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Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic

Diachrony and Synchrony


Edited by Liesbeth Zack and Arie Schippers

In recent scholarship, the connection between Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic is studied in a more systematic way. The idea of studying these two varieties in one theoretical frame is quite new, and was initiated at the conferences of the International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic (AIMA). At these conferences, the members of AIMA discuss the latest insights into the definition, terminology, and research methods of Middle and Mixed Arabic. Results of various discussions in this field are to be found in the present book, which contains articles describing and analysing the linguistic features of Muslim, Jewish and Christian Arabic texts (folklore, religious and linguistic literature) as well as the matters of mixed language and diglossia.

Contributors include: Berend Jan Dikken, Lutz Edzard, Jacques Grand’Henry, Bruno Halflants, Benjamin Hary, Rachel Hasson Kenat, Johannes den Heijer, Amr Helmy Ibrahim, Paolo La Spisa, Jérôme Lentin, Gunvor Mejdell, Arie Schippers, Yosef Tobi, Kees de Vreugd, Manfred Woidich, and Otto Zwartjes.


Hanadi Dayyeh


Ittisāʿ in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb refers to a notion in the Arabic language that allows the speaker to construct certain ‘unfamiliar’ semantic and/or syntactic structures. After Sībawayhi, ittisāʿ developed, in the semantic context, to become analogous to a figure of speech (majāz) and, in syntax, to become defined as a type of deletion. The present study focuses on the concept of ittisāʿ in the Kitāb and its development in the Arabic grammatical tradition and argues that ittisāʿ is a cause (ʿilla) for semantic and/or syntactic disorders. Its use in the Kitāb offers examples of the three types of causes (ʿilal) identified by al-Zajjājī in his ʾĪḍāḥ: ‘pedagogical’ (taʿlimiyya), ‘analogical’ (qiyāsiyya), and ‘argumentational-theoretical’ (jadaliyya-naẓariyya). The concept of ittisāʿ as ʿilla was neglected by later grammarians. The present study shows that this neglect is connected with the semantic nature of the concept.


Georgine Ayoub


The present paper examines a modal notion in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb, the notion of wājib/ġayr wājib, and its role in determining the word order of the sentence and the inflections of the noun in some contexts. To explore this notion means to explore how enunciation and utterance are articulated in the Kitāb, and to identify the ways in which the communicative intention of the speaker, as well as the other elements of the speech situation, determine the form of utterances and their syntax. This identification—a topic that has been addressed in a variety of ways in recent studies—remains a major issue in determining the specificity of Sībawayhi’s linguistic thinking. Even though it is well known in general linguistics that word order is one of the grammaticalized ways to express modality, we still do not know precisely how this issue is treated in the Kitāb.


Manuela E.B. Giolfo


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.

Ingham of Arabia

A Collection of Articles Presented as a Tribute to the Career of Bruce Ingham


Edited by Clive Holes and Rudolf de Jong

Ingham of Arabia is a collection of twelve articles on modern Arabic dialectology contributed by an international collection of colleagues and pupils of Professor Ingham of the London School of Oriental and African Languages on the occasion of his retirement. Half the articles are concerned with Arabic dialects from the areas Prof Ingham spent his academic life researching, principally Arabia and the neighbouring areas: Oman, Jordan, Sinai, the Negev, southern Turkey, Syria. Other articles are concerned with general topics in Arabic dialectology. The book contains a complete bibliography of Professor Ingham's publications.

A Greek and Arabic Lexicon (GALex)

Materials for a Dictionary of the Mediaeval Translations from Greek into Arabic. Fascicle 14, ب to بين


Edited by Gerhard Endress and Dimitri Gutas

From the eighth to the tenth century A.D., Greek scientific and philosophical works were translated wholesale into Arabic. A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is the first systematic attempt to present in an analytical, rationalized way our knowledge of the vocabulary of these translations.

Storytelling in Chefchaouen Northern Morocco

An Annotated Study of Oral Performance with Transliterations and Translations


Aicha Rahmouni

Storytelling in Chefchaouen Northern Morocco includes two sets of tales told by two different storytellers with an annotated study of the oral performance, transliterations and translations. The purpose is to preserve a part of the region’s oral tradition of storytelling in the vernacular language in which it has been transmitted, presenting the original texts with parallel English translation. In addition, the cultural, literary, and linguistic background necessary for understanding this body of oral performance is given. A combination of disciplines (anthropology, philology, sociolinguistics, dialectology, comparative literature, ethnography, typology) is applied to the linguistic and literary features of the present corpus.

The Arabic Script in Africa

Studies in the Use of a Writing System


Edited by Meikal Mumin and Kees Versteegh

The Arabic script in Africa contains sixteen papers on the past and present use of Arabic script to write African languages. These writing traditions, which are sometimes collectively referred to as Ajami, are discussed for single or multiple languages, with examples from all major linguistic phyla of Africa but one (Khoisan), and from all geographic areas of Africa (North, West, Central, East, and South Africa), as well as a paper on the Ajami heritage in the Americas. The papers analyze (ethno-) historical, literary, (socio-) linguistic, and in particular grammatological aspects of these previously understudied writing traditions and exemplify their range and scope, providing new data for the comparative study of writing systems, literacy in Africa, and the history of (Islam in) Africa.