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Inside the speaker's mind: Speaker's awareness as arbiter of usage in arabic grammatical theory

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Chapter Summary

The Arab grammatical theory as represented by the later grammarians is generally characterized by its focus on the formal aspects of the utterance within well-defined, albeit complex and often controversial rules of usage. It is true that at the levels of morpho-phonology and morpho-syntax Sībawayhi's formal considerations were adopted almost in their entirety by subsequent grammarians. The chapter looks into how Sībawayhi's assumption of the speaker's awareness is practically applied in his analysis of particles whose etymology is essential in determining usage. The first post-Sībawayhi author whose work reflects serious concern for the speaker's awareness is certainly Ibn Jinnī. The chapter deals with etymology of particles as one such peculiarity, the awareness of which by the speaker, according to Sībawayhi, is crucial for correct speech.

Keywords: Arab grammatical theory; Ibn Jinnī; Sībawayhi; speaker's awareness



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