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A Critical Edition, with an English Translation, Based on All the Known Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts. Cambridge Genizah Studies Series Volume 11
Kitāb al-mustalḥaq is an addendum to the treatises on Hebrew morphology by Ḥayyūǧ, the most classic of the Andalusi works written during the caliphate of Cordoba and the benchmark for studies of the Hebrew language throughout the Arabic-speaking world during the medieval period. Kitāb al-mustalḥaq was composed in Zaragoza by Ibn Ǧanāḥ after the civil war was unleashed in Cordoba in 1013. This new edition includes an historical introduction, taking account of the major contributions from the twentieth century to the present day, a description of the methodology and contents of this treatise, a description of the manuscripts, and a glossary of terminology. This new edition shows how Ibn Ǧanāḥ updated his book until the end of his life.
From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition, a volume edited by Beata Sheyhatovitch and Almog Kasher, brings together nine articles written by leading scholars of the Arabic linguistic tradition. These articles trace the development of the tradition, from Sībawayhi to modern Arabic language academies. The authors shed light on lesser-known aspects of this tradition, such as little-investigated grammatical structures, and problematic spots of the ʿamal theory and the grammatical terminology. They explore the discipline’s relations with stylistics and logic, the Arab grammarians’ influence on Jewish Bible exegesis, and modern applications of medieval Arabic grammatical theory. This volume showcases the richness of the medieval Arabic linguistic literature and the diversity of ideas found within it.

Abstract

The regular Arabic pattern of a person’s proper name was essentially formed as a chain of pedigree introduced by the names of the person’s ancestors with the word ibn between them, such as Fayṣal (i)bn Ḥusayn (i)bn ʿAlī.

In modern times, in Egypt under Western rule, a new model began to prevail. The proper name became a combination of a first name and an additional name, but the word ibn was omitted even though the relationship between the two names was usually of a son and his father (or grandfather), as, for example, in the name of the famous writer Ṭāhā Ḥusayn (originally Ṭāhā (i)bn Ḥusayn). Moreover, sometimes the official proper name became a combination of three juxtaposed names with no ibn in between. Thus, it turned into ism ṯulāṯī, three names coming together while the word ibn is absent, as in Muḥammad ʿAlī Ḥasan instead of Muḥammad (i)bn ʿAlī (i)bn Ḥasan.

This phenomenon actually created a new grammatical pattern in which the status of its components and their ʾiʿrāb were doubtful.

In his efforts to find a reasonable solution to the problem, ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt, one of the members of the Arabic Language Academy in Cairo, proposed to avoid the case endings in this new pattern and to enable taskīn of the doubtful components. Al-Zayyāt’s proposal created a long discussion inside the Academy, lasting for more than two decades and ending with a solution whereby the user was given the right to choose between the use or avoidance of the case endings in the new pattern. By doing so, the Academy remained faithful to its ideology and did not renounce its adherence to the heritage of Arabic grammar but provided the Arabic language with an additional optional model.

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Author: Almog Kasher

Abstract

The present article discusses the use of the term šuġl and related terms in Arabic grammatical tradition. The lion’s share is dedicated to Sībawayhi’s Kitāb; it is shown that it is used there in three related senses: priority (i.e. an operator assigns case to some constituent, hence it is said to be ‘occupied’ by that constituent, and correspondingly ‘diverted’ from another constituent, which renders it free to be operated on by some other operator); satisfaction of an operator’s requirement to syntactically effect some constituent; and the verb-subject relationship. Among later grammarians most occurrences of the term conform with its usages in the Kitāb, although the extent to which it is used significantly varies among authors. Several ninth/tenth-century grammarians also use it in a fashion which we dub ‘reverse’, as it is applied not to an operator but rather to the constituent that is operated on.

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Author: Avi Tal

Abstract

The encounter of medieval Jewish scholars with Arabic linguistic literature during the last decades of the tenth century CE produced one of the most important branches of Hebrew linguistics, namely, that of comparative Semitic philology. This branch not only changed the nature of Hebrew philology but influenced considerably the philological exegesis of the Bible as well.

The main contribution to biblical philology, then as now, is in the area of decoding and explaining esoteric expressions and hapax legomena whose meaning was obscure as well as elucidating unclear syntactic structures. This literary activity spread in the Arabic-speaking area from Iraq in the east, through the Holy Land, Egypt and North Africa, to Andalusia in the west.

