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Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic: Diachrony and Synchrony
 9004222294, 9789004222298

Table of contents :
Contents......Page 5
List of illustrations......Page 7
Acknowledgements......Page 9
Introduction: Middle and Mixed Arabic, a New Trend in Arabic Studies......Page 11
Normes orthographiques en moyen arabe : sur la notation du vocalisme bref......Page 0
Some Remarks about Middle Arabic and Saʿadya Gaon’s Arabic Translation of the Pentateuch in Manuscripts of Jewish, Samaritan, Coptic Christian, and Muslim Provenance......Page 61
Linguistic and Cultural Features of an Iraqi Judeo-Arabic Text of the QiṢaṢ al-ʾanbiyāʾ Genre......Page 93
Deux types de moyen arabe dans la version arabe du discours 41 de Grégoire de Nazianze ?......Page 105
Présentation du livre Le Conte du Portefaix et des TroisJeunes Femmes, dans le manuscrit de Galland (XIVe–XVe siècles)......Page 123
Judeo-Arabic as a Mixed Language......Page 135
The Story of Zayd and KaḤlāʾ—A Folk Story in a Judaeo-Arabic Manuscript......Page 155
Towards an Inventory of Middle and Mixed Arabic Features: The Inscriptions of Deir Mar Musa (Syria) as a Case Study......Page 167
Qui est arabophone? Les variétés de l’arabe dans la définition d’une compétence native......Page 185
Perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe : l’exemple des traités théologiques de Sulaymān al-ĠazzĪ......Page 197
Playing the Same Game? Notes on Comparing Spoken Contemporary Mixed Arabic and (Pre)Modern Written Middle Arabic......Page 245
Middle Arabic in Moshe Darʿī’s Judaeo-Arabic Poems......Page 257
Written Judeo-Arabic: Colloquial versus Middle Arabic......Page 275
Yefet ben ʿEli’s Commentary on the Book of Zechariah......Page 289
Damascus Arabic According to the Compendio of Lucas Caballero (1709)......Page 305
List of Contributors......Page 345
Index......Page 351

Citation preview

Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic

Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics Editorial board

T. Muraoka, A.D. Rubin and C.H.M. Versteegh


The titles published in this series are listed at brill.nl/ssl

Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic Diachrony and Synchrony

Edited by

Liesbeth Zack and Arie Schippers

Leiden • boston 2012

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Middle Arabic and mixed Arabic : diachrony and synchrony / edited by Liesbeth Zack and Arie Schippers.   p. cm. — (Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics; 64)  Papers in English and French.  “The articles contained in this volume are based on papers read at the Second Conference of the Association internationale pour l’etude du moyen arabe et des varietes mixtes de l’arabe (AIMA), which was held at the University of Amsterdam in 2007.”  Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-90-04-22229-8 (alk. paper)  1. Arabic language—Dialects—Congresses. 2. Arabic language—Variation—Congresses.  3. Languages in contact—Arab countries—Congresses. I. Zack, Liesbeth, 1974– II. Schippers, Arie.  PJ6709.M53 2012  492.7’7—dc23


This publication has been typeset in the multilingual “Brill” typeface. With over 5,100 characters covering Latin, IPA, Greek, and Cyrillic, this typeface is especially suitable for use in the humanities. For more information, please see www.brill.nl/brill-typeface. ISSN 0081-8461 ISBN 978 90 04 22229 8 (hardback) ISBN 978 90 04 22804 7 (e-book) Copyright 2012 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers and Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper.

CONTENTS List of Illustrations ........................................................................................... Acknowledgements .........................................................................................

vii ix

Introduction: Middle and Mixed Arabic, A New Trend in Arabic Studies .............................................................................................. Johannes den Heijer


Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe : premier essai de bibliographie, Supplément no 1 .............................................................. Jérôme Lentin


Some Remarks about Middle Arabic and Saʿadya Gaon’s Arabic Translation of the Pentateuch in Manuscripts of Jewish, Samaritan, Coptic Christian, and Muslim Provenance ................... Berend Jan Dikken


Linguistic and Cultural Features of an Iraqi Judeo-Arabic Text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ Genre .................................................................. Lutz Edzard


Deux types de moyen arabe dans la version arabe du discours 41 de Grégoire de Nazianze ? ................................................................... Jacques Grand’Henry


Présentation du livre Le Conte du Portefaix et des Trois Jeunes Femmes, dans le manuscrit de Galland (XIVe–XVe siècles) ........... 113 Bruno Halflants Judeo-Arabic as a Mixed Language ............................................................ 125 Benjamin Hary The Story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ—A Folk Story in a Judaeo-Arabic Manuscript .................................................................................................... 145 Rachel Hasson Kenat



Towards an Inventory of Middle and Mixed Arabic Features: The Inscriptions of Deir Mar Musa (Syria) as a Case Study .......... 157 Johannes den Heijer Qui est arabophone? Les variétés de l’arabe dans la définition d’une compétence native ......................................................................... 175 Amr Helmy Ibrahim Perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe : L’exemple des traités théologiques de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī ............ 187 Paolo La Spisa Normes orthographiques en moyen arabe : Sur la notation du vocalisme bref .............................................................................................. 209 Jérôme Lentin Playing the Same Game? Notes on Comparing Spoken Contemporary Mixed Arabic and (Pre)Modern Written Middle Arabic .............................................................................................. 235 Gunvor Mejdell Middle Arabic in Moshe Darʿī’s Judaeo-Arabic Poems ........................ 247 Arie Schippers Written Judeo-Arabic: Colloquial versus Middle Arabic ..................... 265 Yosef Tobi Yefet ben ʿEli’s Commentary on the Book of Zechariah ..................... 279 Kees de Vreugd Damascus Arabic According to the Compendio of Lucas Caballero (1709)................................................................................. 295 Otto Zwartjes and Manfred Woidich List of Contributors ......................................................................................... 335 Index .................................................................................................................... 341

List of illustrations Illustrations from Lucas Caballero & Juan de la Encarnación, Compendio de los Rudimentos y Gramatica Araba en que se da suficiente notizia de la lengua Vernacula o Vulgar y algunas Reglas de la literal Iustamente, Sträng­ näs, Sweden, 1709-1710. All illustrations are published with the kind permission of the Roggebiblioteket in Sweden. Front page of the Strängnäs manuscript of Caballero ......................... Table with declensions (f. 14r) ..................................................................... The ُُْ cardinal numbers (f. 19r) ....................................................................... ‫ خ‬buxl ~ buxul ‘avaricia’ [avarice] (f. 1r) ................................................ � ‫�ْل‬ َ‫ب��َ خ‬ ‫س‬ ‫ ُ��ّل‬saxl ~ saxal ‘cabritillo’ [(billy-) kid] (f. 3r) ....................................... ‫ز‬ ‫ َو � ِه‬wazze ~ wuzze ‘ganso’ [goose] (f. 4r) ................................................. َُ ‫ْ ن‬ ‫ ِ����س��وب�نِر‬snōbar, sinōbar ‘piñones’ [pine nut] (f. 5r) .................................... ‫ ��ْ��س���ا �خ‬sbānix, sibānix ‘espinaca’ [spinach] (f. 8v) .................................... � ‫ِ ْب‬ ‫ � ب�ِي���ه‬zbībe, zibībe ‘pasa’ [raisin] (f. 6v) ........................................................ ِ‫ْزِ ب‬ ‫ �ِ�سف��يِ�� نِ���ه‬sfīne, sifīne ‘nave’ [ship] (f. 10r) .......................................................... ُ‫ ْ ط‬ṣṭūḥ, ṣiṭūḥ ‘terrazo, techo’ [terraces, roofs] (f. 36v) .................. ‫ِْ�ص ْ��وح‬ ‫ �ِ�سْفِ��ر ْجِ��ل‬sfirǧil, sifirǧil ‘membrillo’ [quince] (f. 5r) .................................... ‫ ا �م���ا‬، ‫ ا �ل��ا‬ilbāriḥ ~ imbāriḥ ‘aier tarde’ [yesterday evening] ‫ب رح‬ ‫ب رِح‬ (f. 37v) ............................................................................................................. َ ‫�رَه‬ �‫ ب�ُ ك‬bukara ‘mañana’ [tomorrow] (f. 37v) ................................................. bi-prefix (f. 42r.) ................................................................................................

304 305 306 309 309 309 319 319 319 319 319 319 322 323 327

Acknowledgements The articles contained in this volume are based on papers read at the Second Conference of the Association internationale pour l’étude du moyen arabe et des variétés mixtes de l’arabe (AIMA), which was held at the University of Amsterdam in 2007. Thanks are due to all the authors of papers presented at the Conference. We thank the members of the Organising Committee ( Johannes den Heijer, Ronald Kon, Caroline Roset, Resianne Smidt van Gelder-Fontaine, Harry Stroomer, Manfred Woidich, Otto Zwartjes, and Irene Zwiep) for the time and effort dedicated to make AIMA 2 a successful event. A special word of thanks is due to Caroline Roset. During AIMA 2 and its preparatory stage, she played a crucial role in organising all the practical aspects of the conference. We wish to thank all the financing instances: the Institute of Culture and History, the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, the Department of Language and Literature (University of Amsterdam), the Stichting Oosters Instituut (‘Foundation The Oriental Institute’) in Leiden, and the Royal Netherlands Academy (KNAW) in Amsterdam, for their sponsorship. We are indebted to the Scientific Committee and Presidency of AIMA (Joshua Blau, Jacques Grand’Henry, Jérôme Lentin, Federico Corriente, Madiha Doss, Simon Hopkins, Gunvor Mejdell, and Kees Versteegh), who honoured the Amsterdam Conference with their moral support. We are indebted to Manfred Woidich for his advice and assistance during the compilation of this volume, and to Johannes den Heijer for so kindly writing the Introduction to this book. Ronald Kon assisted us in the earlier stages of the preparations of this volume, for which we are very grateful. Our special thanks go to the series editor, Kees Versteegh, and to the editors of Brill Academic Publishers, Liesbeth Kanis, Franca de Kort, and Jasmin Lange, who assisted us with limitless kindness and patience. The editors Amsterdam, November 2011

Introduction: Middle and Mixed Arabic, a new trend in Arabic Studies Johannes den Heijer 1. Recent Developments Throughout its long history, and indeed up to the present day, the Arabic language has functioned in a situation that is often referred to as diglossia, i.e. the co-existence of two distinct varieties of one and the same language, each with its own specific domains. In the case of the Arabic language, the H (‘high’) variety is known as Classical Arabic (also dubbed Literary or Standard Arabic), and is used in religion, politics, literature, the sciences and, in modern times, various types of mass media. All over the Arabic-speaking world, writing is mostly done in this H variety, which is essentially the same in an entire, vast linguistic area, which includes well over twenty countries. It is also the prestigious object of a long grammatical and philological tradition, which developed as soon as the Arabic language expanded outside the Arabian Peninsula into the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Reading, writing, understanding and, indeed, speaking Standard Arabic are skills that have to be learned in a more or less formalized setting. The L (‘low’) variety of the language is Spoken or Colloquial Arabic, which varies from region to region and is therefore often referred to by the term ‘Arabic Dialects’. As the native tongue of all Arabic speakers without exception, it is used for all day-to-day conversation to the extent that it is the usual vehicle for most oral expressions in Arabic. Albeit on a far smaller scale than Standard Arabic, it is also used in writing, e.g. in theatre or film scripts, song lyrics, literature (particularly ‘popular’ poetry, but sometimes also artistic poetry and prose) and, increasingly, advertising. Although such texts that are written entirely, or preponderantly, in the L variety are rare for any period prior to the nineteenth century, it is important to bear in mind that the H-L dichotomy has existed for at least 1300 years to date (the question of whether it existed before the Arab expansions of the seventh century CE is one of the great debates in Arabic studies).


johannes den heijer

The scholarly study of the Arabic language and literature has long addressed the H variety exclusively. This is understandable, since its tremendous prestige far transcends the boundaries of the Arab world; after all, Classical Arabic is also cultivated all over the Muslim world as the language of the Koran and the manifold branches of Islamic learning. Until recently, the L variety of Arabic has received only limited attention, primarily from European and other non-native linguists and philologists. Over the last three decades, however, specialists in Arabic dialectology have significantly increased in number and, moreover, a fair proportion of these scholars now hail from the Arab world itself. This is no mean accomplishment considering the relatively low prestige of Spoken Arabic in its own cultural setting. Many of these scholars meet and exchange research outcomes within the realm of the Association Internationale de Dialectologie Arabe (AIDA).1 Along with the study of the Classical or Standard language on the one hand, and colloquial Arabic on the other, a new sub-discipline within Arabic studies has arisen from the need to understand what actually goes on between these H and L varieties of Arabic. It has been known for some time that the structural differences between the H and L varieties, which have been a permanent reality throughout their history, resulted at some point in the creation and development of intermediate and mixed varieties that were written, and probably spoken as well, in the past as much as they are often used in oral speech today. Particularly with regard to pre-modern language situations, specialists conventionally use the term ‘Middle Arabic’ for these varieties. Following the publication of some pioneering research in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the study of Middle Arabic evolved into a research field in its own right, primarily due to the work of Joshua Blau which has been published over the last six decades. With regard to mixed varieties in modern times, sociolinguistic analysis has been applied most fruitfully to situations in spoken Arabic since the late 1950s (Ferguson 1959).2 The quality, importance and impact of these two research trends notwithstanding, it was only in the first decade of the twenty-first century that they timidly but seriously started to meet and move towards what should, hopefully, one day result in a combined philological and sociolinguistic approach to pre-modern and modern, written and oral, 1  For information on publications and past and future conferences, see http://www .aida.or.at/. 2  See the overview and bibliography in Boussofara-Omar 2006b.



manifestations of Mixed Arabic. This will be an approach that will occupy the central position in Arabic studies it deserves, in line with the historical and geographical dimensions of the phenomenon itself. In the last ten years, there has been remarkable progress in the collective effort to study these types of Mixed Arabic in a common framework. In May 2004, the first International Conference on the Study of Middle Arabic and the Mixed Varieties of Arabic was held at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). For the first time, the Middle Arabic of mediaeval texts and the Mixed Arabic used in (recorded and transcribed) oral utterances in Arabic today were studied collectively within the same framework—including the creation of the Association internationale pour l’étude du moyen arabe et des variétés mixtes de l’arabe (International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic—AIMA)—and, most of all, with a shared awareness that what we are dealing with here are different manifestations of one and the same sociolinguistic phenomenon.3 In the meantime, a further two successful AIMA conferences have taken place: AIMA 2, at the University of Amsterdam, from 22 to 25 October, 2007,4 and AIMA 3 at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, from 11 to 14 October, 2010.5 In addition, a small-scale workshop was convened at the NetherlandsFlemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC), where a number of mainly Cairo-based colleagues working in sociolinguistics discussed several of the papers presented at AIMA 2 and recorded on video, linking the issues raised there to their own ongoing research.6 This was a first tentative step towards mobilizing more scholars of this new combined discipline from Arab countries, thus reducing the risk of this approach continuing to be a primarily external way of looking at this important facet of the Arabic language. More recently, Gunvor Mejdell organized another small workshop at the University of Oslo, this time with the aim of comparing research on Middle and Mixed Arabic with sociolinguistic and diachronic approaches 3  AIMA 1 was organized with financial support from the F.R.S.-FNRS Fonds de la Rercherche Scientifique. 4  Financial support for this conference was provided by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen (KNAW). 5  AIMA 3 was co-sponsored by the Università di Catania and the Banco Sanpaolo Invest. 6  Participants in this workshop were Madiha Doss, Sabine Dorpmueller, Gerda Mansour, Gunvor Mejdell, Marco Hamam, Muhammad al-Sharkawi, Rudolf de Jong, Johannes den Heijer, Zainab Ibrahim, Wafaa Kamel, and Humphrey Davies. The event was sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Cairo.


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to other languages.7 As well as individual publications elsewhere, these efforts have so far resulted in a volume of the proceedings of AIMA 1,8 while another containing the AIMA 3 papers9 and another based on the Oslo workshop10 are now in preparation. The present volume in turn contains a collection of articles written in 2010, and is based on papers read in Amsterdam in 2007 at AIMA 2—some of which were presented again and discussed at the 2008 Cairo workshop referred to above. In a remarkably fortunate, parallel development, the first decade of the twenty-first century has also seen the publication of the monumental and admirable Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, which contains a host of entries that are of direct relevance to our topic in all of its manifold aspects.11 This introduction aims to analyze the articles contained in this volume within the wider research context of all of the encounters mentioned above: the main issues studied in the articles collected here will be discussed with reference, whenever relevant, to papers and discussions from the three AIMA conferences and the two related workshops. The author of

7 This workshop was held on 14 and 15 June, 2010, with presentations on Arabic by Gunvor Mejdell, Jérôme Lentin, Madiha Doss, Johannes den Heijer, and Catherine TaineCheikh, and on other languages by Tore Janson (Latin, Romance), Ernst Håkon Jahr (Scandinavian languages), Brit Mæhlum (Norwegian), Karen Gammelgaard (Czech), Bernt Brendemoen (Ottoman Turkish), Lutz Edzard (Hebrew), Jan Erik Rekdal (Gaelic, Latin), Jens Braarvig (Tibetan, Chinese), Claus Peter Zoller (Hindi), Ingjerd Hoem (linguistic anthropology) and Kristin F. Hagemann (Latin, Romance). 8 Most of the papers presented at the first AIMA conference were published in LentinGrand’Henry 2008. 9 The theme of AIMA 3 was ‘Le moyen arabe et l’arabe mixte : un choix volontaire de registre?’/‘Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic: an Intentional Choice of Register?’ The proceedings are now being edited by Lidia Bettini, Paolo La Spisa and Cecilia Picchi. 10  Edited by Gunvor Mejdell and Lutz Edzard, to appear in the Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes series. 11  For instance, the following entries: ‘Christian Middle Arabic’ (J. Grand’Henry); ‘Classical Arabic’ (W. Fischer); ‘Classicism’ (H. Palva); ‘Code-switching’ (G. Mejdell); ‘Colloquial’ (S. Abboud-Haggar); ‘Communal Dialects’ (K. Walters); ‘Dialect Koine’ (C. Miller); ‘Dialects: Genesis’ (S. Abboud-Haggar); ‘Diglossia’ (N. Boussofara-Omar); ‘Educated Arabic’ (K.C. Ryding); ‘History of Arabic’ (I. Ferrando); ‘Hypercorrection’ (B. Hary); ‘Interference’ (D.-W. Wilmsen); ‘Judaeo-Arabic’ (G. Khan); ‘Language attitudes’ (K. Walters); ‘Media Arabic’ (R.M. Effat & K. Versteegh); ‘Leveling’ (R. Bassiouney); ‘Middle Arabic’ ( J. Lentin); ‘Pidginization’ (M. Tosco); ‘Political Discourse and Language’ (N. Mazraani); ‘Register’ (R. Bassiouney); ‘Speech Accommodation’ (S. Shiri); ‘Substrate’ (W. Kusters); ‘Variation’ (E. Al-Wer). See also the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online (http:// brillonline.nl & http://brill.nl/eallo).



these remarks12 insists on mentioning all these developments in order to underline the momentum that the combined study of Middle and Mixed Arabic has gained in the last few years. Taken as a whole, the collection of papers presented in this book reflects the remarkable multiplicity of subjects relating to the main topic, which is essentially the Arabic language and its variety of forms and functions. In addition to the issue of variety, several other themes can be regarded as pairs which, at a first glance, might be taken as oppositions or dichotomies, but which in each case can also be read as twofold manifestations of one and the same aspect of the Arabic language and its mixed varieties. These interrelated manifestations are epitomized in the subtitle of this volume, itself another pair: “diachrony and synchrony”. The first of these two manifestations concerns the study of Mixed Arabic from a chronological point of view, and thus addresses the notions of ‘ancient’ or ‘pre-modern’ and ‘contemporary’ or ‘modern’. In spite of the inevitable problems of demarcation that arise in such an opposition, the importance of a new, common framework for specialists working on older and more recent manifestations of the phenomenon is considerable and has already been sufficiently pointed out. The element of synchrony, however, needs some fine-tuning, as it is not limited to the mutual interaction of the H and L levels, as set out above. Firstly, both levels are in need of further clarification: H can mean Classical, post-Classical, or (Modern) Standard Arabic, but in the case of a prestige dialect, studies do not always make it clear whether its contact with a different dialect is a question of language contact, code switching or mixing, or both. The most innovative, but also the most complex, aspect of the various AIMA and AIMA-related encounters has been their aim to use the same methodological outlook to consider written—whether medieval or (early) modern—documents as well as (transcribed recordings of ) necessarily recent oral speech. Fluctuation between the H (formal, Classical) and L (colloquial) registers is known to occur in oral speech as well as in written texts. Moreover, other specific standards may interfere in both oral and written Arabic, which are neither Classical/Standard nor regular colloquial. Finally, it may be argued that the boundaries between the written and the oral in any language are not as strict as they may seem. 12  With thanks to Jérôme Lentin and Jacques Grand’Henry for their insightful remarks and corrections and to Liesbeth Zack for her feedback, support and patience.


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The discussions held in this new common framework can be regarded as the beginning of an experiment in cross-fertilization between philological and sociolinguistic research on various types of written texts and oral speech. Finally, the articles published in this volume reflect an approach that combines thematic coherence, in the sense of the common approaches to a variety of materials just mentioned, with interdisciplinarity: as well as the obvious focus on the main issue, i.e. the interaction between the registers within the Arabic language, the reader will also find a host of observations on textual history and transmission, literary aspects and the cultural and ideological contexts in which authors, redactors, scribes or speakers have produced their written or spoken output. By no means should this diversity of approaches be mistaken for disparity. On the contrary, it underlines the very richness of this collection of studies. Accordingly, all of these aspects will receive due attention in the remainder of this introduction. 2. ‘Middle Arabic’ and ‘Mixed Arabic’: Terminology, Definitions, and the Question of a Common Approach Whereas the first AIMA conference in 2004 witnessed a vivid debate on the adequacy of the terms ‘Middle Arabic’ and ‘Mixed Arabic’, and more particularly of the former, this controversy no longer seemed to be much of an issue in either 2007 or 2010, or indeed at the two workshops. In general, specialists in the field no longer seem to adhere to the old habit of using the term ‘Middle Arabic’ as an exclusively chronological device for describing a postulated intermediate phase between Old Arabic (often incorrectly identified with Classical Arabic) and the modern Arabic dialects. This is not to say that among the contributors to this volume, and indeed among the participants at AIMA 2 and 3, there is absolute (implicit) consensus on all of the details of a definition of terms such as ‘Middle Arabic’ and ‘Mixed Arabic’. All of these scholars now tend to agree that the phenomenon covered by both terms is a continuum, or a mix, between the H variety (usually identified as Standard or Classical Arabic) and the L variety (colloquial Arabic, also dubbed Neo-Arabic).13 13  When Joseph Chetrit in his AIMA 2 paper (not published in this volume) professed to prefer French ‘arabe moyen’ (as analogous to ‘arabe classique’ and ‘arabe dialectal’) to ‘moyen arabe’, he was referring to a lexical issue that is clearly confined to a limited num-



When it comes to the details, Bruno Halflants, for instance, reminds us in his article that the notion of a continuum (i.e. on a scale between H and L) prevents us from trying to identify a specific level on the scale that corresponds to Middle Arabic. Incidentally, it is important to realize that the concepts of Middle and Mixed Arabic are not yet generally well known, while other terms are coined as well with regard to specific categories of texts, such as luġat al-ḥikāya (‘story-language’), as Rachel Hasson points out in a footnote. As well as H and genuine L forms, i.e. features of living speech in colloquial Arabic, Middle Arabic typically has hybrid forms that are proper to neither the H nor the L registers. These are the kinds of features that Joshua Blau and others call pseudocorrections (broken down into hypocor­ rections and hypercorrections). Moreover, when referring to Middle Arabic texts contained in manuscripts, Paolo La Spisa recalls that these three types of forms may well alternate and co-exist freely on the same folio. Nowadays, it is mainly the frequent occurrence of hybrid forms in written texts that raises the questions—crucial within our common framework of inquiry—as to whether pre-modern, written Middle Arabic can be understood according to the same criteria as modern Mixed Arabic in its written or oral forms, or to what extent we are dealing here with one and the same sociolinguistic phenomenon as it manifests itself over time and in different settings. Jacques Grand’Henry hints at this problem in passing by highlighting the case of a fundamental rupture between ancient and recent data, as well as an instance of continuity between the two. Yet it is chiefly to Gunvor Mejdell that we owe the prime pioneering work in this respect. Already at AIMA 1 Mejdell discussed a number of ancient parallels to her own data, which were extracted from debates on cultural issues in contemporary Egypt. In her contribution to the present volume, which is eloquently entitled ‘Playing the same game? Notes on comparing spoken contemporary Mixed Arabic and (pre)modern written Middle Arabic’, she presents, to the present author’s knowledge, the first truly systematic attempt to produce a comprehensive and comparative approach to pre-modern and modern Arabic in their mixed varieties.14 ber of European languages, and is irrelevant for others (cf. English ‘Middle Arabic’, German ‘Mittelarabisch’), rather than to the conceptual confusion that had reigned earlier. On the concept of ‘arabe moyen’ as distinct from ‘moyen arabe’, and referring to contemporary mixed varieties, see e.g. Dichy 1994 and Larcher 2001. 14  In the Oslo workshop mentioned above, Gunvor Mejdell took a further initiative to consolidate and expand this comparative framework by involving a series of other languages.


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In terms of terminology, Mejdell’s main point is a typological distinction between Middle Arabic, which she understands as ‘Middle Arabic written texts, premodern and modern’, and Mixed Arabic, identified as spoken and contemporary. She concludes that comparison between the two is complicated by the fact that “graphic and phonetic representations yield different information”, but that, nevertheless, “a structured investigation in the light of code-mixing and code-switching approaches, could and should be conducted across data, but limited to syntactic, collocational, and lexical aspects, which are transparent in both speech and writing.” From the viewpoint of synchrony and diachrony, for the time being, it is certainly helpful to replace the obsolete chronological definition of ‘Middle Arabic’ with a typological one, applicable to written Arabic of a mixed variety, irrespective of time, while reserving the term ‘Mixed Arabic’ for oral manifestations of mixed registers of the language. Empirically testing and discussing this solution at future AIMA conferences is recommended. This could be achieved by paying special attention to the typological distinction between, on the one hand, texts written by professional writers (like slogans and commercials) or with a literary intention (dialogues and narration in modern fiction), and, on the other hand, texts written by non-professionals in private letters (where the norm of written Arabic is still present, even if it is not respected) and on internet forums, chat rooms, Facebook pages, etc., where written Arabic can appear as a mere echo of oral performances.15 While it may be advisable to avoid spending a disproportionate amount of time and energy on a sustained discussion related to matters of definition and terminology, it is nonetheless clear that it is too early to completely discontinue such a discussion at this time. Let us neither forget nor ignore the criticism—whether justified or not—of the terms in question, not only expressed during AIMA 1,16 but also in several publications on pre-modern and contemporary texts or corpora alike (Toll 1984: 16–17, Boussofara-Omar 2006).17 15  This last observation is borrowed with gratitude from the comments of an anonymous reviewer of this collective work prior to its publication. 16  Only briefly hinted at in ‘Objectifs et bilan’ (Lentin-Grand’Henry 2008: XVIII), but voiced with fervour in several presentations and discussions, notably by Bo Holmberg and by Clive Holes. 17  See also Kouloughli, Djamel, ‘Moyen Arabe et questions connexes’. La clé des langues (http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/1195829205054/0/fiche___article/&RH=CDL_ARA120000), an undated working document for language tutors.



3. Diachrony: Middle Arabic and the History of the Arabic Language Middle and Mixed Arabic, then, has gained recognition as a variety within its own right, in which specific norms and standards can be identified. This feature is quite prominent in this volume, but this recent development should not obscure the fact that, in numerous studies on pre-modern MA phenomena, or on texts written in it, much, if not most, attention is granted to the identification or reconstruction of individual colloquial Arabic (Neo-Arabic) features. In many instances, these are studied—and quite legitimately so—for their own sake and from the perspective of historical linguistics, i.e. irrespective of their textual environment, which may be characterized by an overall predominance of Classical Arabic, or, conversely, by one of the varieties of Middle or Mixed Arabic defined above. In his pervasive key-note address at the Amsterdam congress, Joshua Blau presented five case studies to illustrate how Neo-Arabic elements in MA texts can help us to understand the history of the Arabic dialects: (1) the very early disappearance in sedentary dialects of the lateral fricative represented by the letter ḍād; (2) the adverbial ending -ā, a genuine colloquial form that can be distinguished from the Classical Arabic borrowing -an; (3) the verbal theme IV (ʾaf ʿala) as explained by the early history of stress in Arabic; (4) the internal passive ( fuʿila) as a possibly living feature of early dialects; and (5) the imperfect endings ūn(a) (3 pl.) and īn(a) (2 sg. f.) as genuine old dialect features rather than classicisms. With the same purpose in mind, several authors in this volume, such as Jacques Grand’Henry and Lutz Edzard, highlight information on ancient dialects that can be retrieved from their respective materials. Equally, within a chronological framework, Bruno Halflants scrutinizes parts of the 1001 Nights according to a particular fourteenth or fifteenth century manuscript, as a consequence discovering features known from modern Arabic dialects, which can sometimes be traced back to even earlier witnesses. The contribution by Manfred Woidich and Otto Zwartjes contains important historical linguistic information on phonological and morphosyntactic features of colloquial Arabic as spoken in Damascus around 1700 (but containing traits that may hail from elsewhere in the Syro-Palestinian dialect area) and the often problematic notation of these features in a grammar written by a Spanish missionary of that time. Similar research, which is not published in this volume, was carried out by Madiha Doss


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and discussed in her AIMA 2 key-note address,18 and by Liesbeth Zack at the AIMA 3 conference.19 From a different angle, but also in diachronic terms (albeit concentrating on modern Egypt) Muhammad al-Sharkawi discussed examples, at AIMA 2 and, in more detail, at the Cairo workshop, of the shift of the preference for synthetic to one for analytic constructions, which is so well known from Blau’s work on earlier processes of change, in present day written Middle Arabic (political discourse on internet sites).20 4. Norms and Standards As stated briefly above, one of the most significant achievements of the new trend in Middle and Mixed Arabic studies is a fresh emphasis on the norms and standards that can be identified by carefully analyzing and comparing the huge amount of material available. If the norms, and the standards that derive from them, were obviously never codified in the way that those of Classical or Standard Arabic were, their systematic character and their persistence over a long period of time and wide geographical area have nevertheless been demonstrated convincingly (LentinGrand’Henry 2008: XVIII–XX). While such norms and standards appear to affect all domains of the language, the articles in this volume principally focus on orthography, which of course has implications for phonetics and phonology. So far, numerous observations in this field point at deviations from what is perceived to be ‘the’ norm of Classical Arabic, particularly with regard to spelling conventions. In fact, it should be borne in mind that in general an overall history of Arabic orthography, which only partly overlaps with paleography (a much better documented and studied issue!), is yet to be written. Jérôme Lentin’s contribution is an important step in 18  Title: ‘La grammaire de Savary. Réflexions sur la notion d’arabe vulgaire’. Doss’s main discovery here was that in an early nineteenth-century French textbook, the notion of ‘arabe vulgaire’ turns out to be not Cairene or Alexandrian Arabic of the period, but a mix of Standard Arabic with elements of colloquials from various regions in Egypt and the Levant, as well as hybrid elements. 19  L. Zack, ‘Liʻb al-Manār: a medieval shadow play from Egypt’. The Arabic reconstructed in this congress paper is Egyptian colloquial as contained in a manuscript of the early eighteenth century, but likely to contain considerably older material. See also Zack 2011 about the same text. 20  M. al-Sharkawi presented ‘Middle Arabic as a gate for language development in Arabic’ at AIMA 2, and introduced the discussion on ‘Definition problems’ at the NVIC workshop in Cairo.



this direction in that it offers a new interpretation of one particular phenomenon, namely, vowel signs and their function. Previously, such signs were often thought to make no sense at all whenever they differed from the vocalization system of Classical Arabic orthography. Lentin’s analysis has the further merit of being based on a wide range of texts and, in many cases, on the direct consultation of manuscripts. Various articles draw attention to a mix of codes, H, L and hybrid (or I, meaning intermediary, with Amr Helmy Ibrahim) within the texts under investigation, and hence—mainly implicitly—to a norm that has fluctuations, or a certain degree of flexibility. It is in this light that the observations put forward by Rachel Hasson concerning Judeo-Arabic texts can be read. The same is true for the piece by Benjamin Hary, who analyzes the so-called šarḥ genre as seen against the background of the translation process involved; similarly, Lutz Edzard’s study of a printed version of a text on religious lore convincingly demonstrates a number of traces of communal dialects from Baghdad. His work also notes that the Hebrew orthography of the text tends to be phonetic (with some noteworthy exceptions) where classicizing orthography is used. Probably the most important aspect of the issue of norms and standards is the question of to what extent they should be regarded as intentional. By now, it is quite clear that a supposedly inadequate proficiency in the orthography and grammar of Classical Arabic can no longer be viewed as a satisfactory explanation for all of the cases that fail to correspond to these normative systems. Although, from a common-sense, sociolinguistic and historical point of view, certain cases may well be due to precisely such a lack of grammatical training, or the sheer lack of concentration on form during the process of writing, copying or speaking, yet we now know that many other cases must indeed reflect a conscious desire to mix registers and styles. This latter interpretation has been on the AIMA agenda right from the start (cf. Lentin-Grand’Henry 2008: XVIII–XIX) and is now getting an increasing amount of attention.21 However, currently, the detailed scrutiny of numerous individual cases is still required before we can formulate empirically founded criteria on how to distinguish between intentional norms and unintentional performances which, from the traditional, normative point of view, might still be taken for unsuccessful attempts at using the H register.

 It was suggested as the main theme of the AIMA 3 conference; see above, Section 1.



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In this collection of studies, the conscious character of Middle Arabic usage is underlined by Bruno Halflants with regard to the frequent switch towards colloquial Arabic in dialogues as well as elsewhere in the 1001 Nights, and by Paolo La Spisa, who refers to the same text corpus as well as to earlier research on the language of authors such as Yāqūt al-Rūmī (1179–1229), al-Tanūxī (941–994) and Abū al-Faraǧ al-Iṣfahānī (897–967). Directly linked to the issue of intentional norms and standards is the phenomenon of status. Referring back to Joshua Blau’s earlier studies, Yosef Tobi ascribes such status, and to a very high degree at that, to a quasi omnipresent standard in much of the Jewish Arabic literature produced over no less than 1500 years, which is termed ‘Medieval Written Judeo-Arabic’ (MWJA). In fact, while admitting to a certain amount of variety within MWJA, Tobi does not hesitate to contend that “its status among the Arabic-speaking Jewish communities was like that of literary classical Arabic among the Muslim Arabic speakers”. Furthermore, when it comes to Judeo-Arabic, Joseph Chetrit presented at AIMA 2 a survey of varieties, particularly from the fifteenth century and beyond and used mainly in North Africa. All of these varieties were characterized by the frequent occurrence of hybrid features and by the persistent reference to a distinct variety that was regarded as prestigious.22 Continuing earlier research by Joshua Blau and himself on literary standards within Melkite Middle Arabic literature, Jacques Grand’Henry in his article comes to the conclusion that the text he investigates does not have two distinct standards, but rather two or possibly even three substandard varieties. This increased attention paid to matters of norms and standards in Judeo-Arabic, and to one specific branch of Christian Arabic texts, should encourage more research on other kinds of material, and seems to give fresh impetus to combined linguistic and literary investigations into standards as they are related to styles, including in Classical and Post-Classical Arabic. When it comes to positively identifying instances of a norm that is used consciously, a particularly strong case in point is poetry. With regard to the material she investigates, Rachel Hasson notes that most of the time “the poetic sections are written in a higher register than the portions of prose”. Arie Schippers shows, by meticulously analyzing the metrical structure of the poems he transcribes and translates, which are

22  For the issues raised in Chetrit’s presentation (not published in this volume), see Chetrit 2007.



basically composed in Classical Arabic, how colloquial elements alternate with poetic licences to skilfully create what one might describe as Middle Arabic poetry. The example adduced is from the (Karaite) Judeo-Arabic tradition, and it would be very interesting to compare it with examples of the same phenomena in other traditions. A very promising, albeit highly demanding, line of research when it comes to intentional norms and standards is that of their position within text transmission. Already at AIMA 1, Jacques Grand’Henry had demonstrated how in later versions of a given text, scribes or redactors can display a tendency to produce a type of language that is closer to the norms of Classical Arabic than their Vorlage; most importantly, however, that the opposite can also be true (Grand’Henry 2008: 182–183)! In the article mentioned above, which is included in this volume, Grand’Henry continues the examination of textual revision against the background of the reconsideration of Middle Arabic standards. Another precious contribution in this context is that of Berend Jan Dikken, who meticulously analyzes a text in its (Yemenite) Jewish, (Coptic) Christian and Muslim transmissions (on which more below), demonstrating how the Coptic, as well as the Muslim scribes or redactors, produced a standard that contains fewer Middle Arabic features than the Yemenite manuscripts. The problem of levels or norms in Arabic also has implications for didactics. Manfred Woidich and Otto Zwartjes (see above) discuss this in light of the history of Arabic language teaching in Europe. Accordingly, it is appropriate to recall here the hybrid elements that Madiha Doss discovered, along with elements of the colloquials of various regions in Egypt and the Levant, in a nineteenth century textbook claiming to teach the ‘arabe vulgaire’ of Egypt. This aspect of norms is thus related to the history of Arabic language teaching in early modern Europe. However, in the future, our improved understanding of the non-codified, but nevertheless frequently used, norms of Middle and Mixed Arabic could very well have a bearing on applied linguistics when it comes to language training, both today and in the future. Indeed, a first step towards exploring this dimension was made at the Cairo workshop, and has so far yielded some preliminary, but promising, insights. When it comes to our own times and the registers used in spoken Mixed Arabic, a number of factors are involved according to Amr Helmy Ibrahim. Of these, it is appropriate to mention koineization (also highlighted by Gunvor Mejdell, along with the dialect level), the natural and stable diglossic or triglossic character of the language, and the strategies required for switching between codes.


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At AIMA 2, Catherine Taine-Cheikh showed in her paper (not submitted to this volume) an aspect of how standards work in the more complex sociolinguistic environment of Mauritania, with particular attention being paid to the intricacies of the oral-written divide, which can be better understood by adding the dimension of ‘auralisation’. One may also recall, with regard to norms and standards and the status they enjoy, the issue of language attitudes as applied to the choice of register. This issue is present in the background in all of the articles introduced above. Moreover, it was the main theme of a paper presented at AIMA 2, and published elsewhere (Hamam 2011), in which even two highly language-aware and ideologized speakers, with diametrically opposed views on the perceived virtues of the H and L registers, were shown to be unable to stick to their preferred linguistic pole, thus displaying a clear cross movement through the Arabic linguistic continuum. Finally, Gunvor Mejdell’s aforementioned contribution is also of paramount importance with regard to the question of whether norms and standards work in the same way in written and oral environments. While Mejdell does observe a major difference between the two, namely the fact that hybrid forms “are significantly more prevalent in written Middle Arabic texts than in contemporary mixed speech”, she also points to enough similarities to encourage more research along these lines. 5. Literary and Cultural Contexts At the start of this introduction, it was pointed out that literary and other cultural aspects of the environment in which Arabic developed over the centuries, in all its manifold manifestations, figure prominently in this volume. It is also from this angle that Benjamin Hary discusses the literary genre of the šarḥ, while Yosef Tobi’s contribution equally contains a significant part on the wide variety of written and oral Judeo-Arabic literature. Rachel Hasson deals with the literary and textual aspects of a popular story in its Judeo-Arabic version, highlighting the techniques of oral transmission that can be found therein, as well as the distinction between the sections in rhymed prose and in poetry, respectively. Arie Schippers comments quite extensively on literary motives in the poem he discusses. Kees de Vreugd’s contribution, meanwhile, is entirely about the literary and historic milieu, in this case that of a Karaite Jewish author and his polemics against his Rabbanite co-religionists. Similarly, the paper Raif Georges Khoury presented at AIMA 2 (to be published elsewhere)



dealt in its entirety with the Classical Arabic language as a vehicle of High Literature. 6. Middle Arabic and the Traditions of Religious Communities Another refreshing element in the different AIMA venues is that they have brought together specialists in the various Arabic linguistic and literary traditions that are traditionally defined in terms of religious identity. Indeed, it is rare to find the likes of Joshua Blau, who has worked equally on both Judeo-Arabic and Middle Arabic hailing from a Christian environment, while also systematically referring to the parallel phenomena found in texts by Muslim authors, or even in the Koran itself. While such a comprehensive approach is not uncommon in studies of modern, oral Mixed Arabic and in Arabic dialectology,23 those of us who primarily work on pre-modern texts in manuscripts generally tend to focus on the output of just one religious community at a time: Jews, Christians or Muslims. As our modern academic environment is one of increasing specialization, there would be absolutely no point in objecting to a concentration on texts deriving from one particular environment, whether it be confessional or otherwise. Yet because interdisciplinarity is also a key concept today, things do become problematic when specialists in one of the aforementioned confessionally defined fields are reduced to exclusively exchanging ideas and research data with colleagues working in the same area. In this respect, the AIMA initiative, as reflected in the present volume, is a remarkably significant step forward. Even though most of the contributions to this work still specifically concern one of the religious traditions, the opportunity to present these in a shared framework, and to discuss our current research with experts in other sectors, is now clearly beginning to have an impact on our way of looking at the texts we study. Indeed, it enables us to discern the particularities of their linguistic and cultural features, as well as the numerous parallels found in texts produced by authors from the communities we are less familiar with.

23  In the works by Bassiouney, Mazraani, Mejdell and others, confessional identity can be regarded as an issue of secondary importance. In dialectology, material recorded in Christian communities is often presented within the same context as that hailing from Muslim environments (for one example of many, see Behnstedt and Woidich 1988: 214– 225). In studies of communal dialects inspired by the seminal study by Haim Blanc (Blanc 1964, cf. Walters 2006) the approach is usually comparative and inclusive.


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Ever since Joshua Blau, with more than an eye on all of the intricacies and complications involved, repeatedly defined Judeo-Arabic in clear terms as “Arabic written by Jews for Jews” and Christian Arabic in analogous wording,24 continued efforts have resulted in further reflections on this matter. In the present volume, definitions or characterizations of Judeo-Arabic are suggested by both Benjamin Hary, who uses the concept of ‘religiolect’ and maintains that the specific style of literal translations helped to assert Jewish identity, and Yosef Tobi, who looks at Medieval Written Judeo-Arabic against the background of Jewish communal dialects. Any such dialect is, he states, in principle the same as those “spoken by the Arab or Muslim majority in a certain country, even if it differs in some respects, such as its Hebrew component and even phonetically, from the majority dialect”. It thus appears that the specificity of written Judeo-Arabic could be explained with similar parameters. In the introduction to his article, Bruno Halflants describes the Middle Arabic of Jews and Christians as a (deliberately used) identity marker, and that of Muslims as, purportedly, closer to the ideal norm of Classical Arabic due to the religious prestige of the latter. This highly controversial, confessional question is in urgent need of a further empirical and comparative investigation that is based on a significant amount of data. AIMA 1 included a number of reflections on this issue, but these were limited, for the time being, to the Coptic Christian tradition (den Heijer 2008). There were, however, further elaborations on this topic from a more comparative angle at AIMA 3.25 At AIMA 2, and in this collection of articles related to it, the present author briefly described some features of a corpus of inscriptions located in a (Syrian) Christian monastic setting, some of which contain interesting lexical items and expressions that are known from the Islamic religious culture. Very striking instances of a Muslim, or general Arab, influence are also highlighted in the studies of Judeo-Arabic texts by Lutz Edzard (reminiscent of the Qurʾānic style, formal references to the ḥakawāti genre, a mix of Jewish and Muslim communal dialects in the pronouns and in the verbal system etc.) and Rachel Hasson, whose very object of study is a Jewish version of a story (with some adaptations) that originates from a Muslim environment.

 Cf. Blau’s more systematic reflections on this terminology: Blau 2000.  Title of this paper: ‘ “Déconfessionaliser” l’étude du moyen arabe: nouvelles remarques et questions’. 24 25



A truly fascinating case of a shared literary heritage across religious demarcations can be found in Berend Jan Dikken’s contribution to this volume. Dikken shows, in great philological detail, how Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch was not only authoritative in Jewish circles, but was also used by Samaritans, expanded and commented upon by Coptic Christians, and transmitted in a manuscript of Muslim provenance from the thirteenth century CE. 7. Middle Arabic in Contact with Other Languages Virtually all of the contributions discussed in the preceding section implicitly or explicitly deal with forms of contact between Arabic and one or more other languages. Whether as a substrate language that indirectly looms in the background in a variety of ways, or as an immediate Vorlage in the case of translated texts, or in a living bilingual or multilingual setting, several languages are presented as influencing the Arabic of specific texts or genres. The language that receives most attention is Hebrew, since it has long been known to be operational in Judeo-Arabic, which not only uses its script, but also much of its vocabulary. Comparing it to other languages used by Jewish communities, Benjamin Hary approaches JudeoArabic as a mixed language from the point of view of contact between a source or primary language and a recipient language. An important observation here is that Hebrew, along with the Aramaic components in Judeo-Arabic, is not restricted to the religious and cultural sphere, but also occurs in the entire lexicon, as well as in phonology, morphology, and syntax. More remarks on the Hebrew (and occasionally Aramaic) components can be found in the articles by Yosef Tobi, Berend Jan Dikken, and Lutz Edzard; in the latter contribution, the mixed nature of the language even appears in the title of the text in question, Qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadīq—ʿalav ha-šalom. In Kees de Vreugd’s study, such a Hebrew influence is implicit in many of the text samples. In this case, unlike much of Judeo-Arabic literature, not all of the Karaite texts in question are written in Hebrew characters: several are in the Arabic script, thus prompting the transcription of Hebrew words and expressions. Meanwhile, one of the poems analyzed by Arie Schippers starts with 14 lines in Hebrew (of 35 lines in total). When it comes to the Christian sphere, various languages are in contact with Arabic. In Egypt, this is mostly Coptic, as pointed out at the


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AIMA 1 (den Heijer 2008: 133–134, 138) and AIMA 3 conferences.26 In the present volume, Jacques Grand’Henry uses instances of Greek and Syriac substrates as a criterion of distinction between the different branches of a text tradition.27 The epigraphical corpus studied by Johannes den Heijer also contains numerous cases of Syriac influence, and some of the inscriptions can actually be read as manifestations of a mixed language. Needless to say, the particular attention paid to language contact in the Jewish and Christian traditions by no means implies that such contact is thought to be limited to these communities. In fact, for centuries Arabic has been, and still partly is, in contact with languages such as Persian, Turkish, Berber and Romance. When it comes to Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic specifically, however, this well-known fact is yet to result in systematic research projects.28 In the same vein, it would be useful for the scholars involved in AIMA to establish more systematic links with the extensive research on contemporary contact between Arabic and languages like English, French, and Spanish. 8. The Study of the Transmission of Middle Arabic Texts and their Edition A number of observations on text-historical aspects have been mentioned above in other contexts. It is enough to underline the fact that the manuscript transmission of specific texts is especially prominent in the articles by: Jacques Grand’Henry (distinction of various sub-categories of a Middle Arabic standard in the various branches of transmission of the text); Rachel Hasson (analysis of copying mistakes, with a focus on those occurring in the process of transcription from Arabic to Hebrew script or vice versa); Berend Jan Dikken (a meticulous reconstruction of the lines of transmission of the aforementioned Pentateuch version); and Bruno Halflants (reflections on the stemma of the text in question, which take up a significant part of the article). 26  Coptic-Arabic contact figured prominently in Ofer Livne Kafri’s AIMA 3 paper, ‘On a Christian-Arabic version of the Pentateuch from the fourteenth century (MS Paris BN copte 1)’. 27  For various aspects of Greek-Arabic language contact, it seems appropriate to recall the elaborate study by Maria Mavroudi which was presented at AIMA 1 (Mavroudi 2008). 28  In a paper presented at AIMA 2 and published elsewhere (Bauden 2011), Frédéric Bauden presented a letter from a merchant of Persian extraction which contained a number of phenomena that are possibly due to the author’s lack of proficiency in Arabic, but also some that are quite typical of Middle Arabic as found in other texts.



Another very problematic aspect of Middle Arabic as transmitted in manuscripts is the issue of their edition. Indeed, the very recognition of deliberately used Middle Arabic norms and standards confronts editors of written Middle Arabic texts with a problem that is both methodological and practical.29 The quest for a scholarly sound approach to editing texts of such a mixed or hybrid linguistic nature is still far from fulfilled, and a consensus among scholars will probably remain beyond reach for some time to come. The main dilemma, as it is often phrased, is one of authenticity and accessibility: should the editor be scrupulously faithful to the orthography and grammatical features of the original manuscript, document, or inscription, or are at least some of these features to be normalized according to Standard Arabic usage? His analysis of the use of vowel signs prompted Jérôme Lentin to remind us of the urgency of the need to edit Middle Arabic texts in such a way as to fully account for their spelling. By pointing to a failure to do so by a previous editor (who does respect the linguistic features of his main manuscript, but nevertheless corrects the text by referring to other witnesses), Bruno Halflants subscribes to Lentin’s view, albeit by advocating the production of detailed critical editions of texts prior to their linguistic analysis. Berend Jan Dikken’s elaborate case study shows that sometimes text traditions are too complex to allow for the simple reproduction of the spelling of the original; the intricate transmission of the text in question compels him to present it as such according to one manuscript, but in the orthography of another. At AIMA 2, Clara ten Hacken presented a description of the linguistic features of the basic manuscript, from 1380 CE, of an Arabic hagiographical text from the Coptic tradition, with a discussion of the most appropriate edition technique. By comparing several editions of similar texts, Ten Hacken came to the conclusion that certain orthographical adaptations were inevitable.30 The present volume also contains a contribution that is entirely devoted to the problem of editing Arabic texts in general, and Middle Arabic ones in particular. Paolo La Spisa critically reviews the traditional habit of tacitly, or explicitly, normalizing at least the orthography of a text (and often

29  This problem was identified in the introduction to AIMA 1 (Lentin-Grand’Henry 2008: XI–XII, XXI). 30  The contents of Clara ten Hacken’s paper at AIMA 2 are to appear in her forthcoming Ph.D. thesis: The legend of Saint Aûr: the foundation history of a Coptic monastery in the Fayyum (University of Amsterdam).


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much more) according to Classical Arabic rules, with the aim being to present to the reader a text that is intelligible and credibly reflects what is considered to be the original author’s thinking. To this principle, La Spisa contrasts the importance, well recognized in other traditions of living languages, of combining the criticism of forms or readings with that of the linguistic aspects of the text to be edited. He confirms the highly critical assessment made in 1988 by Jan Just Witkam, and comes to the sobering conclusion that the methods developed in Classical, Germanic and Romance philology over the last two centuries have rarely been applied to Arabic, with singularly catastrophic results for the treatment of Middle Arabic features. He gives a number of concrete suggestions for improvement and for presenting the linguistic features of multiple versions of a given text in the text body and in a special critical apparatus. For the immediate future, this crucial issue must remain on the agenda, and numerous other specific problems should also be addressed, such as the restitution of diacritical signs in ambiguous forms. Much of this very basic work remains to be done in this aspect of Arabic studies, and only a sustained collective effort will enable us to make further progress.31 9. Tools and the Variety of Materials Now that studies of Middle and Mixed Arabic are gaining momentum, a common conceptual framework for processing all relevant phonological, orthographical, morphological and syntactical data is becoming increasingly urgent. So far, studies of (pre-modern) written Middle Arabic texts tend to refer to Blau’s classics, as does Bruno Halflants, for instance, in this volume. Johannes den Heijer suggests consulting some other more concise and more recent general accounts of Middle Arabic features as a grid for embedding our observations on the linguistic traits of texts under investigation. Systematizing, analyzing and comparing the data of spoken Mixed Arabic and written Middle Arabic require large and searchable text corpora, as Gunvor Mejdell rightly states toward the end of her article. In the introduction to AIMA 1, the need for databases or inventories (répertoires) was already being underlined in clear terms (Lentin-Grand’Henry 2008: XXII). 31  Not only for Arabic, but also for a number of other languages, the Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies (COMSt) project aims to produce relevant recommendations. See http://www1.uni-hamburg.de/COMST/.



One may add to this that such corpora or databases are also in need of appropriate search tools; it is precisely because of their ‘ungrammatical’ character (from the point of view of Standard Arabic) that Middle Arabic texts defy automated analysis by means of most of the available corpus linguistic analysis software. At the Institut Orientaliste of the Université Catholique de Louvain, an indexation and lemmatization programme was designed to address this problem. Its main principles, as well as its application (or applicability) to various types of texts, were demonstrated by Laurence Tuerlinckx at the AIMA 2 conference.32 A major challenge for the conceptualization and development of such research tools is, of course, the extremely diverse nature of the data under investigation, particularly if we seriously embark on a common approach to written and oral material. However, a further issue relates to the wide chronological, geographical and typological variety within either category. The present volume modestly bears witness to this variety, but the scope of investigation certainly needs to be widened in the future. For instance, the so-called laḥn al-ʿāmma treatises have long been recognized as another category of sources of pre-modern neo-Arabic and Middle Arabic data. At AIMA 2, Antonella Ghersetti presented an analysis (not submitted to this volume) of one such treatise dated to the twelfth century CE—the Taqwīm al-Lisān by Ibn al-Ǧawzī—and further research on such treatises is a desideratum. Furthermore, the relevance of documentary texts to Middle Arabic is well known. However, as far as comprehensive studies are concerned, its recognition has only resulted in a much quoted analysis by Simon Hopkins of the language of early documentary texts in papyri (Hopkins 1984). In a number of highly erudite publications, Werner Diem has commented upon the linguistic features of specific documentary texts, mainly from the same early periods and contained in papyri, although he has also occasionally commented on later material (see, for instance, Diem 1993, 1995 and 2011). Since the study of Arabic papyrology has recently taken off in a way that is quite comparable to the research into Middle and Mixed Arabic, increased contacts may yield a more structural integration of this kind of material within the context of AIMA activities. Within the same framework, the article by Frédéric Bauden referred to above draws attention to much later texts and concentrates on the 32  L. Tuerlinckx, ‘un programme de lemmatisation adapté à l’arabe non classique’ (création d’index lemmatisés et exploitation des données lexicales ; exemple des textes arabes chrétiens)’ ; cf. also Tuerlinckx 2004).


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language found in the epistolary category of documents, as exemplified by three letters from fifteenth century Egypt. Similarly, Clive Holes’ study on much more recent letters from the Gulf, which he presented at AIMA 1 (Holes 2008), should inspire us to also pursue research in this domain. A different category of modern, written material is considered by Gabriel Rosenbaum in his analysis of mixed styles in the Egyptian press and in the aforementioned remarks on web-based political writing by Muhammad al-Sharkawi.33 When it comes to spoken Mixed Arabic, the focus thus far has been on specific domains (cultural, social and, above all, political) and a limited number of locations (Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, mostly in urban settings). The potential extensions of this scope are almost without limits and will require a huge amount of work. 10. Final Remarks: Mainstreaming Middle and Mixed Arabic Studies in the Future The most appropriate mood in which to conclude this introduction seems to be one of looking forward by referring back to the hope for the future expressed above. The three AIMA conferences and the AIMA spin-off workshop in Cairo have undoubtedly set a new trend by combining the philological study of older Middle Arabic texts, whether of Jewish, Christian or Muslim content and background, with a sociolinguistic approach to modern Mixed Arabic material. Typologically, we can now also consider extending, like Gunvor Mejdell, the notion of ‘Middle Arabic’ to written Mixed Arabic irrespective of time span, as distinct from spoken Mixed Arabic. The AIMA concept is thus in the process of producing nothing less than a new school of Arabic sociolinguistics and philology, and this has gained considerable momentum in recent years, as can be seen in the present volume. Nevertheless, the study of Middle and Mixed Arabic is still situated more or less outside the mainstream of Arabic and Islamic Studies. It also still lacks critical mass, due to its conceived marginality. The study of these mixed varieties of Arabic is rarely embedded in academic curricula, and it is no exaggeration to state that generations of Arabists graduate without

33  On the relevance of these two studies, which are not published here, cf. the judicious concluding remarks in Gunvor Mejdell’s contribution to this volume.



having acquired even the slightest notion of this arguably indispensible aspect of the historical and contemporary realities of the Arabic language. This situation certainly holds true for Europe, North America and other places where Arabic is studied from the perspective of an outsider, but at least to the same degree, if not more, for the Arab world itself. In view of the enormous amount of work that needs to be done in terms of editing, recording, transcribing and analyzing the wide range of written and oral material mentioned in this introduction, the further development of our field greatly depends on both quality and critical mass, and requires an exponential growth of the numbers of scholars who are able and willing to perform such tasks. Despite undeniable material, infrastructural, conjunctural and sometimes political obstacles, well-trained native speakers of Arabic have the great potential to contribute proactively to this international and collective enterprise. In this sense, it is gratifying to note that the three successive AIMA conferences have witnessed a gradual growth in participation by Arabic-speaking scholars, although a sustained effort is required if these numbers are to increase further. The Cairo workshop mentioned several times above may serve as a model that could be emulated at other locations throughout the Arab world, or wherever scholars can be found who have a sustained interest in sociolinguistics, dialectology or philology. For various external reasons, small-scale, informal venues would appear to provide the most suitable climate for meaningful cross-fertilization. Even more importantly, such workshops, irrespective of their geographical setting, as well as future AIMA conferences, should aim to reach out to young colleagues and involve them in planning the future of our field. More Ph.D. candidates should actively participate, while promising students who are not yet institutionally tied to specific projects should also be encouraged to attend and learn on the spot. Those of us who have teaching responsibilities can also report on these scientific events in our classes, while creatively looking for opportunities and means to integrate Middle and Mixed Arabic, a most central and far-reaching field within Arabic studies, into the academic curricula. Investing in future generations is not only a matter of granting Middle and Mixed Arabic their rightful place within the larger field. It is, above all, an urgent necessity. As has been argued in this introduction, much has been achieved in a short period of time, but a tremendous amount of work still needs to be done, and great numbers of trained and motivated specialists are required to carry it out. Hopefully, the collection of studies in this book can be used as a tool to transmit the knowledge that is necessary for such an achievement, and


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as a source of inspiration for numerous future research projects on our multifaceted and fascinating discipline. References Bauden, Frédéric. 2011. ‘Lam baqā yuʿāriḍkum. Analyse linguistique de trois lettres rédigées par un marchand au Caire en 819/1416–820/1417’. Den Heijer, Johannes, La Spisa, Paolo and Tuerlinckx, Laurence (eds.), Autour de la langue arabe. Études présentées à Jacques Grand’Henry à l’occasion de son 70e anniversaire. Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (forthcoming). Behnstedt, Peter and Woidich, Manfred. 1988. Die ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte. 3. Texte. II. Niltaldialekte—III. Oasendialekte. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. Blanc, Chaim. 1964. Communal dialects in Baghdad. Cambridge, Mass.: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University (Harvard Middle Eastern monographs 10). Blau, Joshua. 2000. ‘Are “Judaeo-Arabic” and “Christian Arabic” misnomers indeed?’ Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 24. 49–57. Boussofara-Omar, Naima. 2006a. ‘Neither third language nor middle varieties but diglossic switching’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 45. 55–80. ——. 2006b. ‘Diglossia’. Versteegh, Kees (gen. ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 1. 629–637. Chetrit, Joseph. 2007. Diglossie, hybridation et diversité intra-linguistique. Études socio-pragmatiques sur les langues juives, le judéo-arabe et le judéo-berbère. Paris, Louvain: Peeters (É tudes chamito-sémitiques). Den Heijer, Johannes. 2008. ‘Remarques sur le langage de quelques textes copto-arabes médiévaux’. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-laNeuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 171–181. Dichy, Joseph. 1994, ‘La pluriglossie de l’arabe’. Bulletin d’Études Orientales 46. 19–42. Diem, Werner. 1995. Arabische Geschäftsbriefe des 10. bis 14. Jahrhunderts aus der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz (Documenta Arabica antiqua 1). ——. 1997. Arabische Briefe des 7. bis 13. Jahrhunderts aus den Staatlichen Museen Berlin. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz (Documenta Arabica antiqua 4). ——. 2011. ‘Zwischen hohem Stil und Vulgarismus: Ein Brief aus dem Ägypten des 10.–11. Jahrhunderts n. Chr.’. Den Heijer, Johannes, La Spisa, Paolo and Tuerlinckx, Laurence (eds.), Autour de la langue arabe. Études présentées à Jacques Grand’Henry à l’occasion de son 70e anniversaire. Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (forthcoming). Ferguson, Charles A. 1959. ‘Diglossia’. Word 15. 325–340. Grand’Henry, Jacques. 2008. ‘Le moyen arabe dans les manuscrits de la version arabe du discours 40 de Grégoire de Nazianze’. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). Hamam, Marco. 2011. ‘Text vs. comment: some examples of the rhetorical value of the diglossic code-switching in Arabic: a Gumperzian approach’. Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association 21. 41–67. Holes, Clive. 2008. ‘The ‘mixed’ Arabic of the letters of 19th and early 20th century Gulf rulers’. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve,



10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 193–229. Hopkins, Simon. 1984. Studies in the Grammar of Early Arabic, based upon papyri datable to before A.H. 300/A.D. 912. Oxford: Oxford University Press (London oriental series 37). Kouloughli, Djamel. s.d. ‘Moyen Arabe et questions connexes’. La clé des langues (http:// cle.ens-lyon.fr/1195829205054/0/fiche___article/&RH=CDL_ARA120000). Larcher, Pierre. 2001. ‘Moyen arabe et arabe moyen’. Arabica 48. 578–609. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.). 2008. Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). Mavroudi, Maria. 2008. ‘Arabic words in Greek letters: the Violet fragment and more’. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 321–354. Toll, Christopher. 1984. ‘Dialektale Züge in al-Hamdānī’s Kitāb al-Ǧawharatayn’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 13. 16–26. Tuerlinckx, Laurence. 2004. ‘La lemmatisation de l’arabe non classique’. JADT 2004 : 7es Journées internationales d’Analyse statistique des Données Textuelles. http://lexicometrica.univ-paris3.fr/jadt/jadt2004/pdf/JADT_105.pdf. Walters, Keith. 2006. ‘Communal dialects’. Versteegh, Kees (gen. ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 1. 442–448. Zack, Liesbeth. 2011. ‘Liʿb al-Manār: an Egyptian shadow play. Some comments on ortho­ graphy, morphology and syntax’. Den Heijer, Johannes, La Spisa, Paolo and Tuerlinckx, Laurence (eds.), Autour de la langue arabe. Études présentées à Jacques Grand’Henry à l’occasion de son 70e anniversaire. Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (forthcoming).

Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe : premier essai de bibliographie Supplément no 1 Jérôme Lentin La présente bibliographie fait suite à celle qui a été publiée dans les Actes du premier colloque sur le moyen arabe1, et exauce le vœu qui y était exprimé (p. xxviii) : « On peut penser à un Supplément, par exemple dans le recueil des Actes du deuxième colloque de l’AIMA ». Elle regroupe, pour le moyen arabe et les variétés mixtes de l’arabe2 — associer les deux domaines est en effet, rappelons-le, sa caractéristique revendiquée — les références aux travaux parus depuis 2009, et à des travaux antérieurs qui n’avaient pas été recensés. Ce sont ainsi plus de 230 références qui s’ajoutent aux 1240 déjà données. Il va sans dire qu’on ne saurait considérer l’ensemble comme exhaustif, et les Suppléments à venir (le Supplément no 2 paraîtra dans un volume des Quaderni di Semitistica, qui sera consacré aux Actes du 3e colloque de l’AIMA, qui s’est tenu à Florence du 11 au 14 octobre 2010) s’efforceront d’en combler progressivement les lacunes. Dans cette perspective, je renouvelle l’appel lancé aux lecteurs pour leur demander de bien vouloir envoyer à l’auteur ([email protected] .com) leurs suggestions d’ajouts, et je remercie les quelques collègues qui ont bien voulu me faire parvenir les leurs. On trouvera d’abord ci-dessous, en prélude à ce premier Supplément, des Errata et corrigenda et des Ad­denda à la bibliographie de 2009. Errata et corrigenda Altoma 1965 : « Al-ǧuḏūr al-ḥadīṯa . . . ». Blau 1992a (« Medieval Judaeo-Arabic as a Continuation . . .) : corriger p. 149– 152. 1  J. Lentin, « Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe : premier essai de bibliographie », Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire — Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004), édités par Jérôme Lentin et Jacques Grand’Henry (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Lou­vain, no 58), Université catholique de Louvain, Institut orientaliste de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Peeters, 2009, pp. xxv–lxxxvii. 2  Rappelons que le symbole © signale, parmi les travaux sur les variétés mixtes contemporaines de l’arabe, ceux qui comportent un corpus transcrit.


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Heine, Peter (1981) : corriger 268–271. Kallas 2000 est à mettre après Kallas 1999. Kaye 1970 (« Modern Standard Arabic and the Colloquials ») corriger p. 374–391. P. lxvi, ligne 41 : corriger « Kussaim, Samir » en « Kussaim, Khalil ». Stenhouse 1989 corriger dans le titre : « based on material » (et non « based on the material »). Addenda Bassiouney à paraître (« Register ») est paru en 2009 dans le vol. IV de l’Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, p. 57–60. Bassiouney 1999 (« Diglossic switching . . . »), ajouter : ‘éd. A. Kakouriotis’ et ‘p. 243–254’. Baybars (Sīrat al-malik al-Ẓāhir Baybars), éds. G. Bohas & K. Zakharia), ajouter : 2007 et 2009, vol. 7 et 8 (Publications de l’Institut Français de Damas 239 et 242). Blau 1998d (« Saadya Gaon’s Pentateuch Translation . . .), ajouter : [en hébreu] Farnawānī 1976 (« Luġat al-Ğabartī ») : la nadwa a eu lieu en avril 1974; ajouter ‘p. 75 suiv.’. Farnawānī 1973–1974 : corriger Al-ḫaṣāʾiṣ al-tarkībiyya en Al-ḫawāṣṣ al-tarkībiyya et ajouter ‘211 p.’. Ferguson 1972 (Myths about Arabic) est paru d’abord en 1959, dans R.S. Harrell (ed.), Georgetown University Monograph Series on Languages and Linguistics 12, p. 75–82. Ibn Ṣaṣrā (Al-durra al-muḍīʾa . . .) a été également édité par Ḫayrī al-Ḏahabī, Damas, Ministère de la Culture, 2008 (série ʾĀfāq dimašqiyya, 3). Janković, Srđan 1975 (« Polovi diglosije . . . ») : préciser (1975) [1977] Janković, Srđan 1978 (« Diglosija : Sociolingvistički fenomen . . . »), préciser : 20 god. VII. Khamis Dakwar, Reem, 2005 (« Children’s Attitudes . . . ») ajouter : New York, Society for International Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. Kouloughli 1996 (« Sur quelques approches . . .) est consultable sur http://ema .revues.org/index1944.html. La Spisa 2005 (« I trattati teologici . . . »), ajouter : Congrès International des Études Arabes Chrétiennes No 7, Sayyidat al-Bīr, Liban, septembre 2004. La Spisa 2006b (« Su alcuni esempi di Medio Arabo . . . » est consultable sur : http:// www.linguistica.unifi.it/upload/sub/QDLF/QDLF16/QDLF16_09_la_spisa.pdf. Mejdell 2000 (« Aspects of Formal Spoken Arabic in Egypt . . . »), est consultable (comme l’ensemble du no 2 de Al-Luġa) sur : http://www.slideshare.net/ kotobarabia/1394. Meouak sous presse est paru en 2007 : Studi Magrebini, n. s., V, 2007, 161–175. Mitchell 1982 (« More than a matter of ‘Writing . . . »), ajouter : éd. William Haas, 1982, Barnes & Noble, Totowa (Mont Follick series, vol. 5). Mitchell 1990 (« The mixture not as before . . . »), ajouter : Beaconsfield papers : papers from the Symposium on Arabic Language Teaching held at the Defence School of Languages, Royal Army Educational Corps Centre at Beaconsfield, Wilton Park, 5–7 April 1988 in association with the Centre for Information on

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Language Teaching and Research, London, and the department of Modern Arabic Studies, University of Leeds. Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro 2001 (« Fragmento sinaítico en ‘arabe medio’ . . . ») est consultable sur : http://revistas.ucm.es/fll/11303964/articulos/ANQE0101110481A. PDF. Nadwat al-izdiwāg�iyya fī al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya : à voir aussi la contribution de Musa, Nihād Al- : Al-izdiwā­g�iyya fī al-ʿarabiyya, mā kāna wa mā huwa kāʾin wa mā yanbaġī ʾan yakūna. Römer 1905 (Der Codex Arabicus  . . .), ajouter : (Leipzig :) W. Drugulin, 1905, VIII+59 p. Römer 1905–1906. (‘Studien . . . ’), ajouter : consultable sur http://menadoc.bibliothek .uni-halle.de/dmg/periodical/titleinfo/117954. Stewart 1988 (Texts in Sinai Bedouin law), ajouter : Texts in Sinai Bedouin Law. Part 2 : the Texts in Arabic — Glossary, 1990, xix + 309 p. C’est dans ce deuxième volume que se trouve le corpus original. © Šimays 1985 (Luġat al-ʾiḏāʿa) ajouter le prénom (ʿAbd al-Munʿim) et : Al-Maktaba al-ṯaqāfiyya. Tirosh-Becker (à paraître) a été publié : « On Dialectal Roots in Judeo-Arabic Texts from Constantine (East Algeria) », Revue des Études Juives 169, p. 497–523. Tobi 1998 (« The phonetically written Tafsîr Alfâz to Exodus . . . »), ajouter : p. 54–63. Zewi (à paraître a) (« Coordinated and Subordinated Clauses . . . »), ajouter : Haifa, p. 42–48. Zewi (à paraître b) (« Biblical Hebrew Tenses . . . ») a été publié en 2009 : Ancient Near Eastern Studies 46, p. 1–31. Zughoul (1980b) : le titre exact de la version de 1980 est (Zuġūl, Muḥammad Rāg�ī) « ʾIzdiwāg�iyyat al-luġa : naḏ̣ra fī ḥāḍir al-ʿarabiyya wa taṭalluʿ naḥwa mustaqbalihā fī ḍawʾ al-dirāsāt al-luġawiyya » ; elle a été repu­bliée en 1986 dans : Dirāsāt fī al-luġa, éd. Tirād al-ʿUbaysī, Bagdad, Wizārat al-ṯaqāfa wa al-ʾiʿlām, p. 93–117. La version augmentée (« ʾIzdiwāg�iyyat al-luġa : ṭabīʿatuhā wa muškilātuhā fī siyāq al-taʿlīm ») a été pu­bliée, d’après l’auteur, dans le Journal of the Islamic and Arabic Studies College. 23 (2002), p. 256–311. Cf. aussi, du même auteur et avec le même titre, Al-luġa wa al-taʿlīm, éd. Qāsim Šaʿbān, Beyrouth, Al-hayʾa al-lubnāniyya li al-ʿulūm al-tar­bawiyya (LAES, al-kitāb al-ṯānawī al-ṯānī), 1ère partie, chapitre 2.


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Abboud-Haggar Soha (2010), « Linguistic Varieties in Twenty First Century Arabic Novels : An Applied Study », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 201–215. Abdalla, Mahmoud (2010), « The Place of Media in the Arabic Curriculum », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 253–290. ʿAbd al-samīʿ, Farwat (2006), (g�amʿ wa-ʾiʿdād ; murāg�aʿa : Muḥammad Hammād ; ʾišrāf Kamāl Bišr), Al-lahag�āt al-ʿarabiyya : al-fuṣḥā wa-alʿāmmiyya, Al-Qāhira, Mag�maʿ al-luġa al-ʿara­biyya. Abdul-Hassan, Raad Shakir (1988), Variation in the Educated Spoken Arabic of Iraq : A Sociolin­guistic Study, Ph.D., University of Leeds. Abu-Ssaydeh, Abdul-Fattah Saleh (1980), The verbal complementation system in the educated spo­ken arabic of Palestine, Ph.D., University of Leeds, School of Graduate Studies, Leeds, West Yorkshire. Agius, D.A. & Shivtiel, A., éds. (1992), Educated Spoken Arabic : What, Why, How? Proceedings of the Leeds University Workshop, University of Leeds. Al-fuṣḥā wa ʿāmmiyyātuhā. Luġat al-taḫāṭub bayna al-taqrīb wa al-tahḏīb. ʾAʿmāl al-nadwa al-duwaliyya allatī nuḏ̣ḏ̣imat bi al-taʿāwun maʿa wizārat al-ṯaqāfa ḍimna faʿʿāliyyāt Al-Ğazāʾir ʿāṣima li al-ṯaqāfa al-ʿarabiyya 2007, yawmay 04–05 Yūnyū 2007 bi-nazl al-ʾAwrāsī [18 contribu­tions], Alger, Manšūrāt al-mag�lis al-ʾaʿlā li al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya, 2008. http://www .csla.dz/mjls/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=55&func= startdown&id=48 Al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya wa wasāʾil al-ʾiʿlām. Al-buḥūṯ wa al-munāqašāt. Nadwat g�āmiʿat al-Batrāʾ, ʿAmmān, ʿAmmān, Dār Manāhig� li al-našr wa al-tawzīʿ, 2000. Al-Saidat, E. (1999), The Written and Spoken Arabic of South Jordan : A Study of Diglossia, Ph.D., University of Mysore. Al-Saidat, E. & Al-Momani, I. (2010), « Future Markers in Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Arabic : A Contrastive Study », European Journal of Social Sciences 12/3, p. 397–408. al-Sharkawi, Muhammad (2010), The Ecology of Arabic — A Study of Arabicization, Leiden, Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 60), x, 268 p. Voir aussi Šarqāwī, Muḥammad Al-. Al-Tamimi, Yaser A. & Dinha T. Gorgis (2007), « Romanised Jordanian Arabic E-messages », Lan­guage, Society and Culture 21, 12 p. http://www .educ.utas.edu.au/users/tle/JOURNAL/issues/2007/21-4.pdf

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Voir aussi Tamimi Al-Wer, Enam, (2009), « Variation », Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, éd. K. Ver­steegh e.a., Leiden, Brill, vol. IV, p. 627–636. Amer, Faten H., Bilal A. Adaileh & Belal A. Rakhieh (2011), « Arabic Diglossia : A Phonological Study », Argumentum 7 (Debreceni Egyetemi Kiadó, Tanulmány), p. 19–36. http://argumentum.unideb.hu/2011-anyagok/ AmerFH.pdf Anghelescu, Nadia (2004), La langue arabe dans une perspective typologique, Bucureşti, Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti. [cf. p. 28–36]. Avishur, Yitzhak (2008–2009), A Dictionary of The New Judeo-Arabic Written and Spoken in Iraq (1600–2000), Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Archaeological Center Publication, 2 vols. (1 : Alef-Zain ; 2 : Het-Mem), xxii + 906 p. Ayoub, Georgine (2003) « La langue arabe entre l’écrit et l’oral », Les langues de la Méditerranée (collection Les cahiers de Confluences), éds. Robert Bistolfi et Henri Giordan, Paris, L’Harmattan, p. 31–52. (2006) « Laḥn », Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, éd. K. Versteegh e.a., Leiden, Brill, vol. II, p. 628–634. Badicut, Ilie (1999), « Diglosia arabo-arabă, sursă de dificultaţi în traducerea orală » [La diglossie arabe, source de difficultés dans la traduction orale], Conferinţa naională de bilingvism, Bucarest, Éditions Kriterion, p. 105–112. Bakhali, Ahmad Yahia M. (1997), Diglossia (A Case Study) : Morphological, Syntactic and Semantic Study of the Arabic Language in the University Level in Riyadh City, Ph.D., King Saoud Universi­ty, Riyadh. Bakkāʾ, Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib Al- (2002), « Luġat al-ʾiʿlām bayna al-fuṣḥā wa al-ʿāmmiy­ya », Muʾtamar ʿilm al-luġa al-ʾawwal : al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya fī wasāʾil al-ʾiʿlām, Le Caire, Université du Caire, 21 p. Bakkūš, al-Ṭayyib al– (1971), « Al-taʿrīb wa al-ʾizdiwāg�iyya al-luġawiyya fī Tūnis min ḫilāl baʿḍ al-buḥūṯ al-ḥadīṯa », Al-Lisāniyyāt 1/2, p. 5–15. Bani Yasin Raslan et Owens, Jonathan (1987a) Variation in Rural Northern Jordanian Arabic, Irbid ( Jordanie) : Yarmouk University Publications. (1987b) The Lexical Basis of Variation in Arabic, Irbid ( Jordanie) : Yarmouk University Publications. [cf. Owens & Bani Yasin 1987 dans notre bibliographie de 2009]. Barber, D., El-Hassan, S.A., Ibrahim, M.H., and Mitchell, T.F., A Grammar of Educated Spo­ken Arabic in Egypt and the Levant (unpublished).


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[Cette grammaire contient, entre autres, trois contributions de Muḥammad Ḥasan ʾIbrāhīm, d’après une bibliographie de ses travaux (qui n’est plus actuellement disponible sur internet) : « Al-ṣawt fī luġat al-muṯaqqafīn al-ʿarab al-šafawiyya (al-maḥkiyya) » ; « Al-nafy fī luġat al-muṯaqqafīn al-ʿarab al-šafawiyya (al-maḥkiyya) » ; « Al-taḍmīn wa-liʿtirāḍ fī luġat al-muṯaqqafīn al-ʿarab al-šafawiyya (al-maḥkiyya) »].

Baskerville, John, « From Tahdhiib al-Amma to Tahmiish al-Ammiyya : In Search of Social and Literary Roles for Standard and Colloquial Arabic in Late 19th Century Egypt ». (‘Draft of intro and conclusion for future book project . . . would welcome comments’). http://utexas .academia.edu/JohnBaskerville/Papers/289104/In_Search_of_Social_and_ Literary_Roles_for_Standard_and_Colloquial_Arabic_in_Late_19th_ Century_Egypt Bassiouney, Reem (1998) Functions of Diglossic Switching in the Egyptian Community, Unpubl. M.Phil. Thesis, University of Oxford. (2009a) Arabic Sociolinguistics — Topics in Diglossia, Gender, Identity, and Politics, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, xvii + 311 p. (également : Washington, DC : Georgetown Universi­ty Press). (2009b) « The variety of housewives and cockroaches : examining codechoice in advertisements in Egypt », Arabic Dialectology — In honour of Clive Holes on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday, éds. Enam AlWer & Rudolf de Jong, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 53), p. 273–284. © (2010a) Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), vi, 310 p. (2010b) « Identity and Code-Choice in the Speech of Educated Women and Men in Egypt : Evi­dence from Talk Shows », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 97–121. © (2010c) « Redefining identity through code choice in Al-ḥubb fī ’l-manfā by Bahāʾ Tāhir », Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 10/5, p. 101– 118. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/jais/volume/docs/vol10/v10_05_Bassiouney_ 101-118.pdf Benmayouf, Chafia Yamina (2010), La question linguistique en Algérie. Enjeux et perspectives, Biarritz / Paris, Atlantica-Séguier, 124 p. Ben Mrād, Ibrāhīm (2008), « Al-ʾintāg� al-ʾiʿlāmī al-ʿarabī bayna al-lahg�a l-ʿāmmiyya wa-l-luġa l-ʿarabiyya l-fuṣḥā », Mag�allat al-ʾiḏāʿāt al-ʿarabiyya 3 (Arab States Broadcasting Union, ASBU), p. 63–78. http://www.asbu .net/asbutext/pdf/2008_03_062.pdf

bibliographie supplément no 1


Benrabah, Mohamed (2004), « Language and politics in Algeria », Nationalism and ethnic politics 10/1, p. 59–78. Bensebia, Abdelhak Abderrahmane (2005), « Étude des comportements langagiers dans les milieux diglossiques. — Cas de l’Algérie », Marges Linguistiques, Saint-Chamas, M.L.M.S. Éditeur, 29 p. Ben Slāma, al-Bašīr (1971), Al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya wa mašākil al-kitāba, Tunis, Al-dār al-tūnisiyya. Bentahila, A. & E. Davies (1991), « Standards for Arabic : One, two, or many? », Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics 17, p. 69–88. Bergman, Elizabeth M. (2001) « Variation in Colloquial Algerian Arabic as a Challenge to Diglossia », Annual Meeting of the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages, Arlington, VA, 6 April 2001), 11 p. (2002) Spoken Sudanese Arabic : Grammar, dialogues, and glossary, Publications of the African Language Project, Springfield, VA, Dunwoody. [© p. 70–77, 78–85, 168–175, 176–181, 182–191, 224–237, 292–301]. Bouhadiba, Farouk (1992), « On Loci for Norm and the Arabic Language Continuum : in defence of MSA », Cahiers de Dialectologie et de Linguistique Contrastive Vol. IV, Cahier 1. Brock, Sebastian Paul & Simon Hopkins, « A verse homily on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt, Syriac original with early Arabic translation », Le Muséon 105/1–2, 1992, 87–146. [particulièrement p. 98–103]. Burési, Michel (1991), Recherches sur l’Arabe parlé en Tunisie à partir de Causeries radiodiffusées (1970–1971) du chroniqueur Adbellaziz LAROUI, Thèse de Doctorat, Université Paris III, 3 vol. © Burns, Robert I. & Chevedden, Paul E., Negotiating Cultures—Bilingual Surrender Treaties in Muslim-Crusader Spain under James the Conqueror, Leiden/Boston/Köln, 1999. [voir Paul Chevedden, Chap. 3 (39–59) et Chap. 9 (158–167)] Camilleri Grima, Antoinette (2009), « Diglossia : variation on a theme », Introducing Maltese Linguistics. Selected papers from the 1st International Conference on Maltese Linguistics, Bremen, 18–20 October, 2007, éds. Bernard Comrie, Ray Fabri, Elizabeth Hume, Manwel Mifsud, Thomas Stolz & Martine Vanhove, Amsterdam-Philadelphia, John Benjamins (Studies in Language Companion Series, 113), p. 379–391. Corriente, Federico (2010), « Arabic dialects before and after Classical Arabic », The Arabic language across the ages, éds. Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala & Nader Al-Jallad, Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag, p. 11–21.


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Corriente 1975 (« Marginalia on Arabic Diglossia . . . ») a été traduit en arabe par M. Al-Šarqāwī, Al-Logha 6, 1977, p. 77–115. Daher, Jamil (1997) « Phonological variation in Syrian Arabic : Correlation with gender, Age and Education », Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics X, (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 153), éds. M. Eid & R.R. Ratcliffe, Amsterdam-Philadelphia, John Benjamins, p. 239–269. (1998a) Linguistic Variation in Damascus Arabic : A quantitative analysis of men’s and women’s speech, Ph.D. diss., New York University

Extrait de l’Abstract : « The primary purpose of this study was to examine linguistic variation among Damascene men and women and to relate that variation to the notion of diglossia : a situation in which two language varieties co-exist and are used for different purposes. The dissertation examins the historical and contemporary relationship between Standard Arabic (al-fusha) and the Damascene dialect (al-lahja ash-shamiyya) on the levels of grammar, phonology and lexicon, and illustrates many differences and similarities between the two. The study concluded that [. . .] rather than being rigidly separate, ‘Standard’ and ‘colloquial’ are more accurately viewed as hypothetical extremes of a continuum of linguistic variation on which most speech falls somewhere in the middle’ [. . .].

(1998b) « Gender in Linguistic Variation : The Variable (q) in Damascus Arabic », Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XI, éds. Elabbas Benmamoun, Mushira Eid & Niloofar Haeri, p. 183–206. (1999) « (θ) and (ð) as Ternary and Binary Variables in Damascus Arabic », Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XII, éd. Elabbas Benmamoun, p. 163–182. (2004) « Written Arabic of Personal Letters », Dahesh Voice, (10/2, Issue 38 ?).

The primary source consists of 555 handwritten personal letters, totaling 1212 pages, written to the author between 1986 and 1997 by relatives and friends from different parts of Syria.

(2005) « The Linguistic Situation in Arabic », Dahesh Voice, (11/2, Issue 42 ?) Davies, Humphrey T. (2007) Yūsuf al-Širbīnī’s Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded (Kitāb hazz al-quḥūf bi-šarḥ qaṣīd Abī Šādūf ) : Volume II : English Translation, Intro­duction and Notes (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 166) [Pour le vol. I voir Davies 2005 dans notre bibliographie de 2009] den Heijer, Johannes (1980–1981), « Quelques textes dans un parler arabe de la région de Khafsé (Syrie du Nord) », Bulletin d’Études Orientales, p. 32–33. [cf. p. 55–88].

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Dichy, Joseph (2007) « La pluriglossie de l’arabe en (inter)action : un exemple conversationnel syrien », La Syrie au présent. Reflets d’une société, éds. Baudoin Dupret, Zouhair Ghazzal, Youssef Courbage et Mohammed al-Dbiyat, Paris, Éditions Actes-Sud / Sinbad (La bibliothèque arabe), p. 495–505. (à paraître) « Les arabes moyens, ‘zone centrale’ de la pluriglossie : le jeu des pressions lexicale et socio-pragmatique », Bulletin d’Études Orientales. Diem 1974 (Hochsprache und Dialekt im Arabischen) a été réédité en 2006 (2., unveränderte Aufl), Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz. Dorigo, Rosella (2006), « Riflessioni sull’uso dell’arabo parlato nella letteratura teatrale egiziana del primo novecento », Annali di Ca’ Foscari 45/2 (L’oralità nellea scrittura — Modalità di rappresen­tazione della parola orale nel testo scritto, a cura di Maria Teresa Biason), p. 173–192. Doss, Madiha (2010), « Ḥāl id-Dunyā : An Arabic News Bulletin in Colloquial (ʿĀmmiyya) », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 123–140. DrozdÍk, Ladislav (2008), « Simplified Arabic or Bilingualism? Academic Discourse Confronted with Literary Evidence », Asian and African Studies 17/2, p. 224–239. Durand, Olivier (2004), L’Arabo del Marocco : elementi di dialetto standard e mediano, Roma, Università degli studi La Sapienza (Studi semitici, Nuova serie, 20). [voir p. 24–34 & 40–42] Ebied, Rifaat (1997–1998), « An Unknown Poem on the Siege of Aleppo and the Violent Events of A.H. 1065–66 / A.D. 1654–55 », ARAM, 9–10 (The Mamluks and the Early Ottoman Period in Bilad Al-Sham : History and Archaeology), p. 365–375. El-Dash, Linda & G. Richard Tucker (1975), « Subjective reactions to various speech styles in Egypt », International Journal of the Sociology of Language 6, p. 33–54. El-Hassan, Shahir Ata (1978) Variation in the educated spoken Arabic of Jordan with special reference to aspect in the verb phrase, Ph.D., Leeds. (1990) « Intonation in the Educated Spoken Arabic of Jordan : The Patterning of Accents », Abhath al-Yarmouk (ʾAbḥāṯ al-Yarmūk) 8/2, 1990, p. 7–31. Eliman, Abdou (1983) « La diglossie en tant que confiscation de la parole », Lengas (Montpellier) 13, p. 19–24.


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Fāʾiq, Fahīm (1978), Dirāsa ḥawla mustawayāt al-taʿbīr fī al-ʾiḏāʿa wa al-tilivizyūn, al-Riyāḍ. Faraj, Saad Fadel (2008), Étude des manifestations de contact de langues en contexte irakien, Thèse de doctorat, Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier 3), 469 + 93 p. Ferguson 1959a (« Diglossia ») a été traduit en arabe par M. Al-Šarqāwī, Al-Logha 6, 2007, p. 11–41. Ferguson 1991 (« Epilogue : Diglossia Revisited ») a été traduit en arabe par Rif ʿat Ḫālid, Al-Logha 6, 2007, p. 43–76. Fleisch, Henri. 1935–1936 [1946] « Une homélie de Théophile d’Alexandrie en l’honneur de St Pierre et de St Paul. Texte arabe publié pour la première fois et traduit par H. Fleisch », Revue de l’Orient Chrétien 30 (3e série, tome x (xxx), p. 371–419. http //www.archive.org/details/ revuedelorientch3019351936pari Gallego, María Ángeles (2010), « Arabic for Jews, Arabic for Muslims : on the use of Arabic by Jews in the Middle Ages », The Arabic language across the ages, éds Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala & Na­der Al-Jallad, Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag, 2010, p. 23–35. Ghobrial, John-Paul (2004) Mere Kalam Fadi? : Language and Meaning in Modern Egyptian History, Ph.D., University of Oxford, 2004. (2005) « Diglossia and the ‘Methodology’ of Arabic Print », communication présentée au 2e colloque international, Histoire de l’imprimé dans les langues et les pays du Moyen Orient (2–4 novembre 2005), Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 17 p. http://www.4shared .com/office/5uO0HYsM/Diglossia_and_the_Methodology_.html Goldenberg, Yves (1969), « Limba arabă literară şi idiomurile arabe vorbite » [L’arabe littéraire et les idiomes arabes parlés], Analele Universităţii Bucureşti, Limbi clasice şi orientale 18, p. 113–142. Grande, Francesco (2006–2007), « Diglossia araba tra passato e futuro — Cause, contesti, prospettive », Kervan (Rivista Internazionale di studii afroasiatici) 4/5 ( juillet 2006–janvier 2007), p. 41–70. http://www.kervan .unito.it/contents/documents/4&5_5_GRANDE.pdf ou http://www.kervan .unito.it/contents/documents/4&5completo.pdf Haeri, Niloofar. (1991) Sociolinguistic Variation In Cairene Arabic : Palatalization And The Qaf In The Speech Of Men And Women, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. Hamad, Abdullah (1992), « Diglossia in Arabic : the beginning and the end », Islamic Studies (Islamic Research Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan) 31/3, p. 339–353.

