Grammarians and Grammatical Theory in the Medieval Arabic Tradition
Professor Baalbaki deals here with the Arabic grammatical tradition and the analytical methods of the medieval Arab grammarians. The essays included open new perspectives on the most authoritative work on Arabic grammar, Sibawayhi's tome or Kitab, on the relation between grammatical study and other areas of linguistic enquiry such as Qur'anic readings and stylistics, and on the techniques which the grammarians employed to explain and rationalize usage and to incorporate within their system the vast body of dialectal material which the corpus comprises. The author has sought to highlight the central position which Arabic grammar enjoys within the wider Arab culture, and in so doing has examined several aspects of a legacy which has been revered over a millennium and which forms to this very day the backbone of the teaching of grammar in the Arab world.
'Given that the papers, selected for the Variorum, span nearly a quarter of a century from 1979 to 2001, their great coherence, both methodological and thematic, is striking, so too is their impressively high scholarly standard.... this Variorum volume represents a milestone in the study of both the history of Arabic grammar and one of the three branches of rhetoric, the science of the meanings. ...The author may justly be called one of the leading scholars in this field over the last quarter of a century, who excels by the precision of his methods and the value of his conclusions.' Journal of Islamic Studies