The Paradox of Theory and Practice: The Case of Auxiliaries in Arabic

Aziza Saleh Alzabidi


Reviewing most traditional linguistics and grammar books about Arabic shows clear controversy over auxiliaries. There are indications of the use of verbs and particles which fulfill the function of auxiliaries, but they are not recognized as being such. They are classified under different word classes other than auxiliaries. Hence, there have been many recent attempts to validate the argument of the availability of auxiliaries in Arabic by researchers who signify their uses in rich corpora. Yet, many curriculum development committees prescribe textbooks which show no interest in investing the rational results of these attempts. These textbooks do not give word function the required consideration when discussing rules and generalizations. Modern linguists and textbooks designers should find a new perspective of word classification to facilitate the study and the practice in certain fields like translation, contrastive linguistics and error analysis. The nonalignment of linguistic theory and what is actually done in practice is one of the major causes of the errors in composition and translation between Arabic and English. The problem becomes more complicated when instructors have incomplete information or false beliefs via which they deepen the gap between theory and practice rather than bridging it. There is a need to assist learners and translation trainees with reliable training to master linguistic analysis and to select the best equivalents accurately and promptly which they need for successful career. 

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