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Abstract Principles in Arabic Grammatical Theory: The Operator Assigning the Independent Mood

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Chapter Summary

The Baṣran grammarians are generally credited with the view that the operator assigning the independent mood to verbs is their filling positions of nouns. The text of the Kitāb shows, on the one hand, that Sībawayhi indeed regards filling positions of nouns as the operator of this mood; on the other hand, his explanation seems to be founded on a ‘background principle’ of the default status of this mood. Later grammarians generally adopt the ‘Baṣran’ view, but do not regard it as a formalization of this ‘background principle’. Yet, elements of Sībawayhi’s theory regarding this operator are incorporated into their discussions, which facilitated the reading of later theories into the Kitāb.



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