Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(3,275 words)

The word kalām means ‘speech’; it is used for the pure, uncorrupted speech of the Bedouin Arabs, as a synonym of ʿarabiyya. Kalām, however, also means any length of words uttered in a grammatically correct form; it is “a complete [series] of sounds, beneficial [for the hearer]” (al-kalāmu llaḏī lā yakūnu ʾillā ʾaṣwātan tāmmatan mufīdatan). Therefore, ‘the Qurʾān is kalām Allāh ‘God's speech’, because it is complete, and self-sufficient (muktafī bi-nafsihi; Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān k-l-m; for the theological implications of speech as an attribute of God, see Peters 1976). In …

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Tamás Iványi, “Kalām”, 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_SIM_vol2_0043>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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