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Istiṯnāʾ

(1,903 words)

Author(s): Monique Bernards
Istiṯnāʾ, a verbal noun of Form X from the radicals ṯ-n-y, literally means ‘setting aside as excluded; exclusion, exception’ (Lane 1863–1893:I, 357; Wehr 130). The term is used in Arabic grammar to denote an exception or an exceptive sentence ( jumlat al-istiṯnāʾ), which basically consists of two parts: the general term from which the exception is made ( al-mustaṯnā minhu) and the exception itself ( al-mustaṯnā). The relationship between these two parts of the sentence is made through the use of an exceptive particle ( ḥarf al-istiṯnāʾ), mostly ʾillā (a compound of ʾin and and traditi…
Date: 2018-04-01

Ḥāl

(3,194 words)

Author(s): Monique Bernards
Ḥāl (mostly fem.) is literally the ‘state’ or ‘situation’ of someone or something subject to change. The plural ʾaḥwāl is used as a plural of multitude, hence ‘circumstances’ (Lane II, 675). Ḥāl as a grammatical term is used for an adverbial expression or a nominal or verbal phrase denoting the circumstances of either the subject or object ( ḏū l-ḥāl or ṣāḥib al-ḥāl), or both, of the act taking place. It is complementary to the sentence and answers the question ‘how?’, hence the English denotation of ‘circumstantial’ accusative or circumstantial clause. Ḥāl is rendered variously as “d…
Date: 2018-04-01

Ism

(3,588 words)

Author(s): Monique Bernards
Ism, pl. ʾasmāʾ, is the technical term for ‘noun(s)’, the first of the three major parts of speech traditionally recognized in Arabic grammar (the other two being fiʿl, pl. ʾafʿāl ‘verb(s)’, and ḥarf, pl. ḥurūf ‘particle(s)’; parts of speech). Morphosyntactically, the category of ʾasmāʾ is characterized by the following four features: i.Nouns have declension, either full ( munṣarif), partial ( ġayr munṣarif), or invariable ( mabnī); ii.Nouns may be marked for definiteness (by the prefixed al-) or indefiniteness (by tanwīn ‘ nunation’); iii.Nouns have three numbers, singular, dua…
Date: 2018-04-01