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HarūṬ, ʿAlī Ḫalaf Ḫalīf Al- (2002), « Nisbat al-barāmig� al-faṣīḥa ʾilā al-barāmig� al-ʿāmmiyya fī ʾiḏāʿat al-mamlaka al-ʾurduniyya al-hāšimiyya : al-barnāmag� al-ʿāmm namūḏag�an », Muʾtamar ʿilm al-luġa al-ʾawwal : al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya fī wasāʾil al-ʾiʿlām, Le Caire, Université du Caire, 23 p. Hary, Benjamin H. (1987) Judeo-Arabic, written and spoken in Egypt in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Ph.D. diss., University of California. (2009) Translating Religion. Linguistic Analysis of Judeo-Arabic Sacred Texts from Egypt (Études sur le Judaïsme Médiéval 38), Brill, Leiden, iv, 384 p. Hassa, Samira (2007), De la Médina à la Ville Nouvelle : Étude ethnolinguistique des choix codiques dans l’espace urbain de Fes, Münich, Lincom. [La seconde partie est consacrée à l’analyse des instances transcodiques (arabe marocain, arabe médian, arabe standard, et français) dans le discours des couturiers et des professeurs d’arabe, deux professions marquées par des clivages homme/femme et révélatrices du niveau social des ouvriers et de la classe moyenne.]

Hellmuth, Sam & Dina El Zarka (2007), « Variation in phonetic realisation or in phonological cate­gories? Intonational pitch accents in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and Egyptian Formal Arabic », paper held at ICPhS XVI Saarbrücken, 6–10 August 2007 (special session on Arabic phonetics). http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~fadi/candidacy/DialectModeling/ Hellmuth-El-Zarka-2007-ICPhS.pdf Ibrahim, Zeinab (1997) Egyptian and Lebanese written Modern Standard Arabic : Are they one and the same?, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 222 p. (2000) « Myths about Arabic revisited », Al-ʿArabiyya ( Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic) 33, p. 13–27. (2008) « Lexical Variation in Modern Standard Arabic », Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, éd. K. Versteegh e.a., Leiden, Brill, vol. III, p. 13–21. (2009) Beyond Lexical Variation in Modern Standard Arabic : Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco, New­castle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. On peut consulter les 20 premières pages (table des matières et chap. 1 : Introduction) sur http://www.c-s-p.org/flyers/9781-4438-0342-7-sample.pdf (2010) « Cases of Written Code-Switching in Egyptian Opposition Newspapers », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 23–45.


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ʿĪsā, Ḫālid Mufliḥ (1987), Al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya bayna al-fuṣḥā wa-alʿāmmiyya, Miṣrāta, al-Ğamāhīriyya al-ʿarabiyya al-lībiyya al-šaʿbiyya al-ištirākiyya al-ʿuḏ̣mā/Tarābulus al-ġarb, Al-dār al-g�amāhīriyya li-l-našr wa-l-tawzīʿ wa-l-ʾiʿlān, 193 p. Janković, Srđan (1963) « Oko diglosije u arapskom », Radovi Filozofskog fakulteta u Sarajevu 1, p. 239–263. (1975) Diglosija u savremenom arapskom. Na materijalima književnog arapskog i egipatskog kolokvijalnog arapskog i egipatskog kolokvijalnog arapskog, Doktorskadisertacija, Sarajevo. Jastrow, Otto (2008), « Das Spannungsfeld von Hochsprache und Dialekt im arabischen Raum », Sterben die Dialekte aus? Vorträge am Interdiszi­ plinären Zentrum für Dialektforschung an der Friedrich-AlexanderUniversität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 22.10.-10.12.2007, éd. Horst Haider Munske, 13 p. http://www.dialektforschung.phil.uni-erlangen.de/sterbendialekte ou http://www.dialektforschung.phil.uni-erlangen.de/sterbendialekte/ IZD_Jastrow,_Hochsprache_und_Dialekte_im_arab._Raum.pdf Jemaa, Khaled (1986), Linguistische Untersuchungen über die gegenwärtige Zeitungssprache in Syrien (soziolinguistische syntaktisch-stilistische Analysen), Diss., Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, 380 p. Kallas, Elie (2006), « L’élégie d’Ibn al-Qilāʿī sur son confrère Yḥannā (15ème siècle) d’après le ms. garchouni Alep Maronite 721 », Loquentes linguis. Linguistic and Oriental Studies in Honour of Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti, a cura di Pier Giorgio Borbone, Alessandro Mengozzi & Mauro Tosco, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, p. 371–380. Kaplony, Andreas (2007) « The Arabic Papyrology Database », Al-Bardiyyat : Newsletter of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology 2, p. 1–5. http://www .ori.uzh.ch/isap/isapprojects/Bardiyyat_2_2007.pdf [2010, im Druck] « Fernseh-Philologie : Form, Sprache und Argumentation einer Sendung von ash-Shari‘a wa-l-hayat mit Yusuf al-Qaradawi », Festschrift Werner Diem, éds. Monika Gronke & Marco Schöller, Köln, p. 513–533. Karbstein, Andreas (2002), Die Namen der Heilmittel nach Buchstaben. Edition eines romanisch-arabischen Glossars aus dem frühen 17. Jahrhundert, Genève, Librairie Droz (Kölner romanistische Arbeiten, Neue Folge, Heft 81). [§ 1.3. (p. 15–21) Umschrift und phonologische Relationen; § 1.4. (p. 22–26) Sprachliches]

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p. 67–91. [Traduction arabe : Nādir Srāg�, Ḥiwār al-luġāt, Beyrouth, Dār al-kitāb al-g�adīd al-muttaḥida, 2007] Stadlbauer, Susanne « Language Ideologies in the Arabic Diglossia of Egypt », 19 pages. http://www.colorado.edu/ling/CRIL/Volume22_Issue1/ paper_STADLBAUER.pdf Suermann, Harald (2007), « Der arabische Text der Bulle Cantate Domino des Konzils von Florenz : Vorüberlegungen für eine erneute Edition », Der christliche Orient und seine Umwelt. Gesammelte Studien zu Ehren Jürgen Tubachs anläßlich seines 60. Geburtstags, éds. Sophia G. Vashalomidze & Lutz Greisiger, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz (Studies in Oriental Religions 56), p. 399–404. [voir p. 403–404] Suleiman, Yasir (2008), « The language ecology of the Middle East : Jordan as a case study », Encyclopedia of Language and Education, éds. A. Creese, P. Martin & N.H. Hornberger, 2nd ed., vol. 9, part 33 : Ecology of Language, New York, Springer, p. 125–139. Tamimi, Y. & N. I’lawi (2006) « Variation in Northern Jordanian Arabic : Manifestations of Standard Origin », Journal of Language and Linguistics 5/2, p. 230–245. Voir aussi Al-Tamimi TanaskoviĆ, Darko (1982), Arapski jezik u savremenom Tunisu (diglosija i bilingvizam), Beograd, Filološki fakultet beogradskog univerziteta, Monografija, Knjiga lii, 333 p. [© (documents reproduits en fac-simile) p. 123–131] Tatien (Diatessaron de), voir A. [Sebastianus] Marmardji Tirosh-Becker, Ofra (1989–90) « The Hebrew Component in Judeo-Arabic », Leshonenu La’am (Volume spécial à l’occasion du centenaire de Va’ad ha-Lashon) 40–41, p. 331–337. [en hébreu] (1990) « On the Arabic Glosses in the Italian Version of the ‘Maqre Dardeqe’ », Italia — Studi e ricerche sulla storia, la cultura e la letteratura degli ebrei d’Italia 9, p. 37–77. [en hébreu] (2007) « Judeo-Arabic Translations of the Karaite Scholars Yeshu’ah ben Yehudah, Yusuf al-Basir and Ya‘qub al-Qirqisani to Excerpts from the Mishnah », Sha’arei Lashon : Studies in Hebrew, Aramaic and Jewish Languages presented to Moshe Bar-Asher, éds. A. Maman, S.E. Fassberg & Y. Breuer, Jerusalem, Bialik Institute, vol. 3, p. 435– 466. [en hébreu]

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(2010) « Translations of Rabbinic Sources into Arabic », Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, éd. N.A. Stillman, Leiden, Brill, vol. 4, p. 530–532. (à paraître 1) « Languages of Algerian Jews », Algeria. Jewish Communities in the East in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, éd. H. Saadun. [en hébreu] (à paraître 2) « Archaic and Dialectal Features in an Algerian JudeoArabic Translation and Com­mentary of Tractate Avot », Joseph Chetrit Festschrift. [en hébreu] Tobi, Yosif (1993), « Remnants of an Arabic Translation of the Pentateuch prior to Tafsir Rabb Saadia Gaon », Massorot 7, p. 87–127. Traverso, Véronique (1998) « « Allô oui vous êtes en ligne avec le chanteur » : analyse pragmatique de l’ouverture d’in­teractions radiophoniques françaises et syriennes. Perspective comparative », Bulletin d’Études orientales, L, p. 255–288. © (2002) « De la variabilité des usages en interaction à des descriptions linguistiques réutilisables : l’exemple de wa-lla », Cahiers de praxématique 38, p. 145–175. © (2006) Des échanges ordinaires à Damas : aspects de l’interaction en arabe (approche compara­tive et interculturelle), Damas / Lyon, IFPO / Presses Universitaires de Lyon. © ʿUmar, ʾAḥmad Muḫtār (1970), Tārīḫ al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya fī Miṣr, Le Caire, Al-hayʾa al-miṣriyya al-ʿāmma li-t-taʾlīf wa n-našr. Van Mol, Marc (2010), « Arabic Oral Media and Corpus Linguistics : A First Methodological Outline », Arabic and the Media. Linguistic Analyses and Applications, éd. Reem Bassiouney, Brill, Leiden (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics, 57), p. 63–79. Vicente, Ángeles (2002–2003), « Un ejemplo de árabe medio en la correspondencia hispano-marroquí de los siglos XVI–XVII », Al-AndalusMagreb 10, p. 317–332. http://revistas.uca.es/index.php/aam/article/ viewFile/805/668, http://bibrepo.uca.es:81/elysa/alandalus/31100090.pdf Vilenčik, J.S. (1935), « Zur Genesis der arabischen Zweisprachigkeit », Orientalistische Literatur­zeitung 38, p. 721–727. Wagner, Esther-Miriam (2010), Linguistic Variety of Judaeo-Arabic in Letters from the Cairo Genizah, Brill, Leiden (Études sur le Judaïsme Médiéval 41), viii, 270 p.


jérôme lentin

Walters, Keith (2006), « Language attitudes », Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, éd. K. Versteegh e.a., Leiden, Brill, vol. II, p. 650–664. Walwīl, Kāmil Muḥammad Gamīl, « Luġat al-ḫabar fī al-ʾiḏāʿa wa al-ṣaḥāfa wa al-tilifizyūn », Muʾ­tamar ʿilm al-luġa al-ʾawwal : al-luġa al-ʿarabiyya fī wasāʾil al-ʾiʿlām, Le Caire, Université du Caire, 31 p. Whitcomb, Lynn, E. 2002. Investigating Diglossic Arabic Language Variation in Foreign Language Instruction and in Native Speaker Behaviour, Ph.D., Northwestern University. Wilmsen, David (2003b) « One Global Standard or Multiple Regional Standards? : A problem in the practice and pedagogy of Arabic interpreting, » in Ángela Collados Aís, Manuela Fernández Sánchez, Macarena Pradas Macías, Concepción Sánchez Adam, Elisabeth Stévaux, (ed.) (2003). La evaluación de la calidad en interpretación : docencia y profesión. Granada : Comares, p. 69–78. (2010) « Dialects of Written Arabic : Syntactic differences in the treatment of object pronouns in Egyp­tian and Levantine newspapers », Arabica 57, p. 99–128. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/ arab/2010/00000057/00000001/art00005?token=0057183bebb8b6c9275c 277b4257206747763f34707b55765f592f653b672c57582a72752d70ffefd16 3b18, http://aub.academia.edu/DavidWilmsen/Papers/133047/Dialects_ of_Written_Arabic_Syntactic_differences_in_the_treatment_of_object_ pronouns_in_the_Arabic_of_Egyptian_and_Levantine_newspapers Wilmsen, David & Riham Osama Youssef (2009), « Regional standards and local routes in adoption techniques for specialised terminologies in the dialects of written Arabic », The Journal of Speciali­sed Translation 11, p. 191–210. http://www.jostrans.org/issue11/art_wilmsen.php Wilson E. Jan & Qumsiyeh Sahar, « A Karshuni Text of the legend of Mar Asia », Parole de l’Orient, 32 (Actes du 7e Congrès International des Etudes Arabes Chrétiennes, Sayyidat al-Bīr, septembre 2004), 2007, 125–162.

[« the orthography was brought into line with accepted standards » (sic, p. 128)]

Zack, Liesbeth (2009), Egyptian Arabic in the seventeenth century : a study and edition of Yūsuf al-Maġribī’s Daf ʿ al-iṣr ʿan kalām ahl Miṣr, Utrecht, LOT (LOT Dissertation Series 199). Zewi, Tamar (2006), « Energicus », Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, éds. Kees Versteegh et al., Leiden, Brill, vol. II, p. 22–25.

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Zughoul, Muhammad Raji & Mohammed El-Badarien 1970 (2004), « Diglossia in Literary Trans­lation : Accommodation into Translation Theory », Meta ( Journal des traducteurs, Presses de l’Uni­versité de Montréal) 49/2, p. 447–456. http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/2004/ v49/n2/009369ar.html ou http://members.fortunecity.com/mrzughoul/ Diglossia%20in%20Literary%20(meta).htm

Some remarks about Middle Arabic and Saʿadya Gaon’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch in manuscripts of Jewish, Samaritan, Coptic Christian, and Muslim provenance1 Berend Jan Dikken Summary: Saʿadya’s (AD 882–942) Arabic translation of the Pentateuch became a kind of Authorized Version for Arabic speaking Jewish communities. However, his translation was also read and used by Samaritans, Coptic Christians, and Muslims. Since we have no autograph of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch, the question of which textual tradition reflects Saʿadya’s original has been much debated. With his studies of a manuscript from St. Petersburg, Joshua Blau has linked this debate to the question about the linguistic character of Saʿadya’s original language. According to Blau, Saʿadya wrote his translation in post-classical Arabic. Blau also states that the Yemenite Jewish manuscripts have preserved Saʿadya’s translation best, but due to later copyists many Middle Arabic features had entered this manuscript tradition. This paper describes the different text traditions and their interrelations, with special focus on manuscripts from the thirteenth century AD of Coptic Christian provenance, which show a text very close to the Yemenite text tradition, but with far less MA features. The study of MA features is an indispensable tool for the reconstruction of the history of the transmission of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch.

1. Introduction Saʿadya al-Fayyūmī was a well known Jewish scholar who lived from AD 882–942. He was born in al-Fayyūm oasis in Upper Egypt. After years of travelling, in AD 928 he became Gaon, the head of the Jewish academy in Sura, which is close to Baghdad.2 He was a prolific writer in many fields.3 Along with his Arabic translation of Isaiah, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and other books of the Bible, Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch became particularly well known from the tenth century onwards and was extensively copied.4 Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch (henceforth 1  An earlier version of this paper was read at the Second Conference of the Association internationale pour l’étude du moyen arabe et des variétés mixtes de l’arabe, 22–25 October 2007, Amsterdam. 2  See Malter 1921: 89v, Baron 1943: 48v, Vajda 1985: 1119–1123, and Gil 2004: 347–9 and 507. 3  See Steinschneider 1902: 55–60, Malter 1921: 308–329, Baron 1958: 265–270 and 458– 461, Marx 1980: 82–85, and Polliack 1997: 77v. 4  Cf. Baron 1958: 458, who cites the Muslim writer al-Masʿūdī (AD 896–956) as saying that Saʿadya’s rendering had already become “the most highly esteemed among many of his coreligionists”.


berend jan dikken

Saʿadya’s Pentateuch) became a kind of Authorized Version and was in common use, being read in the worship services together with the Hebrew text in many Rabbinic Jewish communities in Egypt and other countries dominated by the Arabs.5 In recent years it was still considered the standard Arabic version by members of the Yemenite Jewish community.6 Saʿadya’s Pentateuch has come down to our time mainly through the Judaeo-Arabic text tradition, and especially the Yemenite Jewish text tradition, which has preserved Saʿadya’s version of the Pentateuch in many manuscripts.7 Though in smaller numbers, some Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts containing Saʿadya’s version of the Pentateuch also come from other parts of the Arabic speaking world, including Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.8 Regardless of geographical provenance, the vast majority of these JudaeoArabic manuscripts are written in Hebrew characters, although some are written in Arabic script. Together these manuscripts, all Jewish in origin, can be called the Judaeo-Arabic text tradition of Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch. 2. Aim of this Paper: Middle Arabic Features in Manuscripts of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch was not used in Jewish communities exclusively, for the textual evidence shows that the Samaritans and later Coptic Christians made use of his version. There is even a manuscript of Muslim provenance from the thirteenth century AD with Saʿadya’s translation. Since we have no autograph of Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch, the question of which textual tradition reflects Saʿadya’s original has been much debated. Is his translation best preserved in the Coptic 5  Goitein 1971: 220 writes: “The correct interpretation of the biblical text as provided by the Arabic translation of Saadya Gaon seems also to have belonged to the equipment of a better cantor. In praise of the nephew of Abu ‘l-Magd, his colleague in Fustat, the Alexandrian cantor Judah b. Aaron of the famous al-ʽAmmânî family, notes that the boy read with him every week the relevant lection in Arabic translation, thus preparing himself properly for the service of the community.” Goitein refers to a letter dated AD 1221 and addressed to Judge Elijah Zechariah (INA Leningrad D-55, f. 4v. ll. 7–9). See also Baker-Polliack 2001: 567, a list of fragments in the Taylor-Schechter Geniza Collection in Cambridge with Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch and his commentary, which come from the Cairo Geniza. 6  Cf. J. Blau who writes: “In a very short time, his Pentateuch translation justly became the standard rendering of the five books of Moses, and in Yemen it has been used in formal teaching till our own days.”, Blau 2002: 98. 7  Cf. Blau-Hopkins 2000: 5. 8  Cf. Avishur 1992: 6.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Christian manuscript tradition written in Arabic characters, as Paul Kahle asserted in 1904,9 in the Samaritan textual tradition, as Kahle assumed in 1959,10 or in the Judaeo-Arabic tradition, and especially the Yemenite manuscript tradition, as Zucker concluded in 1959?11 Since the publication of Joshua Blau’s studies, this debate has been linked to the question about the linguistic character of Saʿadya’s original language. According to Blau, Saʿadya wrote his Pentateuch translation in post-classical Arabic, a language variety close to Classical Arabic.12 Due to later copyists many Middle Arabic features entered the manuscript tradition of Saʿadya’s version.13 Blau argues that the Yemenite text tradition does not represent a revision of Saʿadya’s translation, as Kahle and his students claimed, but on the contrary preserved the original text with great precision. Blau calls on researchers to agree in this with Zucker.14 However, the Yemenite text tradition contains many vulgar forms. According to Blau these many grammatical deviations in the Yemenite manuscripts, which we can call Middle Arabic features, were introduced by later copyists, for they were most likely not found in the original.15 To prove that Saʿadya wrote in post-classical Arabic and that the Judaeo-Arabic Yemenite text tradition preserved the original Pentateuch translation carefully, Blau discusses at length the newly discovered manuscript known as ms St. Petersburg National Library Ebr. II C 1–2 (P). In Blau’s view, careful analysis of this early manuscript enables researchers to reconstruct both the original version of the translation and Saʿadya’s linguistic usage.16 This manuscript was produced in Egypt and dates from about AD 1009, only 70 years after Saʿadya passed away, and reflects according to Blau the Yemenite text tradition. Blau argues that this St. Petersburg manuscript is written in post-classical Arabic with only few deviations. These deviations from Classical Arabic were, again, probably introduced by the copyists of the manuscript and were not part of the original.17 See Kahle 1904: x. See Kahle 1959: 54–55. 11 See Zucker 1959: English Summary. 12 Cf. Blau 1998: 116, Blau 2001: 4 note 12, and Blau 2002: 15. Blau remarks that postclassical Arabic follows Classical Arabic in the field of orthography and morphology, but differs from it mainly in syntax and vocabulary. 13 Cf. Blau 1998: 115–116 and Blau 2001: 2–4. 14 Cf. Blau 1998: 111–112. 15 Cf. Blau 1998: 115 and Blau 2001: 4. 16 Cf. Blau 2001: 2. 17 Cf. Blau 1998: 115 note 19, 116v, and Blau 2001: 4–5. 9 10


berend jan dikken

Less convincing is Blau’s claim that Saʿadya wrote his Arabic Pentateuch translation in Hebrew script and addressed Jews only. At the end of the tenth century AD the translation would have been transliterated into Arabic script for the use in interreligious discussions.18 Blau also refutes Kahle’s claim made in 1904, that the original text of Saʿadya’s translation is preserved in manuscripts written in Arabic script, like the manuscripts of Coptic Christian provenance from the thirteenth century AD.19 But how does one explain the fact that some of the mss of Coptic Christian provenance reflect a text which is very close to the Yemenite tradition, but contain far fewer deviations from Classical Arabic, the so called Middle Arabic features? 2.1. Some Important Issues a. The Coptic Christian text tradition with Saʿadya’s version is not one group, but can be divided into three different text traditions. One of these traditions is very close to the Yemenite text tradition, as Zucker has stated.20 b. If we agree with Blau that the Yemenite Judaeo-Arabic text tradition preserved Saʿadya’s translation more exactly than any other tradition, how does one explain that the Coptic Christian text tradition has fewer Middle Arabic features than the Yemenite tradition? We shall first provide an overview of the extant textual traditions of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch, focusing on the historical development of the different text traditions while also considering their interrelations. 3. Saʿadya’s Pentateuch and his Commentary Manuscript fragments recovered from the Cairo Geniza give evidence that Saʿadya also wrote a long commentary in Arabic on parts of the Pentateuch that incorporated discussions of linguistic usage, questions from and answers to heretics, and discussions of rational and traditional commandments. This lengthy commentary also included his Arabic rendering of the biblical text. In response to a personal request, Saʿadya set apart the plain translation of the complete Torah in Arabic in a separate Cf. Blau 2001: 3–4. Cf. Blau 1998: 111. 20 See below, §4.8. 18 19

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


book without commentary, calling it ‘Tafsīr’ in the book’s introduction. The question still remains whether this short ‘Tafsīr’ closely follows the Arabic rendering in the long commentary on the Torah or whether there are substantial differences. His long commentary was in later centuries neglected and ceased to be copied.21 We concentrate here on this Arabic ‘Tafsīr’, which is what we have come to know as Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch. 4. Manuscripts with Saʿadya’s Pentateuch of Jewish, Samaritan, Coptic Christian, and Muslim Provenance and the Study of its Transmission and Use 4.1. The Polyglots In the West, Saʿadya’s Arabic rendering became known by the Polyglot Pentateuch printed in Hebrew characters by the famous Jewish printer Eleazar Soncino in Constantinople in AD 1546 (AM 5306).22 This imprint of Saʿadya’s text was obviously based on Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts.23 His translation became even more widely known by way of the Paris Polyglot of AD 1632 and the London Polyglot of 1657 AD, which were based on manuscript Paris Bibliothèque Nationale, Arabic 1, a manuscript of Coptic Christian provenance written in Arabic characters. Edward Pococke (1604–1691) collated the text of the London Polyglot with the Constantinople polyglot of 1546 and with a manuscript of Syrian Jewish provenance of the fifteenth century AD, known to us as mss Bodleian Pococke 395 and 396. Pococke’s list of variant readings was published in Tom. VI of the London Polyglot.24

 Cf. Avishur 1992: 7–8; Polliack 1997: 79–81.  The Polyglot was printed in four languages: the Hebrew text, Targum Onkelos in Aramaic, Saʿadya’s Arabic translation on top of the page, and the Persian version of Jacob Tawus. All texts were printed in Hebrew characters. Cf. Darlow-Moule 1911: 7. 23  According to Joshua Blau the provenance of the text is not known, but it has preserved important variants; Blau 1998: 3 and 6. Blau also states that the Constantinople edition has a massive and highly confused (non Yemenite, probably Moroccan) vocalization, which Derenbourg in his edition of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch (1893) rightly ignored. 24  See London Polyglot, Volume VI, his Praefatio to the appendix: 2. See also Kahle 1904: viii. 21



berend jan dikken 4.2. Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts: The Eastern Group

Mss Bodleian Pococke 395 and 396 contain the complete Pentateuch.25 Ms 395 starts with the great preface, which is incomplete. Each biblical verse has the complete Hebrew text, followed by Targum Onkelos in Aramaic and then Saʿadya’s Arabic rendering, all in Hebrew characters. They were finished on the 1st of Nisan 1760 Seleucid era, that is AD 1448, at ‫חמת דעל‬ ‫‘( נהר מרוז‬in the city of Ḥamat at the river of Maroz’ (that is Orontes)) by Eliah bar Yeshuʿa Ḥalfon ha-Ḥazan. According to Neubauer they are written in Syrian Rabbanite script.26 According to Yitzhak Avishur, these mss belong to a group of Eastern manuscripts of Jewish provenance with Saʿadya’s Arabic translation in Hebrew characters, which were written in Egypt, Syria or Iraq. Avishur observes that this Eastern group is clearly distinguishable from the Yemenite manuscript tradition.27 To this Eastern group also belongs ms New York, Jewish Theological Seminary, Lutzki 647, which is probably from the fourteenth century AD from Egypt,28 and ms Bodleian Hunt 463.29 4.3. Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts: The Yemenite Group The majority of the textual witnesses of Jewish provenance are the large number of Yemenite manuscripts containing Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch. Early witnesses are ms British Library Or 1041 (Y) written in Yemenite square characters from the fourteenth/fifteenth century AD30 and ms New York, Jewish Theological Seminary, Lutzki 154, considered to be from the fifteenth century AD. It has a typical layout, which we

25  They are clearly written large seize (31.5 x 20 cm) manuscripts which contain Genesis, Exodus (395 with 243 paper folios), Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (396 with 285 paper folios). 26  Neubauer 1886: vol. I p. 6 (no. 28 and 29). 27  Avishur 1992: 6. 28  Paper, 136 folios, Pentateuch. Every biblical verse opens with the first Hebrew word, followed by Saʿadya’s Arabic translation; Genesis 36:27–37:30 and Deutr. 31:10—end is missing. This ms is according to the library catalogue (Lutzki) not a Yemenite, but an oriental manuscript dating back to the fourteenth century (courtesy of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary). See also Avishur 1992: 6–7. 29  This ms is written by different hands. See Neubauer 1886: 28 (no. 171). 30  Cf. Margoliouth 1899–1935: part I p. 76 (no. 100). Paper, 188 folios, with the complete text of the Pentateuch. It has no introduction. Some leaves are of a later date. Every biblical verse opens with the first Hebrew word, followed by Saʿadya’s Arabic translation in Hebrew characters.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


find in many Yemenite mss with Saʿadya’s text.31 Other witnesses of this Yemenite group are mss British Library Or 2228–2230 (seventeenth century), Or 2367 (seventeenth century), Or 9943–9945 (eighteenth century), Or 1466 (nineteenth century), and a manuscript written in Yemen in 1812.32 4.4. Publications Around 1900 In Jerusalem in 1894–1901 Yemenite Jews published, together with the Hebrew text and Targum Onkelos, Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch, under the title ‫ כתר תורה‬or ‫( תאג‬Taag). According to Paul Kahle this publication was based on the same Yemenite manuscript, belonging to David Kohen, a Yemenite living in Jerusalem, which Joseph Derenbourg had used together with the polyglots of Constantinople 1546 and London 1657 to publish Saʿadya’s translation in a kind of critical edition in Paris in 1893.33 Derenbourg’s edition seems to be mainly based on the Constantinople polyglot and has been much criticized for inconsistency, mistakes, and inattention to the many variant readings in the different manuscripts and editions.34 4.5. Paul Kahle’s Publication of 1904 In 1904 Paul Kahle published parts of Saʿadya’s translation based on manuscripts of Arab Christian provenance. He published Exodus 4:20– 26 according to ms Leiden OR 377, which was completed on 6 Shawwal AH 637 (30 April AD 1240) in Mahalla in Egypt. In 1867 Paul de Lagarde had published the text of this ms, claiming in his introduction that only Genesis and Exodus represent Saʿadya’s rendering. Kahle took the text from de Lagarde’s edition.35 In the same study of 1904 Kahle published Genesis 1–4 according to ms Florence Laurentiana Or 112, which according to the colophon was completed on 24 Muharram AH 643

31  It contains Genesis and Exodus. Paper, 266 folios. Each biblical verse has the complete Hebrew text, then Targum Onkelos in Aramaic, followed by Saʿadya’s Arabic rendering, all in Hebrew characters. It starts with Gen 1:7 and has some gaps. 32  This ms was published in a facsimile edition in Jerusalem in 1978 by Makor Publishing LTD with the title The Pentateuch: A Yemenite Manuscript. 33  Cf. Kahle 1959: 55. 34  See Mieses 1919: 269–270, who states that Derenbourg slavishly followed the Constantinople 1546 imprint including the misprints; cf. Zucker 1959: 318 and English summary, Avishur 1992: 5, Polliack 1997: 78, and Blau 1998: 113 note 10. 35  Cf. de Lagarde 1867: iv, Kahle 1904: viii, xii and 25.


berend jan dikken

(21 June AD 1245). On the front pages of this ms one reads that this text is the translation of Saʿīd al-Fayyūmī.36 In his introduction Kahle states that these two texts of Christian provenance clearly differ from each other and from Derenbourg’s edition, and that Derenbourg’s text cannot be regarded as the original. Also Leiden OR 377 and Florence Or 112 would in his view differ in many places from Saʿadya’s original text. But according to Kahle these two manuscripts come closer to Saʿadya’s original text than the Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts, because of the relatively early date of these Christian manuscripts (thirteenth century) and the fact that they are written in Arabic script, so in the same script as Saʿadya wrote himself. Kahle bases this last assumption on what Ibn Ezra (AD 1089–1164) wrote in his commentary on Genesis 2:11: ‫[‘( תרגם [הגאון] התורה בלשין ישמעאל ובכתיבתה‬The Gaon] translated the Torah into the language and the script of the Arabs’).37 4.6. Joseph F. Rhode’s Publication of 1921 In 1921 Joseph Rhode published eight chapters of Genesis in Saʿadya’s translation from ms Vatican Arabic 2. This ms of Coptic Christian provenance38 is most likely copied from ms Florence Or 112 with only some small variant readings. Rhode made some important observations while studying about twenty manuscripts of Coptic Christian provenance with the Arabic Pentateuch. He states that Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch was extensively used by the Christian Church of Egypt, not as officially recognized text, but for comparison, corrections, and divisions. For example, in ms Vatican Coptic 1 there is an Arabic translation of the Pentateuch written in the margin of the Coptic text. This thirteenth or fourteenth-century translation (which is not Saʿadya’s) has a large number of variants that agree with Saʿadya’s Pentateuch as contained in ms Vatican Ar. 2 and ms Florence Or 112. These variants are often marked ‫ن‬ by the letter ‘ ’, which probably stands for �‫( ع��بر ا �ي‬Hebrew), and not �‫�عر ب�ي‬ ‫ع‬ (Arabic) as Rhode assumed. Rhode found similar marked variants added in ms Paris Bib. Nat. Ar. 16. Mss Vatican Coptic 1 and Paris Bib. Nat. Ar. 16 also took over the chapter division, which we find in ms Vatican Ar. 2 and Florence Or 112. This chapter division is obviously of Jewish provenance and similar to that  Cf. Kahle 1904: viii and 13–23.  Cf. Kahle 1904: x; already in AD 1657 Edward Pococke referred to this statement of Ibn Ezra in the London Polyglot, Volume VI, Praefatio to the appendix: 1. 38  The folios in this ms have Coptic numerals. Cf. Rhode 1921: 94–97 and Part II: 36–49. 36 37

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


of the annual cycle of readings of the Hebrew Bible.39 In ms Florence Or 112 on f 8v/ Vat. Ar 2 f 8r we find this title before Gen 6:9: ‫ا �ل��ف�����ص�ل ا �ثل��ا �م� ن� و �هو‬ ‫‘( ا ّو ل ا �ل��ف��ر ا �ش���ه ا � ثل��ا ن�ي��ه‬the eighth section, which is the beginning of the second parashah’). On f 15v of ms Florence Or 2 we find before ‫ أ‬112/f‫ ش‬15r of Vat. Ar � �‫‘( ا �ل��ف�����ص�ل ا �لر ا ب‬the fourteenth the text of Gen 12:1: ‫ع���ر و �هو � ّو ل ا �ل��ف��ر ا �ش���ه ا �ثل��ا �ثل��ه‬ ‫ع‬ section, which is the beginning of the third parashah’). Rhode also states that ms Paris Bibl. Nat. Ar 4, which is regarded to be of Coptic Christian provenance and written in the thirteenth century AD, contains Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch except in Numbers. In Genesis and Exodus the text is similar or identical to ms Leiden OR 377, and in Leviticus and Deuteronomy the text is identical to ms Paris B.N. Ar 1, which is closely followed by the Paris and London polyglots.40 Rhode points also at what Sacy wrote in 1808 about ms Paris B.N. Ar 8, which dates back to the thirteenth century AD. This ms is said to contain the Samaritan Arabic Pentateuch in the version of Abū Saʿīd and was later supplemented by a Coptic priest from Saʿadya’s Arabic version at the request of a Coptic teacher.41 4.7. Paul Kahle’s Publication of 1959 In 1959 Kahle published his well known book about the Cairo Geniza. In this study he states that the Taag edition published by the Yemenite Jews in Jerusalem in 1894–1901 and the ms on which this edition is based contain a textus receptus of Saʿadya’s translation, a widely received but nevertheless altered version of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch that was produced for the convenience of the Arabic speaking Jews in Yemen. He also states that manuscripts of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch that are of Samaritan provenance and written in Samaritan script are of great interest. According to Kahle the Samaritan mss are older than the extant text written by Jews, and often still have Saʿadya’s rendering in places where the textus receptus has been altered. For a critical edition of Saʿadya’s translation he thus proposes using the Samaritan texts in addition to earlier manuscripts,

39  Cf. Rhode 1921: 63–64 and 96–97; see also Ginsburg 1897: 66–67, Tov 2001: 50–53. Benjamin of Tuledo, who wrote about the Jewish community in Cairo in about AD 1170, stated that there were two large synagogues. In one the law was read according to the triennial cycle, in the other according to the annual cycle. See art. ‘Torah, Reading of ’, in Encyclopaedia Judaica, Jerusalem 1971. 40  Cf. Rhode 1921: 63–66, Troupeau 1972: 13. 41  Cf. Rhode 1921: 57, Troupeau 1972: 15–16.


berend jan dikken

remnants of the translation found in the Cairo Geniza, and like Max Katten, quotations of old Jewish authors.42 4.8. Moses Zucker’s Publication of 1959 In 1959 Moses Zucker published in his extensive study of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 of the so-called Taylor-Schechter collection in Cambridge.43 Among these fragments in Cambridge are more than two hundred fragments with Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch.44 Fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 contains two leaves containing Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of Genesis 43:29–44:22 and 50:8–26 and a colophon, which states that this ms had been copied for R. Saadiah bar Sahlān and his son Isaac and was finished on 28 Nissan 4772 (4 April AD 1012). Every biblical verse opens with the first Hebrew word, followed by Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the whole verse in Hebrew characters in oriental square script.45 This short text contains many Middle Arabic features,46 and as Zucker observes, allows us to recover a Judaeo-Arabic text of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch that is considerably closer to the time of Saʿadya himself, surpassing, in that respect, even the earliest mss of Coptic Christian provenance, which are from the middle of the thirteenth century AD. Based on his studies of this fragment and many other mss, Zucker drew the following conclusions47 (my comments are between brackets): a. The versions presented in the polyglots and Yemenite text represent the authentic text of Saʿadya’s version. Variants in these texts go back partly to the deliberate or inadvertent changes made by copyists and partly to the revision made by Saʿadya himself. (Probably Zucker means both the Constantinople Polyglot of 1546 and the London Polyglot of 1657.) b. Among these versions, the Yemenite texts are in substance, though perhaps not in their grammatical form, closer to the original text of  Cf. Kahle 1959: 54–56, see also Katten 1924, Samir 2007.  In 1896–1898 Solomon Schechter had acquired for the library of Cambridge University about 100,000 fragments of Hebrew Bible manuscripts and other material from the Geniza in the Jewish synagogue in Old Cairo. The Bodleian Library in Oxford with many other libraries had also obtained many fragments of this Geniza. These fragments date back from about the tenth to the seventeenth century AD or later. Cf. Kahle 1959: 9–13. 44  Cf. Baker-Polliack 2001: 567. 45  Cf. Zucker 1959: 308–318, pictures on 310–313; see also Baker-Polliack 2001: 101. 46  Cf. Blau 2002: 98–106. 47  See Zucker 1959: English summary. 42 43

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Saʿadya. (Zucker is probably referring to the many deviations from Classical Arabic grammar in the Yemenite texts, which are known as Middle Arabic features.)48 c. The Florentine codex is an elaboration of a text which is identical with that included in the London Polyglot. In this revised text composed by Christians all the deviations from the original Hebrew were eliminated, most likely in order to adjust the translation for Christian liturgical usage. (We will see later that the text of ms Florence Or 112 is indeed a revision of the text, on which the London Polyglot is based.) d. The Lagarde text (De Lagarde 1867, his edition of ms Leiden OR 377) is a paraphrase of Saʿadya’s translation, which nevertheless preserves many valuable readings. e. Derenbourg’s edition of the translation suffers from inconsistency, obvious mistakes, and insufficient textual notes. 4.9. Haseeb Shehadeh’s Publication in 1989 In 1989 Haseeb Shehadeh published the Arabic translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch which is in use among the Samaritans. In the past the Samaritans also had communities outside Palestine in places like Damascus and Cairo at least up to the fifteenth century AD.49 According to Shehadeh the textual evidence shows that the Arabic translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch can be divided into two main text-types. Manuscript Nablus Synagogue 6, written in Samaritan script in AD 1204, represents together with eight other manuscripts the older textual tradition and shows many traces of Saʿadya’s translation.50 This older textual tradition gives evidence that the Samaritans had taken over Saʿadya’s version and in due time made changes to it.51 Some examples of typical Saʿadyan readings in Shehadeh’s edition of ms Nablus 6 and the other mss are: ‫‘( �ع��ط�ل‬not to work’) in Genesis 2:2 and 3, the names ‫‘( ا �لن��ي���ل‬Nile’) and ‫‘( ا �ل���مو�ص�ل‬Mosul’) in 2:11 and 2:14, place names in Egypt in 10:13 and 14 (Tanisians for the Hebrew Ludim, Alexandrians for Anamim, Bahnasans for Lehabim, Ṣaʿīdians, i.e. Upper

 Cf. also Blau 1998: 115.  Still in AD 1481 there were fifty Samaritan households in Cairo according to an account by a traveller; see Stillman 1979: 265. 50  Cf. Shehadeh 1989: Foreword iii–iv. 51  This is more probable than the possibility that they had their own non-Saʿadyan Arabic translation tradition, which would later have been influenced by Saʿadya’s version. 48



berend jan dikken

Egyptians for Casluhim, and Damiettans for Caphtorim), and the word ‫‘( �م�ا‬imam’) in 14:18 for the Hebrew ‫‘( כהן‬priest’). ‫�إ م‬ In the second half of the thirteenth century the Samaritan scholar Abū Saʿīd regarded the older tradition, which we can find in manuscript Nablus 6, as being Saʿadya’s translation, whose falsehood he wanted to refute. For this reason Abū Saʿīd made a revision of the text.52 His revision is the second text-type of the Arabic translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch. Most of the manuscripts with the revised text are written in Arabic characters.53 It is remarkable that in this revision of Abū Saʿīd many typical Saʿadyan readings still occur. Of the above mentioned examples only the names of places in Genesis 10:13 and 14 have been revised. 4.10. Joshua Blau’s Studies of Middle Arabic and Saʿadya’s Pentateuch Blau has been writing about Judaeo-Arabic and Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch for several decades.54 As stated before, Blau links the question of where to find the original text of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch to the reconstruction of the linguistic character of Saʿadya’s original language. In 1998 Blau published an article about the linguistic character of Saʿadya’s text in the oldest known manuscript containing Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch. This ms St. Petersburg National Library Ebr. II C 1–2 was produced by Shemuʾel ben Yaʿaqov, who wrote another manuscript in Egypt in AD 1009.55 It contains the entire Torah in 550 folios, albeit with numerous lacunae. Every biblical verse in Hebrew is followed by Saʿadya’s Arabic version in smaller Hebrew characters. According to Blau, careful analysis of this early manuscript enables researchers to reconstruct both the original version of the translation and Saʿadya’s linguistic usage.56

52  In the preface to his revision Abū Saʿīd writes that the translation of the Noble Book that was at that time in the hands of his fellow worshippers was corrupt both in form and meaning. Some of them even thought that this translation was made by a Samaritan scholar. But in reality, according to Abū Saʿīd, it was nothing else but the rendering of al-Fayyūmī, as he calls Saʿadya; Cf. Shehadeh 1989: English Foreword iii. 53  Cf. Shehadeh 1989: English Foreword iii–v. See also Kahle 1904: xxiii, Katten 1924: 3–4, Robertson 1943: 173vv., Kahle 1959: 53–56, Polliack 1997: 8–9, and 288–289. 54  See Blau 1999: 39v and Blau 1988. Blau also makes it clear that probably due to the influence of the standard orthography of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch translation, the phonetic transcription of Arabic in Hebrew script, which was in use among some Jewish writers, disappeared around AD 1000. See Blau-Hopkins 1988: 381v, Blau-Hopkins 2000: 8, Blau 2002: 21–22. 55  Cf. Blau 1998: 112, Blau-Hopkins 2000: 5, and Blau 2002: 99. 56  Cf. Blau 2001: 2.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Blau states that, although this ms is of Eastern (Egyptian) origin, it reflects, like the two leaves T-S Ar.21.183 published by Zucker in 1959,57 the Yemenite textual form of Saʿadya’s translation, and proves that in the Yemenite text tradition the original translation by Saʿadya has been carefully preserved. Both in this ms from Egypt and in the Yemenite tradition, in spite of their differences, the original text-type of Saʿadya’s translation has been preserved. The St. Petersburg ms definitively confirms Zucker’s conclusion that the Yemenite tradition does not represent a revision of Saʿadya’s translation, as the Kahle school claimed,58 but on the contrary preserved the original with great precision, as stated by Blau.59 Although the Yemenite text tradition faithfully retained the content and style of Saʿadya’s original version, it has undergone changes with respect to language details.60 According to Blau, the many grammatical deviations, i.e. the Middle Arabic features, which had penetrated in these Yemenite manuscripts, are due to the later copyists.61 Blau states that the copyists were not very precise in their diction and introduced more and more Neo-Arabic features62 into the later Yemenite manuscripts and changed their language from genuine post-classical Arabic to semi-classical Middle Arabic.63 According to Blau, ms St. Petersburg enables researchers to reconstruct Saʿadya’s linguistic usage.64 This manuscript is written in post-classical Arabic and contains only a few deviations from Classical Arabic. Even those few deviations in the manuscript can be considered to stem from copyists.65 The language of the manuscript follows, with only few exceptions, Classical Arabic in the case endings, the endings of dual and full plural, the classical verb system, the structure of the numerals, the  In 1980 Blau used Zucker’s publication of these two leaves T-S Ar. 21.183 in a text critical edition of Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of Genesis 37–45; cf. Blau 1980: 19–46. 58  Cf. Kahle 1959: 55. 59  Cf. Blau 1998: 112; In 2001 Blau writes that the Yemeni tradition preserved more or less the original form of Saʿadya’s translation and that Ms. Petersburg establishes the reliability of the Yemenite tradition; cf. Blau 2001: 2 note 4. 60  Cf. Blau-Hopkins 2000: 5–6. 61  Cf. Blau 1998: 115–116. 62  Blau writes in 2001: 2 note 1: “By Neo-Arabic I designate the linguistic structure that characterizes modern Arabic dialects, yet emerged, at the latest, during the great Arab conquests”. 63  Cf. Blau 2001: 4; see for the way Blau defines his terminology of post-classical Arabic, Middle Arabic, etc. note 12 and Blau 2002: 14–21; see for a discussion about the terminology also Lentin 2008: 215v. 64  Cf. Blau 2001: 2. 65  Cf. Blau 2001: 4. 57


berend jan dikken

preservation of the dual which is not being substituted by the plural, the agreement and disagreement in number between a preceding verb and the subject, etc.66 Blau draws the conclusion that when Saʿadya wrote his Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, he used the closely knit system of post-classical Arabic, with probably only a few Neo-Arabic elements.67 In 2002 Joshua Blau published in his Handbook of Middle Arabic Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of Genesis 43:29–44:20 and 50:8–26 according to fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 and ms St. Petersburg in a critical edition with notes, in which he makes references to his grammatical outline of Middle Arabic features.68 Ms St. Petersburg shows some small deviations in orthography69 and morphology in for example 44:11 (‫ ;פאסרעו‬without alif fāṣila)70 and 44:18 (‫ יאסיידי‬instead of the grammatically correct ‫)יא סידי‬.71 It is remarkable, however, that we can already notice in fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 from as early as AD 1012 the penetration of typical Middle Arabic features, which are characteristic for the later manuscript tradition. Some examples are in 50:12 (‫ פצנעו בה בניה‬where ms St. Petersburg reads ‫וצנע‬ ‫)בה בנוה‬,72 50:13 (‫ אלדי‬where ms St. Petersburg reads ‫)אלתי‬,73 50:14 (‫אביה‬ where ms St. Petersburg reads ‫)אבאה‬,74 and 50:15 (‫אן קד מאת אביהם‬ where ms St. Petersburg reads ‫)אן אבאהם קד מאת‬.75 In these examples ms St. Petersburg sticks to the rules of Classical Arabic, while fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 presents deviating forms, which we also find in the later Yemenite tradition. Important for our research are Middle Arabic features that cannot easily be corrected by later copyists. An example, which occurs in both T-S Ar. 21.183 and ms St. Petersburg, is the expression ‫‘( ועאדה תם‬he was still there’) in Gen 44:14.76 Blau states that ‫ ع�ا د‬has become an invariable adverb  Cf. Blau 1998: 116–127; 2001: 5–8. Remarkable is the near total absence of diacritical points in ms St. Petersburg. Blau says that it is hard to believe that Saʿadya did not aim for preciseness for the benefit of his readers; cf. Blau 1998: 115. 67  Cf. Blau 2001: 3–4. 68  Cf. Blau 2002: 98–106. 69  Ms St. Petersburg lacks many diacritical points; examples are 44: 13 (‫ תיאבהם‬instead of ‫ ) ֗תיאבהם‬and 44: 17 (‫ תם‬in stead of ‫) ֗תם‬. 70  This also occurs in 44: 13 (twice) and other places. Cf. Blau 2002: § 25. 71  Cf. Blau 2002: § 12 and 26. 72  Cf. Blau 2002: § 74 and 79; Taag, published in 1894 by Yemenite Jews, reads the same as fragment T-S Ar. 21.183. 73  Cf. Blau 2002: § 139; Taag (1894) reads the same as T-S Ar. 21.183. 74  Cf. Blau 2002: § 74; Taag (1894) reads the same as T-S Ar. 21.183. 75  Cf. Blau 2002: § 74; Taag (1894) here reads ‫אן אביהם קד מאת‬, so with the same deviation in ‫ אביהם‬as T-S Ar. 21.183, but with the word order of ms St. Petersburg. 76  Both manuscripts lack here the diacritical points. Taag reads in Gen 44:14 ‫והו עאדה ֗תם‬. 66

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


in the sense of ‘still’ and may govern pronominal suffixes.77 With examples like this it could be possible to reduce the number of variant readings in order to make a better stemma, a family tree of manuscripts. Less convincing is Blau’s statement made in 2001 that Saʿadya wrote his Arabic translation of the Pentateuch in Hebrew script and addressed Jews only, as proven by Saʿadya’s Pentateuch commentary and his interpretations according to Rabbinical law. At the end of the tenth century CE Saʿadya’s translation would probably have been transliterated into Arabic script for the use in interreligious discussions at the weekly learned court session of the Fatimid vizier in Egypt of Jewish origin, Yaʿqūb ibn Killis (d. AD 991).78 Blau argues against a tradition going back to Abraham ibn Ezra (AD 1089–1164), who stated that Saʿadya wrote his translation in the language and script of the Arabs. But at other places Blau is less outspoken and keeps open the possibility that Saʿadya wrote his translation of the Pentateuch also in Arabic script for the convenience of an Arab Muslim audience.79 One reason for Blau’s argument could be that he wants to refute Kahle’s 1904 claim that the original text of Saʿadya’s translation is preserved in manuscripts written in Arabic script, like the manuscripts of Coptic Christian provenance from the thirteenth century AD. Blau argues that already Zucker made clear in 1959 that the relatively few manuscripts of Saʿadya’s translation written in Arabic script reflect later revisions of the text and that the Judaeo-Arabic text tradition written in Hebrew characters, and especially the Yemenite tradition, preserved the original text of the translation.80 But as we have seen, Zucker is rather positive about the text of the London Polyglot of AD 1657, which is based on manuscript Paris BN, Ar 1, a manuscript of Coptic Christian provenance.  Cf. Blau 2002: § 126, where Blau refers to Blau 1967 (A Grammar of Christian Arabic) § 332, where he gives comparable examples; see also Hopkins 1984: § 246. 78  Cf. Blau 2001: 3–4; see also Cohen-Somekh 1990: 283–314, who describe a Geniza fragment about these sessions. This fragment also contains a few verses of Saʿadya’s Arabic translation from Deuteronomy 4:6–8. 79  See Blau 1981: 39–41. Blau draws at that time the following conclusions: “Actually, all the versions of Saadia’s translation extant in Arabic characters are Christian, Karaite or Samaritan adaptations, whereas all the Jewish versions, including the Geniza fragments, are written in Hebrew script.” And: “D.H. Baneth has demonstrated that some mistakes occurring in quotations from the Pentateuch translation and other books can only be explained by the assumption that they were written in Arabic characters.” Blau concludes: “Consequently, with the material at our deposal so far, we cannot reach any conclusive solution as to which characters Saadia originally used for his works in general and for his Bible translation in particular.” See also Blau 1981/1999: 242 note 17 and Blau-Hopkins 2000: 7–8. 80  Cf. Blau 1998: 111, Blau-Hopkins 2000: 7. 77


berend jan dikken 4.11. Judaeo-Arabic Textual Evidence of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch in Arabic Script

Even within the Judaeo-Arabic tradition of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch there are manuscripts written in Arabic script: Cairo Geniza fragment TS Ar. 42.148 with Saʿadya’s translation of part of Numbers81 and ms Vatican Borgia Ar. 129, which probably dates back to the fourteenth century AD. Each verse in this ms begins with the first word of the original Hebrew text written in Hebrew script, followed by the complete verse in Saʿadya’s translation written in North African Arabic script.82 Because the text in this ms is very close to the Judaeo-Arabic textual tradition of Saʿadya’s version, it seems implausible that this ms is of Karaite Jewish provenance. Although the early Karaites used to write in Arabic script, they were severe opponents of Saʿadya and were not likely to take over his translation.83 4.12. A Manuscript of Muslim Provenance Containing Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch I have been able to identify an Arabic ms of Muslim provenance. This ms was according to the colophon finished on Tuesday 12 Ramadan AH 649 (28 November AD 1251) by a writer named ʿAlī Ibn Masʿūd ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn [F]āqā. It is ms Istanbul, Topkapı, Aḥmad III, 3522 (T). It contains the introduction by Saʿadya and his complete translation of the Pentateuch written entirely in Arabic script. This ms is of great interest for our research. 4.13. Some Remaining Questions 1. We can agree with Blau that the Judaeo-Arabic ms St. Petersburg Ebr. II C 1–2 is the oldest dated textual evidence of Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, which is retained in the Yemenite text tradition. But how does one explain the fact that some of the mss of Coptic Christian provenance and the one of Muslim provenance have a text which is very close to the Yemenite tradition, but contains far fewer 81  Numbers 29:3–29 and 30: 14–31:12. Cf. Polliack 1998: 602. She also mentions T-S Ar. 40.20 with Saʿadya’s translation of Proverbs 23:5–24:6. 82  For a facsimile reproduction of fol. 74v see Tisserant 1914: tab. 53. 83  Blau has argued in 1981/1999: 40 that Ms Vatican Borgia Ar. 129 would be a Karaite adaptation as Edelmann argued. However, this is only based on the argument that the script of the ms is Arabic; cf. Edelmann 1953: 74. For Arabic translations of the Pentateuch by Karaites see Zucker 1984, Polliack 1997, and Blau & Hopkins 2000: 12.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Middle Arabic features, by which we mean deviations from Classical Arabic? 2. If Saʿadya wrote his Arabic Pentateuch translation both in Hebrew and in Arabic script, are the manuscripts of non-Jewish provenance based on a textual tradition in Arabic script going back to Saʿadya, or are they due to later transcription into Arabic script of the Judaeo-Arabic text tradition written in Hebrew characters? And do these mss of non-Jewish provenance reflect Saʿadya’s original language and his original text? 5. Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch in Manuscripts of Coptic Christian Provenance The Coptic Christian text tradition containing Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch can be divided into three different text traditions. 5.1. The First Coptic Christian Text Tradition: Ms Leiden OR 377 from AD 1240 The textual tradition of Genesis and Exodus as found in ms Leiden, OR 377, is the earliest dated representative of this group. Ms Leiden has been finished according to the colophon on Monday 6 Šawwal AH 637 (30 April AD 1240) in the church of Michail in Maḥalla (now: Maḥalla al-Kubrā, in the Delta area, Egypt) by Malik ibn Ismāʿīl, a Jacobite Syrian Christian from Mardin.84 According to Rhode ms Paris BN Ar. 4, which is of Coptic Christian provenance and was written in the thirteenth century AD, has in Genesis a text similar to the Leiden ms and in Exodus a text which is identical to it.85 With Zucker we can say that the text of ms Leiden is a paraphrase of Saʿadya’s translation, which nevertheless preserves many valuable readings.86 This tradition stands independent from the two other Coptic Christian traditions, and probably originates from Syria.

84  See Kerr 2004: 58–61. The text of this manuscript has been published by Paul de Lagarde in 1867. Hughes reviewed Lagarde’s publication in 1914. 85  Cf. Rhode 1921: 63–66; this text tradition can also be found in other manuscripts of Coptic Christian provenance. 86  Cf. Zucker 1959: English summary.


berend jan dikken 5.2. The Second Coptic Christian Text Tradition: A (Probably Lost) Manuscript from AD 1242

The second Coptic Christian text tradition containing Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch is the one we find in the Paris (AD 1632) and London Polyglot (AD 1657). These Polyglots rather closely follow manuscript Paris Bibl. Nat., Arabic 1 (A), which is said to have been brought from Cairo to Paris in 1606 by Francis Savary de Brèves, who was at that time the French Consul to Egypt.87 This ms contains large parts of the Old Testament, was copied around 1584 in Old Cairo and is of Christian Coptic provenance.88 Ms Paris BN Ar. 1 includes a long introduction (1v–3r). The writer of this introduction, who does not mention his own name, seems to be a very experienced Christian scholar. He states that he collected and studied many Arabic versions of the Pentateuch and found many defects and mistakes in them. He regarded the ‘translation of the 72’ from Hebrew to Greek, the LXX, as a good rendering, but he did not think that the translation of the LXX into Arabic was well done. The writer valued the translation of Sheikh Saʿīd the Rabbi al-Fayyūmī from the Hebrew into Arabic as superior in his religious community, regarding it as the most eloquent, having reliable expressions, a gentle style, correct spelling (‫و ��س�لا �مت����ه�ا‬ ‫ � ن � ت � ف‬89 ��‫) م�� ا ل����ص‬, and a decisive way of rendering names and countries. The ���‫حي‬ writer copied from al-Fayyūmī’s version the ‘following transcript’, meaning the text of Genesis to Deuteronomy.90 Thereafter he claims to have sat with a well known Jewish scholar, who had a copy of the Hebrew Pentateuch in his hand, read from it, and worded an obviously literal Arabic translation of the Hebrew script. Our writer compared his copy of Saʿadya’s version with this literal back translation and indicated with a red sign ‘�‫ ’ ز‬above the words, where Saʿadya had added words. He also wrote in red above the line any missing words, and indicated in many cases with the sign ‘ ’ the literal Arabic translation of the Hebrew. In the second part ‫ع‬ of his introduction the writer noted examples of these categories. The writer of this introduction also stated that he had consulted the Arabic translations of the Christian writers al-Ḥāriṯ ibn Sinān, Ibn al-Faḍl,

 Cf. Thompson 1955: 4–11.  In this manuscript different dates are mentioned on ff. 96, 107, 135, and 387; see also Troupeau 1972: 11–12. 89  Correct spelling would suggest that the text did not show many Middle Arabic features. 90  Therefore we may draw the conclusion that this Christian scholar had taken over the text of Saʿadya’s translation from the Jews of his time. He does not refer to the script of the translation. 87


saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


and Ibn al-Ṭayyib, who had translated from Greek or Syriac, and the explanations by Chrysostomos and Basilius. He had also consulted the Arabic translation from Hebrew by ‘one of the best of the Samaritans’ and later mentions the name al-Ḥakīm Ṣadaqa, the doctor. Of the Jewish commentators he consulted the writings of Abū al-Faraǧ Ibn ʾAsad (the Karaite Yeshuʿah ben Yehudah),91 Abū ʿAlī al-Baṣrī (the Karaite Yefet ben ʿEli),92 and Saʿīd al-Dāwūdī. The writer makes references to these writers in the many notes that he added in the margin of his copy of Saʿadya’s version of the Pentateuch. We find an example in Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit/wind of God was moving over the face of the waters.” In the margin the writer adds: ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ / � ‫ و �م�ا ر ا �ر ا ي� ش�����ير ب���ه�ا ا لى ا ��ل�هوا وي ج� ن���� ب�ا‬/ ‫و ب�ا ����سي����لو��س �ي�عت����ق�د �ه�ا ر و ا �ل���م���ق�د��س‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ح‬ ‫م‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن ف‬ ‫ة ف ق�ة‬ ‫قن‬ ‫� ن ا �ل���م � د ا ت‬ / �‫ لا �ي� ا لا ��ا �ي� و ا �ل��س�ا �مر � و �ر �� �م� ن‬/ � ‫كا � �ي� ك‬ � ‫كلا ا �لن��ب�ى ا ن����م�ا‬ � � ‫�ج‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ّٰ ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ف‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ت‬ � ‫��ه ا �ل��ل�ه ا �ل����ر ��ه ا لا � � ��ا �ل� ا ��ه�ا ا �ل‬ ‫ا �لي���هود ��ا �لوا �م�لا ي� �ك‬ ‫ر ى � � ريح‬ And Basilius holds it to be ‘the Holy Spirit’—and Mar Afram refers with it to ‘the air’ and he argues that the speech/words of the prophet pointed out that it was part of the existence of creation—not about the hypostases— but the Samaritans and one group of the Jews said that it is the ‘angels of God’—whereas another group said that it is ‘the wind’.

But who is the writer of this introduction and the editor of this version of Saʿadya’s text with all these scholarly notes? According to George Graf he was the Coptic Christian Faḍlallah ibn Tadrus, one of the copyists of the manuscript in Old Cairo of around 1584.93 While working in the manuscript library of the Coptic Patriarchate in Cairo I found two other manuscripts with part of the Old Testament in Arabic and an identical text as found in ms Paris BN Ar. 1 of Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch:94 1. Bible 32 (B); dated on 5 Muḥarram AH 994 (27 December AD 1585). 2. Bible 21 (C); dated on 14 Babeh Anno Martyrum 1304 (22 October AD 1587).

 Cf. Polliack 1997: 46.  Cf. Polliack 2003: 389. 93  Cf. Graf 1944: 102. 94  I thank His Holiness Baba Shenouda III for the permission to work in the library of the Coptic Patriarchate in Cairo. 91



berend jan dikken

Ms Bible 32 contains the introduction and the full text of the Arabic Pentateuch, but it omits the marginal notes and the interlinear notes, except for a few verses of Genesis 1. Of ms Bible 21 the first 16 folios of the original are missing and the text starts with Genesis 12:18. However, it contains the interlinear and marginal notes not only of Genesis, as ms Paris BN Ar. 1, but also of the other four books of the Pentateuch. Very important is the fact that ms Bible 21 has preserved at the end of Deuteronomy on folio 147r95 the colophon of the original from which ms Bible 21 is copied. In this colophon the writer/copyist mentions the name of the Jewish scholar with whom the Christian scholar sat together to review Saʿadya’s translation, gives again a short explanation of the interlinear notes, and gives as date of finishing the writing Thursday 1 Šawwāl AH 639 (3 April AD 1242). It is not immediately clear whether the writer/copyist of the original manuscript of AH 639 is himself a copyist, or the scholarly writer of the original introduction and all the notes. However, this colophon places the second Coptic Christian text tradition of Saʿadya’s version in about the same time as the first Coptic Christian text tradition. We can assume that the scholarly Christian writer, who was probably a Copt, took over in about AD 1242 Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch from the Jews and studied this text thoroughly with the help of one of the Jewish scholars. Therefore, this text was—at that time within that Jewish scholarly circle—the best available version of Saʿadya’s text. The Christian scholar regarded the text of Saʿadya’s version to have correct spelling ‫ا � ت � ن �ت � ف‬ (���‫حي‬ ��‫)و ��س�ل م����ه�ا م�� ا ل����ص‬, so probably without many Middle Arabic features. It is possible that the Coptic scholar corrected some of the spelling of his ‘Vorlage’ of the Jews. Ms Paris BN Ar. 1 and Coptic Patriarchate Bible 21, and probably also Bible 32, are copies of the ms dated AD 1242. 5.3. The Third Coptic Christian Text Tradition: Ms Florence Laurentiana or 112 from AD 1245 The oldest representative of the third Coptic Christian text tradition of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch is dated only three years after the original manuscript of the second Coptic Christian text tradition was finished. Ms Florence Laurentiana Or. 112 (F) is obviously a well defined revision of the second text tradition according to the interlinear notes of the second tradition, where the deviations of Saʿadya’s Arabic translation from the origi-

 Both in the Coptic and Arabic numbering.


saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


nal Hebrew Pentateuch are noted.96 In almost all cases where ms Coptic Patr. Bible 21 indicates in the interlinear notes with ‘�‫ ’ ز‬that Saʿadya added words, or indicates with ‘ ’ a literal translation of the Hebrew text or that ‫ع‬ the Hebrew text has additional words, ms Florence follows the notes and corrects in this way Saʿadya’s version towards the original Hebrew text. The Florence ms gives also strong evidence that the writer of the second Coptic Christian tradition is indeed a Coptic Christian scholar, even a well known scholar. On the title page of ms Florence we read: ‫ن‬ ‫�ّ ة‬ ‫�ف‬ ‫ن �ق‬ ‫ا �تل� ر ا �ة ا �ل���م���ق ّ�د ��س��ة م‬ �‫حر ر � �م� ن� ��� �ل ��س�عي���د ا �ل�� ��يومي� �م� ن� ا �ل�ع��بر ا �ي� ا لى ا �ل�ع�ـ�ربـي‬ ‫و‬ The Holy Torah, accurately composed from the translation of Saʿīd al-Fayyūmī from the Hebrew into Arabic.

The same title of ms Florence states that this ms is written in the monastery of St. Antonius in the Eastern Desert by the Coptic monk Gabriel al-ʾAmǧad ibn al-Muʿallim. According to the colophon on f. 304v this manuscript was finished on Wednesday 24 Muḥarram AH 643 (21 June AD 1245)/ 28 Baoena Anno Martyrum 961 (22 June 1245).97 The monk Gabriel tried to correct Saʿadya’s version as much as possible towards the original Hebrew Bible. He follows closely the marginal notes: additions are deleted, omissions are added, and corrections are taken over. This monk Gabriel is probably the same person who became Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox church under the name Gabriel III from 21 Oct AD 1268–1 Jan AD 1271, and had been the secretary of the famous Coptic Christian scholarly family ʾAwlād al-ʿAssāl.98 One of the members of this family, Asʿad Hibatallah ibn al-ʿAssāl, had completed around AD 1255 his famous critical edition of the Four Gospels. This work of Hibatallah was carefully copied by Gabriel in AD 1264 in what is now manuscript British Library Or 3382.99 In the colophon of ms Coptic Museum, Cairo, Bible 93, Gabriel writes that he copied this manuscript in Anno Martyrum 973 (AD 1256–1257) in the house of the archon al-Amǧad ibn al-ʿAssāl, where he stayed 10 years, in Syria, and at Babylon in Egypt (Old Cairo).100 With this and other arguments we may assume that either Asʿad Hibatallah ibn al-ʿAssāl or his brother Muʾtaman Already Zucker noted that the Florentine codex is a revision of a text identical with that included in the London Polyglot and that in this text all the deviations from the original Hebrew are eliminated. See Zucker 1959: English summary. 97 I am thankful to Mr. Nabih Kamel Dawoud, who helped me decipher the title page and the colophon. 98 Cf. Graf 1932: 52–53. 99 See Bailey 1978: 25 note 7, Samir 1994: 477. 100 Cf. Simaika 1939: 7. 96


berend jan dikken

Abū Isḥāq ibn al-ʿAssāl101 is the Christian scholar who collected and edited the second Coptic tradition of Saʿadya’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch in AD 1242. Shortly afterwards probably one of them, or the monk Gabriel, created the third Coptic text tradition.102 5.4. Overview of the Coptic Christian Tradition and the Other Text Traditions of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch In the table on p. 73, on the left the Judaeo-Arabic text tradition written in Hebrew script is provided. The other textual traditions are written in Arabic script. 5.5. Text Critical Example of the Coptic Christian Tradition and Other Text Traditions: Genesis 16:1–4, 10–11 To give some idea of the relationships between the different text traditions of Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch, here follow six verses from Genesis 16: Coptic Christian text tradition II:

Judaeo-Arabic tradition in Hebrew script:

A = Ms Paris, Bibl. Nat. Ar 1; B = Ms Cairo, Coptic Patr. Bible 32; C = Ms Cairo, Coptic Patr. Bible 21;

P = Ms St. Petersburg, National Library, Heb II C 1–2 Y = Ms British Library, Or 1041

Coptic Christian text tradition III: F = Ms Florence, Laurentina Or 112; H = Ms British Library, Harl. 5475;

Judaeo-Arabic tradition in Arabic script: V = Ms Vatican, Borgia Ar. 129 Muslim tradition: T = Ms Istanbul, Topkapı, Ahmad III, 3522

The text is according to C in the orthography of F, because F is closest to the original ms in date. If F has a variant reading, the orthography follows C. The text in superscript represents the interlinear notes in C and A, which are written with red ink between the lines. At the left the marginal note of C and A is printed.

101  An indication of this is the fact that in the preserved colophon of the original from which ms Cairo Coptic Patriarchate Bible 21 is copied (on f. 147r. after the text of Deuteronomy) the name Muʾtaman al-Dīn is mentioned. This point needs further research. 102  Ms. British Library, Harley 5475 (H) from about the fourteenth century AD has the same text as Ms. Florence. There are also some other mss with this third text tradition.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch

Judaeo-Arabic tradition

Jewish tradition

Muslim tradition

Coptic Chr. tradition I

Coptic Chr. tradition II

73 Coptic Chr. tradition III

ca. AD 1009 St. Petersburg NL Ebr. II C 1–2 AD 1012 Cambridge T-S Ar. 21.183 AD 1240 Leiden OR 377 G+Ex

AD 1242 Original ms of A,B,C AD 1245 Florence Laur. Or.112

AD 1251 Istanbul Topkapı Ahmad III 14–15th century AD Brit. Libr. Or. 1041

14th century AD Vat.Borgia Ar.129

14th century AD Brit. L. Harl. 5475

AD 1584 Paris Bib.N Ar. 1 AD 1585 Cairo Patr. Bib. 32 AD 1587 Cairo Patr. Bib. 21 Table: Overview of the Coptic Christian tradition and the other text traditions of Saʿadya’s Pentateuch.

There are two critical apparatuses: 1. The variant readings of the Coptic II and Coptic III text tradition at the bottom. 2. The variant readings of the mss of the Judaeo-Arabic and Muslim text traditions on the left.

‫‪berend jan dikken‬‬ ‫‪Jewish and Muslim‬‬ ‫‪tradition; Variant‬‬ ‫‪readings of mss:‬‬ ‫שרי ‪ Y‬סרי ‪ 12 etc. P‬‬ ‫אברם ‪ 14 etc. PY‬‬ ‫ن‬ ‫كا � ‪ TV‬כאן ‪ 19 PY‬‬ ‫�‬ ‫‪12‬‬ ‫מצרייה ‪ 1 etc. Y‬‬ ‫הגר ‪ Y‬האגר ‪ 114 etc. P‬‬ ‫שרי ‪ 22 Y +‬‬ ‫‪ 23 V added in margin‬‬ ‫מנעני ‪ / 26 Y‬הא אנא ‪ 24 P‬‬ ‫אלולאד ‪ 29 P‬‬ ‫ا لا ولا د ‪ T‬אלאולאד ‪ Y‬‬ ‫אן ‪ 213 P +‬‬ ‫יבנא בית ‪ 214,15 P‬‬ ‫יבנא ביתי ‪ Y‬‬ ‫ي���ب ن��ا ب��يت�ى‪ V‬ي���ب ن�� ب��ي�ت� ‪ T‬‬ ‫ي ي‬ ‫פאכדת ‪ 32 P‬‬ ‫�ش‬ ‫ع���ر ه ‪ 39 PYTV—/ 311 TV‬‬ ‫�ف‬ ‫‪16‬‬ ‫ي� ب��ل�د ‪ T‬פי בלד ‪ 3 PY‬‬ ‫ب��ل�د ‪ V‬‬ ‫فأ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�� �ع��ط�ا ���ه�ا ‪ 319 V‬כנעאן ‪ 317 P‬‬ ‫لا �بر ا ‪ TV‬לאברם ‪ 320 PY‬‬ ‫م‬ ‫סיידתהא ‪ 411 V—/ 414 Y‬‬ ‫—‪ T—/ 103 T‬תם ‪ 101 P‬‬ ‫לאכתרן ‪ 104 P‬‬ ‫מן ‪ +‬יחצא ‪ 108 PY‬‬ ‫�م� ن� ‪ TV +‬‬

‫ث ة‬

‫���ر � ‪ 109 TV‬‬ ‫ا �ل �ك‬ ‫�ه�ا ن� ت‬ ‫� ‪ / 114–5 V‬תם ‪ 111 P‬‬ ‫— ‪ 117 PYTV‬‬ ‫ت‬ ‫���س���مي���ه ‪ TV‬תסמיה ‪ 1111 Y‬‬ ‫ا ��س���م�ا �عي���ل ‪ V‬אסמאעיל ‪ 1112 Y‬‬ ‫לצעפך ‪ / 1116–19 P‬אד ‪ 1113 P‬‬ ‫�ل���ض �ف‬ ‫לצעפך ‪ Y‬‬ ‫� �ع�� �ك ‪֗ TV‬‬

‫ ‪74‬‬

‫‪Saʿadya’s version of Genesis 16:1–4, 10,‬‬ ‫)‪11 in the Coptic tradition II (A,B,C‬‬ ‫)‪and III (F,H‬‬ ‫‪ \1‬و ��س�ا ر ا �ي�‪ 2‬ز� و ج��ه ا �بر ا ‪� 4‬ل�مت��ل�د �ل�ه‬ ‫م‬ ‫كا ن� ت�‪�� 9‬ل�ه�ا ا �م�ه �م���صر�ي�ه‪ 12‬ا ��س����م�ه�ا‬ ‫و�‬ ‫�ه�ا � ‪14‬‬ ‫جر‬ ‫�ذ ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫‪���� \2‬ق�ا �ل� ت�‪ 2‬لا �بر ا ‪� 3‬هو ا‪�� 4‬د‬ ‫م‬ ‫أ‬ ‫ٰ‬ ‫خ‬ ‫‪9‬‬ ‫ن ‪ ّ 6‬ن‬ ‫ح��بّ��س�ي� ا �ل��ل�ه �م�� ا �لولا د ه ا �ت ند ��ل ا لي� � �م�يت�‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‪ 13‬ت‬ ‫� ‪ �� 14‬ن� ‪� 15‬م ن���ه�ا ع ا ب���ى �م����ه�ا ا �ى �ل�ع�ل‬ ‫�‬ ‫�تل�عز� قل ً ب�ي�ت نى ي �بن ى‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�ل�د ا ا ���� ن‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫؟‬ ‫ا‬ ‫�ه‬ ‫ا‬ ‫)‬ ‫(‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�ر � � و‬ ‫�ب �‬ ‫ب ��� ب���ل ا �بر ا م �ول‬ ‫��س�ا ر ا �ي�‬ ‫أ‬ ‫أ‬ ‫ز‬ ‫ف خ �ذ ت ‪2‬‬ ‫‪ �� �� \3‬أ � ��س�ا ر ا �ي� � و ج��ه � �بر ا م �ه�ا ج�ر‬ ‫ن‪9‬‬ ‫ش ‪ 11‬ن ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ا �ل���م���صر�ي�ه �أ �م����ه�ا �م�� ب��ع�د ن�ع���ر أ����س����ي�‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫طت���ه�ا‪19‬‬ ‫‪17‬‬ ‫‪16‬‬ ‫�‬ ‫�م� ن� �م���ق�ا � �بر ا �ب�ب��ل�د‬ ‫�ك��ع�ا � �� �ع�� �‬ ‫‪ 20‬م ز م‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ز‬ ‫� و ج�‬ ‫ا� ا‬ ‫�و� �ل�ه � و ج��ه‬ ‫���ه�ا � تل� ك‬ ‫ف‬ ‫بر فم‬ ‫�� ت ف ل ا ت ا ن‬ ‫خ‬ ‫�‬ ‫‪�� \4‬د ��ل ا لي� �ه�ا ج�ر حم�ل�� ���م�ا ر � ���ه�ا‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ت‬ ‫��د‪ 11‬ح�م�ل� ت� �ه�ا ن� ت� ����سيّ���د ���ه�ا‪� 14‬ع ن���د �ه�ا‬

‫‪Marginal‬‬ ‫‪notes‬‬

‫�ة ن‬ ‫ح�ا ����ش�ي��� ‪ :‬ا ي��ى‬ ‫(؟؛ ‪ :A‬ي�ا)‬ ‫ف� �آ ن تً ن‬ ‫�ل � نب�ي���ا و ب��ى زع��لفى‬ ‫ا �ه�ل�ه �ب���ا ء ا �ي� � ��‬ ‫ا �ه�ل�ه ا �يل��ه‬

‫‪. . .‬‬

‫ث نّ ن‬ ‫لا ك‬ ‫���ر �‪��� 4‬س�ل�ك‬

‫ق‬ ‫‪ \10‬ث� ‪�� 1‬ا ل ��ل�ه�ا‬ ‫ت مُ‬ ‫ث‬ ‫��� ه‪9‬‬ ‫� ‪8‬‬ ‫ح� لا ي�‬ ‫ح��� يص� ك ر‬ ‫�ى‬ ‫�م� ا ك ا �ل�ّ�لٰ�ه ‪ 4‬أ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ث‬ ‫‪5‬‬ ‫‪1‬‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ل‬ ‫‪�� � \11‬ا ل ��ل�ه�ا ع‬ ‫�ه�ا � �� ح�ا �م�ل‬ ‫م‬ ‫‪����7‬ست���ل�د � ن ا � نً��ا �ت��س���م�� ن���ه‪ 11‬ا ��س���م�ع��� ‪� 12‬إ�ذ ‪13‬‬ ‫�ب‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫ي�‬ ‫ي‬ ‫يل‬ ‫ٰ‬ ‫��س���م ا �ل�ّ�ل�ه د ع�ا ك ز�‪ 16‬ا �ل��ه ز� �م� ن ز� �ش����ق�ا ك‪19‬‬ ‫ي �‬ ‫ع‬ ‫ّٰ‬ ‫‪3‬‬ ‫�م�لا ك ا �ل��ل�ه‬ ‫ع‬

‫‪Variant readings in mss ABCFH:‬‬ ‫‪ :‬ب�ي�ت�ى ي���ب ن�ى ‪� /‬م�ں ‪� : F‬م� ن� ‪ /2/‬ٮ�ل�د ‪ : F‬ت��ل�د ‪/1/‬‬ ‫ف أ خ �ذ‬ ‫�ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‪�� � �� �� : C added‬س�ا ر ا �ي�‪ /3/‬ا ب���� �م����ه�ا ‪FH‬‬ ‫‪scribe above the line‬‬ ‫‪� :‬م�� ب��ع�د ‪ّٰ /‬‬ ‫‪ by the‬ن‬ ‫ني‬ ‫ض‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‪ :‬ع ‪� /‬م�لا ك ا �ل��ل�ه ‪�� : FHٰ +‬ل�ه�ا ‪�� / . ./10/‬كٮ�ع�ا � ‪� : F‬‬ ‫�ك�ث�ع�ا ّ� ‪ /‬ب�ا ر�� ‪� : FH‬ب�ب��ل�د ‪� /‬م�ں ‪� : F‬م�� ‪ /‬ب��ع�خ�د �خ‪FH‬‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ل �ث ّ ل � ن‬ ‫‪��� :‬س���مي�� ن���ه ‪� /‬م�لا ك ا �ل��ل�ه ‪�� : FH +‬ل�ه�ا ‪ /11/‬ا ك��ر ں ‪ : F‬ا ك��ر � ‪A ( = other/better translation)/‬‬ ‫ت‬ ‫‪� /‬ش����ق�ا ي��ك ‪� : ABC‬ش����ق�ا ك ‪ : FH—/‬د ع�ا ك �إ �يل��ه �م� ن� ‪ /‬ا ��س���م�ا �عي���ل ‪ : A‬ا ��س���م�عي���ل ‪��� /‬س���مي���ه ‪ABCH‬‬

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Some comments: ‫ن‬ – 16:19 (Verse one—word nine): reads �‫كا ن� ت‬ � (but PY read ‫ כאן‬TV  � ‫كا‬ � ); The Copts probably wanted to bring concord in gender between the verb and the subject. However, because they are separated by the word ‫ن‬ ‫ ��ل�ه�ا‬, the reading � ‫كا‬ � was not wrong according to Classical Arabic grammar (Cf.ْ Wright 1998: II 288, 289). َُ – 16:215: ‫ ي���ب ن��ا‬in PY and V is spelled incorrectly with ʾalif instead of ʾalif maqṣūra bi-ṣūrat al-yāʾ. T is correct. We cannot check this with F (Coptic tr. III), since F has a variant reading based on the interlinear note in �‫)ي‬, but � the original ms. We see the same in 108; P and Y read ‫ح���ص�ا( יחצא‬ � � here T and V have ‘corrected’ the reading into ‫ يح���صى‬. ‫ � ش‬instead of ���‫ع‬ ‫ش‬ – 16:311: TV read ‫ع���ر ه‬ ‫ � ر‬. This is a mistake. Could this be called a pseudo-correction? We can also make some observations about the orthography:

F: is not consistent in writing the hamza: cf. the word ‫ ا �م��ة‬with and without hamza in verse 2 and 3; in 1119: ‫ �ش����ق�ا ك‬is written without hamza. P: does not ‫ ث‬and ‫ �ذ‬. See write diacritical points above the ‫ ת‬and the ‫ ד‬to indicate � also the ‫צ‬. 5.6. Other Middle Arabic Features in these Manuscripts Example 1: Genesis 43:29 in the Geniza fragment T-S Ar. 21.183 (this text is missing in ms St. Petersburg NL Ebr. II C): At this moment Joseph sees his brother Benjamin after many years. ‫أ �ذ أ‬ ‫ن فن ظ ن ن أ‬ ‫أ ف‬ ‫ ا �ل��� �غص��� ا �ل��ذ � ق�� ت‬14� ��‫[ ث� ر ��ف� �عي����ي��ه] ������ر ب��ي�����م‬ �‫�ل‬ ‫ ا � نب� � �م�ه ����ق�ا ل � �ه� ا � �خ�ي�� ك‬7‫ي� � �خ�ي���ه‬ ‫ير‬ � ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ّٰ ‫م ف ع‬ ‫ف‬ . . . . . ��‫لي� ����ق�ا ل ا �ل��ل�ه �ير و �� ع��يل��ك ي�ا ب� ن‬ ‫ي‬ ‫أ‬ ‫أ‬ 297 + 14: The readings ‫ � �خ�ي���ه‬and � ‫ � �خ�ي�� ك‬are typical for Middle Arabic. ‫م‬ The same occurs in ms BL Or. 1041 (Y) and Taag (the printed edition based on Yemenite mss published in Jerusalem in 1894–1901 AD) and the same readings can be found in ms Vatican Borgia Ar. 129 (V). In ms Topkapi, ‫أ‬ Ahmad III 3522 (T) these ‘mistakes’ have been ‘corrected’ into ‫ � خ��ا ه‬and ‫أ‬ ‫ � �خ�وك‬on f. 46r. The same ‘corrections’ we find in the mss ABCFH (ms F on ‫م‬


berend jan dikken

‫أ‬ ‫أ‬ f. 67v). The ‫أ‬old Samaritan tradition reads here ‫ � خ��ا ه‬and ‫ ;)!( � خ��اك‬the revised ‫أ‬ ‫م‬ version ‫ � خ��ا ه‬and ‫ � �خ�وك‬.103 ‫م‬ Example 2: Genesis 14:24 in ms St. Petersburg, Russian National Library, Ebr. II C (P), on f. 27v: This is part of the speech of Abraham to the king of Sodom, after he had rescued Lot and others. ‫أ‬ ‫�غ�� �م�ا �ك�ل�ه ا � �غل� �ل�م�ا ن ن����ص���� ا �ل���ق ا �ل��ذ � ن‬ �‫ �م�ع� ع ن��ر و �ش�� ك‬9‫� و‬ � ‫�ض‬ ��‫م‬ ‫��ل و �م���مر ا �ه��م‬ � ‫ير‬ ‫و‬ �‫ي‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ب‬ ‫�إ‬ ‫ي‬ ‫وم‬ ‫ ن‬17 ‫أ خ �ذ ن‬ �� ��‫ي‬ �‫����ص����ه‬ ‫و� ي ب � م‬ ‫أ‬ ‫�ذ‬ 249 and 17: By a later hand the nūn is added after ‫ ي�� خ�� و‬. However, no ʾalif is added to ‫� و‬ ‫ �م���ض‬. Both BL Or 1041 (Y) and Taag read without the ʾalif and the nūn. Ms Topkapi (T) has the nūn (but ‫� وا‬ ‫ �م���ض‬is omitted). Borgia Ar. 129 (V) reads both correctly according to Classical Arabic. In F the folio with this text is missing, but H reads both with ʾalif and nūn. We may say that copyists (also of mss Topkapi and to a lesser extent Borgia Ar. 129) were aware of Middle Arabic readings in orthography and morphology and often tried to ‘correct’ them. But what about MA features in the syntax of sentences? Are the copyists/editors also willing here to make ‘corrections’ in the direction of Classical Arabic? Example 3: Genesis 42:34 in ms St. Petersburg (P). Joseph orders his brothers to bring Benjamin. ‫أ‬ ‫أ غ ت أ أ‬ ‫ت ن أ �خ‬ ‫� ث����ق�ا ت‬ �‫ ب ج‬8 ��‫� �ل��ي‬ � ‫�م ا ل� �ص��ر‬  . . . � ‫ و� ن� ك‬9‫�وا ��س��ي��س‬ ‫ح�ى � ع��ل � ن� ك‬ �‫\ وا �و �ي� ب�� �ي�� ك‬34 ‫س‬ ‫م‬ ‫م م‬ 348 and 9: Same reading in BL Or 1041 (Y), Taag, ms Topkapi (T), and Borgia ‫ � ت‬in mss ABCFH of the Coptic tradiAr. 129 (V). ‘Corrected’ into ‫ل��س� �ج�وا ��س��ي��س‬ ‫م‬ tion. The old Samaritan manuscript tradition is here of interest with dif-‫أ‬ ‫ن‬ �‫�م �ل��ي�� ب ج‬ ferent kind of readings. Two of the nine mss read with P ‫�وا ��س��ي��س‬ ‫� � ك� س‬, ‫ن‬ ‫�ت‬ 104 ‫ن‬ � while most mss read ‫ا � �ل��ي��س �ج وا ��س��ي��س ا � ��م‬. Example 4: Genesis 44:14 in ms St. Petersburg (P). At the house of Joseph. ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ ث ف �ق‬8 ‫أ ض‬ ‫�خ ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ �� ‫\ ��د خ��ل‬14 ��‫ي�هو ا و ا �و��ه �إلى ب�ي��� �يو��س� و ع�ا د ه �م �و���عوا ب���ي� ي��د ي��ه ع��لى ا ل� ر‬  Cf. Shehadeh 1989: 218–219.  Cf. Shehadeh 1989: 212.



saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


148: Same reading in BL Or 1041 (Y), ms Topkapi (T), and Borgia Ar. 129 (V). Taag reads �‫)והו עאדה ֗תם) و �هو ع�ا د ه ث‬. The word ‫ ع�ا د ه‬has been ‘corrected’ ‫م‬ �‫و �هو ب‬ � in mss ABCFH into �‫و �هو ث‬. Both Samaritan textual traditions read ‫ح�ا �ل�ه‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ 105 ‫�ه���ا ك‬. Here we see that the writers of the Coptic tradition were less hesitant to change the text of the Judaeo-Arabic tradition into ‘correct’ Arabic than the writers of mss Topkapi and Borgia Ar. 129. However, here follows a last example to warn us not to draw conclusions too fast. Example 5: Genesis 42:23 in ms St. Petersburg (P). Joseph meeting his brothers in Egypt. ‫أ‬ ً ‫أ ن ق‬ � ‫\ ف�� ج��ا ب���ه� ر� و‬22 . . . .  ‫ب� ��ا ي�لا‬ ‫م‬ ً ‫أ أ قف ت‬ ‫ف ف �ذ‬ ‫ن أن‬ . �‫ � � �يو��س� ي�������ه� �ل�ك ل� ن��ه � و ���� �ر�ج �م�ا ن�ا ب�ي� ن��ه و ب��ي ن���ه‬4�‫ �ي�ع�ل�مو‬3‫\ و�ه لا‬23 ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ 3 4 ‫ل ن‬ 23 and : �‫ لا �ي�ع��مو‬also in Borgia Ar. 129 (V) and in ms Topkapi (T). ‫לם‬ ‫ (لم �ي�ع�ل�مو ن�) יעלמון‬in BL Or 1041 (Y); ‫ )لم �ي�ع�ل�مو( לם יעלמו‬in Taag; and ‫لم �ي�ع�ل�موا‬ in ABCFH. We see here that also within the Judaeo-Arabic tradition syntactical construction can differ and can even be ‘corrected’ in the later Yemenite text. The old Samaritan mss tradition has here the same reading as Taag.106 Some Conclusions 1. The original ms of the Coptic Christian tradition II (ABC), ms Topkapi of Muslim provenance, and ms Borgia Ar. 129 of Jewish provenance are all written in Arabic script and are close to the Yemenite Judaeo-Arabic text tradition of Saʿadya’s translation of the Pentateuch, but show less Middle Arabic features than the Yemenite mss. 2. We see that Middle Arabic features in the orthography and morphology can be corrected by later copyists or transcribers without creating a variant reading. 3. Idiomatic Middle Arabic expressions, which can only be corrected by variant readings, are of interest for the textual history of Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch.

