Translatability of Ancillary Antonymy in the Qur’an: A Lexicosyntactic Approach




ancillary antonymy, Arabic, discourse functions, English, syntactic frames, translatability


Among Muslims there is a dogmatic belief in the linguistic inimitability of Qur’anic discourse that places limitations on its translatability at different linguistic levels and constitutes a minefield of hurdles when translating it between incongruous and incommensurable languages. One understudied linguistic level is the lexical-semantic level and one unstudied issue is the frames and functions of ancillary antonymy in the Qur’anic discourse. This article explores the translatability of ancillary antonym frames and functions from Qur’anic Arabic into English, using a lexicosyntactic approach to seven English translations available and accessible in the Quranic Arabic Corpus (QAC). Findings demonstrate that the Qur’an translators in focus are at great variance in rendering the syntactic frames and discourse functions of ancillary antonymy into English. There are also noticeable variations in the translatorial syntagmatic chains and paradigmatic choices as a result of adopting different translational strategies, notably explicitation, implicitation, domestication, foreignization, reproduction, substitution, and exonymy. The main conclusion is that ancillary antonym pairs co-occur within syntactic frames and co-perform discourse functions which must be attended and rendered into target texts.

Author Biographies

Hamada S. A. Hassanein, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia

Associate Professor of English Linguistics

Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia

Basant S. M. Moustafa, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia

Assistant Professor of English Linguistics

Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia


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Date of Publication


How to Cite

Hassanein, H. S. A., & Moustafa, B. S. M. (2024). Translatability of Ancillary Antonymy in the Qur’an: A Lexicosyntactic Approach. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 24(1), 419–446.



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