The Subjunctive Mood in Arabic Grammatical Thought


In The Subjunctive Mood in Arabic Grammatical Thought Arik Sadan outlines the grammatical theories on the naṣb (subjunctive mood) in Classical Arabic. Examining over 160 treatises written by 85 grammarians, lexicographers and Qurʾān commentators, the author defines and characterizes the opinions of medieval Arab grammarians concerning this mood in the verbal system of Classical Arabic. Special attention is given to the prominent early grammarians Sībawayhi (d. ca. 180/796) and al-Farrāʾ (d. 207/822), who represent the Schools of al-Baṣra and al-Kūfa respectively.
The analysis of the grammarians’ views enables the author to draw several important conclusions and hypotheses on the syntactic environments of the subjunctive mood, the dialectal differences relating to its employment and the historical changes and developments it underwent.

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Arik Sadan, Ph.D. (2010), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is adjunct Professor of Arabic at the universities of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion. He has published articles on Arabic linguistics and A Critical Edition of the Grammatical Treatise Taḏkirat jawāmiʿ al-ʾadawāt (Harrassowitz, 2012).
"[This] book is without any doubt an excellent piece of work that took the author a decade to complete... a worm’s eye view of the “subjunctive” mood overview/review of the verb in CA." Dinha Tobiya Gorgis, The Linguist List. URL:

"This book is a welcome contribution to our understanding of Arabic linguistic thought, being a study of the (pre-)Classical Arabic subjunctive that takes into account an impressive set of primary sources...[it] contains more than its title suggests, because the exhaustive and clear treatment of grammatical topics goes beyond the manifestations of ARSBJ, to encompass the (pre-)Classical subordinators as well...The methodological and contents choices will surely make The Subjunctive Mood in Arabic Grammatical Thought a reference-work in the field of Arab linguistics." Francesco Grande, Quaderni di Studi Arabi vol. 7 (2012) pp. 282-284.

"Sadans Buch behandelt zwar nur einen Teilaspekt der arabischen Syntax, dank seiner Ausführlichkeit, seines klaren Aufbaus, seiner detaillierten Literaturhinweise in den Anmerkungen und seiner guten Indizes kann es auch als Nachschlagewerk dienen. Noch mehr aber hat man davon, werm man es vorher ganz gelesen hat." Ewald Wagner, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften Vol. 20-21 (2012-2014) pp. 466-468.
Scholars and researchers of Arabic grammar and syntax, Arab grammarians and Arabic grammatical thought, and anyone concerned with Arabic linguistics.
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