The Theory of Definition in Šarh al-Kāfiya by Radī l-Dīn al-Ástarābādī

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics
EditorsBeata Sheyhatovitch, Almog Kasher
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics
ISSN (Print)0081-8461


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