How to cite the Modern Standard Arabic dataset  BibTeX

Kász, Csilla. 2013. Modern Standard Arabic Valency Patterns.
In: Hartmann, Iren & Haspelmath, Martin & Taylor, Bradley (eds.) 2013.
Valency Patterns Leipzig.
Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
(Available online at, Accessed on 2021-10-18)


92 Verb forms 23 Coding frames 24 Alternations (98.7% avail.) 255 glossed Examples


General comment

- Language family: Afro Asiatic > Semitic > Centralsemitic > Arabic
- National language in 26 states
- In all Arabic speaking communities there is a Diglossical situation with three varieties of Arabic:
1 Arabic Vernaculars - varieties of Arabic dialects, learned as a native
2 Classical Arabic (CA) - the language of the Quran used in liturgical acts
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) - used as lingua franca in inter-
dialectical comunication, in media, education, street-signs, etc.; acquired
as L2 through education

Characterization of flagging resources

- MSA is an accusative language and has a three-case system:
nominative, genitive and accusative.
- Prepositions govern the genitive in Arabic; this feature isn't displayed in the coding frames in the database:
e.g.: V.subj[E] E-nom min+M
not: V.subj[E] E-nom min+M

Characterization of indexing resources

- only subject agreement is marked on the verb.
- in the basic word order VSO there is a subject-verb agreement in person and gender not in number. If the subject precedes the verb there has to be a full agreement i.e. in person, gender and number.

- subject NPs can be omitted.
- pronominal object is expressed by a suffix on the verb

Characterization of ordering resources

MSA is a VSO language with no fixed word order.

Source of the data and generalizations/background of the contributor(s)

Around 90 % of the data is elicited and consulted with two native speakers of hasaniya (dialect of Arabic in Mauretania) both fluently speaking MSA.

Additional data is gained from naturalistic written texts of modern Arabic literatur, source: