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  • 1. CHAPTER TWO Passive Constructions in Arabic Review of Literature2.1 Preliminaries: The term voice is used to describe a major verb category, thatwhich distinguishes an active verb phrase (e.g. ate) from a passive one(e.g. was eaten) (Quirk et al., 1985: 159). Voice means the relationbetween the verb and its subject in a sentence (Al-Hamash, 1976: 312). Scholars are now thinking of the inherent relation between activeand passive constructions as the main components of voice (Ahmed,1981: 7). For example:(1) (Active) ‫ع َلى‬ َ ُ ّ ‫ر ضوا ب أ ن ي كو نوا م ع ا ل خ وا ل ف و ط ب ع ال ل ه‬ َ ََ َ ِ ِ َ َ ْ َ َ ُ ُ َ ْ َِ ُ َْ‫ ق لو ب ه م‬ ِ ِ ُُ (93 :‫)التوبة‬ “They prefer to stay with the (women) who remain behind, God hath sealed their hearts”. (Active) (Ali, 2001, 260)(2)  (Passive) ‫ ر ضوا ب أ ن ي كو نوا م ع ا ل خ وا ل ف و ط ب ع ع لى ق لو ب ه م‬ ْ ِ ِ ُُ ََ َ ُِ َ ِ ِ َ َ ْ َ َ ُ ُ َ ْ َِ ُ َ (87 :‫)التوبة‬ “They prefer to be with (the women) who remain behind, (at home) their hearts are sealed”. (Passive) (Ali, 2001, 259) 5
  • 2. 6 Sentences of the second type made scholars think of their originwhether they first existed side by side with active sentences. Thus, therehas been much controversy as to whether the active voice was the first orthe passive, and this encouraged grammarians to probe into the startingpoint of the grammatical category “voice” (Ibid.).2.2 Passive Constructions in Arabic: Arabic(1) verbal system is morphologically complex. TheArabic verb, whether in the active or in the passive form, has only twotenses:1. The Present Tense: In Arabic, the verb form called “imperfect”‫ المضارع‬basically refers tothe present time when the point of reference is the moment of speaking,e.g. (3) ‫ ي س ب ح ل ل ه ما في ال س ما وا ت و ما في ا ل َر ض‬ ِ ْ ْ ِ َ َ ِ َ َ ّ ِ َ ِ ِّ ُ َّ ُ (1 :‫)الجمعة‬ “Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare the praises and Glory of God”. (Ali, 2001, 796) (4) ‫يوم ت ق ل ب وجوههم في النار يقولون ياليتنا أ َطعنا الله وأ َطعنا الرسول‬ ُ ّ َْ َ َ َ ّ َْ َ َََْ َ َ ُ ُ َ ِ ّ ِ ْ ُ ُ ُ ُ ُ َّ ُ َ ْ َ (66 :‫)الزحزاب‬ “The Day that their faces will be turned upside down in the fire they will say: woe to us would that we had obeyed God and obeyed the Apostle”. (Ali, 2001: 590)2. The past Tense:
  • 3. 7 In Arabic, the past tense is defined as that tense which denotes a stateor an event that took place at any point before the moment of speaking,e.g.(5) ‫ س ّب ح ِل ّل ه ما في ال س ما وا ت و ما في ا ْل َر ض‬ ِ ْ ِ َ َ ِ َ َ ّ ِ َ ِ َ َ (1 :‫)الصف‬ “Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, let it declare the praises and Glory of God”. (Ali, 2001: 794)(6)  ‫فَأما َثمود ف ُأ ه ِل كوا ِبالطاغَية‬ ِ ِ ّ ُ ْ َ ُ ُ ّ َ(5 :‫)الحاقة‬ “But the Thamaud they were destroy of By a terrible storm of thunfer and lightning”. (Ali, 2001: 819) The passive is derived in Arabic verbs by introducing vowelchanges into the active basic verb forms. Consider the followingexamples:(7) ‫كَتب‬ َ َ (He wrote) (active)(8) ‫كُتب‬ َ ِ (It was written) (passive) Arabic verbs subject to passivization are mainly the basic transitivetriliteral and quadriliteral verbs as well as verbs derived from theseaccording to Arabic patterns.2.2.1 Definition of Passive Voice:
