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Chapter 504 and Modern Arabic Dialectology: What are Kaškaša and Kaskasa, Really?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with Sibawaih's observations on the four variants of the 2FSG oblique pronoun suffix. Following a suggestion by Johnstone, it is argued that of the two variants, nominally -kiš and -kis, the first definitely and the second possibly, is identical with the modern variants, - č (tš) and -ts respectively. The chapter addresses the issue of why, if indeed Sibawaih would have heard - č and -ts, he nonetheless interpreted them as -kiš and -kis. To answer this question, three differentiated linguistic issues are examined in detail. The first is phonetic. Chapter 504 (Kitaab II: 322-3) contains three substantive observations about affixal pronominal behavior on the verb. Sibawaih notes that the 2FSG suffix can be realized as -ši, -kiš or -kis, as well as -ki. The chapter summarizes Sibawaih's treatment, and raises the question of its plausibility in the light of the situation in the Arabian peninsula.

Keywords: Kaškaša; Kaskasa; modern Arabic dialectology; Sibawaih



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