I saw a man playing with his dog.

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Tony C

New Member
English
Hello,

please could you tell me if the below sentence is correct (I want to use active participle). I would like to translate “I saw a man playing with his dog”

رايت رجلاً الملعِب مع كلبه

Many thanks in advance
 
  • analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The sentence in fus7a would be:

    رأيت رجلًا يلعب مع كلبه

    With a verb, not with a participle. The participle of لعب is لاعب laa3ib, not mal3ib/mul3ib. There are a lot of threads on here about the different usages of the participle, but suffice it to say that it should not at all be taken as an equivalent of the English '-ing' form.
     

    Tony C

    New Member
    English
    Thank you for your reply. So if I said ريت رجلاً لاعب مع كلبه... this would not make sense or it would sound strange?
     

    Samer11

    Member
    Arabic - Najd
    You could say رأيت رجلًا يلاعب كلبه (using the يفاعل form of the verb). The active participle doesn't work in such a sentence, I believe.
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    رأيت رجلًا يلعب مع كلبه
    I thought of translating the sentence as you did, but adding

    (وكان)

    before

    (يلعب).

    I think that would be redundant, though.

    If the English sentence was

    'I saw a man (while I was) playing with my dog,'

    would it be best to translate it like this?

    (رأيت رجلًا وكنت العب مع كلبي.)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    رأيت رجلاً وكان يلعب مع كلبه is fine, but less elegant (in my opinion) than رأيت رجلاً يلعب مع كلبه. It’s the same as the difference between “I saw a man playing...” and “I saw a man, and he was playing...” in English.
    'I saw a man (while I was) playing with my dog,'
    رأيت رجلاً وأنا ألعب مع كلبي
     

    Tony C

    New Member
    English
    Thank you for your reply. So I think I was getting confused with past continuous which would translate as:

    رايت رجلاً وكان يلعب مع كلبه

    If I wanted to use the active participle it would need to be in the present tense right? (I see a man playing with his dog)?

    أرى رجل لاعب مع كلبه - does this sentence make sense?

    Many thanks
     

    Tony C

    New Member
    English
    Does هو لاعب مع كلبه make sense? I am just trying to make sense of how active participles work.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I don’t think it works in MSA (unless you mean “He is a player with his dog”).
    I am just trying to make sense of how active participles work.
    This is one of the trickiest things for foreigners to master. One example isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. I suggest searching for previous threads on the topic.
     
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    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    One example isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid.
    I totally agree.

    And I tried using a different verb and found myself saying:
    رأيت رجلاً ماشيًا في الطريق
    رأيت رجلاً نائمًا
    رأيت رجلاً سعيدًا برؤية صديقة
    But couldn't say
    رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه (though I wouldn't be surprised if this is ok in Classical Arabic)

    The only difference I could sense between these, is the ماشيًا، نائمًا، سعيدًا are from intransitive verbs يمشي، ينام، يَسْعَد, while يلعب is transitive. So maybe this has a role in "deciding" which form to use. I'm really not sure. I hope the previous threads will offer an answer.
     

    Tony C

    New Member
    English
    Thanks a lot - although I do not not have any immediate answers I know that I need to go away and do much more reading around.. :)
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    And I tried using a different verb and found myself saying:
    رأيت رجلاً ماشيًا في الطريق
    رأيت رجلاً نائمًا
    رأيت رجلاً سعيدًا برؤية صديقة
    But couldn't say
    رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه (though I wouldn't be surprised if this is ok in Classical Arabic)

