A first draft of the Parte speciale of Chiazzese’s Confronti Testuali, projected as complement of the Parte generale published in 1933, was known for quite some time, but was only recently published by Falcone. Although this is an important transcription work of the manuscript, the reconstruction provided about the historical background – partially based on two different versions of an anecdote – should be read taking into account some clarifications.
Classical and modern studies of Arabic literature have paid only modest attention to the parodic imitations of poems (al-muʿāraḍa al-hazliyya). These were often ascribed to the rhetorical technique of taḍmīn without taking into due consideration, as was the case for “serious” reproductions, the semantic, historical and dialectical interaction between the two texts, their authors and readers. The present article will attempt to trace the theoretical and critical notions of this literary practice in the Arab tradition, particularly focusing our interest on the Mamlūk one which tended to acknowledge and confer upon it the dignity of a literary genre.
This study aims to show that verb-particle constructions exist in standard Arabic. The first part deals with verb-particle constructions in Italian, that are verbal constructions formed by a verbal base and a locative particle (e.g. venire giù’, lit. “come down”, “to come down, to descend”; “portare via” lit. “take away”, “to take away”; “mettere sotto” lit. “put under”, “to put (something) under, to run over”). In the second part, we have analyzed the semantic properties of Arabic post-verbal particles. We conducted the study in the newspaper al-Ahrām between 2006 and 2012. We collected fortyseven verb-particle constructions in which the incidence of the particle on the lexical semantics of the verb was found to confirm the existence of verb-particle constructions in standard Arabic.
Scrolling through Elenco dei manoscritti arabi islamici della Biblioteca vaticana (The List of Islamic Arabic manuscripts in the Vatican Library) by Giorgio Levi Della Vida (1935, p. 65), I was intrigued by manuscript Vat. Ar. 594, entitled Riwāyāt ḍiḥkiyya (Humorous Tales), dating back to the 17th century. After examining its content, I was attracted to: a) its predominant use of Egyptian; b) its avant-garde intent to teach (what’s more, in Italy), the vernacular rather than classic or standard Arabic for communication purposes; c) I was amused by the ironic, moral and satirical nature of the text and its dialogue reworkings; d) I was struck by the originality of the description of its protagonists that unfold and end with sui generis moral advice.
For these reasons, I decided to study his fables (143r-187v), setting myself three main objectives: to illustrate a) the representations of the protagonists; b) some characteristic linguistic elements of 17th century Egyptian; c) Italian-inspired avant-garde use of colloquial neo-Arabic for language teaching purposes, found in the works written in Rome at San Pietro in Montorio school.
The role of literary taste (taḏawwuq adabī) in the learning and teaching of Arabic as a Foreign Language is an aspect needing further investigation nowadays, especially in non-Arab research environments. In this sense, the present contribution explores the debates on literary taste put forth by some significant Arab scholars and educators, and the resulting theories on the role of the Arabic language teacher and teaching philosophies. It puts them in connection with contemporary orientations in the field of modern language teaching (i.e. peer tutoring, holistic techniques and autonomy in language learning) not avoiding reporting some unique features (e.g. representation, good pronunciation, etc.) that enrich the discourse on literary taste and its implications in the teaching practice.