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A Statistical Study of Arabic Discourse Connectors in a Diachronic Bespoke Corpus of the Years 1950 and 2018
Sarah Ajlan Alajlan
Pages - 57 - 77     |    Revised - 31-10-2022     |    Published - 01-12-2022
Volume - 13   Issue - 4    |    Publication Date - December 2022  Table of Contents
Arabic Newspaper Writing, Language Change, Syntax, Discourse Connectors, Diachronic Corpus, Type of Change, %DIFF Value, Effect Size.
This paper discusses changes of Arabic discourse connectors in newspaper writing by comparing two distinct time periods: 1950 and 2018. It attempts to provide an answer to the question: How has the usage of Arabic discourse connectors changed, quantitatively and qualitatively, in Arabic newspapers as evidenced in the 1950 and 2018 sub-corpora? A specialized bespoke corpus has been built specifically for this study, Leeds Bespoke Corpus of Arabic Newspaper Writings (LBCANW), that contains rare material from the year 1950 and recent material from the year 2018 (Alajlan, 2019). It is part of an ongoing PhD study that approaches the changes in the lexicon and syntax via ‘lexis’ (Sinclair, 1991). The research methodology includes: recording the frequency of occurrences; normalizing the frequencies to per million words; and calculating the percentage of change by using %DIFF value (Gabrielatos and Marchi, 2011). Discourse connectors are arranged in descending order according to %DIFF value. Discourse connectors that are found in one sub-corpora are placed in separate tables. The results show noticeable degrees of change in most of the 95 discourse connectors included in this study across the two sub-corpora 1950 and 2018. Finally, detailed linguistic discussion of the changes in five selected discourse connectors is included with concordance lines examples from the corpus using the statistical information obtained from this study.
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Mrs. Sarah Ajlan Alajlan
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, UK
College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University - Saudi Arabia

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