This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Arabic Grammar in its Formative Age
Kitāb al-‘Ayn and its Attribution to h̬alīl b. Aḥmad
This volume deals with the numerous grammatical passages included in the voluminous Kitāb al-‘Ayn, the earliest Arabic dictionary (8th century). This material is isolated and classified according to its various grammatical categories and then analyzed, taking due account of the current knowledge of the state of Arabic grammar in its early stage of development. The much disputed attribution of Kitāb al-‘Ayn to h̬alīl b. Aḥmad is reconsidered from the vantage point of this grammatical material. This reconsideration involves a critical study of the vast medieval literature about ̬alīl's personality and the question of attribution of this early Arabic dictionary. In addition to the author's analysis, the volume includes an appendix with citations of the original grammatical passages of this dictionary with useful indices.