Discourse Functions of Kama in Arabic Journalistic Discourse from the Perspective of Rhetorical Structure Theory

Asem Ayed Al-Khawaldeh


The study aims at examining the functions of the discourse marker Kama in the Arabic journalistic discourse in the light of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) proposed by Mann and Thompson (1987). To this end, the study compiled a small-scale corpus of journalistic discourse taken from two prominent Arabic news websites:  Aljazeera.net and Alarabia.net. The corpus covers three distinct sub-genres of journalistic discourse: opinion articles, news reports, and sport reports. The journalistic discourse is chosen on the basis that it is considered as the best representative of the contemporary written Arabic and it receives a wide readership in the Arabic-speaking countries. The motivation for the study is that although it is frequently used in the written form of Arabic (particularly in the language of Arabic media), the discourse marker kama is largely neglected and very few has been said about it in the present literature on Arabic discourse markers. The current findings show that kama is found to achieve 290 occurrences in the corpus under investigation. This obviously indicates that kama is commonly used in the language of Arabic journalistic discourse, which calls for paying attention to its usage in such a type of discourse. In the light of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) proposed by Mann and Thompson (1987), kama was found to serve four common functions: elaboration (around 50 %), similarity (around 19 %), evidence (16 %), and exemplification (13 %). Two functions of kama (similarity and   exemplification) are listed in RST while the other two are incorporated.


kama, journalistic discourse, discourse marker, rhetorical relations, corpus

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.3p.206


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