    The only difference I could sense between these, is the ماشيًا، نائمًا، سعيدًا are from intransitive verbs يمشي، ينام، يَسْعَد, while يلعب is transitive. So maybe this has a role in "deciding" which form to use. I'm really not sure. I hope the previous threads will offer an answer.
    I don't see any prescriptive reason to reject لاعبا مع كلبه as this is, after all, one of the ways to form a حال phrase (not to mention its grammatical validity here as a potential adjective). As for the transitive/intransitive distinction, I'm not sure it's significant because we have no problem using other transitive verbs in a similar manner, e.g.: راسل الحريري المزيد من الدول طالبا مساعدة لبنان. So I wonder whether the aversion to لاعبا here has more to do with the fact that certain أسماء فاعل have become so associated with particular a meaning (i.e. لاعب usually corresponds to the English noun "player" rather than "playing" in an adjectival sense) that it becomes strange to use them in other ways.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    No, it has nothing to do with the use of لاعب as a noun meaning “player.” I’m afraid I have trouble articulating when an active participle can and can’t be used (@analeeh can probably do a better job), but I can tell you that in this sentence, it can’t be used as a حال or a نعت. Your example with طالبًا feels totally different. :(
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    I’m afraid I have trouble articulating when an active participle can and can’t be used (@analeeh can probably do a better job), but I can tell you that in this sentence, it can’t be used as a حال or a نعت.
    I think it's hard to articulate because so far, the distinction appears arbitrary. To commandeer Cherine's example:

    رأيت رجلاً ماشيًا في الطريق
    رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه

    Grammatically, there is - as far as I can tell - no difference whatsoever between these two sentences, yet one is fine and the other is wrong. And if we want to conflate Classical Arabic with modern Arabic, then we can also cite an example of لاعب being used as a حال in the Quran, albeit modifying the subject (as opposed to the object) of a verb and without a subsequent prepositional phrase: وما خلقنا السماوات والأرض وما بينهما لاعبين. So I have a feeling we're once again heading into prescriptivism vs. descriptivism territory (i.e. Is correctness determined by codified rules or by the way people use a language? Is a sentence that just sounds "off" wrong or unidiomatic?).

    Note that this question of how active participles can be used is even more relevant to the dialects, where certain participles have taken on present tense meanings while others have taken on present perfect tense meanings, but the case for descriptivism is obviously much stronger when it comes to dialects.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    @jack_1313, you seem to be drawing a bunch of unwarranted conclusions. Perhaps you're frustrated because, as I said, this particular Arabic nut is very hard to crack?

    It's hard for me to articulate the reasons because they are complex and I never learned them explicitly. I'd rather leave it to someone like @analeeh, a highly advanced L2 speaker, to take a stab at it. I am certain that the use of the active participle is by and large rule-governed and based on patterns.
    Grammatically, there is - as far as I can tell - no difference whatsoever between these two sentences
    That is neither here nor there. Semantics often impacts what sentences are grammatical and which ones are not. I'm sure you've heard of Chomsky's famous sentence: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." It doesn't violate any morphosyntactic rules of English, but it is semantically meaningless, so it is an unacceptable sentence. Just because you can string together a group of words without violating any syntactic rules doesn't mean you've wound up with a viable sentence.
    we can also cite an example of لاعب being used as a حال in the Quran
    I never said لاعب could never be a حال. I said
    I can tell you that in this sentence, it can’t be used as a حال or a نعت.
    Your example from the Qur'an is completely fine and would also work in MSA.
    So I have a feeling we're once again heading into prescriptivism vs. descriptivism territory (i.e. Is correctness determined by codified rules or by the way people use a language? Is a sentence that just sounds "off" wrong or unidiomatic?).
    I am a descriptivist through and through, but I don't think prescriptive and descriptive approaches diverge in this particular case. I think you are being distracted by the fact that so far we haven't been able to provide a clear rationale and that the distinction "seems" arbitrary to you. Please bear in mind that some of us Arabic native speakers are often careful not to make categorical statements about MSA, since at the end of the day it is not our (or anyone's) native language, so although we generally have strong intuitions about it, we can't rely on them as well as we can on our intuitions about our respective native dialects. That's probably why we all hedged a bit in this thread:
    The active participle doesn't work in such a sentence, I believe.
    I don’t think it works in MSA
    But couldn't say
    رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه
    However, just because we weren't categorical doesn't mean that our judgments don't carry a lot of weight or that we are being wishy-washy. In fact, the fact that three of us agree about this is a strong indicator that more than likely, the usage is in fact incorrect in MSA.

