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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users"
AUTHOR: Abdul-Raof, Hussein TITLE: Consonance in the Qur'an SUBTITLE: A conceptual, intertextual and linguistic analysis SERIES: Languages of the World 34 PUBLISHER: Lincom Europa YEAR: 2005
Mohammad Rasekh Mahand, Linguistics Department, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.
This book attempts to provide a text linguistic insight into macro level consonance by investigating the conceptual and intertextual relatedness between Qur'anic chapters. The investigation of Qur'anic data used in this book attempts to explicate the concept of consonance and sequentiality that are established by conceptual and intertextual chaining in the Qur'anic text. Each two subsequent chapters are analyzed through a textual analysis which highlights the intertextual meaning relations. The book looks at the deliberate linguistic manipulation of grammar, lexis and the phonetic features in order to achieve the Qur'an-bound conceptual thrust. It also attempts to provide an in-depth account of micro level consonance by examining conceptual and intertextual relatedness at inter- and intra- statement levels. The book deals with the impact of context and cotext on the lexico-grammatical selections and the selection of formulaic expressions, and their sounds. Contextual factors explain the occurrence of parable-specific formulas and expressions. Cotextual factors, however, are contributing factors in the establishment of grammatical and lexical congruity.
The major argument of the book is conceptual chaining that leads to sequentiality in Qur'anic discourse. Consonance and intertextuality are the characteristic text linguistic features of Qur'anic discourse.
The writer's approach in this book is based on the modern European theory of text linguistics which provides a comprehensive analysis of Qur'anic discourse and investigates the textual feature of consonance more rigorously and completely through the different levels of linguistic analysis. The Muslim scholars approach, however, provides exegetical thematic reasons only. Their contribution in the discussion of the notion of consonance has been referred to in the bibliography.
The book provides a critical and substantiated account of the textual feature of consonance. It also provides empirical textual, grammatical, semantic, stylistic, and phonetic account that has not been tackled by traditional Muslim scholars with regard to this particular notion. In the light of modern European text linguistic theory, the writer has provided 11 linguistic levels of analysis in addition to 10 sub-levels of language. The approach is more comprehensive and sheds more light on this interesting textual feature. The approach provides creative results for the reader. It is also effectively applied throughout the book which reflects the writer's argument and the contribution of text linguistics in the investigation of the consonance.
The writer has employed modern linguistic methods of analysis to complement the traditional approach to consonance. These modern methods are the effective tools to uncover the underlying semantic relations which the traditional method could not achieve in a comprehensive fashion. The book provides a substantiated argument through detailed linguistic discussion and explication of grammatical, semantic, stylistic, and phonetic problems. It also provides a detailed account of the controversy over the notion of consonance in the Qur'anic discourse. More argument for the contextual level, in addition to another one for co-textual level, is provided in the discussion of consonance at the grammatical, semantic and stylistic levels of language. The argument is supported by examples and linguistic discussion. It covers the verb form, the active participle, the passive participle, the conjunctive element (then/and), the plural form, the plural of paucity, the plural of multitude, the feminine noun form, and the phonetic form. On the macro-textual level of language, the book provides detailed cases of conceptual and intertextual relatedness and textual progression.
This textual investigation uncovers various types of consonance in Qur'anic discourse, including consonance between chapters, within a chapter, at parable level, at inter-ayah (section or sentence) level, at intra-ayah level, of notions, at co-text level, at context level, at word level, at phrase level, at letter level, at grammatical-morphological level, at semantic level and at phonetic level.
The book has seven chapters: the first chapter provides a theoretical foundation for the notion of consonance. Chapter two introduces an in- depth analysis of Qur'anic discourse at the macro level. Chapter level provides another macro level textual analysis. Micro level analysis at statement level is introduced in chapter four. Chapter five focuses on the micro level analysis of the notion of consonance within a given ayah. Chapter six is concerned with the text linguistic notion of co-text. Chapter seven provides a conclusion about the overall empirical analysis of Qur'anic text.
The discussion of intertextuality in Qur'anic discourse makes the present work a useful source for literary semiotics of the Qur'anic text. This is the first multi-faceted text linguistic account of its kind which attempts to investigate how a given Qur'anic text is made in relation to other Qur'anic texts and the intertextual meaning relations among these texts.
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Mohammad Rasekh Mahand is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran. His research interests include syntax, the syntax-pragmatics interface and typology.