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Eponymy in English and Arabic

Author: Besma Khalid Ingeish
Journal: journal of Human Sciences مجلة العلوم الانسانية ISSN: 19922876/25239899 Year: 2012 Volume: 1 Issue: 10 Pages: 400-411
Publisher: Babylon University جامعة بابل


Eponymy is the process whereby a word denoting a place, invention, profession, tribe or religion is derived from the proper name such as the District of Columbia which was named after Christfore Columbus and Zayid al-Quraishi who is attributed to the tribe of Quraish. The study is divided into three sections. The first deals with the concept of eponymy in English. Different definitions are surveyed. Categories of eponymy and the formation of eponyms are also discussed in this part. The advantages as well as disadvantages of using eponymy are presented here. The second section tackles the notion of eponymy or nisba as Arab linguists call it. Nisba in Arabic is a predominantly morphological subject. In this section, the categories of eponymy are dealt with along with the ways of forming them. Nisba also has advantages and disadvantages which are introduced in this section too. Similarities and differences between English and Arabic in the concept of eponymy, its categories, formation and advantages and disadvantages is conducted as a final part of this study.

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