Diachrony and Synchrony
Edited by Liesbeth Zack and Arie Schippers
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.
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.
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.