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Resource-limited and morphologically rich languages pose many challenges to natural language processing tasks. Their highly inflected surface forms inflate the vocabulary size and increase sparsity in an already scarce data situation. In this article, we present an unsupervised learning approach to vocabulary reduction through morphological segmentation. We demonstrate its value in the context of machine translation for dialectal Arabic (DA), the primarily spoken, orthographically unstandardized, morphologically rich and yet resource poor variants of Standard Arabic. Our approach exploits the existence of monolingual and parallel data. We show comparable performance to state-of-the-art supervised methods for DA segmentation.
To validate an Arabic version of the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) and identify factors (such as depression, stress, anxiety and body dissatisfaction) that might be associated with disordered eating among a sample of the Lebanese population.
All Lebanese governorates.
A total of 811 participants randomly selected participated in this 5-month study (January–May 2018).
The EAT-26 scale items converged over a solution of six factors that had an eigenvalue over 1, explaining a total of 60·07 % of the variance (Cronbach’s α = 0·895). The prevalence of disordered eating attitudes was 23·8 %. Higher EAT-26 scores (disordered eating attitudes) were significantly associated with higher depression (β = 0·325), higher emotional eating (β = 0·083), daily weighing (β = 3·430), higher physical activity (β = 0·05), starving to reduce weight (β = 4·94) and feeling pressure from TV/magazine to lose weight (β = 3·95).
The Arabic version of EAT-26 can be a useful instrument for screening and assessing disordered eating attitudes in clinical practice and research. Some factors seem to be associated with more disordered eating attitudes among participants for whom psychological counseling may be needed. Yet, our findings are considered preliminary, and further studies are warranted to confirm them.
Since 2015, more than 58,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Canada and, at the time of the 2016 national census, more than a fifth had settled in the province of Quebec. The rising numbers of refugees and the risks associated with families’ forced displacement have underscored the need to better understand and support the language of refugee children. The article reports on the oral language of three Syrian children ages five and six years, drawing on data from parent interviews, teacher reports, measures of the children’s language, and observations of their language use in a dual-language stimulation group, StimuLER. By triangulating this data, we were able to develop a rich and realistic portrait of each child’s language abilities. For these three boys, we observed that the home language was vulnerable to delays and weaknesses, and that learning the language of school was a drawn-out process. We also documented that parents and teachers had difficulties communicating with one another, and thus had difficulty meeting the educational needs of these children. We conclude that to foster resiliency in these children who are refugees, schools must find a way to build bridges with the parents to support the children’s language learning in both the language of school and at home.
The current study evaluated the reliability and validity of the Arabic version of the revised general nutrition knowledge questionnaire (GNKQ-R) for adults.
The eighty-eight-item English GNKQ-R was adapted into an eighty-six-item Arabic version. Four validation studies were conducted for internal (n 805) and external (n 106) reliability, construct validity between participants with (n 84) and without (n 88) nutrition background, convergent validity for associations between nutrition knowledge and demographic characteristics (n 750) and responsiveness to online nutrition information (n 55).
United Arab Emirates University in United Arab Emirates and Hashemite University in Jordan.
Undergraduate students aged 18 years and above, enrolled in any programme at the two universities, were recruited.
Overall, internal reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0·91) and external reliability (P = 0·350; intra-class correlation coefficient = 0·84) were high. Significantly higher GNKQ-R scores of students with (66·0 (10·6)) v. without (38·0 (10·7), P < 0·001; d = 2·6) nutrition background indicated high construct validity. Significantly higher GNKQ-R scores among females v. males, older and senior students v. younger and junior students and students in health discipline v. non-health discipline reflected good convergent validity. Significant differences in GNKQ-R scores with nutrition information (time 1 = 37·8 (10·5) and time 2 = 47·7 (9·1), P < 0·001; d = 1·0) indicated high responsiveness to nutrition intervention.
The Arabic GNKQ-R showed high reliability and validity in the young adult Arab population. Besides the reliability of the overall questionnaire, each section demonstrated adequate reliability. Further studies are warranted to establish the generalisability and applicability of the Arabic GNKQ-R in older adults and in different middle-eastern Arab countries.
