A 16th CENTURY GRAMMATICAL EXPERIMENT THAT FAILED * BY M. G. CARTER T HIS PAPER concerns a grammatical textbook written, as far as can - be surmised, no earlier than the 10th/16th century, but ascribed (as we shall see, falsely) to a famous author of the 3rd/9th century, Ibn Qutayba (828-889). The work we are dealing with exists in a unique manuscript. of 73 folios (Paris 4715 in Vajda's catalogue), entitled Talqin -mM'etM min al-nahw. In a monograph on Ibn Qutayba, (Ibn Qutayba, l'homme, son ceuvre, ses idges, Damascus, 1965, pp. 176-7), G. Lecomte had no hesitation in dismissing the Talqin as a false attribution to Ibn Qutayba, and in this he was quite right. Of the five reasons he gives for rejecting the work, four are concerned with stylistic and other differences between the Talqan and Ibn Qutayba's known compositions, while the fifth correctly asserts that such a textbook could not have been written until gram- matical techniques had developed far beyond the stage reached in Ibn Qutayba's period. For all its spuriousness, however, the Talqin has enough peculiarities of its own (and not noted or appreciated by Lecomte) to merit our attention for a quarter of
Arabica – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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