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Quantitative Text Analysis And Its Application To The Qurʾan: Some Preliminary Considerations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the question concerning the feasibility of working out a relative chronology of the surahs. The author takes into consideration only the chronology elaborated by Theodor Nöldeke. The second question raised were concerned the problem to what extent the Qurʾāic surahs may be regarded as meaningful literary unities or rather as random compilations that must be subjected to dissection into smaller fragments. The chapter tries to approach this question, too, by using methods developed by Wilhelm Fucks that allow for computing the "force of attraction" or "repulsion" obtaining between short verses (S-verses) and long verses (L-verses). The chapter concludes that quantitative methods of analyzing the Qurʾā's structural qualities have not been entirely absent from Arabic philology. In any case, the comparative lack of quantitative studies dealing with the Arabic language or the Qurʾā in particular, however, would seem to constitute an unfortunate omission.

Keywords: Arabic philology; Qurʾan; surahs

10.1163/ej.9789004176881.i-864.110
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