Discourse Strategies and Narrative Repetition in the Qurʾān: A Special Reference to al-Shuʿarāʾ

Roghayeh Farsi



This paper attempts to explain some discursive strategies in relation to the cyclic structure of narratives in the Qurʾānic context of Sūrat “al-Shuʿarāʾ.” To that end, the paper works on three essential interrelated aspects of study. First, it detects the cyclic structure that interconnects the seven prophets’ narratives within the Sūrah. Second, it investigates the cross-Sūrah interconnections by examining the (re)occurrence of each prophet’s narrative in the preceding and following sūrahs. Third, it discusses how such coherent interrelationships among the relevant sūrahs can reveal certain discourse strategies such as narrative extension, intention, expansion, juxtaposition, and inversion among these sūrahs. Another, yet interrelated, aspect of the study is to explain the “Us/Them” distinction counted in the Qurʾānic narratives involved, and to show how such dichotomy is realized through the use of referential and predicational strategies. The study adopts and adapts Reisigl and Wodak’s strategies to address this aspect. Within this analytical approach, the narratives are examined on the basis of two strategies; namely, “despatialization” (actionyms, perceptionyms, anthroponyms, and metaphors of spatiality) and “collectivization” (pronouns and possessive determiners). The analysis of data reveals some striking findings that can be summarized in two major points: first, each of the narrative’s topoi in the social actors representation evinces the dominance of predicational strategies; second, the Qurʾānic discourse is bias-free and is, thereby, drastically distinguished from other types of discourse such as political discourse


the Qurʾān, prophets, narratives, topoi, discourse strategies.

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