality)                             from    rūh       (spirit).

rahbāniyyah    (monestrism)                           from rāhib       (priest)

jāhiliyyah         (ignorance [of God])               from jāhil        (ignorant person)

Many primary concrete nouns, however, are contrary to the rule put forward by Arabic philology which indicated that the criterion of al-qiyās (analogy, literally: measurement) should not be allowed to be applied from nominal roots. This is because some of these derivational patterns described by some early Arab scholars as rather limited and not always applicable to the modern language. As far as Arabic phonology is concerned, the syntactic concept of al-qiyās may be defined as the method by which new words are formed or derived in accordance with already existing words. It is reported that early in the Islamic history a school of thought known as al-muC tazilah (dogmatic Islamic group) advocated the idea that Arabic should be dominated by the concept of al-qiyās. The reason behind this is that "no sooner had the science of Arabic grammar been born that it (analogy) emerged as a binding rule powerful enough not only to explain, but also to correct and form" (Ali 2014 p. 23). Whenever talking about al-qiyās as a major characteristic of Arabic, we inevitably have to mention the syntactic concept of al-samāC (hearing) which is commonly used in opposition to al-qiyās. Ali (Ibid.) explains that a term belongs to al-samāC implies that it has an irregular form, i.e. it deviates from the recognized patterns used in derivation. We may passing the fact that al-samāC is more powerful than al-qiyās because the overwhelming majority of Arabic linguists approved the idea that when al-samāC is at hand al-qiyās becomes invalid (al-bağdādi, in Taymūr 2001).

Accordingly, patterns alone cannot cope with the radical changes in the grammatical features that Arabic has experienced at the present time. Certain measures have been taken by way of prompting and encouraging certain evolutionary features, thus aiming at stepping up the process of creating new vocabulary. Derivation from concrete nouns was immediately rejected in the past and it is hard to find noun-based derivations (Ali 1987). At present, noun derivation is widely used because it is considered as one of the most practical ways of introducing new terms in Arabic. For instance, from the following nouns we can derive these verbs:

asad                 (lion)                ista'sada          (brave like a lion)

alābah            (solidity)          allaba             (to solidify)

ward                (flowers)          tawarrada       (to turn red with embarrassment)

sijil                   (record)           sajjala              (to write down)

Cimlāq             (giant)              taCamlaqa       (to become a giant)

The Arabic academy in Cairo has established some nominal templates al-qawālib al-ismiyyah to be used analogically for neologisms. Some instances are given as follows:

The template fiCālah فعالهwhich has the meaning of craft; by inserting roots into this pattern we can derive the names of numerous crafts such as tijārah (trading), tibāCah (printing), Cimārah (art of building), ṣināCah (industry), hidādah (blacksmithery), sibākah (foundary worker's trade), nijārah (carpentry).

The template faClān فعلانshould be used for terms denoting movement or emotion, like tayarān (aviation), hayajān (fury); ğalayān (boiling) and ğathayān (nausea).

The form fuCāl فُعالshould be applied for terms expressing illness, such as zukām (cough), juðām (leprosy), nukāf (parotitis), and ruCāf. (epistaxis; rhinorrhagia).

The template faCCāl فعًالis to be used in deriving terms that denoting profession or characterize habitual activities, like jarrāh (surgeon), tayyār (pilot), sawwāq (driver) and bahhār (sailor) (Al-Hashimi 1354 H.). Numerous neologisms also have been coined by derivation in MSA, for example from the pattern denoting locality we have maṣnaC (factory), matbaCah (press), majmaC (academy), masrah (theatre), matār (airport), mawqif (bus stop) and mahattah (station).

It is notable that this type of derivation is broadly used in other languages such as English especially in creating new scientific and technical terminology such as:

Computer        computerize                 Standard         standardize

Hydrogen        hydrogenise                 Hydrogen        hydrogenise

Television        televise                        Volcano           vulcanize

The verb Enthuse is also derived instead of the phrase to be enthusiastic or to be excited. Proper nouns are also been sometimes used for similar purposes. For instance, from the noun Pasteur the verb pasteurize is derived. The proper name Boycott is used as a verb in English to avoid the long phrase to refuse to take part.

