Le «segmentateur» fa-(’inna) en arabe classique et moderne
Fa- is generally described as a connective particle and, when linked to ’inna, as the equivalent of the French car, the Italian giacché, the German denn or the English for. However, in Classical Arabic, the so-called “fa- of the apodosis”, often connected to ’inna, seems to function in a syntactically as well as in a semantically different way. In Modern Standard Arabic, fa-(’inna) appears systematically not only after conditional clauses, but also after concessive, causal, final clauses and, more generally, after any expression having the value of a subordinate clause. Therefore, fa- is the mark of what the Swiss linguist Charles Bally (1865-1947) called “segmentation” (vs. coordination). This apparently double function of fa-(’inna) is actually a single one: in both cases, it separates the topic from the comment. The difference is that in the first case the topic is a whole sentence, whereas in the second it is a segment (clause or phrase) of the sentence itself.