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Pragmatics and contractual language in early arabic grammar and legal theory

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Chapter Summary

The development of a method for interpreting the language of the Quran and Hadith took several centuries, and the two sciences of grammar and law, leap-frogged each other in an evolutionary series. This paper reviews the general similarities in the approach to language in early grammar and law, especially Sibawayhi's intuitive pragmatism and his awareness of the legal implications of grammatical form. There follows a brief account of some grammatical /legal problems discussed in an intermediate phase in the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries. The paper concludes by listing a number of features of legal methodology which only acquired their fully developed form after the maturing of usul al-fiqh as a discipline. There was always an implicit Pragmatics in Arabic grammar and Islamic law. The paper shows is that Sibawayhi chose to treat langua.

Keywords: Arabic grammar; contractual language; Islamic law; modern Pragmatics; Sibawayhi's intuitive pragmatism



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