  • 4. 8 The passive ‫ المجهول‬is an elliptical form of expression for: ‫الفعل‬‫ :المجهول فاعله‬the action of which the agent is unknown. (Wright, 1971:Vol.1: 50).2.2.2 Passive Formation: Passivity is made through the reconstructing of the vowel sequenceof the active verb whether it is perfect or imperfect. So, passivization ofthe Arabic triliteral verb is as follows: Active Passive ‫فعل‬ َ َ َ fa?ala ‫فعل‬ َ ِ َ َ ِ ُ ‫فعل‬(9) perfect fa?ila fu?ila ‫فعل‬ َ ُ َ fa?ula Active Passive ‫يفعل‬ ُ َ ْ َ yaf?alu ‫يفعل‬ ُ ِ ْ َ ُ َ ْ ُ ‫يفعل‬(10) imperfect yaf?ilu yuf?alu ‫يفعل‬ ُ ُ ْ َ yaf?ulu Arabic verb patterns are usually fifteen but the last five are rare andmay be neglected. These patterns are known in the west by theircorresponding Roman numerals (I-XV); they are ultimately derived fromthe roots of the base pattern (I) of the verb. These patterns include both
  • 5. 9transitive and intransitive verb classes. System of classification of thefifteen patterns is illustrated in table (1) (Polis, 2000: 49-50):
  • 6. ‫01‬ ‫‪Table (1): Patterns of the Active and Passive Forms of the Arabic Verb‬‬‫مضارع ‪Present‬‬ ‫ماضي ‪Past‬‬ ‫الحالة ‪State‬‬ ‫رقم الوزن ‪.No‬‬ ‫َ ْ َِ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫َ ِ َ‬ ‫فعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪I‬‬ ‫ُ ْ َ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫ُ ِ َ‬ ‫فعل‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫ُ َ ّ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫َ ّ َ‬ ‫فعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪II‬‬ ‫ُ َ ّ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫ُ ّ َ‬ ‫فعل‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫يفاعل‬ ‫ُ َ ِ ُ‬ ‫َ َ‬ ‫فاعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪III‬‬ ‫يفاعل‬ ‫ُ َ َ ُ‬ ‫ِ َ‬ ‫فوعل‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫ُ ْ ِ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫أ َفعل‬ ‫ْ َ َ‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪IV‬‬ ‫ُ ْ َ ُ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫أ ُفعل‬ ‫ْ ِ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫ََ َ ّ ُ‬ ‫يتفعل‬ ‫َ َ ّ َ‬ ‫تفعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪V‬‬ ‫َُ َ ّ ُ‬ ‫يتفعل‬ ‫ُ ُ ّ َ‬ ‫تفعل‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫ََ َ َ ُ‬ ‫يتفاعل‬ ‫َ َ َ َ‬ ‫تفاعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪VI‬‬ ‫َُ َ َ ُ‬ ‫يتفاعل‬ ‫ِ َ‬ ‫تفوعل‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َْ َ ِ ُ‬ ‫ينفعل‬ ‫ْ َ َ َ‬ ‫إنفعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪VII‬‬ ‫ُْ َ َ ُ‬ ‫* ينفعل‬ ‫* أ ُنفعل‬ ‫ْ ُ ِ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َ َْ ِ ُ‬ ‫يفتعل‬ ‫َْ َ َ‬ ‫إفتعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪VIII‬‬ ‫ُ َْ َ ُ‬ ‫يفتعل‬ ‫أ ُفتعل‬ ‫ُْ ِ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َ ْ َ ُّ‬ ‫يفعل‬ ‫ْ َ ّ‬ ‫إف ع ل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪IX‬‬ ‫ُ ْ َ ُّ‬ ‫* يفعل‬ ‫* أ ُفعل‬ ‫ْ ُ ّ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َ َْ ْ ِ ُ‬ ‫يستفعل‬ ‫َْ ْ َ َ‬ ‫إستفعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪X‬‬ ‫ُ َْ ْ َ ُ‬ ‫يستفعل‬ ‫أ ُستفعل‬ ‫ُْ ِ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َ ْ َ ُّ‬ ‫يفعال‬ ‫ْ َ ّ‬ ‫إفعال‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪XI‬‬ ‫ُ ْ َ ُّ‬ ‫* يفعال‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫* أفعول‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫يفعوعل‬ ‫َ ْ َ ِ ُ‬ ‫ْ َ ْ َ َ‬ ‫إفعوعل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪XII‬‬ ‫* يفعوعل‬ ‫ُ ْ َ َ ُ‬ ‫* أ ُفعوعل‬ ‫ْ ُ ْ ِ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫َ ْ َ ِ ُّ‬ ‫يفعول‬ ‫ْ َ َ ّ‬ ‫إفعول‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪XIII‬‬ ‫ُ ْ َ َ ًّ‬ ‫* يفعول‬ ‫* أ ُفعول‬ ‫ْ ُ ِ ّ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫يفعنلل‬ ‫َ ْ َِْ ُ‬ ‫ْ ََْ َ‬ ‫إفعنلل‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪XIV‬‬ ‫* يفعنلل‬ ‫ُ ْ َُْ ُ‬ ‫* أ ُفعنلل‬ ‫ْ ُِْ َ‬ ‫مجهول‬ ‫يفعنلى‬ ‫َ ْ َْ‬ ‫إفعنلى‬ ‫ْ َْ‬ ‫معلوم‬ ‫‪XV‬‬ ‫* يفعنلى‬ ‫ُ ْ َْ‬ ‫* أ ُفعنلى‬ ‫ْ ِْ‬ ‫مجهول‬
  • 7. 11
  • 8. 12 It is of interest to note that all verbal forms of Arabic, whetherbasic or derived, theoretically have active and passive forms with theexception of intransitive verbs of the form ‫ فعل‬and the VII, IX, XI, XII, َ ُ َXIII, XIV, and the XV forms as well as those of the forms ‫ فعل‬and ‫فعل‬ َ ِ َ َ َ َwhich indicate not an act (transitive or intransitive) but a state orcondition (being or becoming) as ‫( خضر‬to become green) nearly ‫ إخضر‬or َ ِ َ َّ ََ ‫( إخضوضر; صلح‬to become good, right, in order) ‫(صلح; فسد‬to be bad, َ َ َ َ َُwrong, in disorder) ‫( فسد‬Wright, 1971: Vol.1: 49). َ ُ َ When the third perfect form of Arabic verb ‫ فاعل‬is changed from َ َ َthe active voice into the passive, the long vowel /ā/ of the first radical ischanged into the long vowel /ū/ and the second vowel /a/ into /i/ and theresult is ‫ فوعل‬as in ‫( قوتل‬was fought). The same applies to the sixth َ ِ ُ َ ِ ُperfect form of Arabic verb ‫ تفاعل‬as in ‫ تقاتل‬whose passive form is َ َ َ َ َ ََ ِ ُ ُ ‫.تقوتل‬ Significantly enough, the perfect passive of class V and VIinvolves a further change of the vowel sequence since “not only the ‫فتحة‬/a/ of the first radical is changed into ‫/ ضمة‬u/ but also the ‫ فتحة‬of thecharacteristic ‫ ت‬which expresses the reflexive ideas of these forms, e.g. ًَ ) ِ ُ ُ ‫( تقوتل‬was fought). In a similar manner, the perfect of the passive ofclasses VII, VIII, and X not only is the first radical or the characteristic ‫ت‬ َ
  • 9. 13pronounced with ‫/ ضمة‬u/ but also the prosthetic ‫ ,أ‬i.e. ‫”أ ْقُنقتل , أ ْقُقتتل , أ ْقُستقتل‬ َ” ِ‫ِتْ ْقُ ِتْ َل‬ َ” ِ‫ِتْ ْقُ َلِ ”َ ِتْ ْقُ َل‬(Wright, 1971: Vol.1: 64). It is worth mentioning that there are other means for expressingpassivity. The passive may be expressed by means of a verbal noun (‫)المصدر‬(Al-Mansouri and Al-Khafaji, 1990: 209). The verbal noun (‫)المصدر‬refers to a word class in Arabic which is derived from the past verb form,and indicates an action, but not its time. Consider the followingexamples:(11) َ” َ” َ” ‫درس‬  ً َ” ‫درا س ة‬ ِ‫َل‬ (He studied) (studying)(12) َ” ‫أجا ب‬  ً ‫إجاب ة‬ (He answered) (answering) Moreover, the passive may be expressed by ‫(أسم المفعول‬Ziadehand Winder, 