Volume 8, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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SUMMARYThe paper is intended to present the explanatory value of the theories advanced by the Arab grammarians, on the basis of a particular example, namely, the jumla 'ismiyya / jumla ficliyya (i.e., 'noun phrase' / 'verb phrase') dichotomy. The first part takes issue with the distinction as established by Orientalists such as Wright (1862), Blachere & Demombynes (1937), and Cohen (1970). The inadequacy of these traditional analyses is shown on the basis of a re-investigation of the original texts. The grammatical thought is clearly delineated through a study of the writings by Ibn Hisham, Ibn Jinni, and Ibn cAqil. The study of these texts leads to a reconstruction of the concepts within the theories of these grammarians and to a precision of the status of abstract representation in the framework of that theory. The second part of the paper attempts to delineate the epistemological background before which the conceptual errors on the part of the Orientalists cited earlier was rendered possible. Certain of these aspects are made evident: the use of common sense as a criterion for the evaluation of a given linguistic theory, the hasty connection of the approach of the grammarians with philosophers in the Aristotelian tradition, and the refusal to place the grammatical concepts of the Arab grammarians within their original theory. The third part re-examines a portion of the facts cited at the beginning of the paper in the light of an analysis conducted within the framework of generative grammar. It is shown that the explication of these facts requires the recourse to an abstract approach which does not reduce the analysis of linguistic facts to observable and superficial data but which, on the contrary, requires the possibility to integrate the much more extended data in order to arrive at interesting results. The comparison made between these two approaches, to wit, the one conducted within the framework of generative grammar and the other followed by the Arab grammarians, suggests, in an indirect way, the validity of the latters' theory.RESUMELe but de cet article est d'introduire a une reflexion sur la valeur explicative des theories des grammairiens arabes, en abordant un exemple precis, celui de jumla 'ismiyya / jumla ficliyya (communement traduits par 'phrase nominale' / 'phrase verbale'). Il comporte trois parties: La premiere part des propos tenus dans la litterature orientaliste sur la distinction etablie par les grammairiens arabes a ce sujet. Ainsi sont etudies des textes de Wright (1862), Blachere & Gaudefroy-Demombynes (1937) et Cohen (1970). L'ina-dequation de ces propos est demontree par simple retour au texte des grammairiens. La pensee des grammairiens est precisee a travers l'etude de textes d'Ibn Hisham, Ibn Jinni et Ibn cAqIl. L'etude de ces textes amene a recons-truire la dimension de ces concepts a l'interieur de la theorie des grammairiens et a preciser le statut des representations abstraites dans le cadre de cette theorie. La seconde partie tente de delimiter le terrain epistemologique qui a rendu possible les glissements conceptuels des orientalistes cites dans Interpretation de la theorie des grammairiens arabes. Certains aspects de la demarche des orientalistes sont mis en evidence: l'utilisation du bon sens comme critere d'évaluation d'une theorie linguistique, l'assimilation hative de la demarche des grammairiens a celle des philosophes 'disciples d'Aristote', le refus de situer les concepts grammaticaux des grammairiens arabes dans la theorie originale qui est la leur. La troisieme partie reexamine une par-tie des faits cites dans le debut de Particle a la lumiere d'une analyse menee dans le cadre de la grammaire generative. Il est demontre que l'explication de ces faits necessite le recours a une demarche abstraite qui ne reduit pas l'ana-lyse des faits de langue aux analogies observables a prime abord sur des don-nees simplifiees mais se donne, au contraire, la possibilité d'integrer des don-nees plus etendues pour aboutir a des generalisations interessantes. Le rapprochement fait entre les deux analyses, celle menee dans le cadre de la grammaire generative et celle des grammairiens arabes, suggere, de maniere indi-recte, la validite de la theorie de ces derniers.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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