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The foundations of Arab linguistics - Sibawayhi and the earliest Arabic grammatical theory

3rd & 4th September, 2010
Conference Abstract

This conference is designed to bring together Arabists, specialists in linguistics and research students to explore the foundations of the Arabic linguistic tradition and its development. It will focus particularly on the tradition’s understanding of the nature and role of language as a medium of knowledge and communication. Within Arabic linguistics, Sībawayhi occupies a unique position and his Kitāb is still the acknowledged masterpiece of Arabic grammatical thinking to date. His work can be aptly described as a ‘communicative grammar’ where linguistic analysis extends beyond the confines of formal approaches. The conference will also offer a special session on the hotly debated issue of possible foreign influences in the formative stage of Arab linguistics. The five linguistic traditions under discussion will be Hebrew, Persian, Syriac, Greek and Sanskrit. The perspectives on language across these traditions, and the similarities and/or differences between them will form the focus of the session.

Potential participants are invited to suggest papers which highlight and analyse traditions, approaches, or frameworks either formal or functional, or explore new avenues for research in the field. Abstracts must be no longer than 250 words and should be submitted by e-mail to be received by 1st June at the latest. Applicants will be notified by e-mail whether their abstract has been accepted by 7th June, 2010.

To register please complete and submit the online registration form and e-mail or post with payment to the address provided on the form.

The draft program of the Conference will be available a month before the Conference. The conference will conclude with a dinner on the evening of Sturday, 4th September, in King's College, Cambridge.

Please address all enquiries to:

Dr Amal Marogy
Department of Middle Eastern Studies
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DA