1957: 27). ‫( أسم المفعول‬passive participle) is an Arabicinflectional form derived from the present passive verb form andindicates an event and a receiver or sufferer. It can be of different formsaccording to the form of the verb from which it is derived (Al-Ghalayeeni, 1987: 182) For example:(13) َ” ‫سط ر‬  ‫مسطور‬(14)  (2-1 :‫والطور وكتاب مسطور )الطور‬ ٍ ُ‫ ”َ ُّ َلِ ”َ َلِ ”َ ٍ ”َ ِتْ ْق‬ “By the Mount (of Revelation, By a Decree Inscribed”. (Ali, 2001: 744) Finally, passive can be expressed by the construction of a verb ofexistence and a verbal noun (Aziz, 1989: 268). The verbs that are used in
  • 10. 14this context belong to a group of verbs like ‫( تم‬lit. completed, finished), َّ َ” َ” ِ‫ ”َ َل‬ ‫( لقي‬lit. met) and ‫( جرى‬lit. took place, happened). The following arerepresentative examples:(15) ‫جرى خلل المؤتمر مناقشة تطورات الوضع في كابول‬ (Developments in Kabul have been discussed during the conference).(16) ‫وقد تم تطوير هذا المشروع‬ (This project has been developed)2.2.3 The Use of Passive in Arabic: The purposes behind the use of passive in Arabic areextralinguistic. In other words, the use of the passive may be related tothe beliefs of the speech community. Grammarians like Ibn Ya’ish (W.D.: Vol.7: 69-70); Wright (1971:50); Al-Jawwari (1974: 88); Cantarino (1974: 52); Al-Samaraa’i (1980:97); Al-Samaraa’i (1987: Vol.2: 492-500); Al-Galayeene (1987: 50); andAziz (1989: 268-269) cite the most common uses of the passive. The following are the most common uses of the passive:1. The passive is used when the writer/speaker wishes to conceal the identity of the agent because he is either afraid of him or he is worried about him. In the Glorious Quran, for example the grammatical subject is not named for the purpose of politeness, especially when Allah is involved as in the following example: (17) ‫ و أ ”َ نا ل ن د ري أ ”َ ش ر أ ْقُ ري د ب م ن في ا ل ”َر ض أ ”َ م أ ”َ را د ب ه م ر ب ه م ر ش دا‬ ً َ” َ” ْ‫ِتْ ِتْ َلِ ِتْ ”َ ”َ َلِ َلِ ِتْ ”َ ُّ ْقُ ِت‬ ِ‫ ”َ ّ َلِ ”َ َلِ ”َ ِتْ َل‬ ِ‫ ”َ َّ ”َ ”َ ِتْ َل‬ (10 :‫)الجن‬ “And we understand not whether ill is intended to those on earth or whether their Lord (Really) intends to guide them to right conduct”
  • 11. 15 (Ali, 2001, 831)2. The passive is used when the agent is already known and there is no need to mention it. That is to say, the agent can be easily recovered from the linguistic situational context as in:(18) ‫ و سي ق ا َّل ذي ن ك ف روا إَلِ ”َلى ج ه َّن م ز م را‬ ً َ” ُ‫ ”َ ”َ ”َ ْق‬ ُ‫ ”َ َلِ ”َ َلِ ”َ ”َ ”َ ْق‬ (71 :‫)الزمر‬ “The unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowd”. (Ali, 2001, p.655)(19) ‫ ش ه ر ر م ضا ن ا َّل ذي ْقُأن ز ل في ه ا ِتْل ق رآ ن‬ ُ‫ْقُ ِتْ ْق‬ ِ‫َلِ ”َ َلِ َل‬ ِ‫ ”َ ِتْ ْقُ ”َ ”َ ”َ ”َ َل‬ (185 :‫)البقرة‬ “Ramadan is the (month) in which We sent down the Quran” (Ali, 2001, p.35)In the last example, Allah is indicated as the doer of the act.3. The passive is used when the doer of the action is unknown. Consider the following example:(20) ‫صرخ في الليل‬ ُ‫ْق‬ (It was shouted at night.)4. The passive can be used in formal or literal style such as in brevity. The following is a representative example:(21) ‫ل ما هزم الملكم عو ق ب‬ َ” ِ‫َل‬ ّ (When the boxer was defeated, he was punished.)5. When the attention of the hearer/reader is directed to the person affected by the act rather than to the doer of the action. For example: (22) ‫ و إ َلِ ذا ا ل م و ءو د ة س ئ ل ت ب أ ي ذ ن ب ق ت ل ت‬ ْ‫ ”َ ”َ ِتْ ”َ ِتْ ْقُ ”َ ْقُ ْقُ َلِ ”َ ِتْ َلِ ”َ ّ ”َ ِتْ ٍ ْقُ َلِ ”َ ِت‬
