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Verb

(5,272 words)

Author(s): Pierre Larcher
1. Introduction The Arabic word for verb is fiʿl. This term has undergone a double metalinguistic reinterpretation and generalization: ‘action’ > ‘expression designating an action’ > ‘(action or nonaction) verb’. In the Arabic grammatical tradition, while syntactically ( naḥw) representing merely the second element of the tripartite division of the parts of speech (after the noun and before the particle), the verb occupies a central place in the morphology (ṣarf or taṣrīf). This entry deals first with the morphology of the verb, according to the main subdivision inflection/derivat…
Date: 2018-04-01

ʾInšāʾ

(2,217 words)

Author(s): Pierre Larcher
Lexically speaking, ʾinšāʾ is the maṣdar of the verb ʾanša ʾa ‘to create’. In Arabic linguistic terminology, it is the opposite of xabar. Xabar designates the assertive ( xabariy(ya)) utterance ( kalām) or sentence ( jumla); ʾinšāʾ designates the non-assertive utterance or sentence ( ġayr al-xabariy(ya)). According to the encyclopedist al-Kafāwī (d. 1094/1683), it consists of two subdivisions, ṭalabī ‘jussive utterance’ and ʾīqāʿī ‘performative utterance’ (Kafāwī, Kulliyyāt I, 332). ʾInšāʾ is sometimes referred to as balāġī ‘rhetorical’ for two reasons: first, to disti…
Date: 2018-04-01

Derivation

(4,488 words)

Author(s): Pierre Larcher
1. Introduction In Indo-European languages, ‘ derivation’ is usually defined as “the formation of a new word or inflectable stem from another word or stem. It typically occurs by the addition of an affix” (<http://www.sil.org/linguistics/Glossary>). In Semitic languages and particularly in (Classical) Arabic, this type of derivation does exist but must be considered marginal. More central is a type of derivation in which a word is not derived from another word, but from a root ‘crossed’ with a pattern (or ‘ scheme’, from the French schème, or ‘ template’). Where French-speaking scho…
Date: 2018-04-01