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Landmarks in Linguistic Thought Volume III: The Arabic Linguistic Tradition (History of Linguistic Thought) Paperback – June 4, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0415157575 ISBN-10: 0415157579 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: History of Linguistic Thought (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415157579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415157575
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,615,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Kees Versteegh is Professor of Arabic and Islam at the Middle East Institute of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His publications include The Explanation of Linguistic Causes.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Emerson on May 12, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Versteegh provides a thorough and very readable overview of traditional Arabic linguistic thought from its origins in Qur'anic exegesis in the 8th century CE through the use of Arabic linguistic theory in the description of other languages in the 14th century CE. Each chapter in the book begins with a translation of a representative document or fragment, followed by a commentary placing the text in its historical frame of reference and constrasting the ideas with those of other (period) scholars and modern linguistic theory. These are presented in chronological order, building on the previous as the theories evolved.
The collection does not assume a strong knowledge in Arabic or Western linguistic thought, though this can of course be useful. It provides a springboard for further exploration of Arabic linguistic study and makes an excellent reference when reading more specialized works.
One of the more interesting sections is Chapter 4, "The Debate Between Logic and Grammar." Here Versteegh describes the intersection of the Greek and Arabic linguistic traditions, and the heated debates that occured in Baghdad during the 10th century CE. This clearly illuminates the differences between the traditions, as well as showing the 'politics of language' and the impact of language on national and religious identity.
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