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Indication

The Indicating Speech Indicates on Three Things:
The Entire Idea, Parts of the Idea & Closely Related Ideas

Recall from Introduction to Logic the concepts of علم (idea or thought), تصور (concept), and تصديق (assent), and that these things exist at a mental level. In order to discuss these concepts further, we need to express them using tangible means such as sign language, written word, spoken word, and so on. When we bring them down to this level, the tangible mechanism (such as movements of the hands for sign language, the script for written word, the articulated speech for spoken word) is called the دال (indicator), and the mental meaning to which it indicates is termed the مدلول (the idea indicated).

 

Recall further that we chose to utilize دلالة لفظية وضعية (verbal indication by coinage); in other words, spoken English. When the دال is spoken, it indicates on three things simultaneously.

 

1.       the first is the مدلول in its entirety

2.       the second is the parts of the مدلول

3.       and the third is those things that are easily and necessarily understood from the مدلول without actually being it or part of it

 

For example, the idea of ‘the city of Washington‘ is realized by speaking the word “Washington”. Now the word “Washington” is indicating on three things at the mental level:

 

1.       the first is the entire idea of the city of Washington; meaning the physical land within its known boundaries

2.       the second is parts or components of the city, including the Whitehouse

3.       and the third is things that are closely associated to Washington without actually being intrinsic to it, such as the president

 

All of these indications are occurring simultaneously. The indication of the دال on the entire idea is termed دلالة مطابقية (congruency-based indication). The indication of the دال on the parts of the idea is termed دلالة تضمنية (component-based indication). And the indication of the دال on related ideas is called دلالة التزامية (entailed indication).

 

A comparison can be drawn between the notion of these three types of indication and the three main types of بدل in grammar. دلالة مطابقية corresponds to بدل كل من كل, دلالة تضمنية corresponds to بدل بعض من كل, and دلالة التزامية corresponds to بدل الاشتمال.

 

دلالة التزامية
(entailed indication)

دلالة تضمنية
(component indication)

دلالة مطابقية
(congruent indication)

 

the word “Washington” indicating on the president
(who is associated to the city)

the word “Washington” indicating on the Whitehouse
(which is part of the city)

the word “Washington” indicates on the city thanks to a naming process

دلالة لفظية وضعية
(verbal, coinage)

 


 

Since We’re Using Verbal Indication by Coinage,
We Need to Discuss Words, Phrases & Sentences

Speech which indicates on an idea is either simple (مفرد) or compound (مركب). What is meant by simple is that it is not the case that parts of the speech indicate on parts of the meaning. For example, the parts of the word “a” don’t indicate on parts of its meaning because there are no parts to begin with. And the parts of the word “the” (the “t”, “h”, and “e”, or any other possible division) do not indicate on parts of its meaning although several parts do exist. And finally, the parts of the speech “Israel” do not indicate on parts of its meaning; although “Isra” in Hebrew means slave and “El” means God – thus slave of God – this is not the intention when this speech is employed.

 

And what is meant by compound is that part of the speech indicates on part of its meaning. For example, in the speech “cup bearer” the “cup” part indicates on something and the “bearer” part also indicates on something and the compound meaning is the sum of these two ideas. Thus “cup bearer” is compound. Other examples include “my coffee”, “it is raining”, and “we need a plan.”

 

The concept of مفرد and مركب are very similar to what we know in Arabic grammar as words and phrases/sentences, respectively. There is a small axis of divergence, however. What the grammarians consider a single word may, in Logic, be considered مركب if parts of the word appear to indicate on parts of the meaning. For example, one can claim that the Hamza in the verb أفعل indicates on the first person singular aspect and that the rest of the word indicates on the act of doing. Thus parts of the word indicate on parts of the meaning and the word is therefore compound.

 

Aside from this slight divergence, the concept of words, phrases, and sentences are quite similar to what we know from grammar. مفرد may be divided into اسم, كلمة (known to the grammarians as فعل) and أداة (known to the grammarians as حرف). And مركب may be divided into مركب ناقص and مركب تام. And the مركب تام may be further categorized into قضية (what the grammarians know as جملة خبرية) and إنشاء.

 

اللفظ الدال
(the indicating speech)

مركب
(compound – that whose parts indicate on part of the meaning)

مفرد
(simple – that whose parts don’t indicate on part of the meaning)

مركب ناقص
(phrase)

مركب تام
(sentence)

أداة
(particle)

كلمة
(verb)

اسم
(noun)

 

إنشاء
(non-informative)

قضية
(informative)

 

 



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