Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(3,028 words)

1. Definition

Ṣarf, originally meaning ‘shifting a thing from one state or condition to another’ (Lane 1863–1893:II, 1680; Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān IV, 2434), is used in Arabic grammar as the technical term for morphology. It is linked with taṣrīf, which also has to do with change, and originally meant ‘the turning of the winds from one state or condition, to another’ (Lane 1863–1893:II, 1681; Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān IV, 2435). In relation to language, the science of taṣrīf is usually called ʿilm aṣ-ṣarf. Both indicat…

Cite this page
Joyce Åkesson, “Ṣarf”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 17 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0294>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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