Meaning and Meaning Making in Arabic: Moving from Semantics to Pragmatics to Ka:rmatics


  • Muhammed Salim Ph.D. Research Scholar, Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh, India.
  • Chilukuri Bhuvaneswar Founder President, Karmik Linguistic and Literary Association (KLLAS) Hyderabad, India



semantics, pragmatics, ka:rmatics, ka:rmik linguistic theory, Yemeni Arabic, ka:rmik, proverbial meaning


Ka:rmik Linguistic theory is one of the most revolutionary theories in linguistics which aims to describe language from a causal perspective of WHY giving rise to WHAT through HOW: “As you are, so you think; as you think, so you speak (or act)” (Bhuvaneswar). In an adapted form, it can be modified as: As you are, so you think; as you think, so you mean. In his extension of semantics to ka:rmatics in dealing with proverb-meaning, Bhuvaneswar (2012) has shown a new dimension of meaning and meaning-making, namely, the causal dimension of creation, change, and transformation of meaning in language. According to Bhuvaneswar, if semantics deals with sentence meaning and pragmatics with utterance meaning, ka:rmatics (i.e., experiential pragmatics) explores experiential meaning via dispositional meaning of contextual meaning (pragmatics) of sentential meaning (semantics). What this amounts to is a causal understanding of meaning as it is created, changed, and transformed as languages are evolved and developed: Language is as it is (i.e., lingual meaning is as it is) because of what it is (dispositionally) intended to do (i.e., to mean) what it does (i.e., means).

In this paper, an attempt has been made by selecting two sentences used in real life Yemeni Arabic to show how meaning is derived. In the process, it will be shown how semantics becomes pragmatics and pragmatics becomes ka:rmatics.


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How to Cite

Salim, M. ., & Bhuvaneswar, C. . (2020). Meaning and Meaning Making in Arabic: Moving from Semantics to Pragmatics to Ka:rmatics. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 8(11), 47–64.