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Sῑbawayhi’s analytical methods

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines some of Sībawayhi?s most essential analytical methods which form the backbone of his morphological and syntactical analysis. Among the analytical methods also to be discussed in the chapter are the balance Sībawayhi tried to establish between form and meaning, the role he assigned to the speaker and the listener in the process of speech communication, his use of šāhid and mitā̠l to illustrate the phenomena under discussion, and the tools through which he checked the validity of the analytical system. In very broad terms, his theory largely focuses on what constitutes the &t;norm&t; of usage but does not reject anomalous data if it is attested by the Arabs. One section of the chapter discusses Sībawayhi?s views on issues which relate to norm and anomaly and particularly his recognition of the crucial role which the notion of ?rule? has in grammatical analysis.

Keywords: šāhid; analytical methods; mitā̠l; Sībawayhi; speech communication



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