Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard and Rudolf de Jong

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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(3,281 words)

Author(s): Tamás Iványi
Kalām has to be differentiated from qawl ‘saying’ because the latter may or may not be part of the accepted (regular) speech, i.e. kalām, while kalām is actualized by different sayings (mainly quotations from poetry). Everything may be quoted, both (grammatically) correct sayings and unsound ( malḥūn) ones. Therefore, a Qurʾānic quotation is introduced by qawluhu taʿālā ‘the Almighty said’, which is followed by a part of the kalām Allāh. The distinction between kalām and qawl sheds light on the nature of kalām: every kalām is qawl, but not every qawl can be regarded as kalām. The expressi…


(2,196 words)

Author(s): Aryeh Levin
1. Introduction The form kalima (pl. kalim), commonly denoting ‘a word’, sometimes occurs as a grammatical term corresponding in sense to the modern linguistic term ‘ morpheme’. This sense of kalima is inferred from Sībawayhi ( Kitāb II, 330.15–339.19), al-Mubarrad ( Muqtaḍab I, 36–52), Ibn as-Sarrāj ( ʾUṣūl III, 171.1–179.5), and Ibn Yaʿīš ( Šarḥ I, 21.5–20 ed. Jahn; I, 18.29–19.15 Cairo ed.). The discussion of kalima by al-Mubarrad and Ibn as-Sarrāj resembles that of Sībawayhi. Ibn Yaʿīš's short discussion of this topic is mentioned by Fleischer (1888:III, 540). 2. Division into p…

Kāna wa-ʾaxawātuhā

(2,791 words)

Author(s): Aryeh Levin
1. Introduction The expression kāna wa-ʾaxawātuhā lit. ‘ kāna and its sisters’ occurs as a grammatical technical term in the sense of kāna and the verbs that grammatically resemble kāna. This term refers to a category of verbs sharing with kāna the same grammatical qualities and occurring in the same syntactic constructions. In their discussions of this category of verbs, the grammarians focus on two main kinds of kāna: kāna at-tāmma and kāna an-nāqiṣa (Levin 1979:185). The grammarians also briefly discuss two other marginal kinds of kāna: kāna az-zāʾida and kāna allatī fīhā ḍamīr aš…


(1,685 words)

Author(s): Sergio Baldi
1. Kanuri and Arabic The first contact between Islam and the empire of Kanem, situated near Lake Chad, was made through trade. Kanem had commercial links with Tripoli in North Africa via Kawar and the Fezzan. This trade “provided the gateway for Islam to enter Kanem” (Clarke 1982:67). In the second half of the 8th century, a more permanent Muslim presence was established on the Kanem-North African trade route with the establishment of the small states of Ajar Fazzan and Zawila; Zawila, further south and close to Kanem, was a center for Ibadite Islam. Kanem became Muslim at …

Kaškaša and Kaskasa

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Munira Ali Al-Azraqi
The explanation that Sībawayhi advances for this change is that the speakers wanted to make a distinction between males and females when addressing them. The Classical Arabic reference to a male person is /ka/, and both feminine /ki/ and masculine /ka/ lose their final vowel in pausa, so that the distinction between the two genders disappears there. Sībawayhi adds that the speakers select /š/ since it is a voiceless sound, just like /k/, e.g. ʾinniš ḏāhiba ‘you [fem.] are leaving’; māliš ḏāhiba ‘why are you [fem.] leaving?’, instead of ʾinnaki and mālaki. Kaskasa, on the other hand, is…


(1,395 words)

Author(s): Robert Ermers
Arabic words entered Kazakh with the embracement of Islam by Turkic tribes in Central Asia, starting from the late 11th century. Through their nomadic lifestyle, which the Kazakhs managed to preserve up to the early 20th century, combined with the cultural and physical distance from the centers of Islamic culture and learning, they developed a nomadic variant of Islam. The Kazakhs retained their ancient shamanist focus on ‘the spirits of the ancestors’ (Kazakh aruwah/aruwaq < Arabic ʾarwāḥ [pl. of rūḥ] ‘spirits’) and on nature. The influence of Islam was reinforced in the …


(5 words)

see East Africa

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(51 words)

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