Semantique et analogie dans la tradition grammaticale arabe: La valeur des formes verbales

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According to the majority of western Arabists, the Arabic grammatical tradition which developed from the 8th to the 15th century is not significant to the study of the semantics of verb forms and, incidentally, to the enunciative aspect of language. However, as early as 1946, an important linguist, Emile Benveniste, emphasized that the Arabic grammatical tradition had perceived, better than other traditions, the category of person in language. If such is the case, how can the Arabic tradition have so well grasped the enunciative aspect of the category of person and so badly grasped the enunciative and semantic aspect of the other verbal categories? This misunderstanding, as we see it, is the result of a common premise that the relevance of form – syntactic inflections – and the relevance of meaning are exclusive from each other. Here, we try to show, in two stages – analysis of modal inflections and analysis of indicative inflections – how formal theory and semantic analyses are linked in these models, making essential use of analogy.


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