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In the present paper I argue that it is possible to find a meaningful answer to the question why law should not be considered a true conditional particle. Although law is mentioned by early Arab grammarians within chapters or sections dedicated to conditional particles, only those words which are construed with the apocopate are regarded by the Arabic grammatical tradition as proper ḥurūf al-šarṭ. By exploring Ibn al-Ḥājib’s concepts of muḍiyy and of istiqbāl—helped in this by al-ʾAstarābāḏī’s analysis—and by remaining at the same time firmly attached to Sībawayhi’s treatment of ʾin, I argue that Arab grammarians were at least as much conscious as the Greek grammarians were about the fact that the semantic difference was much more important than the syntactic one. The syntactic constraint against law governing an apocopate in fact implies that the expression introduced by law is either impossible or necessary, and thus in both cases certain and non-hypothetical.

In: The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics II
Volume Editors: Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh
This volume contains sixteen contributions from the fourth conference on the Foundations of Arabic linguistics (Genova, 2016), all having to do with the development of linguistic theory in the Arabic grammatical tradition, starting from Sībawayhi's Kitāb (end of the 8th century C.E.) and its continuing evolution in later grammarians up till the 14th century C.E. The scope of this volume includes the links between grammar and other disciplines, such as lexicography and logic, and the reception of Arabic grammar in the Persian and Malay linguistic tradition.
In: Approaches to the History and Dialectology of Arabic in Honor of Pierre Larcher
In: The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics IV
This volume includes the reflections of leading researchers on Arabic and Semitic languages, also understood as systems and representations. The work first deals with Biblical Hebrew, Early Aramaic, Afroasiatic and Semitic. Its core focuses on morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, rhetoric and logic matters, showing Arabic grammar's place within the system of the sciences of language. In the second part, authors deal with lexical issues, before they explore dialectology. The last stop is a reflection on how Arabic linguistics may prevent the understanding of the Arabs' own grammatical theory and the teaching and learning of Arabic.
In: Middle East Studies after September 11