The Presentation and Ordering of Phonetic and Phonological Topics in the Introduction to the Chapter on ʔidɣa:m in the Classical Arabic Grammatical Treatises: A Methodological Study

Hamood Mohammed ALRumhi,

Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

This study seeks to shed light on the methodology of the classical Arabic grammatical treatises – particularly Sibawayh’s Book with respect to the way they present the phonetic topics, as well as the evaluation of the coherence and consistency in each topic through focusing on the sequence of the parts and classes of these themes. This study assesses the degree of balance and harmony of these phonetic topics’ presentation, identifies the points of integration and shortcomings in the interpretation of phonetic themes, and considers in particular their logical order. The key questions posed by this study are:

  1. How integrated is the presentation of the phonetic themes in the theoretical introduction of this chapter, especially in relation to details given about vowels and consonants, and the illustrative examples?
  2. What are the methodological principles adopted in these treatises for classifying the manners and places of articulation?
  3. To what extent have articulatory, acoustic, and auditory phonetics influenced the development of phonetic rules in these themes?

The findings reveal that these treatises’ presentation of phonetic topics is brief compared to other linguistic areas where the topics were discussed in depth, and that a number of these topics required reorganising. This requires us to recognise the reasons behind the ancient grammarians’ interest in phonetic topics, key among which was their desire to explain instances of assimilation and dissimilation; often at the expense of other issues which were extraneous to the latter subject.

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Fifth Annual International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 2-3 February 2021, Iran-Ahwaz.