 Cf. Shehadeh 1989: 222.  Cf. Shehadeh 1989: 210.




berend jan dikken

4. We can assume that in the time of Ibn Ezra (AD 1089–1164) there existed also a text tradition of Saʿadya’s Arabic Pentateuch in Arabic script. Are the original ms of the Coptic Christian tradition II (ABC) and ms Topkapi of Muslim provenance based on this Vorlage, or are they the result of transcription of a kind of authorized Judaeo-Arabic text containing Saʿadya’s translation? 5. To compare the different manuscripts of Samaritan, Coptic Christian, and Muslim provenance with the Judaeo-Arabic manuscript tradition of Saʿadya’s Arabic version of the Pentateuch can help to reconstruct both the original text and Saʿadya’s original language, but there is still a lot of work to be done.107 References Avishur, Yitzhak. 1992. ‘Some new sources for the study of the text and language of Saadya’s translation of the Pentateuch into Judaeo-Arabic’. Joshua Blau and Stefan C. Reif (eds.), Genizah research after ninety years: The case of Judaeo-Arabic. Papers read at the third congress of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (University of Cambridge Oriental publications 47). 5–13. Bailey, K.E. 1978. ‘Hibat Allah Ibn al-‘Assal and his Arabic thirteenth century critical edition of the Gospels’. Theological Review (NEST) 1. 11–26. Baker, Colin F. and Polliack, Meira. 2001. Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections: Arabic Old Series (T-S Ar. 1a–54). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Cambridge University Library Genizah series 12). Baron, Salo W. 1943. ‘Saadia’s Communal Activities’. Saadia Anniversary Volume. New York: American Academy for Jewish Research (Texts and studies 2). 9–74. ——. 1958. A Social and Religious History of the Jews, vol. VI: Laws, homilies, and the bible. 2nd. ed. New York: Columbia University Press. Blau, Joshua. 1966–1967. A Grammar of Christian Arabic: based mainly on South-Palestinian texts from the first millennium. Fasc. I, II, and III. Louvain: Secrétariat du Corpus SCO (Corpus scriptorum Christianorum orientalium 267, 276, 279; Subsidia 27–29). ——. 1980. Judaeo-Arabic literature: Selected Texts. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, The Hebrew University (The Max Schloessinger memorial series 4, Texts). (Hebrew) ——. 1988. Studies in Middle Arabic and its Judaeo-Arabic Variety. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University. ——. 1998. ‘Saadya Gaon’s Pentateuch Translation in the Light of an Early-EleventhCentury Egyptian Manuscript’. Leshonenu 61. 111–130 [Hebrew]. ——. 1999. The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic, A Study of the Origins of Middle Arabic. 3nd ed (1st ed. 1965, 2nd ed. 1981) . Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute.

107  See also Schlossberg 2007 and Ronny Vollandt’s comments on T-S AS 72.79 and T-S Ar. 1a.38 containing the text of Saʿadya’s translation of Exodus 32:2 and 25:3–5, which can be found on the website of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library. * I am grateful to Dr. Theo van der Louw, who translated the articles Blau 1998 and Blau & Hopkins 2000 from Hebrew to English for my research.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


——. 2001. ‘The linguistic character of Saadia Gaon’s translation of the Pentateuch’. Oriens 36. 1–9. ——. 2002. A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (The Max Schloessinger Memorial Series Monographs 6). Blau, Joshua and Hopkins, Simon. 1988. ‘On Early Judaeo-Arabic Orthography’. Joshua Blau, Studies in Middle Arabic and its Judaeo-Arabic Variety. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University. 381–400. ——. 2000. ‘Ancient Bible Translations to Judaeo-Arabic’. Pe’amim 83. Jerusalem. 4–14. [Hebrew] Cohen, Mark R. and Somekh, Sasson. 1990. ‘In the Court of Yaʿqūb ibn Killis: A fragment from the Cairo Genizah’. The Jewish Quarterly Review 80, 3–4. 283–314. Darlow T.H. and Moule, H.F. 1911. Historical catalogue of the printed editions of Holy Scripture in the Library of the British and Foreign Bible Society, vol. II: Polyglots and languages other than English. London: The Bible House. Derenbourg, J. 1893. Version Arabe du Pentateuque. Paris: E. Leroux (Oeuvres complètes de R. Saadia Ben Iosef Al Fayyoûm 1). Edelmann, Rafael. 1953. ‘On the Arabic Versions of the Pentateuch’. Studia Orientalia Ioanni Pedersen. Hauniae: Munksgaard. 71–75. Gil, Moshe. 2004. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages, translated from Hebrew by David Strassler. Leiden & Boston: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 28). Ginsburg, Christian D. 1897. Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible. London: Trinitarian Bible Society. Goitein, S.D. 1971. A Mediterranean society: the Jewish communities of the Arab world as portrayed in the documents of the Cairo Geniza. Vol. 2: The Community. Berkeley: University of California Press. Graf, Georg. 1932. ‘Die Koptische Gelehrtenfamilie der Aulād al-ʿAssāl und ihr Schrifttum’. Orientalia, Nova Series, 1. 34–56 & 129–148. ——. 1944. Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur. Erster Band: Die Übersetzungen. Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Studi e testi 118). Hopkins, Simon. 1984. Studies in the Grammar of Early Arabic: based upon papyri datable to before 300 a.h./912 a.d. Oxford: Oxford University Press (London oriental series 37). Hughes. J.C. 1914. De Lagardes Ausgabe der Arabischen Übersetzung des Pentateuchs Cod. Leiden Arab. 377 nachgeprüft. Leipzig: Hinrichs (Leipziger semitistische Studien Bd. 7, Heft 3). Kahle, Paul. E. 1904. Die Arabischen Bibelübersetzungen: Texte mit Glossar und Literaturübersicht. Leipzig: Hinrichs. ——. 1959. The Cairo Geniza. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell. Katten, Max. 1924. Untersuchungen zu Saadjas arabischer Pentateuch-Übersetzung, Giessen Thesis. Kerr, M. 2004. Vetus Testamentum in Lugduno Batavorum: catalogue of an exhibition of Old Testament manuscripts held in the Leiden University Library, July 1st-August 7th 2004, on the occasion of the XVIIIth congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) at Leiden (1–6 August 2004). Leiden: Legatum Warnerianum in Leiden University Library (Kleine publicaties van de Leidse Universiteitsbibliotheek 60). Lagarde, P. de. 1867. Materialien zur Geschichte und Kritik des Pentateuchs, Der Pentateuch arabisch, nach einer Leydener HS. des XIII Jahrhunderts. Leipzig. Lentin, J. 2008. ‘Middle Arabic’. K. Versteegh (ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Vol. III. Leiden: Brill. 215–224. Malter, Henry. 1921. Saadia Gaon, His Life and Works. Philadelphia (Morris Loeb series 1). Margoliouth, G. 1899–1935. Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the British Museum. London: Trustees of the British Museum. Marx, Alexander. 1980. ‘Rab Saadia Gaon’. L. Finkelstein (ed.), Rab Saadia Gaon: Studies in his Honor. Reprint. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America. 53–96.


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Mieses, Josef. 1919. ‘Textkritische Bemerkungen zu R. Saadja Gaons arabischer Pentateuchübersetzung, ed. Dérenbourg, Paris 1893’. Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 63e Jahrg. Jan.–März 1919. 269–290. Neubauer, Adolf. 1886. Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and in the College libraries of Oxford, incl. mss. in other languages, which are written with Hebrew characters, or relating to the Hebrew language or literature, and a few Samaritan mss. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. Polliack, Meira. 1997. The Karaite Tradition of Arabic Bible Translation: A Linguistic and Exegetical Study of Karaite Translations of the Pentateuch from the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries C.E. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 17). ——. 1998. ‘Arabic Bible Translations in the Cairo Genizah Collections’. U. Haxen et al. (eds.), Jewish Studies in a New Europe: proceedings of the fifth Congress of Jewish Studies in Copenhagen 1994 under the ausp. of the European Association for Jewish Studies. Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel. 595–620. ——. 2003. ‘Major Trends in Karaite Biblical Exegesis in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’. Meira Polliack (ed.), Karaite Judaism: a guide to its history and literary sources. Leiden: Brill (Handbook of Oriental studies. Section 1, The Near and Middle East 73). 363–415. Rhode, J.F. 1921. The Arabic Versions of the Pentateuch in the Church of Egypt: a study from eighteen Arabic and Copto-Arabic mss. (IX–XVII century) in the National library at Paris, the Vatican and Bodleian libraries and the British museum. Leipzig. Robertson, Edward. 1943. ‘The relationship of the Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch to that of Saadya’. Erwin I.J. Rosenthal (ed.), Saadya Studies: in commemoration of the one thousandth anniversary of the death of R. Saadya Gaon. Manchester: University of Manchester (Publications of the University of Manchester 228). 166–176. Samir, Samir Khalil. 1994. ‘La Version Arabe des Évangiles d’Al-Asʿad Ibn Al-ʿAssāl’. Parole de l’Orient 19. 441–551. ——. 2007. ‘Édition de l’ “Untersuchungen zu Saadjas arabischer Pentateuch-übersetzung” de Max Katten (1924)’. Parole de l’Orient 32. 23–73. Schlossberg, Eliezer. 2007. ‘Towards a Critical Edition of Rabbi Sa’adya Gaon’s Translation of the Pentateuch’. Talelei Orot 13. 87–104 [Hebrew] Shehadeh, Haseeb. 1989. The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch, vol. 1: Genesis— Exodus. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Simaika, M. 1939. Catalogue of the Coptic and Arabic manuscripts in the Coptic Museum, the Patriarchate, the principal churches of Cairo and Alexandria and the monasteries of Egypt. Vol. 1. Cairo: Govt. press. Steinschneider, Moritz. 1902. Die Arabische Literatur der Juden: ein Beitrag zur Literaturgeschichte der Araber, grossenteils aus handschriftlichen Quellen. Frankfurt a. M.: Kauffmann. Stillman, N.A. 1979. The Jews of Arab Lands: a history and source book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. Taag. 1894–1901. ‫ כתר תורה‬or ‫ תאג‬in Hebrew. Jerusalem. Thompson, J.A. 1955. ‘The Origin and Nature of the Chief Printed Arabic Bibles. Part I’. The Bible Translator 6, 1. 2–12. Tisserant, E. 1914. Specimina codicum orientalium, Bonnae: A. Marcus et E. Weber (Tabulae in usum scholarum 8). Tov, Emanuel. 2001. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press; Assen: Van Gorcum. Troupeau, G. 1972. Catalogue des Manuscripts Arabes, 1 re Partie: Manuscrits chrétiens, Tome I. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale. Vajda, G. 1985. ‘Saadia’. Dictionnaire de la Bible : supplément, publ. sous la dir. de Louis Pirot . . . [et al.], X: Règne de Dieu—Sadducéens. Paris: Letouzey et Ané. 1119–1123. Wright, W. 1988. A Grammar of the Arabic Language. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

saʿadya gaon’s arabic translation of the pentateuch


Zucker, Moses. 1959. Rav Saadya Gaon’s Translation of the Torah: exegesis, halakha, and polemics in Saadya’s translation of the Pentateuch. New York: Feldheim (The Michael Higger memorial publications 3). [Hebrew with Summary in English] ——. 1984. Saadya’s commentary on Genesis. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America. [Hebrew with Summary in English]

Linguistic and cultural features of an Iraqi Judeo-Arabic text of the qiṢaṢ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre Lutz Edzard1 Summary: Different versions of the Joseph story, from Genesis 37–50 over sūra 12 to Thomas Mann’s Joseph und seine Brüder, continue to be intellectually stimulating, as manifestly demonstrated in a recent book by Marc S. Bernstein, Stories of Joseph. Narrative Migrations between Judaism and Islam (Detroit 2006). In this paper, I shall take a closer look at linguistic and cultural features in a printed Judeo-Arabic version of the Joseph story, qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq—ʿalav ha-šalom, published in Baghdad in 1924. Of special interest in this text are traces of the Iraqi Arabic dialect landscape, especially traces of the communal dialects in Baghdad (Blanc 1964), in addition to the expected general features of Middle Arabic that one expects to find in this text genre.

1. Introduction About 20 years ago, I was introduced to a printed Judeo-Arabic version of the Joseph story, qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq—ʿalav ha-šalom,2 published in the Jewish year 5684—corresponding to the year 1924 CE—in Baghdad, destined to “the pleasant and young man (or Yeshiva student)” as a potential reader, and carrying the name Joseph Ben Porat as author on its cover. This popular version of the Joseph story is especially interesting against the canvas of Saʿadya Gaon’s Judeo-Arabic translation of Genesis, as edited in Joshua Blau’s chrestomathy of religious and scientific JudeoArabic texts.3 One can easily label the text of the qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq a model text for the introduction of students to Middle Arabic linguistic and cultural features, in its grammatical structure and lexicon as well as in its literary style. Qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq or Yūsuf aṣ-ṣiddīq—the story continues to fascinate scholars, both from a linguistic and a cultural-literary point of view. 1  I gratefully acknowledge the input of Prof. William (Ze’ev) Brinner of the University of California at Berkeley. Amund Bjørsnøs, University of Oslo, also deserves credit for having detected many traces of the Jewish variety of Baghdadi Arabic in the qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq, while writing a term paper on this subject. 2  The transcription of Hebrew terms follows the standard for modern Hebrew set in the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics. 3  Cf. Blau 1980b: 20–46, where Chapters 37 to 45 of Saʿadya Gaon’s translation are edited. For a linguistic analysis of this text cf. also Blau 2001.


lutz edzard

Marc S. Bernstein recently published a book, in which he analyzed a manuscript containing the Joseph story in the Karaite collection of the Judah L. Magnes Museum at Berkeley. His analytical approach to the text takes the vast midraš literature as an exegetical point of departure. An especially interesting episode in this respect revolves around the attitude of Joseph vis-à-vis Potiphar’s wife, that is the question of whether or not Joseph is going to give in to her attempts of seduction, an episode that has caught plenty of attention in the Jewish midraš literature. The printing of our text dates from the year 1924, published by a Maṭbaʿat al-Waṭanīya al-Yisrāʾilīya in Baghdad,4 but the true origin of this text version is not easy to determine.5 In the following, I shall concentrate on some noteworthy phonological, morphological, syntactical, and lexical features of the text. None of these features in themselves constitute anything fundamentally new, but the combination of these features, including specific ( Jewish) Iraqi dialect traces, in a printed text, as opposed to a manuscript, is remarkable. At the outset, let us provide a few details regarding the cultural and stylistic embedding of these features. 2. The Text 2.1. Cultural and Stylistic Embedding In general, the text is reminiscent of the qiṣaṣ al- ʾanbiyāʾ genre associated with medieval Muslim culture. One of the main exponents of this genre was aṯ-Ṯaʿlabī (d. 1035), who became mainly known through his work ʿArāʾis al-maǧālis fī qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ, a translation of which has recently been published by William Brinner in 2002 (cf. pp. 181–235). The oral character of the present Joseph story can clearly be associated with the storyteller or ḥakawātī genre. There are several stylistic allusions to the fairy tale genre, as becomes evident, for instance, in the following formulation:6 )1:11–12( ‫יום מן אל אייאם וסאעה מן אל זמאן שאף יוסף חלם‬

4  As we shall see below, the very name of the printing house reflects a Middle Arabic feature, to wit the morpho-syntactic convergence of attribution and annexation. 5  The printed text is available directly from the IDC Publishers in Amsterdam. Cf. also Yaari 1936–1940 for Judeo-Arabic printing in the Arab East in general. 6  In the following, only words or passages relevant to a given grammatical point will be presented in transcription. For the Judeo-Arabic script in general, cf. Hary 1996. ‘(x: y)’ refers to page x, line y in the Baghdad print.

a judeo-arabic text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre


Immediately after this classicizing rhyme formula the text switches back to the dialect level, as evidenced by the lack of ʾiʿrāb on ‫ חלם‬ḥulm (1:12) and the choice of the verb ‫ שאף‬šāf for ‘to see’ (1:12). A priori, it is remarkable that a Judeo-Arabic text destined for a Jewish audience sets out with the basmala and in this way establishes a quasi-Muslim setting:7 ‫באסם אללה אל רחמאן אל רחים אייאהו נעבדהו וביה נסתעין עלא קום‬ )1:2–3( ‫אל צ׳אלמין‬ Not surprisingly, these religious formulae contain no explicit dialectal features, even though there may be deviations found in the orthography and the syntax. Note, for example, the double object marking (by the addition of one cataphoric pronoun) in the clause ‫ אייאהו נעבדהו‬ʾiyyā-hū naʿbudu-hū (1:2–3). Disregarding these introductory formulae, the text follows the narrative structure of Genesis 37–50, and not the structure of sūra 12, whose internal structure has been explained by recourse to the concept of ‘oral poetry’.8 Still, one finds reminiscences of Qurʾānic style, e.g. the reference to Potifar (12:14–15) as ‫ אל עזיז פוטיפר‬in line with Potifar’s epithet al-ʿazīz in sūra 12. While there are formal references to the ḥakawāti genre, it is fair to say that the text as a whole represents a haggadic narrative of the Joseph story with a number of interesting textual digressions. 2.2. Orthographical and Phonological Features The Hebrew orthography of the text under investigation is phonetic as a tendency, especially as far as the use of vowels is concerned. Both א‬ and ‫ >ה< أ‬are used to render word-final long ā, e.g., in ‫ אנא‬or ‫ אנה‬ʾanā (‫‘ )� ن�ا‬I’ (passim). This principle does not always extend to the graphic representation of ʾalif maqṣūra, though, as for instance in the following case: (1:6( ‫וכאן ירעי מע אכ׳וותו באל גנם‬

Here, the classical (or ‘classicizing’) pronunciation is most likely [yarʿā], and there is no indication that the Baghdadi ( Jewish) dialect could have yielded a pronunciation [*yirʿī], especially as ʾalif maqṣūra is also rendered 7  For a broader perspective regarding this issue, cf. e.g. Cohen 2007 on the interplay of Arabic and Hebrew in Jewish epistolary documents. For the basmala in Jewish documents, cf. Cohen 2007: 22f. 8  Cf. also Angelika Neuwirth’s (1980) colometric analysis of sūra 12, in which the whole text of the sūra is divided up in cola (pl. of colon), i.e. ‘breathing units’ corresponding to syntactically coherent clauses.


lutz edzard

‫ت‬ by א‬and ה‬, e.g., in ‫ תעאלא‬and ‫ תעאלה‬taʿālā (‫‘ )��ع�ا لى‬may He be lofty’ (passim). In general, the ʾimāla associated with Jewish Baghdadi as opposed to Muslim Baghdadi—cf. for instance Jewish Arabic ǧīmiʿ vs. Muslim Arabic ǧāmiʿ ‘mosque’—does not seem to be reflected in the text. The special ʾalif-lām ligature in the text also stands against the principle of phonetic orthography (i.e. the lām is never graphically assimilated). Due to the loss of the dental fricatives in urban dialects, as also happened in the Baghdad region, the only occasional and unsystematic marking of the dental fricatives /ḏ/ and /ṯ/ is not surprising. The same holds for the dialectal merger of classical /ḍ/ and /ẓ/, both of which can be represented �) ‘he kept’ (2:5) and—much rarer—ט‬, by צ׳‬, e.g., ‫ חפץ׳‬ḥafiẓa (���‫ح��ف�� ظ‬ ‫ن‬ e.g., ‫ נטר‬naẓara (‫‘ )� ظ���ر‬he saw’ (2:7).9 The text offers rich documentation of the phenomena of tafxīm and tarqīq. Examples of the former process, i.e. suprasegmental assimilation with respect to velarization, or “A[dvanced] T[ongue] R[oot]” include the following: ’they effaced‘ ‫ط��م��سوا‬ ‫ف‬ ’horse‘ ‫�ر��س‬ ‫��س‬ ’lamb‘ ‫�خ�ل‬

> )3:10( ‫טמצו‬ > )14:7( ‫פרץ‬ > )3:10( ‫צכ׳ל‬

In the latter two examples, it is noteworthy that both liquids (/l/ and /r/) are pronounced with velarization, thus triggering the suprasegmental assimilation of sīn to ṣād, which in the first instance is conditioned by the velarized /ṭ/. The opposite process (tarqīq—de-velarization as a result of partial assimilation) can be observed as well, as in the following examples: ’little‘ ‫أ � �غص���ير‬ > )69:12( ‫זגיר‬ ’eyes‘ ‫� ب����ص�ا ر‬ > )6:8( ‫אבזאר‬ In spite of what Haim Blanc has reported regarding the general stability of the glottal stop in the Baghdad region, except word-initially, hamza is often not represented in the script, e.g., in ‫ ג׳ו‬reflecting ‫‘ ج��ا �ؤ وا‬they ‫ أ‬came’ (11:16) ( jō according to Blanc 1964: 107) or ‫ מלך‬reflecting ‫‘ �م�ل� ك‬angel’ (2:13). In accordance with the Iraqi-Arabic dialect landscape, /q/ is often ‫ق‬ softened to [g] in every-day words such as ‫ נאגה‬reflecting ‫ ن�ا ���ة‬nāqa ‘she-camel’ (5:22), but not, for instance, in more formal ‫ קאל‬reflecting ‫ق‬ ‫ ��ا ل‬qāla ‘he said’ (passim). As in Middle-Arabic texts based on urban dialects in general, interdental fricatives are represented by the respective

 On this issue, cf. also al-Wer 2004.


a judeo-arabic text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre


‫ث‬ � kaṯīr ‘much’ (passim) or ‫ודבחו‬ homorganic stops, e.g., ‫ כתיר‬reflecting ‫�ك���ير‬ ‫ذ‬ � �‫ و � ب‬wa-ḏabaḥū ‘and they slaughtered’ (3:10). reflecting ‫حوا‬ 2.3. Morphological Features The pronominal system, as reflected in the text of the Joseph story, is especially interesting. While the pronoun of the first person singular is spelled אנא‬or אנה‬, the pronoun of the first person plural is spelled נחנא‬ or נחנה‬, which is clearly indicative of Jewish Baghdadi as opposed to Muslim Baghdadi ʾāni and ʾiḥna. In contrast, the pronoun of the third person masculine plural in the text is regularly spelled הומא‬, a form which is reminiscent of the Muslim Baghdadi variant humma as opposed to the Jewish Baghdadi variant hemmi. The same holds for the third person masculine singular, which is spelled הוא‬, incidentally just as in Hebrew, while the Jewish Baghdadi variant is huwwi. For the second person plural one finds אנתום‬, a classicizing blend of Jewish intim and Muslim intu. The suffix pronoun of the first person singular on prepositions is -ī in the Jewish vernacular and -ya in the Muslim one. The form ביי‬in me’ (5:9), which stands in contrast to Muslim biya, may thus be indicative of the Jewish variety. At least once, a pronominal object suffix of the third person masculine singular with intervening -n- is found, ‫‘ רמונו‬they threw him’ (5:13).10 A further remarkable phenomenon is the metathesis of root consonants. For instance, one finds ‫ כ׳צלנה מנך‬instead of ‫‘ כ׳לצנה מנך‬He [i.e. God] liberated us from you’, meaning ‘we got rid of you [Joseph]’ (5:7). One of the shibboleths of Iraqi Arabic dialects is the indefinite article (or indeterminacy marker) fadd or fard, which can also stand before nouns in the dual or in the plural.11 A case in point is the following passage: )19:19–20( ‫לאגה פרד ערבי יסוק פרד נאגה‬ ‘he met a Bedouin leading a camel’

Some number forms are also characteristic of the Jewish variety, notably the number ‫‘ אידעשר‬eleven’ (1:23), which again shares ‘high’ and ‘low’ features, the final ר‬and the phonologically reduced element for ‘one’, respectively.12  Cf. also Blanc 1964: 64ff.  Cf. e.g. Blanc 1964: 118 and Abu-Haidar 1991: 111. On intricacies regarding the use of this indeterminacy marker, which can be considered an areal feature in Mesopotamia and surrounding regions, cf. also Edzard 2006: 189f. 12  Cf. also Blanc 1964: 91f. 10 11


lutz edzard

The verbal system, both in its morpho-phonology and its aspectual characteristics, belongs certainly to the more interesting topics in Arabic dialectology, and hence also in the realm of ‘Middle Arabic’. As we know from Haim Blanc’s seminal study about the communal dialects in Baghdad, there is a contrast between kitábit ‘I wrote’ in the Muslim variety and ktabtu in the Jewish variety (corresponding here to the gilit vs. qəltu contrast). The comparative paradigms look as follows:13 1.s. 2.m.s 2.f.s. 3.m.s. 3.f.s. 1.pl. 2.pl. 3.pl.

Muslim k(i)tábit k(i)tábit k(i)tabti kitab kitbat k(i)tabna k(i)tabtu kitbaw

Jewish ktabtu ktabt ktabti katab katbit ktabna ktabtem katbu

Some forms found in the text may be interpreted as being clearly indicative of the Jewish variety, e.g., ‫‘ גבתו‬I brought’ (11:18) or ‫‘ נאדיתוך‬I called you for help’ (9:8), where the final -u is spelled out.14 While these forms seem to dominate, other forms (belonging to the ‘Muslim’ paradigm) exist as well, notably ‫‘ גית‬I came’ (passim), as opposed to Jewish jītu, but also ‫‘ נאדית‬I called’ (3:14). One could easily expand on dialectal features as present in the verbal system of the text. Let us just for the record mention the well-known merger of III-ʾalif and III w/y verbs, e.g., in the form ‫כ׳טית‬ ‘I sinned’ (9:22), as opposed to Classical xaṭiʾtu, or ‫‘ תכ׳טון‬you (m. pl.) sin’ (3:5), as opposed to Classical taxṭaʾūna. Additionally, there are traces to be found of modal quasi-prefixes such as ‫‘ קאעד‬at the moment’ (properly: ‘sitting’). However, the particle qad is not found in the text. As an example of an aspectually more complex verbal construction, the following phrase is instructive: )7:2–3( ‫קאעד ינטר אלא ולאדו‬ ‘he [ Jacob] is looking at his sons’


 Cf. Blanc 1964: 98 and Jastrow 2007: 422.  Cf. Blanc 1964: 107.


a judeo-arabic text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre


2.4. Syntactical Features Staying for a moment within the realm of verbal syntax, the hyper-correct use of lam with the suffix conjugation (‘perfect’) is noteworthy. Examples include ‫‘ ולם פרסתו פריסה‬and I did not become prey’ (7:21) and ‫‘ ולם צ׳ל אחד ינצ׳ר צאחבו‬and no one kept looking at the other [ones]’ (9:13). Incidentally, the first example shows the combination of a hypocorrect construction with a ‘high’ stylistic figure, i.e. paronomasia (or figura etymologica—maf ʿūl muṭlaq). Another example of a hypo-correct feature is the use of li- with the indicative, e.g., ‫‘ לירעון‬so that they tend [the flock]’. A striking feature is the marking of the direct (accusative) object with either li- or ‘hyper-correct’ ʾilā, an issue cogently dealt with by Benjamin Hary, who interprets this marker as a loan translation of the Hebrew nota accusativi ‫ ֵאת‬or ‫( ֶאת‬cf. Hary 1991). Two of many recurrent examples are ‫‘ יחב אלא יוסף‬he loves Joseph’ (1:7) and ‫‘ נקתל אלא אכ׳ינא‬we (shall) kill our brother’ (3:22). The double-marking of pronominal objects was already mentioned at the beginning of this paper (‫ אייאהו נעבדהו‬ʾiyyā-hū naʿbudu-hū ‘Him we venerate him’). Definiteness on noun-adjective phrases is usually only marked at the qualifying adjective.15 This is another highly prominent feature of the text. The numerous examples include ‫‘ תאג׳ר אל ערב‬the Arab (Bedouin) merchant’ (4:10), ‫[‘ מאל אל כתיר‬the] much money’ (12:13–14), or ‫סלאם אל‬ ‫‘ כתיר‬much peace’ (5:20). This construction has a tendency to converge with the annexation, as happens, for instance, in ‫‘ מרתבת אל עאלייה‬the high seat’ (12:4), and of course, already on the title page of the book, where we read ‫ מטבעת אל וטנייה אל יסראאלייה בגדאד‬Maṭbaʿat al-Waṭanīya al-Yisrāʾilīya Baġdād ‘The National Israelite Library, Baghdad’.16 Further, one can observe the almost invariable relative marker ‫אלדי‬, which is not necessarily a ‘pseudo-correct’ feature, but is characterized as a regular feature in the descriptions of Jewish Baghdadi Arabic by Haim Blanc and Jacob Mansour. An example is the following: )18:3( ‫בצ׳אייע אלדי עלא שאטי אל מאי‬ ‘things which are [found] on the shore of the sea’

15  One already finds opposition pairs such as haš-šáʿar had-dărōm ‘the south gate’ (Ez 40:28) vs. šáʿar hā̊-ʿεlyōn ‘the upper gate’ (Ez 9:2), where the distinction between attribution and annexation seems to be blurred (cf., for instance, Steiner 1997: 162). 16  The special ligature for ‫אל‬, ‫ל‍א‬, is not always employed systematically in the print.


lutz edzard

Another prominent relative marker, ‫אל‬, resembles or rather coincides with the definite article—a phenomenon also reported by Dickins (2009) for central Sudanese Arabic, if this is not simply to be interpreted as reflecting dialectal ʾilli ( gilit) or ʾəlli (qəltu).17 In this context one can also think of the comparable syntactic distribution of attributes and relative clauses, as reflected by the use of the Arabic term ṣifa, encompassing both ‘adjective’ and ‘asyndetic relative clause’. An example is the phrase ‫גמיע‬ ‫‘ שיי אל יציר‬everything that happens’ (9:4).18 2.5. Lexical Features The text of the Joseph story contains a fair number of colloquial words, some of which are common to the Arabic koiné, and some of which are specific to either Jewish or Muslim Baghdadi Arabic, or even shared in both varieties. The verb ‫ שאף‬is the most obvious example of the first category. Likewise, ‫ פאת‬is used instead of classical daxala ‘to enter’. The conjunction ‫‘ למן‬when’ appears to be the Jewish equivalent of Muslim ‫—למא‬and both forms occur in the text, e.g., the former in ‫למן כאן אבן‬ ‫‘ סבעת עשר סנא‬when he was 17 years old’ (1:5). Another shibboleth of Iraqi Arabic, namely the existence marker aku, is also present in the story, albeit rarely. One example is the following: )21:21( ‫יא ערבי אכו שגרה אצלהא תאבת‬ ‘O Bedouin, there is a tree with a firm trunk’

Other typical lexical items include the presentative attention-raising particle ‫תרה‬, as appearing in exclamation:19 )5:8( ‫תרה תתנדמון נדאמא עצימה‬ ‘look, you are going to feel deep regret’

Many other dialectal forms of prepositions and conjunctions are found in the text as well. A puzzling phenomenon in the text is the occasional orthography of the conjunction fa- as פי‬, e.g., in ‫‘ פי בקו יבגצ׳והו‬they came to despise him’ (1:10–11).20

 Cf., for instance, Jastrow 2007: 419.  For a concise overview of the functioning of the relative marker ( yə)lli and variants in the Arabic dialects cf. also Retsö 1994: 264ff. 19  Cf. also Blanc 1964: 148. 20  On this feature, cf. also Hary 1992: 269. 17


a judeo-arabic text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre


The text contains a number of lexical items untypical of Standard Arabic, e.g., ‫‘ והום יתמאהזון‬and they mocked’ (1:17).21 Another interesting additional feature are occasional glosses in the text. For instance, the phrase ‫‘ תונייה מן דיבאג׳‬a garment of silk brocade’ is glossed by the author by means of the Allerweltswort ‫‘ יעני‬it means’ as ‫קמיץ מן בריסם‬ with the same meaning (1:8–9). In accordance with the practice in many other dialectal Judeo-Arabic texts, proper names and place names usually retain the original Hebrew form, e.g., ‫‘ יעקב‬Jacob’ (reflecting Biblical Hebrew ‫ )יַ ְעקֹב‬as opposed to the Arabic form ‫( יעקוב‬corresponding to �‫ )�ي�ع��ق��و ب‬or ‫( שכם‬reflecting Biblical Hebrew ‫) ְׁש ֶכם‬, as opposed to the Arabic form ‫( נאבלס‬corresponding to ‫ ن)��ا ب��ل��س‬in Saʿadya Gaon’s Judeo-Arabic version of Genesis, Chapter 37, Verse 12. 2.6. Text Samples Let us conclude this brief description of the Baghdad print, as authored by Joseph Ben Porat, with a reproduction and comparison of the initial textual sequence (narration of Joseph’s dreams) in the Baghdad print22 and the Classical Judeo-Arabic translation of Genesis 37–50 by Saʿadya Gaon,23 respectively. As can be clearly seen, the two text versions, which are of about equal length, differ in that the Baghdad version displays narrative discourse elements, including elements of direct speech, not found as such in the original Biblical story, e.g., ‫‘ אש האד׳א אל חלם‬what is this dream?’. On the other hand, details that may not be crucial for the narrative structure, e.g., the names of the wives of Joseph’s father, ‫ בלהה‬and ‫זלפה‬, are omitted in the Baghdad version. Here are the two text samples: ‫קצת יוסף אל צדיק‬

‫באסם אללה אל רחמאן אל רחים אייאהו נעבדהו וביה נסתעין עלא קום‬ .‫אלצ׳אלמין‬ ‫קאל אסמעו מא ג׳רא עלא יוסף אל צדיק למן כאן אבן סבעת עשר סנא‬ ‫וכאן ירעי מע אכ׳וותו באל גנם וכאן יעקב יחב אלא יוסף אחסן מן אכ׳וותו‬ ‫לאן כאן אבן שיבה להו וצנע להו תונייה מן דבאג׳ יעני קמיץ מן בריסם‬ ‫أ‬

 Cf. Blau 2006: 673, s.v. � ‫��م�ه�ز‬. 22  Supralinear diacritical dots in the sources are replaced here by an apostrophe after the respective letter. 23  For the latter, cf. again the edition by Blau 1980b:20ff. 21

‫‪lutz edzard‬‬

‫ ‪92‬‬

‫ושאפו אכ׳וותהו יחבהו אבוהו אחסן מנהום פי בקו יבגצ׳והו ולם יחבוהו‪.‬‬ ‫יום מן אל אייאם וסאעה מן אל זמאן שאף יוסף חלם וקאל יא אכ׳וותי‬ ‫שפת חלם והוד׳א נחנא מחזמין חזאם פי וצט אל ברייה וקאמת חזמתי‬ ‫ואנתצבת ואסתדארו חזמאתכום וסג׳דו לחזמתי‪ .‬קאלו אכ׳וותו והום יתמ־‬ ‫אהזון עלא אל חלם ותפאסירו הל תריד תציר צלטאן יא יוסף ותחכם‬ ‫עלינא ונסג׳ד לך ועאדו יבגצ׳והו עלא חלמאתו ועלא תפאסירו‪ .‬וחלם חלם‬ ‫אכ׳ר וקאל יא אכ׳וותי אסמעו חלם אלד׳י שפתוהו והוד׳א אנא בחלמי‬ ‫והוד׳א אל שמס ואל קמר ואידעשר נג׳ום סאג׳דין לי וקאם אבוהו וזברו‬ ‫לחתא אכ׳וותהו לא יבגצ׳והו‪ .‬פקאל לו אש האד׳א אל חלם אלד׳י חלמת‬ ‫וקאמו אכ׳וותהו וייקולון להו כד׳ב אל חלם אלד׳י חלמת ולאכן יעקב חפץ׳‬ ‫האד׳א אל כלאם פי קלבהו‪.‬‬ ‫בראשית‬ ‫לז ‪ :1‬וסכן יעקוב פי בלד סכנא אביה פי בלד כנעאן ‪ :2‬והד׳א שרח תאליד‬ ‫יעקוב למא כאן יוסף אבן סבע עשרה סנה וכאן ירעי מע אכ׳ותה אלגנם‬ ‫וכאן נאשיא מע בני בלהה ומע בני זלפה נסוה אביה אתי יוסף בשנאעה רדיה‬ ‫ענהם אלי אביהם ‪ :3‬וכאן אסראיל יחב יוסף אכת׳ר מן ג׳מיע בניה לאנה אבן‬ ‫שיכ׳וכ׳ה לה פצנע לה תוניה דיבאג׳ ‪ :4‬ולמא ראו אכ׳ותה אן אבאהם יחבה‬ ‫אכת׳ר מן ג׳מיעהם שנוה ולם יטיקו אן יסלמו עליה ‪ :5‬ת׳ם אן יוסף ראי רויא‬ ‫פאכ׳בר אכ׳ותה בהא פאזדאדו איצ׳א שנאה לה ‪ :6‬אד׳ קאל להם אסמעו‬ ‫אלאן הד׳ה אלרויא אלתי ראיתהא ‪ :7‬כאנא נג׳רז ג׳רזא פי אלצחרא וכאן‬ ‫ג׳רזתי וקפת ת׳ם אנתצבת וכאן ג׳רזכם תחיט בהא ותסג׳ד להא ‪ :8‬וקאלו לה‬ ‫אכ׳ותה אמלכא תתמלך עלינא או סלטאנא תתסלט עלינא ואזדאדו איצ׳א‬ ‫שנאה לה עלי אחלאמה ועלי כלאמה ‪ :9‬וראי איצ׳א רויא אכ׳רי פקצהא עלי‬ ‫אכ׳ותה פקאל הוד׳א ראית רויא וכאן אלשמס ואלקמר ואחד עשר כוכב‬ ‫תסג׳ד לי ‪ :10‬פאד׳ קצהא עלי אביה ועלי אכ׳ותה פזג׳ר בה אבוה וקאל לה מא‬ ‫הד׳ה אל רויא אלתי ראיתהא הל נג׳י אנא ואמך ואכ׳ותך פנסג׳ד לך עלי אל‬ ‫ארץ׳ ‪ :11‬וחסדה אכ׳ותה ואבוה חפט׳ כלאמה‪:‬‬ ‫‪3. Conclusion‬‬ ‫‪In this brief study of this Judeo-Arabic version of the Joseph story I hope‬‬ ‫‪to have shown that here we have a text quite close to colloquial Arabic,‬‬ ‫‪which—due to all its stimulating linguistic and literary aspects—is a‬‬ ‫‪model text for the introduction of the student to linguistic and cultural‬‬ ‫‪features of Middle Arabic. Linguistically, the mingling of the features of‬‬ ‫‪two different communal dialects, or rather the evidence pointing to an‬‬ ‫‪emerging continuum between these distinctive feature catalogues, is fas‬‬‫‪cinating. On the cultural and literary levels, the mingling of Jewish and‬‬ ‫‪Muslim religious motives, legends, and narrative techniques is equally‬‬ ‫‪intriguing.‬‬

a judeo-arabic text of the qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre


References Primary Literature Ben Porat, Josef. 1924 (5684). Qiṣṣat Yosef ha-ṣadiq ʿalav ha-šalom. Baghdad: Maṭbaʿat al-Waṭanīya al-Yisrāʾilīya. Derenbourg, Joseph. 1893. Version arabe du Pentateuque de r. Saadia ben Iosef al-Fayyoúmi/ revue, corrigée et accompagnée de notes hébraïques, avec quelques fragments de traduction française d’après l’arabe par J. Derenbourg. Paris: E. Leroux. Secondary Literature Abu-Haidar, Farida. 1991. Christian Arabic of Baghdad. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz (Semitica viva 7). Abu-Haidar, Farida. 2006. ‘Baghdad Arabic’. Versteegh, Kees et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Volume I: A–Ed. Leiden: Brill. 222–231. Bernstein, Marc S. 2006. Stories of Joseph. Narrative Migrations between Judaism and Islam. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Blanc, Haim. 1964. Communal Dialects in Baghdad. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Harvard Middle Eastern monographs 10). Blau, Joshua. 1980a. A Grammar of Mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic. Second enlarged edition. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. ——. 1980b. Ha-sifrut ha-ʿarvit ha-yehudit: peraqim nivharim. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press (The Max Schloessinger memorial series. Texts 4). ——. 2001. ‘The linguistic character of Saadia Gaon’s translation of the Pentateuch’. Oriens 36. 1–9. ——. 2006. A Dictionary of Medieval Judaeo-Arabic Texts. Jerusalem: The Academy of the Hebrew Language and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Brinner, William (Ze’ev). 2002. ʿArāʾis al-majālis fī qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ/Lives of the Prophets as recounted by Abū Isḥāq Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Thaʿlabī. Leiden: Brill (Studies in Arabic Literature 24). Cohen, Mark R. 2007. ‘On the interplay of Arabic and Hebrew in the Cairo Geniza letters’. Decter, Jonathan P. and Rand, Michael (eds.), Studies in Hebrew and Arabic Letters in Honour of Raymond P. Scheindlin. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press (Gorgias précis portfolios 1). 17–35. Dickins, James. 2009. ‘Clausal annexes and related phenomena in Sudanese Arabic’. Watson, Janet and Retsö, Jan (eds.), Relative Clauses and Genitive Constructions in Semitic. Manchester: Oxford University Press. 135–152. Edzard, Lutz. 2006. ‘Article, Indefinite’. Versteegh, Kees et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Volume I: A–Ed. Leiden: Brill. 188–191. Hary, Benjamin. 1991. ‘On the use of ʾilā and li in Judeo-Arabic texts’. Kaye, Alan (ed.), Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau on the Occasion of his Eighty-Fifth Birthday, 2 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Vol. 1, 595–608. ——. 1992. Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic. With an edition, translation, and grammatical study of the Cairene Purim Scroll. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 14). ——. 1996. ‘Adaptations of Hebrew script’. Daniels, Peter and Bright, William (eds.), The World’s Writing Systems. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. 727–734. Jastrow, Otto. 2007. ‘Iraq’. Versteegh, Kees et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Volume II: Eg–Lan. Leiden: Brill. 414–424. Mansour, Jacob. 1991. The Jewish Baghdadi Dialect: studies and texts in the Judeo-Arabic dialect of Baghdad. Or-Yehuda: The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center, the Institute for Research on Iraqi Jewry (Studies in the history and culture of Iraqi jewry Monographs 7). ——. 2006. ‘Baghdad Arabic, Jewish’. Versteegh, Kees et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Volume I: A–Ed. Leiden: Brill. 231–241.


lutz edzard

Neuwirth, Angelika. 1980. ‘Zur Struktur der Yūsuf-Sure’. Diem, Werner and Wild, Stefan (eds.), Studien aus Arabistik und Semitistik. Anton Spitaler zum siebzigsten Geburtstag von seinen Schülern überreicht. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 123–152. Retsö, Jan. 2004. ‘Relative-clause marking in Arabic dialects: a preliminary survey’. Haak, Martine, de Jong, Rudolf, and Versteegh, Kees (eds.), Approaches to Arabic Dialects. A Collection of Articles Presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden: Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 38). 263–273. Steiner, Richard. 1997. ‘Ancient Hebrew’. Hetzron, Robert (ed.), The Semitic Languages. London: Routledge. 145–173. al-Wer, Enam. 2004. ‘Variability reproduced: a variationist view of the [ḏ̣]/[ḍ] opposition in modern Arabic dialects’. Haak, Martine, de Jong, Rudolf, and Versteegh, Kees (eds.), Approaches to Arabic Dialects. A Collection of Articles Presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden: Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 38). 21–31. Yaari, Abraham. 1936–1940. Ha-dfus ha-ʿivri be-ʾarṣot ha-mizrax̱. 2 vols. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press.

Deux types de moyen arabe dans la version arabe du discours 41 de Grégoire de Nazianze ? Jacques Grand’Henry Summary: Homily 41 was written by Gregory the Nazianzen in Greek and translated into Arabic during the tenth century. Although we have no Arabic manuscript dating back to that time, there is no doubt that the Arabic Manuscript Tradition can be separated into a Syro-Lebanese and an Egyptian-Sinaitic textual variety. This distinction, which is based on text history, seems to be accompanied by two linguistic varieties of Middle Arabic, i.e. a Syro-Lebanese variety (= SLMA) and an Egyptian-Sinaitic one (= ESMA). It is easier to describe the linguistic characteristics of the first than the second, since the Egyptian-Sinaitic text is a revised version of the Syro-Lebanese original, meaning that identifying which part is a revised text and which displays the linguistic characteristics of an Egyptian-Sinaitic area of Middle Arabic is not obvious. It is nevertheless possible to see clear differences at all linguistic levels (phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon) between SLMA and ESMA. However, this does not mean that we are faced here with two types of Middle Arabic: there seems to be only one type of Near Eastern Middle Arabic, and this had different sub-standard varieties and styles; here, we mainly have two styles of textual revision, with a marked tendency to use classicisms in their most recent forms.

Introduction Trois variétés sous-standard du moyen arabe se dégagent de l’ensemble des manuscrits disponibles actuellement pour la version arabe des homélies de Grégoire de Nazianze, manuscrits dans lesquels le discours ou homélie 40 sur le sacrement de baptême figure. Ces manuscrits sont : FONG (du point de vue de l’histoire du texte [= HT désormais] = famille sinaïtique, les plus anciens manuscrits datent du xiiie s.), les manuscrits de la proto-version syrienne MiJY (le plus ancien manuscrit date du xie s.), AEHI (HT : famille égyptienne, le plus ancien manuscrit date du xiiie s.), DQUP (HT : famille intermédiaire entre celle représentée par les manuscrits du Sinaï et ceux d’Égypte, le manuscrit le plus ancien datant du xiiie s.). Ces trois variétés sous-standard ont été appelées : MA syrien ancien (= a), MA sinaïtique ancien (= b), MA égyptien et syrien récent (= c)1. Dans la version arabe du discours 41 sur la fête de Pentecôte, la situation se présente d’une manière différente en ce qui concerne l’ensemble des manuscrits disponibles actuellement : d’une part, on ne dispose plus pour  Grand’Henry 2008.



jacques grand’henry

ce discours-ci du manuscrit Mi remarquable par son ancienneté (xie s.), d’autre part, on dispose ici d’une série de manuscrits syro-libanais plus récents qui contiennent le discours 41 sur la Pentecôte, mais non le discours 40 sur le baptême : R07 (= Beyrouth, Bibl. Orientale 512, incomplet, xvie s.), R05 (= Beyrouth, Bibl. Orientale 510, xviiie s.), R06 (Beyrouth, Bibl. Orientale 511, xixe s.), R25 (= Daïr Douma, n° 15, anc. 18, sans date), R29 (= Harissa St-Paul 37 (18), xviie s.), R30 (= Harissa St-Paul 38 (13), sans date), R02 (= Balamend 124, a. 1639). À ces manuscrits s’ajoutent des manuscrits syro-libanais déjà utilisés pour l’édition du discours 40, à savoir les manuscrits J (= Vatican, Sbath, Bib.Man. 648, xviiie s.) et Y (Alep, Archevêché Grec Catholique 105, a. 1771). Pour l’édition critique du texte de ces manuscrits, il a paru commode de les regrouper sous l’appellation abrégée x syr., voulant exprimer par là que, parmi les trois grandes familles de manuscrits entre lesquelles se partage l’ensemble de la tradition manuscrite arabe des discours de Grégoire de Nazianze (x, y, z), ce groupe de manuscrits syro-libanais se rattache clairement à la famille x dite syro-sinaïtique. Quant à la branche sinaïtique de cette famille, on a ici quatre manuscrits FBO R51 dont le dernier (R51) ne contient pas le discours 40 sur le baptême déjà cité2. En ce qui concerne la famille y égyptienne, il n’y a pas de différence entre les éditions des discours 40 et 41 du point de vue des manuscrits qui la composent (c’est-à-dire AEHI, A étant en grande partie illisible sur le microfilm du manuscrit pour le discours 40, l’original n’étant hélas plus consultable)3. En ce qui concerne la famille z intermédiaire, la situation est identique : mêmes manuscrits pour les discours 40 et 41 (DPUQ). Comme les textes de x sinaïtique, y égyptien et z intermédiaire sont très proches les uns des autres pour le discours 41, il nous a semblé adéquat de les regrouper sous l’appellation x sin. Comme d’autre part les textes des mss. R07 R05 R06 R29 R30 R02 J Y sont très proches les uns des autres également mais distincts de x sin., on les regroupe sous le nom de x syr. Le but de la présente contribution est de tenter de déterminer dans quelle mesure la constellation partiellement différente de manuscrits qui compose l’histoire du texte de la version arabe du discours 41 a une influence sur la distinction linguistique en trois variétés sous-standard mentionnées ci-dessus, variété a (MA syrien ancien), variété b (MA sinaïtique ancien), variété c (MA égyptien et syrien récents). Puisqu’il se trouve que l’histoire du texte conduit, dans le cas unique de l’édition critique  Grand’Henry, discours 40.  Voir Grand’Henry, discours 40, xiii et Grand’Henry, discours 21, ix.

2 3

deux types de moyen arabe ?


du discours 41, à n’envisager qu’une seule opposition entre deux grandes familles de manuscrits, x sin. et x syr., peut-on imaginer qu’à une pareille représentation simplifiée des faits codicologiques corresponde aussi une représentation simplifiée des contrastes linguistiques? Ou, en d’autres termes, et à défaut de reconnaître de claires limites géographiques et/ou sociolinguistiques séparant des groupes de traits communs ou divergents dans ces textes, peut-on parler, au cas où seules des divergences dans l’histoire du texte (et donc des manuscrits) permettraient d’expliquer les divergences linguistiques qu’on y constate, de deux styles d’adaptation/ révision des manuscrits induisant en finale deux modèles littéraires du MA qui n’auraient pas été aperçus jusqu’ici ? Afin de mettre bien en évidence ci-dessous l’existence possible de ces deux modèles littéraires de MA (qui correspondent aussi à deux régions géographiques, la Syrie et le Liban d’une part, la péninsule du Sinaï et l’Égypte d’autre part, ainsi qu’à deux périodes de l’histoire du texte arabe des discours) dans la version arabe des discours de Grégoire de Nazianze, on présentera successivement les traits les plus significatifs relevés dans un groupe de manuscrits où le contraste entre les traits linguistiques différents de x syr. et de x sin. apparaît comme fort marqué, puis dans un groupe de manuscrits où le contraste entre ces traits apparaît comme faiblement marqué. D’une manière générale, du point de vue de l’histoire de la version arabe de l’ensemble des discours de Grégoire de Nazianze, il est maintenant établi, en particulier depuis la thèse doctorale de Mme Laurence Tuerlinckx ( juin 2007), que les manuscrits de la famille sinaïtique traduits par Ibrāhīm le Protospathaire antiochien contiennent une version arabe qui a révisé le texte des manuscrits syro-libanais sans recourir systématiquement au texte grec originel : elle modifie certaines locutions, réduit les calques formés sur le grec, améliore le lexique et rend le texte plus explicite par le recours à certaines additions ou doublets lexicaux4. 1. Contraste marqué entre x syr. et x sin. 1.1. Orthographe des noms ou adjectifs communs ‫ق‬ Manuscrits FBO R51 DP (= x sin.) + R26 (= x syr.) : ‫و �ل����س� ت� ا ع��ل ع��لى ا �ي� ر ا �ي� و �ي���ا ��س‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ة‬ ‫م‬ �‫وا ي� ت� �و� ��ل�ه� ا ا �ل�ع�دد ي� ك‬. ‘je ne sais pas de quelle opinion (philosophique) ‫�ر�مون��ه‬ ni de quel raisonnement il s’agit, ni quelle est la puissance de ce nombre  Tuerlinckx 2007 : I 419.



jacques grand’henry

qu’ils honorent’ (PG 365, 429 C 9). On remarquera le ‫ ت�ا ء �م��ب��سوط��ة‬au lieu du ‫ ت�ا ء �مر ب�وط��ة‬dans l’adjectif interrogatif. Il s’agit vraisemblablement d’une graphie ‫أ‬de type dialectal, influencée par l’orthographe de mots comme ‫ن‬ �‫���� ت‬,‫ � خ�� ت� ب‬etc. Les autres manuscrits : R07 R06 R25 R02 J Y (= x syr.) + UQ EHI (= x sin.) ‫ق ة‬ ont �‫ وا ي��ة �و‬avec le ‫ ت�ا ء �مر ب�وط��ة‬classique. 1.2. Orthographe des noms propres �‫‘ ق��د �ه�د �م� ت� ا ��سوا ر ا ر ي‬les murs de Jéricho s’écroulent’ (PG 36, 433 B 2) � ‫ح�ا‬ � ‫‘ ق��د �ه�د �م� ت� ا لا ��سوا ر ا �لر ي�ا‬les murs ‘jérichiens’ dans x syr., tandis qu’on a ‫حي����ة‬ s’écroulent’ dans x sin. La révision de x sin. va dans le sens du calque sur les substrats grec et syriaque : τὰ Ἱεριχούντια τείχη et syriaque ‫ܫܘܪܐ‬ ‫ ܐܪܚܘܢܝܐ‬6. 1.3. Orthographe du alif en fin de mot ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�خ��ف� �ا ا � ن‬ �‫‘ ف�� نل� ي‬où vous placerez ce qui est recherché n’est pas � �‫ي� �ر ��ت�بو� ا �ل���م��ط��لو ب‬ (quelque chose de) caché [lit. n’est pas caché]’ (PG 36, 437 C 8–11) dans x syr. (sauf R07 R05 R06). Tous les manuscrits de x sin. ont révisé l’ortho�‫ل� ن ي‬. � graphe de x syr. dans le sens classique : ‫�خ��ف��ى‬ � 1.4. Phonétique ‫ > ت‬MA � ‫ ث‬, spécialement dans certaines Il s’agit ici du phénomène AC � ‫�ذ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ث‬ racines : ‫‘ ����ص��ير ا لى �م�ا ي����لو �ل�ك‬avançons vers ce qui suit cela (= la fin)’ ‫ف‬ (PG 36, 436 A 11–12) dans le manuscrit R26 (x syr.), ‫‘ ����ه� �ب�ث�ول‬et elle est une ‫ي‬ Vierge’ (PG 36, 436 B 7–9) dans les manuscrits R25 R30 (= x syr.), ‫وا �ل��بث��و�ي�ل���ة‬ ‫ف‬ ‫� ا � ط���ف� ��ة‬ ‫‘ �ي�� مك ل��ل�� ي‬et la virginité magnifique en vous’ (καì τὴν σεμνὴν παρθενíαν) dans les manuscrits R25 R30 R02 J (= x syr.) : « (. . .) thâ may also reflect the ‫‘ ا �ل� ث�� لا ت‬the virgins’ Aramaic interdental allophone of tâ, as Marr 112, 10 � ‫�ب و‬ < ‫» ܒܬܘܠܬܐ‬7. Ces traits d’origine araméenne-syriaque n’apparaissent pas dans x sin. (famille sinaïtique-égyptienne).

5  Nous préparons actuellement la publication de l’édition critique de la version arabe du discours 41. Il ne nous est donc pas encore possible de nous référer à des pages et des lignes de cette future édition. En attendant, nous nous référerons pour chaque citation au passage correspondant du texte grec de la Patrologia Graeca. 6  Schmidt 2002 : 34, l. 14; 35, l. 14. 7  GCA, I, 107 A.

deux types de moyen arabe ?


1.5. Morphologie : désinence -an marquant le nominatif �‫‘ ب� �هو وا ح�د ا لا ي�ن‬mais Il est Un et Il ne peut ni se dissoudre ni s’al� ‫ح�ل لا ي��ز و ل‬ ‫ل‬ térer’ (PG 36, 432 B 4) (manuscrits R05 R25 R29 R30 + R02 qui a un tanwīn –an sur le dāl.) Dans x sin. seul le ms. B a cette caractéristique. Joshua Blau écrit dans GCA, II, p. 323–345, en particulier, p. 329 § 223 : « A quite frequent phenomenon is the use of -an irrespective of case. This usage has arisen through the adding of the tanwîn to such words in order to adjust them to the general rhythmic pattern ». Plus particulièrement, on peut penser que l’usage de ‫ وا ح�د ا‬au lieu de ‫ وا ح�د‬dans x syr. est dû à une analogie de type ‫وا ح�د ا‬/‫ا ح�د ا‬. Le même auteur, dans GCA, § 223.1 écrit : « ‫ا ح�د ا‬ ‘one’ presumably exhibiting ḥadan with a prosthetic alif or hypo-correctly, is used regardless of case : ‫كل‬ ‫‘ ل � ك‬and nobody ate’ ». � ‫�� ن� ا ح�د ا ي�ا‬ ‫مي ق‬ ‫ش‬ ‫ن‬ � � � � �� � � ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫�د‬ � ‘et peut-être une personne parmi les ‫ا‬ ‫ط‬ � ‫م‬ ‫�د‬ ‫ح‬ � ‫��س‬ � �‫ل‬ ��‫�ش‬ ‫ك‬ � ‫ي‬ ‫�ج ر و‬ �‫ر يف� ل ي‬ � audacieux en toute chose osera (. . .)’ (PG 36, 433 A 10). ‫ وا ح�د ا‬au nominatif apparaît dans les manuscrits R07 R05 R30 Y + tanwīn sans alif dans R25, soit la plupart des manuscrits x syr., alors qu’on a ‫( وا ح�د‬probablement révisé dans un sens classique) dans x sin. ‫ق‬ �‫‘ ك‬comme des gens l’ont pensé’ (PG 36, 437 A 1–3) dans le ‫�م�ا �ظ � ن� ا �وا �م�ا‬ manuscrit R29 (x syr.). On observera que l’usage de tanwīn -an contraire à l’usage classique ne correspond ici à aucun des cas fréquents de cet usage signalés par Joshua Blau en MA ancien sud-palestinien (GCA, I, p. 327–338) : apparition de cette désinence accusative au cas-sujet dans les mêmes catégories que dans les parlers de bédouins modernes (adverbe abadan ‘jamais’, par ex.), comme marque du prédicat nominal (p. 329), spécialement après ʾinna et ses sœurs, dans les propositions circonstancielles (ḥāl ), sujet de kāna ʾl-tāmma et ses sœurs (p. 334–335), sujet de verbes passifs (p. 336), ou encore processus de mélange avec des énoncés proches ( du type ʾan yamassahā bašaran ‘qu’un homme l’ait touchée’ en MA, par ‘mélange (blend)’ avec ʾan tamassa bašaran ‘que tu touches un homme’ de l’AC. Dans cet ordre ‫ أ‬d’idée, on‫ �ظ‬pourrait peut-être penser à un ‫�ق‬ � � ‫�ل‬ ‫ا‬ effet du statut de �‫ ���ف�ع�ل �م� ن� � ��ف�ع�ا ل ل�� � و ب‬de �‫ � ن‬, donc de l’influence d’un‫ أ‬verbe ‫ن‬ qui s’emploie avec deux compléments d’objet direct � ‫ �م��ف� �عول ث�ا‬et ‫�م��ف� �عول � و ل‬, même quand celui-ci est sujet. Toujours est-il que J. Blau admet qu’il y a des cas où l’apparition de ce tanwīn -an au cas-sujet ne s’explique pas, ‫ن‬ � � � � � ‫ا‬ p.ex. dans ‫‘ ث� ط��ل �ل�ل�م����س��ي�� ج م�ا يف� ل��س���م�ا‬ensuite une étoile dans le ciel apparut ‫ح‬ ‫م ع‬ au Messie’.


jacques grand’henry

1.6. Morpho-syntaxe : laysa et xabar laysa ‫�ة‬ ‫ف� �ف‬ ‫‘ ا �ل�خ‬le pécheur, ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫و‬ �‫��ا طي� �م���ص� وح �ع���ه �ل��ي��س ����سب���ع� د ��ف��ع�ا � وح�د �ه�ا ب�ل ����سب���ع�ا �يف� ����سب���ع��ي‬ il ne lui est pas pardonné sept fois seulement, mais sept fois soixantedix (70 fois 7 fois)’ (PG 36, 432 C 9) dans les manuscrits R07 R06 R26 R29 J Y (= x syr.). Cette construction est typique du MA dans la mesure où le ‫�ف‬ ‫�خ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ ��بر �ل��ي��س‬qui est ‫ �م���ص� وح �عف���ه‬n’est pas au �‫ �م�����صو ب‬comme l’exige la syntaxe de l’AC, mais au ‫ �مر �و‬, ‫ �ل�ي��س‬n’étant plus senti en MA comme verbe suivi d’un ‫ع‬ �‫ �خ ��بر �م ن�����صو ب‬mais comme une simple particule négative figée sans rection propre. Par contre dans le groupe des manuscrits x sin. (FBO R51 DPUQ ‫ف� �ف‬ ‫ ا �م�ا ا �ل�خ‬. On ‫ت‬ ‫� ح�د �ه�ا � ����س�� � ����س���ع�� ن‬ ‫ن‬ EHI), on a :�‫ي‬ ‫��ا طي� �م���ص� وح�ا �ع���ه �ل��ي��س ����سب��ع د ��ف��ع�ا و‬ ‫و‬ ‫ب ل بع يف� ب‬ constate que le groupe x sin opère à nouveau une révision de x syr. dans le sens d’un classicisation partielle : le ‫ �خ ��بر �ل��ي��س‬est traité au �‫�م ن�����صو ب‬. 1.7. Morphologie : le genre des noms ‫ف ت ف� ا ق� ا � ث � ث � ن ل �ه ت ا �ة‬ ‫‘ ��ا ع��ر و ي�ا و �ل��ا لو� م�� ا و� و ح�د‬Confessez, ô peuple, la Trinité d’une ‫م‬ ‫ لا �ه ت‬apparaît seulement dans x sin. unique divinité’ le genre féminin de � ‫و‬ ‫ لا �ه ت‬: (FBO R51 DPQ EH), tandis que les manuscrits de x syr. ont ‫� وا ح�د‬ ‫و‬ « On the analogy of nouns like ʾuxt, bint, sitt, a noun terminating in t that ‫�ص ت‬ belongs to the root, may be treated as feminine : (. . .) ‫� ا �لر ب� ا �ل��ل��طي���ف� ��ة‬ ‫و‬ 8 ‘the Lord’s gentle voice’  » . Puisqu’il est peu probable que x syr. ait révisé le texte de x sin., on peut sans doute considérer qu’il s’agit d’un trait de ‫أ‬ MA égyptien (qu’on rapprochera d’ailleurs de �‫ ا ي� ت‬pour AC ‫ � ي��ة‬mentionné plus haut9, trait orthographique et phono-morphologique présent en x sin. seulement, donc en MA égypto-sinaïtique). 1.8. Morphologie du verbe ‫���ف�ع�ل �م�عت���ل ا �ل�لا‬ ‫م‬ ‫‘ ا �م�ا لا مخ ف��م د � ( ف��م�ؤ�ذ � ) �ذ �ل�ك ����س���ع�ا � ����س���ع�� ن‬quant à Lamech, cela (lui) fera du ‫و‬ �‫ي‬ �‫� و ي‬ �‫ب يف� ب ي‬ tort soixante-dix fois sept fois’ dans x syr. seulement (seuls 2 manuscrits ‫ف‬ ‫ف �ذ‬ de ce groupe ont les formes de x sin., c’est-à-dire : ‫ ��مو‬ou ‫ ��مود‬proches de ‫فم�ؤ�ذ‬ l’AC ��). On voit qu’ici la règle énoncée dans la Grammar of Christian Arabic : « as a rule, nouns (including the active participle) terminating in CA in -iyun/-iyin > -in in the nominative/genitive and -iyan in the accusative, end in -î in Ancient South Palestinian »10 ne s’applique ici qu’au groupe x syr. Dans un texte de MA révisé comme le groupe égypto-sinaïtique GCA, I, p. 202, § 103.1.3. Cf. ci-dessus, § 1.1. 10 GCA, I, 197 § 100.1. 8 9

deux types de moyen arabe ?


x sin., on trouve des formes néo-classiques (finale -in) qui conservent cer‫�ذ‬ taines caractéristiques dialectales (passage de à ‫ د‬p.ex.). ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن �ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‘ ا � ن� ك‬que nous soyons sains dans nos âmes’ dans �‫�و� �يف� ا ��ل�� و��س �م�ع�ا �ي����ي‬ ‫( �م�ع�ا ف��� ن‬comme en AC) dans x sin. x syr. (+ PUQ EHI), tandis qu’on a �‫ي‬ (FBO R51 D). Un seul manuscrit ( J) a une forme qu’on pourrait qualifier ‫�م�ع�ا ف��ا � ن‬. « Sometimes, the plural of nouns terminating in -a< d’hybride : �‫ي‬ -â/-an (including the passive participles of the derived verbal forms), ends in -ayîn : (. . .) �‫‘ �م ن���ف� ي����ي ن‬exiled (plural)’ (. . .) �‫‘ �م��ل��ق ي����ي ن‬thrown’  ». On trouve un phénomène semblable dans Lentin 1997 : II, p. 528 en bas : , �‫ �م�د لا ي���ي ن‬, �‫�مر ��س�ا ي���ي ن‬ ‫ت ن‬ �‫�م��و�ي�ل���ي‬. Il s’agit donc bien là de formes non classiques vivantes en MA et dans l’arabe mixte des temps modernes au Proche-Orient. Seul notre groupe x syr. + PUQ EHI (familles z et y de x sin.) a cette forme typique, tandis que x sin. a révisé dans un sens classique. La forme hybride représente une sorte de compromis entre les formes de x syr. et celles de x sin. 1.9. Morpho-syntaxe de l’impératif ‫ف‬ ‫‘ ف���ه�ا ت‬Revenons à l’Esprit !’ (lit. ‘Allons, revenons à l’Esprit !’) ‫� �� ن�ل��ع�د ا ل ا �ل‬ � ‫ى ر وح‬ ‫ف� ت ن‬ dans les manuscrits de x syr, tandis que x sin. a : ‫� ��عود‬ ‫���ه�ا‬. Dans x syr. la construction impérative est composée de deux éléments de l’AC, qui, pris ‫ �ه�ا ت‬a le sens de ‘donne !’ en isolément, fournissent un sens impératif (� ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ 11 � AC , ‫‘ ��ل��ع�د‬retournons !’), c’est l’aspect syntaxique (regroupement des deux impératifs en un seul) qui est novateur en MA : on comparera ici avec un ‫ ف���ه�ا ت‬de ‫‘ ف���ه�ا ت‬reviens !’12. ‫� ن��ع د‬ cas semblable dans le discours 40 : �‫� ا ر ��ج‬ � � ‫و‬ ‫ع‬ x sin. semble être une construction hybride combinant un impératif de la 1ère pers. du pluriel de type dialectal (où l’inaccompli sert souvent à exprimer l’impératif ) et un impératif classique, mais avec son sens MA ! � �‫ �م� ن‬et ses équivalents 1.10. Morpho-syntaxe des locutions prépositives : �‫حي��� ث‬ ‫ث‬ ‫� ن‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫� �ا �م� ن ��س ا �ل�ع�� ا ن���� ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫� �ه��ة ا �لر ��سو و ع�ا ي��د‬ ‫ي� ا ����ش�ي���ا ا خ�ر��ك���ير � �م�ع���مو �ل� ع��لى �ج‬ ‫ك�م�ا ا � �ه�ا �ه���ا ا �ي���ض � ر وم بر ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‘ �ع���د �ا ع��لى �م�ع�ى ا �ل��سر‬De même, il y a aussi parmi les cérémonies (célébrées) par les Hébreux beaucoup d’autres choses exécutées eu égard aux formes et qui sont rétablies chez nous (les chrétiens) eu égard au sens mystique’ ‫ ع��ل �م� ن‬ont (PG 36, 436 A 8–11) dans x syr. Dans x sin. par contre, ‫� �ه��ة‬ ‫ ع��لى �ج‬et ‫ع�ى‬ ‫ى‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ن‬ � ��‫�م‬. Mais si on compare avec le tableau qui se prépour équivalents ����‫حي‬ sente dans le discours 40, on obtient ceci :

 Wright 1933 : I,36 c.  Grand’Henry, Discours 40, 87 n. 15.




jacques grand’henry ‫ح��� ث‬ �‫ع��ل �م�ا ي‬, � ‫ ;�م� ن‬famille sinaïtique : ‫�خ���ص‬ or. 40 : proto-version syrienne : � ‫ى‬ ‫ع��ل �م� ن‬, �‫� ��ي��م�ا �لا �ـ‬ �‫ع��ل طر� ق� ب����م�ا ي‬, �‫ع‬ � � ��‫خ‬ ‫ب ي ي‬ ‫ص‬ ‫ى ى ى ي‬ ‫م‬


‫ن‬ ‫ح��� ث‬ ‫ن‬ or. 41 : x sin. : � ‫ ; �م�� �ي‬x syr. : ‫ ع��لى �م�ع�ى‬, �‫ع��لى �ج��ه‬

Autre exemple : ‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ ‫� ن �ذ �ل�ك �م� ن � ث ن‬ �‫‘ ك� لا �ج‬afin que vous ne combat�‫��ا �ه�د وا ����ق��ط ا و ي� كو‬ ‫حي���� ا ��ل��ا �مو��س‬ � ‫ي‬ tiez pas seulement, mais que cela soit (en plus) selon le prescrit de la loi’ � �‫ �م� ن‬de x sin. correspond �‫ ع��ل وا ج�� ب‬dans (PG 36, 440 C 1–3). À ce �‫حي��� ث‬ ‫ى‬ la totalité des manuscrits de x syr., au sens post-classique indiqué par Dozy, II, p. 782a : « conformément, en vertu de ». Laurence Tuerlinckx écrit dans Histoire de la version arabe :13 ‫ح��� ث‬ ‫ن‬ Le recours à la locution � ‫( �م�� �ي‬. . .) pour rendre un participe grec est un

trait caractéristique de cette version (du discours 38 sur la Noël). Cette utilisation extensive d’une particule arabe ‘passe-partout’ est typique du MA ; ces nouvelles particules n’ont pas survécu à la normalisation sur le modèle ‫ح��� ث‬ ‫ن‬ de l’AC ; la locution � ‫ �م�� �ي‬n’est pas mentionnée dans le MA d’époque moderne étudié par J. Lentin et ne figure pas dans la version arabe du discours 27 (peut-être est-ce le signe qu’il s’agit d’une version plus tardive ?).

Elle ajoute dans la même thèse à la p. 357–358 à propos de l’utilisation de � �‫ �م� ن‬dans l’ensemble des discours lemmatisés jusqu’en 2007 : �‫حي��� ث‬ ‫ح��� ث‬ ‫ن‬ La locution � ‫ �م�� �ي‬est la plus usitée (71 occurrences‫ ث‬dans‫ ن‬l’ensemble des � ��‫ �م‬est fréquente discours lemmatisés, dont 37 en or. 45). La locution ����‫حي‬

dans le discours 42 (discours d’adieu) et est présente dans le discours 39 (sur la sainte lumière), notamment pour traduire les participes grecs, mais absente dans les discours 3 (à ceux qui . . .), 21 (éloge d’Athanase), 24 (éloge de Cyprien).

1.11. Morpho-syntaxe du nom de nombre ‫ف‬ ‫� �ع�ا �� �ع ن���د د ا و د‬ ‫كلا ا �لر ب� �م���ط�هر ����سب�� ا �ض‬ � ‘et les paroles du Seigneur sont puri‫ع‬ ‫و م‬ fiées sept fois selon David’ dans les manuscrits B et O (x sin): ‫‘ �ل���� ����س���ع��ة د ��ف��ع�ا ت‬non pas seulement sept fois’ dans x syr. ‫� وح�د �ه�ا‬ ‫يس ب‬ On voit que la tendance générale en MA est d’accorder le nom de nombre en genre avec le nom de l’objet compté lorsque celui-ci est féminin. Lorsque le nom de l’objet compté est masculin, l’accord en genre du nom de nombre avec le nom de l’objet compté est plus rare (deux manuscrits seulement dans x sin.) : « The ASP texts exhibit clear predilection for the 13

 Tuerlinckx 2007 : I, 32.

deux types de moyen arabe ?


numerals terminating in -a(t). This termination prevails in every syntactic condition (. . .) »14. L’inverse (nom de nombre masculin avec nom d’objet compté au masculin) se présente également, mais est plus rare : la GCA ‫خ‬ cite ‫‘ ��م��س ر�ج �ا ل‬five men’15. De fait, dans le discours 41, seuls deux manuscrits ont ce type d’accord typique mais rare en MA. En tout cas, il apparaît clairement que x sin. a révisé x syr. dans le sens très net d’une classicisa‫ف‬ ‫����س�� د ���ف�ع�ا ت‬. tion des formes en �� ‫� �ع�ا‬ ‫ ����سب���ع��ة ا �ض‬et � ‫بع‬ 1.12. Syntaxe du numéral cardinal ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ن ة‬ ‫�� �ذ ا ت‬ ��‫� ا �ل���قوا ي� ا �ل����س‬ ‫‘ ا ا لا ا ك‬Si je ne mentionne pas (= pour ‫�ر �م���ا ر � ا ��ل�هي�� ك�ل‬ ‫م‬ ‫بع‬ ne pas mentionner) le chandelier du temple aux sept branches’ dans x sin., construction qui semble correspondre à la construction habituelle en ASP : « Both the number and the counted noun are determined by the definite article: ‫‘ �ه��ذه ا � ث�ل�� ث�ل���ة ا �لو ج�وه‬these three manifestations’  »16. On a par ‫ق‬ ‫ا �ذ ا ل ا �ذ ن ة‬ ‫�� �ذ ا ت‬ contre �‫� ا �ل����سب�� �وا ي‬ dans la majorité des manus‫ا ك‬ ‫�ر �م���ا ر � ا ��ل�هي�� ك�ل‬ ‫ع م‬ ‫�ذ ا ت‬ crits de x syr. (R07 R05 R06 R25 R29 R30 J Y), deux manuscrits ayant : � ‫ق‬ � ‫ا �ل����س���ع��ة � ا‬. Ici on est plutôt dans le cas de l’exception en ce qui concerne ‫ب و يم‬ l’ASP : « There are some cases of remarkable indetermination and determination (. . .). As to cases of indetermination where one would have ‫ع�� �ة �ز ن�ا ت‬ 17 ‫�ش‬ expected determination: � ‫‘ ا �ل� ر و‬the ten pounds’  » . Donc, ce qui est l’exception en ASP semble plutôt être la règle dans x syr., tandis que x sin., le texte révisé, s’aligne sur le modèle qu’on trouve en ASP. 1.13. Syntaxe de � ‫ب��ع���ض‬ Comme équivalent du grec : Συμβῶμεν ἀ λλήλοις πνευματικῶς ‘Mettons‫��س��� ن�ل��ا ا ن� � ا ف� ق ��ع���ض ن‬ nous d’accord selon l’Esprit’, on trouve dans x syr. : � ‫�ب ي‬ ‫يو � ب‬ ‫�� ���ا ب��ع���ض‬ ‘(lit.) il faut que quelques-uns d’entre nous soient d’accord avec les autres’ ‫ب��ع���ض‬ (PG 36, 437 C 13–15) (R30 R02 J Y). Deux manuscrits cependant ont : ‫�� ن���ا‬ 18 � à une tournure de MA conforme � ‫( ب�ل��ع���ض‬R29 R05) qui peut correspondre ‫ ا �م�ا ن�ة‬Dans x sin., la révision opère à la � à l’AC, comme dans � � �‫�ل‬ � ‫�ض‬ � � ‫ك‬ ��‫ع‬ ��‫ع‬ � � �. � ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب �ض‬ fois un retour vers le texte ‫م‬grec original et une construction d’apparence ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ classique : ‫� �ا‬ ‫���س�ب� ي�� ن�ل��ا ا � ن�وا � ق� ب��ع���ض‬. D’abord il faut remarquer qu’il existe ‫�� ن���ا ب��ع���ض‬ en AC un verbe spécifique pour exprimer la notion de ‘se mettre d’accord

 GCA, II, p. 367 § 247.1.  GCA, II, p. 369 § 247.2. 16  GCA, II, p. 379 § 264.1. 17  GCA, II, p. 381. 18  GCA, II, p. 407 B. 14 15


jacques grand’henry

‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ les uns avec les autres’ : �‫���س�ب� ي�� ن�ل��ا ا � ن�ت�وا � ق‬. D’autre part, l’utilisation de ce ‫� �ا‬ ‫ب��ع���ض‬ relève plus d’une forme de maniérisme littéraire que d’une vraie classicisation du texte : some texts employ the first � ‫ ب��ع���ض‬in status pronominalis in accordance with the government of the verb/noun as well, sometimes putting however the indefinite second � ‫ ب��ع���ض‬in the accusative. Since the case-endings have disappeared in ASP, this phenomenon cannot exhibit genuine living usage, but rather literary manierism (. . .)19.

Dans les textes d’arabe mixte du Proche-Orient moderne, le système ressemble à celui de l’ASP, mais avec davantage de tournures dialectales du type : � ‫ �يف� ب��ع����ض‬etc.20 Des usages cités ci-dessus, on rapprochera un ‫� �ه�م ب��ع���ض‬ autre exemple tiré du discours 41 où 3 niveaux de MA apparaissent : 1. ‫و�ه‬ ‫م‬ ‫‘ �ب� �ه��ذ ا ا �ل���م���ق�د ا ر �ف� م‬et ils sont dans cette mesure opposés les � ‫� �ا‬ ‫� �ه� ب��ع���ض‬ ‫�خ�ا �ل��ف� ��ة ب��ع����ض‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ uns aux autres’ (PG 36, 441 A 1–3) dans x sin. + R29 ; 2. � ‫ ب��ع����ض‬dans ‫� �ه�م � ب�ل��ع���ض‬ � � R05 (x syr.); 3. � � � � ‫ه‬ dans la majorité des manuscrits de x syr. (R06 ‫��ض‬ ��‫ع‬ ��‫ع‬ � ‫ب � م ب �ض‬ R25 R30 R02 J Y). Cette dernière construction est la plus dialectalisante et elle est proche de l’arabe mixte du Proche-Orient des temps modernes : p. ex. dans � ‫‘ ا ن����ف���ص��لوا �ع� ن� ب��ع����ض‬ils se séparèrent les uns des autres’21. ‫� �ه�م ب��ع���ض‬ 1.14. Lexique On peut isoler des éléments de lexique MA typique en x syr. révisé par la ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف ن ق‬ ‫ف‬ suite en x sin. : ‫كا ن� ت� ا ����سب���ا ب� ا �ل���م����س��ي�� ����ه� �ب�ت�ول و �مي���لا د و �م� و د‬ �   ‫‘ ��ا � ��ل� ت� �م�ا‬et si tu ‫ح ي‬ dis : quelles sont les choses (qui concernent) le Christ ? Ce sont (les suivantes) : une Vierge, une naissance et une crèche (. . .)’. Ici on a une ‫�ذ‬ opposition parfaitement symétrique entre x syr. qui a ‫‘ �م� و د‬crèche’ ‫�ذ �ذ‬ avec 3 orthographes différentes selon les manuscrits : 1. ‫( �م� و‬R07 R29) ; ‫�ذ‬ 2. ‫ ( �م�د و د‬JY ) ; 3. ‫( �م� و د‬R30 R02 R25) et x sin. par contre, qui a ‫‘ ��م�ه�د‬berceau’. Ici encore, la révision de x syr. par x sin. est manifeste, et elle est probablement due aux corruptions orthographiques qui affec‫�ذ‬ tent très tôt le mot ‫ �م� و د‬signalé seulement en arabe post-classique avec le sens ‘crèche, mangeoire à bœufs’ par Dozy, I, p. 492 qui ajoute que dans le dictionnaire de Bocthor, le mot est écrit ‫�م�د و د‬. Le mot ‫�ذ‬ résulte vraisemblablement de l’AC : ‫‘ �م� و د‬sac à fourrage’ (Kazimirski ‫�ذ‬ 1860 : I,788). Comparer aussi avec ‫ و د‬dans ḏwd ʾl-bqr en judéo-arabe22.  GCA, II, p. 408 A.  Lentin 1997 : I, 304–305. 21  Lentin 1997 : I, 304 en bas. 22  Blau 2006 : 230. 19


deux types de moyen arabe ?


2. Contraste faible entre x syr. et x sin. 2.1. Orthographe ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ظ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫‘ ا ��� ر وا �ي�����م�ا ي����لوا �ل�ك‬examinez ce qui suit’ (PG 36, 437 32–35) : ce phénomène bien connu en MA, à savoir la présence systématique du alif al-wiqāya après wāw, même lorsque celui-ci est radical, est quasi général , tant dans x syr. que dans x sin. Seuls quelques manuscrits récents (PUQ dans x sin. et JY dans x syr.) ne l’ont pas, ce qui résulte d’une classicisation récente. Le critère chronologique paraît ici plus important que le critère géographique (Syrie-Liban ou Sinaï-Égypte). 2.2. Phonétique : passage des interdentales non emphatiques de l’AC aux dentales correspondantes en MA et usages littéraires en MA Dans des manuscrits dont les dates s’étalent du xiiie au xixe siècles, ce passage est attesté, sans qu’on puisse établir une différence entre le groupe x syr. et le groupe x sin. Par exemple : ‫ن �ذ‬ – Maintien de l’interdentale : �‫‘ ا � �ي�غ�� �ي‬qu’il nourrisse’ (FB DPUQ = x sin.) ‫ن �غ �ذ‬ et ‫( ا � �ي�� وا‬R07 R25 R29 R30 = x syr.). – Passage de l’interdentale de l’AC à la dentale correspondante en ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ MA : �‫( ا � �ي�غ��د �ي‬O R51 EHI = x sin.), ‫( ا � �ي�غ��د وا‬R05 R06 R26 J Y = x syr.). J. Blau23 écrit à ce propos :

Sometimes, words containing dhâl are spelled with dâl (. . .). Many of these cases may be due to the negligence of copyists. Nevertheless, it stands to reason that it is the shift of dhâl to dâl in living speech that lies at the root of this spelling. If dhâl really occurs as a living feature in ASP (. . .) one will be inclined to assume that the disappearance of dhâl belongs to a later period (. . .).

Du fait que dans notre texte du discours 41, il ne semble pas y avoir de régularité dans le phénomène, on peut, à notre avis, le rattacher vraisemblablement à une forme d’hétérogénéité dans les usages littéraires du Proche-Orient médiéval : One is inclined to assume that certain features which had disappeared from living speech, were nevertheless used by translators, copyists, and authors in the monasteries of South-Palestine, as a result of literary tradition24.

 GCA, I, p. 107–108 (§ 15–16.2).  GCA, I, p. 56–57.




jacques grand’henry

On voit d’après l’analyse de nos textes que cet usage littéraire devait s’étendre au-delà des monastères de la Palestine méridionale, des monastères de Syrie septentrionale (région d’Antioche) à ceux d’Égypte et du Sinaï. 2.3. Phonétique : changements dans l’articulation et la graphie des ‫�ظ‬ phonèmes � ‫ �ض‬/ en MA ‫‘ ا ن ا ����ست���د �� ت ا ل ا � ن�ل� �ض � ا �ل��س�� ا �ل�ع��ت����ق��ة‬et si je passe en revue (lit. : si je �‫و‬ ‫ر ج � ى ��� ر يف� ير ي‬ m’avance par degrés en regardant) les histoires anciennes’ (PG 36, 433 A 6). Seuls deux manuscrits de x sin. ont le phonème MA/dialectal � ‫ �ض‬au lieu de ‫ �ظ‬ce qui montre, d’après J. Blau25, que ces deux consonnes ont fusionné, au moins partiellement, déjà au premier millénaire en ASP : « ḍâd < ẓâʾ ‫�غ �ظ‬ ‫�غ‬ exhibiting the merger of these two consonants : � ‫‘ �ي���ل�� �ظ < �ي�ن��ل���ض‬it renders ‫ن‬ coarse’  ». On a le phénomène inverse dans le MA �‫ < ا �ل���ا �لو‬AC �‫� �ا �لو‬ ‫ا �ل���ض‬ 26 « those who erred » . ‫ح�ز ا ن� ن�ا�ك���ض ن‬ �����‫‘وا �م�ا �هولا ف�ي�����مت‬et quant à ceux-ci, Il veut �‫�و ن�وا �ف� ا لا‬ ‫ح� ن� و د �ه ا لا ي� ك‬ �‫� ��ي‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ mettre à l’épreuve leur amour (pour vérifier) s’ils ne sont pas contrariés par les peines’ (PG 36, 436 C 7–9). Dans x syr., 7 manuscrits sur 10 ont ‫ ن�ا�ك���ض ن‬pour l’AC ‫��ا��ظك���� ن‬.‫ ن‬Dans x sin., 6 manuscrits sur 11 ont le même phé�‫ي‬ �‫� ��ي‬ nomène. On conclura qu’ici, les manuscrits regroupés selon les critères de l’histoire du texte (x sin./ x syr.) n’ont pas de spécificités linguistiques particulières selon ces groupes : le passage de l’AC ‫ �ظ‬au MA � ‫ �ض‬s’y distribue de manière à peu près identique. Mais il y a des racines dans lesquelles le passage de ‫ �ظ‬à � ‫ �ض‬semble être régulier et ancien comme dans le cas cité ci-dessus. Inversement, on trouve dans nos textes : ‫ن خ �ظ ن ف‬ ‫ف ن‬ ‫ن‬ ��‫‘ ��ا � ��س���موه �ل���م��������ف����ي� ��ل��ي��سوا �م�د �بر ي‬s’ils le (= appeler Dieu l’Esprit-Saint) nomment [ainsi] pour (= devant) des [gens] méprisables, ils ne sont ‫ �ل���م ن���� خ�����ظ‬pour ‫ف���� ن‬ pas de bons gestionnaires’ (PG 36, 437 B 1–3). La graphie �‫ي‬ ‫خ‬ ‫� �� ن‬ ‫ن‬ �‫ �ل���م��������ف���ض ي‬se rencontre une fois dans x syr. (R30) et une fois dans x sin. (B). S’agit-il d’hyper-corrections isolées? J. Blau écrit : Historically, it was, it seems, ẓâ that supplanted ḍâd (. . .) in spelling however, it depended on the feeling of the writer which of the two letters represented the merged sound (. . .). In JA, ḍâd was as a rule ẓ chosen to represent both ancient ḍâd and ẓâ. Accordingly, the spelling with ẓâ instead of ḍâd in JA is due to hyper-correction27.  GCA, I, p. 113 § 20.2.  GCA, I, p. 114 § 21. 27  GCA, I, p. 114 n. 178. 25


deux types de moyen arabe ?


C’est probablement ce qui s’est passé aussi dans nos textes. On peut observer que la situation de l’arabe mixte du Proche-Orient moderne n’est à cet égard plus semblable à celle du MA, dans la mesure où : ‫�ظ‬ � ‫ �ض‬ou étymologiques; la graphie reflète la‫ �ظ‬prononciation‫ �ظ‬dialec‫ �ض‬note � tale (où les deux phonèmes sont confondus en /ḍ/). note � ‫ �ض‬ou étymo‫�ظ‬, note logiques (. . .). Mais on est toujours dans la situation où � comme ‫�ض‬ ‫�ظ‬ une prononciation [ḍ]. L’équivalence instaurée entre les graphèmes � ‫ �ض‬et ne fonctionne que dans un sens : [ẓ] n’est pas noté � ‫( �ض‬. . .). En comparaison avec notre corpus, les variantes avec ẓ sont plus nombreuses, en tout cas prédominantes depuis une époque relativement récente28.

‫�ظ‬ ‫�ظ‬ Dans nos textes il est clair que � ‫ �ض‬est parfois noté et noté � ‫ �ض‬, sans qu’il soit possible de savoir toujours avec précision à quelle prononciation ces graphèmes renvoient.

‫�ذ �ذ �ذ �ذ �ذ‬ 2.4. Morphologie : �‫و ا �ي� وو و �ي‬ ‫‘ ا �م�ا ا �ل��ذ � ن‬quant à ceux qui furent des mauvais ‫كا ن�وا �ذ �� � �ش� ر ور �م� ن ا ��جل‬ � �‫ي‬ ‫�وا ر‬ ‫و‬ � ‫ي‬ en matière de voisinage’ (PG 36, 432 C 14) : seuls quelques manuscrits de x sin. ont cette forme typique du MA (F D EHI). Tous les manuscrits de ‫�ذ‬ x syr. ont la forme classique ‫ و �ي� � �ش� ر ور‬. ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف� ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ة �ف‬ �‫‘ ��ا � ��س���موه �ل� �ي� ط�ا ع� ���ه�م ر ي���عو‬s’ils le nomment (ainsi) [= nomment l’Esprit Dieu] pour (= devant) les gens pieux29, ils sont sublimes’ : ici, le groupe ‫�ذ‬ x syr. est partagé entre deux leçons : ‫ �ل� �ي� ط�ا ع��ة‬dans les manuscrits R07 R06 ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ة‬ R26 R29 et �‫ �ل� و �ي� ط�ا ع‬dans les mss. R05 R25 R30 R02 Y tandis que x sin. ‫�ذ‬ a ‫لا و يل� ط�ا ع��ة‬. Il nous semble qu’on peut en conclure ceci : à partir de �‫�ي‬ ‫�ش‬ ‫ �� ر ور‬forme ‘de base du MA’ subsistant çà et là en x sin., mais qui devait probablement être la seule forme des manuscrits les plus anciens, inaccessibles aujourd’hui, il y a eu, déjà au niveau du groupe de manuscrits ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ x syr. un processus de révision classicisante qui a donné ‫ و �ي� � �ش� ر ور‬et �‫�ل� و �ي‬ ‫ط�ا ع��ة‬. Sur la base de cette première couche de révision, x sin. a ajouté une deuxième révision qu’il estimait plus classicisante en ‫لا و يل� ط�ا ع��ة‬.