Many western liberal democracies have witnessed increased discrimination against immigrants and opposition to multiculturalism. Prior research identifies ethno-linguistic differences between immigrant and native populations as the key source of such bias. Linguistic assimilation has therefore been proposed as an important mechanism to reduce discrimination and mitigate conflict between natives and immigrants. Using large-scale field experiments conducted in 30 cities across Germany – a country with a high influx of immigrants and refugees – we empirically test whether linguistic assimilation reduces discrimination against Muslim immigrants in everyday social interactions. We find that it does not; Muslim immigrants are no less likely to be discriminated against even if they appear to be linguistically assimilated. However, we also find that ethno-linguistic differences alone do not cause bias among natives in a country with a large immigrant population and state policies that encourage multiculturalism.
This study brings the voices of Chinese Muslim modernists back into discussions on polygamy in the Republican era. Starting from the late nineteenth century, abolishing the practice of polygamous marriage became a vital component of Chinese modernizing elites’ vision of modern Chinese society, as they saw polygamy as an obstacle to modernization. Chinese Muslim modernists actively engaged in China's struggle with polygamy. Their dynamic discussions on polygamy were not insignificant and peripheral. On the contrary, when the Republican law promoting monogamy was hard to implement, some Chinese Muslim modernists pushed their fellow Muslims to set examples for other Chinese to obey the law. The Chinese translations of Arabic scholarly work even helped some Chinese Muslim modernists take a different approach to the issue of polygamy by arguing that polygamy, if properly regulated, could be beneficial to modern societies.
In the late 1960s and 1970s a confluence of anticolonial politics and publishing revitalized the Cairo–Beirut link, itself emblematic of the turn of the century Arab nahda. This connection saw a reverse flow, which advantaged Beirut by way of Cairo’s amassed expertise in the publishing industry. Emerging Arab nationalist Beirut-based publishers relied on expertise in the production of illustrated books and periodicals developed in Cairo. Chapter 4 examines the subsequent Cairo–Beirut circuit of graphic design modernism, while probing the political relations and cultures of the visual carried through the influx of this expertise. The analysis brings to light a visual culture that embodies a modernist double claim of aesthetic authenticity, articulating Arab socialist politics with processes of artistic decolonization in and through printed mass media. The analysis is focused on Helmi el-Touni’s move from Cairo to Beirut in 1974 and his settling there for a decade, tracing the aesthetic and political relations articulated in his graphic design practice, while analysing in particular two sustained consultancies he undertook with Beirut-based Arab nationalist institutions: Beirut’s Arabic Book Fair and the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing.
Chapter 3 is focused on the short-lived Silsilat al-Nafaʾis (Precious Books Series), published in Beirut by Dar an-Nahar between 1967 and 1971 under the direction of modernist poet Youssuf al-Khal. The series engaged prominent modern Arab artists such as Chafic Abboud, Paul Guiragossian, and Dia al-Azzawi and extended the vision of al-Khal’s journal Shiʿr to the ‘preciousness’ of art books. This publishing endeavour formed a node connecting transnational modernist art and literary circuits with book publishing and was thus paradigmatic of new forms of visuality of the Arabic book. The chapter demonstrates how this new materiality was enabled by a network of changes in the visual arts, printing technologies and the political economy of transnational publishing in late 1960s Beirut. Relations between these three fields are analysed through a multifaceted lens, focusing on the book as at once a product of intellectual and artistic practice, a translocal artefact of visual and print culture and a commodity in a capitalist economy of publishing. The analysis probes the political, intellectual and aesthetic modalities of key books from this series and maps the transnational networks of social relations and circuits of modernism that are interwoven in their undertaking.
Chapter 2 examines Arabic literary journals published in 1960s Beirut and focuses on the controversy surrounding Hiwar (Dialogue 1962–67), which was connected to a global network of similar journals, intellectually and financially administered by the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF), in a covert CIA operation. In focusing on this short-lived Arabic periodical, the study is concerned with three interrelated issues that are important for our historical understanding of Beirut’s cultural production in the long 1960s and its location on the global map of that era. First, it attends to the journal itself, the modernist discourse it foregrounded and the important place accorded to the modern visual arts on its pages, shedding light on the role of its graphic designer, Waddah Faris (b. 1940). Second, using the example of Hiwar, this chapter argues that US cultural campaigns were part and parcel of a Cold War counterinsurgency apparatus in the Third World. Third, it suggests that our entry to reading Hiwar should not be the outlook of the CIA, but the aesthetic discourses and political debates of Arab intellectuals and artists at this historical conjuncture.