  • 12. 16 (9-8 :‫)التكوير‬ (When the female (infant) Buried alive is questioned. For what crime she was killed) (Ali, 2001, p.861)6. Added to what is mentioned above, Modern Arabic makes extensive use of the passive, the passive is very frequent in ceremonies, journalism, official letters and instructions in Arabic (Cantarino, 1974: Vol.1, 52). The following sentences clarify this point:(23) ‫عزف السلم الوطني‬ ُ‫ْق‬ (The National Anthem was played.)(24) ‫أقيم أحتفال كبير‬ (A great celebration was held.)(25) ‫أعفي الوزير من منصبه‬ (The Minister was relieved from his post.)(26) ‫الوفد سمي اعضاء‬ (Members of the delegation were named.)(27) ‫ترفع العقوبة‬ (The penalty should be lifted.)(28) ‫تفاتح الوزارة‬ (The Ministry should be approached.)2.2.4 Passive Structures Having no Corresponding Actives: Arab grammarians such as: (Ridha, W.D.: Vol.3: 26; Iddin, 1952:85; Al-Mansouri and Al-Khafaji, 1990: 105-106; Al-Hamlawi, 2000: 37-38 and Al-?ani, 2000: Vol.35: 29-63) state that there are several verbs
  • 13. 17that can be used in passive but they have no corresponding active forms.These verbs are as follows:- ‫ )هرع : )أي بمعنى أسرع‬to cause to hasten َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬- ‫ )حم : )أي بمعنى استحر بدنه‬to be feverish َّ ُ‫ْق‬- ‫ )سل : )أي بمعنى أصابه السل‬to be consumptive ُّ َّ ُ‫ْق‬- ‫ )جن : )أي بمعنى أصيب بالجنون‬to be insane َّ ُ‫ْق‬- َ” ُ‫ْق‬ ‫ )أمغمي عليه : )أي بمعنى أصيب بإمغمائة‬to swoon- ‫ )شده : )أي بمعنى ده(ش‬to be confused ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬- َ” ِ‫ْقُ ْقُ َل‬ ‫ )أمتقع : )أي بمعنى تغير لونه‬to turn pale- ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ ‫ )أشتهر : )أي بمعنى أصبح مشهورا‬to be well-known- َ” ِ‫ْقُ ْقُ َل‬ ‫ )أحتضر : )أي بمعنى دخل في النزع‬to be dying- ‫ )توفي : )أي بمعنى مات‬to die َ” ِ‫ْقُ ْقُ َل‬- َ” ِ‫ْقُ ْقُ َل‬ ‫ )أستشهد : )أي بمعنى قتل في سبيل ا‬to be martyred- ‫ )مغم : )أي بمعنى حزن حزنا شديدا‬to be obscure or unhappy, etc. َّ ُ‫ْق‬ To illustrate, consider the following sentences:(29) ‫مغ م القمر‬ ّ ُ‫ْق‬ (The moon was obscured)(30) ‫ح م الطفل‬ َّ ُ‫ْق‬ (The child was feverish) ُ‫ْق‬(31) ‫أستشهد علي في المعركة‬ (Ali was martyrized in the battle) Another group of verbs like ‫( هزل‬to be emaciated), ‫( زكم‬to catch َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬cold), َ” ‫( وعك‬to be indisposed), etc. are often used in passive but rarely ِ‫ْقُ َل‬used in active (Al-Hamlawi, 2000: 37-38). Consider the followingexamples:
