Syntactic analysis of Arabic and English Negation on the meaning of the Glorious Qur’an of surah al-Baqarah by using GTG method

Laksmana, Nono Kusuma (2008) Syntactic analysis of Arabic and English Negation on the meaning of the Glorious Qur’an of surah al-Baqarah by using GTG method. Undergraduate thesis, Universitas Islam Negeri Maulana Malik Ibrahim.

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The main function of negation is to deny or to disavow statement(s) of addressee or addresser considered wrong by the addresser. Experts state that although negation is universal and the universality of negation indicates that in any language its existence plays an important role, the application of negation theory in some languages in the world shows that there are differences in both the expression system of negation and the grammatical unit used to express the negation. In Arabic and in English, negation is also expressed differently not only in terms of negative devices used to express the negation but also their distribution in sentences. Besides, English and Arabic are among the foreign languages which are taught at schools in Indonesia. The Qur’an is believed to be the most authentic and the earliest surviving document of written Arabic. In this Holy Book, as in natural language, negation also plays a very important role and has relatively the same function. This is in accordance with the main function of this Holy Book for Muslims, that is as the guidance to distinguish the right and the wrong ways. However, among the studies on the language of the Holy Qur’an, none of them is analyzing the syntactic aspect.

Hence, this study is aimed at describing the syntactic characteristics of Arabic and English negation in the Qur’an and its translation in English by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. It is directed to be able to find out the syntactic patterns of Arabic and English negation in the Qur’an and its English translation as well as to describe the semantic implication of each syntactic pattern. After employing Transformational Generative Grammar as an approach and being directed into standard negation, relation between negation and quantity, and negation and adverb as proposed by Payne (1985), this study finds that: (1) The Arabic negative devices used in the Qur’an are la, ma, lam, laysa (all of them mean ‘non’), and the English negative devices are not, no, never, almost not, cease not and hardly. These words are expressed in not less than 18 different sentence patterns in standard negation, 3 in negation and quantity, and 9 in negation and adverb, besides three pairs of phrasal negation ma-min, ma-bi, and laysa-bi which work as single negative devices and are equivalent to not no. The Arabic negative devices occur in preverbal position, whereas the English negative devices occur in post-verbal position. In Arabic sentences the subject may be either free-standing or indicated in the verb, while in English the subject is always free-standing; (2) Semantically, the same negative device in different sentence pattern may negate different element in the sentence, although they commonly negate the whole proposition. This propositional negation frequently shows up syntactically in the Arabic sentences but not in the English translation. (3) There are three pairs of double negation in la illa and ma-min illa that only occurs in verbless construction and functions to express strong emphasis on a given proposition. In Pickthall’s the Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an illa is equivalent to but, and both ma-min illa and la-illa are equivalent to no save or no hut. Such strong emphasis is also implied in the structure of the English translation.

Based on the above findings, the researcher recommends the following suggestions: (1) The future researches are suggested to analyze negation in complex or compound sentences, as negative devices found in this study should have different syntactical characteristics when they are in those longer sentences. (2) Considering that significant problem, translation of the Holy Qur’an into other languages should be attached with the original text. This is undoubtedly in line with what has been previously suggested by Islamic scholars; (3) For translation teachers, they can use Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an to demonstrate the translation procedures applied in an Arabic-English translation, but they should be sure not to present the parts translated incorrectly unless they explain the mistakes.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Supervisor: Ahmadin, Dimjati
Keywords: Negation; Arabic Language; English Language; Surah Al Baqarah
Departement: Fakultas Humaniora > Jurusan Bahasa dan Sastra Inggris
Depositing User: Dian Anesti
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 10:20
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2016 10:20

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