Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(2,433 words)

The basic meaning of lisān is ‘tongue’ (cf. al-Yāzijī 1954, s.v.). However, it has numerous other meanings. The data about this word can be gathered from texts in the Qurʾān and the Ḥadīt̲ and from common literary expressions in both prose and poetry. The purpose of this entry is to clarify the sense in which this word is used in the Arabic heritage as well as in linguistics.

In the Qurʾān, lisān is used 25 times, 18 times in the singular, 7 times in the plural ʾalsina (ʿAbd al-Bāqī 1963:647, entry l-s-n). It means ‘a part of the mouth’ or ‘an organ of speech and taste in human beings…

Cite this page
Ahmad Taher Hassanein, “Lisān”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol3_0078>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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