  • 14. 18(32) ‫و ع ك احمد‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ (Ahmed was indisposed)(33) ُ‫ز ك م الرج لْق‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ (The man caught cold)2.2.5 Agentive and Agentless Passive Structures: Implicit External Agency: Generally speaking, passive constructions in Arabic are agentless.They indicate implicit external agency which can be understood from thecontext (Al-Samaraa’i, 1987: Vol.2: 492-500). To clarify this point, let ustake the following example:(34) ‫ و ْقُن ف خ في ال صو ر ذ َلِل ك ”َي و م ا ِتْل و عي د‬ ِ‫ُّ َلِ ”َ ”َ ِتْ ْقُ ”َ َلِ َل‬ ِ‫ ”َ َلِ ”َ َل‬ (20 :‫)ق‬ “And the Trumpet shall be blown: That will be the day whereof warning (had been given)”. (Ali, 2001: 734) Verse (34) is an agentless passive on the surface because it doesnot explicitly contain an agent. However, the verb has the passive formand the sentence implies external agency. So, it would be appropriate toclaim that agentless passive in Arabic is derived from the sametransformational grounds of English agentless passive, Thetransformation is obligatory. For example:(35) َ” َ” َ” ‫سرق‬ ‫الدراجة‬ (Deep structure) ( stole the bicycle)(36) ُ‫ ”َ ْق‬ ‫س رق ت ال درا ج ة‬ َّ ِ‫ْقُ َلِ َل‬ (Surface structure) (The bicycle was stolen)
  • 15. 19 The agent of the Arabic passive sentence is unspecified. Thecharacter of this unspecified agent is determined by co-occurrencerestrictions dictated by the nature of the verb. The unspecified agent is amember of a set of noun phrases that may occur as agent in the activeconstruction which corresponds to the passive construction in question(Rijiyya, 1998: 198). The following are illustrative sentences:(37) ‫ق ت ل عمر‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ (Umar was killed)(38) ‫تو في الرجل‬ َ” ِ‫ْقُ َل‬ (The man died)(39) ‫أ ْقُ ك ل الطعام‬ َ” ِ‫َل‬ (The food was eaten) In sentence (37) the agent can be a person, an animal or a thing; insentence (38), it can be nobody but Allah and in sentence (39), it is onlyanimate. This is a semantic feature of agentless passive which applies toEnglish and Arabic. As can be seen from these sentences, the degree ofspecificity or non-specificity of the agent depends on the semantic andpragmatic nature of the verb. In sentence (38), the agent is completelyrecoverable and specified. So far, it has been argued that Arabic passive structures areagentless in the superficial structure. However, it is possible to introducethe agent in the passive sentence after a prepositional phrase withinstrumental or agentive meaning such as ‫( من قبل‬on the part of), ‫علي يد‬ ِ‫َل‬(at the hand of), ‫( بسبب‬because of), ‫( بواسطة‬by means of), ‫( بـ‬by, with),‫( مــن جــانب‬from the side of) (Abdel-Hamid, 1972: 150). These ‫ـ‬ ‫ـ‬
  • 16. 20constructions are found in modern Arabic (Aziz, 1989: 268) especially inArabic newspapers and Arabic translations from European languages(Abdel- Hamid, 1972: 150). The following are Arabic passive sentenceswhich seem to be counter examples to the claim that passiveconstructions in Arabic are agentless on the surface:(40) ‫دمرت المدينة بالنابالم‬ (The city was destroyed by Napalm) (41) ‫بنيت بغداد على يد المنصور‬ (Baghdad was built at the hand of Al-Mansour)(42) ‫ق دم اقتراح إلى الحكومة من جانب سفير الردن‬ ّ ُ‫ْق‬ (A proposal was submitted to the government from the side of the ambassador of Jordan) It can be claimed that the particles in (41), (42) and (43) areinstrumental and rather than agentive particles. In Arabic, there is nosingle agentive preposition equivalent to the English passive