This article discusses the comparison between Hebrew and Arabic as an exegetical method in a commentary on the Bible written by Rabbi Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi (Egypt, 1219–1291), who wrote in Judaeo-Arabic. Tanḥum’s commentary reflects an assimilation or an absorption of advanced linguistic knowledge, to which he was exposed as an eclectic exegete well informed in the Arabic grammatical tradition. As the article shows, Tanḥum did not hesitate to adopt and even improve notions and insights that he had found in the writings of Arab grammarians. It seems therefore that one should refer to him as an eclectic exegete who succeeded in innovating by suggesting some original commentaries, in a period which has been defined in modern research as a period of stagnation (from 1250 to 1550 CE).

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition

Abstract

This article looks at some features of Arabic grammatical terminology which, though individually well-known (and not confined to Arabic) may be unique in combination. In particular there is a lack of a clear terminological distinction between the behaviour of speakers and the behaviour of speech elements at various levels. The article will argue that this does not represent any analytical imprecision on the part of the grammarians, but rather reflects their awareness that the special nature of Arabic as a language of direct revelation implied a continuum between the Arabic spoken by God and that spoken by the Muslims.

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Author: Arik Sadan

Abstract

This article discusses two less familiar contexts in which ʾan appears, according to Arabic grammarians. One is ʾan in the sense of ʾay ‘that is’, which elucidates and introduces direct speech, just as a colon does in modern writing. In most examples the direct speech begins with a verb in the imperative, but there are other possibilities as well. Some grammarians name it ʾan al-mufassira ‘the elucidating ʾan’. It is generally agreed that it follows a verb denoting a meaning similar to that of qāla ‘say’, but not that specific verb itself. The other case is ʾan which has no specific meaning or syntactic influence in the sentence. Most grammarians name it ʾan al-zāʾida or ʾan al-zāʾida li-l-taʾkīd ‘ʾan added for emphasis’. Sībawayhi and most grammarians who follow him mention two possible contexts in which it can appear: following lammā and before law. In the latter it usually follows an oath, either without a verb, e.g. wa-llāhi ‘by God’, or with one, e.g. ʾuqsimu ‘I swear’. This second kind of ʾan is much less used than the former kind, and only few examples are given for it.

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Author: Avigail Noy

Abstract

This article explores one of the earliest signs of metaphorical thinking in the Arabic-Islamic tradition under the semi-technical term ittisāʿ ‘extension’ or saʿat al-kalām ‘free parlance’ in early grammar works, with a focus on Sībawayhi’s Kitāb. Making the poetic šawāhid my point of departure, I find a strong correlation at the prima facie level between utterances that Sībawayhi characterizes using the phraseology of saʿat al-kalām and the type of imaginary metaphors that one encounters in badīʿ poetry (the ‘new style’). This correlation can only be explained if we consider the literary environment of 8th-century Iraq, where Sībawayhi was active. After analyzing several ‘metaphorical’ structures in Old Arabic, I further make the case that Sībawayhi’s observations regarding seemingly metaphorical language often blur the distinction between syntax and the lexicon. This study contributes to our understanding of early Arabic-Islamic theorizing of metaphorical language outside the term majāz, and outside the Qurʾānic-hermeneutical context.

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Author: Jean N. Druel

Abstract

In this short treatise, the 6th/12th century Baghdadi grammarian Ibn al-Ḫaššāb (d. 567/1172) presents a grammatical state-of-the-art of the scholarly research on the Hebrew word ʾāmīn in Arabic grammar. Once a foreign word has entered the Arabic language, it has to comply with its rules and fit into existing categories, both in terms of morphology and syntax. After recalling the different grammatical opinions, Ibn al-Ḫaššāb discusses the position of a few grammarians (Ṯaʿlab, Ibn Darastawayhi, ʾAbū Hilāl al-ʿAskarī, ʾAbū l-Fatḥ al-ʿAṭṭār). He then refutes ʾAbū ʿAlī l-Marzūqī and his master ʾAbū ʿAlī l-Fārisī, who devoted an exhaustive discussion to ʾāmīn in his al-Masāʾil al-Ḥalabiyyāt. The issues discussed in Ibn al-Ḫaššāb’s short treatise are the following: the part-of-speech ʾāmīn belongs to; its meaning; ʾāmīn vs. ʾamīn and ʾāmmīn; is ʾāmīn one of God’s names?

In: From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New Angles on the Arabic Linguistic Tradition