The Arabic Lexicographical Tradition from the 2nd/8th to the 12th/18th Century

05 September, 2019

The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has published The Arabic Lexicographical Tradition from the 2nd/8th to the 12th/18th century by Ramzi Munir Baalbaki. The book reflects the great diversity in Arab lexical cataloguing in terms of subject matter, order of materials, authenticity and evidence and reveals the central status of high regard that lexical works have enjoyed in Arab and Islamic heritage. It indicates that Arabic lexicography emerged due to the efforts of the first linguists to study Arabic morphology, and the language of the Quran in particular, without foreign influence. The book consists of three parts and examines three historical periods respectively. Baalbaki first examines the early linguistic activity and the factors that led to the emergence of the first dictionaries, concluding with a discussion about the ideal model of Arabic presented by the early linguists. Baalbaki goes on to look at the role of standardized dictionaries and how they documented different categories of vocabulary, divided into the Quranic tradition, proverbs and other linguistic phenomena specific to Arabic. The third section details how dictionaries came to log vocabulary alone and goes into great detail about the various alphabetical arrangements, finishing up with a discussion of the most famous dictionaries and lexicographers.

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