Nevertheless, the theoretical potential of derivation as a means of word formation has not been matched by practical achievement. In the thirty year period up to 1965 the Academies of Cairo and Damascus sanctioned only 2500 derived items between them (Hamzaoui, in Emry 1982). On the other hand, this method of word coinage has led to duplication of technical terms in many cases, for instance, we have more than five derived terms for mobile phone: mubāyl (transliteration from English), naqqāl, jawwāl, mahmūl, xilyawi, sililur and burtabl (the last two are also transliterated from the French portable and cellulaire).

2.1.2. Al-iŠtiqāq bil-tarjamah (Circumlocution)

This method is also called in Arabic al-iŠtiqāq al-maCnawī. (derivation of meaning). Circumlocution is a method of introducing new terms into Arabic by giving the meaning of the foreign term. It is a universal phenomenon in natural languages covering all aspects of vocabulary (Farghal 2005). This method which was one of the methods of producing numerous terms since the first Abbasid period has been formally recognized by Arab academies. This recognition results from the abundance of foreign terminology especially compound neologisms where conventional attempts to reduce them to one word term have failed. For instance, the noun receptionist is translated into Arabic as either muwadhaf (masculine) or muwadhafat (feminine) istiqbāl (literally, reception employee). Sometimes an English word is translated into Arabic through a whole statement, for example the term burglar is rendered according to Oxford English-Arabic dictionary as li yastu Cala al-manāzil laylan (a thief breaks into houses during the night). Similarly the following examples are also approved by the Arabic academies:

Cartoon           rusūm mutaharrikah               Video              jihāz tasjīl mar'ī

Brakes             makābih al-harakah                Microphone     mukabbir al-awt

Fax                  barīd muṣawwar (nāsūx)        TV                   iӨāCah mar'īyah (mirnāh)

Despite the fact that circumlocution is used to solve the problem of composite neologisms, it has also led to the problem of dualism of terminology in Arabic. This is because the translator or the neologizer is not bound by any rules while translating foreign terms. Many composite Arabic terms have variants or are not sufficiently current in their literary usage. For example, the phrase conditioned reflex is translated into Arabic sometimes as al-inCikās al-Šartī and sometimes as al-inCikās aldharfī (Stetkevych 1970). Accordingly, circumlocution, unlike other methods, seems to be less adequate and leads to the multiplicity of terms due to the following: it produces longer terms than the original. It is usually a phrase and not a word that presents syntactic problems. In addition, translation of these neologisms often deviates from their real functional meaning. Some translators invent their own arbitrary translation which does not go with the Arabic molds and rules.

In short, there is some kind of consensus that coining of new vocabulary through the realm of derivation should proceed according to three principles: (i) actual derivation from existing roots; (ii) derivation through the revival of archaic words to mean new concepts and (iii) coining neologisms through the paraphrasing of foreign terms. It is clear that noun derivation is broader than verbal derivation. In practice, however, verbal derivations may constitute between 10 and 25 percent of a given root (Stetkevych 1970). Theoretically speaking, verbal derivation is confined to the standard fifteen trilateral-root forms which give a small percentage of derived words from verbs, the rest fall into the category of the Arabic noun.

2.2. al-taCrīb (Arabicization)

Translation of foreign works into Arabic is not a new phenomenon in the Arab world it goes back in antiquity to the period extending from the beginning of the eighth century up to the end of ninth century. There were two famous schools of translation: the first was Baghdad school and the second one was established in Muslim Spain where interest in collecting translated works continued unabated. Arabicization comes as a result to revive Arabic in order to assume its position as the medium of administration, education and cultural activities. In this domain, we are confused with two English terms refer to al-taCrīb: arbicization and arabization. Although some researchers use them interchangeably, the former is more appropriate due to the fact that it refers to Arabic whereas the latter refers to the Arab people. Arabicization by definition is the adaptation of non-Arabic terms to Arabic by applying the rules of the phonological and sometimes morphological systems of the language to the terms. Sayadi's (1985 p.38), words

arabicization refers to lexical expansion which involves the rendering or coinage of new words either from existing roots, or through translation of foreign terms, and the adoption of already existing words through borrowing from foreign languages or reviving and revitalization of older usage in the same language.

By the same token, Farghal and Shunnaq (1999 p. 23) defines arabicization as "a kind of naturalization that takes place at sound level or the concept level. At sound level, the SL spelling and pronunciation are converted into Arabic ones. At concept level, SL concept is loan-translated into Arabic".

