A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
This book presents a comprehensive portrait of the Kitāb Sībawayhi. It
offers new insights into its historical and linguistic arguments and
underlines their strong correlation. The decisive historical argument
highlights al-Ḥīra's role, not only as the centre of pre-Islamic Arabic
culture, but also as the matrix within which early Arab linguistics grew
and developed. The Kitāb's value as a communicative grammar forms the crux
of the linguistic argument. The complementarity of syntax and pragmatics is
established as a condition sine qua non for Sībawayhi's analysis of
language. The benefits of a complementary approach are reflected in the
analysis of nominal sentences and related notions of ibtidā' and
definiteness. The pragmatic principle of identifiability is uncovered as
the ultimate determiner of word order.