    Furthermore, if I consider my dialect -- for which, as I said, my intuitions are much more reliable -- the sentence شفت زلمة لاعب مع كلبه does work but only in the meaning "I saw a man who had played with his dog." This, to my knowledge (see, I'm hedging again), is not a possible use of the active participle in MSA. Unless this is an active-participle use that is valid in MSA and not in Palestinian Arabic (and that I am not familiar with), these facts further bolster the proposal that it is incorrect in MSA.
    the dialects, where certain participles have taken on present tense meanings while others have taken on present perfect tense meanings
    Among other meanings! At least in Palestinian Arabic, the active participle can also refer to the past and to the future, depending on the context. That's one of the reasons this is such a tricky feature of Arabic.

    To sum up, the question here is in all likelihood not whether the sentence is incorrect, but why it is.
     
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    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    @jack_1313, you seem to be drawing a bunch of unwarranted conclusions. Perhaps you're frustrated because, as I said, this particular Arabic nut is very hard to crack?

    It's hard for me to articulate the reasons because they are complex and I never learned them explicitly. I'd rather leave it to someone like @analeeh, a highly advanced L2 speaker, to take a stab at it. I am certain that the use of the active participle is by and large rule-governed and based on patterns.
    I don't mean for my tone come off as frustrated here. I lean toward prescriptivism in both English and Arabic for a variety of reasons but not to the extent that I don't see the value of descriptivism. What sounds correct to native speakers IS important and should be a guide for foreign speakers. At the same time, the value of descriptivism has been undermined in the case of ٍModern Standard Arabic by the extreme diglossia (which has led to weaker grammatical knowledge, less consensus on usage, weaker intuition, dialect spillover, and so on), as you suggested later in your post, and that's exactly the reason that it's also good to question native intuition and seek out justifications for unexplained judgments.

    It's hard for me to articulate the reasons because they are complex and I never learned them explicitly. I'd rather leave it to someone like @analeeh, a highly advanced L2 speaker, to take a stab at it. I am certain that the use of the active participle is by and large rule-governed and based on patterns.
    Yes, if we can find a rule or pattern or objective grounds explaining why رأيت رجلا ماشيا مع كلبه is okay (I assume?) but رأيت رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه isn't, then great - we can conclusively demote it from unidiomatic and potentially incorrect to categorically incorrect. That's why I proposed the idea that it might have something to do with certain participles becoming exclusively associated with one particular shade of meaning in my earlier post, but I was just brainstorming.

    That is neither here nor there. Semantics often impacts what sentences are grammatical and which ones are not. I'm sure you've heard of Chomsky's famous sentence: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." It doesn't violate any morphosyntactic rules of English, but it is semantically meaningless, so it is an unacceptable sentence. Just because you can string together a group of words without violating any syntactic rules doesn't mean you've wound up with a viable sentence.(Emphasis added)
    I'm afraid I disagree with you here. Semantics affect whether a sentence makes sense, not whether it is "grammatical", i.e. syntactically correct. You're conflating the two concepts when the very point of Chomsky's sentence was to show the distinction between them. I'm going to be lazy and quote Wikipedia:
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical ... Although the sentence is grammatically correct, no obvious understandable meaning can be derived from it, and thus it demonstrates the distinction between syntax and semantics.
    So the Chomsky's sentence wasn't incorrect unless by "incorrect" we mean "doesn't make much sense".
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Again, I think there are reasons even if I can't immediately produce them. I'll try to introspect and see if I can identify them.
    the value of descriptivism has been undermined in the case of ٍModern Standard Arabic by the extreme diglossia (which has led to weaker grammatical knowledge, less consensus on usage, weaker intuition, dialect spillover, and so on)
    I have a hunch you're overstating the case. Diglossia does complicate matters to a certain extent, but not nearly as much as you seem to be making it out to.
    Semantics affect whether a sentence makes sense, not whether it is "grammatical"
    Maybe the Chomsky sentence wasn't the best example. Semantics can indeed determine what sentences are grammatical. For example, "I offered John the job" is grammatical while "I mentioned John the job" is ungrammatical, and this is most likely related to the semantics of each verb. (This example is in fact very similar to the case we have here.)

