The English But and Its Equivalent in Standard Arabic: Universality vs. Locality

Mohammed Nasser Alhuqbani
2013 Theory and Practice in Language Studies  
This paper attempted to compare and contrast the discourse functions of the English primary contrastive discourse marker but with its equivalent in Standard Arabic lakin. A judgment test of forty-eight examples was presented to 5 Arabic-English speaking informants and 5 English native informants. The results showed that, like but in English, lakin functions as the primary contrastive discourse marker in Standard Arabic. The analysis of the results showed that although the English but can be
more » ... lish but can be translated to Arabic using other discourse markers such as bal, bianama, and lakinna, none of them can function as the primary contrastive discourse marker equivalent to the English but because they cannot capture the semantic meanings of the English but. Only lakin can capture most of the semantic meanings of the English but. However, while lakin and but share many of the discourse functions, they greatly differ when it comes to non discourse marker functions. Lakin does not have the same semantic meanings of but in non discourse marker sequences. The study concluded with several suggestions for teaching and research.
doi:10.4304/tpls.3.12.2157-2168 fatcat:pa42jche5zc5bj4kjp2i47mqxm