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Arik Sadan

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This paper details the demonstratives’ functions and semantic characteristics, according to Sībawayhi’s Kitāb. Although Sībawayhi does not devote a separate chapter to demonstratives, a scrutiny of their occurrences in his Kitāb shows that for Sībawayhi demonstratives pertain to the group of al-ʾasmāʾ al-mubhama ‘the dubious, or vague, nouns’; they serve to indicate, or point to, nearby or far objects or persons; they have diminutive and dual forms; and they can be used as names of persons. Among the demonstratives in Sībawayhi’s example sentences there are quite a few that have the meaning of a verb in the imperative, ‘behold!’ or ‘see!’, a meaning that Sībawayhi explicitly mentions.

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Arik Sadan

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

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This paper focuses on the role of ḥadīṯs in the grammatical tradition and their use by grammarians from the time of Sībawayhi onward. Following an introduction on the sources which Arab grammarians use for their grammatical descriptions and theories, and salient views on the role of ḥadīṯs, if at all, as a grammatical tool, the paper examines Sībawayhi’s quotations of ḥadīṯs and then presents the actual way grammarians from the time of Sībawayhi onward use and quote ḥadīṯs, in the context of one syntactic topic, namely the naṣb (subjunctive) mood. The paper shows that the number of quoted ḥadīṯs in this context is quite small, certainly in comparison with the number of examples from the spoken language of the Bedouins, the Qurʾān and ancient Arabic poetry, which totals in the hundreds. Finally, it proposes a possible explanation for these findings

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Arik Sadan