    Both of these topics (diglossia's impacts on MSA judgments, and the effect of semantics on grammaticality) are very complex, and in this thread we shouldn't delve into them but focus on the sentence under discussion.
     
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    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    I won't veer off into and more ranting about the general state of MSA, then. But I would like to comment on this:

    For example, "I offered John the job" is grammatical while "I mentioned John the job" is ungrammatical, and this has nothing to do with syntax.
    But it has everything to do with syntax. "Offer" is a ditransitive verb (as well as transitive and intransitive), which means that it can take two objects (a direct object and an indirect object). Good dictionaries will mark it as ditransitive. This is a class of verbs that is well documented and understood across languages (أعطى is the obvious example in Arabic). "Mentioned", on the other hand, is a (regular) transitive verb, so it cannot take two objects and the recipient can only be added using a prepositional phrase. So the sentence is wrong because we can't pair verbs with more objects than the number allowed by the type of verb ("He slept the cat", "She gave him the bag the books"). Are you suggesting that the concept of transitivity is not part of syntax?

    As for the Arabic sentences, I've sent out a little survey to my friends to see if they can give any insight into why the the ماشيا example is fine but the لاعبا example is wrong (assuming they agree), so hopefully I can come back an contribute something more on topic.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    رأيت رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه

    For a Haal construction, the Haal has to be indefinite, which it is ( لاعبا). Also صاحب الحال should be definite (almost always) and here it is indefinite (رجلا). So, it can not mean..

    I saw man (who was) playing with his dog.

    However, if we consider صاحب الحال as the pronoun "I" of the verb which is definite, then the sentence would mean...

    I saw a man while I was playing with a dog.

    Just my understanding which is not that much!:)
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Salut,

    رأيت رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه

    For a Haal construction, the Haal has to be indefinite, which it is ( لاعبا). Also صاحب الحال should be definite (almost always) and here it is indefinite (رجلا). So, it can not mean..

    I saw man (who was) playing with his dog.
    I understand the sentence like you (assuming this sentence is correct)... Because for me the word لاعبا is an adjective of the word رجلا.
    I would also translate it by a relative sentence (in French : "J'ai vu un homme qui jouait avec son chien" or by an infinitive : "J'ai vu un homme jouer avec son chien").

    It is the same with the sentence رأيت رجلًا يلعب مع كلبه, for me يلعب is also an adjective of the word رجلا and I would translate the sentence the same as the sentence : رأيت رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه (assuming this sentence is correct)...

    However, if we consider صاحب الحال as the pronoun "I" of the verb which is definite, then the sentence would mean...

    I saw a man while I was playing with a dog.
    Yes in this case, to make the difference with the adjective and to take into account the definition of haal, I would not translate using a relative sentence... I would use a connector which expresses the simultaneity of the two events (whereas, while ...), in French : "J'ai vu un homme alors que je jouais avec mon chien".
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Salut,
    Note that this question of how active participles can be used is even more relevant to the dialects, where certain participles have taken on present tense meanings while others have taken on present perfect tense meanings, but the case for descriptivism is obviously much stronger when it comes to dialects.
    It seems that time is also a condition in classical Arabic, right? I mean the active participle can act like a verb but (when it is not defined by article al) there are conditions for that, the tense must be the present or the future :


    إذا لم تتصل ( أل ) باسم الفاعل، فإنه يأتي نكرة ومنوناً ولا يعمل عمل فعله إلا بشرطين :

    &أن يكون بمعنى الحال [أي الآن] أو الاستقبال أي ليس على الزمن الماضي .

    &أن يسبقه مبتدأ أو نفي أو استفهام أو موصوف أو نداء .

    Source : اسم الفاعل
    It seems that if this condition is not respected the active participle is used as a simple noun. For example, in this case, the word لاعب would rather mean "player"...
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Cette phrase رأيت رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه (si elle est correcte) correspondrait au cas 4 :


    &4 - يسبقه موصوف :

    مثل : مررت برجلٍ حازمٍ أمتعته = مررت برجل يحزم أمتعته .

    حازم : صفة مجرورة بالكسرة , وحازم اسم فاعل ، والفاعل ضمير مستتر تقديره : هو .