2.5. Morphologie : ‫ �ل��ي��س‬invariable en MA ‫�خ ت �ف ن‬ ‫� �ع�ه م‬ � �‫حي��� ث� ا � ن�ل��ا �ظ ر ب�ل �م� ن‬ � �‫‘ ف����ه���م�ا �ل��ي��س �م� ن‬ils ne sont pas divergents ‫حي��� ث� و �ض‬ � ‫�����ل� �ا‬ (= les yeux atteints de strabisme) à cause de la (vision) de celui qui (les) regarde, mais à cause de la position (de l’objet regardé)’ (PG 36, 441 A 3–6).  Lentin 1997 : I, p. 87–88. ‫�ة‬  Sur le sens ‘piété’ de �‫ ط�ا ع‬en arabe post-classique, voir Dozy 1927 : II, p. 68a.




jacques grand’henry

Tous les manuscrits, tant de x syr. que de x sin. s’accordent sur ‫ �ل��ي��س‬devenu une simple particule de négation invariable. 2.6. Morphologie du nom de racine lafīf maqrūn ‫�م ا �ل‬ �����‫‘ و �م���ق�د ا ر ا ����ست‬et ceci (donne) la mesure de mon � ‫ح����س ن� �ز ي��ه‬ �‫حي���ا �يئ� �م� ن� � ب�ل��ا ��س ك‬ respect pour votre vêtement (façonné) de belle manière’ (PG 36, 440 C �����‫ ا ����ست‬qui ne se trouve que dans un 7–9). On a ici la forme classique de �‫حي���ا �يئ‬ seul ms. (E = x sin.) On trouve 3 autres formes réparties dans le reste des manuscrits : �����‫ ا ����ست‬qui ne se trouve que dans un 1. On a ici la forme classique de �‫حي���ا �يئ‬ seul ms. (E = x sin.) On trouve 3 autres formes réparties dans le reste des manuscrits : �����‫ ا ����ست‬dans les manuscrits FBO R51 QH (= x sin.), mais aussi JY 2. �‫حي���ا �ي‬ (= x syr.). �����‫ ا ����ست‬dans les mss. R25 et R29 (= x syr.) 3. �‫حي���ا ي�ي‬ �����‫ ا ����ست‬dans les manuscrits R02 R30 4. �‫حي���ا �يت‬ – la forme 1 résulte manifestement d’une révision classicisante ; – la forme 2 est proche du dialectal qui n’a plus de trace du hamza final (= ʾistiḥyā + ya) ; – la forme 3 est typique du MA dans la mesure où elle témoigne d’un stade d’évolution où istiḥyāʾ avait encore son hamza final (* istiḥyāʾī > istiḥyāyī) ; – la forme 4 est une variante de istiḥyāyī où -ā final est traité comme une désinence du féminin, phénomène fréquent en arabe mixte du ProcheOrient et en arabe dialectal (p.ex. marsā kbīra ‘un grand port’ en arabe maghrébin, pour un mot masculin en AC). Cette variété de formes renvoie à des critères plus chronologiques que géographiques : elle témoigne du fait que le MA dispose d’un stock étendu de formes, dont certaines sont des vestiges de la fin d’une évolution (formes 1 et 4) et d’autres de son commencement (forme 3).

‫ق‬ 2.7. Morphologie : traces du pluriel de paucité (‫) ج��م ��ل��ة‬ ‫ع‬ ‫ف� ن �ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫ا‬ � � � � � ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫كا �� ����سب���ا ب� ل���م����س��ي�� ���ه�� �ب�ول و �م�ه�د و مي���ل د و������مي����ط‬ � ‫‘ �ا � �ل�� م�ا‬et si tu dis : ‫ح‬ quelles sont les choses qui concernent le Christ ? Ce sont : une Vierge, un berceau, une naissance et le fait de l’emmailloter (au berceau)’ (PG 36, 436 ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ B 7–9). Des traces du ‫ ج��م ��ل��ة‬sont présentes dans �‫ ����ه� ن‬qui apparaît dans les ‫ع‬

deux types de moyen arabe ?


manuscrits FB (= x sin.) et R25 (x syr.). Rappelons la règle énoncée dans Wright 1933 :II, 293 B : When the subject in the plural denotes irrational or inanimate objects, the plur. fem. of the verb is preferred in classic Arabic, if their number does not exceed ten, the sing. fem., if it be more (. . .). The rule applies to the pronouns that refer to them, which in the former case are hunna hinna, in the latter hiya and -hâ.

Les manuscrits de x sin. et de x syr. qui ont le pluriel de paucité datent des xiiie et xvie siècles et sont originaires du Sinaï et de Daïr Dûma au Liban. Le critère géographique n’est donc pas déterminant ici, tandis que le cri‫ق‬ tère chronologique joue : on ne trouve plus aucune trace du ‫ ج��م ��ل��ة‬dans ‫ع‬ les manuscrits postérieurs au xvie siècle. 2.8. Syntaxe de l’ iḍāfa ‫�ذ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ���‫كا � �هو ا �ل���م‬ ‫ح�� ا لا �موا � ب��� �د ر ��ه‬ � ‫‘ ا‬car c’est Lui qui rend la vie aux morts (lit. le ‫يي‬ ressusciteur des morts)’ (PG 36, 440 C 15–441 A 1). Dans la presque totalité des deux groupes, x sin. et x syr., (sauf dans U = x sin.), l’iḍāfa se fait par juxtaposition du muḍāf ʾilayhi déterminé au muḍāf déterminé lui aussi. Ce type de construction qui est mentionné en ASP30, semble fréquent en arabe mixte du Proche-Orient31 et, quoiqu’il apparaisse rarement dans nos textes, a des occurrences généralisées aux deux groupes de manuscrits. Il s’agit donc d’un phénomène de MA ancien, qui semble faire partie de la structure de cet état linguistique et se retrouve dans tous les sousstandards et à toutes les époques. 2.9. Lexique propre au MA ‫�لخ‬ ‫‘ ا �م�ا ��س ا �� ا لا �ا ف� �ل�د ت‬et quant aux septaines ‫� ا ��ل�يو ا‬ ‫��م��س�ي� ن�� �يو�م�ا �م�د �عوا �م���ق�د ��س�ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫و �بيع ي م و‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ de jours, elles ont produit le Cinquantième Jour (= la Pentecôte) en tant ‫�لخ‬ ‫ا ��ل�يو ا‬, préque jour désigné comme sacré’ (PG 36, 432 C 6) : ce terme ��‫��م��س�ي� ن‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ sent dans la majorité des manuscrits, tant de x sin. que de x syr., semble être un néologisme à l’intérieur du vocabulaire du MA des chrétiens, car ‫�خ�م��س�� ن‬ ‫ ا ��ل� ا �ل‬ou ‫�خ�م��س�� ن‬ ‫�ل‬ ceux-ci utilisent en général : �‫ي‬ �‫‘ �عي���د ا ي‬la fête des 50 (jours ‫يوم‬ qui séparent la fête de Pentecôte de celle de Pâques)’. ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ ‫‘ و ���س�لي�����م�ه و ���س���م��ير ه و د � ن���ه‬et le fait (pour le Christ) d’avoir été livré, sa crucifixion (lit. : le fait d’avoir été cloué [sur la croix]) et sa mise au tombeau’ ‫أ‬

‫ � ا ل� �ع���ا د ا � ��ش‬etc.  GCA, II, p. 350–351 : ‫ا �ل�ع���مود ا � ن�ل��ا ر‬, ‫ل�� �ه�د ا‬ ‫يف� ن �ة ي‬ ‫ت‬ 31 ‫ ا �ل���م�د ا �ل‬etc. �  Lentin 1997 : II, p. 743 § 17.5 : � ‫ا �ل�د �ير ا �لر ا �ه ب���ا‬, �‫ط‬ ����‫ح‬ 30


jacques grand’henry

(PG 36, 436 B 15–C 2). Il est curieux de constater ici (dans tous les manus‫ت‬ crits de x sin. et de x syr.) l’usage de ‫ ���س���م��ير‬comme seul équivalent de �‫�ص�ل� ب‬ et �‫‘ �ت���ص�لي��� ب‬crucifixion’. ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫نف‬ ���� ‫‘ و �هو ا ��ل�يوم ا �ل� �ي� ا �خ � ن�ا ه �م� ن� ا �ل�د �هر ا �ل���م����ست���ا‬et c’est le jour que nous avons pris pour le siècle futur’ (PG ّٰ 36, 432 B 1) qu’on comparera à un usage ‫ف‬ du discours 40 :32 ����‫‘ و �ل��ل�ه ا �ل���م����ست���ا ن‬à Dieu appartient l’avenir’. Cet emploi de ‫نف‬ ‫�ق‬ ���� ‫ �م����ست���ا‬MA = ‫ �م����ست��� ب���ل‬de l’arabe moderne, dérive certainement de l’usage ‫ف‬ de l’arabe post-classique ����‫‘ �يف� ا �ل���م����ست���ا ن‬dans la suite, plus tard’ signalé dans le dictionnaire post-classique de Dozy33. Conclusions Aux deux grands groupes de manuscrits dégagés par l’histoire du texte de l’homélie 41 sur la Pentecôte, correspondent deux grandes variétés du MA proche-oriental : une variété syro-libanaise et une variété égyptosinaïtique. La description de la variété syro-libanaise (x syr.) est plus facile à réaliser dans le cas de notre discours 41, que la variété égypto-sinaïtique (x sin.), car celle-ci se construit toujours en révisant systématiquement le texte du groupe syro-libanais, de telle sorte qu’il est parfois difficile de distinguer à ce niveau ce qui relève d’une révision de type classicisant, de traits linguistiques relevant spécifiquement du MA égypto-sinaïtique. Il arrive cependant que des formes qu’on pourrait qualifier d’hybrides (elles n’apparaissent qu’en un seul exemplaire et ne se rattachent ni à x syr. ni à x sin.) nous permettent de comprendre comment les copistes composaient à l’occasion des synthèses personnelles entre deux groupes. Le MA de ces textes apparaît en tout cas comme un état de langue bien vivant pendant la période du moyen âge et des temps modernes : on a des ‫ف� ت ف‬ ‫ف� ت ن‬ formes renouvelées de l’impératif (‫� �� ن�ل��ع�د‬ ‫ ���ه�ا‬dans x syr., ‫� ��عود‬ ‫ ���ه�ا‬dans x sin.), on a des formes très variées pour rendre les participes et les adverbes � �‫ �م� ن‬exclusivement, parfois dans x sin., parfois dans x syr. ; du grec (�‫حي��� ث‬ ‫ع�� ط � ق‬, �‫ع‬ ‫ن‬ �‫ع��لى �م� ى لى ر ي‬, ‫ ب����م�ا ي�لا ي�م‬etc. exclusivement, parfois dans x sin. parfois dans x syr.). Dans la morpho-syntaxe du nom de nombre, on voit clairement que l’harmonisation du ‫ ا ��س ع�د د‬avec le ‫ ا ��س �م�ع�د و د‬a été prédo‫م‬ ‫م‬ minante en MA avant que les processus de révision ne les amènent à la morpho-syntaxe classique. Dans la syntaxe du nom de nombre cardinal, il semble que tout ce qui est signalé comme l’exception en ASP soit la  Grand’Henry, Discours 40, chapitre 14, l. 10.  Dozy, I, p. 41.

32 33

deux types de moyen arabe ?


règle dans le groupe syro-libanais. Le groupe syro-libanais n’a pas le style maniéré du groupe égypto-sinaïtique (il n’a pas ‫� �ا‬ ‫ ب��ع���ض‬etc.). Les révi‫�� ن���ا ب��ع���ض‬ sions de type lexical aboutissent parfois à remplacer un terme spécifique ‫�ذ‬ du MA (comme dans ‫‘ �م� و د‬crèche’) par un terme classique de sens différent (comme ‫‘ ��م�ه�د‬berceau’). Par-delà cette opposition entre deux grands groupes dans l’histoire du texte et dans le type de MA utilisé subsistent incontestablement des traits qui renvoient à un MA proche-oriental bien identifiable, tant sur le plan de l’orthographe (alif al-wiqāya), de la phonétique (traitement des interdentales non-emphatiques, des interdentales ‫�ظ‬ ‫�ظ‬ ou dentales emphatiques : � ‫ �ض‬pour et pour � ‫) �ض‬, de la morphologie ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ � � � (�‫ ي‬, �‫ و ي‬, ‫ا و ل‬, usage de ‫ ل��ي��س‬invariable comme particule négative, réfec‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ tion de certains verbes de racine �‫�ل��ف� ي��� �م��ق��ر و‬, traces du pluriel de paucité), de la syntaxe (iḍāfa), du lexique (utilisation d’un lexique spécifique au MA des chrétiens). À ce niveau, tout se passe comme si les critères de type géographique et/ou sociologique, religieux (opposition Syrie/Liban à Sinaï/Égypte) cédaient la place à des critères de type chronologique où x sin. par rapport à x syr. ne semble plus représenter qu’un stade dans l’évolution du MA : seuls les manuscrits les plus récents (souvent dans le groupe x sin.) sont nettement classicisants par rapport aux anciens (suppression du alif al-wiqāya dans son usage MA, suppression de l’emploi invariable de ‫�ذ �ذ �ذ‬ ‫�ف ف‬ ‫ق ن‬ ‫ �ي� ا و‬, réfection dialectale de certaines racines �‫)�ل�� ي��� �م����ر و‬. Tout ceci nous amène à souligner l’importance exceptionnelle qu’il y a à réaliser des éditions critiques détaillées avant d’analyser les faits linguistiques et nous porte à la conclusion finale qu’il n’y a pas ici structurellement deux types distincts de MA dans la version arabe du discours 41, comme sans doute dans les autres discours non encore édités du recueil des 30, mais bien un seul type de MA du Proche-Orient bien caractérisé, mais avec au moins deux, voire trois variétés sous-standard, qui semblent avoir induit, dans le cas du discours 41, deux styles d’écriture des copistes et deux styles de révision textuelle à l’intérieur d’un cadre linguistique relativement stable qui se maintient pour nos textes du xie au xixe siècle. Abréviations et références AC = arabe classique ASP = Ancient South Palestinian HT = histoire du texte Lit. = littéralement, mot à mot MA = moyen arabe


jacques grand’henry

Blau, Joshua. 2006. A Dictionary of Medieval Judaeo-Arabic Texts, The Academy of the Hebrew Language, The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem : The Academy of the Hebrew Language. Dozy, R. 1927. Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes, 2 tomes. Leide-Paris : Maisonneuve. GCA = Blau, Joshua. 1966–1967. A Grammar of Christian Arabic Based Mainly on SouthPalestinian Texts from the First Millenium, 2 tomes. Louvain : Peeters. Grand’Henry, Jacques. 2008. ‘Le moyen arabe dans les manuscrits de la version arabe du discours 40 de Grégoire de Nazianze’, dans Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (éds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe, Actes du premier colloque international : Moyen arabe et variétés moyennes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire, état des connaissances, problèmes de définition et perspectives de recherches (10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve : Peeters (Publications de l’Institut orientaliste de Louvain 58), 181–191. Grand’Henry, discours 40 = Grand’Henry, Jacques (éd.). 2005. Sancti Gregorii Nazianzeni Opera, versio arabica antiqua, III, oratio xl (arab. 4), Corpus Christianorum, series graeca 57, Corpus Nazianzenum 19, Turnhout : Brepols. Grand’Henry, discours 21 = Grand’Henry, Jacques. 1996. Sancti Gregorii Nazianzeni Opera, versio arabica antiqua, I, oratio xxi (arab. 20), Corpus Christianorum, series graeca 34, Corpus Nazianzenum 4. Turnhout : Brepols. Lentin, Jérôme. 1997. Recherches sur l’histoire de la langue arabe au Proche-Orient à l’époque moderne, 2 tomes, Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses, Université de Lille III, thèse présentée pour le Doctorat d’Etat ès-Lettres, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III. Kazimirski, A. De Biberstein. 1860. Dictionnaire arabe-français. 2 tomes. Paris: Maisonneuve et cie. PG = Patrologia Graeca = Patrologiae, cursus completus, omnium SS. Patrum, Doctorum Scriptorumque ecclesiasticorum, sive latinorum, sive graecorum, accurante J.-P. Migne, Paris, 1858, Reprint by Brepols, Turnhout, 1979. Schmidt, Andrea-Barbara (éd.). 2002. Sancti Gregorii Opera. Versio syriaca, II, Orationes XIII, XLI. Corpus Christianorum, series graeca, Corpus Nazianzenum 15. Turnhout: ­Brepols. Tuerlinckx, Laurence. 2007. Histoire de la version arabe de Grégoire de Nazianze. Édition critique des Orationes 27et 38, étude de la tradition manuscrite et identification des divers états du texte, 2 tomes, thèse non publiée présentée à la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’Université catholique de Louvain en vue de l’obtention du grade de docteur en philosophie et lettres. Wright, W. 1933. A Grammar of the Arabic Language, Translated from the German of Caspari and edited with numerous additions and corrections by W. Wright, 3rd Edition revised by W. Robertson Smith and M. J. de Goeje, 2 tomes. Cambridge: The University Press.

Présentation du livre Le Conte du Portefaix et des Trois Jeunes Femmes, dans le manuscrit de Galland (XIVe–XVe siècles) Bruno Halflants Summary: The Thousand and One Nights is an interesting example of oral Muslim Middle Arabic. The author of this contribution explains here the contents of the book he published in 2007. His purpose was to produce a handbook of the grammar of that language by selecting one long tale (and hoping that someone would extend it) and referring to a precise text, namely the Galland manuscript, which is the oldest known version of the Thousand and One Nights (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries). The author presents an original edition of this tale, which is essentially from the Galland manuscript, yet is distinct enough from Mahdi’s 1984 critical edition, the text of which was edited with a different purpose.

1. Introduction On sait, depuis la publication, en 1992, de Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic par Benjamin Hary1, que le domaine du moyen arabe est un continuum entre l’arabe classique et le dialecte et qu’il serait vain de chercher à le borner avec précision. Nous croyons cependant qu’on peut réduire quelque peu, en fonction de l’objectif poursuivi, le flou de la définition en distinguant la motivation des auteurs qui ont utilisé le moyen arabe dans leurs écrits, ainsi que les groupes auxquels ils appartiennent. Certains auteurs se sont peut-être écartés de l’arabe classique pour des raisons de laxisme ou d’incompétence. Mais c’est loin d’être toujours le cas. On constate en effet, par exemple, qu’existait parfois, dans les milieux juifs et chrétiens, une volonté de se distinguer en faisant usage d’un langage convenu entre gens du même bord. Dans cette mesure, on ne peut évidemment plus affirmer que les formes que l’on rencontre relèvent du laxisme ou de l’incompétence. Dans un autre secteur de la société, celui des Musulmans cette fois, le moyen arabe ne répond pas à la même motivation. Si les Musulmans, comme bien d’autres du reste, estiment que l’arabe est une belle langue, digne d’être correctement utilisée, ils considèrent de plus, à la différence des autres groupes, que cette langue, qui est celle du Coran, défie l’imita‫ ) � �جع‬et qu’il convient donc d’approcher au mieux ses modèles. Il en tion (�‫��ا ز‬ ‫إ‬ 1

 Cf. les références en fin d’article.


bruno halflants

résulte un moyen arabe moins typé, moins différent de l’arabe classique, que celui des Chrétiens et des Juifs. Et il est logique, en conséquence de cela, que moins d’études y aient été consacrées. Les Mille et Une Nuits offrent un exemple intéressant d’un moyen arabe probablement musulman dans ses caractères, encore qu’on ne puisse exclure que le recueil ait été rédigé partiellement par des Juifs ou des Chrétiens, mais les allusions culturelles dont elles sont truffées donnent tout de même à penser que l’influence musulmane y a été prédominante. Il s’agit de plus d’une langue peu étudiée, parce que c’est du moyen arabe musulman avec les caractères que nous venons d’évoquer et parce que le genre littéraire des Nuits, destinées plus à être contées que lues, a été longtemps tenu en médiocre estime. Et ce genre est d’autant plus intéressant que, pour parler à l’imaginaire, il vaut mieux utiliser un langage plus proche de celui des gens de son temps : il est donc un témoin assez authentique de la langue et des dialectes d’une époque. Nous avons effectivement pu constater, au fil de notre analyse à ce sujet, que le langage des Mille et Une Nuits est moins ‘moyen arabe’ que le moyen arabe chrétien, des discours de Grégoire de Naziance par exemple, mais qu’il utilise volontiers du pur dialecte, notamment dans les dialogues, mais pas uniquement là. 2. Contexte de l’étude L’étude que nous avons menée2 sur un seul conte — long et complexe peut-être — ne prétend pas couvrir tout le domaine du moyen arabe des Nuits. Nous nous sommes en effet limité, puisqu’il faut bien entamer le morceau par un bout, à ce Conte du Portefaix et des Trois Jeunes Femmes qui est un des plus anciens du recueil (c’est le troisième conte dans tous les manuscrits et éditions que nous avons utilisés ou que nous avons pu vérifier). Il a l’avantage d’être présent dans les deux branches du stemma codicum, la syrienne et l’égyptienne, avec une lacune majeure dans cette dernière toutefois : il s’agit de l’Histoire de l’Envié et de l’Envieux. Il faut cependant noter que ce « récit intercalé » comme dirait Gerhardt3, ne représente que moins de 4% du conte. 2  Nous exprimons ici notre reconnaissance à MM. Grand’Henry et Lentin pour toute l’aide qu’ils nous ont apportée et sans laquelle cette étude n’aurait pu voir le jour. 3  Gerhardt 1963 : 388.

le conte du portefaix et des trois jeunes femmes


ARCHÉTYPE Branche Égyptienne

Branche Syrienne

XVIIe S. F BN Paris


x A BN Paris


y B Vaticane

XVIIIe S. T John Rylands Manchester

XIXe S. Éd. de Būlāq, Calcutta II et Beyrouth

Éd. Calcutta I et Breslau

Fig. 1. Le stemma4

Nous n’avons indiqué, dans ce stemma, que les seuls manuscrits que nous avons effectivement utilisés. Il s’agit, plus particulièrement, des manuscrits A, B et T de la branche syrienne, c.-à-d. tous, à l’exclusion du manuscrit T1 qui est une simple copie de T. Ces trois manuscrits sont assez proches l’un de l’autre. Le schéma suggère cependant qu’ils ne descendent pas l’un de l’autre. Nous mentionnerons en outre, dans cette branche, la première édition de Calcutta de 1814, réalisée sur base du manuscrit T1, de même que l’édition de Breslau, dont les premiers tomes datent de 1824. Cette dernière relève toutefois d’une supercherie, parce qu’elle déclare être l’édition d’un certain manuscrit de Tunis5, qui n’existe pas, alors qu’elle est tirée, pour l’essentiel, du manuscrit de Galland, ou de ses descendants tardifs, avec des altérations volontaires ou des emprunts à d’autres manuscrits là où celui de Galland est par trop difficile à déchiffrer. La branche égyptienne n’est représentée que par son plus ancien témoin, le manuscrit F, et c’est le seul que nous ayons utilisé dans cette branche. Celle-ci en comporte cependant beaucoup d’autres ainsi que des éditions anciennes, notamment l’édition de Būlāq de 1835, la seconde édition de Calcutta de 1839, qui n’a rien à voir avec la première, ainsi que, beaucoup plus récemment, l’édition des Jésuites de Beyrouth de 1888 (de

 Nous avons simplifié le stemma proposé par Mahdi : 1984 : I, 30.  Habicht 1825 : iii.

4 5


bruno halflants

loin la plus chaste!). Toutes celles-ci sont largement basées sur la branche égyptienne avec beaucoup d’emprunts à la branche syrienne et à d’autres sources de contes, jusqu’à la traduction de contes composés par Antoine Galland6, qui trouvent parfois eux-mêmes leur source dans des récits qui lui avaient été apportés, ou même simplement relatés. Outre que nous nous limitions à un seul conte, nous avons voulu circonscrire notre étude à la langue d’un seul manuscrit que nous avons édité dans ce but7. Il s’agit du manuscrit de Galland8. Celui-ci est le plus ancien manuscrit connu des Mille et Une Nuits, en excluant le fragment découvert par Abbott en 19499, au sujet duquel on lira avec intérêt les considérations émises par Georges Khoury10, dont nous reprenons quelques éléments dans notre livre. C’est ce manuscrit qui a servi de base à la traduction du même Antoine Galland, fort peu fidèle au texte du reste. Il est conservé à la bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Nous n’allons pas entrer ici dans la discussion, dans la polémique dirions-nous, au sujet de sa datation : notre livre expose plus largement le sujet et nous nous contenterons de dire, pudiquement, qu’il date des XIVe–XVe siècles. Notre édition a évidemment requis de très fréquentes références aux deux autres manuscrits principaux de la branche syrienne, et nombre de références au manuscrit principal de la branche égyptienne, pour ne pas parler des autres manuscrits et éditions auxquels nous avons fait sporadiquement appel pour noter un détail ou, exceptionnellement, pour en reprendre la leçon. Une utilisation plus intensive de ces documents n’était pas pertinente pour l’objet du livre. Elle aurait au contraire amoindri la pureté de la source utilisée et donc, des conclusions que l’on pouvait tirer de son examen, notamment en ce qui concerne la datation des phénomènes grammaticaux évoqués. Mais ces documents, encore que secondaires pour l’objet poursuivi, offrent parfois d’intéressantes variantes, dont nous offrons ici un exemple.

 Mahdi 1994 : 31–2.  On verra plus loin dans cet exposé pourquoi l’édition critique de Mahdi ne pouvait suffire, nécessitant une édition particulière du manuscrit de Galland.  8  La bibliographie précise les références des manuscrits utilisés.  9  Abbott 1949 : 153. 10  Khoury 1994 : 21–33.  6  7

le conte du portefaix et des trois jeunes femmes


‫ت ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ 1. A, B, T, F : �‫لـك را ب‬ ‫ و��د ع�ل� تم� ا � ا لم�ا ي��د � �م�ا ت���ق���ع�د الا ع��ل� ار ب��ع�ه وا ن�� ��ـ��م�ا � ــ‬: ‘vous avez ‫م‬ ‫م ع‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ­cependant dû apprendre que la table servie n’est stable que sur quatre (pieds sous-entendu) alors que chez vous il n’y a pas de quatrième’ (36 v, 12)11. ّ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ 2. Calcutta I br .syr .tardive . . . ‫كا � ا � ب�ل���ي� ت� ار ب��ع��ة‬ � ‫ ا � ار‬: ‘qu’une maison a quatre coins (piliers, appuis)’. ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ 3. Br. égypt. Būlāq . . . ‫ ا � ا لم ن���ا ر� لا ت��ث��ب� ت� الا ع��لى ار ب��ع��ة‬: ‘que le minaret ne tient ferme que sur quatre (angles, coins)’. Ou serait-ce ‘le phare’, celui ٌّ d’Alexandrie dont Ibn Baṭṭūṭa dit �‫?ب�ن��ا ء  �مر ب‬ ‫ع‬ La seconde limitation, à un seul manuscrit, est donc essentielle pour l’objet du livre, tandis que la première, à un seul conte, est simplement restrictive. Et cette remarque n’est pas accessoire puisque nous avons pu constater, dans les embryons d’études existant sur le sujet, notamment dans l’introduction de M. Mahdi à sa remarquable édition critique des Mille et Une Nuits de 1984–94, que plusieurs phénomènes, qu’il mentionne comme fréquents, n’interviennent pas ou ne se trouvent que rarement dans le conte retenu. En voici deux exemples où l’on a souligné le mot concerné:

�‫ ف���ق���ا �ل� ت� ل� ا �ل�ع�� ج�و ز� ي�ا �� تس�ى ا ن�ت�ى لا ب�ت� ك‬: ‘mais la vieille �‫��ل�مي���ه ولا � ك‬ 1. Pré-verbe ‫ بِ��ـ‬: ‫ي��ل�م�ك‬ ‫ي‬ me dit : « Ô princesse, tu ne lui parles pas et il ne te parle pas »’ (1 v, 17). ‫� ل � ن ن �ق � � ت ق ن‬ 2. Coalescence : ‫ح� ��ا ل ��ع‬ ‫ ل ا ز �ا ا م�� ا م م���� ا ل�ه‬: ‘je ne cessai point, ô ‫وم �ل ي ير و ي� و �ي‬ ‫م‬ Émir des Croyants, de lui parler jusqu’à ce qu’il dise : « Oui. »’ (69 r, 10). 3. Organisation de la grammaire

L’ouvrage est centré sur une grammaire du langage du Conte du Portefaix dans le manuscrit de Galland, grammaire qui se voudrait un manuel facile à utiliser. C’est pourquoi nous avons tenté de suivre le canevas de A Grammar of Christian Arabic de Joshua Blau12, ouvrage dont l’éloge n’est plus à faire, avec différentes petites adaptations mais avec une modification importante et dictée par l’objet du livre. Nous avons en effet fusionné l’orthographe et la phonétique, d’une part, la morphologie et la syntaxe,  La référence est au manuscrit de Galland.  Blau 1966–67.




bruno halflants

d’autre part. Ceci, simplement parce que, les sources étant ici beaucoup plus restreintes que celles de Joshua Blau, nous avons souhaité éviter au maximum la redondance. Le nombre d’exemples étant plus restreint du fait de la taille du corpus, on aurait risqué, en ne procédant pas de la sorte, de faire trop fréquemment appel aux mêmes citations. Voici en outre quelques règles que nous nous sommes imposées pour faciliter l’usage de ce manuel: – nous avons tenté de mentionner tous les exemples correspondant à chaque ‘règle’ de grammaire. Le texte de l’énoncé est illustré en principe par deux exemples mais tous les autres, c’est tout au moins notre intention, sont repris en note, sous forme de référence précise au texte arabe édité. – pour chaque règle, référence est faite aux principales grammaires ou ouvrages traitant du même sujet. – là où c’était possible, nous avons esquissé un aperçu diachronique du phénomène traité, montrant si celui-ci apparaît déjà dans des textes antérieurs (sur base de ce que disent les différentes grammaires, en fonction du corpus auxquelles elles se réfèrent) ou si le phénomène apparaît pour la première fois dans le moyen arabe des Mille et Une Nuits, ou parfois même si celui-ci a survécu dans les dialectes contemporains. Exemple : la forme II/X (Hary 1992 : 287 note 135) ʾistanna = attendre, au lieu ‫ظ‬ du classique ‫ا ن�ت����ر‬. Cette forme existe actuellement en Afrique du Nord, en Égypte et en Orient (Halloun13, Elihai14, Barthélemy15). Son origine possible remonterait au XIIe–XIIIe s.

4. Quelques exemples caractéristiques du Moyen Arabe des Mille et Une Nuits On voit différentes formes du féminin pluriel, cohabitant dans le même manuscrit, parfois dans la même phrase. ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ را � ت� ف� �ص�د ا �ل��ق�����ص ��ع�� ن‬: ‘et je vis, au cœur du palais, 1. ‫كا ���ه� ا لا ��م�ا ر‬ � ‫ي� ج��ا ري��ه‬ ‫ر‬ �‫و ي ي‬ ‫ر ار ب‬ ‫م‬ quarante jeunes femmes qui étaient comme des lunes’ (62 v, 24–25).  Halloun 1995 : I, 182.  Elihai 1985 : 52. 15  Barthélemy 1935 : 18. 13


le conte du portefaix et des trois jeunes femmes


‫  ف��ا خ�ت�� ت‬: ‘j’en choisis donc une parmi elles qui ���‫� �م ن����ه� ن� واح�د �ة �م�ل��ي‬ 2. ‫ح��ة ا �لو ج��ه‬ ‫ر‬ avait un visage gracieux’ (63 r, 22). ‫ف‬ ‫  ا �ل� ن���ا ت ق ن‬: ‘et les filles culbutaient de rire à ��� � 3. ‫ح�ك ع��ل� ���ع�ل�ه‬ ‫� ��د ا ���ق����ل�بوا �م� ن� ا �ل���ض‬ ‫و �ب‬ ‫ي‬ ce qu’il faisait’ (39 r, 11). ‫ق‬ ‫ن ت ف‬ 4. ‫ وا لا � ل ��عر �� ن� �م� ن� ��د ا �م�ك‬: ‘et maintenant, (comme) vous ne savez pas qui ‫م‬ ‫ م‬en face de vous’ est (66 v, 7). On peut constater aussi la disparition relative du duel, avec deux cas de mélange remarquable des deux formes dans la même phrase.

‫ت ت ق ت ن فخ‬ ‫  ا د ا � �ش�� اره ق��د �ت�ع��قل��� ت� ��� ن‬: ‘voici qu’une étin1. ‫ي� ا ���ا د �ه�ا‬ ���‫ � ��ع��ل���� ب‬...‫ي� ر ج���لي���ه�ا‬ ‫و ب ر‬ ‫ب‬ ‫م‬ celle s’attacha entre ses jambes . . . et s’attacha ensuite entre ses cuisses’ (56 r, ‫ فخ‬20–21). ‫ت‬ ‫ح� ت� ن��ه د �ه�ا غ����س�ل� ت� �م�ا ��� ن‬ � �‫  ت� غ����س�ل� ت‬: ‘puis elle se lava sous les seins, 2. ‫ي�ه�ا‬ �� ‫ي� ���د‬ ‫و‬ ‫ب‬ ‫� �و‬ ‫م‬ elle lava ce qui (est) entre ses deux cuisses’ (38 r, 8). ‫ا خ� �ق ا ا ل ض� �غ‬ ‫�غ‬ 3. ‫ و �ا �ص�ا و ر و ا ر � و �ا ب�ا‬: ‘ils plongèrent tous deux, percèrent la terre et se volatilisèrent’ (55 v, 13). Une troisième série d’exemples montre quelques formes dialectales actuelles et déjà présentes dans le texte.

‫ت‬ 1. ‫�� ت��وا ا �ل��ي ن���ا وا و�ص� ت�ل�وا ا د ي�ت��ك ا �ل��ي ن���ا‬ ‫ وا لا خ�ر ��عر �ض‬: ‘et, en finale, vous vous êtes mêlés ‫م‬ de nos affaires et vous avez amené votre nuisance chez nous’ (43 r, 11–12). Bel exemple de la forme en -tum qui passe en -tū, sans doute apparue timidement entre les XIIe et XIVe siècles, puisque Blau n’en parle pas pour les textes plus anciens, tandis que Hary la mentionne pour des textes plus récents16 et qu’elle est toujours vivante dans les dialectes. Elle n’apparaît que 3 fois dans le texte du conte. ‫�ق‬ ‫ف‬ � 2. ‫ح ب���ه‬ ‫��د ب�ي� ي�ا‬ ‫ ���ق���ا ل ا �ل�ع��ف��ري� ت� ت� �ك‬: ‘l’ʿifrīt rétorqua : « Tu mens, ô putain. »’ (49 v, 7). ‫ت‬ ‫��� ن‬ �‫ و‬...‫ ��ا ا خ�ت�ى ا ي� ش��� ���س��ت ن�وا ا د خ���لوا‬: 3. �‫ي‬ ‫ح��طى �ع� ن� �ه�د ا ا لم��س �ك‬ ‫‘ ي‬ô ma sœur, qu’attendezvous? Entrez . . . et (toi) décharge de cela le malheureux.’ (35 v, 24–25). 5. Matières traitées Pour ce qui est de l’organisation générale du livre, il comporte assez logiquement une Introduction qui fait les rappels nécessaires concernant le  Hary 1992 : 289.



bruno halflants

moyen arabe, qui donne l’explication de la sélection des sources et un résumé des spécificités essentielles du moyen arabe des Mille et Une Nuits. En second lieu vient la Grammaire, précédée de tableaux classant les grammaires et ouvrages de référence suivant la période couverte par leurs sources. En troisième section, on trouvera le Texte, précédé de sa méthode d’édition, un peu particulière puisqu’il ne s’agit pas d’une édition critique au sens classique du terme, et sa traduction française littérale, précédée également d’un exposé de la méthode. Cet ensemble est alors complété par des annexes : un survol de l’histoire du recueil, le schéma du conte, un bref commentaire sur les principales traductions auxquelles nous nous sommes référés et une analyse de l’édition critique de M. Mahdi, sur laquelle nous revenons ci-après. Le tout est inévitablement suivi d’une Bibliographie, de trois Index assez fouillés, surtout en ce qui concerne la grammaire, ainsi que d’une Table des Matières, bien détaillée également dans le même but, évidemment, de faciliter la consultation de cette partie essentielle de ’ouvrage. 6. Édition critique de Mahdi Nous revenons à l’analyse de l’édition critique de Mahdi. C’est là en effet que réside la raison pour laquelle il était impératif de faire une nouvelle édition du texte. L’objectif de Mahdi peut en effet se résumer, pour ce qui nous intéresse, de la façon suivante : faire une édition critique, essentiellement de la branche syrienne des manuscrits, avec le manuscrit de Galland comme base. Mahdi suit pas mal ce programme, avec quelques réserves que l’on trouvera dans l’annexe précitée. La démarche de Mahdi est donc excellente dans son principe, mais elle n’est pas vraiment pertinente pour notre objectif parce que sa méthode mène Mahdi à corriger le manuscrit de Galland suivant les autres manuscrits ou parfois suivant son propre jugement. De plus, l’apparat critique devrait rendre compte de tout cela, permettant ainsi de reconstituer Galland. Mais ce n’est malheureusement pas le cas, car les corrections apportées sont loin d’y être toutes consignées. Voici quelques exemples de ces lacunes: ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ 1. Galland ُ‫ �ي� و ج��ه‬, Mahdi ‫  �ي� و ج��ه‬: (qu’il est beau, son regard), ‘dans son visage’ (50 v, 24).

le conte du portefaix et des trois jeunes femmes


‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ 2. Galland ‫ور ر ���بت���ه‬, Mahdi ‫ ور �م� ت� ر ���بت���ه‬: ‘jusqu’à faire enfler son cou’ (38 ‫م‬ v, 16). ‫  ن‬: ‘ils étaient enfants de rois’ (66 r, 25). 3. Galland ‫كا ن�وا ولا د‬ � , Mahdi ‫كا �وا ا ولا د‬ � ‫� �ت‬ ‫� �ت‬ 4. Galland ‫وا ��س�هر موا‬, Mahdi ‫ وا ��س�هر مو‬: ‘vous avez rendu insomniaques’ (mes paupières) (2 v, 6). ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � , Mahdi ‫ح� ن ر ��س� ا لم�ل�ك‬ � � 5. Galland ‫ح� ن� ر ��س�ل �ل�ل�م�ل�ك‬ ‫ � � ل‬: ‘nous sommes des envoyés au roi’ (suprême, le roi de l’Inde) (47 v, 5–6). Ceci est évidemment inacceptable lorsque l’objectif poursuivi est précisément l’examen de ce manuscrit. Conclusion Nous espérons que cette contribution incitera des lecteurs à étendre l’étude de ce moyen arabe musulman très particulier qu’est le moyen arabe des Mille et Une Nuits à d’autres contes, voire à l’ensemble du recueil des Nuits dans le manuscrit de Galland, ou dans d’autres manuscrits de la branche syrienne ou de la branche égyptienne. Le faire pour l’ensemble des manuscrits simultanément, poserait un problème presque insurmontable vu les divergences importantes qui existent, notamment avec des manuscrits plus tardifs. Et nous avons ajouté que ces derniers comptaient parfois des contes qui n’existaient pas dans les manuscrits plus anciens, et que certains des ces récits étaient même parfois apocryphes ou faux. On comprend aisément combien certaines études, basées sur des éditions douteuses ou des traductions tendancieuses de manuscrits éventuellement inexistants, peuvent mener à des conclusions fausses. On peut citer comme exemplaire l’ouvrage publié par Madame LahyHollebecque en 1927 : Le Féminisme de Schéhérazade, la Révélation des Mille et Une Nuits, dans lequel l’auteur déclare « qu’experte en l’art d’instruire, Schéhérazade procédera par degré. Sa démarche suivra cette évolution de l’enfant, qui est en partie aussi celle de la civilisation et qui va de l’éducation des sens à la formation du cœur et de l’esprit. » Elle explique l’évolution des relations amoureuses du roi Sharyar avec Schéhérazade qui, d’assez bestiales au début, deviendraient franchement courtoises ensuite, tirant cette interprétation de la traduction de Mardrus qui, malgré son indéniable intérêt, manque totalement de fidélité aux manuscrits. Cette analyse méconnaît de plus le caractère de ce genre de récits qui, pour crus qu’ils soient, ne sont cependant ni réellement érotiques . . . ni surtout psychologiques.


bruno halflants Références Manuscrits et éditions (on a localisé un exemplaire de celles-ci) de référence

A (‫)ا‬, Ms. arabe 3609 à 3611, 3 vol., Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Datation : XIVe–XVe siècle. Nom : Manuscrit de Galland. De Slane 1883–1895 : 619. B (�‫) ب‬, Ms. arabe 782, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana. Datation : XVe–XVIe siècle. Nom : Manuscrit du Vatican. Levi della Vida 1935 : 74–75. ‫ف‬ F (��), Ms. arabe 3612, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Datation : XVIIe siècle. Nom : Copie Maillet. De Slane 1883–1895 : 619. ‫) ت‬, ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla, ms. 647 arab, John Rylands Library of Manchester. Datation : T (� 1750–1771. Nom : Copie Russell. Mingana 1934 : 886. C1, The Arabian Nights Entertainment. Edition de Calcutta I, de 1814 à 1818. (Bodleian Library, Oxford). C2, ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla. Edition de Calcutta II (Mac Naghten), de 1839 à 1842. (Bodleian Library, Oxford). H, Dr Maximilian Habicht, Tausend und Eine Nacht Arabisch Nach einer Handschrift aus Tunis Herausgegeben von. . . . Edition de Breslau, de 1824 à 1843. Tome I, Breslau, 1825. (Bibliothèque de l’Université de Liège). J, ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla. Edition Catholique des Jésuites de Beyrouth, de 1888. (Bibliothèque Orientaliste, Université de Louvain-la-Neuve). M, Musin Mahdi, Kitāb ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla min ʾUṣūlihi al-ʿArabīya al-ʾŪlā.- Tome I, Texte et‫ق‬Introduction. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1984. Q1 (�), ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla. Edition Būlāq I, de 1835. (British Museum Library, London). Autres ouvrages de référence Abbott, N. 1949. ‘A Ninth-Century Fragment of the “Thousand Nights”: New Light on the Early History of the Arabian Nights’. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 8. 129–164. Barthélemy, A. 1935–1969. Dictionnaire Arabe-Français. Dialectes de Syrie : Alep, Damas, Liban, Jérusalem. Paris : Librairie orientaliste Paul Geuthner. Blau, Joshua. 1966–1967. A Grammar of Christian Arabic Based Mainly on South-Palestinian Texts from the First Millennium. 3 vol. Louvain : Secrétariat du Corpus SCO (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 267, 276, 279 ; Subsidia 27–29). Elihai, Y. 1985. Dictionnaire de l’arabe parlé palestinien : français-arabe. Paris : Ed. Klincksieck (1re éd. 1973). Gerhardt, M.I. 1963. The Art of Storytelling: A literary Study of the Thousand and One Nights. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Halflants, B. 2007. Le Conte du Portefaix et des Trois Jeunes Femmes dans le manuscrit de Galland (XIVe–XVe siècles), Édition, traduction et Étude du Moyen Arabe d’un conte des Mille et Une Nuits. Louvain-la-Neuve : Université Catholique de Louvain Institut Orientaliste (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 55). Halloun, M. 1995. Cours d’Arabe Parlé Palestinien, 2 vol. Paris : L’Asiathèque, Langues du Monde. Hary, B.H. 1992. Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic, with an edition, translation and grammatical study of the Cairene Purim scroll. Leiden : E. J. Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 14). Khoury, R.G. 1994. ‘L’apport de la papyrologie dans la transmission et codification des premières versions des Mille et Une Nuits’. E. Weber (éd), Les Mille et Une Nuits, contes sans frontière. Toulouse : AMAM, Université de Toulouse-le Mirail. 21–33. Lahy-Hollebecque, M. 1927. Le Féminisme de Schéhérazade, la Révélation des Mille et Une Nuits. Paris : Ed. Radot.

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Mahdi, M. 1984, 1984, 1994. Kitāb ʾAlf Layla wa-Layla min ʾUṣūlihi al-ʿArabīya al-ʾŪlā., Tome I : Texte et Introduction (en arabe), tome II : Apparat critique et données sur les manuscrits (en arabe), tome III : Introduction et Errata sur les différents volumes (en anglais). Leiden : E. J. Brill. Mardrus, J.C. 1980. Les Mille et Une Nuits. Paris : Robert Laffont (Bouquins). (Édition originale 1899–1904).

Judeo-Arabic as a Mixed Language1 Benjamin Hary Summary: This paper examines Judeo-Arabic, the language of Arabic-speaking Jews, as a mixed language in the context of the Jewish linguistic spectrum. Judeo-Arabic is a mixed religiolect that contains elements of Classical and post-Classical Arabic, dialectal components, pseudocorrections, pseudocorrections that have become standardized, as well as elements of Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary and grammar. The essay investigates the inclusion of these elements in Judeo-Arabic, using especially the texts of the šarḥ—a literary genre of translations of Hebrew (and Aramaic) religious sacred texts into Judeo-Arabic that developed especially from the fifteenth century onwards.

1. Introduction Mixed languages are not a unique phenomenon. In fact, all languages are mixed to some degree. English, which started to be used by Germanic tribes (such as the Angles, Saxons, Frisians, and Jutes), and although belonging to the Western Germanic language family, has been influenced by both Germanic and Old French features as a consequence of the invasion to the British Island in the eighth and ninth century as well as the Norman invasion of the eleventh century respectively. 2. Jewish-Defined Religiolects as Mixed Language Varieties Jewish-defined religiolects2 are a prime example of mixed language varieties. A religiolect is a language variety with its own history and development, which is used by a religious community. A Jewish religiolect is a spoken and/or written variety employed by the Jewish population of a specific area, although later it may also expand to other communities and areas. Jewish religiolects in general share the common feature of including and incorporating Hebrew and Aramaic components in them as part of being mixed language varieties. These components are found not only in 1  An earlier version of this essay was read at the Second Symposium of the Association Internationale du Moyen-Arabe (AIMA), held in Amsterdam in October 2007. I thank the participants for their valuable comments. A fuller version of this topic is treated in Hary 2009. 2  For a discussion of the term Jewish-defined religiolects, see Hary 2009: 18–19 and HaryWein (2013).


benjamin hary

the religious and cultural sphere, but in the entire lexicon, as well as in the phonology, morphology, and syntax. For example, in Jewish English, Hebrew words such as ‫‘ הלכה‬Jewish law,’ ‫‘ כשר‬kosher,’ and ‫‘ דרש‬drash’ (a biblical interpretation) take the English morphemes -ic, -ally, -ed, and -ing to create the following respectively: halakhically ‘as far as Jewish law is concerned,’ non-hekhshered ‘(food) without a rabbinic seal of kashrut,’ kashering ‘rendering (vessels and kitchen surfaces) kosher,’ and drashing ‘presenting a (biblical) interpretation’ (Benor 2009). In addition, JudeoItalian speakers and writers insert Hebrew roots into Italian paradigms, such as /paxad/ ‘be afraid,’ /paxadoso/ ‘timid,’ and /impaxadito/ ‘scared,’ using the Hebrew root p-ḥ-d for ‘be afraid.’ Another example from JudeoItalian is the verb /gannavyare/ ‘to steal,’ based on the Hebrew root g-n-v ‘steal’ along with Italian grammatical morphemes, as in the sentence guarda che non gannavi ‘watch that she does not steal (from you).’ The Jews of Rome for the last one hundred years and until today call the police Ajurvedde, from Hebrew aleph-bet, as the number to call the police is 12, although this is not in use among other Italian Jews. In Jewish Malayalam, speakers use Hebrew lexemes with Malayalam forms: /sāṟappĕṭṭu/ ‘suffered, got into trouble’ consists of /sāṟa/ ‘trouble,’ taken from Hebrew ‫ צרה‬and followed by /pĕṭṭu/ (past of /pĕṭ-/); /śālomāyi/ ‘died’ includes /śālom/ ‘peace,’ taken from Hebrew ‫ שלום‬and followed by /āyi/ ‘to be’ (past of /āk-/) (Gamliel 2008). Finally, in Judeo-Spanish, the Hebrew roots š-ḥ-d ‘bribe,’ k-f-r ‘deny, be heretic,’ and d-r-š ‘interpret, expound’ take Spanish patterns to form the following Judeo-Spanish verbs: ‫ שוחאדיאר‬/ šohadear/ ‘to bribe,’ ‫ קאפראר‬/kafrar/ ‘to deny the existence of God’, and ‫ דארסאר‬/‫ דארשאר‬/daršar/ or /darsar/ ‘to interpret’ (Hary 1999: 74 n. 17).3 3. Arabic Varieties The same holds true for many different varieties of Arabic, which feature some degree of mixture. For example, there is no surprise that the Arab population of Israel has tended increasingly to use Hebraisms in their everyday speech, mostly because of the influence of Hebrew, the language of the majority, on their daily life. The use of this interference can be examined from two theoretical directions. In what I termed ‘Direction A’ (Hary 1999; Hary 2009: 144ff) Hebrew is the recipient language and Arabic is the source or primary language.  I thank Ora Schwartzwald, personal communication.


judeo-arabic as a mixed language


Hebrew components experience interference from Arabic and they may accept and encourage this interference or resist it, but they are incorporated fully into the Arabic, taking on Arabic structure. For example, this direction occurs when the Hebrew verbal root š-m-r ‘guard’ takes Arabic verbal pattern to result in /byušmur/ ‘he guards.’ Furthermore, Hebrew /tsimer/ ‘Bed and Breakfast,’ which itself comes into Hebrew from German, takes in Palestinian Israeli Arabic4 the plural Arabic morpheme /āt/ to arrive at /tsimerāt/. In other words, while the root may come from or via Hebrew, the morphemes used are still Arabic. In ‘Direction B,’ on the other hand, Arabic is the recipient language while Hebrew is the source or primary language. In this direction Arabic experiences interference from Hebrew. Arabic then may accept and encourage or resist this interference from Hebrew, thus in this direction the Hebrew components may appear in Arabic “as is” without taking on the Arabic structure. For example, the Hebrew noun /yiʿuts/ ‘academic advising’ is transferred into the Arabic “as is” in /biddi aʿmal yiʿuts/ ‘I would like to ask for academic advising.’ In this case Arabic experiences interference from Hebrew, therefore leaving the Hebrew noun untouched. Sometimes, Direction B goes even further when Arabic adopts the Hebrew structure as in the proper name /máxmud/ ‘Mahmoud.’ Arabic /maḥmūd/ underwent phonological changes influenced by the Hebrew phonological system: the stress on the first syllable and the shift of /ḥ/ > /x/ that occurred in Hebrew and transferred in Direction B into Palestinian Israeli Arabic. In other words, Direction B does not use Arabic morphemes and makes the use of Hebrew structure more apparent.5 4. The Mixed Elements of Judeo-Arabic Judeo-Arabic is no exception in that it also features mixed elements. It is a religiolect that has been spoken and written in various forms by Jews throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Judeo-Arabic literature deals for the most part with Jewish topics, and is written by Jews for a Jewish readership. Several important features distinguish it from other varieties of Arabic. These include a mixture of elements of Classical and post-­Classical 4  I term Palestinian Israeli Arabic the dialect spoken by Palestinians, citizens of Israel, whose language varieties come into close contact with Hebrew and are influenced by the latter (and also influence it). 5  For a comprehensive discussion of the Hebrew components in Palestinian Arabic and especially in the language of Israeli Druze, see Geva Kleinberger-Hary 2010.


benjamin hary

Arabic, dialectal components, pseudocorrections, and pseudocorrections that have become standardized. Judeo-Arabic also possesses a number of specific additional sociolinguistic and sociocultural features that set it apart: the use of Hebrew rather than Arabic characters, various traditions of Judeo-Arabic orthography, elements of Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary and grammar, and Hebraism, or the style of the šarḥ in Judeo-Arabic texts.6 Judeo-Arabic is then the meeting point of Classical Arabic, Arabic dialects, Hebrew, and Aramaic. This mixing of linguistic elements places Judeo-Arabic in an interesting position to examine sociolinguistic features such as continuglossia,7 language continuum, code-mixing and codeswitching,8 registers and style, and language or dialects in contact. Judeo-Arabic—with its long history—is a branch of Middle Arabic on two levels. On the chronological level, its earlier periods, including Classical Judeo-Arabic,9 are from medieval time. On the structural level, JudeoArabic along all of its history includes a mixture of varieties of Classical and post-Classical Arabic, Arabic dialects, pseudocorrections and their standardization as well as strong influence of Hebrew and Aramaic. This makes Judeo-Arabic a perfect variety to examine the mix nature of Middle Arabic. For example, in Later Judeo-Arabic some authors use /ʾilā/ ‘to’ as a syntactic marker for the definite direct object, in imitation of the Hebrew accusative marker ‫ את‬/ʾet/ in Hebrew, a feature not found in non-Jewish Arabic varieties. Furthermore, in the Judeo-Arabic dialect of Peqī‘īn the Hebrew root ’-t-t ‘signal’ is used in an Arabic verbal pattern, /biʾáttit/ ‘(he) sends signals’ (Geva Kleinberger 2005: 50).

6  The šarḥ is a genre composed of literal translations of Jewish religious sacred texts from Hebrew and Aramaic into Judeo-Arabic. The reference here is to the style of this genre, characterized by Hebrew and/or Aramaic interference. Another term for this style is ‘Hebraism.’ 7  The term continuuglossia was introduced in Hary 2003 with the use of two u’s. In Hary 2009 I used continuglossia with one u to reflect the Latin origin more properly (I thank Michiel Klein Swormink, personal communication). The term is largely meant to replace diglossia (Ferguson 1959) by emphasizing that a continuum describes the situation better than a dichotomy. In the case of Arabic, rather than stressing a contrast between standard and colloquial Arabic, the proposed term refers to an imaginary continuum on which the Arabic varieties are located. 8  Mazraani (1997: 8–9) distinguished between code-mixing (a mixture of a single utterance) and code-switching (a mixture of sections as a discourse function). Bassiouney offers a good discussion of the terms but does not find the distinction useful (2009: 30). 9  On the periodization of Judeo-Arabic, see Hary 2009: 32ff.

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


5. The Šarḥ The literary genre of the šarḥ (pl. šurūḥ), which is prevalent in JudeoArabic texts especially from the fifteenth century onward, is especially interesting vis-à-vis its mixed elements. This genre is the literal translations of Hebrew (and Aramaic) religious sacred texts into Judeo-Arabic. The texts may include the Hebrew Bible, the oral tradition of the Talmud, the Siddur—the prayer book, Passover Haggadah, Midrashic literature, and Pirke ʾAvot, the basic literature of moral and religious teachings during Second Temple times and following its destruction. In general, Judeo-Arabic draws from Hebrew and is influenced by it. The texts of the šarḥ, however, are different in that they do not only draw from Hebrew, but are somewhat based and dependent upon it. The šurūḥ exemplify many of the mixed elements. Beside elements of Classical and post-Classical Arabic, we view many elements of the spoken variety, for example, Egyptian šurūḥ present the /nafʿal/-/nafʿalu/ imperfect pattern, ‫נערפ‬ ֗ ‫ אנה‬/ana niʿraf/ (ms. 93 88,610 and more) ‘I know’; ‫ נכונו‬/nakūnu/ (ms. 3 2,7) ‘we will’; ‫ נגִ מסו‬/niġmasu/ (ms. 93 13,2) ‘we dip’; ‫ נאכלו‬/naklu/ (ms. 91 8b,1; 93 13,4) ‘we eat’; ‫ נשרבו‬/nišrabu/ (ms. 93 13,7) ‘we drink’ (Hary 2009: 118–119). We also discern pseudocorrections embedded into the text, such as the writing of hamza with a qof: ‫ אל קסאוויר‬/il-ʾasāwir/ (ms. 15 3a,15) ‘wrist-hands; bracelets’ and ‫ ונסקל‬/wi-nisʾal/ (ms. 15 4a,16) ‘and we will ask’; ‫ שקול‬/šaʾūl/ (ms. 15 21a,10) ‘Shaul’; ‫ לק‬/lāʾ/ (ms. 15 3a,4) ‘no’ (Hary 2009: 137–143). At times, these features are standardized to be part of the text, such as the lam preceding a perfect verb, for example, ‫ לם קולת‬/lam ʾult/ (ms. 3 5,14) ‘I did not say’. Hebrew and Aramaic elements are also a big part of the texts: the formation of Judeo-Arabic words with Hebrew roots and Arabic patterns: ‫ ולם זכית‬/wi-lam zakēt/ (ms. 3 3,19) ‘and I did not gain.’11 In this example, the Hebrew root z-k-y is used in the first form in Judeo-Arabic, thus generating the verb /zakēt/. Another example is the Judeo-Arabic ‫ ולם עלה יד מוחרק‬/wi-lam ʿala yad muḥraʾ/ (ms. 3 11,11) that translates the Haggadah text ‫‘ ולא על ידי שרף‬and not by the means  Here I quote from manuscript #93, folio 88, line 6. This manuscript, as well as mss. 3, 74, and 91, are Passover Haggadot with Egyptian Judeo-Arabic translations from the Cairo Collection (Hary 2009: 63–65), located at the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in the National Library in Jerusalem. Ms. 15 is a partial šarḥ of the Torah and is located at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 11  This sentence actually translates literally the Hebrew ‫ולא זכיתי‬. Henshke (2007: 229) thinks that since the verb /žka/ is so prevalent in Tunisia, the root may have not come from Hebrew. 10


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of a seraph (angel).’ In this example ‫‘ שרף‬angel’ is translated as though it derived from the Hebrew root ś-r-f ‘burn,’ resulting in ‫מוחרק‬, which derives from the Arabic root ḥ-r-q ‘burn.’ The word ‫‘ מוחרק‬burner’ in fact has little to do with ‘angel.’ This example represents the use of a calque translation in the religiolect (Hary 2009: 178–181). 6. Previous Studies on the Šarḥ In recent years many studies on the genesis, development and nature of the šarḥ in Judeo-Arabic appeared. In previous publications I attempted to address the phenomenon of the šarḥ through the eyes of the šarḥanim and their work. Consequently, the translators’/interpreters’ struggle between their desire to render the text literally or interpretively is evident on a literal/interpretive scale. On the one hand, the šarḥanim felt the need to follow the long tradition of verbatim biblical translations, such as the Septuagint, Onkelos and the like. They were also committed to deliver a text that would fit pedagogical needs of word for word translation. Furthermore, literal translations helped the šarḥanim and the readers/users strengthen and reconnect to their Jewish identity. This method of translation, in turn, created many un-Arabic sentences almost not comprehensible to regular native speakers. The resulting Judeo-Arabic structure may have been perceived strange by speakers and readers of the religiolect since the Arabic word becomes subject to the Hebrew equivalent and consequently the šarḥanim ran the risk of inserting grammatical structures into the translations which were not usual in Arabic. On the other hand, the šarḥanim of the fifteenth century and onwards felt the need to interpret the text from time to time and not follow blindly the model of literal translation. This is why they substituted words, composed paraphrases and added flavor from the local dialect. This way, they wanted to make sure that their translation would be understood and not just become a flat reflection of the Hebrew/Aramaic text. 7. The Literal/Interpretive Tension In sum, the šarḥanim were dealing with a constant literal/interpretive linguistic tension (Hary 1995: 84). I demonstrated this tension in several linguistic categories and tried to show how it works. For example, in the T-M-A category, I showed how the šarḥan may translate the Hebrew par-

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


ticiple in ‫‘ אנו אוכלין‬we eat’ (from the Passover Haggadah) literally into Judeo-Arabic ‫( אחנה ואכלין‬ms. 3) with the participle there too. On the other hand, in other manuscripts (mss. 74, 93) he translated the same phrase as ‫ אחנה נאכלו‬with the Judeo-Arabic imperfect form indicating colloquial Egyptian Judeo-Arabic use, a tendency toward interpretive translation which backs away from the literal mode (Hary 1995: 86–92). In figure 1 the above-mentioned examples are shown on a scale sketching the interpretive/literal tension in the T-M-A category:


Literal ‫אחנה נאכלו‬

‫אחנה ואכלין‬

Figure 1

8. The Complexity of the Analysis Let us consider an example from Exodus 18:19, ‫עתה שמע בקולי איעצך‬ which is translated ִ‫‘ דלווקתי אסמע ֗פי קולי אשורך‬now listen to me, I will give you advice.’ When we first examine this example, on the surface it looks as if the translation is literal: each word in Hebrew has a JudeoArabic equivalent in the same order. Figure 2 shows it on the scale:


‫אםמﬠ פֺ י קולי‬


Figure 2

Upon a closer look, however, there are several traces of the verbatim nature of the translation of this example and at the same time several traces of its interpretive tendency. In other words, figure 2 does not reflect the complexity of the interpretive/literal tension, because it does not show how elements in the phrase pull it in opposite directions on the continuum. The translation ‫ אסמע ֗פי קולי‬uses the word-for-word technique which indeed points to the verbatim nature of the translation


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(figure 3/1); however, at the same time the meaning of the Hebrew phrase ‫ שמע בקולי‬is only ‘listen to me.’ In the šarḥ, the translation ‫אסמע ֗פי‬ ‫ קולי‬has an interpretive tendency (figure 3/2), because it does not render exactly ‘listen to me,’ but rather more like ‘hear my words.’ This interpretive tendency is also evident in the Protestant Arabic trans‫ت‬ lation of the Hebrew Bible in �‫‘ ا ��س���م �ل���صو �ي‬hear my voice’ or �‫‘ ا ��س���م �ل��ق��و لي‬hear ‫ع‬ ‫ع‬ my words.’ In Saʿadya’s tafsīr, however, we can see the literal tendency as he tried to capitulate the original Hebrew meaning in his translation of ‫‘ אקבל מני‬take it from me’ in most of the cases. Furthermore, if we observe the Hebrew word ‫‘ קול‬voice,’ we see the verbatim nature of the translation, as the šarḥan copied the Hebrew word into the Judeo-Arabic translation. The word exists in Arabic but with a different meaning, ‘word, speech.’ The šarḥan preferred here to use a Hebrew word in an Arabic dress in order to preserve the originality of the Hebrew text (figure 3/3). In other places in Exodus, however, the šarḥan did not do that but chose to use regular Judeo-Arabic words: Hebrew ‫קול‬ is rendered as ‫ חס‬/ḥiss/or as ‫ צות‬/ṣōt/ ‘voice.’ Another feature can be seen in the translation of the Hebrew preposition ‫‘ ב‬in’ into the Judeo-Arabic preposition ‫ ֗פי‬, a regular Arabic use not choosing the Arabic preposition /bi/ similar to the Hebrew, thus moving toward the interpretive end of the scale (figure 3/4). In sum, the way to clarify the complexity is then by not only examining the phrase as a whole, but also study its parts. Figures 3/1–3/4 demonstrate such an analysis:

Interpretive (word-for-word translation)

Literal ‫אםמﬠ פֺ י קולי‬

Figure 3–1. The Phrase Continuum

Interpretive (the meaning of the phrase) ‫אםמﬠ פֺ י קולי‬

Figure 3–2. The Lexical Continuum I


judeo-arabic as a mixed language

Interpretive (choice of word)


Literal ‫קול‬

Figure 3–3. The Lexical Continuum II

Interpretive (choice of preposition)

‫פֺ י‬


Figure 3–4. The Morphosyntactic Continuum

Our analysis of the example ‫ אסמע ֗פי קולי‬reveals the complexity of the analysis of the literal/interpretive tension in the šarḥ. It is clear that the framework used in the past is insufficient. Using previous methods of analysis, the arrow in figure 2 approaches the literal end. In figures 3, on the other hand, using this new approach, the arrow changes its placing on the continuum from 3/1 through 3/4. In other words, if the phrase ‫אסמע‬ ‫ ֗פי קולי‬is treated as a whole only, as was done in previous analyses, we will lose the linguistic traces left by the šarḥanim when they were translating the text and struggling with the literal and the interpretive tendencies. In the past, scholars who wrote on this issue have provided different examples in each category (tense, definiteness, number, and more); however, never has an analysis of different categories in the same example been employed. In the framework adopted here (and in greater detail in Hary 2009), I take each example and show how the linguistic tension is evident simultaneously in different linguistic levels. For instance, the phrase ‫ אסמע ֗פי קולי‬can be placed both closer to the literal end (figure 3/1) and closer to the interpretive end (figure 3/2), depending on which linguistic level and component (phrase12 level and syntactic structure or lexical level and meaning, respectively) we examine. Further down on the word level, ‫ קולי‬is closer to the literal end (figure 3/3), while on the 12  Here and elsewhere in the article the term phrase refers to elements of sentence structure above the word level, including clauses and syntactic phrases, in accordance with the general meaning of phrase.


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morphosyntactic level, the preposition ‫ ֗פי‬is closer to the interpretive end (figure 3/4). 9. Head-to-Toe Scanning The analysis discussed in the previous section demonstrates how each word and phrase in the šarḥ must be scanned from head to toe at four basic linguistic levels: the phrase level, the word level, the morphosyntactic level, and the segment level. The purpose of the scan is to reveal traces of the šarḥan’s work, as these are the data at our disposal. From such traces one can make inferences about the linguistic dilemmas which had to be resolved during the process of translation. For example, the Hebrew word ‫‘ תורה‬Torah’ in the Haggadah is translated in three different ways: ‫( תורה‬for example in ms. 74 22,13), ‫( טורה‬for example in ms. 93 90,12) and ‫( שריעה‬for example in ms. 3 16,22). The translation of the Hebrew ‫תורה‬ into the Judeo-Arabic ‫ שריעה‬is a trace which points to the phenomenon of choice of word from the lexicon at the word level, as the šarḥan had the choice of other possibilities (‫ תורה‬and ‫ )טורה‬which can be found elsewhere in the šarḥ. The choice of ‫ שריעה‬bears witness to the interpretive tendency (figure 4/1). A different choice of word is the Judeo-Arabic ‫תורה‬, which is the exact copy of the Hebrew ‫תורה‬, indicating a literal tendency (figure 4/1). Similarly, the word ‫ טורה‬also points to the literal tendency at the word level (figure 4/1). At the segment level the JudeoArabic word ‫ תורה‬is equally at the literal side of the scale since it uses the same sounds of the Hebrew equivalent ‫( תורה‬figure 4/2). In comparison, in the translation ‫טורה‬, the letter ‫ ט‬constitutes a trace which may refer to regressive emphatization (/t/ > [ṭ]) preceding the [ṛ]). This by itself is an indication of an interpretive tendency, since the šarḥan here used the phonological variant to change the original sound of the Hebrew ‫ ת‬into Judeo-Arabic /ṭ/ (figure 4/2). In the same way, other linguistic features can be found and analyzed at the appropriate linguistic levels. It may be expected that such an analysis would have to assume that different translations were created by the same šarḥan, in order to demonstrate the complexities of the literal/ interpretive linguistic tension. Different šurūḥ were indeed composed by the same šarḥan; however, it also happened, of course, that various šurūḥ were written by different šarḥanim. But even if the translations were composed by different šarḥanim, the literal/interpretive tension is still there to be analyzed, because the šarḥanim appear to have all

judeo-arabic as a mixed language

Interpretive (word level/choice of word)


Literal ‫שריעה‬

‫תורה‬ ‫טורה‬

Figure 4–1. The Word Level Continuum

Interpretive (segment level/ regressive assimilation)




Figure 4–2. The Segmental Continuum

belonged to one school of translation, even if there was no established formal institution. The šarḥanim did not work in isolation, but rather they were part of a group of people, some very learned and others less so, who composed translations of sacred texts and worked within the same modes and principles.13 10. An Example of the Detailed Analysis The following example from the Passover Haggadah illustrates well the framework for the linguistic analysis of the šarḥ. The following represents a sentence from the Haggadah in four different manuscripts and thus can be used as a good example for comparison. This example also contains several features from all the linguistic levels and many categories. Furthermore, the following analysis also includes some examples of the mixed nature of Judeo-Arabic. ‫ שפוך חמתך אל הגויים אשר לא ידעוך ועל ממלכות אשר בשמך‬:‫הגדה‬ ‫לא קראו‬ ‫אלדי‬ ֗ ‫ערפוּך ועלה אל צלטנה‬ ֗ ‫אלדי לם‬ ֗ ‫אסכוב חמאקתּך עלה אל שעוב‬ (ms. 3 23,4) ‫לם נדהו ֗פי אסמּך‬ 13  I thank Gunvor Mejdell for alerting me to this point. See also Bar-Asher 1988: 8–10 and Hary 2009: 75, 89–90 and 165.


benjamin hary ‫אלדי‬ ֗ ‫ערפוּך ועלה אל צלטנה‬ ֗ ‫אלדי לם‬ ֗ ‫אסכוב חמאתּך עלה אל שעוב‬ (ms. 74 13,1) ‫באסמּך לם נדהו‬ ‫אלדי באסמּך‬ ֗ ‫אלדי לם יערפוּך ועלה צלאטין‬ ֗ ‫אסכב חמייתּך עלה אל שעוב‬ (ms. 91 10b,4) ‫לם נדהו‬ ‫אלדי‬ ֗ ‫יערפוּך ועלה אל צלאטין‬ ֗ ‫אלדי לם‬ ֗ ‫אסכוב חמאקתּך עלא אל שעוב‬ (ms. 93 63,10) ‫באסמּך לם נדהו‬

Translation: ‘Pour out your wrath upon the nations that did not know you and upon the kingdoms that did not call your name.’ The analysis of the linguistic phenomena is done in the following manner: )1( ‫ שפוך‬ ‫אסכב—אסכוב‬ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: TMA; Feature: tense/aspect. Judeo-Arabic ‫אסכב‬- ‫‘ אסכוב‬pour’ translates the Hebrew imperative ‫ שפוך‬literally, using an imperative form in Judeo-Arabic as well. (ii) Level: word; Category: lexicon; Feature: root choice (considerations of sound/appearance). The decision to use the JudeoArabic root s-k-b was interpretive, since another choice was available to the šarḥan, one which would have been closer to the ‫ف‬ sound or appearance of the Hebrew original ( �� ‫)��س‬. ‫ح‬ )2( ‫ חמתך‬ ‫חמאתּך—חמאקתּך—חמייתּך‬ (i) Level: word; Category: lexicon; Feature: choice of root by sound/ appearance considerations. The decision to use the Judeo-Arabic roots ḥ-m-q and ḥ-m-y was literal, since the šarḥan chose Judeo‫ق‬ Arabic roots with sounds close to those of the Hebrew: ‫‘ ح�م�ا ���ة‬anger’ ‫ق‬ (� ) and ‫‘ ح�مي����ة‬rage’ (‫) و‬. ‫حم‬ ‫حم‬ )3( ‫ אל‬ ‫עלא—עלה‬ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: prepositions/particles; Feature: prepositions. The choice of the Judeo-Arabic preposition ʿalā represents the interpretive tendency, since the resulting translation is not literal. In fact, in a verbatim translation we would expect the Judeo-Arabic preposition ʾilā. (ii) Level: segment; Category: orthography/phonology; Feature: Hebrew-influenced orthography. The spelling ‫ עלה‬with a wordfinal he to mark the vowel /a/ is probably in imitation of Hebrew orthography, and the final alef in ‫ עלא‬probably represents the influence of the orthography of the Babylonian Talmud, as part of the Hebraized Orthography tradition of Judeo-Arabic (Hary 1996: 732), and should therefore be considered literal.

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


)4( ‫ אשר‬ ‫אלדי‬ ֗ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: pronouns; Feature: relative ֗ is commonly pronouns. The Judeo-Arabic relative pronoun ‫אלדי‬ used throughout the texts of the šurūḥ to modify all nouns, regardless of their gender and number. This is an indication of literal translation, since it accords with the rules of Hebrew syntax. ֗ ‫יערפ‬ ֗ )5( ‫ ידעוך‬ ‫וּך—יערפוּך—ערפוּך‬ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: TMA; Feature: tense/aspect. ֗ ‘know you’ translates Hebrew ‫ידעוך‬ Judeo-Arabic ‫יערפוּך‬/‫יערפוּך‬ in a literal way, since the same tense/aspect (imperfect) is used ֗ is interpretive, since it in both. However, the translation ‫ערפוּך‬ makes use of the perfect tense/aspect, whereas Hebrew uses the imperfect form. The latter also represents a possible hypocorrection that has been standardized in Later Egyptian Judeo-Arabic, since it follows the negative particle /lam/.14 (ii) Level: segment; Category: orthography/phonology; Feature: diacritic marks. On the one hand, the spelling of ‫ פ‬without the supralinear dot in ‫ יערפוּך‬may represent a literal tendency, as it could be an imitation of the Hebrew letter fe (‫)פ‬. On the other ֗ /‫יערפוּך‬ ֗ hand, the spelling of ‫ ֗פ‬with a supralinear dot in ‫ערפוּך‬ represents the fricative pronunciation of [f] rather than the stop [p], so it could denote the interpretive tendency, as this is part of the orthographic tradition of standard Arabic, indicating the fāʾ ‫ف‬ with a supralinear dot (��). )6( ‫ ועל ממלכות‬ ‫ועלה צלאטין—ועלה אל צלאטין‬ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: definiteness; Features: adding the definite article when needed, and deleting the definite article when not needed. In ‫‘ ועלה אל צלאטין‬upon the kingdoms,’ the šarḥan added the definite article in the Judeo-Arabic text in order to conform to Arabic structure, even though the definite article is lacking in the Hebrew text. This represents the interpretive side of the scale. On the other hand, in ‫ ועלה צלאטין‬the translation is verbatim, as the definite article is absent both in the Hebrew and the Judeo-Arabic text, although it is required by Arabic grammar. The šarḥan’s translation in this case follows the Hebrew text slavishly. 14  On the use of /lam/ with perfect, see Hary 1992: 294–295 and 314; Hary 2009: 126–127, 141–143, and 215–217.


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  )7( ‫ ממלכות‬ ‫צלטנה—צלאטין‬ (i) Level: word; Category: lexicon; Feature: word choice (semantic considerations). The choice of ‫‘ צלאטין‬sultans’ represents the interpretive tendency, since Hebrew ‫‘ ממלכות‬kingdoms’ does not mean the rulers themselves. On the other hand, the choice of ‫‘ צלטנה‬sultanate, kingdom’ represents a literal translation. (ii) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: number and gender; Feature: number: plural. The choice of the singular ‫‘ צלטנה‬sultanate, kingdom’ represents the interpretive tendency, since the Hebrew ‫‘ ממלכות‬kingdoms’ is in the plural form. (iii) Level: segment; Category: orthography/phonology; Feature: emphatization and deemphatization. The regressive partial assimilation (emphatization) /s/ > [ṣ] in ‫צלאטין‬/‫צלטנה‬, triggered by /ṭ/, represents an interpretive tendency. ֗  )8( ‫ בשמך‬ ‫באסמּך—פי אסמּך‬ (i) Level: morphosyntactic; Category: prepositions/particles; Feature: prepositions. The choice of the Judeo-Arabic preposition bi represents the literal tendency, since it slavishly copies the Hebrew preposition ‫ב‬, but the choice of the Judeo-Arabic preposition fī is interpretive wherever it better fits Arabic prepositional use.   )9( ‫ קראו‬ ‫נדהו‬ (i) Level: word; Category: lexicon; Feature: root choice (semantic considerations). The choice of the Judeo-Arabic root ‫ נדה‬is taken from colloquial Egyptian Arabic, pointing to an interpretive mode. )10( ‫ בשמך לא קראו‬ ‫באסמּך לם נדהו—לם נדהו ֗פי אסמּך‬ (i) Level: phrase; Feature: word-for-word translation. This sentence represents another good example of the literal/interpretive linguistic tension. The sentence ‫‘ באסמּך לם נדהו‬they did not call your name’ is a verbatim translation of ‫בשמך לא קראו‬, and the word order is the same in both languages. But in the translation ‫ לם נדהו ֗פי אסמּך‬the Judeo-Arabic word order is different and was chosen to accommodate its structure: this translation thus leans toward the interpretive side of the scale. To conclude, the sentence analyzed above from head to toe reveals a complex literal/interpretive linguistic tension, in which the components

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


move back and forth along the continuum in a multidimensional manner according to various linguistic levels, categories, and features.15 11. The Work of the Šarḥan The theoretical framework laid out here enables us to analyze the linguistic features in the šarḥ. In the course of defining this framework, I attempt to understand the process which the šarḥan undertook while translating the Hebrew/Aramaic text. I assume that the šarḥan had in front of him the original Hebrew/Aramaic text, or at least he was competent in the text. The šarḥan quite likely intended to make a literal translation. In other words, he would attempt to find a Judeo-Arabic equivalent for every Hebrew or Aramaic word. Although throughout the šarḥ both literal and interpretive tendencies are seen at each level of the translation, the literal tendency seems to have dominated, since it is more frequently encountered. Furthermore, the literal choice gave rise to un-Arabic sentences which could not have existed in the šarḥ, if the guiding principle was interpretive. In Saʿadya’s tafsīr the guiding principle was interpretive and indeed such un-Arabic sentences are not to be found there. In fact, Saʿadya’s tafsīr obeyed, for the most part, the rules of Classical Arabic. In other words, the šarḥan intended to translate the text verbatim for various reasons which are analyzed above. However, the šarḥ includes non verbatim traces as well. How did these traces find their way into the šarḥ if they are in conflict with the guiding principle of verbatim translation? Was there a separate mechanism that enabled these interpretive traces to find their way into the final product, the šarḥ? What processes took place on the way from the original Hebrew/Aramaic input to the moment the šarḥan wrote down the Judeo-Arabic output of the šarḥ? Figure 5/1 demonstrates these questions:

15  Table 4 in Hary 2009: 81–82 illustrates these levels, categories, and features, which form the basis of a linguistic model for analyzing the literal/interpretive linguistic tension. This model is presented in great detail in part II of Hary 2009, using examples from various Egyptian Judeo-Arabic šurūḥ.


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output (the šarḥ)

(original text)

Figure 5–1. What happens in the process of translation?

Two kinds of mechanisms are assumed to operate inside the rectangle (figure 5/2). Mechanism A represents the guiding principle of verbatim translation, according to which a šarḥan put a Judeo-Arabic equivalent in place of each Hebrew or Aramaic component. This is the way the šarḥan intended to render the text. In other words, Mechanism A is a deliberate process. Its output, an intermediate product (IP), is not attested regularly; however, it can be assumed that it would be a rather complete literal translation with many un-Arabic sentences and structures that would make comprehension difficult, if not impossible. Mechanism B then takes the IP and allows the interpretive tendencies to find their way in. Mechanism B manipulates the text by way of change, addition, and deletion, in order to facilitate comprehension. The end result is a complex output, the šarḥ, which contains a mixture of both literal and interpretive traces. Figure 5/2 illustrates these mechanisms:

input (original text) A = Mechanish A


> *IP >


output (the šarḥ) B = Mechanish B

Figure 5–2. The šarḥan’s work

We may safely assume that the šarḥanim were more aware of using Mechanism A than Mechanism B. Furthermore, it could even be supposed that they may have been unaware of the existence of Mechanism B, and that they were in fact convinced that they did indeed translate the text verbatim. We may also assume that the šarḥanim would have used a different linguistic competence for each of the mechanisms. For Mechanism A they would find an equivalent for the Hebrew component in their store

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


of Judeo-Arabic linguistic knowledge. For Mechanism B they would use their knowledge of other linguistic traditions, such as standard Arabic, colloquial Arabic, or the language of previous translations, such as those of Saʿadya (Classical Judeo-Arabic) or Onkelos (Aramaic). Moreover, it may well have been the case that translators/interpreters had not just the Hebrew text in front of them, but also Saʿadya’s translation, either in a physical copy or in their mind, since that text was so authoritative. But translators may also have consciously discarded Saʿadya’s translation, and yet unconsciously consulted it occasionally in order to resolve translation difficulties. Some, of course, may have lost their knowledge of Saʿadya’s translation altogether. Furthermore, many translators may have realized that a totally verbatim translation was impossible, and therefore considered the use of calculated compromises in the interests of intelligibility and readability. 12. The Intermediate Product (IP) As mentioned above, the IP is not attested regularly, since the end product usually includes Mechanism B. However, a good illustration of an IP and the process of the šarḥan’s work can be shown in two different translations of a clause from the Haggadah, ‫‘ ואחד שאינו יודע לשאול‬and the one who does not know how to ask.’ In ms. 93 16,7 the šarḥan translated ֗ ‫אלדי ליסו‬ ֗ ‫ וואחד‬/wi-wāḥid il-laḏī layso this sentence as ‫יערפ ‬ליסאל‬ 16 yiʿraf li-yisʾal/. This is a verbatim translation which would have sounded strange to native speakers of Arabic for a number of reasons. First, the translation’s word order strictly follows the Hebrew original. Second, ‫ליסו‬ /layso/ is a hybrid form of the negative particle /lays/ and the third pronominal suffix /-o/, in imitation of ‫אינו‬, the Hebrew negative ‫ אין‬and the third pronominal suffix ‫‬ו‬-.‫ ‮‬Finally, ‫ ליסאל‬/li-yisʾal/ translates the Hebrew infinitive construct ‫ לשאול‬with the Arabic particle /li/, which is phonetically equivalent to the Hebrew preposition ‫ל‬, although in Arabic the particle /an/ would have been expected. It seems that the source text ‫ואחד‬ ‫ שאינו יודע לשאול‬went through Mechanism A (figure 5/2) to result in a ֗ ‫אלדי ליסו‬ ֗ ‫וואחד‬. This IP then went through possible IP of ‫יערפ ליסאל‬ Mechanism B, which did not produce any change. Had Mechanism B caused any changes, interpretive traces would have been detected in the

16  Notice the difficulties in the transcription. There seems to have been a mixture of standard and colloquial and hence the mixed transcription.


benjamin hary

output. Thus, we assume that in this case the IP was the same as the final output (the šarḥ). Ms. 3 4,10, however, offers a different translation of the same Hebrew ֗ ‫ וואחד מא‬/wi-wāḥid ma yiʿrafš yisʾal/ ‘and the one clause: ‫יערפש יסאל‬ who does not know how to ask.’ Clearly, this translation leans more toward the interpretive side of the scale and is formulated in Egyptian Judeo-Arabic, representing the spoken variety. As in the first translation, the Hebrew clause ‫ ואחד שאינו יודע לשאול‬went through Mechanism A ֗ ‫אלדי ליסו‬ ֗ ‫ וואחד‬as in the previto produce an IP, perhaps ‫יערפ ליסאל‬ ous example. In the example in ms. 3, however, Mechanism B did cause the šarḥan to employ his linguistic knowledge of colloquial Egyptian Ara֗ ‫וואחד מא‬, which indeed includes bic to arrive at the output ‫יערפש יסאל‬ several features of colloquial Egyptian Arabic: the negative /ma -š/, as in /ma-yiʿrafš/ ‘does not know,’ and the asyndetic clauses /wi-wāḥid-ma/ ‘the one who does not’ and /yiʿrafš-yisʾal/ ‘does not know how to ask.’ To conclude, both translations of ‫ ואחד שאינו יודע לשאול‬would appear to result in the same IP after going through Mechanism A. We assume that the difference between the two translations is the result of ֗ ‫אלדי ליסו‬ ֗ ‫וואחד‬, MechaMechanism B. In the first example, ‫יערפ ליסאל‬ nism B does not operate and therefore the IP and the output are the same. ֗ ‫וואחד מא‬, however, Mechanism In the second example, ‫יערפש יסאל‬ B does operate, and therefore the output is different than the IP. The main manipulations that Mechanism B performs on the IP in the second ֗ /il-laḏī/, example are the following: omission of the relative pronoun ‫אלדי‬ ֗ ‫ליסו‬/layso yiʿraf/ to the Judeo-Arabic negation ‫מא‬ adaptation of ‫יערפ‬ ‫יערפש‬ ֗ /ma-yiʿrafš/, and use of the asyndetic clause ‫יערפש יסאל‬ ֗ /yiʿrafšyisʾal/. To summarize, Mechanism A and Mechanism B scan the text differently and use different working methods. Mechanism A scans the text horizontally, i.e., word by word, and for each Hebrew word substitutes a Judeo-Arabic equivalent to produce the IP. Mechanism B then scans the latter from head to toe all the way from the phrase level through the word level and the morphosyntactic level, down to the segment level, while performing interpretive manipulations where needed. This type of writing, in which the šarḥan was engaged, involved literal translations and included elements from different varieties and languages mixed with pseudocorrection features and their standardization. This is indeed characteristic of the mixed nature of Middle Arabic in general, and Judeo-Arabic in particular.

judeo-arabic as a mixed language


References Bar-Asher, Moshe. 1988. ‘The Sharḥ of the Maghreb: Judeo-Arabic Exegesis of the Bible and Other Jewish Literature: Its Nature and Formation.’ Bar-Asher, M. (ed.), Studies in Jewish Languages: Bible Translations and Spoken Dialects. Jerusalem: Misgav Yerushalayim. 3–34. [in Hebrew] Bassiouney, Reem. 2009. Arabic Sociolinguistics: Topics in Diglossia, Gender, Identity, and Politics. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Benor, Sarah. 2009. ‘Do American Jews Speak a “Jewish Language”? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness.’ Jewish Quarterly Review 99/2. 230–269. Gamliel, Ophira. 2008. ‘Oral and Written Literature in Jewish Malayalam (South India).’ Paper presented at a conference on Jewish languages, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. [in Hebrew] Geva Kleinberger, Aharon. 2005. ‘The Last Informant: A Text in the Jewish Arabic Dialect of Peqī‘īn.’ Wiener Zeitschrfit für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 95. 45–61. Geva Kleinbereger, Aharon and Hary, Benjamin. 2010. ‘Hebrew Components in the Arabic of the People of ‘Isifya.’ Paper presented at the Middle Eastern Studies Association, San Diego, CA. Hary, Benjamin. 1992. Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic: With an Edition, Translation and Grammatical Study of the Cairene Purim Scroll. Leiden: E. J. Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 14). ——. 1995. ‘Judeo-Arabic in Its Sociolinguistic Setting’. Israel Oriental Studies 15. 73–99. ——. 1996. ‘Adaptations of Hebrew Script.’ Bright, W. and Daniels, P. (eds.), The World’s Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 727–734 and 741–742. ——. 1999. ‘Hebrew Elements in Egyptian Judeo-Arabic Texts.’ Morag, S., Bar-Asher, M., Mayer-Modena, M. (eds.), Vena Hebraica in Judaeorum Linguis: proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Jewish Languages (Milan, October 23–26, 1995). Milano: Università delgi Studi di Milano. 67–91. ——. 2003. ‘Judeo-Arabic: A Diachronic Reexamination.’ International Journal for the Sociology of Language 163. 61–75. ——. 2009. Translating Religion: Linguistic Analysis of Judeo-Arabic Sacred Texts from Egypt. Leiden and Boston: Brill (É tudes sur le Judaïsme Médieval 38). Hary, Benjamin and Wein, Martin J. 2013. ‘Religiolinguistics: On Jewish-, Christian-, and Muslim-Defined Languages.’ Forthcoming in International Journal for the Sociology of Language. Henshke, Yehudit. 2007. Hebrew Elements in Daily Speech: A Grammatical Study and Lexicon of the Hebrew Component of Tunisian Judeo-Arabic. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute. [in Hebrew] Mazraani, Nathalie. 1997. Aspects of Language Variation in Arabic Political Speech-Making. Richmond: Curzon Press.

The story of Zayd and KaḤlāʾ—A folk story in a Judaeo-Arabic manuscript Rachel Hasson Kenat Summary: The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is a rare folk tale of Muslim origin. The story is found in seven different versions, all of them in manuscripts. Two versions exist in JudaeoArabic manuscripts, one of which is from the Firkovitch collection, the principal manuscript discussed in this paper. The story is written in Middle Arabic, a language that combines Classical Arabic characteristics with popular Neo-Arabic ones. From the copying mistakes throughout the manuscripts we learn that The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ was removed from Muslim society into Jewish society; manuscripts of the story were copied from Arabic script into Hebrew characters, and possibly even in the opposite direction, from Judaeo-Arabic into Arabic script.

Introduction The focus of this paper is a Judaeo-Arabic manuscript that contains The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ; the manuscript was found in the second Firkovitch collection.1 I will start with a short description of the popular stories in the Firkovitch collection, followed by a general summary of the characteristics of the story. I will then describe the manuscripts of the story and concisely discuss the connection between the versions that each of them present. Finally, I will mention some facts concerning the textual transmission of the story and a few linguistic characteristics found in the principal manuscript of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ from the Firkovitch collection.

