ﻗﻮﺍﻋﺪ )) ﺍﻟﻨﺤﻮ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ ﻭ (( ﺻﻨﺎﻋﺘﻪ )) ﺑﻴﻦ ﺍﻷﺻﺎﻟﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻖ ﺍﻷﺭﺳﻄﻲ / The"Rules" and The "Craft" of Arabic Crammer : Arabic Authenticity and Aristotelian Logic


Ahmed Ghonaim



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Ghonaim, Ahmed

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Research Article

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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[Arabic Grammar emerged from the close scrutiny of primary sources selected according to a number of basic criteria, of which the most important were purity and originality. Thus the Holy Qur'an, the authentic Hadith and the sayings of the pure Arabs were the corpus from which the first Arab grammarians derived inductively the rules of the Arabic language. These were mainly concerned with the empirical guidelines of the Arabic language as used by its speakers. The works of the grammarians of the first two centuries of the Hegira, whether of the Basra or the Kufa schools, did not differ in their approach and produced works based on the compilation of the data and the induction of the «essential rules» based on the idiosyncratic characteristics of the Language. It was only at a later date that the influence of Aristotelian logic became tangible in the works of the commentators and exegetes, in what became the «craft of grammar.» This ifluence became manifest in both the terminology and methodology (analogy and taxonomy) borrowed from the logic of Aristotle. However, the influence of Aristotelian logic did not affect the core of Arabic grammar which retained the continuity of its object. Rather, the need among the commentators and exegetes for logical explanation brought them to force analogy on the linguistic data, hence creating distortions in the understanding of the language. The argument that Arabic grammar is a science borrowed from foreign sources is a fallacy based on a misinterpretation of its object, methodology and historical evolution.]

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