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Dissertation

The Emergence of ʿIlm al-Bayān: Classical Arabic Literary Theory in the Arabic East in the 7th/13th Century

12 Sep 2016-
Abstract: This dissertation identifies a turning point in the development of literary theory as a discipline in the classical Arabic-Islamic world, starting in the Arabic East in the thirteenth century under the emerging framework of ʿilm al-bayān ‘the science of good style’. Treating a range of poetic, rhetorical, and literary-critical matters that had been studied under various disciplinary headings since the ninth century, the discipline was now consciously recognized as having an underlying theory and an established canon. I trace this development beginning with D iyāʾ al-Dīn Ibn al-Athīr (d. 1239) and follow its progression throughout Greater Syria and Egypt as late as the end of the fourteenth century, after the standard theory of rhetoric (ʿilm albalāgha) emerged within the madrasa institution. I then analyze in depth one test case for literary-theoretical thinking in this time and place, namely, majāz ‘figurative language’. Although linguistic theories about majāz, inspired by Islamic legal theory, had become a hallmark of literary studies, I argue that literary scholars implicitly espoused a non-linguistic conception of the notion, akin to kadhib ‘lie’ (a term not used due to its negative theological connotations). My analysis demonstrates that despite tensions between being a science concerned with hermeneutics and one concerned with poetics, ʿilm al-bayān was essentially the latter.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The distinction entre epitheton and epexegesis was introduced by Sībawayhi (m.180/796) as mentioned in this paper, who used it to distinguish between adjectives and modificateurs.
Abstract: Resume Deux points de vue s’opposent concernant les debuts de la grammaire arabe: la grammaire arabe serait apparue comme une discipline autonome ou aurait ete en partie influencee par des modeles grecs (peut-etre par le biais de traductions syriaques). En lien avec ce debat, il semble particulierement instructif d’etudier la categorie de ʿaṭf bayān. Selon Rafael Talmon, il s’agit d’une ‘invention’ de Sībawayhi (m.180/796?) basee sur la distinction entre ṣifa (‘adjectif’) et un modificateur qui n’est pas un adjectif mais assure une fonction adjectivale (ʿaṭf bayān). L’article tente de montrer qu’un contraste similaire peut etre trouve dans des sources grecques (et latines) anterieures sous la forme d’une distinction entre epitheton et epexegesis. En prenant en compte la connaissance hellenistique chez les Arabes avant et a l’epoque de Sībawayhi, il est alors possible de soutenir que l’auteur du Kitāb, faute de terminologie appropriee, a emprunte, directement ou non, la distinction aux sources grecques. Cependant, s’il ne s’agit evidemment pas d’une pure coincidence, l’emprunt qui a donne naissance a la categorie de ʿaṭf al-bayān ne doit pas etre interprete comme une simple influence. Il serait peut-etre preferable de le concevoir en termes de reminiscence: la memoire, par voie diffuse, des connaissances grecques dans la nouvelle erudition grammaticale arabe.

14 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...Il en va ainsi à propos de Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn Ibn al-ʾAṯīr (m.637/1239) et du ʿilm al-bayān (cf. Sallām 1982: 250; Larcher 2014: 115 et 118; Noy 2016: 12, note 40 et 226 note 744, à propos cette fois de Sībawayhi)....

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DOI
09 Nov 2016
TL;DR: In this paper, a text-based analysis of Ibnu Hazm's ijtihad methodology for Islamic law is presented, which is based on three pillars of Islamic law sources namely Al-Qur'an, Sunnah and Ijma'a.
Abstract: This article discusses Ushul al-Fiqh methodology of a famous intellectual from school of Zahiri, namely Ibnu Hazm through his work al-Ihkām fi Uṣūl al-Ahkām. Eventhough this school of thought cannot exist and be solid followed by muslims as like Sunni and Shi’i schools of thought, the basis of methodology in formulating Islamic law can be investigated clearly especially in a book of al-Ihkām fi Uṣūl al-Ahkām written by Ibnu Hazm. By using text approach, this article analyzes Ibnu Hazm’s thought which is stressing on a method of deciding Islamic law based on nash Al-Qur’an and Al-Hadits. Therefore, the thought rejects every method based on reasoning as like al-Qiyas, al-Istihsan, al-Maslahah al-Mursalah etc. Moreover, it also rejects istidlal with dalil al-khitab approach which is still included in reasoning into texts of al-Qur`an dan al-Sunnah. The findings show that first, ijtihad formulation based on Ibnu Hazm is as follows: (a) it must be conducted based on three pillars of Islamic law sources namely Al-Qur’an, Sunnah dan Ijma’ ; (b) if it cannot find zahir nash in the three pillars, Ibnu Hazm conducts ijtihad methods namely al-dalīl which is devided into two namely dalil taking from nash Al-Qur’an and Sunnah, dalil taking from ijma’. Second, the implication of Ibnu Hazm’s ijtihad methodology into the construction of Islamic law is that the building of Islamic law is Al-Qur’an and Sunnah, not others. Keywords ; Ibnu Hazm, al-Ihkām fi Uṣūl al-Ahkām, ẓahir naṣ, dalil

