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Abstract

The extent to which the diacritic layer (taškīl) of the Arabic writing system is employed in modern typeset text differs considerably between genres and individual texts, with many in-between forms not aptly captured by the traditional binary categories of “vowelled” and “unvowelled” text. This article is the first to present a theoretical account of this variation applicable to modern typeset Standard Arabic. It is suggested that diacritics serve three basic functions: facilitation of reading comprehension; facilitation of prescriptively correct diction; and to evoke associations with other texts. Six modes of diacritization in modern typeset text are identified and related to data on rates of diacritization from a corpus of electronically published books. Further lines of research based on this framework are suggested.

Open Access
In: Arabica

Abstract

K. al-Ḥujjah ʿalā ahl al-Madīnah by Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī (d. 189/804-5) is a witness to the state of the regional school of Medina before it had been absorbed by (survived only in) the Mālikī personal school. Schacht asserts that each regional school had its characteristic authorities among the Followers, and the Ḥujjah confirms that, sometimes appealing to Kufan Followers against Medinese, sometimes complaining that the Medinese are not staying loyal to their own Medinese Followers. Sometimes also the Ḥujjah testifies to Mālik’s pre-eminence among the Medinese of his time, sometimes by appealing to him as ‘your faqīh’, with whom the Medinese ought to agree but do not, but mainly as their pre-eminent traditionist. Schacht observed that Shaybānī adduced hadith more often than Abū Yūsuf, and the Ḥujjah often adduces hadith in its arguments against the Medinese. Most often, however, it adduces logical consistency against Medinese positions. Altogether, it suggests that personal schools evolved out of regional by accentuation of the personal element already present in the tradition of regional authorities. By adducing hadith from a wider range of authorities than the Muwaṭṭaʾ, it implicitly argues that Ḥanafi law is superior because it represents the jurisprudence of the whole Empire, not just one centre.

Open Access
In: Studia Islamica
In Articulating the Ḥijāba, Mariam Rosser-Owen analyses for the first time the artistic and cultural patronage of the ‘Amirid regents of the last Cordoban Umayyad caliph, Hisham II, a period rarely covered in the historiography of al-Andalus. Al-Mansur, the founder of this dynasty, is usually considered a usurper of caliphal authority, who pursued military victory at the expense of the transcendental achievements of the first two caliphs. But he also commissioned a vast extension to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, founded a palatine city, conducted skilled diplomatic relations, patronised a circle of court poets, and owned some of the most spectacular objects to survive from al-Andalus, in ivory and marble. This study presents the evidence for a reconsideration of this period.
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus
In: Articulating the Ḥijāba: Cultural Patronage and Political Legitimacy in al-Andalus