It can be said that arabicization is also the assimilation of foreign terminology through borrowing or translation. Stetkevych (1970) states that the assimilation of vocabulary of foreign origin was one of the most important factors which contributed to the rapid modernization of Arabic. Ali (1987) adds that among the methods of lexical expansion by MSA is the one traditionally known by the name of al-taCrīb. For some Arab scholars arabicization is considered to be the most appropriate technique in creating and introducing foreign neologisms in Arabic and it can fulfill the following objectives: (i) to preserve the purity of Arabic and considered as a means of developing Arabic in terms of vocabulary; (ii) to standardize the scientific and technical terminology and (iii) to revive the Arabic-Islamic cultural heritage (Ghazala 2005).

In this respect, a distinction should be made between arbicization and transliteration. Transliteration refers to the conversion of foreign letters into the letters of the target language, i.e. it is the adaptation of non-Arabic terms into Arabic by applying the phonological and morphological rules of the language of the term. For instance, computer is transliterated into Arabic as kumbyutar and it is called lafdh daxīl (alien term) and not as an arabicized term like al-hāsūb (computer). It is worth noting that derivation from arabicized terms is generally restricted since they cannot be made to fit into the Arabic root and pattern system. The arabicized term fāks (fax) does not generate any pattern.

Arab grammarians have set certain rules in order to find out whether the term is either arabicized or of Arabic origin. Nusayr (1982) summarized the criteria as follows: (i) the arabicized term must be produced with the structural moulds (qawālib) and patterns (awzān) of Arabic and be easy to pronounce by the native speaker of Arabic. For instance, the foreign term birsīm (fodder) does not follow the Arabic morphological pattern as it is not sharing the same Arabic trilateral root. Therefore, it is considered lafdh aCjamī (foreign term). (ii) the meaning and referent of the term (the original term) must be agreed upon by more than one universal language such as English, French and German.

It is interesting enough to know that the family name of the French scientist Louis Pasteur becomes an arabicized term. So, from Pasteur we can derive the verb yubastir (pasteurize) and bastara (pasteurization) mubastar (pasteurized) mubastir (pasteurizer). Another example taken from Emry (1982) reads: the noun oxide uksīd can also be applied to Arabic morphological rules so we can derive yu'aksid (oxidize), aksada (oxidation/oxidization), mu'aksad (oxidated/oxidized) and mu'aksid (oxidant/oxidizer).

In general, Arabicization is looked upon as an adopted method for introducing new terms into Arabic. It is the process of rendering foreign terms using Arabic forms. For instance, the following terms are arabicized via derivation from foreign roots, i.e. loanwords.

Philosophy                  falsafah

Drachma                      dirham

Asphalt                        isfalt

Democracy                  dīmuqrātiyah

Perestroika                  bristruyka/brustruyka (reconstruction).

Thawabteh and Hreish (2014) give examples of terms arabicized via derivation from Arabic roots:

al-rʼuyyah                          (vision)            Form the Arabic root ra'ā (to see).

al- Šafāfiyyah               (transparency) The derived noun does not exist in Arabic, but it has an Arabic root Šaffaشفً meaning able to see through an object or thin substance.

Arabic terms should also follow Arabic phonotactics. The following are considered non-Arabic: Arabic terms do not start with the letterالنون  (n) followed by the letter الراء (r) as in the female names: narjis and nirmīn which are borrowed nouns. Arabic terms should not end with the letter الدال (d) followed by the letter,) الزاي (z) as in muhandiz. This term should be written as muhandis (engineer) because the letter (d) is followed by the letter السين (s). Arabic terms should not be derived from the following morphological forms: fuCalān as in khurasān (a city in Iran) Cīl as in hābīl (Abel) faCāwīl as in banātīl (trousers) faCalān as in salmān (male name). However, such terms will remain Arabic words as long as they used the roots of their derivation, and as long as they are derived according to the patterns of Arabic.

In compliance with what we have seen above, the process of arabicization has to undergo certain changes in order to suit the Arabic phonotactics and graphological rules. This is also called naturalization which is the process of subjection of the foreign term to the Arabic phonological and grammatical systems. This procedure has the additional disadvantage that Arabic is often out of step with other major world languages which have generally adopted Latin or Greek terms in the binomial science classification. Arabicization is looked upon from different angles: anti-arabicization scholars claim that it may pollute the language with foreign terms and they considered it just a type of transliteration, while, pro-arabicization considered it enrichment to the language and as a means through which Arabic can regain its leading role in the modern world of today. This role can be procured by advocating MSA as a medium of instruction and research in higher institutions.