    أمتعته : مفعول به منصوب لاسم الفاعل , و الهاء مضاف إليه .

    Source : اسم الفاعل
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    I mentioned in my earlier post that I would conduct an informal survey, which I have now done. There are seven respondents. Firstly, I showed them the sentences رأيتُ رجلا ماشيا مع كلبه and رأيتُ رجلا لاعبا مع كلبه and asked them whether they thought neither, one, or both of the sentences were correct. If they didn’t indicate a preference for ماشيا at that stage, I then asked directly whether they thought لاعبا might be less correct than ماشيا. Finally, I explained the nature of the debate and asked whether they could explain why لاعبا might be less acceptable than ماشيا. Below are the responses:

    Persons A and B are educated computer programmers with no special expertise in Arabic language.

    A said that both sentences appear correct but seem odd in MSA. He thought the active participle in isn’t used in this manner very often in MSA. When I followed up by asking whether لاعبا might seem odder than ماشيا, he said yes and suggested that it could be because شفته ماشي is used in dialect. But he then reemphasized that both sentences seem odd/unidiomatic.

    B thought that both were correct but sound “fucked up”. When I asked whether لاعبا seemed worse than ماشيا, he said, “Now that you mention it, yeah”. But he didn’t know why.

    Persons C, D, and E are all (primarily) Jordanian dialect teachers. One has some expertise in Classical Arabic and MSA and is the editor of a publication. Their responses can be addressed together because they all said unequivocally that ماشيا is fine and لاعبا is correct but unidiomatic.

    Persons F and G are both expert Arabic linguists. F is a MSA teacher and copyeditor. G is an MSA teacher/professor and translator and runs a centre/organization/website that scrutinizes MSA use in the media (something like a language watchdog).

    F simply said that both sentences are correct. Unfortunately, she hasn’t (yet) responded to follow-up questions about whether she sees لاعبا as less desirable that ماشيا and, if so, why that might be the case.

    G said that both sentences are correct and contain no grammatical errors, but الصياغة أفضل in the ماشيا sentence. Unfortunately, he hasn’t (yet) responded to my question about why the phrasing becomes worse when we use لاعبا.

    Respondents A, B, C, D, E speak Jordanian-Palestinian dialect (Amman). Respondent G’s dialect is Palestinian. Responded F speaks Syrian dialect.

    So those are the results so far. Unfortunately, with the two most knowledgeable respondents not responding to my follow-up questions, we're no closer to identifying the reasons for our aversion to لاعبا in this context.
     
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    Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    لاعبا cant be hal because رجل is indefinite. Would it make any difference if we said

    هذا رجل لاعب مع كلبه

    if tish is considered correct then لاعبا in the discussion above has to be correct as well.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I spoke with our local mosque Imam who teaches Classical Arabic and asked him if the sentence

    رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه was correct and if لاعبًا was Haal. He said yes, the sentence was correct and لاعبًا can be Haal even though it is indefinite and it can be sifah as well. He went onto add that appropriate context will differentiate whether it is one or the other.
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    لاعبا cant be hal because رجل is indefinite.
    I hadn't read about this rule before, and it renders what I said earlier in the thread about ماشيا/لاعبا being either a حال or a نعت incorrect. However, the rule doesn't affect the grammatical accuracy of the sentence because if the word can't be حال then it is - at least theoretically and until we can identify the reasons for disqualifying لاعبا that Elroy was talking about earlier - a نعت. The reason that grammar references apparently give for not allowing a حال to come immediately after an indefinite noun is, specifically, to eliminate this very confusion over whether to classify the word as a حال or نعت when صاحب الحال is accusative. There are, however, a range of other circumstances wherein صاحب الحال may be indefinite.
     
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    Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I just wanted to see if Elroy and the others would feel differently about the nominative.
    As for the indefinite sahib al hal none of the conditions apply to the sentence we are dealing with
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Salut,

    So those are the results so far. Unfortunately, with the two most knowledgeable respondents not responding to my follow-up questions, we're no closer to identifying the reasons for our aversion to لاعبا in this context.
    Maybe the reason is simpler than we thought ???

