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Arabic avant la lettre. divine, prophetic, and heroic arabic

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Chapter Summary

The history of the Arabic language is indelibly marked by the fact that the Qurʾān has made Arabic a prophetic language with its own holy book and a worldwide appeal. Arabic had been a mantic language in pre-Islamic times. It is also the first Arabic document to mention the Arabic language. In contradistinction to the attitude of the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament toward their own linguistic forms, the language of the Qurʾān is an important topic of Qurʾānic self-reflection. While neither the Bible nor the New Testament refer to their Hebrew (or Aramaic ) and Greek literary forms, the Arabic character of the Qurʾān is in its self-view a cornerstone of its divine quality. Arab grammarians connect the linguistic quality of the Arabic of the Qurayš with pre-Islamic times and with the role the Qurayš played at the Kaʿba in Mecca.

Keywords: Arabic grammar; Christian New Testament; Jewish Bible; prophetic language; Qurʾān self-reflection



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