The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics

Sībawayhi and Early Arabic Grammatical Theory


This volume is intended as the first in a series of studies on traditional Arab linguistic theories concentrating on Sībawayhi and his grammatical legacy. Here, the reader is introduced to the major issues and themes that have determined the development of Arabic grammar and presents Sībawayhi in the context of his intellectual and social environment. The papers make significant contributions to and offer in-depth introductions into major aspects of the foundations of Arab Linguistics, early Syriac and medieval Hebrew linguistic traditions. This is a unique reference on the three main Semitic linguistic traditions, accompanied by a detailed analysis of some grammatical and pragmatic aspects of Kitāb Sībawayhi in the light of modern theories and scholarship.

Contributors include: M. G. Carter, Hanadi Dayyeh, Manuela E.B. Giolfo, Mohamed Hnid, Almog Kasher, Geoffrey Khan, Daniel King, Amal Marogy, Avigail S. Noy, Arik Sadan, Haruko Sakaedani

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Amal E. Marogy, Ph.D. (2007) in Oriental Languages and Cultures, is lector of Arabic at Cambridge University. She is organiser of the Foundations of Arabic linguistics Conferences, FAL1 (2010) and FAL2 (2012) and her publications include Kitāb Sībawayhi: Syntax and Pragmatics (2010).
"To sum up, The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics is a significant contribution to our increasing knowledge of this important branch in the history of linguistic thinking. The book makes it plain how rich and profound is the Arabic grammatical tradition." Michal Marmorstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Studies in Language vol. 37, issue 2, pp. 445-453.

Der von Amal Marogy sorgfältig edierte Band, de in keiner Fachbibliothek fehlen sollte, bietet ausnahmslos anregende Lektüre und stellt eine wirkliche Bereicherung der Literatur zur nativen arabischen Sprachwissenschaft dar. - Lutz Edzard, Erlangen/Oslo.
List of contributors

Part I Sībawayhi in the Kitāb
1. The term mafʿūl in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb
Almog Kasher
2. Don’t be absurd: the term muḥāl in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb
Avigail S. Noy
3. Spatial language in the Kitāb of Sībawayhi – the case of the preposition fī/in
Mohammed Hnid
4. The Relation between frequency of usage and deletion in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb
Hanadi Dayyeh

Part II Sībawayhi in his historical and linguistic context
5. The parsing of Sībawayhi’s Kitāb, title of chapter 1, or fifty ways to lose your reader
M. G. Carter
6. Zayd, ʿAmr and ʿAbdullāhi: theory of proper names and reference in early Arabic grammatical tradition
Amal E. Marogy
7. yaqum vs qāma In the conditional context: a relativistic interpretation of the frontier between the prefixed and the suffixed conjugations of the Arabic language
Manuela E.B. Giolfo
8. A comparison between the usage of laysa in the Qurʾān and laysa in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb
Haruko Sakaedani
9. The mood of the verb following ḥattā, according to medieval Arab grammarians
Arik Sadan

Part III The Grammar of Others
10. Elements of the Syriac grammatical tradition as these relate to the origins of Arabic grammar
Daniel King
11. The medieval Karaite tradition of Hebrew grammar
Geoffrey Khan
Arabists, general linguistics, Semiticists, especially Syriasts and Hebraists. The book provides students and researchers with a unique reference on the Foundations of the main Semitic linguistic traditions accompanied by a detailed analysis of Kitāb Sībawayhi.
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