particle (by).Sentences like those above are syntactically not agentive passives. Passivity and Focus: It is well known that Arabic exhibits agentless passives only, i.e., itdoes not have agentive passive. In the following Qur’anic verses: (43) ‫ إ َلِ ذا نو دي لل ص ل ة م نِتْ ي و م ا ل ج م ع ة‬ ِ‫ ”َ ْقُ َلِ َلِ َّ ”َ َلِ َلِ ”َ ِتْ َلِ ِتْ ْقُ ْقُ ”َ َل‬ (9 :‫)الجمعة‬ “When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday”. (Ali, 2001, 797) (44) ‫ فا ل ت قى ا ل ما ء ع لى أ ”َ م ر ق د ق د ر‬ َ” ِ‫ِتْ ٍ ”َ ِتْ ْقُ َل‬ َ” َ” ُ‫ِتْ ”َ ْق‬ َ” َ” ْ‫ ”َ ِت‬ (12 :‫)القمر‬ “So, the water met (and rose) to the extent decreed”
  • 17. 21 (Ali, 2001, 755)the agent does not exist, so end-focus is less common. In any way, the meaning of the passive in Arabic can be relatedmore to the problem of theme than to end-focus and end-weight. By usinga passive construction, the Arabic speaker usually seeks to placeemphasis on the action expressed by the verb, rather than the agent(Rijiyya, 1998: 201). Hence, in a verse like:(45) ٌ‫و ل و ل د ف ع ال ل ه ال نا س ب ع ض ه م ب ب ع ض ل ه د م تْ ص وا م ع و ب ي ع و ص ل وا ت‬ َ ََ َ ٌ ََِ ُ ِ َ َ َ ّ ُ َ ٍ ْ َِ ْ ُ َ ْ َ َ ّ ِ ّ ُ ْ َ َ ْ ََ ‫ و م سا ج د ي ذ ك ر‬ُ َ ْ ُ ُ ِ َ َ َ (40 :‫)الحج‬ ‫في ها ا س م ال ّل ه ك ِثي را‬ ً َ ِ ُ ْ َ ِ “Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure”. (Ali, 2001: 458)emphasis lies on the act of destruction not on the agent which does notexist here. However, it is possible in Arabic and English to have initial andend-focus in a passive construction. But one may argue that because theagent is less frequent in Arabic passive constructions, end-focus is lesscommon. We can also say that the passive verbs receive emphasis due totheir initial position and this does not happen in English.2.2.6 Adjectival Passives: In Arabic, most past participle forms that are derived from verbsare related to (V passive + NP) source rather than adjectival passives (Ali,W.D.: Vol.3, 93 and Al-Hamlawi, 2000: 56). The underlined argument in
  • 18. 22the following examples are related to embedded verb-argument structuresin the passive:(46) ‫رأي ت الكأس مكسورا‬ ُ (I saw the cup broken)(47) ‫الرسالة مكتوبة بخط يدها‬ (The letter is written with her handwriting)(48) ‫بعت ساعة عقاربها مصنوعة من الذهب‬ (I sold a watch, its hands are made of gold) The interpretively embedded verb-argument structures thatcorrespond to the above underlined arguments are: ‫( كسر الكأس‬The glass َ ِ ُwas broken); ‫( كتبت الرسالة‬The letter was written); and ‫( صنعت عقاربها‬Its ْ ُِ ُِhands were made) respectively. Thus, in Arabic, the passive participle is derivationally formedwhereas the passive form is inflectionally formed (Ziadeh and Winder,1957: 27 and 136-137). The two forms are phonetically (andorthographically) distinct. In English, the passive participle and thepassive form of the verb are identical as in:(49) The destroyed city was the capital of the country. (Adjective)(50) The city was destroyed by invaders. (V passive)2.2.7 Middle Voice Structures: Middle voice structures have become widely used as “purepassives” in colloquial Arabic as conceived by Haywood and Nahmad(1984: 76). In a similar situation, Al-Waer (1982: 50) remarks that middle