1  I came across The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ while cataloguing the popular literature of the Firkovitch collection at The Center for the Study of Judaeo-Arabic Literature of the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. The text attracted my attention and I decided to edit it. A Judaeo-Arabic edition of about a fourth of the longest version of the story has been published, accompanied by a Hebrew translation and introduction, in Hasson 2010. I would like to thank my teacher Prof. Simon Hopkins who instructed me during the work on the text in every step until the publication of this article. For the origins of the Firkovitch collection see Elkin-Ben Sasson 2002: 51–95.


rachel hasson kenat 1. The Popular Stories in the Firkovitch Collection

Among the 15,000 manuscripts written in Judaeo-Arabic in the second Firkovitch collection,2 there are about 450 items of popular stories and more than fifty items of popular poetry. The majority of the items comprise between one to two folios and only four items number more than twenty folios; usually the manuscripts are fragmentary, and those that contain complete stories are rare. Most of the folk stories found in the manuscripts date from the fourteenth—eighteenth centuries; many of the manuscripts are in good condition. Seventy different stories have been identified. Their topics are varied, from stories about Biblical and Midrashic characters, stories that describe relationships between human beings and animals, stories that describe relationships among animals themselves, to ‘Maġāzī’ literature (for example, The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ which I shall discuss in this article), debate literature,3 fragments of ‘Adab’, and others. The most common stories are those about biblical characters. The story of Esther, which is written in rhymed prose (‘saǧʿ ’), is represented by the largest number of manuscripts, about one hundred. The story of Joseph is retold in more than fifty manuscripts, some in prose, and others in poetry. Many of these stories had a ceremonial function at the time when they were copied.4 Stories with a clear Muslim identity are, for example, the stories of A Thousand and One Nights, The story of ʿAntar b. Šaddād, and The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ which is discussed in this article. Studies on popular stories written in Judaeo-Arabic from the Firkovitch collection are rare; studies on popular texts from the collection have been published only by two scholars: Victor Lebedev and Heikki Palva.5 2. The Story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ—General Characteristics The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ, which is under discussion here, is a rare tale of Muslim origin. The narrative depicts a love story between Zayd and his 2  For the importance of the Firkovitch collection for the study of Judaeo-Arabic literature see Sklare 1997: 7–9. 3  = ‘Rangstreitliteratur’. 4  See for example manuscript Tel Aviv, Bill Gross 352, a prayer collection that includes The story of Joseph. 5  Some of their publications can be found in the References.

the story of zayd and kaḥlāʾ


lover Kaḥlāʾ at the time of the death of the prophet Muḥammad. The story is described in Paret’s book on the ‘Maġāzī’ literature6 and in Knappert’s anthology of Muslim legends.7 While Knappert relates the narrative as a tale of heroism and morality, for Paret the story is a type of a ‘Maġāzī’ tale. According to Paret, The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is not a classical historical ‘Maġāzī’ story, but a legend that includes motifs from the historical ‘Maġāzī’ literature.8 The power of Islam, the mysterious actions of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (the fourth caliph and the first imam of the Šīʿa), his supernatural qualities, and the reference to the Jews are all motifs that mark The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ as a legend of the ‘Maġāzī’ literature.9 It is impossible to read Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ without being reminded of some of the stories from A Thousand and One Nights. The stories of A Thousand and One Nights, like Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ, are fairly long and full of adventures in which the heroes are exposed to dangers that combine both reality and witchcraft. In addition, like numerous episodes in A Thousand and One Nights, our story combines many religious aspects.10 Judging from its literary style, the story utilizes techniques that derive from oral literature traditions. It is composed mostly in rhymed prose, is narrated by the ‘rāwī ’ (‘the narrator’) and includes a large amount of poetry.11 Like in the tales of A Thousand and One Nights, the sections of poetry do not contribute to our understanding of the plot’s development. They do, however, play an important role in stylizing the narrative.12 The verses in our Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts are written without any division between ‘al-ṣadr’ (the first part of a verse) and ‘al-ʿaǧz’ (the latter part). Even when it is possible to identify the classical meter, often a certain amount of adjustment with regard to the case-endings (‘al-ʾiʿrāb’) and unusual changes of the syllable length are required in order to fit the written words to the meter. The verses in The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ are worthy of more detailed study, though such research would be beyond the scope of this article.

 Paret 1930.  Knappert 1985: II 437–440.  8  Paret 1930: 146–162.  9  Paret 1930: 146–162; Hinds 1986: 1161–1164. 10  Lyons 1995: III 136. 11  Lyons 1995: III 133–136. 12  Van Gelder 2004: I 13–17.  6  7


rachel hasson kenat 3. The Manuscripts and the Versions

The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is seldom mentioned in Arabic literature. Only seven versions are known to date, all of them in manuscripts, two written in Judaeo-Arabic and five in Arabic script. The two Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts probably date from the sixteenth—seventeenth centuries, and both are incomplete. These are: J1 = St. Petersburg, RNL Yevr.–Arab. II:017513—the principal manuscript discussed here from the Firkovitch collection, comprises thirty-nine folios,14 is missing the beginning and parts from the middle. J2 = T-S Misc. 24.12715—kept in Cambridge, comprises two folios. The five manuscripts written in Arabic letters are: A = Cambridge Qq. 6716—from 1687, comprises 256 folios, contains a complete version. B = Berlin, Petermann II:6717—from the eighteenth century, comprises twenty-eight folios, contains a complete version. C = Berlin, Wetzstein II:70218—apparently from 1645 (AH 1055), comprises twenty-two folios, contains an incomplete version: the last folio (f. 208) is written in a different handwriting; it seems that the last folios of the manuscript have not survived and a different copyist completed the story according to his own imagination. D = Berlin, Petermann I:63419—apparently from the eighteenth—nineteenth centuries, comprises twenty-three folios, contains a complete version. E = Paris 307020—from the seventeenth (?) century, comprises forty-four folios, contains a complete version.

 Lebedev 1987: 93 no. 438.  The manuscript comprises thirty-nine folios, but it seems that folio 38 is not a part of the narrative but rather part of another manuscript from the collection—RNL Yevr.-Arab. II: 1764—probably by the same copyist. 15  I thank Efraim Ben Porat for identifying the manuscript and delivering it to me. 16  Browne 1900: 151 no. 850; Paret 1930: 139. 17  Ahlwardt 1888–1899: XX 59 no. 9084; Paret 1930: 139. 18  Ahlwardt 1888–1899: XX 59 no. 9084.2; Paret 1930: 139. 19  Ahlwardt 1888–1899: XIX 803 no. 8947. I thank Francesca Bellino for drawing my attention to manuscripts D and E. 20  Vajda 1953: 572. 13


the story of zayd and kaḥlāʾ


The seven manuscripts of The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ provide seven versions of the same story. Manuscript A gives the longest version of all, while manuscript B retells the shortest version. In spite of this multiplicity of versions, there is a direct or indirect connection between the seven different variants. At some points in the plot one reading can resemble another, whereas at other points the same version may be similar to a different reading. Although all versions are related, an especially close relationship between certain ones is clearly seen. The Judaeo-Arabic versions (J1, J2) show a connection to the longest Arabic-script version found in manuscript A. The connection between J1 and J2 to manuscript A is reflected particularly on the basis of comparison of the poetic portions. A connection between the Judaeo-Arabic version J2 and the Arabic versions is curiously shown by the fact that the evil character in the story remains a Jew, as in the Arabic-script versions (A, B, C, D and E), whereas in the Firkovitch version—J1—the evil character has been changed to a Christian. The version found in manuscript E is closer to the Judaeo-Arabic version J1 than manuscripts B, C and D. The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ was copied into Judaeo-Arabic due to the close intercultural relations between Jews and Muslims in the Middle Ages.21 The connection between the different versions can be seen through their content, as mentioned above, and through their structure, as will be illustrated hereafter in Section 4. 4. Copying Mistakes and Errors in the Textual Transmission 4.1. A Graphic Connection Between the Versions The following example properly indicates a graphic connection between the different versions. The following verse appears in five manuscripts of the story, but every version introduces a distinct reading: J1: 32r: 6–8:22 ‫תצללהא אן שית תהדיהא‬ ֗ ‫אן שית‬

!‫אייא ֗כאלק אל ריח יא !מונג֗ י‬ ‫מוג֗ רי מג֗ אריהא‬

[ʾyyʾ xʾlq ʾl ryḥ yʾ !mwnǧy! mwǧry   [ʾn šyt tḍllhʾ ʾn šyt thdyhʾ] mǧʾryhʾ]

 Drori 1988: 13; Goitein 1967–1993: V: 424–425.  = Manuscript: folio number: line number(s).

 21 22

150 A: 139v: 10: E: 87v: 19: C: 202r: 12–13: D: 99r: 18:

rachel hasson kenat

‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�ر�ك‬ ‫ا ن� �ش���ي�� ت� ح‬ ‫ي�ه�ا‬ �� ‫����ه�ا وا � �ش���ي�� ت� ���ه�د‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�ر�ك‬ ‫ا ن� �ش����ئ� ت� ح‬ ‫ي�ه�ا‬ �� ‫����ه�ا وا � �ش����ئ� ت� ���ه�د‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ 24 ‫ي�ه�ا‬ �� ‫ا � �ش���ي�� ت� �ر�ب�ت���ه�ا وا � �ش���ي�� ت� ���ه�د‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ي�ه�ا‬ �� ‫ا � �ش����ئ� ت� �وي�ت���ه�ا وا � �ش����ئ� ت� ���ه�د‬


‫م‬ ‫�ر�� ا �لر� د و�م�ا ف�� جم‬ ‫��ا ري���ه�ا‬ ‫ي�ا �ج ي ي‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ام‬ ‫ ا �لر �ا د ا ي����م�ا ف�� جم‬⁺‫�ر‬ ‫��ا ري���ه�ا‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ي� �ج ي ت ي ح‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ي�ا �م��رك ا �لر� �ج�ر�� �� جم‬ ‫��ا ري���ه�ا‬ ‫ي‬ ‫حت ي ي‬ ‫�� ف‬ ‫م‬ � � ‫ي�ا �م ن���ز ل ا �لر ي �ج ر�ي� ي� ج �ا ري���ه�ا‬ ‫ح‬

A connection between C and D can be seen in the light of the Arabic script without the diacritic points, in the words: ‫( �مت��ر ك‬C) and ‫( �م ن���ز ل‬D) [‫~ ت��ـ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ ‫]�ز ~ ر ن;��ـ‬, and in the words: ‫( �ر �ب�ت���ه�ا‬C) and ‫( �وي�ت���ه�ا‬D) [‫]�ي�ـ ~ ب��ـ ;و ~ ر‬. An almost identical verse appears in both A and E. In manuscript J1 the word—‫[ ֗כאלק‬xʾlq]—was inserted in the wrong place before the word ‫[ ריח‬ryḥ] as the first component in a construct state. The word—‫֗כאלק‬ [xʾlq]—appears in other manuscripts in another verse of the same segment of poetry and maybe this is the reason why we find—‫[ ֗כאלק‬xʾlq]— wrongly in this verse. This example shows a graphic connection between five versions of the story and especially close relationships between J1 to A and E, and between C and D. 4.2. Copying from Arabic Letters to Judaeo-Arabic The following examples of miscopying indicate copying from a manuscript written in Arabic letters to Judaeo-Arabic:

֗ [fʾʿṭʾdḍ]—appears instead – In manuscript J1 (16r: 9) the word—‫פאעטאדץ‬ ‫غ‬ of �‫‘—ا ��ت���ا ظ‬he was angry’. The similarity between the Arabic letters ʿayn and ġayn influenced the copyist who transliterated the Arabic text into Hebrew characters to write ʿayin (‫[ ע‬ʿ]) instead of gimel (‫[ ג‬g]~[ġ]). Likewise, we see in ṭet (‫[ ט‬ṭ]) in place of tav (‫[ ת‬t]) the extension of emphasis from the end of the word to its beginning, and the copyist’s confusion by writing first dalet (‫[ ד‬d]) instead of ṣade with a dot (‫[ ֗צ‬ḍ]). – In manuscript J1 (5r: 3–4) the following sentence appears: ‫[ פלו כונתום ערפתום כיף חרבי‬flw kwntwm ʿrftwm kyf ḥrby]—‘and if

you knew how much my war(?) is’, which makes no sense. In the corresponding place in manuscript A (8v: 10) it is written:

 ‘Oh blower of the wind always in its paths; If you wish, you arouse it and if you wish, you calm it.’ 24  ‘Ohّ leaver(?) of the wind to blow in its paths; If you wish, you bring it closer and if ‫ = ا �ل���م��ح‬The mover (of the world) = God] you wish, you calm it.’ [‫�َر ك‬ 23

the story of zayd and kaḥlāʾ


‫ف ن‬ ‫�ز ن‬ � �‫��� ت� ع�ل� تم‬ ‫�يك� ف� ح‬ ‫‘—���ل �ك‬and if you knew how much my sorrow is’, an entirely �‫� �ي‬ ‫و م م‬ intelligible and appropriate statement. Because of the graphic similarity between the Arabic letters rāʾ and zāy and between nūn and bāʾ, the copyist wrongly wrote reš (‫[ ר‬r]) instead of zayin (‫[ ז‬z]), and bet (‫[ ב‬b]) instead of nun (‫[ נ‬n]), that is, ḥarbī instead of ḥuznī. 4.3. Copying from Judaeo-Arabic to Arabic Letters The following example may indicate a connection between manuscripts A and C to a replication in the opposite direction—from Hebrew script (Judaeo-Arabic) to Arabic script. It may be possible that at one stage of the transmission, the copyist who transcribed the text into Arabic letters relied on a text written in Hebrew characters. ‫خ‬ In A (1v: incomprehensible in the sen‫—ا ف �ل�ـ�� ب���ا ر‬appears ‫ آ‬word— ‫ خ آ‬9) the ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ت‬ tence: ‫��د ا �ل�ـ�� ب��� ر‬ ‫‘—�ت��ر ب�وا �ي� �مر ا � ب� ا �ل�ع وا �ل�دل� ل و ��د ا ل �ع����ه���م�ا ا �ل� �ك‬and they were raised with the advantages of nobility and pampering, the (?) misery was missing from them’. We can assume that the incomprehensible word ‫خ‬ ‫‘—ا � نل� �ك‬misery’. If we transliter‫ ا �ل�ـ�� ب���ا ر‬is an adjective of the previous word ‫��د‬ ‫خ‬ ate the word—‫—ا �ل� ب���ا ر‬into Hebrew characters, we can read—‫אלכ(ו)באר‬ [ʾlk(w)bʾr]—‘the big’, an adjective that fits both in rhyme25 and meaning. 4.4. Difficulties in Reading the Text Despite these examples, the text contains numerous incomprehensible words and sentences. Many times a comparison with the parallel versions does not help to resolve the difficulties; for instance:

֗ J1: 33v: 11–12: ‫פנצר עלא אל קצר רייאש מן אל דהב אל אחמר ברייאחאת‬ ‫֗כדיר(?) אל רייאש מן פוק אל קצר ואל ֗גאן תו!דור פוק אל קצר מן‬ ‫[—אספל ומן פוק‬fnḍr ʿlʾ ʾl qṣr ryyʾš mn ʾl dhb ʾl ʾḥmr bryyʾḥʾt xdyr(?) ʾl ryyʾš

mn fwq ʾl qṣr wʾl ǧʾn tw!dwr fwq ʾl qṣr mn ʾsfl wmn fwq]—‘and he saw feathers(?) of red gold above the palace, in windows(?)26 (?) of feathers(?) above the palace, and the demons are turning around above the palace, from below and from above’. The second appearance of the words—‫פוק‬ ‫[ אל קצר‬fwq ʾl qṣr] (‘above the palace’)—is superfluous; I assume the copyist made a mistake by repeating them. Besides, it seems improbable that there were feathers above the palace. It may be that the word—‫ر و ش�����ن����ة‬ (‘window’)—that appears in manuscript B: 27r: 7 caused the copyist to  Compare the rhyming of ‫ ل‬and ‫ ر‬with Sūrat al-insān, ʾāyāt 14–25.  Dozy 1927: I 568.




rachel hasson kenat

make an error in this sentence and wrongly write ‫[ רייאש‬ryyʾš]. Nevertheless, the meaning of the word—‫[ ֗כדיר‬xdyr]—is unclear; probably a mistake in copying also occurred here. The other versions do not include a similar description. 5. The Language of the Story The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is written in Middle Arabic, a language that combines Classical Arabic characteristics with popular Neo-Arabic characteristics.27 In general, the poetic sections are written in a higher register than the portions of prose. a. Classical Arabic Characteristics The copyist of our J1 text generally writes the third person masculine singular pronominal suffix with final wāw or yāʾ according to the case endings of Classical Arabic. This writing of the pronominal suffixes -hu and -hi is very similar to that of “‫‘( ”ספר פרקי אבות עם פירוש בלשון ערבי‬The book of Pirqei Avot with a commentary in Arabic language’) attributed to David, the grandson of Maimonides,28 as described by Joshua Blau.29 Moreover, our copyist frequently uses tanwīn written with nun (‫[ ן‬n]),30 for example: – J1: 1v: 14–15: ‫למא פרג טראד מן כלאמהי סאר אילא מחל מקאמהי‬

‫ונאם אל מלּך נומן יסירן‬

[lmʾ frġ ṭrʾd mn klʾmhy sʾr ʾylʾ mḥl mqʾmhy wnʾm ʾl mlk nwmn ysyrn] ‘when Ṭirād had finished his speech, he went to his place and the king slept calmly’ ֗ [fwwǧdthw mftkrn mtḥsrn] – J1: 7r: 8: ‫פווגדתהו מתפכרן מתחסרן‬ ‘and she found him pondering and grieving’ – J1: 1v: 2: ‫[ פלמא פרג מן וצייתהי קאל להו ולדהו‬flmʾ frġ mn wṣyythy qʾl lhw wldhw] ‘and when he had finished making his will, his son told him’.

‫ �ل غ����ة ا �ل‬when he speaks about A � �‫ح ك‬  This kind of language fits Mahdi’s definition of ‫��ا ي���ة‬ Thousand and One Nights. Mahdi 1984: I 45–74. 28  David b. Rambam: 1900–1901. 29  Blau 1980: 60; Blau 1999: 27, 240. 30  For the survival of the tanwīn in Judaeo Arabic texts see Blau 1999: 167–187. 27

the story of zayd and kaḥlāʾ


In spite of the copyist’s attempts to imitate Classical Arabic, our text includes numerous examples which show that his attempts were not successful; see the examples given in section b. b. Neo-Arabic Characteristics As a Middle Arabic text, our Judaeo-Arabic manuscript J1 includes vulgar phenomena that appear in modern dialects: i. A single use of the typical Maghrebi phenomenon in which the first person singular form of the imperfect begins with nūn [‫( נ‬n)]:31 J1: 32r: 9: ‫נונצור‬ ֗ [nwnḍwr]—‘I see’. ii. A single use of the vulgar imperfect form that begins with bāʾ:32 J1: 21v: 16: ‫[ וקאלת יא אבן עמי באחוס באני טאיירה‬wqʾlt yʾ ʾbn ʿmy bʾḥws bʾny ṭʾyyrh]—‘and she said: My cousin, I feel that I am flying’. iii. A frequent and arbitrary use of the typical Egyptian short demonstrative pronouns dā and dī:33 J1: 33r: 9: ‫[ מן די אל טריק‬mn dy ʾl ṭryq]—‘from this way’ ֗ ‫[ מן דא‬mn dʾ mxʾfʾt]—‘from these fears’ J1: 1v: 8: ‫מכאפאת‬ J1: 34v: 4: ‫[ די אל מכאן‬dy ʾl mkʾn]—‘this place’ iv. The tendency to use the short vowel u instead of the Classical Arabic i in the form fiʿāl, especially in an emphatic pronunciation;34 that is, using fuʿāl instead of fiʿāl: ֗ [rwǧʾl]—‘men’ J1: 9v: 4: ‫רוגאל‬ J1: 33r: 9: ‫[ פוראק‬fwrʾq]—‘separation’. 6. Conclusions The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is found in seven different versions; two of them exist in Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts. Deciding which is the original version is a complicated process. One may understand the complexity of this issue by comparing it to the many difficulties that surround the

 Blanc 1974: 206–226; Blau 1958: 86–87.  Palva 2001: 86–89; Davies 1981: 203–265. 33  For the distributions of the forms dā and dī in the Egyptian dialects see Blau 1958: 83–92; Blanc 1985: 299–314; Davies 1981: 161–169. For a fossilized use of the form dī see Khan 1991: 223–234. 34  Davies 1981: 122–125; for examples from our story and from other popular stories from the Firkovitch collection see Lebedev 1977: 35. 31



rachel hasson kenat

question of how to determine the original version of A Thousand and One Nights.35 As to the question of the most coherent version out of the seven manuscripts, I shall refer to the manuscripts written in Arabic letters, since the Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts are fragmentary; in any case, it has been proven that they are close to version A. Version B, the shortest of all, is the most coherent, but is certainly not the original. In light of what has been said earlier and after conducting a systematic comparison of the large amount of poetry in the seven different versions, it appears that the story had existed in at least two versions, long before the time of our manuscripts. For the time being, we do not know for certain what the original version is.36 The exciting adventures, the numerous sections of poetry, the rhyming prose, the length of the story, its oral style, and its popular language indicate that Qiṣṣat Zayd wa-Kaḥlāʾ was written for public entertainment and to be recited in front of a crowd. The numerous incomprehensible words and sentences strengthen this argument. That is to say, sound, rhyme, and general acoustic effect often override clarity of sense.37 To the best of my understanding, The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ is one of the many stories that were declaimed in the late Middle Ages in front of crowds that gathered in streets and public squares.38 From the copying mistakes throughout the manuscripts and the errors in textual transmission along the ages, we learn that The story of Zayd and Kaḥlāʿ was removed from Muslim society to Jewish society; manuscripts of the story were copied from Arabic script into Hebrew characters, and maybe even in the opposite direction (from Judaeo-Arabic into Arabic script). It seems that the second Firkovitch collection is of great importance for the study of Judaeo-Arabic literature and in particular for the study of folk literature, of which the collection offers a wide selection. While some items are rare, others are completely unknown. Many of the linguistic and literary aspects have never been examined nor, for the most part, has the material been edited.

 Mahdi 1984: III 38–41.  Compare with Mahdi 1984: II 19–25; Lebedev 1965: 180. 37  Compare with Lebedev’s conclusions concerning Qiṣṣat ʿAntar, Lebedev 1965: 184. 38  Sadan 2003: 8; Lane 1871: 103–116. 35


the story of zayd and kaḥlāʾ


References Ahlwardt, W. 1888–1899. Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. 22 vols. Berlin: A Asher & Co. Blanc, Haim. 1974. ‘The nekteb-nektebu imperfect in a variety of Cairene Arabic’. Israel Oriental Studies 4. 206–226. ——. 1985. ‘Egyptian Judaeo-Arabic’. Sefunot 18. 299–314. [in Hebrew]. Blau, Joshua. 1958. ‘Reflection of dialects in Medieval Judaeo-Arabic texts’. Tarbiz 27. 83–92. [in Hebrew]. ——. 1980. A Grammar of Mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic. 2nd ed. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. [in Hebrew]. ——. 1999. The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic. 3rd ed. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute. Browne, Edward G. 1900. A Hand List of the Muḥammadan Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. David b. Abraham b. Rambam. 1900–1901. Sefer Pirqei Avot ʿim Peruš beLašon ʿAravi. Ḥanan, Barux David (ed.). Alexandria. Davies, Humphrey Taman. 1981. Seventeenth Century Egyptian Arabic: A Profile of the Colloquial Material in Yusūf Al-Širbīnī’s Hazz Al-Quḥūf fī Š arḥ Qaṣīd Abī Ṣādūf. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International. Authorized facsimile. Dozy, Reinhart Pieter Anne. 1927. Supplément aux Dictionnaires Arabes. 2 vols. 2nd ed. Leiden & Paris: Brill & Maisonneuve Près. Drori, Rina. 1988. The Beginning of the Contacts between the Jewish Literature and the Arabic Literature in the Twenty century. Tel Aviv: Hakibuz Hameʾuḥad. [in Hebrew]. Elkin, Zeʾev and Ben Sasson, Menahem. 2002. ‘Abraham Firkovitch and the Cairo Genizah’. Peʿamim 90. 51–95. [in Hebrew]. Goitein, Shelomo Dov. 1967–1993. A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish communities of the Arab world as portrayed in the documents of the Cairo Geniza. 6 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press. Hasson, Rachel. 2010. ‘Qiṣṣat Zayd wa-Kaḥlāʾ—A folk story written in Judaeo-Arabic from the Firkovitch Collection’. Ginzei Qedem 6. 23–87. [in Hebrew]. Hinds, M. 1986. ‘al-Maghāzī’. Encyclopaedia of Islam2 vol. V. Leiden: Brill. 1161–1164. Khan, Geoffrey. 1991. ‘A linguistic analysis of the Judaeo-Arabic of late Genizah documents and its comparison with Classical Judaeo-Arabic’. Sefunot 20. 223–34. [in Hebrew]. Knappert, Jan. 1985. Islamic Legends: histories of the heroes, saints and prophets of Islam. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill (Nisaba 15). Lane, Edward William. 1871. An account of the manners and customs of the modern Egyptians. 2 vols. London. Lebedev, Victor. 1965. ‘Neizvestraya rukops’ romana ob’Antare’. Kratkie Sodoshcheniya Instituta Narodov Azii 86. 178–184. ——. 1977. Pozdnii Srednearabskii Iazyk. Moskva. ——. 1987. Arabskiye Sochineniya v VvreiskoiGgrafike. Leningrad. Lyons, Malcolm Cameron. 1995. The Arabian Epic: heroic and oral story-telling. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (University of Cambridge Oriental publications 49). Mahdi, Muhsin. 1984. The Thousand and One Nights. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill. Palva, Heikki. 2001. ‘Linguistic notes on a dialectal 17th–18th century Egyptian Arabic Narrative’. Oriente Moderno 19. 83–97. Paret, Rudi. 1930. Die legendäre Maghāzi Literatur: arabische Dichtungen über die muslimischen Kriegszüge zu Mohammeds Zeit. Tübingen: Mohr. Sadan, Joseph. 2003. Not a Thousand and not a Night. Tel Aviv: ʿAm ʿOved. [in Hebrew]. Sklare, David. 1997. The Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts in the Firkovitch Collections. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute. [in Hebrew].


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Vajda, Georges. 1953. Index Général des Manuscrits Arabes Musulmans de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Paris: Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique (Publications de l’Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes 4). Van Gelder, Geert Jan. 2004. ‘Poetry and the Arabian Nights’. Marzolph, Ulrich and Van Leeuwen, Richard (eds.), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia vol. I. Santa Barbara etc.: ABC Clio. 13–17.

towards an inventory of Middle and Mixed Arabic Features: the Inscriptions of Deir Mar Musa (Syria) as a Case Study Johannes den Heijer Summary: One of the most urgent desiderata in the study of Middle and Mixed Arabic is that of databases, or inventories (répertoires), of linguistic features. A major problem with regard to the development of such research tools is the overwhelming abundance of the material and the highly general, or even universal, nature of many of its features. In order to address this situation, the present study offers some practical and methodological ideas on inventorying such data, with the focus on the issue of norms and standards. To this end, and by way of case study, an examination is made of a number of very common and widespread features taken from a limited corpus of texts Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi (Dayr Mār Mūsā al-Ḥabašī), in the Syrian Desert, near the town of Nabk. Systematical references are limited to five brief accounts of the common denominators of neo-Arabic features in the domains of orthography and phonetics, morphology and syntax and, to a lesser extent, lexical and cultural items.

1. Introduction At the first international conference on Middle and Mixed Arabic in 2004, a number of urgent desiderata were highlighted, one of which was that of databases, or inventories (répertoires), of linguistic features (Grand’ Henry-Lentin 2008: XXII). Naturally, one can only subscribe to the statement that such inventories are dearly needed. Unfortunately, seven years and two more AIMA conferences later, and despite remarkable progress in both the exploration of specific texts or corpora and the analysis of important linguistic phenomena, it must be admitted that the preparation of such inventories has not even entered the phase of collective brainstorming about their scope, shape or structure. This lacuna is now beginning to pose serious problems, because the study of Middle and Mixed Arabic has thus far produced so many relevant publications that exhaustiveness or even a global view, in embedding new remarks on the linguistic features of a given text within a larger research framework is no longer an option. More positively, though, we need to both develop practical ideas for the construction of a common frame of reference for further studies on specific texts, and provide a firm point of departure for more analytical research into specific phenomena. At the present time, however, some further diagnosis of the problem is appropriate.


johannes den heijer

On the one hand, in the field of (mostly pre-modern) written Middle Arabic (henceforth abbreviated to MA when appropriate), descriptions of the language of specific texts are so abundant in the introductions to text editions or in other formats that any attempt towards exhaustiveness in this regard is currently futile. This situation is particularly precarious in view of the highly general, or even universal, character of many of the features of such texts, which cover a time span of more than a millennium and a geographical area that extends from Morocco to Yemen and the Gulf. As a consequence, in any presentation or analysis of MA features in a particular text or corpus, the choice of studies to refer to in order to embed data within a wider research tradition is doomed to be arbitrary, or at best accidental. It is usually in this way that studies on written Middle Arabic texts tend to refer to an extremely varied number of studies on specific issues, as well as to a limited number of comprehensive studies that have rightfully obtained the status of classics (such as Blau 1966–1967, Blau 1982, Hopkins 1984, Blau 1988). On the other hand, in studies of present day Mixed Arabic, the aim primarily seems to be to analyze, comment upon and interpret data against the sociolinguistic background of diglossia, code switching, and code mixing, rather than to inventory these data. As a result, such studies are usually excellent dissertations on fascinating facts and processes, but they are not always particularly easy to quickly consult if we want to compare our own data to theirs.1 To be sure, the present contribution to this volume by no means purports to substantially help to resolve the problems just highlighted. However, as a mere temporary suggestion that could perhaps be emulated in the absence of proper inventories, albeit with the deeply unsatisfactory limitation of being restricted to written Middle Arabic, this study of a small group of short texts restrains its more or less systematical refer1  Without overlooking either a forerunner like William Marçais, who introduced the notion of diglossia with regard to Arabic as early as 1930 (Marçais 1930, quoted by Kouloughli 1996: 287), or the observations on Arabic in the seminal work by Charles A. Ferguson (Ferguson 1959, cf. Boussofara-Omar 2006: 630–631), one can probably regard Werner Diem’s Hochsprache und Dialekt im Arabischen as the start of a slightly more corpus-oriented presentation of this phenomenon. Diem’s study (Diem 1974, surprisingly absent in Boussofara-Omar 2006) has the considerable merit of including systematic transcriptions and translations of recorded fragments of texts, which were selected for being expressed in a mix of Classical Arabic and Syrian, Lebanese or Egyptian Arabic, respectively. However, the number of cases actually commented upon remains rather modest. Based on more recent studies, Gunvor Mejdell’s observations in her contribution to the present volume can be read as a call for the systematic construction and analysis of text corpora in mixed Arabic.

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


ences to five brief accounts of what could arguably be dubbed as common denominators of neo-Arabic features, since they tend to occur very frequently, in Arabic texts of a great variety of backgrounds, as well as of frequent phenomena of code mixing, such as hybrid forms (Fischer 1982, Blau 1982, Versteegh 1997: 98–102, Blau 2002: 29–56, Lentin 2008: 219–222). Only occasionally will observations be linked to other studies. It must be pointed out, in this regard, that some of those frequently occurring features, particularly in the domain of orthography, are by no means limited to the kinds of texts that are usually recognized as being written or transmitted in Middle Arabic; they can also just as easily be found in works that are otherwise considered to be composed in Classical Arabic (CA). One example of many would be the literary output of the great Egyptian historian and polygraph, al-Maqrīzī, which has the extraordinary merit of being available in various autograph manuscripts (Bauden 2008). As a modest contribution towards addressing the issues raised herein, the present study aims to inventory, or perhaps more appropriately describe, a number of very common and widespread features as they appear in a limited corpus of texts. What these texts have in common is their location and physical environment, namely the walls of a Christian monastery in Syria. They also share a purpose, which is to commemorate minor events related to the place and its population or to simply mark an individual’s presence while, in the process, expressing personal piety and devotion. What distinguishes them from each other is both their dating, which ranges from the mid eleventh to the mid-eighteenth centuries CE, and their status: while most of the older texts are more or less monumental, and either engraved or written in ink or paint, the more recent examples are more informal and, in several cases, could be more pertinently characterized as graffiti, which comes in varying degrees of legibility. The monastery in question is Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi (Dayr Mār Mūsā al-Ḥabašī), which is located in the Syrian Desert, close to the town of Nabk. This originally Syrian Orthodox monastery was transferred to the Syrian Catholic Church in the nineteenth century. Accordingly, the inscriptions, or at least the dated or datable ones, were written well before this change of ownership. While this study only concerns the Arabic texts, it should not be overlooked that the walls display numerous Syriac and Greek inscriptions as well. After a number of publications had dealt with these categories more or less separately, all of the texts were edited, translated and studied in context as a coherent corpus (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel


johannes den heijer

and Westphalen 2007). This comprehensive approach was necessary since some of the Syriac texts are linked to the Arabic ones in various ways, while a few cases actually mix the two languages. What is more, several inscriptions are executed in karšūnī (or garšūnī, to use a form that may be historically more correct but does not correspond to current Arabic spelling), which is Arabic written in the Syriac script. Within the temporary framework of the five general accounts introduced above, the following three sections will deal with some linguistic and philological features of the Deir Mar Musa corpus.2 The approach is one of a strong emphasis on norms and standards, because of the major importance that has been attributed thereto on various occasions (cf. the introduction to this volume, Sections 1, 4 and 9). 2. Orthography and Phonetics The Deir Mar Musa inscriptions contain several of the usual orthographical phenomena related to the hamza and its absence, or, as it is often expressed in more problematic terms, the loss of the glottal stop at an early stage of development of the Arabic language (Fischer 1982: 83, Blau 1982: 100–101, Versteegh 1997: 99, Blau 2002: 32–33, par. 17, Lentin 2008: 220).3 In the entire corpus, the hamza is never used as an orthographic symbol. In initial position, all of the texts use the plain alif, as in ‫( ا ب�و‬7.2), ‫ا ع�لا ه‬ (16.1) or ‫( ا لا ح�د‬19.1). In one case, a word known to contain a first syllable ʼi- appears here without it: �‫ ش�����ب��ي�� ن‬for ʾišbīn ‘godfather’ (CA �‫( )إ� ش�����ب��ي�� ن‬20.2, cf. Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 169–171; similar cases are mentioned by Blau 1966–1967: 105). The absence of the hamza sign in the medial position, where it is only represented by the alif (a spelling that is related to the extremely widespread neo-Arabic phenomenon of a long vowel -ā- corresponding to the CA -aʾ) can be seen in ‫( ر ا ��س‬19.1), which can be interpreted either as raʾs ‫ق‬ or as rās ‘head’. The same is true in respect of the final position: ‫ �ر ا‬for qaraʾa or the colloquial qarā ‘read’ (6.2).4 On the other hand, the hamza as 2  This outline was prepared with the assistance of Perrine Pilette, currently Ph.D. candidate at the Université catholique de Louvain, and, in a few cases, with the feedback of an anonymous colleague who kindly reviewed this article before publication. 3  On the facultative use of the hamza as an orthographical sign, cf. Diem 1982: 184–185. 4  For this verb and other verbs III’, see Section 3, below.

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


a phoneme is clearly present when it is geminated in the medial position; ‫ف‬ this is written with a double alif in �� ‫‘ ت�ر ا ا‬may He be gracious’ (10.6, in a text datable to ca. 1060 CE). The hamza is not expressed graphically in the vicinity of -i- or -ī-, which may or may not reflect colloquial pronunciation, in ‫( ر ي���س‬15.4, from 1343– 1344 CE) for raʾīs or rayyis ‘superior’ (cf. Blau 2002: 32, par. 14), and ‫ش�����ي���ا‬ ‫‘ ا �ل‬the (‘something’ 1.6, from 1058–1059 CE) and, in the final position, ‫�خ�ا طى‬ sinner’ (10.3). In other cases, the hamza is reflected by the letter yāʾ, as in ‫‘ د ا ي����م�ا‬forever’ (16.8) and ‫‘ و �م��ي�� خ��ا ي�ي��ل‬and Mīxāʾīl’ (20.2), as well as in the various numerals ending in ‫�م�ا ي���ة‬, cf. CA ‫( �م�ا ئ���ة‬see Section 3, below). When it comes to the use of the alif, a special convention in CA orthography is the functional distribution between the initial or isolated �‫ ا � نب‬and �‫� نب‬ ‘son of’. In our inscriptions, this habit is respected in: ‫‘ � ظم�����لو � نب� ت�و�م�ا‬Maḏ̣lūm ‫م‬ ‫ق‬ �‫‘ ي‬Yaḥyā � b. Tūmāʾ (Maḏ̣lūm son of Thomas) (2.2–3); ‫حي���ا (؟) � نب� ب�ا �ى‬ (?) b. Bāqī’ ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � � (6.2); ‫‘ ا ب�و الا ��س�د ب� ا �ل�������ص��ير‬Abū al-Asad b. al-Qaṣīr’ (7.2); �‫�ى ب� �يو��س‬ ‫�ه�م ا �ل��ن ب�� ك‬ ‫[ا �بر ا] ي‬ ‫غ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ن‬ ‘Ibrāhīm al-Nabākī, son of Yūsuf’ (29.3); . . . ‫ ا �ب� (؟) ��� ي� �ب� �مــ‬. . . ‘. . . (?), son of ‫م‬ Ġunaym b. M . . .’ (31.3–4) with �‫ ا � نب‬as the first word of a new line; and ‫�ى‬ ‫�م��ل ك‬ ‫�ن �ن ن‬ ‫ح ن���ا ا � ن‬ � �� ‫ح‬ [ “Malkī b. Ḥannūn’ (34.4). It is not, however, followed in ‫�ـ]ـ‬ �‫و‬ �‫ب‬ �‫ب‬ ‫�يو‬ ‫غ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � � � � � � � � )‫‘ ع��بود ا ب� ا �ل��ر�ير (؟‬Yūḥannā b. ʻAbbūd b. al-Ġazīr (?)’ (14.1), �‫ح�ى ا ب� ج ر ج ��س ا ب‬ ‫يي‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫ل‬ � �‫‘ ا ب�ى �ص�ا ا �ب‬Abū Ṣāliḥ )‫‘ ��س�ا د ر (؟‬Yaḥyā b. Ǧirǧis b. Sādir (?)’ (21.3) or �‫ح����ي‬ ‫ن ق ح‬ b. Ḥunayn’ (21.6). A possible hypercorrection is ‫��س� ا �ل�د و �ل�ه‬ ‫‘ �ز ن� يك‬Zankī ‫�� �ب� � ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ b. Qasīm al-Dawla’ (33.10–11), with �‫ �ب‬at the beginning of the second line, contrary to CA usage. The use of both spellings in one line, ‫���ي��س ا � نب� ا �ل��ق����س‬ ‫��سر ك‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�غ‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫‘ �ا لي� �ب� �بر ا‬Sarkīs son of the priest Ġālī b. Barrān’ (18.2), can be explained by the fact that ‘son of’ is not followed by a proper name.5 To the extent that the inscriptions are legible at all, the final yāʾ seems to be mostly devoid of dots, although in one case they do appear where this letter is used as alif maqṣūra, i.e. to render the sound -ā-: �‫‘ ا لي‬to’ (20.1, from 1764). There are also some examples of a dotless final yāʾ, reflect‫ف‬ ing various phonetic values: ‫ ( �ى‬fī) (6.2—in an environment where the preceding and following words do have dots—7.2 and 19.1—both wholly undotted texts—and 15.1, 15.5, 16.1, 16.3); ‫‘ ا �ل���ص�د د �ى‬al-Ṣadadī’ (16.3); and ‫ض‬ ‫( ر��ى‬raḍiya) ‘be pleased’ (17.3). The mute final yāʾ in the Syriac title ‫�مر �ى‬ ‘Mar’ (16.2, 16.3) is also written without dots (see Section 4, below). For the study of this particular aspect of orthographic norms, the historical inscription 33, from the year 1131 CE, is an interesting case in point. It is clearly written with greater care than many other texts on the 5 ‫ � ن‬in situations where CA requires ‫ا � ن‬, is recorded in  Exactly the opposite, i.e. MA �‫ب‬ �‫ب‬ Blau 2002: 34, par. 24.


johannes den heijer

monastery’s walls, particularly with regard to the diacritical dots. Accordingly, the occurrence of both dotted and undotted forms of the final yāʾ cannot possibly be attributed to sloppiness, but must be taken as reflect‫ق‬ ing a conscious norm: ). . .( ‫) و �وا � يص� ا � ب�ل��لا د وا رح�م�ن� ي�ا ����سي���د �ى‬. . .(‘(. . .) and the ‫ي‬ extremities of the lands. Have mercy on me, O my lord (. . .)’ (33.4). The alif maqṣūra referred to above occurs without dots, as in ‫‘ ا لى‬to’ (16.6, 20.1), and in the verb ‫( �ص��لى‬ṣallā) ‘to pray’ (17.2), which is, however, written with the alif in ‫( �ص�لا‬6. 2); this spelling is also used in the uncertain form ‫�ي��س���م�ا‬ ‘he is called’ (21.3) (for these and other verbs IIIw and IIIy, see Section 3, below; for this spelling, see Blau 2002: 32, par. 14). Another very general variation in Arabic spelling conventions concerns the presence vs. the absence of twin dots on the final hāʾ when used as tāʾ marbūṭa. Once again, the state of affairs regarding diacritics complicates any clear-cut distinction between dotted and intentionally undotted forms in our corpus, but the following observations may nevertheless prove helpful. In so far as the inscriptions from Deir Mar Musa can be read correctly, very few definite or indefinite words (nouns or adjectives) ending in tāʾ marbūṭa have the two dots. In some cases, however, they were added in the edition for reasons explained therein (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 133–135). � ‫‘ ا �ل‬the church’ Words of this category without dots are legion, e.g., ‫� نك���ي��س�ه‬ (1.2), ‫‘ ا �ل����سي���د ه‬the Lady’ (1.3), ‫‘ ب�ا �ل���م غ����ف��ره‬for pardon’ (14.2), ‫‘ ����س��ت���م�ا ي��ه‬six hundred’, ‫‘ ا �ل���م��ح‬the Well-Protected’ (15.3), ‫‘ ا �ي�ل��ع�ا ق� ب���ه‬the Jacobites’ (15.3), and ‫ا �ل��ف���ا ن�ي��ه‬ ‫�ر و ��س�ه‬ ‘transitory’ (17.1). In the construct state, such words are also mainly written without these dots (they are sometimes added in the edition), but this may again be due to the limited overall use of diacritics in the corpus, e.g. ‫ق‬ �‫‘ �م� ن� ج‬by’ (lit. ‘from the side of ’, 33.7),7 ‫ط�ا ع�ه‬ ‫‘ �ص�د ��ه‬the charity of’ (14.2),6 ‫���ه�ه‬ ‫ف‬ ‘obedience to’ (15.9), and ‫‘ ب� ش������ا ع�ه‬by the intercession of ’ (7.4, 7.5, 21.7, 33.5); �‫ب‬ � or, in combination with definite or indefinite words, ‫ح����س ن� ط�ا ع�ه و �ع ب���ا د ه ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ف‬ ‘in good obedience and in worship of God’ (16.4–5) and ‫ط�ا ع�ه ا �لر ب�ا � �م����رج ر ي���س‬ � �‫‘ ا �ل�د �ير وا �ل��ط�ا ع�ه ���قل����س�� ا � �ه‬obedience to the rabbān Mufarriǧ, the superior ‫ل ي��س بر يم‬ of the monastery, and obedience to the priest Ibrāhīm’ (15.4–5). Some inscriptions may, however, be taken as bearing witness to a wellattested standard that tends to mark the construct state by means of these ‫وح‬ twin dots (Lentin 2008: 220, cf. Fischer 1982: 83). Thus, one text reads ‫�ر �م��ة‬ 6  The translation ‘by way of charity’ (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 163) should be corrected to read the word in question as part of a genitive construction, rather than as an adverbial use of the noun. 7  Lentin includes this expression in his list of MA prepositions (Lentin 2008: 221).

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


‘and the wife of’ (20.2, from 1764 CE), while another has ‫‘ �ي�ل��ل��ة‬the eve of ’ ‫�ة‬ and ‫‘ �ز ي�ا ر‬the visit of’ in one line (16.2, from 1661–1662), as well as ‫����سب���ع��ة ا ي�ا‬ ‫م‬ ‘seven days’ further along the inscription (16.4). In a number of cases, the proximity of non-dotted forms seems to suggest the existence of this distinction. Thus, one inscription has ‫ب� ش��� ف���ا ع��ة‬ ‫ن‬ ‫‘ ا �ل��ط�ا �هر ه ا م ا ��ل�و ر‬with the intercession of the pure, Mother of Light’ (17.3–4), ‫ل��� ف���ا ع�ا ت‬ ‫� ش��� ف���ا ع�ه �ذ ا ت‬ ‫� ا �ش‬ as opposed to the comparable ‫� ا �ل��ط�ا �هر ه ا ا � ن�ل�و ر و �ش��ف���ا ع�ه‬ ‫ب‬ ‫م‬ ‫‘ ا �ل��ق���د ي���س �مر �مو�ش���ا‬by the intercession of Her who [grants] intercession, the pure, the Mother of Light, and by the intercession of the Saint, Mar Mūšā’ (33.5), where both relevant words are left without dots. The noun sana ‘year’ generally appears without dots: in the definite state ‫( ا �ل����سن���ه‬16.5) and in the construct state: ‫‘ ����سن���ه‬in the year . . .’ (1.6, 5.2, 6.1, 7.2, 9.2, 15.7, 16.5, 19.2, 21.8, 24.10); in this context, the word is systematically followed by numerals (see Section 3, below) which express the years, and is always devoid of diacritics. Here too, however, the construct state can be marked in three ‫ف‬ inscriptions: �‫‘ �ى ����سن����ة ����ست���ه �م�ا ي��ه وا ر ب‬in the year six hundred and four’ (18.1, ‫ع‬ ‫ف ف‬ ���‫ �م����س��ي‬١٧٦٤ ‫‘ ����سن����ة‬in the from 1208–1209 CE); ‫ ر ب�ي� ا لا و ل �ل���ل�ه�� ج�ر ه‬٢٣ ‫حي���ه ا �ل���موا � ق� �ى‬ ‫ع‬ year 1764 [of the Christian [era], corresponding to 23 Rabīʿ al-awwal of ‫‘ � ����سن����ة ا �ل��ف� �ت��س���م�ا ��ه ث�� ث�ل��ه ����س���ع�� ن‬in the year the hiǧra’ (20.3, from 1764); and, �‫ي‬ ‫و‬ �‫يف‬ ‫ي و و ب‬ thousand and nine hundred and seventy-three’ (16.7–8, from 1661–1662). If such instances can indeed be interpreted as pointing to a norm that belongs to an identifiable standard, it may be relevant to underline that the four inscriptions are dated or datable to the eleventh, thirteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries CE. In general, however, the entire time span of the Deir Mar Musa corpus is clearly characterized by a norm that omits the diacritical dots of the tāʾ marbūṭa grapheme. Along with this very preliminary observation of a diachronic nature, it may also be useful to look at this phenomenon, as we have at others, from a synchronical point of view. In this respect, the coexistence of two types of forms, in this case dotted and undotted graphemes, should not be studied by only commenting upon isolated forms. In some of the examples above, the start of a more contextual approach has been attempted, but for a proper appreciation of the distribution of both types of graphemes, it may be worth conducting an analysis at the level of text units by concentrating on individual inscriptions. Given the limited length of such units (rarely more than 10 lines), such an approach is feasible. This is one more reason to include epigraphy in the sources taken into consideration for the study of MA and related issues. Another potential indicator of norms and standards in Arabic orthography, which is intimately linked to phonetics, is the spelling of interdentals


johannes den heijer

as related to their dental counterparts (Fischer 1982: 83, Blau 1982: 101, Versteegh 1997: 99, Lentin 2008: 220). Once again, we are mainly dealing here with the presence or absence of diacritical dots, a phenomenon that cannot be separated from the use of these signs in the wider context of the text units in which the graphemes occur. Seen against this background, our corpus does not convey a great deal of information on the distribution of t and ṯ, since these two graphemes are distinguished by the superposition of two or three dots, respectively. This is a distinction that is invisible in most texts since these contain no or very few dots. In the edition mentioned above, we have solved such cases by supplying the three dots of the letter ṯāʾ in numerals containing ṯamān- ‘eight’ (see Section 3), or the one instance of �‫‘ ا � ث�ل��ا �ل� ث‬the third’ (9.5). A few inscriptions are sufficiently dotted, however, to allow for the identification of a norm in this respect. Inscription 16, dated to the sev‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ enteenth century CE, contains the ṯāʾ with its three dots in ‫ا �ل��� و ���س�ع���م�ا ي��ه‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ن‬ �‫‘ و���ل��ه و ����سب���ع��ي‬nineteen hundred seventy-three’ (16.7–8). Similarly, the aforementioned monumental and quite carefully dotted inscription from ‫ا �ل��ف� ا � �م�ا ��ه ا ث�ن��� ن‬ 1131 CE clearly reads ‫‘ �مث���ل‬in accordance with’ (33.8), and �‫ي‬ ‫و ربع ي و‬ ‫‘ ا ��ع�� ن‬fourteen hundred and forty-two’ (33.10). The one, final, Arabic line �‫و ر ب ي‬ in an otherwise Syriac inscription from the late fifteenth century has ‫‘ �ت��س�ع���م�ا ��ه ث�لا ث‬nine hundred and three’ (37.5). � ‫ي و‬ It is only in these few cases with three clearly discernable dots that we can postulate an intention to represent the interdental ṯ; all of the undotted writings remain ambiguous. Inscription 6, which contains a fair amount of dotted characters, perhaps represents a different norm in that it writes ‫‘ �مت���ل‬according to’ with two dots (6.4), which may stand for mitl, as is the case in modern urban Syrian colloquial Arabic. This cannot be stated with absolute certainty, however, since the two visible dots are placed diagonally, a disposition that may suggest that a third dot was written originally but disappeared later. Without excluding the latter possibility, our edition nevertheless takes this text at face value, and reads ‫�مت���ل‬ ‫ن �خ‬ ‫‘ ا ت�ن��� ن‬five hundred seventy-two’ (6.1). It is here as well as ‫ي� و �م��س���م�ا ي���ة‬ ��‫ي� و ����سب���ع‬ unclear in this numeral whether or not the two dots that are visible more ‫ ا ت�ن��� ن‬are diacritics or irregularities on the surface of the wall. or less above �‫ي‬ Nevertheless, we have given this word two dots in the edition by way of an analogy with the form ‫ �مت���ل‬that seems to contain the same consonant. Even though a non-interdental realization of the phoneme in question may well be at stake in the background of this spelling, a purely orthographical convention cannot be completely ruled out. This is true a fortiori for the karšūnī form ‫‘ ܬܡ‬Subsequently’, which may well be taken to stand

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


for ṯumma, because the Syriac alphabet does not distinguish between t and ṯ.8 As for the voiced interdental ḏ, the seventeenth-century inscription mentioned earlier, which is no. 16, has a dotted as well as an undotted ‫�ذ‬ version of the same adjective, ‫�و ر‬ ‫( ا �ل���م� ك‬16.1), and ‫�و ر‬ ‫‘ ا �ل���م�د ك‬mentioned’ (16.6). For the time being, this can be interpreted as reflecting a norm that permits both varieties. Once again, this may or may not be related to a noninterdental realization in the latter form (al-madkūr). The quite carefully executed memorial inscription no. 33 comes to ‫‘ �ذ ا ت‬the one of ’ the fore again here, since it clearly contains the word � (33.5). The absence of diacritics in text 7 makes it impossible to interpret ‫�ذ‬ the otherwise uncertain reading of �‫‘ ن� ب‬offence’ in this respect. All other instances of ḏ vs. d are found in demonstrative pronouns and will be discussed below (Section 3). Suffice to say, in the present context of ortho­ graphy and phonetics, the dotted and undotted forms also alternate here. Another typical feature of MA texts is the fluctuation, or confusion if one prefers, between the emphatic consonants ḍ and ḏ̣, which is due to a merger between the two in many Arabic dialects (Fischer 1982: 83, 90, Blau 1982: 101–102, Versteegh 1997: 99, Blau 2002: 34, par. 20, Lentin 2008: 220). In the Deir Mar Musa corpus, ḍ seems to appear in the word ‫ا �ل���م� �ض�� ر‬, ‫ع‬ which might be a corruption of al-mawḍiʻ ( � ‫‘ )ا �ل���م �ض‬the place’ (18.4), ‫و ع‬ although the reading is entirely uncertain (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 168). More revealing is the verb ḥaḍara ‘to be present’ or ‘to come to’, which is used in several texts from various � (15.1, 20.1), or without the dot, due to periods. It is written as in CA, ‫ح� �ض�� ر‬ � (29.2, 31.2). Inscripthe overall lack of diacritics in some inscriptions, ‫ح���صر‬ tion 14 is written in ordinary Arabic script and opens with this same verb, but written in karšūnī as ‫ܚܛܪ‬. This was written by the same person as the rest of the text. A later visitor to the monastery has added, it would seem by way of gloss, a transcription of this form in Arabic script, which appears ‫ � ظ‬with the grapheme that stands for the emphatic interdental ḏ. The as ‫ح���ر‬ ̣ possible rationale behind this curious use of both scripts has been considered elsewhere.9 Here, it is enough to repeat that the consonants of the karšūnī form are ḥṭr, which need not, however, be interpreted as standing for a pronunciation with an emphatic dental ṭ (ḥaṭar or ḥaṭara): since ḏ̣  On the various systems for transcribing Arabic in the Syriac script, see Assfalg 1982.  In our commentary on both this inscription and on nr. 15 (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 163–164), the form ḥaḏara, which occurs twice, is a printing error and should be read as ḥaḍara. 8



johannes den heijer

is alien to the Syriac language and its script, the grapheme ‫( ܛ‬standing for ṭ) is often used as an approximative attempt to write the Arabic emphatic interdental (cf. Assfalg 1982: 302 and footnote 38), meaning that ‫ ܚܛܪ‬may very well reflect the same targeted pronunciation as the added ‫� ظ‬. The latter form also appears in the seventeenth-century inscripgloss ‫ح���ر‬ tion 16, whose author manifests the ‘open’ norm noted earlier by writing ‫‘ ا ����ض �ا � ظ‬And once again, was present . . .’. The ḍ in the first word is prob�‫و ي‬ ‫ح���ر‬ ably due to this adverb being an exclusively CA form, whereas the verb in question exists both in CA and the colloquial: here, and in inscription 14, it is the colloquial form that prevails. The ḏ̣ phoneme is also expressed in writing by the ṭ grapheme in an undotted inscription where it may thus be read as ḏ̣āʾ without dots: ‫�م��ط��لو‬ ‫م‬ ‘Maḏ̣lūm’ (a proper name, 2.2). Finally, it must be pointed out that karšūnī also has a variety of orthographic norms, and an (undated) inscription in this script epitomizes and further complicates the entire issue of both emphatic and non-emphatic dentals and interdentals by writing ‫ܚܕܪ ܗܕܐ‬ ‫‘ ܐܠܡܘܕܥ‬Came to this place’ (32.1) for ḥaḍara hāḏā l- mawḍiʿ. In this system of writing Arabic in the Syriac script, no attempt is made to distinguish either dentals from interdentals, or emphatic from non-emphatic consonants: the Syriac ‫( ܕ‬d) here indiscriminately and quite ambiguously expresses the Arabic d or ḏ as well as ḍ or ḏ̣! 3. Morphology and Syntax When it comes to morphology and syntax, the Deir Mar Musa corpus also contains some well-known features that need to be inventoried for future studies on norms and standards. Beginning with nominal flexion, the genitive is clearly utilized according to CA usage, e.g. in ‫‘ ا ب�ى �ص�ا �ل‬of Abū Ṣāliḥ’ (21.6, twelfth century), ‫ح‬ whereas a more colloquial level is targeted in an eleventh century text that reads ‫‘ ا ولا د ا ب�و ا لا ��س�د‬the sons of Abū al-Asad’ (1.4). The accusative case occurs in line with CA grammar for the predicate after kāna ‘to be’ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ � �‫كا ن‬ � �‫ح� ت� ا �ل ك‬ ‫��ل�م��ة �خــ[�ـ�ا �ض‬ in � ‫� �عــ]�ـ�ا �ل�ل�م��طر ا‬ � ‘will be under the word, subject to the ‫ن‬ metropolitan’10 (15.6–7) and in ‫كا � �م�ع�ا و د ا‬ � ‫‘ و‬and he was in the company of ’ ‫ن‬ ‫غف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ث‬ �‫�� ا �ن��س�ا ن� �م��� �ص�لا ��ه ب‬ � (16.3), and adverbially in ‫ح�ا ر ا‬ ‫��عول ������ر ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه �ل�ه و �لوا �ل�د ي��ه و �ل ك�ل‬ ‫ل‬ ‘We implore God’s pardon for him, for his parents, and for each human 10  For the uncertainties and possible interpretation of this passage, see Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 164.

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


being, in accordance with his prayer, in oceans’ (33.8–9). This latter sentence also contains the quantifier kull, followed by the (invisible) genitive ‫�� ن ن‬ in CA (� ‫��ل ا ���س�ا‬ ‫)و ل ك‬, in the same way as in ‫كل ا �مر‬ � ‫‘ و‬and every affair’ (7.6–7). However, another writer in the seventeenth century uses the ending ‫�ـ�ا‬ here, which may express a nunated form that Lentin describes as both marking the ‘emphatic state of the noun’, as ‘possibly historically related to tanwīn’, and as a ‘connective element’ (Lentin 2008: 220, cf. Blau 1982: 99, Blau 2002: 96, par. 96): ‫كل ا �خ �ا ا و ا ب�ا‬ � ‘every brother and father’ (14.2). Theoretically at least, then, the same state may have been intended in ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ the much older ‫� ش�����ي���ا‬ ‫‘ ��د �ى �ه�د ا ا �ل���م �ض‬offers something in this place’ (1.6, ‫و ع‬ ‫م‬ eleventh century CE), even though an accusative according to CA could be meant here as well. In the domain of numerals (cf. Blau 1982: 105), the following forms appear after sanat ‘in the year’ and are thus supposed to be in the geni‫‘ ��س�ـ[��ـ��ت�ـ]�ـ�ه �خ�م��س�� ن‬fifty-six’ tive case from the normative point of view of CA: �‫ي‬ ‫و‬ (13.6, in a damaged and thus incomplete text); ‫‘ [ا]ر ب� (؟) �مي���ه‬four (?) hun‫ت ن ع‬ dred (?)’ (17.5, in a highly uncertain reading); ‫ي� وا ر ب��ع���م�ا ي���ة‬ ����‫( ����ست���ه و ����س‬with‫ة‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ out dots) ‘four hundred and sixty-six’ (7.2–3); ���‫( وا ح�د وث����م�ا ���ي� وا ر ب��ع���م�ا ي‬with‫( ث����م� ن ث����م ن���� ن‬without out dots) ‘four hundred and eighty-one’ (7.4); ‫ي� وا ر ب� �م�ا ي��ه‬ ‫ث � ن و �خ ن �خع‬ dots) ‘four hundred and eighty-eight’ (19.2); ‫( ����م�ا � �م��س��ي� و �م��س���م�ا ي��ه‬without ‫ن �خ‬ ‫‘ ا ت�ن��� ن‬five hun��‫ي� و ����سب���ع‬ dots) ‘five hundred and fifty-eight’ (9.2); ‫ي� و �م��س���م�ا ي���ة‬ ‫ت‬ 11 ‫ث ا ث‬ dred and seventy-two’ (6.1); � ‫( ���س�ع���م�ا ي��ه و �ل‬without dots) ‘nine hundred ‫‘ ا �ل��ف� ا � �م�ا ��ه ا ث�ن��� ن‬fourteen hundred and fortyand three’ (37.5); �‫ي� وا ر ب��ع‬ ‫ت و ربع ي و‬ ‫ي‬ ‫‘ ا �ل��ف� ����س���ع�ا �م�ا �ا ���س ����س���ع�� ن‬seventeen huntwo’ (33.10); the more unusual �‫ي‬ ‫و ب ي و عو ب‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ dred and seventy-nine’ (36.3, from the year AD 1467–1468);12 ‫ا �ل��� و ���س�ع���م�ا ي��ه‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت ن‬ ‫ن‬ �‫‘ و����م�اث �ي��ه وا ر ب��ع��ي‬nineteen hundred and forty-eight’ (14.4–5); and ‫ا �ل��� و ���س�ع���م�ا ي��ه‬ ‫‘ �� ث�ل��ه ����س���ع�� ن‬nineteen hundred and seventy-three’ (16.7–8). Other cardinal �‫و و ب ي‬ ‫‘ ح�د ا � ش‬eleven’ (7.3, a form also mentioned in Blau 2002: 33, numbers are ‫ع���ر‬ ‫‘ ��س�ـ[��ـ� ت�] � ش‬sixteen’(13.5). par. 17, and 43, par. 70) and the reconstructed ‫ع���ر‬ Finally, a highly uncertain, ordinal number was deciphered and written in the edition as [�‫‘ ]ا � ث�ل��ا �م� ن‬the eighth’ (2.5). In the entire corpus, the various kinds of pronouns are systematically written in a way that does not convey any information about the norms involved. Consequently, inventorying and interpreting such forms, once again, only makes sense within the context of individual texts. The only ‫ا ت�ن��� ن‬, see Section 2 above.  For the reconstruction of �‫ي‬  In this Arabic text, as in the preceding and the two following inscriptions, the year is indicated according to the Seleucid era (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 136–137). 11



johannes den heijer

exception here is that of the demonstrative pronouns, which were briefly mentioned before (Section 2), with respect to the writing of the interdental ḏ. From a morphological point of view, the CA form hāḏā (m.) ‫�ذ‬ ‘this’ (masculine) appears unambiguously as ‫( �ه� ا‬6.2, 18.3), but elsewhere a colloquial form such as hādā or hāda could also have been intended due to the absence of diacritics (1.2, 14.2, 16.5, 17.1, 29.2). The same applies to the karšūnī spelling ‫( ܗܕܐ‬32.1, 38.1). In several cases the orthography and register of the rest of the inscription seems to suggest that this would indeed be the case, hence the writing ‫ �ه�ـ�د ا‬in the relevant parts of our edition (1.6, 15.1, 31.2, 33.8). As for the feminine form, hāḏihī is undoubtedly ‫�ذ‬ intended in ‫( �ه� ه‬7.2) only, and probably where the dot was added to this form in the edition (1.2, 14.2, 16.5, 17.1). Whether the form ‫ �ه�د ه‬was left undotted (24.6, 34.2) as an orthographic feature or to express a colloquial form (such as hādih, or hādi, or even hāḏā/hāda)13 continues to be a matter of speculation. The same uncertainty surrounds ‫‘ د �ل�ك‬that’, which only occurs without dots but might nevertheless be taken to note the CA form ḏālika (7.8, 9.4, 14.3, 16.5, 16.7). The preposition ‫ �مت���ل‬or ‫ �مث���ل‬was discussed above with regard to its spelling (Section 2) and needs no further comment here. One composite prep‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ osition seems to belong to the colloquial register: � ‫‘ ��م� ن� �ش���ا‬so for the sake of’ (6.2). With regard to verbal morphology, the state of affairs in our corpus is such that a complete inventory of forms is better left to either a description of individual texts in case studies, as alluded to earlier, or to the automated searching of the inscriptions, possibly within the framework of a larger corpus. Here, observations will be limited to forms which might reflect the colloquial language, contrasted, where relevant, with likely CA forms. Even though the form ‫‘ ي���س�ا ل‬he asks’ (14.2) most probably expresses yasʾal(u), it should be borne in mind that this particular verb IIʾ of CA does have a colloquial counterpart without a hamza that is attested in ‫ف‬ Middle Arabic texts in general.14 Another verb IIʾ, �� ‫‘ ت�را ا‬may He be gracious’ (10.6), was commented upon above (Section 2) and manifestly belongs to the CA level. Within the range of verbs IIIʾ in CA, which correspond to verbs IIIy in the neo-Arabic type (Blau 1982: 101, 105, Blau 2002: 40, par. 49, Lentin ‫ق‬ 2008: 220), the forms ‫‘ �ر ا‬he read’ (6.2, 33.6, 33.8) and ‫‘ ي���ق��ر ا‬he reads’ (7.8) are  Cf. Jérôme Lentin’s contribution to this volume, paragraph 3.2.  Cf. Diem 1982: 189 on the orthography of this verb.



an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


ambiguous, as they can be interpreted either as qaraʾ(a) and yaqraʾ(u) or ‫ق‬ as qarā and yaqrā, respectively. More decisive are the past tense forms ‫�ر �ى‬ ‫ق‬ (16.7) and �‫( �ر �ي‬14.2), which in all likelihood were written with the intention of expressing the IIIy verb qarā of the colloquial register. In the same category, ambiguity is at stake once more in the active participle (used as ‫‘ ا �لخ‬the sinner’ (10.3, 21.2, 23.2, 29.2), which may be read an adjective), ‫��ا طى‬ as al-xāṭiʾ but also as al-xāṭī. ‫ت‬ A special case is the rather uncertain reading ‫( ا و �ى‬18.3): as we have argued in our commentary on the edition of the inscription in question (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 168), a passive voice of ʾātā ‘to bring’ (stem IV of ʾatā ‘to come’) seems to be somewhat improbable in the specific context with which we are concerned. Along with the alternative reading that we have suggested in our commentary, which takes us outside the realm of verbs IIIʾ, one could also consider the possibility of a form that would correspond to ʾawṭā, related to waṭaʾa ‘to tread’.15 This would make sense semantically in the given context, but would imply a secondary loss of emphasis (cf. Lentin 2008: 220), or at least a non-emphatic way of writing ṭ, and the interpretation of this form as a ‘pseudo-form IV’ (cf. Lentin 2008: 221, which is possibly related to the phenomenon described in Blau 2002: 38, par. 40). Regarding verbs IIIw and IIIy, our corpus seems to contain only forms that are either ambiguous or neutral from the point of view of linguistic register: ‫‘ ي��د �عو‬he prays’ (14.2), ‫‘ �ص��لى‬may he pray’ (17.2), ‫‘ وب���ق��ي�� ن���ا‬and we stayed’ (16.4), ‫‘ ج�ر �ى‬occurred’ (16.7), and ‫‘ �ش��ف��ى‬may He heal’ (18.4). The passive voice ‫ن‬ can be seen in ‫‘ ا � ي���س���م�ا‬to be named’ (21.3), although this is, however, an uncertain reading. Other aspects of syntax, such as negation, subordinate clauses, concord/agreement and word order, cannot be adequately dealt with within the limited framework of this study. It would thus make much more sense to try to identify the registers in this respect within the context of a full analysis of short, individual texts, as has been advocated on a number of occasions. 4. Lexicon Concerning the lexicon, many items are neutral in terms of the choice of register, and the only word requiring special mention here is the verb ‫�خ ��ل���ص‬ 15

 Cf. the form waṭā, recorded in Blau 1966–1967: 87.


johannes den heijer

‘he accomplished’ (18.1), which is without an explicit grammatical object and has been regarded as a colloquial way of expressing the notion of ‘to finish a job’ (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 168). A sociolinguistically important, but entirely different aspect of the lexical particularities of the Deir Mar Musa corpus and of comparable texts is that of religious vocabulary. Since this issue has more to do with religious identity, as expressed through language, than with strategies for using the various registers, it is appropriate to discuss it separately elsewhere and to refrain from going beyond a brief characterization of the main points here. Specifically, Christian lexical items and expressions can meaningfully be broken down into genuine Arabic words, including those that have older antecedents in other Semitic languages, and loanwords. Their confessional specificity, then, is directly related to the doctrinal or liturgical concepts they cover, as is the case with the recurrent ‫‘ ا ا � ن�ل�و ر‬Mother of ‫م‬ Light’ (7.4–5, 21.7, 29.5), ‫‘ د �ير‬monastery’ (16.2, 16.3, 16.4), and ‫ا ولا د ا �ل���م�ع���مود ي���ة‬ ‘the children of baptism’ (21.7). Loans from other languages can be further categorized according to ‫ن‬ their provenance. So, we would consider a word like � ‫‘ �م��طر ا‬metropolitan’ (15.2, 15.7) to be ‘Graeco-Arabic’ in that it hails from Greek but is strongly Arabized morphologically. The same goes for ‘Syro-Arabic’ lexemes like ‫�ن‬ ‫‘ ا � ش‬the deacon’ (14.1, 16.6), the verb ��‫‘ ت����ي‬he went to his rest’ (16.6), ‫ل������م�ا ��س‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ �‫‘ ا �ي�ل��ع����و ب�ي‬the Jacobite’ (14.1) as well as its plural ‫( ا �ي�ل��ع�ا � ب���ه‬15.3), and the title mār, preceding the names for saints or bishops and written once in a truncated line in our corpus as ]‫( �م�ا[ر‬7.5). Against the background of the study of language contact, it can be argued that the latter form, which is quite common in Arabic, represents a different, more advanced, stage of adaptation than ‫( �مر‬1.3, 6.2, 6.3, 24.7, 33.5, 34.3) and ‫( �مر �ى‬16.2) (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 135). From a cultural perspective, it is fascinating to note that the older layers of texts in Deir Mar Musa, which are dated or datable to the eleventh and twelfth centuries CE, combine Christian lexical features with expressions that are generally regarded as typically Islamic, such as �‫ب���س��م ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه ا �لرح�م� ن‬ � ‫‘ ا �ل‬in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate’ (1.1, 2.1, 7.1, �‫ح‬ ‫ر يم‬ ‫ض‬ ‫� ا �ل�ع�ا �ل���م�� ن‬ 13.1, 34.1), ‫‘ ر��ى ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه �ع ن���ه‬may God be pleased with him’ (17.3) and �‫ي‬ ‫رب‬ ‘Lord of the Worlds’ (4.3, 33.7, and perhaps 34.5) (Den Heijer, Ter Haar Romeny, Immerzeel and Westphalen 2007: 136).

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


5. Conclusion Returning to the main issue raised in the introduction to this study, it should be underlined once again that the conceptual framework of five grammatical outlines was but a temporary device, and we ought to work towards a real framework in the sense of a grid in which data can be entered conveniently. Without even remotely pretending to offer a solution, it is modestly suggested here that the next AIMA conference should reserve enough time for a discussion on the structure of such a grid: for it to be applicable, it needs to be based on a consensus about the order and the internal organization of the various categories. Many typological dilemmas might be avoided, for instance, by following Blau’s presentation of the data in 153 continuously numbered paragraphs, covering orthography and phonetics, morphology and syntax (Blau 2002: 29–56). But whatever the format that would ultimately be adopted, we must anticipate lengthy discussions about the most appropriate location for the study of a given phenomenon. An example in this small study was that of the demonstrative pronouns, which were now discussed in the ‘morphology and syntax’ section but not without serious hesitation on the part of the author. It is to be anticipated in this regard that specific texts or corpuses of texts will raise their own problems and thus prompt specific formats of presentation. The Deir Mar Musa texts are a case in point: their very internal coherence has led to a call for a relatively loose and associative way of organizing the material. An additional matter related to conducting an inventory concerns issues of criteria, method and priorities. Again, a collective reflection is imperative, but the choice made here is suggested as a contribution to such a process: the main focus here has been on the issue of norms and standards, an approach that has hopefully yielded some useful additional observations on otherwise extremely common linguistic and orthographic phenomena. Against the background of this central issue, a serious, if only partly successful, attempt has been made here to avoid thinking in terms of mere deviations from the norms of CA (which is no easy exercise given the persistence of its conceptual preponderance in numerous studies on MA!), and to try to inventory the distribution between CA and colloquial (or, in terms of diglossia, between H and L) norms as a first step towards describing the standards that appear to be operational in our specific corpus. Due to limitations of time and space, however, even a text corpus of such limited dimensions as that of Deir Mar Musa could not be described


johannes den heijer

adequately, because a comprehensive inventory of forms would far exceed the scope of this paper. In all likelihood, such a complete inventory of phenomena could best be realized in a digital environment and based on automated searching, as is the case for any corpus of texts.16 A very different solution, which can be applied with a far less substantial investment of time and resources, is to provide such analysis at a micro level, i.e. in the form of case studies on short text units. On several occasions in the preceding sections of this study, the relevance of such a small-scale, but in-depth, analysis was noted, and a few individual texts (notably inscriptions 15, 16 and 33) can be singled out as being particularly useful because of their utilization of diacritics and their vocabulary.17 With reference to the typological diversity of texts that contain elements of MA (see the introduction to this volume, Section 9), one is entitled to observe that inscriptions, generally speaking, as well as documentary texts (papyri and the like) provide excellent material for such an approach due to their usually modest dimensions. In this contribution, however, the comparative remarks on the CA, or H, and the colloquial, or L, elements in the inscriptions at Deir Mar Musa had to address the corpus as a whole, and thus, of necessity, remained somewhat superficial. This shortcoming notwithstanding, this presentation of relevant data will hopefully have provided some helpful reflections of a practical and methodological nature. References Assfalg, Julius. 1982. ‘9.6 Arabische Handschriften in syrischer Schrift (Karšūnī)’. Fischer, Wolfdietrich (ed.), Grundriß der arabischen Philologie. Band I. Sprachwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. 297–302. Bauden, Frédéric. 2008. ‘L’orthographe d’al-Maqrīzī à partir de son carnet de notes.’ Lentin, Jérôme and Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004).

16  At the AIMA 2 conference, Laurence Tuerlinckx has demonstrated a programme specially developed for the lemmatization of non-Classical Arabic texts, see the introduction to this volume, section 9 and footnote 31. On the same occasion, the present author has reported on a small-scale experiment in applying this programme to the Deir Mar Musa inscriptions. In brief, one can state that the software is certainly applicable to this kind of material but that texts to have to be encoded manually at the word level: for such a task, no opportunity has presented itself thus far. 17  In a forthcoming study, the present author dwells on these and other selected inscriptions of Deir Mar Musa from this particular methodological angle: ‘On Language and Religious Identity: the Case of Middle Arabic with special reference to the Christian Arab communities in the medieval Middle East’, in a forthcoming volume edited by Gunvor Mejdell and Lutz Edzard, based on a workshop held in Oslo in June 2010. See references.

an inventory of middle and mixed arabic features


Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 21–38. Blau, Joshua. 1966–1967. A Grammar of Christian Arabic Based Mainly on South-Palestinian Texts from the First Millennium. Louvain: Peeters (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium vol. 267, t. 27; vol. 276, t. 28; vol. 279, t. 29). ——. 1982. ‘3.3.2 Das frühe Neuarabisch in mittelarabischen Texten’. Fischer, Wolfdietrich (ed.), Grundriß der arabischen Philologie. Band I. Sprachwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. 96–109. ——. 1988. Studies in Middle Arabic and its Judaeo-Arabic variety. Jerusalem: Magnes Press and Hebrew University Press. ——. 2002. A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: Hebrew University. Boussofara-Omar, Naima. 2006. ‘Diglossia’. Versteegh, Kees (gen. ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 1. 629–637. Den Heijer, Johannes, Ter Haar Romeny, Bas, Immerzeel, Mat and Westphalen, Stephan. 2007. ‘Deir Mar Musa: The Inscriptions’. Eastern Christian art in its late antique and Islamic contexts 4. 133–186. Den Heijer, Johannes. 2012. ‘On Language and Religious Identity: the Case of Middle Arabic, with special reference to the Christian Arab communities in the medieval Middle East’. Mejdell, Gunvor and Edzard, Lutz (eds.). High vs. Low and Mixed Varieties— Domains, Status, and Functions across Time and Languages. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz (forthcoming). Diem, Werner. 1974. Hochsprache und Dialekt im Arabischen. Untersuchungen zur heutigen arabischen Zweisprachigkeit. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner. ——. 1982. ‘5.1.4 Die Entwicklung der arabischen Orthographie’. Fischer, Wolfdietrich (ed.), Grundriß der arabischen Philologie. Band I. Sprachwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. 184–190. Ferguson, Charles A. 1959. ‘Diglossia’. Word 15. 325–340. Fischer, Wolfdietrich. 1982. ‘3.3.1 Frühe Zeugnisse des Neuarabischen’. Fischer, Wolfdietrich (ed.), Grundriß der arabischen Philologie. Band I. Sprachwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. 83–95. Hopkins, Simon. 1984. Studies in the Grammar of Early Arabic, based upon papyri datable to before A.H. 300/A.D. 912. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kouloughli, Djemal-Eddine. 1996. ‘Sur quelques approches de la réalité sociolinguistique arabe’. Égypte/ Monde arabe 27–28. 287–299. (http://ema.revues.org/index1944.html) Lentin, Jérôme. 2008. ‘Middle Arabic’. Versteegh, Kees (gen. ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 2. Leiden – Boston: Brill. 215–224. Lentin, Jérôme and Grand’Henry, Jacques (eds.). 2008. Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). Marçais, William. 1930. ‘La diglossie arabe’. L’Enseignement Public 97. 401–409. Versteegh, Kees. 1997. The Arabic Language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Qui est arabophone? Les variÉtÉs de l’arabe dans la dÉfinition d’une compÉtence native Amr Helmy Ibrahim Summary: The increasingly triglossic nature of Arabic — a classical reference variety, a koine and a local dialect variety — forces a native Arabic speaker to navigate continuously between heterogeneous, shifting, and sometimes even conflicting models, while nevertheless giving the listener the feeling (which is the only guarantee of the speaker’s legitimacy) that he is speaking a single homogeneous language naturally and fluently. This exercise would not be possible without the existence of a linguistic reference matrix, which provides the conditions for navigating between the three varieties of Arabic. The shape of this matrix is closely linked to the progress and decline of the evolution of the koine — Middle Arabic, while Ii is the command of the matrix that defines the native competence of the Arabic speaker.

Parmi les conflits récurrents qui opposent aussi bien les locuteurs que les chercheurs d’une aire linguistique, l’identification du locuteur authentique, légitime et représentatif occupe une place de choix, y compris chez ceux qui ne reconnaissent pas d’autre arbitre que les corpus. L’enjeu est d’autant plus important que l’aire en question se caractérise par ou favorise le développement de quatre phénomènes: I. L’émergence d’une koinè. II. La permanence d’un état de diglossie ou même de triglossie. III. La prévalence d’une représentation polynomique de la langue et de ses variétés. IV. L’existence d’un décalage manifeste entre les modèles de référence des glosses en évolution et la représentativité des locuteurs qui occupent un rôle vedette dans les pratiques prototypiques de ces glosses. Les quatre phénomènes ne sont pas nécessairement corrélés, n’apparaissent pas forcément ensemble dans une même aire linguistique et n’ont pas une importance égale selon les lieux et les époques. Toutefois, en arabe, non seulement ils sont interdépendants et ont, sauf probablement le quatrième, toujours été caractéristiques de cette aire linguistique, mais leur gestion est inhérente à la compétence linguistique, qu’elle soit ou non native, d’un arabophone digne de ce nom. Cette gestion, et bien qu’il s’agisse d’un rapport tout à fait naturel à une langue qui n’existe qu’à travers ses variétés tout en se donnant une représentation unitaire, ne va


amr helmy ibrahim

pas, on s’en doute, sans de fortes contradictions. Et ce sont ces contradictions et ces décalages que le locuteur ne peut pas faire autrement que de surmonter qui sont le plus clairement caractéristiques de sa compétence linguistique. Une compétence qui devient avant tout une compétence de navigation entre des variétés qui peuvent s’éloigner l’une de l’autre au point de devenir méconnaissables au navigateur. Si la compétence de navigation est presque une évidence, il ne nous semble pas qu’on en ait donné une explication, autrement qu’en termes d’apprentissages successifs de parlers distincts. Ce type d’apprentissage est à la limite envisageable pour des étrangers. Il est tout simplement impensable pour un natif ou pour quelqu’un qui a appris à parler au contact de natifs. Ni les dialectes ni les différentes formes de parlers intermédiaires entre les dialectes et la langue normée et standardisée du discours public et de l’écrit n’ont jamais fait et ne font toujours pas l’objet d’un quelconque apprentissage pour un autochtone. Pour l’autochtone, reconnaître différentes variétés de sa langue et savoir exploiter leurs relations et leurs différences est ce qui lui permet d’identifier cette langue comme étant la sienne. Or cela n’est possible, pensons-nous, que s’il existe une matrice de référence dans laquelle le locuteur puise ou reconnaît des formes et des schémas de relations, voire si cette matrice contient tous les schémas de relations constatés dans l’ensemble des parlers accessibles à la compétence de l’autochtone qu’il soit ou non natif. Nous reviendrons à la fin de notre exposé sur la forme de cette matrice et le type de relation linguistique qu’elle est susceptible d’entretenir avec les différents parlers. Avant de reprendre un peu plus en détail ces différentes questions et expliquer pourquoi on peut les considérer comme les différentes facettes d’une même question, je voudrais attirer l’attention sur deux points cruciaux: (1) La maîtrise parfaite d’une seule variété de la langue — y compris la variété dite haute — ne se confond jamais avec une maîtrise réelle de la langue. (2) Chacune des variétés peut avoir, selon les lieux et les usagers, et malgré sa standardisation locale une interprétation instable au regard de l’ensemble des variétés et des standards de la langue à laquelle elle appartient et cette dernière ne cesse pas pour autant d’être grammaticalement homogène.

qui est arabophone?


1. L’insuffisance de la seule maîtrise de la variété haute de la langue : la compétence linguistique de Silvestre de Sacy Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (1758–1838) que l’on venait consulter des quatre coins de l’Europe sur le fonctionnement de l’arabe, auteur comme on le sait de la fameuse Grammaire arabe à l’usage des élèves de l’Ecole spéciale des langues orientales (1810 — rééditée en 1831) qui fait toujours autorité, et d’une série d’ouvrages sur l’arabe et les langues sémitiques qui ont jeté les bases de l’orientalisme français et européen en la matière, a écrit, dans une lettre conservée au Collège de France, pour justifier son refus de répondre à une invitation à se rendre dans un pays arabe: Vous voulez savoir qui a été mon maître dans l’apprentissage de l’arabe? Je peux vous assurer que je n’ai pas eu d’autres maîtres que les livres. C’est pourquoi il m’est impossible de poursuivre une discussion en arabe ni de comprendre ce qui se dit dans cette langue. En effet, je n’ai pas eu l’occasion dans ma jeunesse de parler l’arabe ou d’entendre des gens le parler. Je suis très fier de ce que vous dites de mes ouvrages mais je dois reconnaître que je regrette de ne pas être parti, dans ma jeunesse, en Egypte ou en Syrie et je suis loin de penser que je possède une connaissance parfaite de cette langue aussi vaste qu’un océan1.

On ne saurait être plus clair. Le grand maître considérait qu’il n’avait pas les compétences linguistiques basiques d’un arabophone. 2. Instabilité de l’interprétation : deux constructions différentes du sens en arabe standard moderne Lors d’un séjour à Sfax en Tunisie, j’ai pu lire sur un grand panneau, à l’occasion d’un repas de poisson sur le vieux port, écrit en caractères rouges et en arabe standard moderne: ‫ف ض‬ ‫نت‬ ‫ن‬ �‫�م���م��وع ا لإ� �����ص�ا ب� ا �ل����و��و �ي‬ mamnūʿ al-ʾintiṣāb al-fawḍawī

L’énoncé signifie dans le contexte tunisien de la criée portuaire : Il est interdit de dresser anarchiquement des tréteaux


 Badawī 1984 : 229 citant Hartwig Derenbourg.


amr helmy ibrahim

Or, comme on peut s’en douter, quel que soit le contexte, cet énoncé, en Egypte, au Soudan et pour autant que je sache dans tout le Levant, s’interprète uniformément comme signifiant : Il est interdit d’avoir des érections anarchiques

Comment donc la même langue, produite avec les mêmes mots, dans la même construction et le même niveau de langue, peut-elle prendre deux sens aussi différents ? Un fait d’autant plus surprenant que le sud de la Tunisie est l’une des régions de l’Afrique du Nord à l’ouest de l’Egypte qui présente le plus de ressemblances ethniques, historiques et démographiques avec l’Egypte et notamment avec la Haute-Egypte. Seule une étude de l’évolution de la voie en liaison avec la structure des schèmes et la structure d’argument de l’énoncé, permet d’avancer une explication : ʾintiṣāb �‫ إ� ن�ت����ص�ا ب‬est sur le schème ʾinfiʿāl ‫إ� ن���ف���ع�ا ل‬. Ce schème est souvent lié à une construction réflexive ou pronominale d’où l’inter‫ن‬ prétation se dresser mais le verbe naṣaba �‫ �����ص� ب‬a, entre autres sens celui de dresser avec la structure d’argument Quelqu’un dresse quelque chose de ً ‫ن‬ ‫ف ن‬ dressable ‫ ��لا � ي�ن�����ص� ب� �����ص ب���ا‬qui peut recevoir sans changement de schème l’interprétation Quelqu’un fait que quelque chose (se dresse + soit dressé) :

ً ً ‫ف ن‬ )‫ �م��نت������ص ب���ا‬+ ‫ ��لا � ي ج���ع�ل ا � ن�ل�����ص� ب� (�م ن�����صو ب�ا‬c’est-à-dire qu’il peut porter la trace de ce qu’on appelle un causatif interne. Dans les deux cas, la structure d’argument reste la même. La différence d’interprétation tient donc à la nature du quelque chose et à ce que Michel Bréal, créateur de la sémantique comme discipline, signalait en écrivant “. . . nous faisons honneur au langage d’une quantité de notions et d’idées qu’il passe sous silence, et qu’en réalité nous suppléons les rapports que nous croyons qu’il exprime” (Bréal [1868] 2005 : 190). Elle tient aussi aux lois qui s’imposent à l’usage lorsque cette opération de l’esprit — suppléer d’une certaine manière, toujours la même, à une certaine imperfection ou ambiguïté de la forme — se reproduit dans une collectivité avec une telle régularité qu’elle peut, dans la partie explicite de l’expression, s’effacer. Dans le premier cas on a :

1. Les pêcheurs n’ont pas le droit de (dresser + ériger) des tréteaux pour exposer leurs poissons de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

َ qui donne, par effacement de l’objet ‘évident’ tréteaux �‫ ا � ن�ل�����ص� ب‬:

Les pêcheurs n’ont pas le droit de (dresser + ériger) de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

qui est arabophone?


puis, par effacement de l’agent, trop bien connu pour être cité, les pêcheurs : On n’a pas le droit de (dresser + ériger) de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

qui donne par réduction stylistique : L’érection anarchique est interdite

Dans le deuxième on a:  2. Les gens n’ont pas le droit de (dresser + ériger) leur sexe de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

qui donne, par effacement de l’objet ‘évident’ le sexe dressé �‫ ا �ل���م��نت������ص� ب‬:

Les gens n’ont pas le droit de (dresser + ériger) de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

puis, par effacement de l’agent, trop bien connu pour être cité, les gens : On n’a pas le droit de [se] (dresser + ériger) de manière (désordonnée + anarchique)

qui donne par réduction stylistique L’érection anarchique est interdite

Ces mécanismes, propres à l’évolution des relations entre constructions transitives à objet externe (mafʿūl bihi ‫ )�م��ف���عول ب��ه‬ou objet interne (maf ʿūl muṭlaq �‫ )�م��ف���عول �م��ط��ل ق‬et constructions intransitives, courants dans toutes les langues, font partie des phénomènes qui ont conduit à des bifurcations dans une forme d’évolution qui ne touche ni à la phonologie, ni à la morphologie ni au lexique d’une langue mais à la manière dont une même grammaire construit différemment le sens pour ainsi dire à moyens constants. Il reste à en étudier systématiquement la réalisation dans l’ensemble des états, dialectes et variétés de l’arabe. Cela prendra du temps certes mais ne devrait pas poser de problèmes de fond puisque les locuteurs natifs reconstituent facilement les mécanismes dès lors que le contact avec une forme de variation différente de la leur les incite à en prendre conscience. 3. Facteurs de variation et constituants de la compétence native Revenons maintenant aux facteurs de variation que nous avons évoqués. Ils sont pour l’essentiel bien connus et relativement bien acceptés mais on ne leur attribuera pas le même effet selon la manière dont on les formule :


amr helmy ibrahim

I. L’émergence d’une seule koinè — en aucun cas de plusieurs même si les usages de cette koinè peuvent varier d’une région à une autre — au sens grec du terme et dans les conditions qu’a connues la Grèce, c’est-à-dire avec deux dimensions liées mais distinctes : (а) Celle d’une forme linguistique intermédiaire entre plusieurs dialectes et entre une forme standard de la langue et ses dialectes, adoptée progressivement dans les échanges de la vie publique d’une aire géographique relativement étendue du fait d’une double pression : économique (par exemple la vitalité et l’extension des comptoirs grecs) et politique (par exemple les conquêtes d’Alexandre au IVe siècle av-JC). (b) Celle d’une forme linguistique dont l’émergence comme le souligne Peter Hugoe Matthews (1997 : 195) : atténue les différences entre les dialectes et est susceptible d’influer sur la langue standard voire de s’y incorporer [koinéisation]2. II. Le fait qu’une langue soit naturellement et de manière stable diglossique au sens premier de Charles Albert Ferguson (1959) et qu’elle puisse même être naturellement et de manière stable triglossique. Notamment que l’on puisse y constater 4 points qui reprennent avec des extensions des points sur lesquels Ferguson n’est jamais revenu, à savoir : (1) que la variété L (basse) est apprise en premier, sans enseignement, et jouit d’un statut vernaculaire alors que la variété H (haute) est acquise à travers un enseignement ou une forme ou une autre de scolarisation, jouit d’un statut national et symbolique et que la variété I (intermédiaire ou moyenne) est apprise sur le tas et jouit d’un statut strictement véhiculaire. (2) que seule la variété H fait l’objet d’une standardisation à la fois stricte, explicite, consensuelle et identitaire, que la variété L est consensuelle et identitaire mais sans standardisation explicite et que la variété I est opportuniste, non identitaire et ne peut pas être standardisée du fait que sa raison d’être est une adaptabilité hic et nunc. (3) que le différentiel de la diglossie mais aussi de la triglossie se maintient en diachronie pendant des siècles. 2  Orthographiée avec un ‘z’ en anglais, la notion est très courante dans la littérature sociolinguistique de langue anglaise et fait l’objet d’une polémique entre ceux qui la confondent avec le processus de créolisation et ceux qui l’en distinguent. Cf notamment Kerswill 2002.

qui est arabophone?


