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Title: The Term and Concept of Isti'nāf in al-Farrā''s Qur'ānic Commentary and the Early Development of Arabic Grammatical Tradition
Author(s): KASHER, Almog
Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Volume: 51    Date: 2014   
Pages: 341-352
DOI: 10.2143/ANES.51.0.3038725

Abstract :
The concept of isti'nāf (also called i'tināf and ibtidā') is used extensively in al-Farrā'’s commentary on the Qur'ān as an explanation for nouns in raf', although according to his grammatical theory, the nouns in question require a concrete operator (e.g. their predicates). It is shown in this paper that the term isti'nāf has a contrastive sense in these cases, where it indicates that these nouns are not operated on by any previous constituent. Al-Farrā'’s use of formulae such as raf' 'alā al-isti'nāf is explained here by reconstructing an earlier stage, in which isti'nāf was indeed regarded as the sole explanation of raf', based on the notion of its default status. These formulae survived in al-Farrā'’s time, although their meaning had altered.

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