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Two Hundred Ways to Call a Lion in Arabic: Names or Epithets?


Pages 343 - 374


The contribution analyses the lexical list of names and synonyms for “lion” in Arabic. The whole list contains 191 roots and 233 forms. This list is analyzed from several points of view. Attention is given to the context of other Semitic languages and dialects of Arabic. The accompanying meanings of the roots are treated as attributes, and analyzed as such. Other analyses concentrate on phonological and morphonological properties of the list, as well as the semantic characteristics of individual names.

Two sets are distinguishable - the one of names labeling only the lion, and the other based on attributes attached to lion. While the first set can be treated as a reflection of the dialectal division of the Arabic dialects, the second set portrays the lion as a positive, but respected figure, with marked emotional charge. The second set is most probably connected with imaginative literature, especially with Arabic poetry.


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