11 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
23 Aug 2018
TL;DR: This article introduced al-Muṭarrizi's (d. 610/1213) commentary on the Maqāmāt of al-Ḥarīrī, and argued that the authors shared a common commitment to the idea that language should make apparent the intellectual hierarchies among readers.
Abstract: This article introduces al-Muṭarrizī’s (d. 610/1213) commentary on the Maqāmāt of al-Ḥarīrī (d. 516/1122), al-Īḍāḥ fī sharḥ al-maqāmāt . The commentary begins with a lengthy preface, which announces that it will provide the Maqāmāt ’s reader with the interpretive tools necessary to recognize that al-Ḥarīrī’s Maqāmāt is an excellent, and possibly inimitable, text. The first portion of al-Muṭarrizī’s preface, examined in detail here, contains a collage of passages and paraphrases from the two major works on poetics by ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī (d. 471/1078 or 474/1081). The article argues that al-Muṭarrizī, al-Jurjānī, and al-Ḥarīrī shared a common commitment to the idea that language ought to make apparent the intellectual hierarchies among readers. This overlooked aspect of Jurjānian poetics helps shed light on the reading and interpretive practices that informed the Maqāmāt ’s enthusiastic reception as a text that was Qurʾān-like in its inimitability.

6 citations

References
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01 Mar 1983-Language
TL;DR: Lakoff and Johnson as discussed by the authors present a very attractive book for linguists to read, which is written in a direct and accessible style; while it introduces and uses a number of new terms, for the most part it is free of jargon.
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7,812 citations

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TL;DR: The metric and dimensional assumptions that underlie the geometric representation of similarity are questioned on both theoretical and empirical grounds and a set of qualitative assumptions are shown to imply the contrast model, which expresses the similarity between objects as a linear combination of the measures of their common and distinctive features.
Abstract: The metric and dimensional assumptions that underlie the geometric representation of similarity are questioned on both theoretical and empirical grounds. A new set-theoretical approach to similarity is developed in which objects are represented as collections of features, and similarity is described as a feature-matching process. Specifically, a set of qualitative assumptions is shown to imply the contrast model, which expresses the similarity between objects as a linear combination of the measures of their common and distinctive features. Several predictions of the contrast model are tested in studies of similarity with both semantic and perceptual stimuli. The model is used to uncover, analyze, and explain a variety of empirical phenomena such as the role of common and distinctive features, the relations between judgments of similarity and difference, the presence of asymmetric similarities, and the effects of context on judgments of similarity. The contrast model generalizes standard representations of similarity data in terms of clusters and trees. It is also used to analyze the relations of prototypicality and family resemblance

7,251 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The interpretation of a metaphor is as much a creative endeavor as making a metaphor, and as little guided by rules as mentioned in this paper, and the act of interpretation is itself a work of the imagination.
Abstract: Metaphor is the dreamwork of language and, like all dreamwork, its interpretation reflects as much on the interpreter as on the originator. The interpretation of dreams requires collaboration between a dreamer and a waker, even if they be the same person; and the act of interpretation is itself a work of the imagination. So too understanding a metaphor is as much a creative endeavor as making a metaphor, and as little guided by rules.

860 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a modification of Tversky's account of similarity is proposed, and the implications of this proposal for similarity statements are discussed, along with implications for the psychological processes involved in their comprehension.
Abstract: Hitherto, theories of similarity have restricted themselves to judgments of what might be called literal similarity. A central thesis of this article is that a complete account of similarity needs also to be sensitive to nonliteralness, or metaphoricity, an aspect of similarity statements that is most evident in similes but that actually underlies metaphorical language in general. Theoretical arguments are advanced in support of the claim that metaphoricity can be represented in terms of the relative degrees of salience of matching (or matchable) attributes of the two terms in a comparison. A modification of Tversky's account of similarity is proposed. The implications of this proposal for similarity statements are discussed, along with implications for the psychological processes involved in their comprehension. It is argued that the general account of similarity proposed, including, as it does, nonliteral similarity, can form not only the basis of a theory of metaphor but can also give a credible account of the relationship between metaphor, analogy, and similarity.

556 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Boaz Keysar1
TL;DR: This article constructed context stories in which sentences such as “He is a baby” had both literal and metaphorical “truth” values, and found that people were more likely to comprehend the text rather than to verify truth.

213 citations