(4) qu’aussi bien phonologiquement que grammaticalement la variété H est plus englobante et plus riche dans l’absolu (Ferguson dit plus complexe) que la variété L ou la variété I. C’est-à-dire qu’elle contient toutes leurs relations et toutes leurs possibilités, toutes leurs virtualités. S’il fallait calquer l’informatique on dirait qu’elle contient le code source de tous les programmes qui en dérivent. III. La prévalence d’une représentation polynomique — au sens de JeanBaptiste Marcellesi (1983) — de la langue c’est-à-dire de son unité dans ses variétés. C’est-à-dire que la reconnaissance d’une pratique naturelle de la langue et de sa maîtrise ne tiennent pas à la démonstration d’un degré suffisant de compétence dans le maniement d’une des glosses de la diglossie ou de la triglossie caractéristique de cette langue mais dans l’aptitude dont on doit constamment faire preuve dans le passage d’une glosse à une autre et dans les stratégies d’adaptation qu’on fait corrélativement subir, à chaque énonciation, à chacune de ces glosses. En effet, l’unité polynomique d’une langue qui connaît une diversification tant horizontale — variantes régionales — que verticale — différentes glosses — est à la fois un produit objectif (crible phonologique — type grammatical — généalogie et dynamique lexicales — modèle énonciatif — mécanismes de construction du sens) et le produit d’une volonté collective, le produit, comme le souligne Marcellesi de “la décision massive de ceux qui la parlent de lui donner un nom particulier et de la déclarer autonome des autres langues reconnues”3. IV. L’existence d’un décalage manifeste entre les modèles de référence des glosses en évolution et la représentativité des locuteurs qui occupent un rôle vedette dans les pratiques prototypiques de ces glosses. On sait l’importance qu’a pu jouer et que joue encore la parole publique autorisée quand elle est médiatisée par la presse, la radio et la télévision dans le formatage de nombreux réflexes linguistiques durables qui agissent à terme sur la grammaire, l’articulation et la prosodie de la parole publique. On sait aussi l’importance de la mise en scène de l’expression 3  Pour une discussion contradictoire de ce phénomène on pourra opposer Ibrahim 1978, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c & 1996 à ceux qui voient dans les différences et les variations constatées parmi les locuteurs qui se reconnaissent comme arabophones, une disparition progressive de ce qui lie linguistiquement ces locuteurs, une autonomisation irréversible de leurs systèmes linguistiques et l’existence de conditions annonçant l’émergence de langues ou de créoles distincts. Pour une bonne synthèse contradictoire intégrant les trois paramètres : koinè, diglossie, polynomie on lira avec profit Hudson 2002.


amr helmy ibrahim

linguistique (chanson, théâtre, cinéma, émission télévisées) pour établir un continuum entre la parole publique et la parole privée. Or, autant une époque, en Egypte, comme la période nassérienne (1956–1970) et une partie de l’ère sadatienne (1970–1976) a vu du fait d’une quadruple légitimité (démographique, politique, religieuse et artistique) converger les modèles médiatiques, la mise en scène linguistique de la vie quotidienne et une politique volontariste de la langue que ce soit sur le marché intérieur ou sur la scène régionale voire internationale, autant l’époque que nous vivons est marquée par de violents décalages qui favorisent la divergence : • les modèles médiatiques émanent de pays démographiquement insignifiants pour ne pas dire inexistants et sont massivement animés par des groupes ultraminoritaires qui ne représentent même plus leurs pays d’origine ; • le cinéma égyptien et plus généralement arabe est en pleine déconfiture en termes de modélisation du fait de son financement par des sources occidentales ou par des sources arabes étrangères et hostiles à son marché naturel ; • la chanson égyptienne moderne n’est plus un facteur d’unité régionale dans la mesure où soit elle devient de plus en plus locale soit elle suit des tendances internationales et ne peut plus de ce fait s’instituer comme référence sur le plan régional ; • les feuilletons télévisés résistent un peu mieux mais suivent progressivement le chemin du cinéma ; • les programmes d’enseignement ne sont plus unifiés et les élites font suivre de plus en plus à leurs enfants un enseignement qui les éloigne d’une maîtrise authentique de l’arabe ; • l’arabe unitaire sous sa formé koinèisée reflue des positions qu’il avait conquises dans les échanges commerciaux et sur les marchés informatique et audiovisuel. On comprendra qu’il soit difficile dans ces conditions de définir de manière consensuelle quelle production médiane est vraiment légitime. Il semble toutefois que malgré ces difficultés la situation soit bien moins mauvaise qu’elle ne ressort du fond comme du style des écrits de l’historien égyptien Al-Ǧabartī dont on peut déduire qu’il n’était pas impossible, si l’expédition de Bonaparte n’avait pas eu lieu, que l’arabe, cantonné à un usage religieux et strictement domestique, disparaisse à terme de l’espace public et des usages fonctionnels standardisés !

qui est arabophone?


La scolarisation massive et obligatoire dans la variété H avec, érigée en dogme, l’idée — qui fait sourire le chercheur mais qui n’en est pas moins performative pour autant — que l’arabe, sorte de langue mère universelle, forme une unité indivisible, a pu, tout au moins dans les zones à démographie galopante comme l’Egypte, l’Algérie, le Maroc, le sud du Liban et dans une moindre mesure certaines parties de la Tunisie et du Soudan, maintenir ou faire apparaître une koinè très proche de la variété H mais aussi relativement transparente aux formes exportables des dialectes égyptien et levantin — formes expurgées des héritages franco-italo-grécoperso-turcs. D’autre part, la dégradation économique flagrante des conditions de vie et du statut social des classes moyennes et l’extension, probablement sans précédent historique, du chômage des jeunes universitaires, dans tout le monde arabe, éloignent leurs pratiques linguistiques de celles des pseudo élites et de leurs enfants. Quelles que soient leurs convictions, les membres de ces classes moyennes n’ont pas les moyens — ni d’ailleurs souvent le désir — de suivre le modèle d’acculturation et de désarabisation proposé par les pseudo élites qui pratiquent des formes extrêmes d’alternance codique4 sans posséder le bilinguisme ou le trilinguisme authentique des minorités judéo-italo-gréco-turco-arméno-égyptiennes de l’époque du quatuor d’Alexandrie . . . voire d’époques moins romanesques plus récentes. Il est donc clair que toutes les formes d’expression puisent leurs ressources dans la seule matrice réellement disponible. Celle de la variété H. L’hypothèse de Ferguson est sur ce point facile à argumenter. Il est tout à fait exceptionnel5 qu’on trouve dans un dialecte arabe une relation grammaticale qui ne se retrouve pas dans l’une des classes d’équivalence de la variété H de cette langue. En d’autres termes pour, dans un dialecte, une relation grammaticale A entre une forme B et une forme C, il y aura toujours dans la variété H une relation grammaticale équivalente A’ entre une forme D ou B’ et une forme E ou C’. D’autre part il est rarissime et 4  Si l’on se réfère au modèle de Carol Myers-Scotton (2001) on pourrait dire que dans l’alternance codique que pratiquent ceux d’entre eux qui ne sont pas bilingues il n’y a pratiquement plus de matrice d’accueil pour les expressions étrangères qui déstructurent leur discours . . . 5  La généralisation de la forme progressive dans les dialectes arabes pourrait être considérée comme l’une de ces exceptions si on considère qu’elle n’existe pas dans la variété H du fait de l’impossibilité de lui associer dans cette variété une trace morphologique. De fait, une bonne analyse grammaticale du fonctionnement de l’aspect dans la variété H montre que la valeur progressive y est fréquente même si elle n’a pas de forme morphologique dédiée.


amr helmy ibrahim

en tout cas peu significatif pour l’économie générale du système qu’un dialecte possède une opposition phonologique étrangère au crible phonologique de la variété H. Enfin, il est rare qu’un dialecte — y compris celui d’Alger — maintienne au-delà d’une génération et donc l’incorpore, une dérivation morphologique qui n’obéit pas au différentiel des schèmes et dérivations de la variété H. Cette situation favorise grandement le développement, au coup par coup et selon les situations, d’une koinè non standardisée dans la mesure où les deux références nécessaires restent le vernaculaire et la variété H qui contient la boîte à outils nécessaire aux adaptations et réajustements permanents nécessités par l’éclatement extrême des vernaculaires, des niveaux de langue et des statuts linguistiques. Et il est tout aussi clair que cette koinè n’est pas l’arabe standard moderne qui n’est qu’une évolution naturelle de la variété H. L’arabophone est donc celui qui doté d’un vernaculaire, possède suffisamment bien la matrice pour en faire la boîte à outils de sa koinè. Références Al-Jabartī, ʿAbd-al-Rahmān. 1979. Journal d’un notable du Caire durant l’expédition française (1798–1801). Traduit et annoté par Joseph Cuoq — Préface de Jean Tulard. Paris : Albin Michel. Badawī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān. 1984. Mawsūʿat al-mustašriqīn. Bayrūt : Dār al-ʿilm li-l-malāyīn. Bréal, Michel. 2005, 1877, [1868]. ‘Les idées latentes du langage’. Mélanges de mythologie et de linguistique. Paris : Hachette. 295–322. [Réimprimé en 2005, Limoges : Lambert-Lucas. 187–201]. De Sacy, Baron Silvestre. 1831. Grammaire arabe à l’usage des élèves de l’école spéciale des langues orientales vivantes — al-tuḥfa al-saniyya fī ʿilm al-ʿarabiyya, 2ème éd. corrigée et augmentée, à laquelle on a joint un Traité de la prosodie et de la métrique arabe, 2 vol. Paris : Imprimerie Royale. Ferguson, Charles Albert. 1959. ‘Diglossia’. Word 15. 325–340. [republié dans Hymes, Dell. 1964. Language in Culture and Society: a reader in linguistics and anthropology. New York : Harper & Row. 429–439, puis dans Giglioli, Pier Paolo. 1983. Language and Social Context: selected readings. Harmondsworth : Penguin Education (Penguin Modern Sociology Readings). 232–251]. ——. 1991. ‘Epilogue : Diglossia Revisited’. Alan Hudson (ed.), Southwest Journal of Linguistics, Special issue, Studies in Diglossia 10,1. 214–234. [réimprimé dans A. Elgibali (ed.), Understanding Arabic : Essays in Contemporary Arabic Linguistics in Honor of El-Said Badawi. Cairo : The American University in Cairo Press. 49–67. Hudson, Alan. 2002. ‘Outline of a theory of diglossia’. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 157. 1–48. Ibrahim, Amr Helmy. 1978. ‘Fonction des niveaux de langue dans la communication sociale en Egypte — Le discours du rayyés’. Peuples Méditerranéens 5. 3–33. ——. 1991a. ‘Arabes et argots sont-ils compatibles?’ De la grammaire de l’arabe aux grammaires des Arabes, Bulletin d’Études Orientales de l’Institut Français de Damas 43. 33–45.

qui est arabophone?


——. 1991b. ‘Hétérogénéité et convergence des arabes modernes’. Les langues polynomiques, Actes du colloque international sur les langues polynomiques (Corte 17/22 sept 1990), PULA [Publications Universitaires de Linguistique et d’Anthropologie] ¾. Corte : Université de Corse. 247–254. ——. 1991c. ‘La caricature politique en Egypte’. Images d’Égypte : de la fresque à la bande dessinée, Actes des journées d’études CEDEJ/IFAO ‘L’Égypte dans l’iconographie et la bande dessinée’- Le Caire 15/17 mai 1987). Le Caire : CEDEJ. 105–131. ——. 1996. ‘La nokta égyptienne ou l’absolu de la souveraineté’. Irène Fenoglio et François Georgeon (éds), L’humour en Orient. Revue du Monde Musulman et de la Méditerranée 77/78. Aix-en-Provence : Edisud. 199–212. Kerswill, Paul. 2002. ‘Koineization as language change’. J.K. Chambers, P. Trudgill and N. Schilling-Estes (eds.), The handbook of language variation and change. Oxford : Blackwell. 669–702. Marcellesi, Jean-Baptiste. 1983. ‘La définition des langues en domaine roman : les enseignements à tirer de la situation corse’. Sociolinguistique des langues romanes 5, Actes du Congrès des romanistes d’Aix-en-Provence. Aix-en-Provence : Université de Provence. 309–314. Matthews, Peter Hugoe. 1997. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. New York : Oxford University Press. Myers-Scotton, Carol. 2001. ‘The matrix language frame model: Developments and responses’. Jacobson, Rodolfo (ed.), Codeswitching Worldwide II. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter (Trends in linguistics Studies and monographs 126). 23–58.

Perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe : l’exemple des traitÉs thÉologiques de Sulaymān al-ĠazzĪ1 Paolo La Spisa J’ai essayé de faire ici pour la langue française ce que ferait un architecte qui voudrait reconstruire sur le papier Saint-Germain des Prés tel que l’admira le xie siècle. Gaston Paris Summary: This article briefly exposes the methodological problems that an editor has to resolve to produce a critical edition of written Middle Arabic texts. Usually, the editors not only often fail to take into account all of the manuscript witnesses, but they also tend to correct the Middle Arabic features, regarding them as errors made by illiterate copyists. In this respect, it is possible to distinguish two different schools of editing Arabic texts: one is in favour of a semi-diplomatic edition, while the second adopts an interventionist method that does not take into account the relationships between witnesses from a genealogical point of view. This paper highlights that even for written Middle Arabic texts, the methodological distinction that is nowadays applied in Romance philology between ‘criticism of forms’ and ‘criticism of variants’ is a possible solution to overcoming the apparent impasse between a blind fidelity to a chosen witness and changing both forms and variants by creating an eclectic text. To achieve this, the author took some examples from the manuscript tradition of Sulaymān al-Ġazzī’s theological treatises (Xth–XIth centuries). In a critical approach, this contribution intends to stimulate the scientific debate on the issues raised by the neo-Lachmannian method. Account is taken of the facts that interpretation is an essential phase of textual criticism work and that the mechanical nature of a stemma must always be accompanied by a sound knowledge of the history of the manuscript tradition, bearing in mind that ‘each case is unique’. 1  Cet article présente une partie des résultats d’une recherche financée par le « Marie Curie » Intra European Fellowship — EU 7th Framework Programme. Il s’agit d’une première et modeste tentative de réponse à l’exigence exprimée par les organisateurs du premier colloque sur le moyen arabe, à savoir celle d’aborder le problème de l’édition critique des textes en moyen arabe. Cette problématique, qui « conditionne sans doute toutes les autres », n’a malheureusement pas trouvé sa place dans les Actes de AIMA1 (voir notamment Lentin-Grand’Henry 2008: xi–xii, xxi), mais il n’empêche qu’elle reste d’une importance cruciale ; on ne prétend pourtant pas ici en traiter tous les aspects ni relever tous les défis qu’elle comporte. Un remerciement tout particulier va à Alessandro Bausi qui durant ces dernières années n’a jamais manqué de m’exprimer ses encouragements les plus précieux ; ces réflexions lui sont dédiées. Un grand merci enfin à Marcel Pirard et Laurence Tuerlinckx qui, comme d’habitude, ont eu l’amabilité de corriger mon français. Les sigles utilisés dans l’article correspondent aux manuscrits suivants : W = Sin. Ar. Nouveau fond 4 (1192) ; B = Bodleian Graves 30 (XIIIe s.) ; H = Ḥarīṣā 48 (XIVe s.) ; Y= Dayr Šwayr 123 (XVIIIe s.) ; M = Dayr al-Muxalliṣ 1807 (XVIIe s.) ; A= Archevêché Maronite d’Alep 1182 (XVe s.) ; Q = Saint Sepulcre 101 (XVIIIe s.) ; Ed = Edelby 1986.


paolo la spisa 1. Introduction

Lorsqu’on aborde le problème épineux des méthodes d’édition critique des textes de toute tradition culturelle dont la langue reste vivante, ou qui du moins l’était encore lors de la copie — comme c’est le cas, notamment, des traditions romanes, du géorgien et de l’arabe — deux types de critiques doivent être envisagées : la critique des formes et celle des leçons, autrement dit la critique des variantes textuelles et celle de la forme linguistique du texte édité. Le premier qui a introduit cette distinction en critique textuelle est Gaston Paris, philologue français qui vécut dans la deuxième moitié du XIXe siècle2. Pourtant, les deux typologies sont intimement liées ; il en résulte que le problème de la forme linguistique à donner au texte édité est étroitement lié à la méthode adoptée par l’éditeur pour choisir entre les différentes variantes de la tradition. Cependant, à part quelques rares éditions munies d’une introduction succincte, en Orient comme en Occident, on ne s’intéresse que peu aux éditions dans lesquelles on lit aujourd’hui encore les classiques de la littérature arabe. Le but de cette contribution est donc en premier lieu de relancer un débat fécond et fructueux, on l’espère, entre les spécialistes. Une recherche précise sur les méthodologies suivies en littérature arabe est absolument nécessaire, parce que si dans les traditions occidentales on parle même de New Philology, souvent les éditeurs des textes arabes, ou orientaux en général, ne connaissent même pas le nom de Karl Lachmann. Par ailleurs, en ce qui concerne la critique de la langue, dans les éditions des textes arabes la règle normalement en usage consiste à déposer la langue du texte édité sur le lit de Procuste de l’arabe classique3, sans tenir compte que l’arabe, en tant que langue naturelle, a évolué au cours de sa longue histoire. Dans cet article, j’essaierai donc de résumer les débats suscités autour de la méthode qui a été conçue en Europe entre le XIXe et le XXe siècle et qui va se développer sous le nom de lachmannisme et néolachmannisme, les réponses et les objections qui on été formulées à cet égard ainsi que les habitudes éditoriales en usage pour les textes arabes ; ceci, pour proposer finalement des solutions envisageables. On abordera toujours les problèmes de l’édition critique du point de vue des deux cri-

2  « La restitution critique d’un texte comprend en effet deux parties bien distinctes et qui ne doivent être abordées ni avec les mêmes ressources ni par les mêmes procédés : la constitution des leçons et la constitution du langage » ; Paris 1872 : 14. 3  J’ai emprunté cette expression particulièrement heureuse à Joshua Blau ; cf. Blau 1966 : 36 note 28.

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


tiques évoquées plus haut, s’agissant en fait de deux faces de la même médaille : le texte critique établi par l’éditeur et qui est donné à lire au lecteur moderne, dans sa forme aussi bien que dans son contenu. 2. Lachmann et le lachmannisme L’ecdotique ou science de l’édition critique des manuscrits, est un terme qui a été forgé en français par le moine bénédictin Dom Henry Quentin, philologue spécialiste du Nouveau Testament, qui a vécu entre le XIXe et le XXe siècle. Grâce au lachmannisme4 européen, on a formulé des règles permettant de reconstruire un texte à l’aide des copies qui en ont été conservées et dont l’original autographe de l’auteur est perdu. Ce faisant on pensait pouvoir restituer, à tout le moins, un texte aussi proche que possible de celui de l’archétype qui est la copie souche à laquelle remontent toutes les copies qui nous sont parvenues au long de la tradition, et dont l’existence doit être toujours démontrée. Forgée dans le cadre de la philologie classique et néotestamentaire5, la méthode lachmannienne est basée sur la recensio. À travers la recensio, l’éditeur, après avoir collationné toutes les sources directes qui attestent le même texte, pourra regrouper les manuscrits par familles et ensuite choisir entre les variantes indifférentes de la tradition (à savoir les variantes de même valeur, qui donnent toujours du sens au texte) avec un système de majorité des familles, et ainsi établir la leçon originelle. Théoriquement, avec Lachmann, la philologie s’était définitivement débarrassée de la dimension arbitraire de choix de l’éditeur (iudicium), et ceci grâce à un système mécanique de majorité. En réalité, aujourd’hui on sait que les cas d’une tradition donnant la possibilité d’une constitutio textus complètement mécanique sont très rares. Il s’avère en effet que la condition fondamentale pour obtenir une majorité claire parmi les familles de la tradition réside dans un stemma codicum d’au moins trois branches, cas malheureusement peu fréquent. Le premier à avoir reconnu ce point faible de la recensio lachmannienne fut Joseph Bédier (1864–1938) ; tout en démontrant la majorité des arbres  La méthode traditionnellement attribuée à Karl Lachmann (1793–1851) a été formulée au XIXe siècle en Allemagne par tout un mouvement philologique. Pour une reconstruction de l’histoire de la philologie en Europe, voir ce qui est désormais devenu un outil indispensable pour tout éditeur : La Genesi del metodo del Lachmann par Sebastiano Timpanaro (Timpanaro 2003), aujourd’hui disponible aussi dans la version anglaise réalisée par Glenn W. Most (Timpanaro 2005). En complément de l’étude de Timpanaro, je renvois à Fiesoli 2000. 5  Cf. Pasquali 1974 : 8–12. 4


paolo la spisa

bifides (Silva portentosa !) dans les éditions critiques, il arriva à la conclusion que le critère de choix entre variantes reste toujours le iudicium de l’éditeur6. La solution alternative proposée par Bédier fut donc le choix du ‘bon manuscrit’ ; mais, — et ici réside une différence remarquable par rapport à beaucoup d’éditions modernes sur lesquelles je reviendrai —, le critère de choix était déterminé par sa position généalogique par rapport aux autres manuscrits. En d’autres termes, on procédait à une recensio scrupuleuse en vue de choisir un manuscrit de base et non plus en vue de reconstituer le texte le plus proche à l’archétype. Cependant, au fils du temps, les réactions les plus efficaces à la critique de Bédier ont été formulées surtout en Italie, dont les plus remarquables restent celle de Pasquali, Contini7 et Timpanaro8. Sans entrer dans les détails qui risqueraient de nous détourner de notre but principal, on se bornera ici à remarquer pourtant que l’éditeur, en cas de parité entre des variantes indifférentes, peut de toute façon recourir à d’autres critères de choix, comme celui de la lectio difficilior, de l’usus scribendi et dicendi le plus vraisemblablement attribuable à l’auteur et du critère géographique, à savoir le critère des ‘aires latérales’ : si deux mss. provenant de deux régions éloignées l’une de l’autre partagent la même leçon, elle doit probablement être considérée comme originelle9. Le premier à avoir mis l’accent sur l’importance de ces trois critères a été Giorgio Pasquali, qui a reformulé les problèmes de la reconstruction d’un texte critique en fonction de l’histoire de sa tradition manuscrite10. En d’autres termes, d’après Pasquali, pour éditer un texte, il faut envisager la reconstruction de l’archétype, dans le cas où il existe, en tenant toujours compte du cadre historique et culturel qui est à la base du texte. Une recensio mécanique, telle qu’elle avait été conçue par Lachmann et qui a ensuite été reproposée par Maas11, et qui ne tient pas compte des conditions économiques, historiques et culturelles qui ont été à la base de chaque étape de diffusion du texte, serait donc une entreprise illusoire. Bref, en Europe, à partir du XVIIIe siècle et jusqu’à nos jours, il y a eu tout un mouvement d’élaboration et de mise au point de la science  Cf. Bédier 1928.  Contini 1992.  8  Timpanaro 2003 : 129–160.  9  Sur les trois critères de choix à utiliser dans les cas de traditions où la leçon authentique ne peut être choisie d’une manière mécanique, voir notamment Pasquali 1974 : xvii (8e point du décalogue), 7, 159–160, et Timpanaro 2003 : 55–58, 108–109, où il est souligné que pour une utilisation correcte de ces critères l’éditeur doit bien connaître l’histoire de la tradition. 10  Pasquali 1974 : xi–xii. 11  Pour résumer le concept de recensio mécanique, Lachmann forgea la formule « recensere sine interpretatione et possumus et debemus » ; voir aussi Maas 1927.  6  7

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


ecdotique, que les éditeurs de n’importe quel texte doivent impérativement prendre en considération. 3. Les éditions de textes arabes Cependant, dans le milieu des éditeurs de textes arabes médiévaux, on fait fi de cette tradition, de sorte que l’on peut lire, dans les notes de bas de page de certaines éditions de textes de littérature arabe médiévale, des variantes attestées dans d’autres éditions. Le fameux al-Fihrist d’Ibn al-Nadīm (m. 385/995), source historique fondamentale qui relate la vie et les œuvres des personnages les plus éminents de la vie culturelle, politique et scientifique de la première époque abbasside, n’a toujours pas fait l’objet d’une véritable édition critique qui tienne compte des témoignages de tous les manuscrits disponibles. L’édition de Yūsuf ʿAlī Ṭawīl, imprimée en 2002 par le Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyyah, en est un exemple assez clair. Dans l’introduction, l’éditeur nous informe qu’il existe déjà deux éditions de ce texte : celle de Téhéran du 1971 et celle de Beyrouth, éditée par Dār al-Maʿrifah en 197812. Or, tout en passant sous silence les autres sources qu’il a consultées, Ṭawīl a préféré donner en note les variantes, tantôt de l’édition de Téhéran tantôt de celle de Beyrouth. Pour éditer les textes de la littérature arabe, devra-t-on collationner les éditions antérieures plutôt que les manuscrits eux-mêmes ? Cet état des choses a aussi été dénoncé par Witkam lorsqu’il a remarqué que dans plusieurs éditions du Ṭawq al-ḥamāma d’Ibn Ḥazm (m. 456/1064), texte conservé dans un seul manuscrit (Leiden Or. 927), la même erreur figure au début de l’ouvrage13. Il s’agit d’une omission due au premier éditeur14 et qui s’est maintenue dans les éditions successives ; ceci démontre à l’évidence que personne parmi les nombreux éditeurs de ce classique de la littérature arabe n’a eu le ʻcourageʼ de consulter le seul manuscrit existant. Au contraire, tous se sont bornés à reproduire la première édition, de sorte qu’il serait plus convenable de parler de réimpressions successives plutôt que de nouvelles éditions. Avec ce peu d’exemples, il n’est pas difficile de comprendre l’état pitoyable dans lequel se trouve la majorité des monuments de la littérature arabe.  Ṭawīl 2002 : 4–5.  Il s’agit de l’omission des mots ʿalā ḏalika du f. 2r l. 3 : Witkam 1988 : 92. L’arabisant hollandais en tire la triste aussi bien que réaliste conclusion que « The great majority of editions of medieval Arabic texts is entirely untrustworthy, which is a deplorable state of affairs » ; Witkam 1988 : 99 note 10. 14  Pétrof 1914. 12 13


paolo la spisa 3.1. Deux écoles opposées

Cependant, parmi les éditeurs de textes arabes, quelques-uns ont essayé de formuler une méthode d’édition, et l’on peut distinguer au moins deux écoles ou tendances opposées : 1) Ceux qui choisissent un manuscrit supposé être le ʻbonʼ ou ledit manuscrit de base, et dont on conserve les leçons et la forme linguistique, jusqu’à garder dans l’édition les erreurs les plus flagrantes. En d’autres termes ils optent pour une édition diplomatique ou semi-diplomatique. 2) Ceux qui sont favorables à l’intervention la plus poussée dans le texte édité, tantôt dans la forme, en corrigeant toujours le texte selon les règles de la langue classique, tantôt dans le choix des leçons, en adoptant toujours des critères subjectifs. La première école est représentée par plusieurs éditions parues dans la collection Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium lorsqu’elle était dirigée par René Draguet qui exposa ses principes d’édition pour les textes syriaques dans un article devenu fameux parmi les orientalistes éditeurs de textes15. Il s’agit d’un manifeste de philologie conservatrice extrémiste, où toute intervention de l’éditeur doit être reléguée en apparat avec un lege. En dernière analyse, on choisi un manuscrit et on le copie tel quel, le plus fidèlement possible, dans sa forme aussi bien que dans son contenu, tout en supposant que la scientificité d’une édition repose sur l’absence totale de toute intervention de la part de l’éditeur. La réponse la plus efficace et critique à cette école a été exprimée par la deuxième tendance, dont Samir Khalil est l’un des représentants les plus éminents pour ce qui concerne la littérature arabe chrétienne médiévale. Il expose les principes qu’il adopte, dans plusieurs articles ainsi que dans des introductions à ses éditions16. Après avoir écarté l’édition d’un manuscrit autographe, cas assez rare dans la littérature de l’époque pré-moderne, Samir explique que le but d’une édition est de « donner un texte lisible et correct et, d’autre part, un texte clair et structuré, dans lequel apparaît la structure de la pensée de l’auteur »17. Donc pour Samir, et avec lui la majorité des éditeurs arabophones, le critère de la lisibilité du texte ancien par un lecteur moderne est prioritaire dans une édition. Voyons maintenant quelles  Draguet 1977.  Voir surtout son discours inaugural lors du premier colloque arabe-chrétien : Samir 1982. 17  Samir 1982 : 74 (les italiques sont nôtres). 15


perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


sont les méthodes utilisées par les éditeurs de textes arabes pour choisir entre les leçons d’une tradition à plusieurs témoins. Deux possibilités sont envisagées : 1. choisir une copie et la collationner avec les autres, tout en préférant les meilleures18, 2. l’éditeur choisit, parmi les nombreux manuscrits, le texte ou la portion de texte qui lui paraît (yuxayyalu ilayhi) être la plus fidèle à la pensée de l’auteur, tout en utilisant les autres ouvrages déjà publiés du même auteur19. Selon Samir, la première possibilité est la bonne lorsqu’il y a un témoin meilleur que les autres quant à la génuinité des leçons. Cependant ici on a tendance à confondre la bonne leçon, c’està-dire la leçon originelle, avec l’antiquité du manuscrit, en conséquence de quoi le meilleur manuscrit sera toujours le plus ancien, contre le principe recentiores non deteriores. Quant à la deuxième possibilité, elle est à envisager lorsque les témoins ont la même importance ou valeur, c’est-àdire lorsqu’il n’y a pas d’original de l’auteur ni une copie ancienne20. De nombreux exemples de cette dernière manière de procéder peuvent être repérés dans la collection Patrimoine Arabe Chrétien. Quoi qu’il en soit le résultat semble être souvent une édition éclectique. Comme nous le rappelle Dominique Poirel, l’édition éclectique qui ne tient pas compte des relations généalogiques entre les témoins, est le pire des choix, car [elle] réduit les témoins examinés à des réservoirs de variantes et offre tout latitude à l’éditeur pour piocher parmi elles sans autre règle que ses préférences grammaticales, stylistiques, doctrinales ou historiques21.

3.2. Deux méthodes pour un double problème Les deux méthodes exposées ci-dessus visent, chacune à sa manière, à apporter une solution à deux exigences fondamentales touchant toute édition critique : le principe de fidélité (à l’auteur, aux témoins, à l’archétype)22 et la lisibilité du texte édité. Notamment d’un côté on choisit pour une fidélité presque fétichiste au témoin, de l’autre on se donne la liberté d’intervenir tantôt dans le contenu tantôt dans la forme linguistique. Pour résumer, l’école qui soutient la fidélité à un seul témoin, en garde la forme  Les humanistes appelaient cette manière de procéder emendatio ope codicum ; cf. Timpanaro 2003 : 15–27. 19  Il s’agit du principe adopté par le comité chargé de l’édition du Kitāb al-Šifāʾ d’Avicenne ; voir notamment Samir 1980 : 81. ‫�أ‬ َ ‫ن‬ َُ ‫�ذ‬ 20 ‫و ف�� ر ي�ن��ا �ه��ذ ه ا �ل��طري���ق����ة �ص�ا �ل‬ �  «  ‫ إ� ا ل �يو ج��د لا «د ����ست��و ر» ولا ���س�� خ���ة ق��د ي����م��ة ت���ف��و ق� ا �ل�ن���س�� خ‬، ‫ح��ة‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ �‫ف‬ ‫�أ‬ ‫� �ة‬ ‫ ; »  ا ل خ�ر �ى �ي� ا ��جلود‬Samir 1980 : 82. 21  Poirel 2006 : 163. Un exemple évident d’édition éclectique est l’édition, par Mgr. Néophytos Edelby, des traités théologiques de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī (Edelby 1986). 22  Sur la variété des ʻfidélitésʼ d’un éditeur, voir Duval 2006 : 10–11. 18


paolo la spisa

linguistique, en renonçant à toute hypothèse de reconstruction critique d’un archétype possible, tandis que l’autre école nous prive aussi bien de l’une que de l’autre dimension de l’édition critique. Comme on aura l’occasion de le constater, la critique des leçons et la critique du langage sont étroitement liée l’une à l’autre, à savoir que l’une conditionne l’autre. En dernière analyse, la question qui reste à résoudre est celle de savoir si la conservation de la langue ancienne doit toujours impliquer une édition diplomatique et si tout essai de reconstruction d’un archétype doit toujours impliquer un nivellement de la langue en respectant la grammaire classique. À cette question, on peut en ajouter un autre qui concerne l’originalité de la langue corrigée. Est-il raisonnable de supposer a priori que les auteurs, en tant qu’hommes cultivés, ont toujours écrit en arabe classique ? En effet, les essais de normalisation de la langue exigent qu’un auteur reste toujours fidèle à la forme classique, toute autre déviation de cette forme étant à interpréter comme une erreur. 4. Une ʻnouvelleʼ édition critique Procédons par ordre et essayons de proposer une solution à chacune des ces questions. La critique de forme a pour but l’établissement de la forme linguistique originelle dans toute la mesure du possible mais, comme on a pu le constater, l’usage le plus répandu chez les éditeurs arabes, consiste à corriger le moyen arabe considéré comme une forme altérée de la langue classique attribuée à des copistes maîtrisant mal les règles, d’où le concept de taḥrīf et taṣḥīf al-naṣṣ23. On a vu que les éditeurs corrigent le texte (tanqīḥ al-naṣṣ) selon une approche ʻsynchroniqueʼ ou anti-historique de la langue qui risque de faire oublier que les pures données linguistiques (à savoir phonétiques, morphologiques, lexicales et syntaxiques) sont elles aussi des données historiques, et qu’elles doivent être examinées dans la perspective de leur évolution diachronique. C’est exactement le point de vue de la philologie romane lorsqu’elle étudie les dialectes européens anciens qui ont subi un rajeunissement continu tout au long de leur tradition écrite24. L’expérience philologique romane peut donc s’avérer d’un grand intérêt pour les éditeurs de textes arabes médiévaux qui désirent apporter une solution à un tel paradoxe. Dans le prélude à cette contri23  Plusieurs éditeurs, orientaux ou occidentaux, se sont exprimés sur la normalisation de l’orthographe arabe selon les règles modernes : al-Munaǧǧid 1956 : 366–367 ; BlachèreSauvaget 1945 : 13 § 37 ; Samir 1980, 1982. 24  La même comparaison a été exprimée récemment par Blau (2003 : 12).

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


bution, j’ai cité Gaston Paris, grâce auquel, aujourd’hui encore, on fait la distinction, en philologie romane, entre les deux critiques25. Il vaut donc la peine de relire les lignes qui ont posé les fondements sur lesquels se base la critique des formes : Ici, un critère qui, pour la constitution des leçons n’est que subordonné, prend une importance capitale : plus un manuscrit est rapproché de l’époque de l’auteur, c.-à-d. plus il est ancien, plus il mérite d’être pris en considération. Ce n’est là toutefois qu’une des faces du problème : à côté de la question de temps, il y a la question de lieu26.

Cependant, après les essais de Paris, qui voulait reconstruire la langue de l’auteur à l’aide des copies conservées ou des grammaires historiques, ou ceux de Michele Barbi qui tendait à normaliser les anciennes orthographes27, les philologues romanistes préfèrent désormais respecter la langue et l’orthographe d’un seul manuscrit qu’ils choisissent sur base du critère chronologique et géographique, par rapport au lieu d’origine de l’auteur et de l’époque où il a vécu28. Pour expliciter ce point, je voudrais apporter un exemple relevant d’une tradition manuscrite arabe chrétienne. En préparant une nouvelle édition critique des traités théologiques de Sulaymān Ibn Ḥasan al-Ġazzī29, évêque melkite de Gaza qui vécut entre le Xe et le XIe siècle, j’ai pu constater que la tradition manuscrite est scindée en deux branches principales : palestino-sinaïtique et syro-libanaise. Les manuscrits palestiniens, tous conservés aujourd’hui au monastère de Sainte-Catherine, s’étalent sur une période qui va du XIIe jusqu’au XIIIe siècle et sont donc les plus anciens de la tradition ; tandis que les manuscrits de la branche syro-libanaise sont postérieurs puisqu’ils s’échelonnent sur une période allant du XIVe jusqu’au XIXe siècle. Il ressort d’une consultation et une collation complète de tous les témoins, que le manuscrit le plus ancien de la tradition (S = Sin. Ar. 11, de 1116 ap. J.Ch.) est le plus digne de foi et ce, en raison des caractéristiques suivantes : le nombre de lectiones difficiliores tout à fait supérieur à celles des autres témoins, le fait qu’il contient le texte le plus complet par rapport aux 25  Cf. Balduino 1979 : 228 et 230–231 ; Brambilla Ageno 1984 : 136 ; Contini 1992 : 39–40 et 169–173. 26  Paris 1872 : 14. 27  Voir Barbi 1938 : xxxii. La critique que Cerquiglini a exprimée à l’égard de la restauration d’une langue disparue garde un certain intérêt, la restauration supposant a priori que l’auteur a toujours respecté la norme : Cerquiglini 1989 : 90. 28  Balduino 1979 : 219–220 et 230–231. 29  L’édition est en préparation pour la section Scriptores Arabici du Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium.


paolo la spisa

autres manuscrits — qui présentent eux plusieurs lacunes tout au long de la tradition — ainsi que la quantité de leçons authentiques. Néanmoins, il importe de rappeler que même si S correspond dans la majorité des cas à l’archétype, il présente tout de même des leçons fautives là où la branche plus récente a conservé les leçons originelles30. Cela dit, l’autorité de S s’impose aussi pour la restitution de la forme linguistique et ceci pour deux raisons principales : sa proximité chronologique de l’époque de l’auteur (environ cent ans) ; le lieu de sa provenance est le monastère de Saint-Sabas, situé dans le désert de Judée. S est donc particulièrement proche, dans le temps et dans l’espace, de l’évêque de Gaza. Le résultat en a été un texte critique établi selon les règles lachmanniennes : j’ai par conséquent toujours suivi la forme linguistique de S, sauf là où je l’ai corrigé. Dans ce dernier cas, j’ai choisi la forme du manuscrit le plus ancien fournissant la leçon authentique. Il se peut que le résultat formel soit un texte de nature quelque peu bigarrée, éclectique, ʻarlecchinescaʼ, selon l’expression de Gianfranco Contini31. Pour le critère de lisibilité, on a vocalisé seulement certains mots dont la signification autrement serait restée ambiguë. Enfin, grâce aux apparats, le linguiste aura la faculté d’observer les différents niveaux de moyen arabe, que le texte a ʻrevêtusʼ tout au long de sa tradition manuscrite. 5. Le traitement du moyen arabe dans une édition critique Ici on aborde la question qui nous intéresse le plus : la nature du moyen arabe ou arabe mixte. Il s’agit d’une langue mélangée où formes d’arabe classique, formes d’arabe dialectale et formes hybrides n’appartenant ni à l’un ni à l’autre, se mélangent, alternent et coexistent dans le même manuscrit et sur le même folio ; le flottement fait par conséquent partie intégrante de la nature intrinsèque du moyen arabe. Dès lors, il appert que les copistes ont à leur disposition une vaste gamme de formes linguistiques dans laquelle ils puisent selon leur gré en fonction de leurs exigences stylistiques et littéraires. En outre, il ne faut pas oublier que les manuscrits sont des copies et en tant que telles représentent toujours une sorte de compromis linguistique entre la langue du modèle et celle

30  Il s’agit d’une situation qui se vérifie souvent dans les traditions bifides caractérisées par une dichotomie diachronique qui, dans ce cas, est aussi géographique ; sur ce typologie de tradition voir notamment Timpanaro 2003 : 144–145. 31  Contini 1992 : 172.

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


du copiste qui, consciemment ou non, adapte la langue du texte lu au système linguistique qui lui est propre32. Passons donc à la deuxième question qu’on s’est posée, à savoir si les auteurs arabes ont toujours écrit en arabe classique et si le moyen arabe est seulement une forme altérée et défigurée par des copistes inexperts et illettrés par rapport à la norme. Comme on l’a déjà souligné, l’arabe est une langue qui a connu une évolution tout au long de son histoire. Cette évolution est manifeste si l’on compare le texte coranique avec un texte écrit en arabe standard moderne. Une telle comparaison est rendue possible grâce à la sacralité du Coran qui comme dans une sorte d’ ʻambre fossiliséeʼ, nous a transmis des formes archaïques qui, autrement, auraient disparu. Certaines formes graphiques du Coran se rencontrent également dans nos manuscrits arabes chrétiens. Illustrons ici quelques exemples tirés des traités théologiques de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī. S et Q se distinguent par l’utilisation d’une graphie typiquement coranique, à savoir que les mots al-ḥayāt et al-ṣalāt sont écrits avec wāw au lieu du alif. ‫ت‬ ‫ا ل �ض �ا‬ ‫ ا � ص��ل ه ا � ص‬S (f. 163r ligne 13) ‫ظل��� و و �ةل��� وم و اة ���� ع‬ ‫ �يل������هر ا �ل‬Q (f. 58r ligne 17) � ��‫ح��يو ا �ل�د �هر�ي‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ ا �ل‬، ��‫ح‬ ‫كا ن� ت ا �ل‬ � � ‫كا � � ا �ل�ع�ا ل‬ � ��‫ح‬ � ِ‫ ب�ه‬Q (f. 67r lignes 10–11) ‫� يو و يو � و ر م‬ On peut supposer qu’il s’agit d’une écriture phonétique d’origine araméenne (voir le syriaque ḥayūtō), puisque cette écriture se trouve dans des manuscrits d’origine palestinienne, région où pendant tout le XVIIIe siècle l’araméen était encore vivant à la campagne33, mais il ne s’agit là que d’une des hypothèses que les spécialistes ont déjà formulées à ce propos34. En dernière analyse, cette orthographe peut refléter un niveau d’arabe moyen que les auteurs palestiniens du Xe–XIe siècles auraient pu utiliser consciemment pour la rédaction de leurs ouvrages. En second lieu, on dispose dans la littérature arabe du Moyen Âge d’une large production en moyen arabe par des auteurs qui ont démontré par ailleurs leur bonne maîtrise de la langue classique, comme Usāma Ibn al-Munqiḏ (1095–1188)35, Yāqūt al-Rūmī (1179–1229), al-Tanūxī (941–994), Abū al-Faraǧ al-Iṣfahānī

32  Il s’agit du concept de ʻdiasystèmeʼ élaboré par Cesare Segre, voir Segre 1979 : 53–64 et ensuite développé dans Orlandi 2010. 33  Spitaler 1960 : 212–226. 34  En effet l’origine de ce phénomène a été expliquée différemment par les spécialistes, voir notamment Fleisch 1990 : 216, § 45e ; Blau 1988 : 17–18 ; Robin 2001 : 555. 35  Cf. Schen 1972–1973.


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(897–967) et d’autres36, sans mentionner toute la littérature que Chraïbi a appelée ʻmoyenneʼ, comme les Milles et Une Nuits37. Une autre question centrale qu’on a déjà évoquée est qu’entre le processus d’établissement du texte et l’information linguistique contenue dans le texte — c’est-à-dire entre la critique des leçons et celle des formes — il existe une étroite connexion et un conditionnement réciproque38. On peut trouver dans l’exemple qui suit une preuve de ce qu’on vient de dire. Dans cet exemple, tiré du traité sur L’unicité du Créateur, il s’avère qu’une variante linguistique, à savoir l’échange entre une occlusive emphatique sonore et une interdentale emphatique39, peut devenir, pendant sa transmission, une leçon variante : ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�و���ه�ا وا �ل��سر ا �ير � ب���ل ا ض������م�ا ر �ه�ا‬ ‫ ع�ا ل ا لا �مو ر � ب���ل ك‬SWM ‫م‬ ‫ ا ظ���م�ا ر �ه�ا‬ " " " " BHA ‫ظ‬ ‫ ا ���ه�ا ر �ه�ا‬ " " " " Y De iḍmār, ʻoccultation du secretʼ à iḏ̣mār (variante graphique), Y lit finalement iḏ̣hār, ʻrévélation du secretʼ, c’est-à-dire exactement le contraire. Le troisième exemple est tiré du premier chapitre du traité Réponse contre les adversaires de la foi orthodoxe, où est évoquée l’hérésie d’Arius et les rapports inter-trinitaires. À bien y voir, il s’agit d’une citation tirée du De fide orthodoxa (I, 8) de saint Jean Damascène :40 ‫�� ن� �م�ا ع�د الا � نب� ل �ي�ز ل الا ب� �م�ع�ا لا ن��ه ل �ي�ز ل الا � نب� �مو�لود �م ن���ه‬ ‫ و�ل ك‬S ‫م‬ ‫ن م ي�ز آ‬ " " " ‫�� ن� �م�ا ع��ل� الا �ب� ل � ل ال� ب� �م�ع�ا‬ ‫ و�ل ك‬HY ‫م‬ ‫ي‬ ‫الا � ن‬---- ‫�� ن‬ " " " ‫ب� ل �ي�ز ل والا ب� �م�ع�ا‬ MQEd �‫ و�ل ك‬ ‫م‬ ‫آ‬ ‫ي�ز‬ ‫ي�ز‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�� �م�ا ع�د ل � ل ال� ب� �م�ع�ا ل � ل الا �ب� �مو�لود ا �م���ه‬ �‫ ولا ك‬Burhān41 ‫م‬ ‫م‬ Sur base du Kitāb al-Burhān, j’ai émendé le texte tel qu’il devait figurer dans l’original : ُّ ‫�� ن� �م�ا ع�د ل �ي�ز ل ا لا ب� �م�ع�ا ل �ي�ز ل ا لا � نب� �مو �لود �م ن���ه‬ ‫و �ل ك‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‘mais comme de tout temps le Père existe, [ainsi] existe le Fils engendré de Lui’.

 Fischer 1991 : 433 ; Lentin 2008 : 216–217.  Sur la langue des manuscrits de Galland voir Lentin 2004. 38  Contini 1992 : 149. 39  Ce phénomène a été déjà répertorié par Joshua Blau dans les manuscrits arabes chrétiens d’origine sud- palestinienne ; cf. Blau 1966 : 113–114. 40  Sur le rapport de filiation entre l’œuvre théologique de al-Ġazzī et le De fide orthodoxa de Jean Damascène, voir La Spisa 2008. 41  Cf. Cachia 1960 : 38, 2–3. 36 37

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


En effet, dans notre tradition manuscrite, une transposition a eu lieu qui a enlevé au texte le sens requis par le contexte.42 La tournure de la phrase avec mā ʿudda . . . maʿan a été décrite pour la première fois par Blau43, en citant le Kitāb al-Burhān attesté dans le manuscrit Sin. Ar. 75 et édité par Cachia en 1960. Or, il est intéressant d’observer que dans les deux cas (le traité d’al-Ġazzī et le Kitāb al-Burhān), c’est le même passage de Saint Jean Damascène qui est cité. Nous avons donc deux sources qui proviennent du milieu des scriptoria sud-palestiniens, notamment le Sin. Ar. 11 et le Sin. Ar. 75, où nous rencontrons la même expression arabe avec mā ʿudda . . . maʿan44. Il s’agit bien évidemment d’un état intentionnel de la langue qui sera mal compris par les copistes d’époque postérieure. Par conséquent, ne comprenant pas cette tournure de phrase, les manuscrits plus récents changent mā ʿudda en ma ʿalā (HY) jusqu’à sa suppression définitive dans les manuscrits les plus récents. On peut supposer que nous sommes ici devant un cas de remaniement progressif et conscient de la langue par les copistes. En tout état de cause, ce qui résulte clairement est que l’éditeur (Ed) opte toujours pour la forme la plus classique de la tradition et qu’il corrige souvent la langue de sa propre initiative. Cela peut être observé dans l’exemple suivant tiré du premier chapitre du traité sur L’unicité du Créateur. Il s’agit d’une autre citation presque littérale de la cinquième séance du Kitāb al-maǧālis d’Elie de Nisibe, qui a rencontré beaucoup de succès auprès des auteurs arabes chrétiens, parce qu’elle a été utilisée comme profession de foi chrétienne : ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ �جم‬. ‫ك‬ ‫�ي��� ب� �م� ن� ي��د �عوه‬ � �‫ �ر ي� ب� �م� ن‬S ‫ ب��عي���د �م�� �ل‬.‫كل‬ ً ‫ق‬ ‫ �جم‬--------.‫ك ب��عي���د‬ ‫�ي��� ب� �م� ن� ي��د �عوه‬ � �‫ �ر ي� ب� �م� ن‬BHY ‫ل‬ ُ َ ً ‫ق‬ ‫ �م� ن� ي��د �عوه‬------------------- ‫كل‬ � �‫ �ر ي�ب��ا �م� ن‬AM َّ ٌ ‫ق‬ ‫ٌ � ن َّ ق‬ ]�‫كل �ر ي� ب‬ � [ ��‫ ب��عي���د م‬،‫كل ب��عي���د‬ � �‫ �ر ي� ب� �م� ن‬Ed Ici l’on peut constater que l’utilisation de kull dans le sens de ʻtoutʼ, ʻtoute choseʼ45 ne se rencontre que dans la famille sinaïtique, comme cela ressort aussi de la ponctuation ; tandis que les autres manuscrits changent complètement le texte en en bouleversant le sens original. L’édition Ed change librement le sens original du texte, ce qui nous a convaincu de la nécessité d’une nouvelle édition critique. 42  Il est en effet question ici de démontrer l’éternité du Fils par rapport au Père et non le contraire ; pour plus de détails, je renvoie au § 1b de mon texte critique à paraître. 43  Blau 1966 : 586–587. 44  Pour Blau l’origine de cette expression reste obscure (1966 : 587). 45  Blau 1967 : 354–356 § 236.1.2.


paolo la spisa 6. Objections à Lachmann

La philologie inspirée par les principes lachmanniens que nous avons brièvement évoqués ci-dessus au paragraphe 2, a connu et continue à connaître des adversaires et détracteurs. Aujourd’hui, on parle de New Philology pour caractériser le mouvement qui s’est développé surtout aux États-Unis et qui a choisi comme manifeste symbolique l’Éloge de la variante de Cerquiglini46. Dès lors, au concept dogmatique de fixité textuelle et d’autorité littéraire des auteurs anciens, médiévaux et modernes, telle qu’il avait été conçu par les philologues du XIXe siècle, on oppose désormais celui de mobilité et de fluidité des traditions manuscrites du Moyen Âge ainsi que l’absence totale d’une autorité littéraire dont il serait vain de chercher à respecter la volonté originelle de composition. Dominique Poirel a toutefois démontré que le discours de Cerquiglini doit être circonscrit à la tradition française médiévale puisque la littérature en médiolatin est « si marquée par la présence d’autorités » à respecter47. Pour la littérature patristique arabe, on pourrait se hasarder à affirmer la même chose : la tradition manuscrite des traités théologiques de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī reste malgré tout généralement fermée ou verticale, pour utiliser deux termes pasqualiens. Les copistes donc n’ont pas remanié d’une manière significative les textes de la théologie de l’évêque de Gaza, ce qui est la marque d’une certaine fixité textuelle et de l’existence d’une autorité à respecter de la part des copistes. Le raisonnement de Cerquiglini pourrait éventuellement être valable pour les traditions vivantes où les copistes sont considérés comme des coauteurs, tout en contribuant à la composition du texte, au fur et à mesure que celui-ci a été transmis48. Si l’on veut élargir notre raisonnement à la littérature musulmane, il suffira de rappeler que la ʾiǧāzah49 et le ʾisnād étaient deux méthodes basées sur le même principe, à savoir celui de l’enchaînement de transmetteurs en vue de donner autorité à ce que l’on transmettait et d’en assurer l’authenticité, preuve évidente que la civilisation arabo-musulmane médiévale a d’une manière ou d’une autre connu le concept de propriété intellectuelle. Quoi qu’il en soit pour ce qui concerne la critique textuelle des textes arabes, la critique la plus consciente et caustique à la méthode recons Cerquiglini 1989.  Poirel 2006 : 157. 48  Je pense ici notamment à la littérature moyenne, comme les siyar arabes, et à la littérature hagiographique. Sur la définition de la littérature arabe moyenne, auquel auparavant on collait tout simplement le label de populaire, voir Chraïbi 2008 : 15–20. 49  Il s’agit d’une sorte de licence de transmission du texte, qui remonte à l’auteur même à travers une chaîne des transmetteurs ; cf. Déroche 2000 : 352–354. 46 47

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


tructive du néolachmannisme du XXe siècle, a été formulée par Witkam.50 Selon lui, il serait vain d’essayer d’établir un arbre généalogique dans le contexte de la littérature arabe dans son ensemble, aussi bien que pour la turque et la persane. Les cas cités pour démontrer ce postulat en réalité sont bien connus des éditeurs des traditions occidentales anciennes et médiévales, de telle sorte que les philologues ont déjà proposé des solutions alternatives51. Mais examinons de plus près les quatre exemples cités par Witkam : a) un texte qui ressort d’une tradition orale — comme peut l’être le Coran, pour ainsi dire la ʻquestion homériqueʼ de la littérature arabe — b) les textes à manuscrit unique, c) les textes à caractère encyclopédique, d) les textes ayant une tradition manuscrite trop riche. Si pour les deux premiers cas, l’impossibilité de dresser un arbre généalogique réside dans la nature même de la tradition, il vaut la peine de s’arrêter un moment sur la question des traditions trop abondantes52. L’exemple cité est celui du Iršād al-qāṣid ilā asnā al-maqāṣid de Ibn al-Akfānī (1283–1348)53. L’ouvrage est attesté dans soixante-dix manuscrits, l’éditeur n’en sélectionne que sept sur base de leur ancienneté et de l’iǧāza. Après la collation des manuscrits sélectionnés, l’éditeur constate que ceux-ci ne se regroupent pas en familles d’une manière cohérente et régulière. On peut en conclure, selon Witkam, que la constitution d’un stemma relève pour la majorité des cas de la simple ʻfictionʼ. Malheureusement, cette manière de procéder n’est pas isolée. Samir, par exemple, avoue souvent de n’avoir pu, ou voulu, collationner tous les manuscrits. Sa dernière édition en fournit un exemple : le Kitāb dafʿ al-hamm d’Elie de Nisibe (m. 1046), texte qui a connu un succès extraordinaire et qui compte plus d’une centaine de manuscrits. Or, l’éditeur se borne à réutiliser l’editio princeps tout en la confrontant au manuscrit le plus ancien de la tradition, à savoir le Vat. Ar. 180 du XIIIe siècle54. Pour ce qui concerne la tradition hébraïque  Witkam 1988.  Voir par exemple le chapitre ʻI limiti del metodo lachmannianoʼ dans le Manuale di filologia italiana par Armando Balduino, où l’on passe en revue les cas typiques de contamination dans les traditions populaires et les solutions d’édition proposées par les éditeurs ; Balduino 1979 : 327–366. 52  Pour les éditions des textes encyclopédiques, plusieurs chantiers sont en cours dans les domaines des littératures latine et française médiévales ; voir notamment le projet d’édition de la Cité de Dieu, de Saint Augustin (dans la traduction de Raoul de Presles), dirigé par Olivier Bertrand (Université de Savoie, Chambéry — CNRS, Nancy), ainsi que les éditions du De proprietatibus rerum (Ventura 2007) et du Speculum historiale de Jean de Vignay (Brun-Cavagna 2006). Je remercie mon ami Mattia Cavagna qui m’a transmis ces précieuses informations. 53  Witkam 1989 et Id. 1988 : 94b–96b. 54  Samir 2007 : 142. Ça ne représente pas un cas unique, dans son édition du traité sur la Trinité du Kitāb al-Kamāl, Samir affirme : « Dans l’édition qui suit, nous n’avons utilisé 50 51


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médiévale, Colette Sirat55 propose de choisir un seul manuscrit en sa qualité de seul objet ʻréelʼ. Selon Sirat, il faut partager les textes à éditer en deux typologies, majeurs et mineurs ; les textes de la philosophie juive du Moyen Âge appartiendraient à la deuxième catégorie. Ainsi, au lachmannisme positiviste des siècles passés, on préfère le refuge d’un scepticisme absolu qui justifie de renoncer a priori à toute entreprise critique de reconstruction mirée à la compréhension de l’histoire de la tradition manuscrite. Pour Sirat, le but d’une édition critique serait donc de fournir aux étudiants de ʻbonnes éditionsʼ basées sur un seul témoin choisi avec le seul critère de la logique interne du texte, tout simplement parce que pour les éditeurs et les lecteurs occidentaux la philosophie juive médiévale relèverait de la logique ʻnaturelleʼ (sic !)56. Alourdir les apparats critiques des variantes, fautes de lecture, lectiones faciliores, etc. serait donc une pure perte de temps pour les textes philosophiques, parce que la seule variante qui intéresse les lecteurs d’un texte philosophique est la variante philosophique57. 7. Quelques réponses possibles Cependant d’après l’exemple qui suit, on pourra aisément constater qu’une variante textuelle peut aussi engendrer une variante philosophique et que l’on ne comprend pas l’une sans l’autre. Dans le traité Sur le fait que l’homme est microcosme de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī on rencontre le passage suivant : ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ ���ع�ل�ه‬.‫ لا �م ن���د وح�ه �ل�ه �ع ن���ه‬،‫ لا � ا �ل���م��ط��بو لا ي��ل�ز �م�ه �لو�م�ا ع��لى �م�ا خ���ل ق� �ي���ه ط ب���ا ع�ا‬ S ‫ع‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ق‬ ‫خ‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ ���ل� ا لا ���س�ا � ا ر ا د ه ��ا �ل�����ه‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ لا ��ه لا �م���د ر ج��ه‬،‫ لا � ا �ل���م��ط��بو لا ي��ل�ز �م�ه �لو�م�ا ع��لى �م�ا ���ل� �ي���ه ط ب���ا ع�ا‬YLM ‫ع‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ �ل�ه �َع ن���د ���ع�ل�ه ا لا ���س�ا � ا ر ا د ه خ��ا �ل��ق���ه‬ ّ‫�أ ن‬ َ‫خُ ق‬ ّ‫ً �أ ن‬ ٌ َ ُ َ َ ‫ف‬ ُ Ed ‫ ل ��ه لا‬،‫ ل � ا �ل���م��ط��بوع لا ي��ل�ز �م�هُ �لو ع��لى �م�ا ���لِ� �ي���ه ط ب���ا ع�ا‬ ‫نم‬ َ ‫ف‬ َ ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ ‫ق‬ ‫خ‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ِ‫ �م���د وح�� �ل�ه �ع���د فِ���ع� ِل ا لا ���س�ا � ِ��لا �� ا ر ا د �ةِ ��ا �ل��ِ���ه‬ que trois manuscrits, ainsi que l’édition de Fahd ; soit parce que les autres manuscrits ne contenaient pas notre texte, soit parce qu’ils auraient surchargé inutilement l’apparat critique » ; Samir 1975–1976 : 258. 55  Sirat 1992. 56  Sirat 1992 : 169. 57  L’article de Bruno Chiesa sur la critique textuelle des textes bibliques est basé sur des principes philologiques tout à fait différents, où l’histoire de la tradition trouve une place fondamentale dans le critère de choix entre variantes : « Only the historical classification of the document can supply the criterion for a subsequent text-critical evaluation of the variants » ; Chiesa 1994 : 141a.

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


Il est manifeste que YLM, n’ayant pas compris le texte original tel qu’il est attesté en S, ont modifié le texte sans chercher à le comprendre. En revanche Ed s’est efforcé de donner du sens au texte, mais tout en le chan‫ف‬ geant à son gré. Or, à bien regarder, le problème réside dans le mot ‫���ع�ل�ه‬, que la tradition plus récente a compris comme ʻson actionʼ ; c’est pour‫ف‬ quoi les copistes ont changé le texte en ‫ �ع ن���د ���ع�ل�ه‬ʻd’après son actionʼ. En réalité en S le sens du texte est bien différent et la ponctuation en est une démonstration ultérieure. Pour َّ َ‫ ف‬comprendre correctement le sens originel, il convient de lire plutôt ‫‘ ��ِ�ع�ل��ة‬donc la cause, l’origineʼ et non ِ‫ فِ���ع�ِل�ه‬. Il en résulte alors la phrase suivante : S : ‘[. . .] parce que le caractère qui a été créé naturellement et pour lequel il n’y a pas d’autres alternatives, n’est pas blâmable. L’origine de la création de l’homme réside donc dans la volonté de son Créateur . . .’ Ed : ‘[. . .] parce que le caractère qui a été créé naturellement n’est pas blâmable, parce que l’action de l’homme ne peut être différente de la volonté de son Créateur’.

Or, il est clair ici que dans Ed on donne un sens tout à fait différent par rapport au texte originel, surtout concernant la deuxième partie de la phrase. D’après Ed, l’auteur serait proche d’une doctrine ressemblant fortement à la prédestination ; or, on sait que la théologie de Sulaymān al-Ġazzī, qui s’est beaucoup inspiré de la pensée de St. Jean Damascène et Théodore Abū Qurra, défend la liberté de l’homme par rapport à son Créateur58. Voilà donc un exemple de dénaturation textuelle due à l’incompréhension des copistes (et hélas dans ce cas aussi de l’éditeur). En dernière analyse, cet exemple peut aider à mieux comprendre que dans les textes philosophiques et théologiques une erreur de la tradition peut faire courir le risque d’attribuer à l’auteur une doctrine (prédestination par rapport à Dieu) qui lui était tout à fait étrangère pour des raisons théologiques. Une bonne connaissance de l’histoire de la tradition tout entière peut donc guider le philologue vers le bon choix et surtout enseigner à se méfier des éditions déjà existantes. En dernière analyse, les objections des orientalistes à la méthode lachmannienne, souvent jugée trop ambitieuse, se fondent généralement sur le principe selon lequel une méthode qui a été conçue dans un domaine donné (la philologie sacrée ou classique) ne peut être valable pour les autres traditions culturelles, arabe ou juive en l’occurrence59. Pour la culture arabe, on fait souvent appel à son  Il en va de même pour le Kitāb al-Burhān (cf. Cachia 1960 : 56–57).  Pour ce qui concerne la littérature éthiopienne médiévale, les éditions de Marrassini et Bausi ont largement démontré qu’une méthode rigoureusement néolachmannienne a 58



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caractère essentiellement oral ; deux exemples classiques utilisés par qui veut appuyer cette hypothèse sont le texte coranique et les Milles et Une Nuits. Hormis le fait que dans l’histoire des civilisations la culture orale précède toujours la culture écrite, on risque ici plutôt d’oublier qu’à partir du moment où une culture commence à copier les textes de son patrimoine culturel pour le transmettre aux générations suivantes — comme ce fut le cas de la civilisation arabe à partir des premiers siècles de l’Islam — le phénomène de la copie est toujours identique. Les différentes opérations qui caractérisent l’acte de copie ont été analysées par Dain60, elles sont et restent intemporelles pour toute civilisation qui a pratiqué la copie ; c’est pourquoi certains principes qui règlent la critique textuelle moderne ont un caractère universel61. Une autre question qui a besoin d’être éclaircie regarde tantôt le choix du bon manuscrit, tantôt la sélection, souvent drastique, des témoins de la tradition utilisés pour une édition critique. Comme on l’a déjà évoqué, si Bédier choisissait le bon manuscrit toujours selon un critère généalogique, aujourd’hui on choisit souvent sur base de critères externes tels qu’ancienneté du manuscrit, lisibilité, bon état de conservation, texte complet etc.62, ce qui donne une impression d’objectivité, à savoir la fidélité à un témoin ayant réellement existé, est en réalité basé sur un élément tout à fait subjectif : le critère du choix. En outre, dans certaines traditions, lorsqu’on suit aveuglement un seul témoin tout en négligeant les autres, on risque d’éditer plutôt les caprices d’un copiste, c’est pourquoi Contini affirmait-il que ce que l’on reconstruit est parfois plus vrai que le manuscrit63. Pour ce qui concerne la sélection de la tradition à utiliser pour l’édition, on recourt souvent ici au critère d’ancienneté, en oubliant que recentiores non deteriores ! En conclusion, mener une recensio complète de la tradition manuscrite à part entière, reste une nécessité impérative et indispensable, à la base de la scientificité d’une édition critique. Cependant, si certaines traditions sont trop riches, comme solution possible on pourra envisager plutôt un travail contribué à un progrès remarquable dans la connaissance de l’histoire de la tradition des textes. Voir à ce propos Marrassini 1981, 1987 et Bausi 1995, 2006. 60  Dain 1964 : 40–46. 61  Sur cette universalité il vaut la peine de rappeler que Pasquali, lors de la première traduction italienne du Textkritik de Maas, écrivait dans la préface que la critique textuelle « ha e vuole avere validità non solo per le letterature greca e latina, ma universale : io almeno non saprei immaginarmi che l’originale, poniamo, di un testo cinese o bantu possa essere ricostruito dalle copie o da qualsiasi altra testimonianza, insomma dalla sua tradizione, se non sul fondamento delle considerazioni e conforme alle regole enunciate dal Maas » ; Maas 1972 : v. 62  Cf. Draguet 1977. 63  Contini 1992 : 22–23.

perspectives ecdotiques pour textes en moyen arabe


d’équipe, ou bien une collation des loci critici. À savoir on procédera à une collation par échantillons opportunément choisis de la tradition, en suite on pourra sélectionner les témoins qui s’avèrent les plus intéressants du point de vue de la restitution textuelle64. Bref, au lieu de choisir des solutions éphémères et toujours peu fiables, il vaut mieux recourir aux méthodes qui ont déjà fait leurs preuves dans d’autres traditions, pour ainsi dire, plus rodées. Conclusions Dans ces conclusions, je voudrais revenir sur le concept d’édition critique évoqué tout au long de cet article. Dans toute édition critique, l’éditeur doit toujours se mesurer à deux défis : le choix entre les variantes et l’interprétation. Sur le premier point, il va de soi que la question du choix se pose surtout dans une tradition à plusieurs manuscrits où la transmission est plus ou moins verticale, à savoir où l’on constate une absence presque totale de contaminations importantes ou de remaniements profonds ; en d’autres termes, dans une tradition que Pasquali a nommée ʻchiusaʼ (fermée). Ici, la règle d’or de la majorité de familles est et reste fondamentale. Évidemment, pour les textes à tradition ouverte donc contaminée, ou vivante, c’est-à-dire où chaque copiste est aussi un auteur, d’autres solutions doivent être adoptées. Pour pouvoir reconnaître la vraie nature de chaque tradition, donc pour pouvoir apporter la bonne solution à chaque cas — Joseph Bidez disait, dans une formule devenue fameuse, que « tous les cas sont spéciaux » — la méthode qui s’impose impérativement est la collation totale de la tradition. Ensuite, pour ce qui concerne l’interprétation, il suffit de rappeler que même la transcription la plus fidèle et servile d’un texte doit toujours être envisagée avec une marge d’interprétation65. Dès lors, l’interprétation fait partie intégrante du travail d’édition, auquel un éditeur ne doit pas renoncer, comme d’ailleurs dans toute discipline historique. Pour conclure, nous proposons une solution philologique allant dans le sens d’une restauration du passé. Enfin, pour ce qui relève de la critique formelle, si nous considérons les manuscrits comme des forges où se fabrique une langue qui se donne des règles en continuelle 64  Les résultats positifs fournis par cette typologie des sélections sont vérifiables dans l’édition de certains ouvrages de la littérature italienne médiévale de tradition particulièrement riche (cf. Balduino 1979 : 48–49). 65  Leonardi 2007 : 67.


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évolution, pour utiliser une image chère à Jérôme Lentin66, nous changeons alors d’attitude vis-à-vis des sources écrites ; elles ne sont ni à corriger ni à ʻphotographierʼ aveuglément comme pour une édition diplomatique. Elles doivent être interprétées, c’est-à-dire, pour utiliser le langage lachmannien, soumises à une étroite recensio, en visant à reconstituer un texte ayant historiquement existé, soit dans la forme du langage soit dans la leçon originelle. Il faut, à notre avis, insister sur ces points. On comprend tout à fait les motivations profondes qui poussent les éditeurs du monde arabe à publier leur patrimoine littéraire et religieux en langue classique : pour l’autorité littéraire de la langue du Coran, le désir des minorités religieuses de trouver crédit au sein du monde musulman, la nécessité pour les communautés arabes chrétiennes de faire connaître leur patrimoine. Ce sont toutes des exigences sérieuses, nécessaires et respectables, mais auxquelles il faut ajouter un travail scientifique visant à reconstruire un passé qu’autrement nous risquerions de perdre définitivement. Références Balduino, Armando. 1979. Manuale di filologia italiana. Firenze : Sansoni. Barbi, Michele. 1938. La nuova filologia e l’edizione dei nostri scrittori da Dante a Manzoni. Firenze : Sansoni. Bausi, Alessandro. 1995. Il Sēnodos etiopico. Canoni pseudoapostolici : Canoni dopo l’Ascensione, Canoni di Simone Cananeo, Canoni Apostolici, Lettera di Pietro. Lovanii : Peeters (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 552–553, Scriptores aethiopici 101–102). ——. 2006. ʻCurrent Trends in Ethiopian Studies: Philologyʼ. Uhlig, Siegbert (éd.), Proceedings of the XVth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (Hamburg July 20–25, 2003. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag (Aethiopistische Forschungen 65). 542–551. Bédier, Joseph. 1928. ʻLa tradition manuscrite du Lai de l’Ombre : réflexions sur l’art d’éditer les anciens textesʼ. Romania 54. 161–196 et 321–356. Blachère, Regis et Sauvaget, Jean. 1945. Règles pour éditions et traductions de textes arabes. Paris : Société d’éditions Les Belles Lettres. Blau, Joshua. 1966–1967. A Grammar of Christian Arabic Based Mainly on South-Palestinian Texts from the First Millennium. 3 vol. Louvain : Secrétariat du Corpus SCO (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 267, 276, 279 ; Subsidia 27–29). ——. 1988. ʻThe Beginnings of the Arabic Diglossiaʼ. Blau, Joshua (ed.), Studies in Middle Arabic and its Judeo-Arabic Variety. Jerusalem : The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University. 1–38. ——. 2003. ʻThe Importance of Middle Arabic for the Understanding of the History of Neo-Arabicʼ. Lentin, Jérôme et Lonnet, Antoine (éd.), Mélanges David Cohen sur le langage, les langues, les dialectes, les littératures, offertes par ses élèves, ses collègues, ses amis, présentés à l’occasion de son quatre-vingtième anniversaire. Paris : Maisonneuve & Larose. 111–117. Brambilla Ageno, Franca. 1984. L’edizione critica dei testi volgari. Padova : Editrice Antenore.  Lentin 1997 : 19.


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Brun, Laurent et Cavagna, Mattia. 2006. ʻPour une édition du Miroir Historial de Jean de Vignayʼ. Romania 124. 378–428. Cachia 1960 : Eutychius of Alexandria. 1960–1961. The Book of the Demonstration (Kitāb al-Burhān). 2 vol. Cachia, Pierre ; Watt, Montgomery (éd.). Louvain : Secrétariat du Corpus SCO (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 192–193, 209–210 ; Scriptores Arabici 20–21, 22–23). Cerquiglini, Bernard. 1989. Éloge de la variante. Histoire critique de la philologie. Paris : Éditions du Seuil. Chiesa, Bruno. 1992. ʻSome remarks on textual criticism and the editing of Hebrew textsʼ. Manuscripts of the Middle East 6. 138–144. Chraïbi, Aboubakr. 2008. Les Milles et une nuits. Histoire du texte et classification des contes. Paris : L’Harmattan. Contini, Gianfranco. 1992. Breviario di ecdotica. Torino : Einaudi. Dain, Alphonse. 1964. Les manuscrits. Paris : Société d’édition Les Belles Lettres. Déroche, François. 2000. Manuel de codicologie des manuscrits en écriture arabe. Paris : Bibliothèque nationale de France. Draguet, René. 1977. ʻUne méthode d’édition des textes syriaquesʼ. Fischer, Robert (éd.), A Tribut to Arthur Vööbus. Studies in Early Christian Literature and its Environment, Primarily in the Syrian East. Chicago: The Lutheran School of Theology. 13–18. Duval, Frédéric. 2006. ʻIntroductionʼ. Duval, Frédéric (éd.). Pratiques philologiques en Europe. Actes de la journée d’étude organisée à l’École des chartes le 23 septembre 2005. Paris : École des chartes (É tudes et rencontres de l’É cole des Chartes 21). 5–20. Edelby 1986 : Sulaymān al-Ġazzī. 1986. al-Maqālāt al-lāhūtiyya al-naṯriyya. Edelby, Néophytos (éd.). Junieh-Roma : Librairie Saint Paul (Patrimoine Arabe Chrétien 9). Fiesoli, Giovanni. 2000. La genesi del lachmannismo. Firenze : SISMEL, Edizioni del Galluzzo (Millennio Medievale 19). Fischer, Wolfdietrich. 1991. ‘What is Middle Arabic?’. Kaye, Alan (ed.), Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau on the occasion of his eighty-fifth birthday November 14th 1991. Vol. 1. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz. 430–436. Fleisch, Henri. 1990. Traité de philologie arabe. 2 vol. 2ème éd. Beyrouth : Dar el-Machreq (Recherches 16). La Spisa, Paolo. 2008. ʻFonti indirette e nuove fonti manoscritte nell’opera teologica di Sulaymān al-Ġazzīʼ. Righi, Davide (éd.), La letteratura arabo-cristiana e le scienze nel periodo abbaside (750–1250). Atti del 2° convegno di studi arabo-cristiani, Roma (9–10 marzo 2007). Torino : Zamorani (Patrimonio Culturale Arabo Cristiano 11). 299–315. Lentin, Jérôme. 1997. Recherches sur l’histoire de la langue arabe au Proche-Orient à l’époque moderne. 2 vol. Thèse de doctorat d’État. Paris : Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle iii. ——. 2004. ʻLa langue des manuscrits de Galland et la typologie du moyen arabeʼ. Chraïbi, Aboubakr (éd.). Les Milles et Une Nuits en partage. Paris : Sindbad. 434–455. ——. 2008. ‘Middle Arabic’. Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 3. Leiden: Brill. 215–224. Lentin, Jérôme et Grand’Henry, Jacques (éd.). 2008. Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du premier colloque international (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve : Institut Orientaliste de l’Université Catholique de Louvain ; Louvain : Peeters (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). Leonardi, Lino. 2007. ʻFilologia elettronica tra conservazione e ricostruzioneʼ. Ciula, Arianna et Stella, Francesco (éd.), Digital Philology and Medieval Texts. Pisa : Pacini editore. 65–75. Maas, Paul. 1927. Textkritik. Leipzig : Teubner (Einleitung in die Altertumswissenschaft I,2). ——. 1972. Critica del Testo. Traduzione di Nello Martinelli, presentazione di Giorgio Pasquali. Firenze : Le Monnier. Marrassini, Paolo. 1981. Gadla Yohannes Mesraqawi. Vita di Yohannes l’orientale. Firenze : Istituto di Linguistica e di Lingue Orientali, Universita’ di Firenze (Quaderni di Semitistica 10).


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——. 1987. ʻL’edizione critica dei testi etiopici : problemi di metodo e reperti linguisticiʼ. Bolognesi, Giancarlo et Pisani, Vittore (éd.), Linguistica e filologia. Atti del VII Convegno Internazionale di Linguisti (Milano 12–14 settembre 1984). Brescia : Paideia (Sodalizio Glottologico Milanese 18). 347–356. al-Munaǧǧid, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn. 1956. ʻRègles pour l’édition des textes arabesʼ. Mélanges de l’Institut Dominicain d’Études Orientales 3. 359–374. Orlandi, Tito. 2010. Informatica testuale, teoria e prassi. Bari : Laterza (Manuali Laterza 308). Paris, Gaston. 1872. La Vie de Saint Alexis : poème du XIe siècle et renouvellements des XIIe, XIIIe et XIVe siècles. Paris : Librairie A. Franck (Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études 7). Pasquali, Giorgio. 1974. Storia della tradizione e critica del testo. Milano : Oscar Studio Mondadori. Pétrof 1914 : Ibn Ḥazm. 1914. Ṭawq al-Ḥamāma. Publié d’après l’unique manuscrit de la bibliothèque de l’université de Leide. Pétrof, D.K. (éd.). Leiden : Brill (Mémoires de la faculté des lettres de l’Université impériale de St. Pétersbourg 119). Poirel, Dominique. 2006. ʻL’édition des textes médiolatinsʼ. Duval, Frédéric (éd.). Pratiques philologiques en Europe. Actes de la journée d’étude organisée à l’École des chartes le 23 septembre 2005. Paris : École des chartes (É tudes et rencontres de l’É cole des Chartes 21). 151–173. Robin, Christian Julien. 2001. ʻLes inscriptions de l’arabe antique et les études arabesʼ. Arabica 48. 509–577. Samir, Khalil. 1975–1976. ʻL’exposé sur la Trinité du Kitāb al-Kamāl : édition critiqueʼ. Parole de l’Orient 6–7. 257–279. ——. 1980 : Yaḥyā Ibn ʻAdī. 1980. Maqāla fī al-Tawḥīd. Samir, Khalil (éd.). Junieh-Roma : Librairie Saint Paul (Patrimoine Arabe Chrétien 2). ——. 1982. ʻLa tradition arabe chrétienne. État de la question, problèmes et besoinsʼ. Samir, Khalil (éd.), Actes du premier congrès international d’études arabes chrétiennes (Goslar, sept. 1980). Roma: Pontificium Institutum Orientalium Studiorum (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 218). 21–120. ——. 2007 : Elia di Nisibi (975–1046). 2007. La Spisa, Paolo ; Righi, Davide ; Samir, Khalil ; Pagnini, Anna (éd.), Il libro per scacciare la preoccupazione (Kitāb dafʿ al-hamm) t. 1. Torino : Zamorani (Patrimonio Culturale Arabo Cristiano 9). Schen, I. 1972–1973. ʻUsama ibn Munqidh’s Memoirs : some further light on Muslim Middle Arabicʼ. Journal of Semitic Studies 17. 218–236 ; 18. 64–97. Segre, Cesare. 1979. Semiotica filologica : testo e modelli culturali. Torino : Einaudi (Einaudi paperbacks 100). Sirat, Colette. 1992. ʻLes éditions critiques : un mythe ?ʼ. Hamesse, Jacqueline (éd.), Les problèmes posés par l’édition critique des textes anciens et médiévaux. Louvain-la-Neuve : Institut d’Études Médiévales de l’Université catholique de Louvain (Publications de l’Institut d’Études Médiévales Série 2, Textes, études, congrès 13). 159–171. Spitaler, Anton. 1960. ʻDie Schreibung des Typus ṣlwh im Koran. Ein Beitrag zur Erklärung der koranischen Orthographieʼ. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 56. 212–226. Ṭawīl 2002 : Ibn al-Nadīm. 2002. Al-Fihrist. Yūsuf ʿAlī Ṭawīl (éd.). Beyrouth : Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyyah. Timpanaro, Sebastiano. 2003. La Genesi del Metodo del Lachmann. Con una Presentazione e una Postilla di Elio Montanari. Torino : Utet libreria. ——. 2005. The Genesis of Lachmann’s Method. Edited and translated by Glenn W. Most. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press. Ventura 2007 : Bartolomaeus Angelicus. 2007. De proprietatibus rerum. Ventura, Iolanda (éd.), Vol. VI : Liber XVII. Turnouth : Brepols (De diversis artibus 79). Witkam, Jan Just. 1988. ʻEstablishing the Stemma: Fact or Fiction?ʼ. Manuscripts of the Middle East 3. 88–101. ——. 1989. De Egyptische arts Ibn al-Akfānī (gest. 749/1348) en zijn indeling van de wetenschappen. Editie van het Kitāb Iršād al-Qāṣid ilā Asnā al-Maqāṣid met een inleiding over het leven en werk van de auteur. Leiden : Ter Lugt Press.

Normes orthographiques en moyen arabe : sur la notation du vocalisme bref Jérôme Lentin Summary: Throughout its history, Middle Arabic has shaped orthographic norms varying through time and space, some of which are peculiar thereto. Orthographic conventions have to be identified in order to interpret correctly the information they conceal on the history of Arabic. By relying on a selection of texts and manuscripts, we present both the key difficulties encountered in interpreting facts and the main orthographic tools used for noting short vowels, and propose a reading hypothesis of a puzzling graphic association. Some orthographical conventions appear to be very ancient and have precedents in other Semitic languages: Middle Arabic has retained old features which were not accepted into the classical norm. An important sociolinguistic statement emerges: Middle Arabic displays its very nature through orthography, without trying to disguise it. Finally, we stress the importance for editors of Middle Arabic texts of preserving all linguistic peculiarities found in manuscripts, as insignificant or incomprehensible as they might seem.

1. Introduction Si l’origine de l’écriture et de l’alphabet arabes a fait l’objet de travaux relativement nombreux (et de débats), on s’est beaucoup moins intéressé à l’étude des normes et des usages orthographiques, de leurs variations et de leurs évolutions historiques et géographiques. Pour ce qui est du moyen arabe, la situation est sans doute un peu meilleure. Les travaux dans ce domaine (monographies ou introductions aux éditions de textes) abordent en effet presque toujours les problèmes d’orthographe ; mais c’est en général pour en souligner des ‘écarts’ par rapport à la norme (supposée) de l’arabe classique, ou pour en signaler quelques (supposées) particularités (comme l’utilisation ou non de l’alif otiosum). Les auteurs s’efforcent par ailleurs en général, à juste titre, d’exploiter les renseignements que nous fournit la graphie pour une reconstruction, plus ou moins vraisemblable, des réalités phoniques qu’elle peut nous laisser entrevoir (par exemple pour les interdentales historiques)1.

1  La ponctuation, de même que les signes qui, dans certains textes, constituent vraisemblablement des indications pour une oralisation du texte, ne sont eux pratiquement jamais abordés.


jérôme lentin

Force est de constater cependant que ces efforts sont dispersés et qu’en tout cas un tableau ordonné de l’ensemble des faits — variés — d’orthographe reste à faire. La présente contribution n’a évidemment pas pour ambition de dresser un tel tableau. Plus modestement, elle voudrait essayer de montrer, à partir de l’exemple de la notation du vocalisme bref 2, que, comme toujours en moyen arabe, les faits, pour peu qu’on fasse l’hypothèse de leur cohérence, se laissent analyser ; que, pour la graphie aussi, le moyen arabe s’est forgé, au cours de sa longue histoire, une / des norme(s) qui lui est / sont — au moins en partie — propre(s) et qui se retrouve(nt), avec des variations, à travers le temps et l’espace. Autrement dit, qu’il y a une tradition et des conventions orthographiques en moyen arabe, qu’il faut essayer d’identifier, faute de quoi les indications précieuses, et finalement nombreuses, que nous donne l’orthographe risquent de demeurer mal interprétées, et les conclusions qu’on peut en tirer pour l’histoire de l’arabe erronées. Le choix de s’intéresser ici à la notation du vocalisme tient à deux raisons principales : d’abord, elle a été encore moins étudiée3 que celle du consonantisme (qui, cela va sans dire, mériterait elle aussi une étude d’ensemble, non seulement pour le moyen arabe mais pour l’arabe de façon générale). Ensuite, de nombreux manuscrits de textes en moyen arabe, de toutes époques, nous sont parvenus sporadiquement, partiellement ou même entièrement vocalisés. La question de savoir pourquoi certains manuscrits sont vocalisés, parfois entièrement, ou partiellement, avec des voyelles qui paraissent souvent superflues, quand d’autres, malaisées à conjecturer, ne sont pas notées, ne sera qu’incidemment abordée ici4. À partir d’un échantillonnage varié (mais qui ne prétend pas être représentatif) de textes et de manuscrits5, on essaiera de mettre en évidence dans les pages qui suivent certaines caractéristiques de cette / ces normes(s) orthographique(s) du moyen arabe, en présentant tout d’abord  Le vocalisme long ne sera abordé qu’incidemment.  À quelques exceptions près dont, pour les manuscrits maghrébins, Van den Boogert 1989. 4  Pour des problèmes comparables concernant les consonnes, on se reportera à l’intéressante étude de Kaplony 2008, qui, par l’analyse attentive des (rares) points diacritiques dans trois corpus anciens, montre entre autres que ces points sont utilisés soit pour marquer certaines catégories grammaticales, soit dans la notation de mots particuliers. Certaines des observations qu’il fait dans son analyse sont transposables à celle de la notation du vocalisme. 5  Je voudrais remercier amicalement Alexander Borg, Jean-Patrick Guillaume, Ibrahim Akel, Faustina Doufikar-Aerts et, tout particulièrement, Francesca Bellino, qui ont généreusement mis à ma disposition les reproductions de manuscrits qu’ils ont utilisés dans leurs travaux. 2 3

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


les principales difficultés dont il faut tenir compte dans l’interprétation des faits (§ 2), puis les principaux outils orthographiques utilisés dans les textes pour la notation du vocalisme bref (§ 3). On proposera enfin une hypothèse de lecture d’une graphie fréquente et quelque peu énigmatique (§ 4) avant de conclure (§ 5). N.B. Seuls ont été pris ici en considération les textes notés en écriture arabe, les textes notés dans d’autres alphabets (copte, hébreu, karšūnī . . .) méritant une étude à part. Parfois plus riches d’informations que les premiers, ils utilisent évidemment d’autres systèmes, qui requièrent chacun une interprétation particulière. Pour un célèbre texte en caractères coptes, voir par exemple Blau 1979, en particulier 225–236 ; pour une lettre vocalisée en judéo-arabe provenant de la Geniza du Caire, voir Blau & Hopkins 1985, en particulier 437–439. Dans une perspective comparable à la nôtre ici, G. Khan a publié une très intéressante étude sur le she­wa dans des textes vocalisés de la Geniza (Khan 1992). 2. Quelques obstacles à l’interprétation des faits orthographiques Il faut évidemment tout d’abord se souvenir que, comme tout système orthographique, celui du moyen arabe est conventionnel ; et que d’autre part il a, si l’on peut dire, des aspects métalinguistiques, et qu’il faut donc se garder de toute interprétation naïve de certains au moins des faits d’orthographe. Il faut se souvenir aussi que certains mots particuliers peuvent avoir une orthographe particulière (qui ne suit pas les principes généraux du système). Identifier une norme orthographique en moyen arabe revient à identifier une norme multiforme. Par définition en effet, les faits linguistiques en moyen arabe ne sont pas homogènes, puisqu’on trouve dans les textes, à côté de ceux qui relèvent de l’arabe classique ou de l’arabe dialectal, des phénomènes qui relèvent de l’interférence entre ces variétés, et constituent autant de traits propres. Parmi les divers procédés utilisés, on remarque l’extension par analogie de telle ou telle correspondance partielle constatée entre les deux registres, qui aboutit à l’interchangeabilité entre deux formes (par exemple, en syntaxe, entre les prépositions li- et ʾilā). Il en va de même pour l’orthographe : pour les consonnes, on ‫ة‬ ‫ ت‬. C’est une des raisons pour connaît bien par exemple celle entre � et � lesquelles il ne faut pas s’étonner de voir une même voyelle notée de plusieurs façons différentes, ou une même notation représenter des voyelles différentes. Il faut en outre se souvenir que la norme, en moyen arabe, est


jérôme lentin

non seulement multiforme, mais encore souple (moins contraignante que celle de l’arabe classique, qui connaît d’ailleurs aussi une certaine souplesse, mais moindre). Il convient ensuite d’être attentif, dans les manuscrits, à la disposition des signes vocaliques par rapport aux consonnes qu’ils affectent (exactement comme pour les points diacritiques des consonnes). On constate en effet souvent qu’un signe vocalique peut être décalé vers la gauche, d’une ou parfois de deux lettres : il est naturel dans une écriture cursive de ne pas toujours revenir en arrière pour des signes additionnels. Un décalage d’une lettre peut aussi être dû à des conventions graphiques : on se rappellera par exemple que, dans les graphies anciennes de l’arabe, la (future) ḍamma était notée par un point (souvent rouge) après la lettre (Wright 1896 : 8 Rem. c ; Rāġib 1990 : 18–19 et note 18 p. 27–28 pour d’autres références). Peut-être l’écriture de cette même ḍamma sur le h du pronom suffixe de 3e pers. masc. sing. (v. plus loin § 3.9.) en est-elle un souvenir. De même, il n’est pas toujours aisé d’identifier si un signe vocalique concerne une consonne de la ligne supérieure ou de la ligne inférieure (on peut encore confondre une hamza ou un sukūn avec un point diacritique d’une consonne de la ligne supérieure). On peut penser aussi que certains signes particuliers sont associés conventionnellement à une lettre particulière (cf. la notation ŭ en écriture cursive allemande) : ainsi peut-on observer, par ex. dans le Ms Londres 3368, qu’une sorte de tanwīn -an peut être écrit au-dessus de la plupart des sīn-s, ou que la madda est régulièrement utilisée au dessus du ʾalif quand celui-ci note le ā d’un groupe āʾ, à la fin ou à l’intérieur d’un mot (pour cette graphie au Maghreb cf. Van den Boogert 1989 : 33, § 5). Il faut se garder encore de confondre des signes qu’une lecture trop rapide pourrait faire juger identiques (et ils se ressemblent de fait énormément). Ainsi dans le Ms BN arabe 3687 faut-il distinguer la ُ combinaison fatḥa + sukūn (‫)�ـ‬, sur le ductus consonantique d’un groupe -aC- suivi d’une consonne et où la fatḥa est donc décalée d’une lettre à ُ gauche) de la ḍamma (‫)�ـ‬, et s’apercevoir que la kasra est très semblable, sinon analogue, à la fatḥa6. Dans le Ms arabe no lxxii de l’Ambro­siana, la šadda est semblable à la fatḥa, mais plus longue et parfois horizontale ; la hamza est semblable à la fatḥa, mais plus courte ; la ḍamma est semblable à la fatḥa, mais est seulement très légèrement incurvée. Inversement, on 6  Dans ce même manuscrit, de gros points semblent noter la fin d’unités prosodiques du texte.

