Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(2,042 words)

Muštarak (or, currently, al-muštarak al-lafḍī) is used in Arabic rhetoric and grammar to indicate the ‘homonymous polysemic word’ (lit. ‘the common one’). The question at the origin of the lexical category of muštarak is ‘how the nouns apply to the nominatum (the named things)’ (see, for instance, Ibn Fāris [d. 395/1004], Ṣāḥibī 114, bāb al-ʾasmāʾ kayfa taqaʿu ʿalā l-musammayāt). In the most general and common state of affairs, every thing gets its own noun, such as rajul ‘man’, faras ‘horse’, and so on (Ibn Fāris, Ṣāḥibī 327), but there are also single ‘things’ with many nouns,…

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Lidia Bettini, “Muštarak”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol3_0090>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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