Martin Luther’s adversarial conception of Jewish religious legalism ironically was a major factor informing the self-perception of modern European Jewish consciousness. This chapter uses the theme of religious legalism to address the process in which belonging to the law became a theological stance and subsequently a core component of religious identity. It argues that the characterization of Judaism as a law-based religion is a modern phenomenon that was propelled and accelerated by an ideological discourse that aimed to systematically differentiate between religious affiliations and identities and to map the fundamental differences between religions. The argumentation in this chapter is based on a historical survey of the interplay of law, religion, and identity in the late ancient Judeo-Hellenic world, the medieval Judeo-Arabic milieu, and post-Reformation Europe.
This is a first-time presentation of the initial section of the Toledot Yeshu (TY) narrative describing the birth and early life of Jesus in Judeo-Arabic, a text with important implications for current research on TY. First, the origin of the birth narrative has been debated in recent scholarship on the Hebrew versions of TY. The existence of this lengthy Judeo-Arabic birth narrative, preserved in two manuscripts belonging to the Russian National Library, as well as the identification of other, earlier Judeo-Arabic manuscript fragments that include the TY birth narrative, demonstrates that the birth narrative formed part of TY significantly earlier than has been previously suggested. Second, the narrative preserved in the Russian manuscripts also demonstrates the relevance of the Judeo-Arabic versions of TY for the understanding of the development of this protean work. Examination of their textual tradition reveals interesting connections with particular Hebrew versions of TY from Europe and can shed light on the question of how the work moved between East and West. Finally, this Judeo-Arabic version of TY is significant in its demonstration of a clever adaptation to its linguistic and cultural surroundings. It incorporates a lengthy introduction—the only one currently known in all of the TY literature—which is a literary tour de force employing contemporaneous Arabic style together with a well-known rabbinic dictum, thereby situating Toledot Yeshu simultaneously in its Islamicate milieu and in Jewish textual and even ritual tradition. The discussion concludes with a transcription and translation of the birth narrative as preserved in these two Russian manuscripts.
The early modern western Indian Ocean constituted a dynamic space of human interaction. While scholarship has mostly concentrated on trade and commerce, recent studies have shifted the focus to social and cultural mobilities. This article argues for the emergence of a transoceanic Arabic historiography during the sixteenth century, which reflected on the cultural integration of regions from Egypt, the Hijaz, and Yemen in the Red Sea region, to Gujarat, the Deccan, and Malabar in the subcontinent. Historians from the Persian cosmopolis further north observed a strong cultural connection between Arabophone communities of the western Indian Ocean region. Manuscript collections in India show that Arabic historical texts from the Red Sea region had a readership in the subcontinent. Most importantly, mobile scholars began to compose Arabic histories while receiving patronage at the western Indian courts. Scholarly mobilities fostered cultural exchanges, which increasingly built on a shared history, written, read, and circulated in Arabic during the sixteenth century
Adopting an Optimality-theoretic approach, this paper examines gemination in English loanwords in Ammani Arabic (AA). Data come from a corpus of 1200 loanwords as produced by 12 AA monolingual native speakers. Results show that gemination, which is not attested in the source input, is induced to satisfy AA structural constraints and to render the output better well-formed. Of particular interest, results show that the introduction of English loanwords into AA highlights the activity of a constraint that requires prosodic words in AA, and probably many Arabic dialects, to be left-aligned with a foot. This constraint enhances our understanding of many aspects of Arabic phonology such as stress assignment and foot formation. The study has important implications for Arabic phonology, loanword phonology and second language acquisition.
The Preface briefly discusses and qualifies basic vocabulary central to the topic of the book, including the terms “medieval,” “classical,” “Arabic,” “literary,” “poetic,” “eloquent,” “literature,” “poetics,” “rhetoric,” “theory,” and “criticism.”
The Introduction presents the argument that aesthetic judgment in classical Arabic literary theory came to depend on the ability of poetry or eloquent speech to produce an experience of wonder in the listener. This experience of wonder is not merely a reaction of amazement and bedazzlement, but it also entails a process of discovery. After presenting an account of the nature of classical Arabic literary theory, its various approaches to literary assessment, its topics and historical development, the Introduction highlights that the main aspects of literary expression Arabic criticism was concerned with lay in rhetorical figures (badīʿ), simile (tashbīh), figurative speech (majāz), metaphor (istiʿāra), metonymy (kināya), and sentence construction (naẓm). It is in these aspects of linguistic expression that an aesthetic theory of wonder can be uncovered in the classical Arabic critical tradition, including in discussions of poetry proper, engagements with Aristotelian Poetics, and works on eloquence and the miraculousness (iʿjāz) of the Quran, culminating by the thirteenth century in the formalized study of eloquence in ʿilm al-balāgha (the science of eloquence).