2. 3 al-naht (Blending/Coining)

More often than not Arab as well as non-Arab writers use the term compounding to refer to a word formational process traditionally known in Arabic by the name of al-naht (Ali 1987). Blending is a term widely used in descriptive linguistic studies to refer to a linguistic unit which is composed of elements that function independently in other circumstances (Crystal 1991). It is the merger of two words into one to mean a new concept. For instance: electromagnetic kahrumağnātisī is coined from two words electric kahrabāī' and magnetic mağnatisī.

There is some disagreement between Arab linguists as to the exact meaning of blending. For some, it must involve contraction and is therefore analogous to the English term blending whereas others use it to refer to straight forward compounding. In fact, blending is not a phenomenon peculiar to Arabic only but also to other languages such as English from which we extract the following: compound noun such as walking stick, lamp-post, teatime, bedroom, rainfall and washing machine as well as compound verbs as come in, check out and so on. Furthermore, the term compounding or compound may be accurately applied to blending or mixed compounding which in Arabic is referred to as almurakkab al-majzī. Jesperson (in Ali 1987) gives some examples in English: blunt (blind + stunt) origin unknown; glaze (glare + gaze) coined by Shakespeare from glass; slide (slip + glide) from Anglo-Saxon slidan. We may add: brunch (breakfast + lunch); smog (smoke + fog) and motel (motor + hotel).

On the other hand, blending is seen only as the emergence of two words to form a word with a new meaning, for instance, biology which comes from two Greek words bios meaning life and logos meaning science. Another word geography derives from the Greek words ge meaning the earth and graphei meaning to write. Moreover, Farihah (1973) opposed the idea of blending. His argument is that if any of the original letters of a word have been dropped, its meaning will be completely violated. He (Ibid.) maintains that despite the fact that there are some useful words which are created by blending such as the famous Arabic term barma'ī (amphibious) coined from barr (land) and ma' (water), we may not benefit from this linguistic phenomenon in Arabic.

Following Ibn-Faris, Al-Maghribi (in Al-Husari 1985) gives special consideration to al-naht to the extent that he regarded it as a form of derivation. However, blending cannot be a form of derivation because in the process of derivation a new word is derived from another word whereas blending is to derive a new word out of two words or more. He (Ibid.) divides blending into four classes: (i) al-naht al-fiCli (verbal blending); (ii) al-naht al-wa (adjectival blending); (iii) al-naht al-ismī (nominal blending) and (iv) al-naht al-nasabī (reference blending).

First, al-naht al-fiCli (verbal blending) is the formation of a verb representing a group of words that can be either nominal or verbal sentences. Consider the following verse from the Holy Qur'an: {wa iðā al-qubūr buCrӨirat} (30/4) (and when the Graves are turned upside down;). Here, the verb baCӨara (turned upside down) is coined from the verbs baCaӨa (resurrected) and uӨīra (to stir the dust). Other examples such as hawqala from lā hawla wa lā quwwata illa bil-lāh. (There is neither might nor strength save in Allah); sabhala as to say subhān allah (we praise almighty Allah) and basmalah as bismi al-lāh al-rahmān al-rahīm (In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful mostly).

Second, al-naht al-wa (adjectival blending) is the formation of an adjective out of two words. These words may complete each other, providing the desired connotation or emphasis. Consider the following examples: ṣildam (strong hoofed) is composed of ṣald (hard) and ṣadam (striking); dhabtara (strong man) is coined from dhabata (to control) and dabara (a tall and strong well built person).

Third, al-naht al-ismī (nominal blending) consists of the formation of a noun out of two mutually complementing words, for instance: julmūd (big rock) is composed of Jaluda (to become strong) and jamuda (to become solid); Šaqhatab (a ram with long horns) is coined from Šaqqa (cut) and hatab (wood).

Fourth, al-naht al-nasabī (reference blending) is the relation of someone or something to disparate places, schools, and so forth, for instance, al-ŠafCantī is a person belonging to the al-ŠāfiCiyah school and hanfantī is a person belonging to the abu-hanīfah school. These two schools represent slightly different Islamic doctrines.