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


rencontre des signes différents qui semblent avoir la même signification (voir par ex. Chevedden dans Burns, Robert & Chevedden 1999 : 51,21 suiv. pour deux façons d’écrire la ḍamma). Le fait que la même notation puisse se comprendre de deux façons différentes pose parfois des problèmes de lecture difficile à résoudre. Par exemple, šadda + kasra peut noter šadda + fatḥa comme šadda + kasra (Wright 1896 : 14D). Ainsi dans un texte comme Ḥaǧarī 1997 est-on tenté de choisir la deuxième possibilité, et d’y voir donc une notation de l’ʾimāla7 (fréquente en andalou) car on aّ (passim)8 i/annihum, liʾannihu, illiḏī, illitī, َّ ُ َّ‫أ‬ َّ‫َ ت‬ ْ‫َ َ ن‬ ‫( ا لا ا‬158,12), ‫ك��ن�ـ�ا‬ illiḏīn, ou encore ‫( �ّ ي�ا‬153,8), ‫ـ‬ (160,3), �‫‘ �م‬Matthieu (l’évan� ‫ى‬ َّ ‫َ ٍم‬ géliste)’ (passim), َ‫ ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه‬/ ُ‫ ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه‬Allih ‘Dieu’ (151,-3 ; 158,5 et 7), d’autant qu’il َ‫اَ � فَ َّ� ن‬ ��‫ ل������ل��ِح‬al-fallaḥīna (ainsi, sans semble y avoir des cas sans ʾimāla : 153,-2 �‫ي‬ َّ ُّ ْ ُ َّ voyelle longue). Mais des exemples comme ‫���ف���ا ر‬ ‫( اِ �ل ك‬156,-2), ���‫( �مَر ا��ك ش‬25,-7), َ�‫ث‬ ‫م‬ (passim) peuvent faire hésiter. Dans le Ms Gotha HB 2212, on trouve par ex. avec le signe vocalique sous la šadda : fo 63b, -4 ġawwār, -2 al-ʾummār et -1 al-kuffār, mais sur la šadda, par ex. : 2 maddāḥ et 7 ḥuḍḍār ; faut-il comprendre -CCi- pour les premiers et -CCa- pour les seconds, ou s’agitil dans les deux cas de noter -CCa- ? Dans d’autres casّ la lecture -CCaَ semble plus assurée : Ms Le Caire 2924 ʾadab, fo 6a,-4 �‫ اِ لي‬, Ms Paris 3837 ّ ْ ْ َ ‫ ا�ش‬. (fo 1a, titre) ‫ل�������ي�� خ‬ � Enfin, il faut signaler que les manuscrits comportent parfois des vocalisations ‘parasites’, ultérieures à la composition du texte et qui sont le fait de lecteurs ou même d’acquéreurs tardifs des manuscrits ; ainsi trouvet-on dans les manuscrits du fonds Wetzstein conservés au département des manuscrits de la Staatsbibliothek à Berlin (Preussischer Kulturbesitz) des vocalisations qui sont visiblement de la main de Wetzstein. Ces mises en garde pourront paraître élémentaires, et elles le sont en effet. Mais elles ne sont sans doute pas inutiles : on lit encore trop souvent, à propos des vocalisations — certes parfois difficile à interpréter, pour les raisons qu’on a rapidement exposées — des textes (manuscrits) en moyen arabe qu’elles sont incohérentes, ‘sans rime ni raison’.

 Voir ci-dessous § 3.4.  On citera aussi quelques exemples de vocalisme long.




jérôme lentin

3. Les principaux outils orthographiques utilisés dans les textes pour la notation du vocalisme bref 3.1. Scriptio plena

La scriptio plena des voyelles brèves (a, i, u)9 à l’aide de ‫ا‬, ‫ ��ي‬et ‫و‬10 est bien attestée dans plusieurs écritures sémitiques. En arabe, ces trois matres lectionis servent, depuis toujours, à noter les voyelles de mots empruntés ou de noms propres étrangers (sauf éventuellement celles qui ne sont pas accentuées). Il en va de même en moyen arabe, mais leur utilisation y est étendue : elles servent à noter, par le même procédé mimétique pourrait-on dire, des voyelles dans des dialectalismes et dans des classicismes. Ce qu’il est intéressant de faire remarquer, c’est que, dans cet emploi, elles guident la lecture pour écarter des ambiguïtés qui se produiraient si l’orthographe standard était conservée, en particulier pour des éléments morphologiques (formes verbales et pronominales en -i, prépositions, conjonctions . . ., voir plus loin). On observe de plus qu’il s’agit souvent de guider, explicitement, vers la lecture d’une forme classique ou d’une forme dialectale11. Dans ce dernier cas, on constate que le moyen arabe, loin de les dissimuler, revendique, si l’on peut dire, ses dialectalismes et, plus généralement, qu’il se donne à lire précisément comme moyen arabe, c’est-à-dire une variété d’arabe de plein droit. Pour le moyen arabe ancien, voir Blau 1966 : 68–77 (§ 8) ; Hopkins 1984 : 6–7 (§ 4). On ne doit donc pas s’étonner de trouver des exemples de ces habitudes graphiques anciennes par exemple dans le manuscrit de Wahb Ibn Munabbih édité par R.-G. Khoury : afʿāl pour afʿal, yuzawwīǧuhu pour yuzawwiǧuhu, ḫīftu pour ḫiftu, siǧīll pour siǧill (Khoury 2008 : 294–295)12. Des exemples fréquents de l’utilisation des matres lectionis concernent, on vient de le dire :

 9  Et toutes sortes de voyelles de timbres plus ou moins proches lorsqu’il s’agit de noter les voyelles de mots dia­lectaux ou celles d’emprunts. 10  Qui restent naturellement disponibles pour noter par ailleurs les voyelles longues ā, ī et ū. 11  Le cas est particulièrement flagrant par exemple dans les textes qui distinguent, pour les noms féminins en ‫�ـ��ة‬, une graphie avec yāʾ final (notant l’ʾimāla) d’une graphie avec ʾalif final (cf. Lentin 1982). 12  Et on ne le suivra pas quand il décrit ce qu’il appelle ‘l’allongement de voyelles brèves’ comme un ‘phénomène très rare dans des manuscrits anciens, qui s’explique par le travail accompli sur le texte dans Al-Andalus, donc sous influence aussi berbéro-maghrébine’ (ibid.).

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


– les marques verbales et pronominales de féminin singulier : �‫ �ــ‬/ ‫( ��تـ�ى‬-ti) ‫ت�ي‬ 2ème pers. fém. sing. de l’accompli (Blau 1966 : 145–146, § 37 ; Hopkins 1984 § 64c ; Lentin 1997 : § ; �‫ ـ‬/ ‫( ـى‬-i) 2ème pers. fém. sing. de ‫ي‬ l’inaccompli (Lentin 1997 : § ; ��‫ ا ن‬/‫( ا ن�ت�ى‬ʾanti) ‘toi (fém.)’ (Blau ‫ت�ي‬ 1966 : 133, § 30.1. ; Hopkins 1984 § 59a ; Lentin 1997 : § 5.1.1.) ; ‫�ى‬ ‫( ��ـ ك‬-ki) ème pron. suff. 2 pers. fém. sing. (Lentin 1997 : § 5.1.2) ; – diverses particules, prépositions, conjonctions . . . : ‫( ��س�ا‬sa-) particule de futur (Blau 1966 § 8.1.) ; lā- pour la- (lām al-tawkīd) ‘certes’ (Blau 1966 § 8.2 ; Diem 1979 : 225 ; Hopkins 1984 § 4 a, ex. d’Ibn Wahb : ‫لا‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫‘ ا‬indeed, that’) ; lā (= la-) : Mahdi 1984 : 58,15 (préposition), 251,-5 et 494,-5 (conjonction ‘que’) ; la conjonction fā- (surtout dans fa-l-, Blau 1966 § 8.3. p. 70 ; Mahdi 1984 321,-5) ; kā- (ka-) ‘comme’ (Blau, ibid.). On trouve plus rarement ‫( و‬ū) pour noter le u de la première consonne des formes verbales passives (Blau 1966 § 8.7. p. 74 : ʾūḥabbu ; būnītum). ‫ذ‬ Exemples pour des noms : Blau 1966 : 73 § 8.6. ‫ =( �ل�� وري�ا ت��ه‬li-ḏurriyyātihi) ‘pour ses semences’. Un nom particulièrement souvent écrit avec une mater lectionis (pour i) voire une deuxième (pour le -a) est ǧiha (žiha) ‫( ����ه��ة‬parfois ‫ ����ه�ا‬žiha) ‘côté, direction’ (c’est le seul exemple de scriptio �‫�ج ي‬ �‫�ج ي‬ plena de ce type — au pluriel — dans Holmberg 1989 : 123 ; pour ce même ‫ ����ه�ا ت‬cf. aussi : Ferrando 1999 : 86,3 et commentaire 92 § d) ; Lenpluriel � �‫�ج ي‬ tin 1997 : § Exemples dans Ḥaǧarī 1997 : 107,7–8 ‫ وا �م�ا ر�ه ب��ه‬wa ʾamarahum bihi ‘il ‫م‬ ُُْ َ َ َ َّ َ le leur ordonna’ ; 151,13 ‫ ا � ن�ل����ص�ا ر �ى ا �جل��د و ِد‬an-naṣārā l-žudud ‘les nouveaux Chrétiens’. Pour l’andalou encore, on note cependant par ailleurs un usage différent : selon Corriente (1977 : 60–61, §§ 3.1.1. et 3.1.2.), “les voyelles accentuées en syllabes ouvertes ou finales étaient senties comme ‘mar­ quées’ d’une façon particulière et représentées par des matres lectionis, sans tenir compte de la présence ou de l’absence dans ces positions de longueur phonologique en arabe ancien” (ma trad.). Voici quelques exemples pour la période ottomane au Proche-Orient (Lentin 1997 145–150, § 3.19.4.)14. Dans des classicismes : (‫ �م�دا د )ا‬mudad 13  C’est la graphie normale pour l’arabe dialectal, et dans la ‘littérature populaire’ (comme Baybars) ; on peut la trouver aussi aujourd’hui dans la presse, par exemple dans une interview (ainsi dans la revue Dounia no 26, 1er novembre 2008, p. 31 : badaʾtī, tawaqqaftī, p. 32 lamaʿtī). 14  Auquel on se reportera pour les références précises des exemples, et la bibliographie détaillée des sources, qui ont été omises ici par souci d’économie de place. Les textes (syriens, libanais et palestiniens) couvrent la période 1600–1850.


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‫ن‬ ‘périodes’, � ‫ ب���ه�لا وا‬bahlawān ‘funambule’, ‫ ا ج��ا ر‬ʾažžara ‘il a loué’, ‫( �م� ن� ��س���م�ا‬cf. ‫ف‬ classique min ṯamma) ‘de là’, ‫ لا �م�ا‬lammā ‘lorsque’, �‫ ��ا ب�ا �ي� ت‬fa-ʾabayt ‘alors ‫ف� ا � �ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ je refusai’, �‫ ي���ل �سو‬faylasūf ‘philosophe’, man � ‫‘ �م�ا‬qui ?’, � ‫ ع�ا‬préposition ‫ف‬ ʿan, ‫ �م�ع�ا‬préposition maʿa, ‫ �ل��ي��س�ا‬laysa ‘il n’est pas’, ‫ ��سو��ا‬sawfa (particule de ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت‬ futur), conjonctions ‫ ��ا‬fa- (par ex. ��‫ ��ا ب�ا �ي‬déjà cité) et ‫ وا‬wa- ‘et’. La graphie, assez fréquente, ‫ �ش���ا ��ي‬šay (cf. classique šayʾ) ‘chose’ permet vraisemblablement, comme celle avec hamza (‫)�ش���ي ء‬, de distinguer une réalisation *šay d’une réalisation *šī notée ‫�ش���ي‬. ( ‫ )��ي‬préposition li- : ‫ لي� ا �مر �يري�ده ا �ل��ل�ـ�ه‬li-ʾamrin ‫ض‬ yurīduhu llāh ‘pour une chose voulue par Dieu’, �‫( �ع��يو�� �ع� ن‬cf. classique ً‫�ض‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ � � ��‫‘ )عو� �ا ت�ع‬en com­pensation de’, �‫‘ ��س���مع لي� ع��ر ا ي‬il écouta ma confession’, ‫�ه�ده‬ �‫( ����س� ���م���ه‬sima) ‘voilà par quoi ils se caractérisent’. ‫ ��ي‬peut noter des voyelles ‫�ي � م‬ � désinentielles : ‫ ج��ا �م��ع�هى‬žāmiʿihi. (‫ ��ل�هو )و‬lahu ‘à lui’ (pour la graphie ‫�ل�هوه ت‬, v. � ‫‘ لا‬vers le � ci-dessous § 3.2.). Dans des dialectalismes : (‫ )ا‬préposition la : �‫ح� ت‬ bas’, ���‫‘ لا ا ي� ش‬pour quoi’ ; adverbe balki �� ‫‘ ب�ا �ل يك‬peut-être’ ; conjonction ta- (‫)ت�ا‬ ‫ا�ز‬ ‫ا�ز‬ ‘pour que’ ; ‫ ي��د =( ي�ا د‬, ʾazyad) ‘davantage’15. ( ‫ )��ي‬Outre �‫ ��ـ‬/‫ ��تـ�ى‬et �‫ ـ‬/‫ ـى‬pour ‫ي‬ ‫ت�ي‬ les verbes, et ��‫ ا ن‬/‫ ا ن�ت�ى‬et ‫�ى‬ ‫ ��ـ ك‬pour les pronoms (v. plus haut) : ‫ �ل��ي��س�ا‬adverbe ‫ت�ي‬ lissa ‘(pas) encore’ (homographe de ‫ �ل��ي��س�ا‬laysa déjà cité) ; × ‫‘ �ج�ي�� �ب�� ت� �ل�ك‬je t’ai amené X’16 ; (‫ تـ�وا )و‬2ème pers. plur. de l’accompli, ‫‘ انتوا‬vous (plur. commun)’, ‫ن‬ �‫* �م�عو‬maʿon ‘avec eux’. Dans des emprunts, noms propres (anthroponymes, ‫تت ن‬ �‫ ب�و�ي�ل���تي� ك‬bo/ōlitīka ‘habileté manœutoponymes . . .) : �‫ �و�و‬tutun ‘tabac’; ‫��ا‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ف ق‬ vrière’, ‫‘ �بر وب�و��ك��دا‬Propaganda’ (la Compagnie de Propaganda Fide), �‫�����ست��و‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ �‫ت�و ر ك‬ ‘pistaches’, �‫‘ ا �ل����ر ي�ا ���ي‬al-Qaryatayn’, ‫‘ طر ا ب��لو��س‬Tripoli’, ‫‘ ���بر و ��س‬Chypre’, � ‫�م�ا‬ ‫ت‬ � ‘Turkmènes’, �‫ك‬ ‫‘ �و ر ي‬turc’, ‫‘ ب��ل��ير موا‬Palermo’. ‫ �ـ�ا‬note assez souvent un -a final17, dans des formes verbales (pour classique ‫ �ـ�ا‬ou ‫)�ى‬, des adverbes, des prépositions, et des noms : emprunts, noms correspondant à ceux terminés en classique par ‫ ـى‬ou ‫�ـ�ا ء‬, et enfin noms et adjectifs à terminaison ‫�ـ��ة‬. Dans certains corpus (par exemple dans plusieurs textes étudiés dans Lentin 1997), cette notation alterne avec celle avec �‫ـ‬, suivant que la terminaison est soumise ou non à ‫ي‬ l’ʾimāla18 (en fonction de la nature de la consonne précédente, selon une 15  Pour ‫ ا‬notant le pronom suffixe de 3ème pers. fém. sing. (et témoignant donc d’une �����‫�م ن‬ réalisation sans h : -a < -ha) v. Lentin 1997 : 196 (§ 5.1.2.) : ‫‘ و خ���ل ف� �م ن���ا‬et derrière elle’ ; ‫ح��ق���ا‬ ‘certainement, vraiment’ ; ‫‘ ا ل� �ع ن���دا‬chez elle’. Pour la notation de ce même pronom avec ‫ي‬ la seule fatḥa, voir ci-dessous § 3.3.2. ‫ة‬ 16  Cf. Kūbilyān 2008 : 90,6 ��‫ و د �ير �يوا ا �ه� ا �ل��ق����ل�ع‬w dəryu ʾahl əl-qalʿa ‘et les habitants de ‫ل‬ la citadelle [l’]apprirent’, où le � précise que la première voyelle du schème (dialectal) ‫�ي‬ d’accompli du verbe est ə (ou i) et non a. 17  Mais �‫ ـى = ـ‬peut aussi noter -a. ‫ي‬ 18  Cf. §§ 2. et 3.4. Pour la notation de -e / -ē par ‫( يــ��ه‬et ‫ )ــ�ه‬voir § 3.2.1.

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


distribution très semblable à celle qu’on constate aujourd’hui dans les dialectes de la région)19 et alors réalisée [e] / [ẹ] / [i]. Exemples avec ‫ا‬- (Lentin ‫ن��ه�ا ا ج�ل‬ 1997 : § : ‫‘ ط�ا ع�ا‬obéissance’, ‫‘ ا ر ب��ع�ا‬quatre’, ‫‘ �م��ف��ت��وح�ا‬ouverte’, ‫��م�ع�ا‬ ‫� ر‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‘le vendredi’, ‫� �ا‬ ‫‘ ����ض‬argent’, ‫‘ ور ��ا‬feuille’, ‫� �ا‬ ‫‘ ا لا و �ض‬la pièce’, ‫‘ ا �ل��ق�� ب���ا ر �ص�ا‬les Chy‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ priotes’, ‫‘ ��ا��ك�ه�ا‬fruit’, ‫‘ �مر ا‬fois’, ‫ ���ي���م�ا‬qīma ‘valeur’. Exemples avec �‫( ـ‬Lentin ‫ت ي‬ ‫ق‬ 1997 : § : ‫‘ �و ��ي‬force’ (homographe de ‘très, beaucoup’), �‫‘ ا �ل��ر ج��م‬la ‫ي‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ا �ل‬ � traduction’, ‫‘ ����هو��ي‬café [en grains]’, ‫‘ ��س‬année’, ‫‘ ��س��ير ��ي‬une histoire’, �‫�ومي‬ ‫حك‬ ‫نـ�ي ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‘les autorités’, ‫‘ ب�ا ر و د ��ي‬fusil’, ��‫‘ ��ك���ي‬église’, �‫‘ ا �ل���م�د و �ي‬qui sont écrits’, ‫�هو ��ي‬ ‫س�ي‬ ‫ن‬ (huwwe) ‘un précipice’ (et ‘lui [pron.]’) ; �‫‘ ا �ل���موا ر �ي‬les Maronites’, �‫[‘ �زح��ل‬la ‫ي‬ ville de] Zahlé’. Il est intéressant d’observer (Lentin 1997 § 3.15.2.) que r fait partie, comme les ‘emphatiques’ et les ‘gutturales’, des phonèmes après lesquels la terminaison ‫ �ـ��ة‬est souvent notée ‫ا‬- (et ‫�ـ�ه‬, voir § 3.2.), ce qui permet de postuler pour ce phonème (sauf dans certains environnements, en par�‫‘ ب� ك‬demain’, ‫‘ �بر ا‬dehors’, ticulier en présence de i / ī) une réalisation [ṛ] : ‫�ر ا‬ ‫‘ ��س‬charmes’, ‫� ا �ل��ط�ا �هر ا‬ � ‫‘ ا �م�ا ر ا‬émirs’, ‫‘ د �يو ر ا‬couvents’, ‫‘ ن����ص�ا ر ا‬chrétiens’, ‫حو ر ا‬ ‫ن���ي ت� ك‬ ‫م‬ ‘votre intention pure’, ‫[‘ ا �ل���م�عر ا‬la ville d’] al-Maʿarra’, ‫‘ د ور ا‬un tour, une pro‫�غ‬ menade’, ‫‘ ا �ل���مر ا‬la femme’, ‫‘ �ا ر ا‬expédition militaire’, ‫‘ �مر ا‬une fois’, ‫‘ �م ب���� خ�ر ا‬un ‫ت‬ ‫ة‬ � ‘bassesse’. encensoir’, ‫���ر ا‬ ‫‘ ب� �ك‬en quantité’, ���‫‘ �مر ا ث�ا ن�ي‬une deuxième fois’, ‫ح��ق���ا ر ا‬ ‫ث‬ Un mot comme ‫‘ ��ك���ير ا‬nombreuses’ pourrait être un de ceux auxquels est volontiers associée cette graphie (cf. par ex. une attestation dans Fleisch 1935–1936 : 372). �‫ ـي‬note d’autres -e finaux, dans des emprunts et dans des mots particuliers de racine à troisième radicale faible comme ‫�ر ��ي‬ ‫‘ ك‬location’(kəre ; cf. classique ‫�ر ا ء‬ ). ‫ك‬ Pour ‫ ��ي‬notant e dans la terminaison -et, voir la fin du § 3.2.1. 3.2. -h comme mater lectionis Là encore, cette utilisation de -h est bien attestée dans plusieurs écritures sémitiques. Pour l’arabe ancien, cf. par ex. (Mascitelli 2006 : 190)20 ʿnzh (= ʿAnaza), mʿyrh (= Muġīra), et pour l’arabe classique (particulièrement en poésie) : ʿlyh (ʿalayya), ʿmh (ʿamma) et aussi rh, th = ra, ti (impératifs

19  Dans certains textes, la notation est plus subtile, et on a des alternances ‫ا‬ / ‫ �ه‬et  � / ‫�ه‬, ‫�ي‬ v. Lentin 1982. 20  Capitolo 2 : L’ortografia nei testi arabi preislamici e i suoi riflessi sulla ricostruzione della fonetica e morfolo­gia.


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de raʾā et ʾatā, cités aussi par Wright 1896 : 90 note et 93 Rem. a)21. Pour ‫ف‬ le moyen arabe ancien, v. Blau 1966 : 75 suiv. (§ 8.9.) : ‫ �ي���ه‬fiyya (cf. Hopkins 1984 § 5 ex. b), ‫ ع� ي�ل��ه‬ʿalayya, ‫ ي��د ي��ه‬yadayya etc. ; -h est également utilisé pour noter la voyelle finale de -na des terminaisons d’inaccomplis et d’impéra‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ tifs -ūna / -na : ‫ ا خ�ر �ج� ن���ه‬ʾuḫruǧna ; ‫ ��ع�ا �ل�ه‬taʿāla (et ‫��ع�ا لا ه‬, v. plus bas) ; ‫ �ل���م�ه‬lima. Pour des périodes ultérieures, v. par ex. Ḥaǧarī 1997 : 102,-5 bi-faranǧah ‘en France’, Vicente 2002–2003 : 322 ‫ ; ا �ل�د ن�ي��ه‬Zetterstéen 1919 : 13,-5 à 16,5 (125 ex., tous avec sukūn sur le h)22 ; Karbstein 2002 : 21 ġūmah ‘goma’ ; Baybars vol. 8 : 48,1 ‫ ب�ا ��س��ط�ه‬basta ! (lingua franca) ‘assez !’. Tous les exemples cités ci-dessus concernent la notation de -a. On remarquera au passage que cette graphie incite fortement à penser que ‫ �ه�ده‬/ ‫�ه��ذه‬, qu’on trouve très fréquemment en moyen arabe, ne note pas uniquement le démonstratif féminin hāḏihi, mais bien souvent aussi (et cela n’a pas toujours été compris) le masculin hāḏā. Statistiquement, si le h ne porte pas de voyelle, il y a de bonnes chances pour que -h soit à lire -a. C’est le cas après r (en fait [ṛ]) ; on trouve d’ailleurs aussi écrits avec hāʾ ceux qui ont été signalés (fin du § 3.1.) comme écrits ‫ ��س‬etc. � �‫� ك‬,‫�بر ه ب‬, ‫ا �م�ا ر ه‬, ‫د �يو ر ه‬, ‫����ص�ا ر ه‬,‫حو ر ا ن‬ avec ʾalif : ‫�ره‬ Mais ‫ �ـ�ه‬peut servir aussi à noter d’autres voyelles brèves finales (ou, pour le dire plus exactement, à signaler que la consonne qui le précède est suivie d’une voyelle) : Karbstein 2002 : 21 būlūh ‘bolo’ ; Lentin 1997 : ‫ت‬ 143 ‫ل�ـ)ـ��ا ر د ه‬ ‫‘ (ا � ب‬le Bardo (à Tunis)’ (Ḥannā 55a 6 et 61a 5) ; ‫‘ د ي�ا و �ل�ه ب�ا ب�����س���ا‬dia‫ت‬ � volo papista’ ; Baybars vol. 4 : 30,5 : ‫ �ص�ا ر مو ر ��ه‬ṣār mōrto [ce dernier mot emprunté à la lingua franca] ‘il est mort’ (comparer vol. 1 : 205,7–8 ‫�ص�ا ر‬ ‫)�مو رت�وا‬. Il faut observer cependant que c’est le plus souvent pour noter des voyelles comme -u ou -o, et beaucoup moins fréquemment des voyelles mi-fermées antérieures (-e) ; -i quant à elle n’est notée, sauf erreur, que par un yāʾ ; -e peut être notée à l’aide d’un -h dans le cas de l’ʾimāla de la termi­ naison ‫�ـ��ة‬, mais on tend dans ce cas à ajouter à la consonne précédente une kasra, sauf quand il s’agit d’une terminaison -iyye (alors homographe de -iyya). Mais la notation la plus répandue pour -e (et -ē), hors terminaison ‫�ـ��ة‬, est le digraphe y + h (§ 3.2.1.). En effet, on relève en moyen arabe (Lentin 1997 : 143) une pratique graphique qui consiste à associer, en un digraphe, une des trois matres 21  Le fait que l’utilisation de h comme mater lectionis pour noter -a (puis, plus rarement -i) se retrouve ‘très tôt’ en persan (MacKenzie 1971) confirme probablement l’ancienneté du phénomène en arabe. 22  Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’‘appellatifs, adjectifs et participes’ comme il est dit ibid. 10,-4.

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


lectionis ‫ا‬, ‫ ��ي‬ou ‫ و‬à ‫( �ـ�ه‬h) — ce qui confirme, si besoin était, le statut de mater lectionis de ce dernier — pour préciser, certes approximativement, le timbre de la voyelle brève ainsi notée (par un procédé en somme alternatif à l’utilisation de fatḥa, kasra et ḍamma respectivement) : ‫) �ل�ه =( ��ل�هوه‬ ‘pour lui’ (Ibn Sabāṭ 1993 : vol. I, 458,7). Exemples de la période ottomane : ‫ق‬ ‫‘ ا �ل��ق����هواه‬le café’, ‫*( وا ر ف��ا �وه‬u rfāqo) ‘et ses amis’, ‫*( ا لا �مو ر اه‬al-ʾumūra) ‘les instructions du pouvoir central’ (Lentin 1997 : 143) ; Bay­bars vol. 1 : 179,9 ; vol. ‫ت‬ 2 : 118,18 ; etc. ‫‘ ن�وه‬no !’ (lingua franca). Pour un exemple ancien, cf. ‫��ع�ا لا ه‬ taʿāla (Blau 1966 : 76, § 8.9.3, Remark). 3.2.1. La notation de -e / -ē par ‫( يــ��ه‬et ‫)ــ�ه‬23 Comme le rappelle Mascitelli 2006 : 190–191 et n. 5, -h ou -yh étaient déjà utilisés en arabe ancien ‘pour transcrire la voyelle finale de noms (propres) et de mots étrangers’, comme dans ceux qui sont devenus Sībawayhi et Miskawayhi (< *Siboē, *Maskoē), exemples qu’il rapproche à juste titre de la transcription, aujourd’hui, de mots français terminés par -e. Si c’est ‫ يــ��ه‬qui est le plus souvent utilisé pour noter -e / -ē, ‫ ــ�ه‬est aussi attesté. C’est parfois le cas, on vient de le rappeler, dans le cas de l’ʾimāla de la terminaison ‫�ـ��ة‬. Si des graphies comme ‫( �هوه‬Hopkins 1984 : 7, § 5a, ex. de Wahb b. Munabbih) et ‫ �هي���ه‬sont le plus souvent à in­terpréter comme huwa, hiya, elles notent aussi parfois les formes dialectales huwwa/e, hiyya/e, comme il apparaît plus clairement avec la forme de 3ème pers. du plur. ‫( �ه ن���ه‬cf. dialectal hənne)24. Une graphie comme ‫( �هوا‬Damurdašī 1992 : 157,10) est plus difficile à décoder : s’agit-il d’un exemple de scriptio plena (cf. § 3.1.), ou d’une notation visant à distinguer une forme classique huwa d’une forme dialectale huwwa ? C’est donc surtout ‫ يــ��ه‬qu’on utilise pour noter -e / -ē, au point qu’on peut dire que c’est une graphie standard (y compris en arabe moderne : ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫كا �ي���ه‬ � ‘café’, ‫‘ ب�و�ي���ه‬buffet’, etc. et en arabe dialectal : ‫( ج��ا ��يي��ه‬et ‫)��ا ي��ه‬ ‫‘ ج‬qui vient’). Exemples dans des textes en moyen arabe : ‫( ب�ا د ري��ه‬à côté de ‫‘ ب)��ا د ر ��ي‬Padre’ (prêtre) (Lentin 1997 : 135). Parmi les -e que peut noter le digraphe ‫ يــ��ه‬, il y a la terminaison ‫ �ـ��ة‬avec ʾimāla (comme ‫ ــ�ه‬et ‫ ��ي‬donc). Dans des exemples comme ‫‘ ا �ل���موا ر ن�ي��ه‬les Maronites’, ‫‘ ا ��ل�هو��ي��ه‬le précipice’ (Lentin 1997 : § ou ‫ ا لا ����ست���ا ن�ي��ه‬l-Istāne ‫ي‬ ‘Constantinople’, ‫( ا �ل���م�ا د ن�ي��ه‬cf. dialectal l-mādne) ‘le minaret’ (Lentin 1982 :  Pour la notation de -e final par �, voir la fin du § 3.1. ‫�ي‬  ‫�هوه‬, ‫ �هي���ه‬et ‫ �ه ن���ه‬sont aujourd’hui des graphies quasiment standard pour les dialectes proche orientaux. 23



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119 n. 2), il faut être attentif à reconnaître cette graphie, qui peut facilement se confondre avec -iyya/e (quand la šadda n’est pas notée, ce qui est évidemment très fréquent, et que ‫ �ـ��ة‬est écrite ‫ ــ�ه‬ce qui arrive assez souvent) et se garder de lire par exemple * l-Istāniyye. On observe enfin que, dans certains textes, e (bref) est noté par un ‫ي‬ (comme l’est le ē de l’ʾimāla intérieure, cf. § 3.4.) dans la terminaison verbale (de 3ème pers. fém. sing. de l’accompli) et dans la terminaison ‫ �ـ��ة‬d’un ‫ن‬ nom à l’état construit (-et) : ‫كا ن�ي���ة‬ � *kānet (verbe � ‫كا‬ � , 3ème pers. fém. sing.), ‫* ح�ا ��ة‬ḥāret (Lentin 1997 : 150 § �‫ري‬ 3.3. Les signes des voyelles brèves (ḍamma, fatḥa, kasra) Certains textes en moyen arabe sont, on l’a dit, entièrement vocalisés. D’autres le sont partiellement ; d’autres enfin ne présentent qu’une quantité très réduite de signes pour les voyelles brèves. Dans ce cas, c’est généralement la ḍamma qui est la plus représentée (cf. Blau 1966 : 74 n. 59 et 63 n. 6 avec références). On présente rapidement ci-dessous quelques faits concernant l’utilisation de ces signes dans les textes. 3.3.1. u La ḍamma (u) est parfois présente comme indicateur morphologique pour marquer le passif des formes verbales — comme c’est le cas aujourd’hui en arabe standard — et pour les participes passifs (et non les participes actifs) des formes verbales dérivées. On la trouve aussi dans certaines formes nominales : ḫuzzān, al-suḥb ou verbales actives : tubṣirū (Blau 1966 § 8.7. p. 74 n. 59). Il semble bien que la ḍamma serve aussi à noter le shewa. Pour le ُ moyen arabe ancien, J. Blau le suggère pour un exemple, �‫ ? = ا �م� ن‬ʾəmmin (Blau 1966 : 86, fin de la note 7 du § 11.1.1.). Dans Ḥannā 15b 10 et 170a 17 ُ� ُ ‫‘ ا ل‬les stratagèmes’ � ��‫�� ي‬ ‫‘ �ض‬villages’ représente sans doute ḍəyaʿ et 115b 19 ‫حي���ل‬ ‫ع‬ ُ‫ن ق‬ l-ḥəyal (pour ‫ �م�� � ب���ل‬dans ce même texte v. ci-dessous). Dans Baybars vol. ُّ 2 : 36,5 on trouve ‫‘ لا ج��ل ����سن���ه‬à cause de son âge’ où *li-ʾažl sunnihi est peutêtre à lire li-ʾažl sənno, mais où la vocalisation indique en tout cas qu’il ne faut pas lire *sinnihi. Pour d’autres exemples, voir aussi plus loin § 3.6. ُ‫ف‬ Dans Bauden, à paraître, Busta 180, fasc. IX, no 6, on lit à la ligne 4 �‫و�������م� ت‬ ِ‫ه‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ �م�ا �ي���ه‬où la forme verbale semble être active (‘j’en ai compris le contenu’) et pourrait être à lire fəhəmt (ou fhəmt, la ḍamma portant alors sur la consonne suivante, comme dans certaines notations du pronom suffixe de 3e pers. masc. sing.).

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


Pour ḍamma notant seule ce pronom voir plus loin § 3.9. Voyelles labialisées. Dans des textes de la période ottomane (Lentin 1997 : 153), certaines ḍamma-s semblent indiquer une influence de m et b sur la voyelle adjacente, qui est labialisée : Ms arabe no 8878 Damas 38,5 ُ ‫‘ ع��ل ا �ل� ُ��م ن����ط ق‬la logique’, m28,2 ‫‘ �� ُ��م� ن‬avec qui ?’ ; ‫‘ ا �ل� ُ��م��ق���ا �ل��ة‬chapitre’ ; ‫‘ ك اح�د‬com‫مو‬ � � ‫ب‬ ُّ ‫م‬ ُ bien ?’ , ‫‘ �مر و�ج �م�لا‬de bonnes selles’ ; ‫ =( �ع�م�ا ل‬préverbe dialectal ʿam­māl) ; ‫ح‬ ‫‘ ا �ل� ُ��مَ�� ن‬les ports’ (mais il peut s’agir dans certains exemples d’hypercorrec�‫ي‬ tions morphologiques, et dans d’autres d’une notation du shewa). Dans ُ‫ق‬ Ḥannā, passim, on a systématiquement la graphie ‫( �م� ن� � ب���ل‬cf. classique min qibal) ‘de la part de’. La vocalisation a certainement pour première ‫ق‬ fonction d’éviter la confusion avec ‫‘ �م� ن� � ب���ل‬auparavant’. La ḍamma peut indiquer une labialisation, mais aussi une forme pseudo-classique (*min qabul, voire *min qubal) avec décalage du signe vocalique. 3.3.2. a Parmi les emplois de la fatḥa, on peut signaler qu’elle peut noter, comme dans le texte morisque étudié par A. Borg, le pronom suffixe de 3ème pers. du fém. sing. en fonction d’objet verbal. 3.3.3. i

‫ذ‬ Blau 1966 : 63, n. 6 signale dans un manuscrit du Sinaï la forme ‫( حِ �� ر‬cf. classique ḥaḏir). Il pourrait s’agir d’un dialectalisme (cf. Denizeau 1960 : 102 ḥiḏir ‘défiant’ [palestinien de Bīr Zēt]). Pour une autre valeur de la kasra en deuxième syllabe de noms de structure CVCVC, cf. § 3.6. ‫ َوحِ �ل‬. 3.4. L’ ʾimāla N.B. Il sera question aussi, par la force des choses, du vocalisme long. L’orthographe arabe a mis au point depuis très longtemps des façons de signaler l’ʾimāla (voir par ex. Nöldeke 1860 : passim, en particulier 253 suiv., et aussi 281, 290, 328, 332, 350 et Grünert 1876 : 44–45 [488–489] V. Handschriftliche Bezeichnung der Imâla) : points de couleur sur et sous la consonne25, ou, plus tard, kasra sous la consonne, qui est suivie ou non de ʾalif ou de ʾalif maqṣūra / yāʾ ; il existe encore d’autres notations, en 25  D’après Grünert 1876 un point rouge sous la consonne (le signe pour a au dessus étant en général omis), d’après Bergsträsser & Pretzl : un point rouge pour a au dessus de la consonne, un point bleu pour i au dessous.


jérôme lentin

particulier avec un ʾalif souscrit. Pour le moyen arabe ancien voir Blau 1966 : 90 (n. 28) ; Blau 1981 : 125 (et 73 pour le judéo-arabe) ; Hopkins 1984 : 8–9, § 726. Pour la période ottomane au Proche-Orient, voir Lentin 1997 : 130–134. Pour la notation avec �‫ ـ‬ou ‫ �ـ�ه‬de l’ʾimāla de la terminaison ‫ �ـ��ة‬voir ‫ي‬ les §§ 3.1. et 3.2. Pour la notation avec šadda + fatḥa (= šadda + kasra) de la consonne précédant la voyelle soumise à l’ʾimāla voir § 2 (antépénultième alinéa). L’ʾimāla intérieure de ā, quand elle est notée, l’est par ‫��ي‬, qui sert aussi à noter d’autres ‑ē‑ (dans des emprunts, par ex. )‫‘ طر ا ب���ي�ز (ا‬plateau’, ou quand il s’agit de diphtongues ‑ay‑ réduites — quand on peut être sûr de cette réduction, la graphie étant bien sûr ambiguë). 3.5. La notation de l’absence de voyelle. 3.5.1. À l’initiale du mot : utilisation d’un ʾalif prosthétique dans la notation de CCVL’utilisation d’un ʾalif prosthétique pour indiquer que la consonne subséquente ne porte pas de voyelle (que le mot commence par un groupe CCV-) est bien connue : cf. Blau 1966 : 62–63 (§ 3.3., avec renvois à d’autres §§) et 163–164 (§ 58) pour les Vèmes formes verbales27 ; Blau 1981 : 124 ; Zetterstéen 1919 : 2,9 suiv. (ex. ‫* ا ط��بول‬ṭbūl) ; Mahdi 1984 : tmahhalt (81,7), gdīš (128,2), tfarražt (319,8) ; Baybars vol. 2 ṣḥābīn 14/36, 6 ; nsīt 15/37, 1 ; nzūr 20/42,12 ; nṭabb 27/49,14 ; Lentin 1997 : 122–127 (§ 3.17.1.)28. 3.5.2. sukūn L’outil orthographique habituel pour noter l’absence de voyelle (y compris de la consonne initiale d’un mot), le sukūn, est souvent systématiquement noté dans les textes en moyen arabe vocalisés, et on peut le rencontrer par exemple sur deux consonnes consécutives, conformément à la prononciation dialectale ou dialectalisante. Voir par exemple les manuscrits suivants : Ms Caja XVIII, 585, XXI (Borg : à paraître), BN arabe 3683 (cf. Doufikar-Aerts 2008 : 168, avec des exemples comme ʿamar-hum et non *ʿamara-hum), Ms BN arabe 3678 (fo 1r lignes -4 à -2 : lisān, samʿ, 26  Blau 1966 : 65 (§ 5) et Hopkins 1984 : 4–5, § 3a donnent des exemples connus indirectement par des transcriptions coptes ou grecques (cf. aussi Blau 1988 : 152 suiv.). 27  Dans ce cas, J. Blau interprète la notation avec ʾalif prosthétique comme ʾit-. 28  Où est traité aussi le cas où les mots commençant par CC- sont écrits sans ʾalif prosthétique, le choix entre les deux notations portant sur celle qui est différente de celle de l’orthographe standard, qui demeure ainsi la réfé­rence implicite : ainsi *mwāž ‚vagues’ est-il écrit ‫( �موا�ج‬car ‫ ا �موا�ج‬serait interprété comme ʾamwāž).

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


baṣar, barakāt, ad-dir­ham, ʾanf, qalb — ces deux derniers avec donc deux sukūn-s). On remarquera que, là encore (cf. § 3.1., fin du premier alinéa, à propos de la scriptio plena de certaines voyelles brèves), le moyen arabe se donne explicitement à lire comme tel, s’assume si l’on peut dire. On trouve attestées certaines habitudes graphiques particulières : ainsi Stenhouse 1989 : 597 fait-il observer que dans un des manuscrits samaritains qu’il étudie le sukūn est — pour des raisons qu’il conviendrait d’élucider en étendant le corpus à d’autres manuscrits samaritains — écrit surtout au dessus de r et de la conjonction w(a). 3.6. Ségolisation Dans certains textes, au moins pour la période ottomane (Lentin 1997 : 127, § 3.17.2.), il semble qu’une voyelle soit notée sur la deuxième consonne pour indiquer le passage du schème nominal CVCC au schème CVCVC : ‫‘ �ص�ا ر ع��لي���ه� َوحِ �ل و�م��طر اً �ش���د ي��د‬ils eurent à endurer la boue et de fortes pluies’ ; ‫م‬ ُُ ‫ن‬ ُ‫ق ق‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن ن‬ ‫ن‬ �‫‘ �م�� ب��ع�د ب�ا ��ي���ي‬visibles de loin’. L’exemple ‫‘ و�م������س���م��ي� ا�لر وا � ���سم‬ils ont divisé la galerie en plusieurs parties’ (Ḥannā 112a 9) est moins clair : si la ḍamma ْ‫ق‬ est bien sur le sīn, on peut penser au maṣdar ‫[* ���س‬qasǝm] ; mais on peut ‫م‬ ُ‫ق‬ ‫ق‬ lire aussi ‫[* ���س‬qǝsam] (= plur. de ‫)���س���م��ة‬. On a sans doute un autre exemple ‫م‬o (SC Siri 1 f 599r ligne 27 du texte arabe, voir Lentin : à paraître en 2012), ‫لا ن� � ��د �ق �� �م� ن ا � �ش�����ت ن���ا ��ُع�د ف� د � �م��ط ا ن��� ن‬: ‫��ع�د‬ également avec le mot �‫ي� �م� ن‬ ‫ب‬ ‫يو ج ر �ي ب � بر �ي ب ر يوم ر‬ ‫‘ �م��ط�ا ري� ن� ا �ل�ن���س�ا طره‬car près de mon évêché se trouvent à une journée (?) deux évêques nestoriens’, mais le ‫ د‬est peu clair, et séparé du ‫( �ع�ـ‬qui semble interrompu) par un ُ- isolé. La voyelle ainsi notée est selon toute vraisemblance un shewa (réalisé [ə],[ı] etc . . .) ; on voit qu’il est noté tantôt par une ḍamma (cf. § 3.3.1.), tantôt par une kasra. On peut penser que, dans certains cas au moins, elle est destinée en outre à empêcher une lecture (qui pourrait être plus ‘spontanée’), par exemple baʿd au lieu de buʿəd. 3.7. šadda La šadda est fréquemment utilisée avec sa valeur habituelle, pour indiquer la gémination de la consonne. Mais elle l’est aussi à d’autres fins : ُّ dans Brunschvig 1936 : 21,529 �‫[ ج�ب�� ن‬žbǝn] elle contribue, avec là encore la ḍamma qui note un shewa, à indiquer le schème du nom. On ne peut  L’auteur du texte est ʿAbd al-Bāsiṭ ibn Ḫalīl (1440–1514), un ‘musulman du Caire’.



jérôme lentin

considérer, malgré les apparences, que la šadda équivaut ici à un sukūn ; on songe par contre à son utilisation, en arabe andalou (Corriente 1977 : 61, § 3.1.2), pour marquer une voyelle accentuée lorsqu’elle est suivie d’une consonne (bien que dans cet exemple précis l’accent ne puisse tomber que sur la syllabe unique). Par contre, une graphie, andalouse elle ۟ َّ aussi, comme ���‫‘ ب�ري� ش‬Paris’ (Ḥaǧarī 1997 : 121,-6) vise très probablement à noter p en le distinguant ainsi de b (cf. Corriente 1977 : 35, § 2.2.3.). Dans un texte d’époque ottomane (Lentin 1997 : 158, § 3.19.7.), la šadda ّ ‫ق‬ signale, dans �‫�ر ب‬, que le b est précédé d’une voyelle, et qu’il faut donc lire un mot de structure C(V)CVC (et non CVCC), en l’occurrence qurab et non qurb. L’utilisation de la šadda sur ḥ et lām-ʾalif en particulier (Stenhouse 1989 : 597) semble particulière et une étude systématique des occurrences serait nécessaire pour tenter d’en déterminer la / les valeur(s). 3.8. ʾalif al-wiqāya Dans l’orthographe classique, le wāw des terminaisons (-ū et -aw) des 3ème pers. masc. plur. de l’accompli, des 2èmes et 3èmes pers. masc. plur. de l’inaccompli subjonctif et apocopé et de la 2ème pers. masc. plur. de l’impératif est suivi d’un ʾalif, appelé ʾalif al-tafrīq, al-ʾalif al-fāriqa, al-ʾalif al-fāṣila, ou encore ʾalif al-wiqāya30. En moyen arabe, l’utilisation de ce digraphe ‫ ـوا‬est étendue et on peut trouver le ʾalif al-wiqāya après tout wāw final. Cet emploi est en vérité ancien et attesté dans l’orthographe classique : ‫��يب��د وا‬, ‫��د �عوا‬,‫� ن�وا ي‬,‫�مر ��س��لوا �ب‬, ‫ا و �لوا‬, ‫( ا �مر وا‬Diem 1979 : 390 suiv., § 248 suiv., pour qui (§ 251) cette orthographe est ‘ḥiǧāzienne’). Pour l’emploi en moyen arabe ancien du ʾalif al-wiqāya après tout wāw final, que celui-ci soit consonantique ou vocalique, v. Blau 1966 : 127–128 (§ 28) ; Hopkins 1984 51–52, § 50a. Pour des exemples ultérieurs, voir La Spisa 2006 : 170 ‫ خ‬et ‫ ; ع��ل ا‬Barceló Torres 1984 : 203 ‫ف���ل‬ (§ 3.7.) ‫ �ي�ع�د وا‬31 ; Holmberg 1989 : 125 ‫���لوا‬ ‫و ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ ُ ْ َ‫ن‬ ُ ْ َ‫ن‬ ‫ ;  ج��د وا‬Ḥaǧarī 1997 : 39,-5 ‫ ; ��د �عوا‬40,13 et 14 ‫; ����م ش���وا‬ Ġassānī 2002 : 55 ‫ا �ل� ن�ك� �ب���ي ن����طوا‬ (‘el convento’). On voit que ‫ ـوا‬en est venu à signaler aussi, en particulier, toute voyelle finale -u / -ū ou -o / -ō. Ainsi, pour la période ottomane (Lentin 1997 : 144– 145, § 3.19.3.), en trouve-t-on de nombreux exemples (certains textes en 30  Cette dernière dénomination est moins fréquente, mais sera conservée ici, car c’est traditionnellement celle qui est retenue dans les travaux sur le moyen arabe (avec son équivalent alif otiosum). 31  L’exemple ‫�هوا‬, cité aussi par Blau 1966 : 127–128, ne relève peut-être pas du même phénomène, voir ici même § 3.2.1.

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


font un usage quasiment systématique) après le wāw final a) des inaccomplis et des participes passés de verbes de racine à troisième radicale wāw ; b) du pronom personnel suffixe de 3ème pers. masc. sing. (voir ciaprès § 3.9.) ; c) des noms de racines à troisième radicale wāw ; d) des noms propres en -o ou -u ; e) de mots comme ‫ �لو‬ou le pronom personnel ʾintu ‘vous (plur.)’ : ‫‘ ا �خ�وا‬frère’ ; ‫‘ ب��ل��ير �موا‬Palermo’ ; ‫‘ ��ين�����موا‬il croissait’ ; ‫‘ ن�ب��غ�وا‬nous souhaitons’ ; ‫‘ ا �ل���مر�ج�وا‬ce que nous souhaitons’ ; ‫‘ �م ن����ه� �م� ن� ي��د �عوا �ل�ه‬certains ‫م‬ priaient [sing.] pour lui’ ; ‫( ا � نب� ا �م��ي ن��وا‬nom propre) ; ‫ �ع�ز �ي�ز وا‬ʿAzīzo (surnom) ; � ‘pour ‫‘ ع�د وا‬ennemi’ ; Ḥannā 85b 18 ‫‘ ا �ل���م���م��لوا‬rempli de . . .’ ; 103a 14 × ‫ح� ي��د �عوا‬ ‫ت�ي‬ ‫ن‬ qu’il appelle X’ ; ‫[‘ �م�ا ا �ج�ت��وا‬qui] ne lui étaient pas parvenus’ ; ‫*( ا �وا‬ʾinno) ‘que’ ; ‫‘ ب��د وا‬il veut / il va’ ; ‫‘ �م�عوا‬avec lui’ ; ‫‘ �لوا‬à / pour lui’. ُ Voir encore : Ms Berlin SBPK 9052 (We. II 1607) fo 50v,-2 et -1 ‫ ; ا �ل���م�د �عوا‬Ms �‫ ; ت�نج‬Baybars vol. 2 : 33,2 ‫‘ �ه�ا ت�وا‬donne-le’ ; Gotha 2594 (Möller 952) fo 129a,4 ‫�ُوا‬ ‫�ق‬ �‫‘ و ج‬son visage’ ; Rous 53,10 ‫ ;  ��بوا‬55,14 ; 61,1 ; 64,15 ‫ ; �ش��وا‬55,23 ‫ ; ا ر �ج�وا‬65,12 ‫���هوا‬ ‫ن�ن‬ ْ‫�ذ َ � ق ن ن‬ ‫ن‬ o � ��� ‫وا اِ لِ����ر‬ 1877 : 5,-1 �‫ ج�وا �ه�ا ر ب���ي‬. Dans le Ms BN arabe 3687 f 41r ligne 2, �‫ي‬ ‫�ذ‬ ْ‫� ق ن ن‬ ��� ‫ ُ وا ا ل����ر‬fo 53v ligne est sans doute à lire ḏū l-qarnayn32 (comme par ex. �‫ي‬ ‫�ذ‬ 3) ; cf. Ms Berlin SBPK 9052 (We. II 1607) fos 49r,-5 et 51v,-1 (‫) وا‬. Cette utilisation du ʾalif al-wiqāya après wāw est tellement habituelle qu’on en trouve même des exemples après un wāw à l’intérieur d’un ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ mot : Shehadeh 1989 : 303 note (variante dans un manuscrit) � ‫‘ و ��ع�ل�موا‬et ‫ف� ا ن‬ (que) vous sachiez’ ; Hoenerbach 1965 : 118, ligne 23 du texte ‫�ي�عر و ���ه�ا‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‘qui la connaissent’ ; Lentin 1997 146 : �‫ �يوا �ص‬et �‫‘ �يوا ��س‬Yūsuf ’ ; ‫ن�ا وا �ي����طو��س‬ ‘Néophy­tos’ ; ‫ ا �موا ر‬ʾumūr. Il est important enfin de signaler que l’utilisation du ʾalif al-wiqāya après wāw final est vivante, au moins au Proche-Orient, en particulier dans la mise par écrit du dialecte, mais pas seulement : ainsi dans une correspon�‫‘ ا �ل ك‬tous ici ont dance privée (Al-Māġūṭ 2009 : 119,-8/-7) ‫��ل �ه ن���ا ح� ي�ل�ق��وا ا�لر �ؤ و ��س‬ la tête rasée’. J’ai relevé, sur les tickets de caisse d’un traiteur à Damas, en ‫ق أ‬ ‫ ح‬ḥarrāʾ ʾǝṣbaʿo (nom d’un plat). 2009 et en 2010, ‫�ر ا � � ��ص ب���عوا‬ 3.9. Notations du pronom suffixe de la 3ème personne masculin singulier

On aura remarqué, dans le paragraphe précédent, que ‫ ـوا‬note, entre autres, le pronom suffixe de 3ème pers. masc. sing., ce qui en suppose une réalisation [u] ou [o]. Mais ce pronom suffixe peut être noté de diverses autres manières33 :  Et non ḏawā al-qirnayn (Doufikar-Aerts 2008 : 172).  Les exemples, sauf mention contraire, sont de la période ottomane (Lentin 1997 : 194–195, § 5.1.2 et 150–151, § 3.19.5.). 32 33


jérôme lentin

ُّ ‫ق‬ – par un wāw (non suivi d’un ʾalif al-wiqāya) : ‫‘ ا �مو‬sa mère’ ; ‫‘ ��ا �ل� ت� �لو‬elle lui ‫�غ‬ ‫ت‬ a dit’ ; ‫‘ ب���ي��س���م�عو ; �م ن��و ; �ع ن��و‬il l’écoute’ ; ‫‘ ��ير �و‬son souci ombrageux’. Pour des exemples plus anciens, cf. Al-nužūm al-zāhira fī mulūk Miṣr wa l-Qāhira d’Ibn Taġrībirdī (1410–1470), pour l’année 648 (Salṭanat al-Muʿizz ʾAybak al-Turkmānī, dans un mawāliyā) : ‫‘ ب��ع�د و‬après lui’ (= ‘lui succéda’, 5 occurrences), ‫( �ي�ع��ق����بو‬même sens, 2 occurrences) ; Borg à paraître : 3 ُ ََ (‘pour le pronom objet’) : wa-tilazamū34 ‘fais-lui un bandage’ُ [‫]تِ��ل�ز �مو‬. La ُ ّ consonne précédant le wāw peut porter une ḍamma (‫ ) ـو‬: ‫; �ع ن��و‬ ‫ف ق‬ – par ‫* ا ر ��ا �وه( ـوه‬u rfāqo, cf. ci-dessus ُ § 3.2.) ; ُ‫ن‬ ُ – par une ُّ‫ ن‬simple ُّ‫ ُ ن‬ḍamma (‫ ) �ـ‬: ‫‘( ب��ع�د‬il n’a pas encore . . .’) ; � ‫‘ لا‬parce que’ ; � ‫ ; �ع ن���د ; ا � ب; ��ا‬cf. Borg à paraître : 4 (selon qui cette graphie ne concernerait que les pronoms en position de complément verbal) : taʿqadu bi-qir ‘épaissis-le avec de la poix’ ; ُ – par ‫ �ـ�ه‬: Cette notation par une ḍamma sur la consonne précédant ‫ �ـ�ه‬est ancienne, cf. Blau 1966 : 134, § 3.1.1. (pour qui elle est ُّ à lire -uh et non ُ‫ت‬ �� -u / -o). Le h y est une mater lectionis : ‫�ه‬ �� ‫س‬ ‘sa vie’ ; ‫�ه‬ ‫‘ �م� ن� �ه�م‬par ses soucis’; � ‫ير‬ ُّ 35 ‫‘ �ب�ي��ه‬son père’  ; ُ ُ ُ ُ ‫ق‬ – par  ُ‫ �ـ�ه‬: ‫; ��ده ; ا �مو ر ه ;  �ع ن���ده‬ ‫�م����ره ي‬. Il est évidemment impossible de prouver de façon irréfutable que cette graphie note bien le pronom suffixe dialectal (et non le classique -hu). Mais le contexte d’une part, le fait que le pronom classique ne soit pas, en règle générale, vocalisé d’autre part, permettent de supposer que, selon toute vraisemblance, tel est bien le cas. Dans le texte édité par M. Doss 1991, il semble bien que ce soit également le cas, et que ُ‫ �ل�ه‬soit à lire *lu(h), bien que le pron. suff. y soit noté par ‫‘ �ض‬il le reçut’) ; pour un trois graphies concurrentes : ‫�ـ�ه‬, ُ‫ �ـ�ه‬dans ُ‫ �ل�ه‬et ‫�� ي�� ف��وا( ـوا‬ avis différent, voir Doss 1991 : tome I, 69–70. L’exemple ‫( ب���ه ِ�ه‬Lentin 1997 : 143,4 § est peut-être à lire, de façon analogue, bi ou bī. On notera aussi que, dans les textes proche orientaux de la période ottomane, un phénomène dialectal est attesté : ‑ V (< *V̅ ) + pron. 3ème pers. masc. sing.  −V̅ (katabu ‘ils ont écrit’ / katabū ‘ils l’ont écrit’). ‫ ت‬Il‫ �خ‬arrive en ‫�ت ل ض‬ � � effet dans ce cas que le pronom ne soit pas écrit : � ‫‘ �لو � ب���ا ح�� ا ا ر‬même  XXI,8 et non XX, 8 comme indiqué par erreur dans Borg à paraître. ُ  Dans ‫‘ ر �ه ب���ا ن���ي ت��ه‬sa congrégation’, la ḍamma est même écrite sur l’avant-dernière consonne, si l’on en croit Louis Cheikho, qui a édité le texte (daté de 1669) dans Al-Machriq 20, 1922, 724–733. Dans ce texte, la graphie distingue soigneusement le -u dialectal du -hu classique, pour lequel la ḍamma est alors écrite sur le h. 34 35

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


‫‘ خ‬je s’il le cache (= ‫ )�خ� ب���ا ه‬sous terre’ ; Ḥannā 138a 2/3 ���‫���ل� ي�ا خ��د ك �م�ع�ه ب�لا ش‬ ‫وب‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ ) خ‬te prendre [sur son bateau] gratuitement’ ; ‫× ا خ� ذ�� ا‬ vais le faire (= ‫�� ي�ل��ه‬ ‫ب‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫ذ‬ ‫‘ ا لى ا ��س�لا �م��بول‬ils emmenèrent X )= ‫ (ا خ��� و ه‬à Istamboul’. 4. Hypothèse de lecture d’une graphie fréquente et quelque peu énigmatique 4.1. -āʾ (‫ )ــ�ا ء‬pour noter -ā (‫ ــ�ا‬ou ‫) ــى‬36 Divers auteurs ont remarqué, dans des textes d’époques variées, ce phénomène, et s’en sont parfois étonnés, ou l’ont considéré comme un ‘ajout superflu’ ou une hypercorrection : (Khoury 2008 : 294) al-fatāʾ (= al-fatā) ; noms propres Irmiyāʾ (= Irmiyā), Ašaʿyāʾ (= Ašaʿyā), Zakariyyāʾ (= Zakariyyā), ʾĪliyāʾ (= ʾĪliyā) ; (La Spisa 2006 : 170 § 3.9.) ‫�ل��ل�ع�ا ل ا لا ع�لا ء‬ ‫م‬ (= ‫( ; ) �ل��ل�ع�ا ل ا لا ع��لى‬Stenhouse 1989 : 602) dans un manuscrit, pour le pron. ‫م‬ ‫ف‬ suff. de 3ème pers. fém. sing. : ‫ي�ه�ا ء‬ ����, ‫ �ب� ن��ا �ه�ا ء‬et de 3ème pers. duel : ‫كلا �ه�م�ا ء‬ �  ; (Doufikar-Aerts 2008 : 172) ʿan-hāʾ (= ʿan-hā), bi-hāʾ (= bi-hā). On pourrait aisément multiplier les exemples : (Lentin 1997 : 114) ‫� �م�ا �ي�ع��ط�ا ء طول‬ ‫ا �ل��ف����ه�ي �مث����ل ك‬ ‫م م‬ ��‫‘ �ش‬un homme avisé comme vous n’a pas besoin de longues explications’ ‫رح‬ ‫� ن‬ (dans une lettre du Métropolite de Chypre datée de 1698) ; �‫ح���ص�ا ٍ� �م�ا ء �م� ن‬ ‫ح���ص�ا ن�ا ت‬ � ‘un des chevaux du roi’ (= ‫ح���ص�ا ن� �م�ا‬ �). ‫� ا �ل���م�ل�ك‬ ٍ Cette graphie est donc régulièrement attestée, et doit être considérée comme conventionnelle (plutôt que comme une ‘hypercorrection’). Son interprétation est délicate : s’agit-il d’une tentative d’élégance, ou de noter indirectement la prononciation de la voyelle longue dans des classicismes, ou encore d’une forme pausale37, ou tout simplement d’une habitude (ortho)graphique, où la hamza serait simplement ornementale ? Un élément de réflexion est apporté par un autre fait orthographique, qui fait l’objet du paragraphe suivant. 4.2. �‫( ــ‬ou ‫ ) ــى‬et ‫( ــ�ا ��ي‬ou ‫ )ــ�ا �ى‬pour noter -āʾ ‫ي‬ � (‫حوا ء‬ �) ‘Ève’ ; Fleisch 1935–1936 : 413,12 (cf. (La Spisa 2006 :174, § 3.19.) ‫حو ��ي‬ ‫ت‬ note 6) ‫ =( ا �ب���د ��ي‬ibtidāʾ). Ces graphies sont à rapprocher de celles discutées 36  Comprendre : ‘pour noter ce qui dans le registre standard est -ā’ (et, dans le titre du paragraphe suivant, ‘pour noter ce qui dans le registre standard est -āʾ’). 37  ‘Parfois la hamza semble avoir la fonction d’une marque de ponctuation, le point, à la fin d’une phrase’ (Doufikar-Aerts 2008 : loc. cit.).


jérôme lentin

‫ذ‬ par Blau 1966 : 90–91, § : ‫‘ ا �ل�ع�� ر �ى‬la Vierge’, ‫‘ ا �ب�ت��د �ى‬commencement’, etc. (et § pour les mots en -āʾ pourvus de pronoms personnels suffixes, du type ‫‘ ا ع�دا ي��ك‬tes ennemis’) et par Hopkins 1984 : 24–25, § 21d : g : ‫�هولا �ى‬, ‫( ر ج��ا �ى ا �ل���م�ل�ك‬prénom masculin) ; cf. La Spisa 2006 : 173, § 3.17. ‫أ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫ل‬ ‫ا‬ ‫‘ �ل��ل������ر ا ��ي‬pour les pauvres’ ; Ibn Sabāṭ vol. II 927,11–12 ‫�م�� � ع�ل ��ي ا ج���سر �ه��ذا‬. Pour une période plus récente, voir Lentin 1997 : 113–114 : ‘En fin de mot, ‫( ع�لا � ا �ل�د � ن‬prénom mascuaprès -ā-, ʾ est en général noté par ‫( ��ي‬ou ‫ ’)�ى‬: �‫ي‬ ‫ى‬ lin) ; ‫ =( �لوا ��ي‬liwāʾ). Du point de vue de l’histoire de l’orthographe, il est possible que les formes en ‫( ــ�ا ��ي‬ou ‫ )ــ�ا �ى‬sans suffixes pronominaux soient issues de celles munies de suffixes. Ce sur quoi il s’agit d’attirer l’attention ici, c’est qu’il y a une relative interchangeabilité entre les différentes façons de noter -ā et -āʾ Il faut de plus se garder d’oublier que, dans les nombreux dialectalismes présents en moyen arabe, le correspondant (dialectal) du classique -āʾ est ā (ou a). Il y a là, nous semble-t-il, un argument en faveur de la dernière hypothèse du § 4.1. ci-dessus, selon laquelle -āʾ, dans les exemples considérés, note -ā (voire parfois -a ?), par convention (ortho)graphique, la hamza étant ornementale. 4.3. La graphie énigmatique -āʾi (‫)ــ�ا ِء‬ On trouve dans plusieurs textes, au moins pour des époques relativement récentes, une graphie -āʾi (‫ )ــ�ا ِء‬: Mahdi 1984 : 245,12–13 ‫�ل���م�ا ر ا ِء ا �ب� ن���ة �ع�م�ه‬ ً‫دا‬ �‫( ب� ك‬ex. �‫��ا ب� ك‬ ‘lorsqu’il vit sa cousine’ (autre ex. de ‫ ر ا ِء‬157,4) ; 114,17 �‫��ا ِء �ش���د ي‬ ‫ن‬ identiques ou analogues : 161,9 ; 180,5 ; 184,14 ; 199,11–12) ; 115,-4 ‫ا � ي� ش���و��ي ��ل�ه�ا‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ش‬ ‫ ; ���وا ِء‬530,8 ‫ ا ��د � �م�ا ِء ور ش�����ت���ه ع� ي�ل��ه‬où la kasra de la terminaison ne renvoie visiblement pas à une voyelle i. Tel doit être le cas, malgré les apparences, dans des exemples comme 160,-1, 178,-2 et 200,13 ‫ ; �هولا ِء‬65,6 ‫� �ا ِء‬ ‫; �م� ن� ا �ل��ق�����ض‬ ‫آ‬ ‫ت ن‬ 175,-3 ‫ ; ا �و �ى ب���ط�ا ��س�ه �م�ا ِء‬186,-7 ‫ �م� ن� ا �ل��س���م� ِء‬et 198,-4 ‫ ;  �فى �ج�و ا �ل��س���م�ا ِء‬à remarquer cependant quelques exemples où elle note le pron. suff. de 1ère pers. sing. : ‫( �خ���ف����ق��� ت� ا � ش‬de même Ms BN arabe 3839, fo 24v,-6 : ‫ = ��ا ء‬raǧāʾī). 79,12 ‫ح����ا ِء‬ ِ ‫رج‬ ‫و‬ On trouve dans le Ms arabe no 8878 Damas ‫‘ ر ا ِء‬il voit’ (95,19 ; 101,17 ; 145,11 ; 146,10) et ‫‘ �م�ا ِء‬eau’ (102,14 ; 137,9 ; 139,14 ; 150,7 ; 154,8) ; de même 100,9 ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫( �ب���ا ِء ع��لى ا‬Lentin 1997 : 114). Talmon 2004 : 225–226 (§ et 256 bas-257 (§ 5.2.d)38 cite le voyageur allemand J.M.A.‫ أ‬Scholz (dont le récit fut publié en 1822) qui rap‫ن‬ porte les formes ‫( � � ش����ا ِء‬à Gaza, 1820–1821) insche (= inscha[ḷḷa]) et inscha alla (au Liban, dans le Kisrawān) ; la première pourrait indiquer, selon  Et non 5.2.1d comme indiqué par erreur en 226,1.


normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


R. Talmon, une prononciation avec ʾimāla. On serait plutôt tenté (malgré la ‘transcription’ insche, d’autant plus que ce que Scholz transcrit inscha ‫أن‬ est également écrit, en arabe, ‫ )� � ش����ا ِء‬d’y voir une attestation récente de la graphie commentée ici. Comment faut-il donc interpréter cette graphie ‫ــ�ا ِء‬, dans laquelle en tout cas la kasra semble bien, dans la plupart des cas, ne pas noter une voyelle i ? Deux hypothèses se présentent à l’esprit : soit elle serait destinée à souligner, dans des formes classiques ou classicisantes, la présence de l’occlusion glottale pour indiquer qu’elle doit être prononcée, et elle noterait donc -āʾ ; soit elle serait une variante de la graphie -āʾ (‫ )ــ�ا ء‬pour noter -ā (§ 4.1.) et noterait elle aussi -ā. Cette dernière hypothèse implique que la kasra, comme la hamza, serait ornementale. Un autre fait orthographique pourrait faire pencher en sa faveur : dans certains textes (par exemple dans le Ms BN arabe 3687), une ‘kasra’, ornementale elle aussi, est écrite sous le signe en forme de hamza qui se trouve dans la boucle des kāf-s finaux. 5. Conclusion Nous conclurons très brièvement. Notre propos visait d’abord à montrer, à partir de l’exemple de la notation du vocalisme bref, qu’avec le moyen arabe, dans le domaine de l’orthographe comme dans tous les autres, on a affaire à une variété normée et que les faits, aussi complexes et apparemment contradictoires qu’ils puissent paraître, sont toujours justiciables d’une analyse cohérente, mais que pour être à même de la mener à bien il faut, entre autres, se débarrasser de certains préjugés, ou de certaines habitudes, qui peuvent occulter l’interprétation des faits ou, pire, empêcher de les identifier. Il s’agissait ensuite de faire apparaître que les informations sur le vocalisme (bref en l’occurrence) sont, pour les textes en moyen arabe écrits en écriture arabe (les autres écritures ont été laissées de côté), plus nombreuses qu’on ne pourrait le supposer ; il va sans dire qu’elles constituent un matériau précieux pour l’histoire de l’arabe. Notre espoir était aussi, par ce modeste premier pas, de susciter d’autres travaux dans ce domaine. L’histoire des faits orthographiques en moyen arabe, malgré leurs spécificités, ne peut ni ne doit être séparée complètement, on l’a dit, de celle des faits orthographiques en arabe classique ni de celle des conventions mises au point, à travers les siècles, pour noter l’arabe dialectal. La première est moins connue qu’on pourrait le croire ; la seconde reste entièrement à faire.


jérôme lentin

Certaines conventions orthographiques adoptées en moyen arabe sont, on l’a signalé, très anciennes, voire archaïques, et ont des précédents dans d’autres langues sémitiques (hébreu, araméen, sudarabique ancien . . .) ; il est probable que, là encore, le moyen arabe nous ait conservé des traditions qui n’ont plus trouvé place lors de la normalisation de l’arabe classique, ce qui confère à son étude un intérêt supplémentaire. Un fait important, d’ordre sociolinguistique, nous a paru ressortir de cette petite analyse de quelques faits orthographiques, d’autant qu’il n’était pas forcément prévisible qu’il apparaîtrait aussi clairement : c’est (on l’a vu au § 3.1. à propos de la scriptio plena et au § 3.5.2. à propos du sukūn) que le moyen arabe se donne en quelque sorte à voir tel qu’il est, sans se dissimuler, qu’il ‘s’assume’ en tant que ce qu’il est, ce qui porte évidemment à méditer sur son statut sociolinguistique et encourage à chercher, dans d’autres secteurs des témoignages linguistiques qu’il nous a laissés, des faits qui appuieront et aideront à préciser ce constat. Il faut, pour terminer, adresser encore à nos collègues une prière instante : celle d’éditer les textes en moyen arabe, et plus généralement les textes en arabe, en préservant intégralement (ceci pouvant se faire dans le texte même ou dans l’apparat critique), toutes les particularités linguistiques que présentent les manuscrits, même — on aurait envie d’écrire surtout — celles qui peuvent paraître les plus anodines, ou les plus ‘incompréhensibles’, et en exposant explicitement les ‘modifications’, surtout peut-être là encore les plus anodines, qui ont été apportées au texte manuscrit. Quand on se reporte aux manuscrits, on est presque toujours accablé de voir que le texte qu’on croyait connaître, et sur lequel on a peut-être beaucoup travaillé, n’a que trop peu de rapports avec l’original. Et on lit encore trop souvent, malheureusement, sous la plume des éditeurs de textes, qu’ils ont aménagé l’orthographe (pour ne parler que d’elle) ‘en fonction des standards acceptés’. Il ya certes des exceptions, mais elles demeurent hélas des exceptions. Ce n’est pourtant qu’au prix de cette loyauté élémentaire aux textes que notre connaissance du moyen arabe, et de l’arabe, pourront progresser. Sources manuscrites – Archivio storico de la Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli ou Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, Rome : Scritture riferite nei Congressi, vol. 1 Siri (SC Siri 1, 1631–1760), fos 599v-r et 598v-r (voir Lentin à paraître). – Ḥannā = Ms arabe, Bibliothèque Vaticane, collection P. Sbath no 254 : récit par Ḥannā Diyāb de son voyage au Proche-Orient, en Afrique du Nord et en France comme interprète et accompagnateur de Paul Lucas. 1764.

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


– Ms arabe Ambrosiana, catalogue Löfgren, Islamic Manuscripts no lxxii (= Antico Fondo A2 Sup. = Hammer 198) : Sīrat al-Malik ʿAǧīb wa Ġarīb (Égypte, 952/1545) – Ms arabe no 8878 ʿāmm de la Ḏ̣ āhiriyya de Damas : manuel italien-arabe dialectal (et non ‘français-arabe’ comme le décrit le catalogue ʾAdab, vol. 2, de cette bibliothèque)39. – Ms Berlin SBPK 9052 (We. II 1607) fos 48r-53v : ḥadīṯ qudsī ; ḥikāya laṭīfa – Ms Bibliothèque Nationale de Madrid, Caja XVIII, 585, XXI : 22 fos de ce ms de médecine populaire constituent un petit manuel pharmacologique, cf. Borg à paraître (époque morisque, fin 16e s. ?) – Ms BN arabe 3678 : ʾĀh ʿalā mā fāt (18e s.) – Ms BN arabe 3683 : Kitāb Sīrat al-Iskandar ibn Dārāb ar-Rūmī (1053 / 1643) – Ms BN arabe 3687 : Sīrat al-Malik Iskandar (1693) – Ms BN arabe 3837 Kitāb Futūḥ al-Yaman – Ms BN arabe 3839 : Futūḥ al-Yaman (1175 h.) – Ms Gotha HB 2212, fos 63v-67v Qaṣīdat al-šaysabān (provenance maghrébine) – Ms Gotha 2594 (Möller 952) : Futūḥ al-Yaman (1171 h.) – Ms Le Caire DK 2924 ʾadab : Qiṣṣat sayyidinā Mūsā – Ms Londres 3368 : Sīrat [. . .] Rās al-Ġūl Références Bibliographiques Barceló Torres, Carmen. 1984. Minorías islámicas en el paí s valenciano: historia y dialecto. Valence: Universidad, Secretariado de Publicaciones, Facultad de Filología; Madrid: Instituto His­pano-Árabe de Cultura. Bauden, Frédéric. À paraître en 2012. ‘‘Lam baqā yu‘āriḍkum’ : analyse linguistique de trois lettres écrites par un marchand au Caire en 819/1416–820/1417’. Den Heijer, Johannes ; La Spisa, Paolo & Tuerlinckx, Laurence (éds), Mélanges offerts à Jacques Grand’Henry. Louvain la Neuve: Université catholique de Louvain, Institut orientaliste de Lou­vain / Peeters (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain). Baybars = Bohas & Zakharia (éds) Blau, Joshua. 1966. A Grammar of Christian Arabic based mainly on South Palestinian Texts from the First Millenium, fasc. 1 : Introduction—Orthography & Phonetics—Morphology. Louvain : Peeters (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, 267 ; Subsidia 27). ——. 1979. ‘Some Observations on a Middle Arabic Egyptian Text in Coptic Characters’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 1. 215–262 [repris dans Blau 1988 : 145–193]. ——. 1981. The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic. A Study of the Origins of Middle Arabic. 2e éd. revue et augmentée. Jérusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East [la 3e éd. revue, Jérusalem, 1999 n’a pu être consultée]. ——. 1988. Studies in Middle Arabic and Its Judaeo-Arabic Variety. Jérusalem: The Magnes Press & The Hebrew University Press. Blau, Joshua & Hopkins, Simon. 1985. ‘A Vocalized Judaeo-Arabic Letter from the Cairo Geniza’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 6. 417–476 [repris dans Blau 1988 : 195– 254]. Bohas, Georges and Zakharia, Katia (éds). 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009. Sīrat al-malik al-Ḏ̣āhir Baybars ḥasab al-riwāya al-Š āmiyya (Récit du roi Baïbars — Texte arabe de la recension damascène), vol. 1 à 8. Damas: Institut Français de Damas. (Publications de l’Institut Français de Damas 182, 192, 201, 207, 212, 229, 239, 242). Borg, Alexander. À paraître. ‘Phonological and Lexical Notes on an Arabic Manual of Moris­co Folk Medicine’. Barkai, Ron and Borg, Alexander, An Arabic Manual of Morisco Folk Medicine. Leiden : Brill.

 Pour des détails sur ce manuscrit et son contenu, voir Lentin 1997 : 39–42.



jérôme lentin

Brunschvig, Robert. 1936 (rééd. Maisonneuve & Larose 2001). Deux récits de voyage inédits en Afrique du Nord au XVe siècle. Paris: Larose éditeurs (Publications de l’Institut d’é­tudes orientales de la Faculté des lettres d’Alger 7). Burns, Robert I. and Chevedden, Paul E. 1999. Negotiating Cultures: Bilingual Surrender Treaties in Muslim-Crusader Spain under James the Conqueror. Leiden/Boston/Köln: Brill (The Medieval Mediterranean 22). [P. Chevedden, chap. 3 (39–59) et chap. 9 (158–167)] Corriente, Federico. 1977. A Grammatical Sketch of the Spanish Arabic Dialect Bundle. Madrid : Instituto Hispano-Árabe de Cultura. Damurdašī, al-ʾamīr ʾAḥmad al- Katḫudā ʿUzbān. 1992. Maḫṭūṭat Al-durra al-muṣāna fī ʾaḫbār al-Kināna, éds Crecelius, Daniel and Bakr, ʿAbd al-Wahhāb. Le Caire: Dār al-zahrāʾ li-l-našr. Denizeau, Claude. 1960. Dictionnaire des parlers arabes de Syrie, Liban et Palestine (supplé­ ment au dictionnaire arabe-français de A. Barthélemy). Paris: Éditions G.-P. Maison­neuve (É tudes Arabes et Islamiques Série 3, É tudes et Documents 3). Diem, Werner. 1979 ; 1983. ‘Untersuchungen zur frühen Geschichte der arabischen Orthographie’. I. ‘Die Schreibung der Vokale’. Orientalia 48. 207–257 ; IV. ‘Die Schreibung der zusammenhän­genden Rede. Zusammenfassung’. Orientalia 52. 357–404. Doss, Madiha. 1991. L’arabe en Égypte. Étude évolutive d’une langue de relation. Thèse de doctorat d’État, Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle-Paris 3. Tome I : étude linguistique ; tome II : édition de M. al-Qīnalī, Waqāʾiʿ Miṣr al-Qāhira min sanat ʾalf wa miʾa ʾilā . . . (1150) (texte arabe 295–455). Doufikar-Aerts, Faustina. 2008. ‘Ġarāʾib or ʿAǧāyib, that’s the question. Vocalized script in two Arabic Romances of Alexander’. Lentin, Jérôme & Grand’Henry, Jacques (éds), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du Premier Colloque International (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve : Univer­sité catholique de Louvain, Institut orientaliste de Louvain / Peeters (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 165–179. Ferrando, Ignacio. 1999. ‘Dos nuevos documentos mozárabes de Toledo (años 1234 y 1250)’. al-Andalus Magreb 7. 83–99. Fleisch, Henri. 1935–1936 [1946]. ‘Une homélie de Théophile d’Alexandrie en l’honneur de St Pierre et de St Paul. Texte arabe publié pour la première fois et traduit par H. Fleisch’. Revue de l’Orient Chrétien 30 (3e série, tome x [xxx]. 371–419. http://www.archive.org/ details/revuedelorientch3019351936pari. Ġassānī, Muḥammad al- — al-ʾAndalusī. 2002. Riḥlat al-wazīr fī ftikāk al-ʾasīr, éd. Nūrī al-Ǧarrāḥ. ʾAbū Ḏ̣abī: Dār al-Suwaydī. http://www.al-mostafa.info/data/arabic/depot2/ gap.php?file=005554.pdf 40. Grünert, Max Th. 1876. ‘Die Imala, der Umlaut im Arabischen’. Wien: Gerold (Sitzungs­ berichte der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 81.Bd., Heft 3, 447–532). http://www.archive.org/details/sitzungsberichte81stuoft

 La première édition : GASSANI, Abu Abdel-Lah Mohamed Ben Abdeluahab — El viaje del visir para la libera­ción de los cautivos / Por el Visir Abu Abdel-Lah Mohamed Ben Abdeluahab conocido como el Visir El Gassani, El Andalusi, Lo presenta, texto árabe y versión española el Profesor Alfredo Bustani, Tánger : Instituto General Franco para la Investigación Hispano-Árabe, Sección Segunda Trabajos en Árabe y Español 1 [Larache : M. Bosca], 1940, n’a pu être consultée, non plus que celle, plus récente, de ʿA. Ibn Ḥādda : A Moroccan ambassador in Madrid at the end of the seventeenth century / Compiled by Muhammad bin Abdelwahhab al-Ghassani / Al-Wazīr al-Ghassānī, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Ġassānī al-ʾAndalusī al-Fāsī (1119/1707), éd. Abderra­him Benhadda (Ibn Ḥādda, ʿAbd � ‫)�ع���د ا�ل‬. Tōkyō : Institute for the Study of Languages and Cul­tures of �‫ح�ي ب�ن‬ al-Raḥīm / ‫ح�ا د �ة‬ � ‫ب ر م‬ Asia and Africa (ILCAA), 2005 (Studia culturae islamicae, 79/1). 40

normes orthographiques en moyen arabe


Ḥaǧarī, ʾAḥmad Ibn Qāsim al–. 1997. Kitāb Nāṣir al-dīn ʿalā l-qawm al-kāfirīn [The supporter of religion against the infidels]. Historical study, critical edition and annotated translation by P.S. van Koningsveld, Q. al-Samarrai & G.A. Wiegers. Madrid : Consejo superior de Investigaciones científicas — Agencia española de cooperación internacional (Fuentes arábico-hispanas 21). Hoenerbach, Wilhelm. 1965. Spanisch-Islamische Urkunden aus der Zeit der Naṣriden und Moriscos. Bonn: Selbstverlag des orientalischen Seminars der Universität Bonn (Bonner Orientalistische Studien, Neue Serie 15). Holmberg, Bo. 1989. A Treatise on the Unity and Trinity of God by Israel of Kashkar [Isrāʾīl al-Kaškarī]. Introduction, Edition and Word Index by —. Lund : Lund University Press. (Lund studies in African and Asian religions 3). Hopkins, Simon. 1984. Studies in the Grammar of Early Arabic. Based upon papyri datable to before 300 A.H./ 912 A.D. Oxford : Oxford University Press (London Oriental Series 37). Ibn Sabāṭ (m. 926 h.). 1993. Tārīḫ Ibn Sabāṭ (ṣidq al-ʾaḫbār), éd. Tadmurī, ʿUmar ʿAbd al-Salām. Tripoli: Jarrous Press. Kaplony, Andreas. 2008. ‘What Are Those Few Dots For? Thoughts on the Orthography of the Qurra Papyri (709–710), the Khurasan Parchments (755–777) and the Inscription of the Jerusalem Dome of the Rock (692)’. Arabica 55. 91–112. http://www.islamicmanuscripts .info/news/20080511/Kaplony-2008-Dots.pdf. Karbstein, Andreas. 2002. Die Namen der Heilmittel nach Buchstaben. Edition eines ara­ bisch-romanischen Glossars aus dem frühen 17. Jahrhundert. Genève : Librairie Droz (Kölner romanistische Arbeiten, Neue Folge, Heft 81). Khan, Geoffrey. 1992. ‘The function of the shewa sign in vocalized Judaeo-Arabic texts from the Genizah’. Blau, Joshua & Reif, Stefan C. (éds.), Genizah Research after Ninety Years: The Case of Judaeo-Arabic. Papers read at the third congress of the Society for JudaeoArabic Studies. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge (University of Cambridge, Oriental Publications 47). 105–111. Khoury, Raif Georges. 2008. ‘Quelques remarques sur le moyen arabe et l’arabe ancien dans les papyrus arabes des premiers siècles islamiques’. Lentin, Jérôme & Grand’Henry, Jacques (éds), Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du Premier Colloque International (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004). Louvain-la-Neuve : Université catholique de Louvain, Institut orientaliste de Louvain / Peeters (Publi­cations de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 58). 277–303. Kūbilyān, Ibrāhīm. 2008. Ṯawrat al-ḥalabiyyīn ʿalā al-wālī Ḫūršīd Bāšā al-ʿuṯmānī. Yawmiyyāt al-maṭrān Ibrāhīm Kūbilyān, éd. al-maṭrān Mrāyātī & Mahrān Mīnāsyān. Alep: Manšūrāt matrāniyyat al-ʾArman al-kātūlīk bi-Ḥalab. La Spisa, Paolo. 2006. ‘Su alcuni esempi di Medio Arabo nei testi manoscritti di tre trattati teologici di Sulaymān al-Ġazzī’. Quaderni del Dipartimento di Linguistica — Università di Firenze 16. 167–188. http://www.linguistica.unifi.it/upload/sub/QDLF/QDLF16/ QDLF16_09_la_spisa.pdf. La troi­sième partie (originellement intitulée Geschichte des ʿOṯmānischen Qorāntextes a été entièrement refondue par G. Bergsträsser & O. Pretzl. 1938. Die Geschichte des Qorān­ texts. Leipzig: Dieterich’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. http://www.muhammadanism.org/ German/Noldeke/geschichte_3/geschichte_noldeke_3.pdf. Lentin, Jérôme. 1982 [1984]. ‘Un ancien système à formes ‘lento’ et ‘allegro’ dans le dialecte de Damas ?’. Bulletin d’Études Orientales XXXIV. 111–139. ——. 1997. Recherches sur l’histoire de la langue arabe au Proche-Orient à l’époque moderne. Thèse pour le Doctorat d’État ès-Lettres, Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle-Paris 3. Lille : Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses. ——. À paraître en 2012. ‘Du malheur de ne parler ni araméen ni kurde : une complainte en moyen arabe de l’évêque chaldéen de Siirt en 1766’. Den Heijer, Johannes ; La Spisa, Paolo & Tuerlinckx, Laurence (éds), Mélanges offerts à Jacques Grand’Henry. Louvain la Neuve: Université catholique de Louvain, Institut orientaliste de Lou­vain / Peeters (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain). [cf. ci-dessus Sources manuscrites, Archivio storico . . .]


jérôme lentin

MacKenzie, D[avid] N[eil]. 1971 [1975]. ‘Hāʾ — II. Langues iraniennes et turques’. Lewis, Bernard e.a. (éds), Encyclopédie de l’Islam, 2ème éd. Leyde / Paris : Brill / Maisonneuve & Larose. Vol. III, 1. Māġūṭ, ʿĪsā al-. 2009. Muḥammad Al-Māġūṭ — Rasāʾil al-žūʿ wa-l-ḫawf. Damas: Al-Madā. Mahdi, Muhsin. 1984. The Thousand and One Nights (Alf Layla wa-Layla) from the earliest known sources. Arabic text edited with introduction and notes. Leiden: Brill. [Vol. 1 : Ara­ bic text] Mascitelli, Daniele. 2006. L’Arabo in epoca preislamica : formazione di una lingua. Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider (Arabia Antica 4). Matthiae, P. 1963. ‘Le matres lectionis dell’arabo preislamico’. Rivista degli Studi Orientali 38. 231–234. Nöldeke, Theodor. 1860. Geschichte des Qorāns. Göttingen: Verlag der Dieterichschen Buchhandlung. http://books.google.com/books?id=CzcUAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage &dq=geschichte+des+qorans&lr=&hl=fr#v=onepage&q=geschichte%20des%20qorans &f=false. Rāġib, Yūsuf. 1990. ‘L’écriture des papyrus arabes aux premiers siècles de l’Islam’. Revue du monde musulman et de la Méditerranée 58 (Les premières écritures islamiques, sous la responsabilité d’Alfred-Louis de Prémare). 14–29. http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/ home/prescript/article/remmm_0997–1327_1990_num_58_1_2370. Rosenbaum, Gabriel M. 2004. ‘Egyptian Arabic as a written language’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 29 (Studies in honor of Moshe Piamenta). 281–340. Rous (Lt.-Colonel), H. (J. Catafago). 1877. Kissat Al-Hakawati Al-Islambuli — Or, the Auto­ biography of the Constantinopolitan Story-Teller (Qiṣṣat al-ḥakawātī al-Islāmbūlī). Londres: Bernard Quaritch. http://www.archive.org/details/autobiographyco00rousgoog [repr. : J. Catafago Rous. 2010. Kiṣṣat Al-Ḥakawātī Al-Islāmbūlī Or, The Autobiography of the Cons­tantinopolitan Storyteller. Charleston, SC: Nabu Press]. Shehadeh, Haseeb (éd.). 1989. The Arabic translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch edited from the manuscripts with an introductory volume, I: Genesis — Exodus. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Stenhouse, Paul. 1989. ‘Samaritan Arabic. An analysis of its principal features based on material found in MSS of the Kitab al-Tarikh of Abu ’l-Fath’. Crown, Alan D. (éd.), The Samaritans. Tübingen : Mohr. 3e partie, 585–623. Talmon, Raphael. 2004. ‘19th century Palestinian Arabic: the testimony of Western tra­ vellers’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 29 (Studies in honor of Moshe Piamenta). 210–280. Van den Boogert, N[ico]. 1989. ‘Some notes on Maghribi script’. Manuscripts of the Middle East 4. 30–43. http://www.islamicmanuscripts.info/reference/articles/boogert_notes_ maghribi_script.PDF. Vicente, Ángeles. 2002–2003. ‘Un ejemplo de árabe medio en la correspondencia hispano-marroquí de los siglos XVI–XVII’. Al-Andalus Magreb 10. 317–332. http://revistas .uca.es/index.php/aam/article/viewFile/805/668, http://bibrepo.uca.es:81/elysa/alandalus/ 31100090.pdf. Wright, William. 1896 & 1898. A Grammar of the Arabic Language translated from the German of Caspari and edited with numerous Additions and Corrections. Revised by W. R. Smith and M.J. de Goeje, 2 vol. 3ème éd. Cambridge: at the University Press. Zetterstéen, Karl Vilhelm (éd.). 1919. Beiträge zur Geschichte der Mamlukensultane in den Jahren 690–741 der Higra nach arabischen Handschriften. Leiden: Brill.

