Past-Tense Verbs of Futurity in the Holy Quran: A New Text-World Theory Approach

Zakaria Abdelaziz, Zakaria Mahmoud


Since the publication of Paul Werth’s (1999) seminal work Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse, Text World Theory has undergone various modifications and development. In this paper, I attempt to apply the text-world model to two neglected areas of research which are the Arabic language and the Holy Quran. I particularly examine the text-worlds constructed by Arabic past-tense verbs or perfect verbs which express futurity in the Holy Quran. Drawing on my analysis of a number of such Arabic verbs, I argue that the text-world model proposed by Werth and Gavins is not particularly valid for the proposed study of Arabic past-tense verbs or perfect verbs which express futurity in the Holy Quran. Rather, I argue that introducing a new type of world which is a confirmed-unrealized text-world to the text-world framework is more effective for the study of the Holy Quran as a sacred and heavenly text. This paper argues further that Gavins’ notion of split discourse-world which is used for written communications is not particularly valid for the Holy Quran as a Godly transcript. Instead, the Holy Quran should be dealt with as a type of spoken discourse.


Text World Theory, Arabic Past-Tense Verbs, The Holy Quran, Split discourse-worlds

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