LINGUIST List 18.2152|
Mon Jul 16 2007
Diss: History of Ling/Ling & Lit/Philosophy of Lang: Gunaydin: 'Al-...'
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Al-Sirafi's theory of 'lingua-logical' grammar: An analytical study of the grammatical work of al-Sirafi...
Message 1: Al-Sirafi's theory of 'lingua-logical' grammar: An analytical study of the grammatical work of al-Sirafi...
From: Muhammet Gunaydin <gunaydinalumni.upenn.edu>
Subject: Al-Sirafi's theory of 'lingua-logical' grammar: An analytical study of the grammatical work of al-Sirafi...
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Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Program: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006
Author: Muhammet Gunaydin
Dissertation Title: Al-Sirafi's theory of 'lingua-logical' grammar: An analytical study of the grammatical work of al-Sirafi (Sharh Kitab Sibawayhi) within the context of a discussion on language and logic in medieval Islam
Dissertation URL: http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3211077/
History of Linguistics
Ling & Literature
Philosophy of Language
Roger M. A. Allen
Joseph E Lowry
Barbara von Schlegel
This is a study of the problematic relationship between language, grammar,
and logic in the linguistic thought of Abu Said al-Sirafi (d. 979), the
judge and grammarian. It offers an analytical study of the first seven
chapters of his famous work on grammar, Sharh Kitab Sibawayhi within the
context of the famous debate over Arabic grammar and Aristotelian logic
that took place in Baghdad, in 932 C.E. between him and Abu Bishr Matta ibn
Yunus (d. 940), the philosopher and logician. In the debate, against
Matta's thesis that logic is an instrument by which we differentiate
correct speech from incorrect and sound meaning from unsound, al-Sirafi
argues that correct speech can only be distinguished from incorrect by
grammatical investigation, and sound meaning from unsound by reason.
Al-Sirafi further argues that grammar includes logic, and thus there is no
need to study logic separately. This study examines al-Sirafi's Sharh to
investigate whether these ideas are based on a verifiable linguistic theory
found in his Sharh, or stated only for the sake of discussion during the
At the end of the study it is concluded that al-Sirafi's approaches to
linguistic issues are consistent and complementary to each other in both
the debate and the Sharh. However, there is no evidence found in the Sharh
to support his criticism of logic put forward in the debate.
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