Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(3,177 words)

The term ʾaṣl is primarily used as one of the major tools of analysis in Arabic grammatical theory. It is first encountered in the Kitāb of Sībawayhi (d. 180/796) where it occurs 569 times (Troupeau 1976 sub ʾṢL), all of which, with the exception of four instances, indicate a methodological notion. Although the term itself may be generally translated as ‘origin’, ‘principle’, or ‘base’, it is used in a variety of specialized senses, the most basic of which are (for use by Sībawayhi, see Baalbaki 1988:163–164):

The form, pattern, case ending, etc. which agrees with the qiyās, that is, wit…

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Ramzi Baalbaki, “ʾAṣl”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 02 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0028>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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