  • 19. 23structures are found in English and Arabic. He cites the followingexamples:(51) ‫تن غ س ل الكنزة بسهولة‬ ُ ِ َ (The sweater washes easily)(52) ‫تتحرك السيارة ببطء‬ (The car moves slowly)(53) ‫تنكسر النافذة بسهولة‬ (The window breaks easily) The syntactic subjects in these sentences do not actually performthe action of the verbs. That is to say, they are not the semantic agents,but the patients of the sentences. As for the adverbials used in such structures, it should be noted thatthey are optional in these verb phrases in that they can be deleted withoutaffecting the meaning of the verbs.2.2.8 Passive Voice Constraints: Passivity can be applied to both transitive and intransitive verbs.Al-Mansouri and Al-Khafaji (1990: 104-130) state that some transitiveverbs cannot be passivized without the help of a prepositional phrase. Thefollowing are illustrative examples:(54) ‫بلغتني رسالة‬ (A letter informed me)(55) ‫ب لغت برسال ة‬ ٍ ُّ (I was informed by a letter).
  • 20. 24 Meanwhile, some transitive verbs cannot undergo passivization(Al-Mansouri and Al-Khafaji, 1990: 104-130). Consider the followingexamples:(56) َ‫أ وي ت ال طف ل‬ ِ ُ َ (I offered accommodation to the child)(57) * ‫أو و ي ال طفل‬ ِ َ ِ Al-Hamlawi (2000: 37) states that some intransitive verbs whichhave no direct object cannot undergo passivization without the help of aprepositional phrase as for example in:(58) ‫سار التاجر إلى بغداد‬ (The merchant walked to Baghdad)(59) ‫سير بالتاجر إلى بغداد‬ ِ
  • 21. 25 Note to Chapter Two1. The term Arabic will be used to refer to its two well-known varieties: Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. Classical Arabic (CA) is the revered language of the Glorious Qur’an and the language of pre-Islamic poetry, literature, philosophy, mathematics, sciences, etc. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the uniform variety of Arabic which is now used all over the Arab world as the usual medium of written communication in books, periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. MSA is also used as the medium of oral communication, formal radio, and television broadcasts, formal speeches, public and university lectures, religious sermons, learned debates, conferences, and in general on occasions accompanied by some degree of formality and solemnity.
  • 22. 25 Note to Chapter Two1. The term Arabic will be used to refer to its two well-known varieties: Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. Classical Arabic (CA) is the revered language of the Glorious Qur’an and the language of pre-Islamic poetry, literature, philosophy, mathematics, sciences, etc. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the uniform variety of Arabic which is now used all over the Arab world as the usual medium of written communication in books, periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. MSA is also used as the medium of oral communication, formal radio, and television broadcasts, formal speeches, public and university lectures, religious sermons, learned debates, conferences, and in general on occasions accompanied by some degree of formality and solemnity.