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Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā

Salwa El-Awa Orcid Logo

Structural Dividers in the Qur’an

Swansea University Author: Salwa El-Awa Orcid Logo

Abstract

In this essay, I analyze the use of discourse markers as a structuring tool. I then investigate the function of this particular structuring tool in one medium-length Qur’anic chapter, Sūrat Ṭāhā (Q 20). I divide the text of Sūrat Ṭāhā into sections and subsections based on topic shifts. I then ident...

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Published in: Structural Dividers in the Qur’an
ISBN: 9780367800055
Published: London and New York Routledge 2020
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa31629
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spelling 2022-09-29T14:45:32.4326552 v2 31629 2017-01-16 Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā 405f7cf25595f68f9bff6c5af640fdda 0000-0002-1879-633X Salwa El-Awa Salwa El-Awa true false 2017-01-16 AMOD In this essay, I analyze the use of discourse markers as a structuring tool. I then investigate the function of this particular structuring tool in one medium-length Qur’anic chapter, Sūrat Ṭāhā (Q 20). I divide the text of Sūrat Ṭāhā into sections and subsections based on topic shifts. I then identify certain words at the onset of these smaller discourse/text units and argue that their meaning and function in the text is that of a discourse marker. I conclude that discourse markers are used regularly in Sūrat Ṭāhā. They are used in various parts of the text and operate in a variety of ways to indicate local and global textual relations. However, they do not always indicate specific relations between segments of the text. Discourse markers in this surah operate on various planes of text. They indicate different categories of textual relations when they occur between sentences and when they occur between sections. Signalling certain textual or discourse relations is not their only function. In fact, they tend to create a broad sense of continuity rather than constrained connectivity. One of the most common functions of discourse markers in Sūrat Ṭāhā is to mark transitions between topics and to indicate continuity through topics and across clear topic shifts, rather than indicating a specific interpretation of the relationship between topics. This finding should help shift scholarly attention from its current focus on identifying a specific, predetermined, theme-based structure for multiple-topic surahs (ring or chiastic structures, for example) into a new, unprescriptive understanding of the inter-relations between those topics. This new understanding would indicate general continuity within a loose structure that could, for textual purposes determined by the text-producer and by the text’s multiple functionality, be intentionally ambiguous and unspecific. Book chapter Structural Dividers in the Qur’an Routledge London and New York 9780367800055 Discourse Markers, Arabic Linguistics, Pragmatic Markers, Qur&apos;anic Text, Qur&apos;anic Language, Qur&apos;anic Linguistics, Text Structure, Qur’an, structure, textual relations, cohesion, discourse markers, mysterious letters. 4 12 2020 2020-12-04 COLLEGE NANME Modern Languages COLLEGE CODE AMOD Swansea University 2022-09-29T14:45:32.4326552 2017-01-16T13:56:33.0432469 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences School of Culture and Communication - Modern Languages, Translation, and Interpreting Salwa El-Awa 0000-0002-1879-633X 1
title Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
spellingShingle Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
Salwa El-Awa
title_short Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
title_full Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
title_fullStr Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
title_full_unstemmed Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
title_sort Discourse markers and the structure of intertextual relations of medium length Qur'anic suras: the case of Sūrat Ṭā Hā
author_id_str_mv 405f7cf25595f68f9bff6c5af640fdda
author_id_fullname_str_mv 405f7cf25595f68f9bff6c5af640fdda_***_Salwa El-Awa
author Salwa El-Awa
author2 Salwa El-Awa
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publishDate 2020
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isbn 9780367800055
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hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
department_str School of Culture and Communication - Modern Languages, Translation, and Interpreting{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Culture and Communication - Modern Languages, Translation, and Interpreting
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description In this essay, I analyze the use of discourse markers as a structuring tool. I then investigate the function of this particular structuring tool in one medium-length Qur’anic chapter, Sūrat Ṭāhā (Q 20). I divide the text of Sūrat Ṭāhā into sections and subsections based on topic shifts. I then identify certain words at the onset of these smaller discourse/text units and argue that their meaning and function in the text is that of a discourse marker. I conclude that discourse markers are used regularly in Sūrat Ṭāhā. They are used in various parts of the text and operate in a variety of ways to indicate local and global textual relations. However, they do not always indicate specific relations between segments of the text. Discourse markers in this surah operate on various planes of text. They indicate different categories of textual relations when they occur between sentences and when they occur between sections. Signalling certain textual or discourse relations is not their only function. In fact, they tend to create a broad sense of continuity rather than constrained connectivity. One of the most common functions of discourse markers in Sūrat Ṭāhā is to mark transitions between topics and to indicate continuity through topics and across clear topic shifts, rather than indicating a specific interpretation of the relationship between topics. This finding should help shift scholarly attention from its current focus on identifying a specific, predetermined, theme-based structure for multiple-topic surahs (ring or chiastic structures, for example) into a new, unprescriptive understanding of the inter-relations between those topics. This new understanding would indicate general continuity within a loose structure that could, for textual purposes determined by the text-producer and by the text’s multiple functionality, be intentionally ambiguous and unspecific.
published_date 2020-12-04T03:38:02Z
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