Alexandria seaside Copyright © Dina El Zarka
I started my academic career as a language teacher, teaching German as a foreign language and Arabic in Vienna.
Then I worked for about 20 years as a translator for German, Arabic and English and as a lecturer for Arabic language and culture and Arabic-German translation and interpreting at the University of Graz, Austria.
However, my main interest has always been in linguistics, which is why I never stopped doing linguistic research.
Currently, I am Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics (University of Graz).
My main research interests are Arabic linguistics, prosody, information structure, linguistic typology and language documentation.
The present research project is aimed at investigating the information structure (IS) of Egyptian Arabic (EA) – a variety that is based on the dialect of the capital Cairo and may be considered the Spoken Standard of Egypt today. The project provides the first in-depth exploration of information structure in EA, an otherwise quite well-researched Arabic variety.
Methodologically, the data is largely based on a corpus of spontaneous speech, half-spontaneous and read speech that has been created specifically for the study of IS. In addition, some of the EA data from the D2 project Typology of information structure (SFB 632) and a number of prosodic experiments are used for the analysis.
The main focus of the project is on the interplay between prosody information structure, on the assumption that prosody is not only a means of interpreting syntactic structure, but that it directly contributes to the encoding of information structure on a par with syntax.
Prior research on the prosody of EA has suggested that prosody is only marginally exploited for the encoding of information structural categories. However, the results of the investigation show that EA makes extensive use of prosody to mark IS structure. The main conclusion drawn from the present research is that prominence relations and tonal configurations fulfil different functions, marking what Lambrecht (1994) calls pragmatic properties and pragmatic relations.
This research was partly funded by the FWF (Elise Richter Project V 131-G19, 2009-2011)
Drop, Hanke & Woidich, Manfred, ilBaħariyya – Grammatik und Texte. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007, Mediterranean Language Review 18, 162-168.
Bassiouney, Reem, Functions of code-switching in Egypt. Evidence from Monologues. Leiden: Brill, 2006, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 102 (2007), 5p.
Supplementary materials for El Zarka, D., A. Kelterer & B. Schuppler (submitted), An analysis of prosodic prominence cues to information structure in Egyptian Arabic. INTERSPEECH 2020 (txt)
2014 − present
Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics, University of Graz
2011 − 2014
Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics, University of Graz
2009 – 2011
Elise-Richter-Project, funded by the FWF
2002 − 2011
Coordinator of the Arabic Language and Translation Programme
1998 − 2004
International Project for the edition of "Wilhelm v. Humboldts linguistic works" at the Institute of Linguistics, University of Graz; funded by the Austrian Science Fund
1993 − 1998<
Several research projects at the Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna and the Department of Linguistics, University of Graz: Editing the works of Austrian scholar Uto v. Melzer: translations and lexicography
1990 − 1993 and 1999 − 2011
Lecturer and senior lecturer at the Department of Translation Studies, University of Graz
1989 − 1992
Lecturer for Arabic and German as a foreign language at the Österreichische Orientgesellschaft Hammer-Purgstall in Vienna
PhD (Mag.Phil) in linguistics with distinction (University of Graz) - PhD thesis: Prosodische Phonologie des Arabischen (Prosodic Phonology of Arabic)
MA (Mag.Phil) in translation and interpreting with distinction from the Department of Translation Studies, University of Graz
1980 – 1997
Arabic and Persian language studies at the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Vienna and at the University of Cairo, Egypt; Translation and Interpretation (German, Arabic, English), Department of Translation Studies, University of Graz Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Graz
School-leaving exam (Matura) with distinction (Vienna, Austria)
Dr. Dina El Zarka
Department of Linguistics
University of Graz