This type of abbreviated compound was primarily reserved for religious phrases rather than to derive new scientific terminology. It should be mentioned, in this respect, that blending is based on al-samāC (hearing transfer) and al-qiyās (analogy) this means that there are no fixed rules for coining new terms. However, and as can be seen from the above examples, most of the coined terms are originally verbs or infinitives which derived from quadruped roots. Khalaf Allah and Shawqi (1969) mention the following rules to be followed to the extent possible in constructing blending. These include: (i) To use in this process, as much as possible, original letters of the terms involved. (ii) If the derived term is a noun, it must agree with one of the noun patterns. (iii) If the derived term is a verb, it must follow the pattern faClala or tafaClala.

2.3.1 The Applicability of al-naht in Creating Arabic Terms

With regard to the possibilities of blending in the present situation of the language, it can be applicable in the sphere of modern terminology. Some Arab scholars see blending as a useful method that should be employed not only in the field of science and technology but also for the language in general. Arabic can exploit this method to form compound words by means of prefixes (Al-Husari 1985). For instance, the practical negative device lā لا (no/not/never) is used as a prefix to form useful Arabic terminology. It does similar function to that of such English negative prefixes as: a-, ir-, de-, in-, non-, un-, anti-, etc and the suffix less. To mention but a few:

lā-axllāqī                     (amoral)

lā-dinī                          (irreligious)

lā-markaziyah (decentralization)

lā-silkī                         (wireless)

-fikriyyah                 (thoughtlessness)

lā-insānī                      (nonhuman)

It is worth noting that formation like these may also be used with the definite article al (the) as in al-lāwaCī (unconsciousness) and al-lāshuCubiyyah (anti-Arabism). Similarly, the word ğibb (after) can replace the English suffix post as in ğibmadrasī or ğibmadrasa (post-school) and ğibjalīdī or ğibjalīd (postglacial). The English prefix pre can be replaced by the Arabic prefix qab from the word qabla (before). Thus, we should obtain qabtārīkhī or qabtārīkh instead of māqabla al-tārīx (prehistory) and qabis1ām instead of māqabla al-'islām (pre-Islamic) (Al-Husari 1985).

On the whole, it is interesting and indicative to mention that some of these words created by blending or as it is called al-manhūt (the coined term) is generally accepted among Arab speakers despite the fact that there are almost no certain rules governing the process of blending. However, blending can create new terms in Arabic because it has a wide range of usage to express different concepts. One of these concepts is to create Arabic acronyms. Acronyms are words derived from the initial letters of several words, such as radar (radio detection and ranging) and laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Normally, an acronym is transliterated as a loanword.

In this domain, Standard Arabic benefits from the recent attempts to use some Arabic letters to replace their full items. In recent years blending has produced the Arabic modified acronyms. It is used for creating new Arabic terms, names of establishments and bodies such as: istamataCa which stands for samiCa (listened) and tamataCa (enjoyed), hamās which stands for harakah musalaha islāmiyah (Armed Islamic Movement) HAMAS, wafā which stands for wakālat al-Anbā' alfilistiniyyah (Palestinian News Agency).and dā'Š (ISIS) dawlah islamiyah fi al-Cirāq wa al-Šām (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

It remains to be added that despite all examples given above blending remains the least effective technique in creating new terminology in Arabic. This seems to be attributable to three main reasons: first, the nature of Arabic itself which has fixed rules and patterns that cannot be altered or ignored easily for the sake of this process. Second, blending, unlike other techniques, is not used exhaustively in Arabic because there are no agreed upon rules to govern its process. Third, Arabic is looked upon as the language of derivation therefore, in some instances, it does not accept new words that are coined by the process of blending. This is because they seem to be awkward and ambiguous due to the fact that most of the words created by blending do not follow the pattern of the trilateral root (Elmgrab 2011).

2.4 al-majāz (Figurative Speech)

Figurative speech like metaphor and metonymy can be useful in creating new words in Arabic. It is also called istinbāt (deduction), the use of native lexical resources to revive archaisms and semantic extension for the scientific terms. Archaic words are used to denote new concepts and consequently to abolish the old extinct ones. al-majāz, therefore, is the altering of the meaning of existing terms. "This technique takes an existing Arabic term and modifies or extends it to encompass a new meaning" (Nasr and Leaman 2002 p. 909). In al-taCrīb terms are borrowed from other languages to be used generally within the same discipline whereas, al-majāz, often involves borrowing terms from the same language to be used in different disciplines.