The occurrence of code-switching in online communication, when a writer switches among multiple languages, presents a challenge for natural language processing tools, since they are designed for texts written in a single language. To answer the challenge, this paper presents detailed research on ways to detect code-switching in Arabic text automatically. We compare the prediction by partial matching (PPM) compression-based classifier, implemented in Tawa, and a traditional machine learning classifier sequential minimal optimization (SMO), implemented in Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis, working specifically on Arabic text taken from Facebook. Three experiments were conducted in order to: (1) detect code-switching among the Egyptian dialect and English; (2) detect code-switching among the Egyptian dialect, the Saudi dialect, and English; and (3) detect code-switching among the Egyptian dialect, the Saudi dialect, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and English. Our experiments showed that PPM achieved a higher accuracy rate than SMO with 99.8% versus 97.5% in the first experiment and 97.8% versus 80.7% in the second. In the third experiment, PPM achieved a lower accuracy rate than SMO with 53.2% versus 60.2%. Code-switching between Egyptian Arabic and English text is easiest to detect because Arabic and English are generally written in different character sets. It is more difficult to distinguish between Arabic dialects and MSA as these use the same character set, and most users of Arabic, especially Saudis and Egyptians, frequently mix MSA with their dialects. We also note that the MSA corpus used for training the MSA model may not represent MSA Facebook text well, being built from news websites. This paper also describes in detail the new Arabic corpora created for this research and our experiments.
This paper describes our automatic dialect identification system for recognizing four major Arabic dialects, as well as Modern Standard Arabic. We adapted the X-vector framework, which was originally developed for speaker recognition, to the task of Arabic dialect identification (ADI). The training and development ADI VarDial 2018 and VarDial 2017 were used to train and test all of our ADI systems. In addition to the introduced X-vectors, other systems use the traditional i-vectors, bottleneck features, phonetic features, words transcriptions, and GMM-tokens. X-vectors achieved good performance (0.687) on the ADI 2018 Discriminating between Similar Languages shared task testing dataset, outperforming other systems. The performance of the X-vector system is slightly improved (0.697) when fused with i-vectors, bottleneck features, and word uni-gram features.
The current study investigated the possible association between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and insomnia. A non-clinical sample of 450 volunteer Kuwaiti male and female college students was recruited. Their ages ranged from 18 to 39 years. They completed the Arabic Scale of CFS (ASCFS) and the Arabic Scale of Insomnia (ASI). Both have good reliability and validity. Women had significantly a higher mean score on the ASCFS than did their male counterparts. All the correlations between the total scores of the ASCFS and the ASI, consisting of 12 items and the total scores were statistically significant (p < 0.01) in men and women. However, the correlations between the ASI items belonging to the factor of “Consequences of insomnia” were higher than those with the items belonging to the factor “Difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep”. The multiple stepwise regression indicated that the best insomnia complaint to predict CFS was the item “My interrupted sleep affects my work performance”. This item explained approximately 25% of variance in CFS scores. It was concluded that CFS and insomnia share specific common elements.
The validation of mini international neuropsychiatric interview (MINI) into Moroccan Colloquial Arabic language demonstrated good psychometric properties. The concordance between translated MINI’s and expert diagnoses was good with kappa values greater than 0.80. The reliability inter-rater and test–retest were excellent with kappa values above 0.80 and 0.90, respectively.
This work introduces robust multi-dialectal part of speech tagging trained on an annotated data set of Arabic tweets in four major dialect groups: Egyptian, Levantine, Gulf, and Maghrebi. We implement two different sequence tagging approaches. The first uses conditional random fields (CRFs), while the second combines word- and character-based representations in a deep neural network with stacked layers of convolutional and recurrent networks with a CRF output layer. We successfully exploit a variety of features that help generalize our models, such as Brown clusters and stem templates. Also, we develop robust joint models that tag multi-dialectal tweets and outperform uni-dialectal taggers. We achieve a combined accuracy of 92.4% across all dialects, with per dialect results ranging between 90.2% and 95.4%. We obtained the results using a train/dev/test split of 70/10/20 for a data set of 350 tweets per dialect.