    In theory the active participle can act like the verb from which it derives but in practice I have the impression that certain active participles (such as for example: تاجر ، معلم ، مسلم ...) are mainly used as a noun (substantive) to the point that when they are not used as a noun (substantive), the sentence doesn't sound idiomatic ???

    As for the indefinite sahib al hal none of the conditions apply to the sentence we are dealing with
    This question reminds me of this thread: فلَمَّا رَبَضَ أتَى إِلَيْهِ جُرَذٌ يَمْشِي عَلى ظهْرِهِ فوَثَبَ قائِما

    The discussion is long, the rule " الجمل بعد النكرات صفات وبعد المعارف أحوال " was recalled but Cherine gave two examples with explanations to the message #26. Some consider that صاحب الحال can be indefinite under certain conditions but it would seem that سيبويه (and perhaps others than him) consider that it can be undefined without conditions ...

    But maybe in some cases the difference between na'at and haal is not very important, I am thinking of Cherine's post #48...
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    In theory the active participle can act like the verb from which it derives but in practice I have the impression that certain active participles (such as for example: تاجر ، معلم ، مسلم ...) are mainly used as a noun (substantive) to the point that when they are not used as a noun (substantive), the sentence doesn't sound idiomatic ???
    This is explanation that I proposed in post #15, but Elroy seemed quite certain that it is not the case.
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Salut,

    Jack,
    Je suis tombé sur ce passage :


    4 ـ ربما يتجرد اسم الفاعل من الدلالة على الحدث ، فهو حينئذ لا يعمل عمل الفعل .

    مثل : المعلم ، الطالب ، المزارع ، التاجر ، القاضي ، المجتهد .

    وكذا إذا أصبح علماً لشخص مثل : عابد ، راجح ، ياسر ، كارم ، ومحسن ومرشد .​


    Source : موقع اللغة العربية
     
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    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Salut,

    Jack,
    Je suis tombé sur ce passage :


    4 ـ ربما يتجرد اسم الفاعل من الدلالة على الحدث ، فهو حينئذ لا يعمل عمل الفعل .

    مثل : المعلم ، الطالب ، المزارع ، التاجر ، القاضي ، المجتهد .

    وكذا إذا أصبح علماً لشخص مثل : عابد ، راجح ، ياسر ، كارم ، ومحسن ومرشد .​


    Source : موقع اللغة العربية
    Again, this seems like the obvious explanation, but Elroy already dismissed it.

    Regarding the aforementioned informal survey I conducted, one of the two "experts" I consulted, namely the MSA teacher and copy editor/مدققة لغوية, recently noticed my original messages in which I asked her to elaborate further. She said فليس هناك سبب للرفض سوى أن الاستخدام غير شائع... لكن ما من خطأ.

    At this point, I don't really know how this topic can move forward. Elroy and, to a lesser extent, Cherine and Samer seemed mostly certain that لاعبا is incorrect. However, despite the insistence that it violates rules, nobody has been able to produce any except ones that have been discounted (namely the idea that the verb's transitivity has some role, which I deemed unlikely via analogy in post #15, or the idea that it's wrong because some words have taken on specific nominal meanings and therefore are not used with verbal meanings, which Elroy dismissed in post #16). At the same time, when I suggested that it might merely be unidiomatic and therefore only incorrect if we consider unidiomatic to mean incorrect, Elroy called the idea "unwarranted conclusions" drawn out of frustration. Yet the informal poll I conducted (post #26), which included both laypeople and linguists, and Qureshpor's contribution (post #28) clearly favor this explanation. So in short, I don't think there's any chance of a consensus on this matter unless we can identify rules that it breaks and introduce them into the discussion, agree on one of the rules previously mentioned and dismissed, or agree that it simply violates common usage and is therefore descriptively incorrect but not prescriptively incorrect.
     
    Last edited:

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi,

    I didn't have enough energy to read all the posts again, but when I re-read mine I was surprised at myself (and embarrassed too, really). I, now, don't see why I said that رأيت رجلاً لاعبًا مع كلبه is incorrect :confused: it sounds perfectly fine.
    Sorry if I caused any confusion. :oops:
     
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