Early examples of al-majāz method were successful, for instance the noun qātira which originally denoted a she-camel leading line of camels and, by figurative extension, was applied to a railway train. Another example is jarīdah which in Classical Arabic meant a stripped palm branch used for inscriptions and came to mean newspaper. The noun tayyarah denoted a very fast mare was applied to airplane. Similarly, the term Cirq (vein) originally meaning root of a plant acquired the medical meaning of vein probably owing to analogy of form and function. The archaic noun sayyarah denoted a caravan travelling in the desert was applied to car. Also the noun hātif denoted invisible caller was replaced by the transliterated foreign term tilifūn (telephone) and it is widely used among Arabs.

Although, Al-Masdi (1994) regards this procedure as a healthy sign and a new mechanism to enrich scientific vocabulary in Arabic, it is usually limited to concrete material meaning of a term. In addition, many terms proposed by the academies failed to become accepted in the language. Examples of this include irzīz (the sound of rain or thunder) for telephone and the long phrase Šātir wa maŠtūr wa/wa mā baynahumā tāzaj for sandwich. The English noun sandwich (a name of a gambler) and the French noun pantaloon (a name of a theater actor) are both arabicized as sandwitŠ and bantalūn. The latter is arabicized via loanword as bintāl.

3. Conclusion

I conclude that in spite of the laudable efforts of the Arab grammarians to ensure that terminology creation should be initiated from within the lexical resources of Arabic, it is probable that the scientific terms have been rendered into Arabic by loan translations or direct loans. It seems that the Arab academies acknowledged the inevitability of borrowing as they unanimously agreed guidelines on the correct methods for adapting foreign terms into Arabic. However, we have to admit that these academies have managed to bring some order out of the previous chaos.

We have seen that al-ishtiqaq has played its role in dealing with the creation of Arabic terms. Its applicability results from the recent technological developments which have taken place in the Arab World. A need has arisen for the transfer of technical concepts into Arabic in many fields. However, derivation might be regarded a less attractive option owing to the lack of coordination among Arab neologizers and academicians which has led to the abundance synonymous terms.

al-tCrib has also served Arabic as one of the most practical method of creating Arabic neologisms and terminology since the beginning of the nineteenth century when the role of Arabic as a transmitter language began to decline. Arabicization is more effective in handling new technical and scientific terms than both derivation and blending. This is because it can deal with a mono-morphemic word by applying certain rules, whereas in a compound morpheme it seems to be difficult to apply the same rules. In addition, arabicization is more flexible and less obstructed by the Arabic morphological patterns and templates.

al-naht can play its role effectively in handling foreign affixation and as a useful device for abbreviating long-winded Arabic terms, but the Cairo based Arabic Academy have put forward some restrictions to be followed during the process of blending: firstly, it must be used only for scientific necessity lildarūrah al-Cilmiyyah and secondly it must be coined according to Arab taste al-ðawq al-Carabī. The process of blending is less productive than derivation and arabicization due to the fact that it has not been described by the Arab grammarians as a customary method of forming new terms. Yet, there has been no direct statement by Arab philologists as to the acceptability of blending as a productive method of enriching Arabic with new terms.

al-majāz could be of great help in creating new terms by reviving archaisms and semantic extension for the scientific terms. Although it is preferred by the academies in introducing new terms, it is limited to the material meaning of the term and many terms created by these academies failed to be accepted by Arab speakers.

Finally, Arab academies as well as some other prominent translators are influenced by different foreign cultures, mainly English and French, which have resulted in different translated terms. Therefore, the Arab academies should take into consideration the following factors in translating foreign terms: they should consider the social use of language because people usually prefer easily pronounceable terms to difficult ones. Compound terms with difficult structures should be avoided because short terms are more preferable than long ones.

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The following Arabic transliteration system has been employed throughout this paper
































































Short Vowels

Arabic                                                            Transliteration

َ                                                                                 a

ِ                                                                                 i

ُ                                                                                 u

Long Vowels

ا                                                                                   ā

ي                                                                                  ī

و                                                                                  ū

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