Playing the same game? Notes on comparing spoken contemporary mixed Arabic and (pre)modern written Middle Arabic Gunvor Mejdell Summary: In line with AIMA’s ambition to link research on written (pre)modern Middle Arabic and contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic, the author made a modest attempt to compare results from her studies on spoken Egyptian data with data reported in Lentin’s (1997) comprehensive study of Syrian Ottoman Middle Arabic texts. The paper discusses general issues related to differences in focus and to the different nature of the data; then reports on a few features selected for comparison.

1. Introduction Exploring Middle and Mixed Arabic texts involves, besides empirical documentation, the search for regularities, for patterns and tendencies. In the opening address to the first AIMA conference at Louvain-la-Neuve in 2004, the convenors presented their position to the effect that “le moyen arabe, au-delà de la multiplicité de ses manifestations, constitue une variété autonome, dont la description systématique peut et doit être faite, dont les règles peuvent être dégagées, et qu’il obéit à des normes qui déterminent des standards” [Lentin and Grand’Henry 2008: XIII, my italics]—a position apparently adopted by the participants. The first conference of AIMA also agreed in principle on the connection and mutual relevance of research on Middle Arabic written texts, premodern and modern, on the one hand, and studies on contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic on the other hand. For the second AIMA conference (Amsterdam 2007), I wanted to try out this relevance in practice, by linking results from studies on contemporary spoken ‘mixed styles’ to data described and discussed in the comprehensive study of Syrian Ottoman texts by Lentin 1997. Lentin’s work represents a true inventory of non-classical—dialectal and other nonstandard—features collected from thousands of pages of texts from Ottoman Bilād al-šām. And it contains, for each documented feature, references to other major studies on premodern Middle Arabic—such as the work of Blau, Hopkins, Hary, and Doss. The data on contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic is drawn from an Egyptian context (Bassiouney 2006, Mazraani 1997, Mejdell 2006). This paper first presents some general


gunvor mejdell

o­ bservations resulting from this attempt, then reports on a few features selected for comparison. 2. Common Perspective In Lentin’s comprehensive study “la variation [est] posée comme caractéristique constitutive de la langue des textes étudiés”. This variability reflects intermediate registers where classical and dialectal elements are in a way thrown into “un pot commun”, then retrieved from this common store, combined and organized afresh for various communicative and expressive functions (Lentin 1997: 1.4). The perception of l’arabe mélangé as communicatively and stylistically motivated is shared by research on contemporary spoken discourse. The speakers recorded for my study even explicitly consider a mixed style the target, the norm for their (semi)-public talks. However, when it comes to specific linguistic choices, their strategies when drawing on this common store of linguistic resources are shown to vary considerably. The general impression from Lentin’s Middle Arabic texts as well as contemporary mixed speech is that individual writers and speakers differ to a great extent with regard to the amount and kind of non-classical features; that there is only to a limited extent correspondence between text type and degree of classicization/colloquialization; and that writers/speakers do not necessarily maintain the same stylistic level throughout a text/talk. 3. Differences in Perspective The focus in studies of premodern Middle Arabic has been on documenting all forms deviating from the classical norm, not least in order to throw light on the development of the spoken dialects, as dialect features are assumed to be reflected in many of these forms. At various points in his investigation, Lentin explicitly states that strictly standard forms are for the most part not registered, and that “l’accent a été mis par contre sur les particularités de la langue de nos textes” (1997: 760). Research on modern spoken Mixed Arabic is primarily concerned with the distribution of standard and dialect in a stretch of speech, on relative frequencies, and constraints on co-occurrence of standard and dialect features.1 1  Besides the references above, from where the data is drawn, mention must be made of the contributions of Diem, Eid, Holes, Mitchell, Schmidt and Schulz.

playing the same game?


Naturally, the different nature of the two sets of data—one in written mode and graphic representation, the other spoken mode and phonetic representation, also provides different kinds of linguistic information, something which complicates the basis for comparison. In written texts production may be assumed to be more controlled and monitored than in online speech. Recordings of contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic demonstrate variation in morphophonological variants of nominal and verbal affixes and clitics which are concealed, not visible, in written texts. Writing conventions favour the use of standard forms as the orthographic system is based on the standard, and thus may affect the graphic representation of underlying dialect forms, adapting them to conventions to achieve better readability, as Lentin also suggests (ibid.: 763). 4. Some General Comparative Observations First, the variety of alternative forms documented by Lentin is much greater than what is reported in contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic. Generally speaking, the inventory of alternative forms found in modern speakers’ mixed style is reduced, the selection of variants in use is more narrow. Secondly, forms and usages that deviate both from the dialectal and the standard norms, are significantly more prevalent in written Middle Arabic texts than in contemporary mixed speech. Regarding the non-standard forms in his corpus, Lentin differentiates between purely ‘dialectal’ forms and ‘usages propres’, i.e. forms or collocations/combinations that do not belong to either classical or dialect, including ‘hybrid’ and ‘symbiotic’ forms. To Lentin these particular features contribute to defining Middle Arabic as a separate variety—as ‘pseudocorrections’ were part of the defining properties of MA as established by Blau’s work (Lentin repeatedly rejects the notion of ‘pseudocorrection’ as a process in producing Middle Arabic, Lentin: 1997; 2008). In our spoken data, the variants only exceptionally behave in a way which is inconsistent with their grammatical function in the primary code—although they may occur in the linguistic context of the other code, or in a very mixed environment. Most deviations, ‘usages propres’ to spoken Mixed Arabic, concern suprasegmental and junctural phenomena, as when dropping of case endings produces the ‘hybrid’ status constructus feminine form -at; or when an emphatic way of speaking affects the pronunciation of the article ʾal- (without waṣl); vowel drop and shortening according to dialectal phonology also with standard lexical items; combination of dialectal grammatical affixes with standard


gunvor mejdell

lexical items/stems (e.g.: tarattabit; yitqarrar; ʾiqāmit; li-taḥqīq-u); occasional occurrences of hybrid li-ʾannu and the frequent ‘symbiotic’ forms with vernacular indicative marker bi- combined with standard Arabic verbal forms. Only the last feature would necessarily be visible in a written representation.2 One obvious reason for the greater range of variable forms could be that the data in Lentin simply covers more genres, a wider area, and a longer span of time, and therefore more variation finds its way into the texts. But also sociolinguistic developments may account for the reduced inventory of dialect variants, such as the process of koineization and dialect levelling towards regional dialect standards reducing the range of local variants which make it into more elevated style. The lesser occurrence of ‘incorrect’ or deviating uses of standard items may reflect increased awareness of and access to the standard norm through educational reforms, or the nature of the speakers of mixed style, representing an elite engaging in elevated, public discourse. 5. Regularities and Patterns With regard to the autonomy of Middle Arabic as a variety with its own norms and rules, it might be useful to look at regularities, patterns or tendencies detected in research on spoken Mixed Arabic from a language contact and/or code-switching approach, such as: a. The asymmetry in constraints on mixing on word level or constituent level between vernacular (basic) and standard (superposed) varieties— formulated, e.g., as the Dominant Language Hypothesis (Mejdell 2006 and 2008)—which states that the morphophonology and grammatical forms of the psycholinguistic dominant variety, i.e. vernacular Arabic, may combine with both vernacular and standard lexical items, but not the other way around (standard morphophonology and grammar will not be applied to vernacular lexemes). Since phonetic information is not coded in Middle Arabic texts, the above principle cannot—or only to a very limited extent—be demonstrated. It can, however, be

2  Unless the pronoun suffix -u of li-ʾannu was written plene, as it is sometimes with the complementizer ʾann-/ʾinn: ‫( ا ن�و‬Lentin 1997: 364. See discussion of this feature in Mejdell 2008.)

playing the same game?


hypothesized as an underlying principle for the interpretation of the written forms produced. The effect of the conventions for writing could nevertheless work against this principle. b. The lexical hypothesis, which states that certain lexemes are used more frequently, or even exclusively, in either Standard Arabic or vernacular lexical shape according to their sociocultural referents and status. This principle of lexical conditioning entails a higher probability of the use of grammatical markers of the same code with these items. Lentin observes (1997: 766), for instance, the affinity of some auxiliary verbs to the negative marker ‫�م�ا‬. c. The principle of ordered selection, which suggests a certain hierarchy of preferences for standard [SA] or vernacular variants with specific features (Mejdell 2006: 382–3). In spite of very different general levels of usage of standard or vernacular variants with individual speakers, there was a pattern in the relative distribution of the variants across speakers—ranging from the feature DEM with most standard variants to the feature PRON with the lowest: DEM > NEG > REL > COMP > PRON3

This hierarchy is corroborated by the findings in Schulz 1981: across 49 speakers of varied performance, I found roughly the same relative internal distribution: DEM: 85% SA > NEG 62% > REL 47% > COMP 40% > PRON 31%

The same pattern is found when counting the variants in Mazraani’s Egyptian excerpts (speeches of Gamāl ʿAbd al-Nāṣir 1957 and 1962). Lentin concludes with a similar kind of ordered selection among his non-standard features (1997: 21.3.3): The most common dialectal items are found “dans un ordre de classement très semblable, dans chacun des textes”. With larger and searchable corpora it would be a major project to study the systematic interrelationship between various items and features in Middle and Mixed Arabic.

3  DEM = (attributive) demonstrative marker; NEG = negative marker; REL = relative marker; COMP = complementizers ʾinn, ʾan, ʾanna; PRON = pronoun suffixation.


gunvor mejdell 6. Comparing Notes—Some Samples 6.1. Negation

Apart from regular (standard/fuṣḥā) forms and constructions, Lentin (1997, chap. 18) reports various combinations with mā, mānī etc. as well as mā hu/huwa ‫�م�ا �هو‬, which he interprets as transposition of dialectal mū, the written shape maybe motivated by a strong reluctance to putting unabashedly dialect forms on paper. He also reports particular, nonstandard, usages of SA negative markers � �� � ‫ �لي س‬and ‫—لم‬these appear to be mere substitutions for stylistic variants of vernacular markers, with values and functions according to the dialectal system of negation, e.g.: invariable laysa:4 ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫( ا �ل ذ�� � ن‬p. 759) and ‫ح� ن‬ � ‫ي� �ل��ي�� �ه‬ � � ��‫( �ل��ي‬p.777 ) plural + laysa + pronoun � �‫ح� ت‬ ‫س‬ � ‫تس م‬ ‫ت ت ذ‬ (p. 772) feminine + laysa + finite IPF verb ‫� ��عت���� ر و �ل��ي��س ��ع��ل ب� ش���� ء‬ ‫ا‬ � ‫ص‬ � ‫و ر‬ ‫( �ق ا �ه � م ي �ة‬p. 777) feminine + laysa + fem. adjective ‫ر ي�ا ل��ي��س ب��عي���د‬ ‫م ت� ذ‬ ����‫( ا ن�ا �ل��ي��س �م����س‬p. 786) 1s pronoun + laysa + AP ‫ح ق� �ل�� �ل�ك‬ Both laysa and mū + faqaṭ occur in contrastive function (p. 789). lam as a general negative marker: lam + IPF/prefix-conjugation occurs mostly in the classical function/ meaning of past tense. In script, the verbal forms do not reveal marking of jussive/apocopatus, as they mostly coincide with dialectal IPF without bi-. Interestingly, there are no “formes fautives” with pl. -ūn or 2.f.s. -īn, which might have occurred as hypercorrections (a notion Lentin, however, does not approve of). He finds some fluctuation in the written representation of 3rd radical weak verbs, however, but where �� and ‫ و‬and ‫ ا‬occur, it may ‫ي‬ simply represent scriptio plena of (short) -i and -u and -a (p. 763). lam as a generalized marker of negation, however, combines with all kinds of nominal and verbal items—“parfois avec des verbes dialectaux”, p. 763. It is not restricted to past time reference, e.g.:

4  Some of these unorthodox combinations are reported to be very frequent in Blau’s CA texts (invariable laysa + noun phrase), Lentin 1997: 777.

playing the same game?


‫( و ل �م�ع�ه �م�ا ي� ك‬p. 782) + preposition ‫���ف��ي���ه‬ ‫قم‬ ‫( ل ��ا د ري� ن� ع��لى�ش��ي� ء‬p. 786) + AP ‫مف ق‬ ‫���ع�ه‬ ‫( ���ل ��د ر ي���ست��ر �ج‬p. 766) + PF verb ‫م‬ The latter construction is well documented in many pre-modern MA texts, and seems especially common in Egypt (Lentin: 764/5 for references to Doss, Hary, Goitein) in mixed genres, including oral literature. Both lam and laysa are salient standard Arabic markers, which by themselves render a more elevated flavour to a text—and that is how Lentin characterizes them, as “variantes stylistiquement relevées” substituting for mā (mā + PF > lam + PF) or mū, (mū baʿīda > laysa baʿīda) without affecting the morphosyntax of the clause or phrase as such. (b-IPF verbs are always negated with ‫�م�ا‬, p. 768). In the contemporary spoken Mixed Arabic texts, the core items of SA and vernacular negation systems are used. Also here we find laysa and lam as frequent markers—used, however, in conformity with SA norms. Constructions with lam never assume other than past tense meaning. It is in fact consistently followed by an IPF verb of SA—or shared—lexical status, which is pronounced according to the correct standard apocopated form (mostly = pausal ending). With 3m. plural verbs, the ending is correctly -u /-ū, not -ūn (the full form -ūn occurs relatively sparingly even in indicative function). The lam + IPF is a construction most speakers in my data apparently cope well with: It is, in terms of frequency, the preferred choice against dialectal ma-š (BUT: considerable inter-speaker variation). A similar distribution is found in other contemporary spoken texts. GM:5 NM: RB:

lam 21 ~ ma–š 5 lam 4 ~ ma–š 6 (Nasser 1957) lam 18 ~ ma–š 5 (Nasser 1962) lam 11 ~ ma–š 5

In the contemporary data, laysa occurs in most functions of the SA marker. Invariable laysa occurs as a negative particle to negate some part of the sentence—and especially in contrastive and/or adversative constructions,6 alternating with miš and occasionally with lā. In adversative/contrastive constructions, laysa and miš sometimes are used in the environment of the other variety, perhaps adding to the contrastive effect:  GM = Mejdell 2006; NM = Mazraani 1997; RB = Bassiouney 2006.  As in: xalfahu wa-laysa ʾamāmahu (Cantarino I: 122–3). For contrastive use of miš, miš bass Woidich 2006: 338. 5



gunvor mejdell ʾāxir ḥāga/ wifqan liz-zaman/ miš wifqan li-ma yanbaġi ʾan yakūn (3.207)7 u-da šēʾ maṭlūb wa-laysa ġēr maṭlūb (3.217) ‫ف‬ miš bass faqaṭ (7.13) cf. ‫( �مو ���ق����ط‬Lentin 1997: 789)

6.2. Demonstratives Lentin lists a range of dialectal forms and variants attested in his Ottoman texts, together with standard equivalents, and in a variety of graphic shapes as well (5.3). Unorthodox usages of gender agreement and distal marking of time in the standard variants are observed. In our contemporary spoken data, the range of variants is limited to the standard sets hāḏa/hāza and hāḏihi/hāzihi, and ḏālika/tilka (+ occasional plurals) and vernacular series of da, di and dōl (covering both near and far deixis). There is only very marginal occurrence of other forms (diyyat).8 Interesting patterns are identified/suggested by Lentin in the distribution of variants for pronominal and attributive function: between dialectal and standard fem. forms (5.3.1); and in the asymmetric distribution of variants (5.3.7) ‫�ه�ل �ه ذ�� ا �ه��ذه‬. In the spoken data there is demonstrated a similar, but not identical, preferential pattern in the distribution of Egyptian dialect forms in pronominal functions, and standard forms in attributive functions (Mejdell 2006: 229). 6.3. Expressions of Possibility: yumkin/yimkin/mumkin (GM: 169–70)

Lentin (384f.) lists �‫�� ن‬ ‫ ي����م ك‬and �‫�� ن‬ ‫ �م���م ك‬with two modal interpretations: a) “il ‫ن‬ est possible, il peut se faire que”- expressed by �‫�� ن‬ ‫ ����م ك‬+ � ‫ ا‬or + 0, or ‫�� ن‬ ‫�م���م ك‬ ‫ ;ا ن‬and b) someone/I, you, he etc. is/are able to/can‫“ ي‬est en mesure�de”, � expressed by �‫�� ن‬ ‫ ي����م ك‬+ noun/pronoun suffixes—apparently corresponding to the distinction of deontic vs. epistemic modality. It is admitted that the distinction is not all that categorical, and as is observed elsewhere, it easily overlaps with these items (see, for instance, Woidich 2006: 314–322). Lentin remarks that �‫�� ن‬ ‫ �م���م ك‬never occurs in the construction without complementizer (that is + 0), a common construction in contemporary

 Examples from Mejdell 2006.  My anonymous reviewer suggests that the near absence of other sets of DEM may be due to their being “felt as pertaining to an inferior level of speech non-compatible with the vernacular used for Mixed Arabic?” That may well be the case, but as far as I am aware, no sociolinguistic investigation of the distribution of vernacular deictics has been undertaken. If this is a social marker, my academic speakers may not have the full sets in their vernacular lects. 7


playing the same game?


dialects—possibly meaning that this construction had not yet at that time entered the dialect (1997: 385). In my contemporary spoken texts, mumkin is commonly followed asyndetically by IPF verb9—combining with both standard and vernacular verbal forms, e.g.: mumkin nataʿammaq fī-ha (7.56) miš mumkin yatakarrar našāṭ-u (2.164) mumkin nixallī-ha (3.162) li-ʾannu mumkin yikūn l-ihtimām ʾihtimām maẓhari (2.20)

Once only, mumkin occurs with a (dialect) complementizer: mumkin ʾawi ʾinn-u yʾul-lu (1.117)

Corresponding to written �‫�� ن‬ ‫ ي����م ك‬in Lentin’s texts, my spoken data contains yumkin as well as yimkin, both equally frequent. The former is either followed by ʾan + standard verb or by a maṣdar e.g.: kayfa yumkin ʾan yataḥaqqaqa (2.36) ma yumkin ʾan nusammī-ha (3.42)10 huwa mā yumkin tasmiyat-uh (3.126) huwa suʾāl lā yumkin ʾigāb ʿalē-h (7.5)

Only once with asyndetic embedding and in Egyptian Arabic environment: yumkin b-natašarraf bi-ʾinn-iḥna (4.23) “we can (in fact) be proud that we”

yimkin, on the other hand, seems to function only marginally as modal verb, rather as adverbial modifier—and mostly modifies non-verbal constituents, e.g.: wa-hiya yimkin mabna madrasi (1.63) “it is maybe/it can/could be a/any  school building” u-yimkin fi s-sittināt (4.94) “or maybe in the sixties” kullu wāḥid yimkin luh ṣaḥba ʾaw ʾitnēn (6.226) “everybody, perhaps, had a  girlfriend or two”

In Bassiouney 2006: wi-t-taṣdīr yizīd suttumīt milyōn wi yimkin ʿašān il-bitrōl ḥa-yzīd šwayya  (p. 246: 2, 28) ʾana b-addiku ʾamsila yaʿni yimkin di ḥagāt ṣuġayyara (p. 247: 2,38)

 9  Badawi and Hinds list mumkin as a ‘modal of possibility’, as in miš mumkin ti:gi n-nahar-da ‘she cannot come today’ (Badawi-Hinds 1986: 830). 10  There is never a subjunctive ending on final weak verbs in my data.


gunvor mejdell

Only with one speaker do we find yimkin followed by a verb, and then the linguistic context is markedly dialectal (and it still could be interpreted as adverbial), e.g.: da yimkin yimši fi l-ibtidāʾi lākin ma-yimšī-š fi l-gamʿa (4.124)

The distribution of mumkin, yumkin and yimkin suggests a pattern where yumkin represents a more elevated level and collocates with standard features, and yimkin represents colloquial style (not surprisingly)—whereas mumkin functions across levels. But it also suggests that yimkin expresses ‘probability’11 (as translated ‘may, could, perhaps’) and mumkin ‘possibility/capability’ (can).12 One last point: Lentin mentions more generally the very high proportion of negation occurring with the expressions for ‘being possible/able to’: for the pair ymkn/mmkn he counts 66%. Whereas this is not a noticeable phenomenon in my data, it certainly is striking when searching in the database ArabiCorpus for ymkn in context. In section “1001 Nights” 74,5% of ymkn occur with a negative marker; in section “premodern” 60%. And even in modern novels, the proportion of ymkn with negation is 32%. 7. Concluding Remarks This somewhat simplistic exercise in playing the cards of written Middle Arabic and spoken Mixed Arabic as one game, showed limits of comparability. Common concerns, but different approaches, differences in data. Graphic and phonetic representations yield different information. It seems that contemporary spoken data has more regularity in terms of less variants, and less “usages propres”. Nevertheless, a structured investigation in the light of code-mixing and code-switching approaches could and should be conducted across data, but limited to syntactic, collocational, and lexical aspects which are transparent in both speech and writing. An important link could be the written counterparts to mixed styles in spoken discourse (as has been presented by Gabriel Rosenbaum in several contributions, e.g. 2000). The recent years have witnessed an explosion in the use of more colloquial-oriented styles in print—in parts of the press, and in youth magazines. Above all, the new electronic media provide arenas for new written practices—unedited and 11

 Personal communication Madiha Doss.  Cf. Woidich 2006:311 yimkin “vielleicht”, la yumkin “unmöglich”, mumkin “möglich”.


playing the same game?


uncontrolled by language authorities, literary as well as purely communicative. Middle and Mixed Arabic as a dynamic entity—in its manifold and flexible forms—can be expected to play an increasingly vital role in the coming years. It should be carefully studied and explored in its ever evolving states, linked and compared to its earlier diachronic stages. References Badawi, El-Said and Hinds, Martin. 1986. A dictionary of Egyptian Arabic, Arabic-English. Beirut: Librairie du Liban. Bassiouney, Reem. 2006. Functions of Code Switching in Egypt. Evidence from Monologues. Leiden: Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 46). Cantarino, Vicente. 1974. Syntax of Modern Arabic Prose, vol. I. Bloomington/London: Indiana University Press. Diem, Werner. 1974. Hochsprache und Dialekt im Arabischen. Untersuchungen zur heutigen arabischen Zweisprachigkeit. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) (Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes XLI,1). Eid, Mushira. 1988. ‘Principles for code-switching between standard and Egyptian Arabic’. Al-ʿArabiyya 21. 51–79. Holes, Clive. 1987. Language variation and change in a modernising Arab state: the case of Bahrain. London: Kegan Paul International (Library of Arabic linguistics. Monograph 7). Lentin, Jérôme. 1997. Recherches sur l’histoire de la langue arabe au Proche Orient à l’époque moderne (1600–1860). Thèse de Doctorat d’Etat, Université de Paris 3. ——. 2008. ‘Middle Arabic’. Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics III, 215–224. Lentin, Jérôme and Jacques Grand’Henry (eds.). 2008. Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du Premier Colloque International, Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters (Publications de l’Institut orientaliste de Louvain 58). Mazraani, Nathalie. 1997. Aspects of Language Variation in Arabic Political Speech-Making. Surrey: Curzon. Mejdell, Gunvor. 2006. Mixed Styles in Spoken Arabic in Egypt. Somewhere between Order and Chaos. Leiden: Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 48). ——. 2008. ‘‘Middle Arabic’ across time and medium/mode’. Lentin, Jérôme and Jacques Grand’Henry (eds.). Moyen arabe et variétés mixtes de l’arabe à travers l’histoire. Actes du Premier Colloque International, Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 mai 2004. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters (Publications de l’Institut orientaliste de Louvain 58). 355–372. Mitchell, T.F. 1986. ‘What is educated spoken Arabic?’ International Journal of the Sociology of Language 61. 7–32. Rosenbaum, Gabriel. 2000. ‘Fuṣḥāmmiyya: Alternating style in Egyptian prose’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 38. 68–87. Schmidt, Richard Wilbur. 1974. Sociostylistic Variation in Spoken Egyptian Arabic: A Reexamination of the Concept of Diglossia. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Brown University. Schulz, David Eugene. 1981. Diglossia and Variation in Formal Spoken Arabic in Egypt. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison. Woidich, Manfred. 2006. Das Kairenisch-Arabische. Eine Grammatik. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (Porta linguarum orientalium N.S., 22). http://arabicorpus.byu.edu/ (Dilworth Parkinson)

Middle Arabic in Moshe Darʿī’s Judaeo-Arabic Poems Arie Schippers Summary: This article discusses the Judeo-Arabic poetry by Moshe Darʿī, a twelfth/thirteenth century Karaite poet of Andalusī descent, born in Alexandria, Egypt, but also living in Syria and Palestine. The Judeo-Arabic poems are found for example in the manuscript EPB 1 802 of the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. Some interesting passages in his Judeo-Arabic poems will be dealt with, especially where the relation between metre and grammar is concerned. The poetry is Middle Arabic in the sense that its language does not obey the rules of Classical Arabic as found in Classical Arabic poetry. There are linguistic features as well as spelling features that characterise its Middle Arabic which we find in [fragments of] poems 190, 193, 195, and 196.

1. Introduction In this article we discuss the Arabic poetry written in Hebrew script composed by Moshe Darʿī, who was a twelfth/thirteenth century Karaite poet of Andalusī descent. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, but also lived in Syria and Palestine, where he died probably in the first quarter of the thirteenth century CE, when Jerusalem was not taken yet by the troops of Frederick in 1229.1 The Karaites of that time were a considerable group among the Jews in the Mediterranean, who in opposition to the Rabbanite Jews, did not recognize Mishnah and Talmud, the so-called oral law, but only recognized the Torah and the written revealed Scripture.2 Some of them, such as Yūsuf al-Baṣīr (first half eleventh century),3 were muʽtazilites, belonging to a rationalist belief, which was dominating in Islam during several caliphates of the ninth century. Mosheh Darʿī’s Dīwān contains equal quantities of religious and nonreligious poetry. A recent edition of its Hebrew poetry was produced by Leon J. Weinberger. Unfortunately Weinberger, in his recent edition of Darʿī’s poetry, did not take into account the Arabic introduction4 in rhymed prose of Moshe Darʿī’s Dīwān, in which some Middle Arabic  Weinberger 2000 English Introduction, p. 10.  Cf. Yeshaya 2009: 32–34. 3  Cf. Vajda 1985; Adang, Schmidtke and Sklare (2007). See e.g. Madelung and Schmidtke (2007: 229ff). 4  For the Judaeo-Arabic text of part of the Introduction, see Schippers (2008). 1



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characteristics are to be discovered, although on the whole the text is nearly impeccable Classical Arabic. Weinberger also failed to deal with Darʿī’s poems in Arabic and sometimes poems in Arabic mixed with Hebrew, sometimes even in vernacular Judeo-Arabic. Uri Melammed (Jerusalem) is preparing an edition of the introduction. He has also worked on the Arabic titles or headings.5 Joachim Yeshaya from Ghent University, who did his doctorate with Wout van Bekkum of Groningen University, and has then become a researcher at the University of Bochum in Germany, has reedited some of Mosheh’s Hebrew poems. Other reeditions are being prepared.6 Weinberger counts several manuscripts of the Dīwān from the nineteenth century. One of the manuscripts, which belonged first to the Karaite community of Cairo, is now in Ramleh in the Karaite community. Another is in New York; and three are in St Petersburg, namely two at the Eastern Institute (Ms. B 424 [=C], D 082 [=E], and EBP II A 0203 [=F]) and one at the National Library of Russia (EBP 1 802 [=D]) in St Petersburg. In the following, I will deal with a selection of the Arabic poems mentioned in the Dīwān of Mosheh Darʿī as found in the manuscript EPB 1 802 of the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. Possible points of reference from the thematic point of view are the Hebrew poetry written by Eastern Hebrew poets such as Moshe Darʿī himself 7 and El‘azar ibn Isḥaq ha-Bavli, whose poetry has recently been edited by Wout van Bekkum,8 but also Arabic poetry written by Jews such as Judah al-Ḥarīzī, who came originally from al-Andalus and wrote Hebrew as well as Arabic poetry in Egypt, Palestine and Syria, where he died in 1225.9 In the next paragraphs, I will discuss some interesting passages from the Arabic poems by Moshe Darʿī, especially where the relation between metre and grammar is concerned. The poetry is Middle Arabic in the sense that its language does not obey the rules of Classical Arabic as found in Classical Arabic poetry. There are linguistic features as well as spelling features that characterise Middle Arabic.10 We will deal with them both and take some of Darʿī’s poems as an example, such as fragments of poems 190, 193, 195, and 196.  5  Weinberger has sent me the text of the Introduction, mentioning that Nemoy and Scheindlin have worked upon it, but apparently it was Uri Melammed who has profoundly investigated the preface and the Arabic headings of the poems.  6  Yeshaya 2009.  7  The most recent edition of Darʿī’s Hebrew poems was done by Weinberger in 2000.  8  Van Bekkum 2007.  9  See Schippers 2007/2008: 127–138. 10  We will use Blau 1999 as a reference; see for instance, tanwīn, 167 ff.

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2. Poem 190 The first poem in Arabic by Mosheh Darʿī of which I will discuss some lines—poem 190—is an important one. The Arabic title of the poem, which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic, reads as follows:11 Mimmā qultu-hu ayḍan fī-l-taġazzul wazn raqīṣ bi-luġat al-ʿarab / wa-ḥtiqār šiʿr man kāna la-hu fī munāẓaratī arab.

Translated, it reads: Belonging to what I also said about making love poems in the ‘dancing metre’ and about despising the poetry of someone who wants to compete with me.

The rhyme structure aaab makes the poem a merubbaʿ [Arabic murabbaʿ]. The poem has a varied rhyme, but not a strict metre—as implied by the term ‘dancing metre’. Its rhyme is on -bi. But every verse has three internal rhymes, according to which the main part of the first half-verse (eight or nine syllables) and the last part of the first half-verse (four syllables) rhymes with the first part of the second half-verse (eight or nine syllables); only the last part of the second hemistich (four syllables) has the main rhyme on -bi. The poem is also interesting because of the poet’s personal remarks about his own origin—namely Morocco and even Andalusia. Furthermore, it is interesting because he considers himself as banned from Jerusalem in the time of the Crusades (and sometimes Jews were in fact banned from the Holy City), and he therefore links this passage to his longing for the Messiah and his mention of Eliyah. Here starts faxr [‘self praise’] belonging to the iḥtiqār or despising of his adversary. The poem is important for another reason, namely because the Hebrew part of the poem seems to be metrical, in the sense that the number of syllables of every verse is more or less the same. In the Arabic part, the poet says that the Arabic verses are modelled according to the Hebrew. For this part, we have to do with a kind of syllable count, because it is quite impossible to discover any proper Arabic metre here. The poem, with the acrostic Ani Moshe Rofe Ḥazaq [I am Moshe a surgeon, the strong], starts in Hebrew with the love sentence:

11  The poem is to be found in Pinsker 1860: 103–104 as far as lines 1–20 are concerned; for lines 21–35, I based myself upon a copy of the fifteenth-century manuscript EBP. 1. 802 [=D]. I thank Uri Melammed and Joachim Yeshaya (Ghent) for providing this photocopy.


arie schippers 1. Ahubi we-taʾawat libbi/ haqšeb nibi/ haser zaʿame-ḵa u-rṣeh bi/ ʿal af oybi// O my lover and wish of my soul/ Hear my words/ discard thy fury and be content of mine/ in spite of the anger of my enemies//

Judging from this line we have a syllable sequence of nine plus four plus nine plus four. Apparently the šewa in the word oyebi has to be elided to oybi. In the other Hebrew lines there is some oscillation between 8 and 9 syllables in the first foot and the third foot, the second and fourth foot must contain each four syllables. Moreover, in the Hebrew adaption of Arabic metrics, taʿawat and zaʿame-ḵa could be reduced to taʿwat and zaʿme-ḵa, which means that the two segments of nine syllables to which they belong, can also be read with eight syllables.12 From line 15 onwards follows the Arabic part of the poem, whose murabbaʿ verses [i.e. rhymed aaab] contain more syllables. We try to give an account of the syllable structure: 15. Qaṣīdah anǧalat xilʿatayn/ min ḥullatayn/ sabka-hā-l-lisān min luġatayn/ sabka-l-ḏahbi A poem that engendered two robes of honour/ belonging to two vestments,/ which the tongue has moulded from two languages/ just as gold is moulded.//

Comment: in the words xilʿatayni, ḥullatayni, and luġatayni the waqf or pausal form must be used: xilʿatayn, ḥullatayn, luġatayn; sabka-l-ḏahabi must be read sabka-l-ḏahbi as a poetic license; in the wordgroup sabakahā-l-lisān the middle -a of the perfect must be elided so as to achieve with sabka-hā-l-lisān the syllable sequence nine plus four plus nine plus four. 16. Wa-qad waṭaytu la-hā-l-ʿibrānī/ ḥattā ǧā-nī/ tarkīb ʿarabī-hā-l-ṯānī/ ḏā-ltarkībi// I levelled for it the Hebrew/ so that the composition of its Arabic, the second language, came to me while composing the Hebrew.//

Linguistic comment: from the internal rhyme -ānī can be deduced that the internal endings must be ʿibrānī, ǧā-nī, ’l-ṯānī; ʿibrānī, ’l-ṯānī can be considered Middle Arabic because of the missing case endings; the case of ǧā-nī is a reduction of the classical ǧāʾa-nī; this outcome is neither classical nor dialectal, but a kind of Middle Arabic forced by the rhyme.

 For the Hebrew lines of this poem, see Schippers (2008).


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17. Ḥakīmun ana, yā ḥuḍḍār/ layl wa-nahār/ iġtaṣṣa min biḥār il-afkār/ durra-l-adbi// I am a wise man, O ye gentlemen,13/ day and night,/ who dives for pearls of literature in the oceans of thoughts//

Comment: in the word ḥakīmun the nunation is rendered by an alef. I discussed this with Blau personally and he agreed that there are at least two possibilities of rendering nunation: nunation can be rendered by adding an -n as we see in another Arabic poem by Moshe Darʿī; we also see in some of his poems that the alef is used for -in instead of -an, what one would have expected. Therefore my suggestion is here not to read -an, but -un. The counting of syllables results in eight, then four, then nine, and then four. I read adbi in stead of adabi as a poetic licence, since four syllables are required, not five. 18. Aṣlī maġribī andulsī/ xayr ul-ǧinsi/ uǧlītu min bilād il-qudsi/ waqt al-ġaṣbi// My origin is Moroccan Andalusian,/ the best species,/ I was banned from the holy places/ during the time of the Crusades [the violence].//

Comment: here also eight syllables, plus four plus nine plus four. 19. Lakāʾinnī wuʿidt[u] an yarǧiʿ/ rabbī yaǧmaʿ/ šamlī wa-lʾaʿādī aqṭaʿ/ wa-ġnam wa-sbi But I was promised that my Lord would return/ to assemble/ the dispersed together: and the enemies I will kill them,/ and rob them, and take them prisoner.//

Comment: Lakāʾinnī is considered as a typical Judeo-Arabic way of writing, but is it also a linguistic feature? It would be better to say lākinnī in view of the fact that there are too many syllables. An alternative would be to read wuʿidt instead of wuʿidtu. That is also the reason to read imperatives at the end of the verse, because four syllables are the result instead of six when one reads the first person singular of the verb. In the fragment šamlī wa-lʾaʿādī aqṭaʿ/ the result here is now eight syllables.

 In view of the earlier Hebrew lines of this poem (13, 14), in which the poet’s Rock is mentioned, this passage can be rendered as yā Ḥiṣār ‘O Rock’. Uri Melammed supposes, also on the basis of the vocalisation, that it must be read yā Ḥuḍḍār, “O those who are present”. 13


arie schippers 20. Uḏkur yā ilāhī ʿahda-k/ wa-nǧiz waʿda-k/ wa-ẓhar maʿ masīḥi-ka ʿabd(ak)/ iš ha-tisbi O God, remember your covenant/ and fulfil your promise,/ and show together with your anointed one your servant/ the Tisbite14//

Comment: here the syllable sequence is: eight, four, eight, four. We have suppressed in wa-anǧiz the syllable ʾa as a poetic licence. 21. Wa-šiʿru-k fi-l-ḥaqīqah k[a]-ʾāyib/ mā lu-h ṣāyib/ qarrarta [a]n takūn bi-hi ġālib/ ǧiʾt[a] maġlūbi Your poetry in reality is a weak one/ which does not really hit,/ you decided to be a winner,/ but you came out as someone who was overpowered//

Comment: here some syllables, mostly case endings, are to be suppressed; mā lahu must be reduced to mā lu-h; qarrarta plus an must be contracted; ǧiʾta must be reduced to ǧiʾt or ǧīt. Then the following syllable sequence will be the result: nine, four, nine, four. 22. Wa-naġam bas hu[wa] fi ḥassa-k/ quddām ǧinsa-k/ wa- ʿ[a]luwwu-k fi -ntiḥāri-h yamsak/ alfayn ʿaybi And only in your perception was your melody first-class; your grandeur lies in killing it, because it takes two thousand vices.//

Comment: In this line the personal suffixes must be pronounced in pausa; according to classical grammar alfayn ʿaybi should have been rendered alfay ʿaybi because normally construct state is used. The use of alfayn proves that we have to do here with Middle Arabic; this is also the case of bas which is a spoken language feature. The result in syllables of this line is: eight plus four plus nine plus four. 23. Al-šiʿr ul-qawī maliʾa-l-arḍ/ ṭūlan maʿ ʿarḍ/ mā laffaqta amra-k wa-ḥfaẓ/ mā fī-l-kutbi/ Strong poetry fills the earth in length in spite of the breadth of what you have forged for your sake, so memorize what is in the books//

Comment: mā fī-l-kutbi is a poetic licence for mā fī-l-kutubi. The syllable count results as follows: nine plus four plus eight plus four.

14  Tisbite = the prophet Elijah, the Tisbite, of Tishbe in Gilead (1 Kings 17:1), who was considered as the prefiguration of the Messiah, the Anointed king, the Liberator of the Jewish People.

middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


24. Šiʿrun qul huwa maʿ maġnā/ wazn wa-maʿnā/ lawlā –l-xawf ʾanna-hu qulnā/ fatḥu ġaybi// A poem, say: it has a word pattern/ and a theme;/ were we not afraid to say it, we would say:/ it is the disclosure of hidden things.//

Comment: sometimes case endings must be provided, sometimes not, in order to achieve the following sequence of syllables: eight plus four plus eight plus four. 25. Wa-li-man qām yuʿānī fannī/ aw yatbaʿ-nī/ qūlū la-hu yuʿāwid ʿannī/ lā yanʿaṭbi/ Who stands up to struggle with my art/ or wants to pursue me,/ say to him, let him go away from me/ so that he will not be destroyed.//

Comment: instead of qāma one has to read qām for the syllable count; instead of yatbaʿu-nī one has to read yatbaʿ-nī to make possible the internal rhyme; yanʿaṭibi has to be elided to yanʿaṭbi because of the syllable count, which goes for this line as follows: nine plus four plus nine plus four. 26. Mā bayna-l-samaǧ wa-l-fattān/ illā šattān/ wa-l-ḥaqq ul-mubīn li-lbuhmān/ lā yantasbi Between the ugly and the devil/ it is only a short distance:/ clear truth does not spring from barbarous people.//

Comment: yantasibi should be read yantasbi because of rhyme and syllable count: eight plus four plus eight plus four. 27. Wa-l-wāzin bi-qušr il-ḥītān/ zahr al-bustān/ bi-l-qāʾim li-qalb il-kittān/ līf al-salbi// The one who weighs the flowers of the garden/ by scales of fishes/ is like the one who uses fibres of a rope/ to repair a piece of linen.//

Comment: Here also al-salbi instead of al-salabi because of rhyme and syllable count: eight plus four plus eight plus four. Practically there are no case endings except in cases of al-, il-, and ul- where a fill up is necessary for pronunciation. 28. Al-šiʿr ul-rakīk wa-ādābu-h/ w-xass- arbābu-h/ wa-l-ʿūdu-l-rabbu mā ʿaybu-h/ sūs al-ḥaṭbi. // Weak poetry, its manners/ and its authors are vile,/ but the worms of the firewood are not the fault of the master wood.//

Comment: here also al-ḥaṭbi instead of al-ḥaṭabi. The internal rhyme is -ābuh / -aybuh. The sequence of syllables is: nine plus four plus eight plus four.


arie schippers 29. Min šiʿr il-raǧul aw naẓmu-h/ yaẓhar fahmu-h/ wa-taʾlīfu-hu ʿan ʿilmu-h/ taǧd-uh manbī.// From the poetry of a man and his verses/ appears his insight and from his knowledge/ you can foretell his poetic composition.//

Comment: the internal rhyme suggests naẓmi-h, fahmu-h, ʿilmi-h, which does not rhyme: do we have to read instead naẓmu-h, fahmu-h, ʿilmu-h as would be the outcome of spoken language influence? For the syllable count we have to suppress a syllable in taǧid-hu, which makes taǧdu-h. The count is eight plus four plus eight plus four. 30. Waḍaʿ mā bi- ʿaqli-h dāʾim/ bayna-l-ʿālim/ wa-l-ǧāhil yaṣīr wa-l-ʿālim/ fi-h yatḥasbi// He laid down what was in his mind in order that it will go continuously between the learned and the ignorant: the learned one takes it into account and reflects on it.//

Comment: the verbal endings of the verbal forms waḍaʿ and yaṣīr are shortened as in spoken language; yataḥassabi becomes yatḥasbi. The syllable count is then: eight plus four plus eight plus four. 31. Wa-rudda li-l-qawāfī fikr-ak/ wa-ḥkim naṯr-ak/ ʿasā an yuqāl ʿan šiʿr-ak/ hu–l-maṭlūbi// Bring your thought back to the rhymes/ and make your prose strong,/ perhaps then one would say about your poetry: / ‘That is what we want’.//

Comment: the internal rhymes must be ending on -ak for the second person masculine: fikr-ak, naṯr-ak, šiʿr-ak; the imperative IV wa-aḥkim loses the first syllable by poetic licence: wa-ḥkim. In the last foot one syllable of huwa must be suppressed. The syllable count gives: nine plus four plus eight plus four. 32. Yaṣīr baʿda mawta-k aǧdā/ la-k ka-l-wuldā/ tuḥyā bi-h wa-ḏikra-k abdā/ bi-h ka-l-ṭībi// [Poetry] will become useful/ for you after your death as children/ you are brought to life by it/ since the mention of your name will appear/ with it like perfume.//

Comment: the internal rhyme has to be here: aǧdā / ka-l-wuldā / abdā. The suffixes -hi and -ka are shortened as usual. The syllable count gives: eight plus four plus eight plus four. 33. In kān šiʿr mā huwa lāʾiq/ aw lays fāʾiq/ tušbihu li-walad ʿāʾiq/ ʿāš mā dabbi. When poetry is something inappropriate/ or is not superior,/ you look like an invalid child who lives creepingly.//

middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


Comment: much of the verbal forms are in pausa, in view of the syllable count which results into eight plus four plus eight plus four. 34. Wa-li-l-nāsi tūkas ahlu-h/ min šān ǧahlu-h/ yaqūlūn: law bāna faḍlu-h/ kān ḏū nasbi// And for everyone the family [of such an invalid poet] loses prestige/ because of his ignorance,/ they say: ‘Had his excellence appeared clearly, he would have belonged to an excellent family.’//

Comment: the sequence of syllables here is eight plus four plus eight plus four. Because of the rhyme and the syllable count ḏū nasbi instead of ḏū nasabi.// 35. In kalifta šiʿran baʿda-k/ ibḏil ǧahda-k/ an taʿluwa bi-h wa-yasūda-k/ fawqa-l-rutbi.// If you like poetry [in order to survive] after your death,/ then do your best/ to raise it to dignity and it will elevate you / above every rank//

Comment: the syllable count results into eight plus four plus nine plus four. 3. Poem 193 Poem 193 has the following title: ‘mimmā qultu-hu min Allah, bi-maʿūni-hi fī waṣf bayārūnah’. Ibn Bayṭār’s dictionary, which I consulted via the electronic corpus al-Warrāq, said: ‘Bayārūnah is the same as Bišnīn’, which is a sort of water lily.15 It is clear that after its title—‘To what I said with God’s help [=ex tempore?] about the description of a water lily belongs . . .’—the poem starts with a line in which he compares the black colour of the lily with an Abyssinian girl. This poem in the St Petersburg ms. Firkovicz 1 802 or at least its microfilm, is very difficult to read as far as the ends of the lines are concerned. Therefore we used a second manuscript (Academy of Sciences 082). The first lines contain colour notions belonging to the description of the flower, while the last lines contain carpe diem [‘pluck the day’] themes. Some of the lines are completely according to the kāmil metre. In other places there are evident disorders in the metre. Some of the syllables perhaps should be suppressed, as we have indicated between [ ] in the lines. The flower description of this poem is in line with the usual flower descriptions, in which the comparison is based on colour. We see 15  Bayārūna and Bišnīn: see Ibn Bayṭār, al-Ǧāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiya wa-l-aġḏiya, p. 94 [al-waraq] sv. Bišnīn, [refers to Dioscurides, Book IV] and al-Ǧāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiya wa-l-aġḏiya, p. 133 [alwaraq] s.v. Bayārūn. http://www.alwaraq.net.


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the same feature in descriptions of fruit. In this poem the colours mentioned in the first lines are black, white and brown, and there is something that shines in the nightly darkness: light contrasted with dark. In his book on eleventh-century Arabic Andalusian poetry, Henri Pérès16 deals with flower poetry and also with water lilies. The normal name for this flower in Arabic is naylūfar. The ʿĀmirid ruler al-Manṣūr even installed huge silver water lilies in the pond of his Zāhira residence. The flower has often been compared with crystal and silver, but also contains black in its eye. Its petals form a silver Kaʿba, as the shrine in Mecca is called, in the middle of which is a black stone. Pérès says that because of the black in it, the water lily represents the enchanting eye, even better than do the white-yellow narcissus [bahār] and the entirely yellow one [narǧis]. ‘When the night becomes dark or just begins to become dark, the water lily is like a nurse with a fresh tint and a delicate skin who embraced one of her Nubian children [min az-zanǧ]’; or sometimes ‘like a king of the Abyssinians [al-Uḥbuš] in a white tent, who noticing that it is becoming dark, closes the door’. This closing the door represents water lilies closing their petals at night and opening them during the daytime. But the description of the water lily is merely an introduction to the wine drinking scene in which the carpe diem motif is used: ‘pluck the day, before your Fate of Death arrives’. [Metre: Kāmil] 1. Wa-ba[ yā]rūnatin/ šabbahtu-hā/ fī lawni-hā/ li-sawādi raʾs[i]/ ǧāriyatin / ḥīn[a] takšifû// Many a water lily which I have compared in her colour with the blackness of the head of an [Abyssinian] slave girl when she uncovers herself, . . .

Comment: the syllables between brackets [. . .] must be elided, because they do not fit in the pattern of the Kāmil metre: vv-v- or—-v-. In two cases they are case endings or lexicalised case endings. 2. Lākinna-hā/ suliqat wa-uḥ/kimu milḥu-hā/ fa-tarā la-hā/ šafafa-l-muḥib/ bīn taršifū // But she was peeled off and her beauty was perfected so that you saw her sipping with the transparency of lovers [because of their meagreness].

 Pérès 1953: 178–179.


middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


Comment: In 190: 19 we saw Lakāʾinnī or Lākānī, but here we see the normal Arabic Lākinna-hā. In this line there is one syllable to be elided: muḥib/bīna must be read in pausa: muḥib/bīn. As far as the theme is concerned: the black ‘eye’ of the flower is contrasted with the white petals which open or are peeled off during daylight (see also the next line). 3. Wa-in kāna qad/ wukisat li-faq/di bayāḍi-hā/ fa-inna-l-/ʿayn[a] bil-sawād[i] /tatašarrafû// And if it became diminished by the loss of its whiteness: the eye is honoured by the blackness.

Comment: Here also some syllables have to be elided: the case endings in -l /ʿayn[a] and bil-sawād[i]. Remarkable however is that other vowel endings are maintained according to the rules of Classical Arabic. 4. Wa-l-misku law/lā sumratu-h[u]/ maʿa nukhati-h[i]/ mā kāna min/ ǧīfin kaṯī/ru-h[u] yuʿrafû// And musk, were there not its dusky brown colour with its penetrating smell, it would not be known that most of it comes from stinking corpses.

Comment: in this line some syllables have to be elided [. .] to make the Kāmil metre possible. Some words can be read in pausa and with elisions, which in Classical Arabic would not be allowed. What is the purpose of this line? Perhaps: you can recognize musk from the colour and its smell, so you can recognize this flower from its black and white. 5. Wa-la-kam raʾayt/ ʿaynī bi-yaw/min ḍāḥiyan/ šamla(-l-) tafar/ruq fī –l-duǧā /yataʾallafu// How many times my eye saw the separating dispersions [of the white petals] in broad daylight to be recomposed in the darkness!

Comment: the idea which here is to be rendered must be: ‘The white flower with black centre, opened in day light, recomposes and closes at night’. Raʾayt must be the equivalent of raʾat in Classical Arabic. Bi-yaw/ min ḍāḥiyan must be the equivalent of Bi-yaw/min ḍāḥin in Classical Arabic. 6. Fa-šrab ʿalā/ ǧunkin wa-naġ/mati bulbulin/ bi-maǧālisi–l/-aḥbābi kaʾ/sa-lqarqafu// And drink with a cymbal and the melody of a nightingale in the gatherings of the beloved ones a cup of wine.

Comment: here and in the other lines the rhyme is in -u whereas the syntax and grammar would have requested an -i.


arie schippers 7. Fa-h[a]ḏā huwa-l- /ʿayšu l-raġī/du fa-ġtanim /qabl an yadū/ra ʿalay-ka kaʿ/ su matālifū// This is the luxurious life, so take it [carpe diem] before your Fate of Death arrives.

Comment: Classical Arabic would have requested qabla ʾan instead of qablan. 8. Yadūmu suk/ru-ka min maḏā/qi-ka ṭaʿma-hu/ zamn ḥaḍrati -l-/aḥyāʾ[i] sarī/ʿu taṣarrufu// May your drunkenness endure from the moment you tasted its flavour until the time of the gathering of the living, it is fast in action.

Comment: in this line some syllables do not fit within the metre (e.g. the fourth foot) or are superfluous [ ]. 9. Fa-fnī zamā/na-ka bil-surū/ri wa-sal il-Lāh /an yuwaqqifa-k/ mā bayn yaday-h/ xayr tawaqqufū// And spend your time in gladness and ask God that he places you in His presence in the best possible manner.

Comment: the structure of this line is highly irregular because the third foot /ri wa-sal il-Lāh/ rendered correctly /ri wa sa-li-l-Lāh/ contains three short syllables and two long ones and ought to have: two short ones, a long one, a short one and a long one. The fourth foot /an yuwaqqifa-k/ should have the first syllable short. 4. Poem 195 Poem 195 Mimmā qultu-hu ayḍan fi-ḥayyin samuna wa-ʿabala ḥattā ka-anna-hu ḥablun [‘What I said also about someone fat and thick as if he were a piece of rope’] starts with “1. qūlū li-man qad ʿabal” (‘Say to the one who has grown fat’). The end of the first line has different readings but ends with the rhyme word: “dūdu”. The poem is a satirical warning against someone whose stinking body has suffered from his greediness and eating too much. He has now become an outcast and is forgotten by his friends, he has become lazy and his forces will become too weak to perform his prayers and his fasting. Certainly he will be burnt in hellfire. The poet emphasizes: eating too much is not at all praiseworthy. It was Van Gelder who suggested to me the Basīṭ metre for this poem as most appropriate. 1. Qūlū li-man/ qad ʿabal/ hal anta sārr/ bi-šayʾin// qad ǧaʿla fī / ġidāʾin/ ġidāʾa li-l/dūdu // Say to the one who has grown fat: ‘Are you enjoying yourself with something that makes from one meal another meal for the worms?’

middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


Comment: one sees clearly that in this and the following lines many case endings and verbal endings are elided, which was necessary because of the Basīṭ Metre. Some endings, however, are maintained according to the classical rule. 2. li yakšif -l-/ ʿaqlu ʿan/ xabri-k li-aḏ/kuru-ka// ḥāla-k wa-kay/fa taṣīr /fī-llaḥdi mam/dūdu // Let the brain discover your condition, to unveil to you your situation and how you will be strained in the grave. 3. [wa-]ʿalā-ka baʿ/da- l-dalāl/ dalālun wa-n/qalbat// maḥāsin aʿ/ḍāʾi-k baʿd/ bayāḍi-him /sūdu// After one preposterous deed another one came over you and the good properties of your limbs turned into black after their whiteness. 4. baʿda-l-nadā /inbakam/taw badla riǧ/riǧati-k // law tanṣuru-l-/qabru kayf /qadar-ka taq/dūdu // After [your] screaming, you were rendered dumb and in exchange of your foul water, in case you would water a grave, how could your measure fit in with its measure? 5. wa-nutnata-k/ lā yuṭīq/ insānu yan/šuqu-ha// ʿawda-l- ʿuṭū/ru wa-bad/lal-misku wa-l- /ʿūdu// And your stink nobody can cope with it who smells it instead of perfume, and musk and wood. 6. wa-min diyā/rak wa-min/ maʾwan in nušit/ta bi-hi/ ilā-l-ṣaḥā/rī taṣīr/ mabʿūdu maṭ/rūdu// And from your houses and safe residence where you were raised, you have now arrived as a pariah and an outcast in the sands. 7. li-mā mukal/lif min tu/ḥafin wa-ʾam/tiʿatin //sūqu-l-šurā/ti yaṣīr /bi-lǧamʿi maʿ/qūdu// Why are you spending precious things and vessels which the market of the customers puts knotted together? 8. min qulūbi/ aṣdiqā/ʾi-ka tunsā-w /-yasullā-//ka-l-ʿammu wa-l-/xālu ṯum/m -l-abu wa-l-/wuldu// From the hearts of your friends you are forgotten and the uncles of mother’s and father’s side, and also father and child think no more of you. 9. waʿadtu-ka/ usqiṭta/ min ǧumlati l-/aḥyāʾi //wa-bayna-l-um/mawāt qad/ quddirta maʿ/dūdu // I warned you, you would be excluded from all the living beings and between the mothers you would be judged too limited. 10. lā yanfaʿu-k/ mā tarak/ta-h ġayra mā /qaddamta // li-l-mustaḥaq/qī ʿalay-k /min ṣaddi aw /ǧūdu// It does not serve you what you have left: only the aversion or generosity you have offered to the One who has right upon you.


arie schippers 11. fa-ǧhad wa-kad/di-l-badan /fī xidmati-l- /bārī //tadrībi-hi/ lā bi-l-kasal/ mā mār wa-ʿu/tādu// Urge and exert your body in the service of the Creator with training and practice not with laziness, with provisions and preparations. 12. min šaḥmi ǧis/mi-l-fatā/ maʿ qalbi-hi/ taǧidu-h// ʿazmu-h bi-ḥab/li-lkasal/ mā dāma maš/dūdu// The man whose body together with his heart is fat, will find his firmness of resolution continuously tied to the rope of laziness. 13. wa-kullu man/ qad ʿabal/ ǧasadu-hu/ taqillu// quwā-hu ʿa/n-i-l-ṣalāti -l-/ latī fa/raṭat li-maʿ/būdu // And everyone whose body has become thick, his forces will become too weak to perform the prayer which is neglected by a servant of God. 14. wa-l-ṣawma lā/ yastaṭīʿ/ yawman wa-man/ fāta-hu// al-ṣawmu ṯum/ma-lṣalāh/ fī-l-nāri maw/qūdu// And fasting is not possible for him, even one day, and whoever misses fasting and then also prayer will be burnt in hellfire. 15. fa-samnu ǧis/mi-l-ḏakūr/ mā zāla ḏū/ simaǧin// wa-fī hisā/ni l-ʾunāṯ/ li-lbaʿḍi maḥ/mūdu// And the fatness of the body of a man always will be full of ugliness and amidst the beautiful women he is praised for only a part of it. 16. sabbik ǧasad/-ka bi-tal/ṭīfi l-ġidā/ʾi wa-ʿlam// anna-l-ġiḏā/ʾa-l-kaṯī/ra bi-xayṭin maḥ/mūdu// Mould your body by taking light meals and know that eating too much is not at all praiseworthy. 17. fa-yʾayyidu-l-/ġalba yax/šā mawta-hu/ bi-ǧuṯṯah// wa-kullu zā/ʾid ʾilā -l-/ naqṣat-i-h mar/dūd// Because it supports thick-necked-ness, the man fears his death in a corpse which brings back all his growing to its decline. 18. fa-ǧʿal-i-l /akli-ka /wa-šurbi-ka /mā taʿīš //wa-li-l-ǧimāʿ/ muddat ḥayā/ti-k ḥaddu maḥ/dūd// And enjoy your eating and drinking as long as you live, and likewise sexual intercourse during your whole lifetime, with a moderate measure.

I tried to determine the syllables of the poem and to reconstruct the metre. In this kind of Middle Arabic texts it is often difficult to determine what the real text must be. 5. Poem 196 The following poem by Moshe Darʿī [no. 196] is again a flower poem. Poem 196 says in its title: “Hāḏā ayḍan mā badā lī an aṣifa wardatan” [‘And this also seemed to me appropriate in describing a rose’]. Poems with flower descriptions were often colour based. Much has been published about

middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


roses by such Arabic poets as al-Mutanabbī and Ibn al-Rūmī, not least in Muslim Spain, where al-Ḥimyarī’s Waṣf ar-Rabīʿ [Description of Springtime] was published.17 This kind of poetry is similar to apple descriptions, in which the colours green and red play a role, and the same kind of puns are made with women in labour [yellow and green], beloved women [red], and virgins who are deflowered, or are old ladies at the same time. Moshe Darʿī’s poem [no. 196] goes as follows: 1. Wa-wardatin/ šabbahtu-hā/ lammā badat// li-bintin ʿaḏ/rah suttirat / bi-ṯiyābi-hā// And many a rose I compare with a virgin who was covered by her clothes

Comment: the ‘nunation’ or tanwīn is indicated in three manners: in the case of wa-wardatin it is indicated by the spelling of an alef, so that it is indifferent whether wa-wardatan or even wa-wardatun was meant. In poetry however, the opening wāw [called also wāw rubba] has always the genitive. For the rest of the verse: the word ʿaḏ/rāʾ has no case ending because it has to fit into the Kāmil metre. 2. Aw qubbah ṣun/ʿat min ḥarī/rin aḥmarin// qirmiz wa-law/nu zumurrudin /bi-niṣābi-hā// Or a cupola that was made of red and vermilion silk and the green emerald colour at its pole.

Comment: the nunations of ḥarī/rin aḥmarin are in the case of aḥmarin given by tanwīn vowel signs. Other signs e.g. in the case of zumurrudin are not given but are implied by the metre. 3. Aw xaymatin/ ḍuribat li-ʿā/šiq aṣfarin/ wa-la-qad udī/ru bi-safli-hā/ aṭnābi-hā// Or a tent that was set up for yellow-coloured lovers while at its lower part its ropes surrounded it.

Comment: the nunation in the word aṣfarin is indicated in the manuscript by a letter nūn. At the end of the line the case ending of the rhyme must be -i, although grammatically -u would be expected. 4. Ṯumma-l-ʿaǧab/ kayfa-l-ṣufā/ru bi-ǧawfi-hā// wa-kullu aṣfarin qad šufiya / bi-šarābi-hā// Then you wonder how yellow its belly is while every yellow [lover] is recovered from his disease by drinking it [by drinking red wine mixed with water, i.e. yellow wine].

Comment: the nunation aṣfarin is not noted in the text. 17

 Pérès 153: 178–179; cf. Schmidt 1971; Schoeler 1974.


arie schippers 5. Yā layta šiʿrī kayfa aḍ/ḥat ṯayyiban / baʿda-l-bakū/riyyah waḥā/na šabābu-hā// Oh could I know how this flower has become an adult woman after its virginity while the time of her youth was still there.

Comment: the nunation ṯayyiban is not indicated in the text. 6. Wa-fnat sarī/ ʿan ʿumri-hā/ ḥayāti-hā/ wa-waddaʿat/ ǧamʿu-l-zuhūri asḥābi-hā// And how it spent quickly its life and lifetime and made all the flowers her disciples [roses as the queen of flowers].

Comment: the nunation of sarī/ʿan is indicated by the letter alef. Because of the rhyme the ending asḥābi-hā// is given with an -i instead of an -a, which was to be expected grammatically. 7. Wa-alwat-hā /ḥabqan wa-nab/qan dāʾiman// mā dāmat-i-l-dunyā wa-ʿabaqu aṭyābi-hā So that it removes them, by always coming out and gushing forth, as long as the world and the smell of its perfumes remain.

Comment: the words ḥabqan, nab/qan, dāʾiman have all a nunation by the letter alef. The word aṭyābi-hā has the case ending -i because of the rhyme, but grammatically it should have an -u. Conclusion As far as Moshe Darʿī’s Arabic poems are concerned, they have greater variety in themes and subjects than his Hebrew poems, and are more in line with the motifs dealt with in Hebrew Andalusian poetry. Still, there is one feature that places his Arabic poems outside the Arabic and the Hebrew tradition, namely the incompleteness and irregularity of metre and rhyme. This places him in a Middle Arabic context which results into different practices of nunation, case endings in the rhyme which are not according to Classical Arabic grammar, uncertainty whether or not a case ending must be added depending on the metres. In his Middle Arabic poetry Moshe Darʿī switches between the two levels: the Classical level at the one hand, and the non-Classical on the other. In some cases his verses are near to the Classical language and according to the rules of Classical Arabic poetry: especially in the wāw rubba constructions which usually mark the beginning of poetry fragments, i.e. the genitive nunation with which many poems begin. In principle he wants to adhere to the Arabic metrical system, except in the case of the ‘dancing metre’ of poem 190

middle arabic in moshe darʿi’s judaeo-arabic poems


which is syllabic but which, according to what the metrical specialist Dmitry Frolov said to me, is sometimes attested in Arabic literature. The Classical Arabic metres of Darʿī’s Judaeo-Arabic poetry are often uncertain, even when determined. They are often not according to the rules: syllables are sometimes elided and suppressed, not always conform the in the Arabic tradition established poetic licences. Moshe Darʿī wanted to create his own mixed or ‘maccheronic’ style, for instance he preferred to suppress some case endings or ‘adverbial’ endings [such as the -a ending in the word ḥīna]. The resulting language has sometimes dialectal features. In an exceptional case we find right away spoken language such as the word bas for ‘only’ in poem 190; also in poem 190 the verbal construction ǧā-nī instead of Classical Arabic ǧāʾa-nī sounds vernacular. The audience to which the poet directed himself was acquainted with the regular Classical Arabic poetry, and, at the same time, its members are supposed to like the deviations from the Classical language which give the poetry a special, perhaps “Judaeo-Arabic”, flavour. References Adang, Camilla; Schmidtke, Sabine; Sklare, David (eds.). 2007. A Common Rationality. Muʿtazilism in Islam and Judaism. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag (Istanbuler Texte und Studien 15). Bekkum, W.J. van. 2007. The Secular Poetry of El‘azar ben Ya‘aqov ha-Bavli, Baghdad, thirteenth century, on the basis of manuscript Firkovicz Heb. IIA, 210.I St. Petersburg. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 34). Blau, Joshua. 1999. The emergence and linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic: a study of the origins of Neo-Arabic and Middle Arabic. 3rd rev. ed. Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute. Ibn Bayṭār. Al-Ǧāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiya wa-l-aġḏiya. http://www.alwaraq.net. Madelung, Wilferd and Schmidtke, Sabine. 2007. ‘Yusuf al-Basir’s First Refutation (Naqd) of Abul-Husayn al-Basri’s Theology’. Adang, Camilla; Schmidtke, Sabine; Sklare, David (eds.), A Common Rationality. Muʿtazilism in Islam and Judaism. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag (Istanbuler Texte und Studien 15). 229–296. Pérès, Henri. 1953. La poésie andalouse en arabe classique au XI e siècle : ses aspects généraux, ses principaux thèmes et sa valeur documentaire. 2me éd. Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve (Publications de l’Institut d’É tudes Orientales de la Faculté des Lettres d’Alger 5). Pinsker, Simchah. 1860. Lickute Kadmoniot: zur Geschichte des Karaismus und der karäischen Literatur / nach handschriftlichen Quellen bearb. von S. Pinsker = Liquṭe qadmoniyot. Wien: Adalbert della Torre. Schippers, Arie. 2007/2008. ‘Medieval Opinions on the Spanish School of Hebrew Poetry and its Epigones’. In: Berger, Shlomo and Zwiep, Irene (eds.), Epigonism and the Dynamic of Jewish Culture. Leuven: Peeters (Studia Rosenthaliana 40). 127–138. ——. 2008. “Some Remarks on Judeo-Arabic Poetical Works: an Arabic poem by Moshe Dar‘i (ca. 1180–ca. 1240)”. In: Alessandro Guetta, Masha Itzhaky (eds.), A Message Upon the Garden. Studies in Medieval Jewish Poetry. Leiden: Brill. 141–156. Schmidt, Werner. 1971. Die Natur in der Dichtung der Andalus-Araber: Versuch einer Strukturanalyse arabischer Dichtung. Diss. Kiel. 


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Schoeler, Gregor. 1974. Arabische Naturdichtung. Die Zahrīyāt, Rabīʿīyāt und Rauḍīyāt von ihren Anfänge bis Aṣ-Ṣanaubarī: eine gattungs-, motiv-, und stilgeschichtliche Unter­ suchung. Beyrouth: Orient-Institut der Deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft (Beiruter Texte und Studien 15). Vajda, Georges. 1985. Al-Kitāb al-Muḥtawī de Yūsuf al-Baṣīr. texte, traduction et commentaire par Georges Vajda, édité par David R. Blumenthal. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 12). Weinberger, Leon J. 2000. Jewish Poet in Muslim Egypt: Moses Darʿī’s Hebrew Collection. Critical Edition with Introduction and Commentary. Leiden etc.: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 23). Yeshaya, Joachim Julian Margit Salome. 2009. Moses ben Abraham Darʿī: a Karaite poet and physician from twelfth-century Egypt : selective edition of the Dīwān on the basis of manuscript Firkovicz Heb. I 802, with introduction and commentary. Dissertation Groningen. ——. 2010. Medieval Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Egypt: The Secular Poetry of the Karaite Poet Moses ben Abraham Darʿī. Karaite Texts and Studies, vol. 3. Leiden: Brill (Études sur le Judaïsme Médiéval 44).

Written Judeo-Arabic: Colloquial versus Middle Arabic Yosef Tobi Summary: Medieval Judeo-Arabic (MWJA) was written with Hebrew characters, and used for the Judeo-Arabic literature shared by all Jewish scholars in the domain of medieval Arab-Muslim culture. Its status was like that of literary Classical Arabic among the Muslim Arabic speakers. However, MWJA had never been a living spoken language and its life did not extend beyond four or five hundred years (tenth–fifteenth centuries). Yet, Arabic continued to function as a spoken language. Its numerous dialects also served as a written communicative vehicle, and for literature in various genres. This is true in regard to medieval Judeo-Arabic, opposed to the notion that MWJA of the school of Saʿadya was the only one used by Jews in the Middle Ages. Actually, colloquial Judeo-Arabic has existed as a written language for almost fifteen hundred years, since pre-Islamic time. Today, one of the important assignments is to carry out a meticulous and comprehensive comparative examination of the ancient and later non-classical Arabic languages in order to better understand the history of Judeo-Arabic.

1. Introduction Middle Arabic is the current name used by the recent two generations for medieval non-classical written Arabic. Thus, by the recent two generations it was used for medieval Judeo-Arabic (MWJA), mostly thanks to the enormous life work of Prof. Joshua Blau.1 This Arabic, written with Hebrew characters, was used for the vast production of Judeo-Arabic literature of all genres and was shared by all Jewish scholars in the spacious domain of medieval Arab-Muslim culture. In this respect, its status among the Arabic-speaking Jewish communities was like that of literary Classical Arabic (CA) among the Muslim Arabic speakers, which has been used for written Arabic literature since the seventh century until today. Yet one can distinguish MWJA because of its grammatical, syntactical, and stylistic leniency, compared to the extremely strict rules of CA, and its distance from the highly flowery style so typical of CA. As known, although insufficiently heeded by its researchers, MWJA had never been a living spoken language, and its life did not extend beyond four or five hundred years in the centres of literary creativity in the

1  Blau’s studies about MWJA are too many to be detailed here. However, two of them should be mentioned in this context: Blau 1988 and 1999.


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Eastern lands, North Africa and Spain from the tenth through the fifteenth centuries. In some of these countries, it stopped being used for writing after the fourteenth century (Vajda 1980; Tobi 2010: 273–4). One notable exception is Yemen, where Jews kept on with it—although not exclusively—for teaching and writing up to recent generations.2 A very significant testimony is the story of a Jewish scholar in Yemen in the first half of the twentieth century, who came across a Judeo-Arabic translation of a printed version of Song of Songs:3 Now even though the meaning of his words was difficult for me in certain places, since it was [written in] the Babylonian (Iraqi) language and not [in] pure [Arabic], nevertheless, I corrected it according to the language of Rav Sa’adia Gaon, which is almost habitual in our mouths.

Evidently, the disappearance of MWJA did not impact in any respect the use of Arabic as a living spoken language among Jewish communities, whose surrounding majority spoke Arabic. Nor did its existence as a written language have any impact on the use of Arabic as vernacular. Even its invention in the tenth century was not the real reason causing those communities to speak Arabic. Spoken Arabic was always clearly separated from MWJA, since as a living colloquial language it was much richer than MWJA.4 In fact, there was no common spoken Judeo-Arabic, but scores of different dialects, to such an extent that a speaker of one dialect could not understand a speaker of another, even, and not infrequently, in the same country. In principle, a specific Judeo-Arabic dialect is the same one spoken by the Arab or Muslim majority in a certain country, even if it differs in some respects, such as its Hebrew component and even phonetically, from the majority dialect.5

 See Goitein in Habshush 1941: 72–81; Blau 1984; Tobi 1991; Tobi 1999: 400–403.  Tobi 1991: 138. 4  This may be easily shown if we compare the only comprehensive dictionary we have for the medieval Judeo-Arabic texts (Blau 2006) with the only comprehensive one we have for a single new written and spoken dialect of Judeo-Arabic—that of Iraq (Avishur 2009–2010). Unfortunately, no such work has been carried out for another dialect of JudeoArabic. We should, however, mention M. Piamenta’s Dictionary of Post-Classical Yemeni Arabic (Piamenta 1990–1991/1), of which ‛Judæo-Yemeni, the language of the Yemeni Jews is an essential part’ (ibid., I,v). 5  Innumerable studies have been written about the Hebrew component in JudeoArabic dialects, of which might be mentioned five wide-ranging ones: Avishur 2001 (Iraq, Syria, Egypt); Ben-Yaacob 1985; Bar-Asher 1992 (North Africa); Bahat 2002 (Morocco); Henshke 2007 (Tunisia). The documentation and study of the Hebrew and Aramaic component in the Judeo-Arabic dialects is an important part of The Synoptic Dictionary of the Hebrew and Aramaic Component in the Jewish Languages in the Mediterranean Basin, an 2 3

written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


2. The Wide Variety of Written and Oral Judeo-Arabic Literature The numerous Judeo-Arabic dialects were not solely used for oral communication; they also served as a daily written communicative vehicle, for instance in correspondence, and dialects were even used for literature in various genres. Thus in liturgy, we have biblical translations (šarḥs), poems recited in synagogue, and halakhic material; while in the secular field, mostly in folk literature, we have folktales, folk poems, and proverbs. This is true not only in regard to new Judeo-Arabic, but in regard to medieval Judeo-Arabic as well. Opposed to the notion, to which the central scholars of this domain were clinging, namely that MWJA of the school of Saʿadya was the only one used by Jews in the Middle Ages, while ignoring texts found in the Cairene Geniza written not in accordance with the rules of this ‛classical’ MWJA,6 a modified outlook is recently being adopted by new researchers. That is to say, throughout the Middle Ages there existed not only one, unique ‛classical’ MWJA, but there existed a variety of MWJA. This understanding was unequivocally proved in a recent search of letters preserved in the Geniza (Wagner 2010), but, as we shall see below, this is factual in respect to other written genres of Judeo-Arabic. The new conception and its significance to the history of the Arabic language and its dialects, is correctly expressed in the short description of this recent publication:7 The Cairo Genizah has preserved a vast number of medieval and post-medieval letters written in the Jewish variety of Arabic. The linguistic peculiarities of these letters provide an invaluable source for the understanding of the history of the Arabic language and the development of Arabic dialects. This work compares and contrasts various linguistic features of JudaeoArabic letters from different periods, and is one of the first studies to present a comprehensive linguistic investigation into non-literary Judaeo-Arabic. Its main focus is to provide an extensive diachronic linguistic description, while distinguishing between features of epistolary Arabic and vernacular phenomena. This study should be of interest to anyone working on the Arabic language, sociolinguistics, general historical linguistics and language typology.

all-embracing project founded by the late Prof. Shelomo Morag, which is currently carried out at The Jewish Oral Traditions Research Center in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 6  ‘Classical MWJA’ is the variety established by Saʿadya Gaon and accepted as a common written (only!) language in all countries where Jews spoke Arabic. 7  As advertised by Brill: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=210&pid=30673.


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Beyond doubt, colloquial Judeo-Arabic changes when it is transferred to the phase of a written or printed text; however, it is basically the same language in terms of lexicon, semantics, and grammar, and its orthography reflects the particular accent of the local Jewish speakers. This kind of ‛popular’ or so-called—unjustly and incorrectly—‛vulgar’ literature, of which only a tiny part has been documented in manuscript or in print, is only now being widely recorded and examined by scholars whose ­scientific-academic background is not Middle Eastern studies but Judaic studies. However, some of the Judeo-Arabic spoken dialects were studied by pioneer scholars in this field: M. Cohen (1912, Algiers), S.D. Goitein (in Habshush 1941, Yemen), D. Cohen (1964–1975, Tunis), J. Mansour (1991, Baghdad). 3. The Importance of the Non-Classical Written and Oral Judeo-Arabic Literature for the History and Culture of the Jews in the Islamic World Middle East scholars generally focus on literature written in classical languages, and in principle ignore dialectal languages and their literature, oral or written. But it is exactly this kind of literature that is exceedingly significant for Judaic studies researchers, more specifically those who deal with Jewish communities in Arab lands, in the Near East or in North Africa, and not in medieval times but following the expulsion from Spain. These researchers, whose academic field is the social and cultural history of Jewish communities, make use of inexhaustible and diverse sources, oral and written, which in general are ignored and neglected, if not negated, by most Middle Eastern studies scholars. A fundamental contribution by Judaic studies researchers should be singled out—the recording of a great many texts from the oral tradition, liturgical as well as popular. In doing so, they have rescued valuable linguistic and literary treasures, otherwise doomed to oblivion with the people—men and women—who carried them in their memory.8 As mentioned earlier, a tiny part of that

8  Again, a huge amount of scholarly and unscholarly publications have appeared in the last two generations, mostly in Israel and by scholars who were born in Arab speaking countries or by scholars whose parents came from these countries. By and large, these works refer to linguistic aspects of the written and oral literature in Judeo-Arabic dialects, less to the literary and social-linguistic aspects, while rarely to the historical significance of the Judeo-Arabic literature and to the cultural and social inter-relationship between the Jewish minority and the Muslim majority. We may remark here four of these studies:

written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


oral Judeo-Arabic literature has been documented in manuscripts, but we should draw our attention to sources about which not enough is known or taken into account: thousands of Judeo-Arabic books, booklets, and leaflets that were printed in the Jewish print houses in the Near East, North Africa, India, and Livorno during the past one hundred and fifty years. Only some of these sources may be found in academic or public libraries, while others are kept in private collections or are completely lost.9 We may conclude, then, that Judeo-Arabic vernaculars served not only as a vibrant and developing spoken language, but also as a written, literary language. As such, they incorporated a comprehensive set of rules of grammar, syntax, and style. As mentioned, these rules were not as strict and pedantic as CA, and even not as MWJA itself. But nobody who has examined texts in this ‛vulgar’ language can ignore that they are written according to a quite consistent orthography, answering all problems arising in the process of transferring an oral language to script. This should be especially noted, as dialectal Judeo-Arabic struggled with that issue much earlier than did the Arabic spoken by the surrounding majority.10 That happened simply because the educated class of the majority population could not agree to write the spoken language. Actually, until recent times, no clear and easy system has been invented in Arab countries for writing the spoken language. Scholars of Arabic language in Arab countries believe that the infiltration of the ʿāmmiyya into written Arabic is unfavourable and should be rejected. They denounce it, warn against it, and consequently, avoid from any step which might legitimize it. Arabic Language Academies dealt with Arabic transcription of consonants of European languages and took quite clear decisions in this issue, but they apparently have never dealt with transcription of the ʿāmmiyya.11 Avishur 1987 (Iraqi women’s folk songs); Hary 1992 (Egypt); Tobi 2000 (Tunisia); Bar-Asher 1998; Chetrit 2007 (North Africa).  9  Unfortunately, there is only one bibliographical work, in which are listed all prints of popular Judeo-Arabic in a certain country. We allude to Attal 2007 (northern Tunisia, 1427 items, excluding some hundred publications in popular Judeo-Arabic printed in Djerba, southern Tunisia). This bibliography is based on Attal’s magnificent private collection of Judeo-Arabic prints from Tunisia, which has recently been acquired by the National and University Library in Jerusalem. 10  The basic study for how Hebrew characters were adapted in ‛classical’ MWJA Arabic is Blau 1980: 17–56. There is no comprehensive work about how Hebrew characters were adapted in the various, or in a specific, dialectal written Judeo-Arabic. However, partial descriptions are included in not a few of the studies about this written Judeo-Arabic. For a theoretical discussion of this issue see Tedghi 1997; 2002. 11  However, there frequently appear on the internet private suggestions for writing the ʿāmmiyya, mostly for computer purposes. See for example the recently published


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Certainly, Arabic ʿāmmiyya is well represented in print, including whole literary texts, especially folk literature, but no solid system of writing has been consolidated so far. This, as mentioned above, is in sharp contrast to Judeo-Arabic.12 4. The Lifetime of Non-Classical Judeo-Arabic In contrast to the relatively short life-time of MWJA, four-five hundred years, and its complete vanishing, colloquial Judeo-Arabic has existed as a written language for almost fifteen hundred years. There is valuable evidence, basically from early Muslim sources (Tobi 2001: 20–25; Tobi 2004b), but partially epigraphic, that Jewish communities in north-west Arabia wrote Arabic in Hebrew characters (Noja 1979: 312ff; Hopkins 2009). This is not surprising: first, because Jews have since ancient times been accustomed to writing in Hebrew characters the foreign languages that they spoke, like Aramaic, which was not written by Jews in Syriac characters; second, because prior to Islam, Arabic writing was far from being current; indeed, the first written Arabic book was the Qurʾān, which certainly was not written down in Muḥammad’s life time (Schoeler 2002). We know from many Geniza fragments, only recently noticed by scholars, that nonclassical written Judeo-Arabic existed in the Middle Ages alongside MWJA and even preceded it. These findings disabused the common opinion that non-classical written Judeo-Arabic appeared for the first time only with the Sermons (derāšōt) of Maimonides’ grandson, David Ha-Nagid (1212–1300) (Tobi 2006: 21–33). Although MWJA had greatly reduced the use of non-classical written Judeo-Arabic, it did not eliminate it entirely. The evaporation, as it were, of MWJA, which resulted in part from the loosening of direct links with Muslim Arabic literature, encouraged the use of non-classical Judeo-Arabic as a written language alongside Hebrew. At the other end of the historical scale, Judeo-Arabic was used for correspondence and even in publishing by the Jews of Tunisia up to the 1960s (Tobi 2010: 274–277). suggestion, titled ṭarīqa ḥilwa li-kitābat ḥurūf al-lahğa al-ʿāmmiyya (it can be found with Google). I thank Dr. Shlomit Shraybom Shivtiel, who studied the Arabic Language Academy in Egypt, for providing me with the information about this question. See Shraybom Shivtiel 1999; 2005. 12  In my paper about “Judeo-Arabic prints in North Africa 1850–1950”, presented in the Third Symposium on “History of Printing and Publishing in the Languages and Countries of the Middle East”, University of Leipzig, 24–27 September 2008, I dealt with the crystallization of the orthography of Judeo-Arabic in consequence of its being printed.

written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


5. The Ancient Judeo-Arabic Once we are aware that non-classical Judeo-Arabic had continuously existed as a written language, we have to inquire how it related to MWJA. If we embrace the possibility that Judeo-Arabic already existed before Islam, and if we take in account that Ibn Qutayba (d. 889) was the first to summarize the rules of the orthography of CA (Haarmann 1981: 169) and that the orthography of CA was consolidated only in the tenth century (Robin 2001: 546), we may realize why non-classical written Judeo-Arabic, which preceded Saʿadya Gaon (882–942), did not adapt the orthography of CA. My impression, based on many fragments of varied literary pieces written in non-classical Judeo-Arabic, is that most of its orthographic distinctions are common to other languages that were current in its vicinity.13 First, naturally, were Hebrew and Aramaic, both used by Jews as spoken and written languages, which—as clearly proved from the Qumrān scrolls of the first century CE and from the fragments from the tenth–twelfth centuries CE preserved in the Cairene Geniza—were strictly written in terms of consonants, but very lenient in terms of vowels (matres lectionis), In fact, the orthography of Hebrew has never been consolidated in this respect. Secondly, however, we should not rule out the different preIslamic north-Arabian languages known only from epigraphic sources, but spoken in the areas where Jewish communities were dispersed in the north-west of the Arabian Peninsula, that their orthography at that time was far from being consolidated. And, of course, there was what is called CA, which existed from the seventh up to the tenth century, when its orthography was eventually stabilized. The study of these languages started at the beginning of the twentieth century, but the past generation has seen enormous advances, based on hundreds of inscriptions. Special attention should be paid to sources from the pre-Islamic city of Fau in southern Saudi Arabia. Of the scholars dealing with the inscriptions found in the Arabian desert, I would cite in particular Michael Macdonald of Oxford and Christian Robin of Paris.14 From early Muslim sources, we know that the Jews of north-west Arabia translated the Pentateuch into the Arabic they spoke, the yahūdiyya

13  For a description of the orthographic distinctions of the ancient Judeo-Arabic see Blau-Hopkins 1984; Tobi 1993: 100–110; for other descriptions see the many references in Tobi 2001: 22, n. 53. 14  See, for example, Macdonald 2000; 2004; 2009; Robin 2001; 2006; see also Eichmann et al. 2006.


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(Newby 1971; Newby 1988: 21–22).15 We may conjecture that this translation was done for students in the Jewish schools, about which we know, again, from early Muslim sources (Lecker 1998, III:259). It is noteworthy, that in Muḥammad’s entourage there were people who could read and understand the Judeo-Arabic translations, such as Zayd ibn Ṯābit who studied in a Jewish school in Yaṯrib (ibid.), and even the Old Scriptures in Hebrew, such as Waraqa ibn Nawfal, the cousin of Xadīǧa, Muḥammad’s wife, who,16 during the pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write.

It is also said about him, that he “used to read the Gospel in Arabic”.17 However, we could just as well assume the existence of the JudeoArabic translation—oral or written—based on the tradition of all Jewish communities—since ever to modern times—to translate the Scriptures, especially the Pentateuch, into the local spoken language. As all Jews were literate at least since the second century CE, we may assume that the Judeo-Arabic translation in Arabia was written down there, and was later transferred to Iraq by Jews who were expelled from north-west Arabia after the advent of Islam. The use of the Judeo-Arabic translation spread not only throughout Iraq, but also to other countries where Jews changed their colloquial language from Aramaic to Arabic. It spread to such an extent that there was more than one translation of the Pentateuch as well as translations of the books of the Prophets and the Hagiography (Tobi 1996; Tobi 2006: 31). The didactic goal of the translation is proved by a later kind of translation, known as alfāḏ̣; namely, a translation or explanation of selected words according to their occurrence in a certain biblical book.18 With the passage of time, the texts of additional genres that existed among the Jews of Iraq and neighbouring countries, the main Jewish spiritual and national centre during the Fāṭimid Caliphate, were translated from Hebrew or Aramaic into non-classical Judeo-Arabic and written down for the benefit of the younger generations, who became more  See also Tobi 2001: 21 and the references in n. 17.  Ṣaḥīḥ al-Buxārī, vol. 1, Book 1:3 (http://www.theholybook.org/content/view/9258/16). 17  Ibid., vol. 4, Book 55:605. 18  For this special sort of commentary on the Bible and other canonical texts written in the ancient Judeo-Arabic see Tobi 1998; 2006: 31–32, 55–66; Polliack-Somekh 2000; Eldar 2001. 15


written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


familiar with Arabic than with the traditional national languages (Tobi 2006: 32, 51–54, 67–73). An on-the-mark illustration of this trend is a responsum by Rav Naṭrunai Gaon from the mid-ninth century in regard to the congregants of a certain Baghdādi synagogue who requested substituting the recited traditional Aramaic translation of the weekly portion with an Arabic rendition (Naṭrunai 1994: 152–154; Tobi 2001: 26–27). The non-classical Judeo-Arabic and its orthography were used for any text composed in or translated into Arabic, such as private correspondence (Blau-Hopkins 1984; 1987), religious law, folkloric essays, and even a philosophical composition (Tobi 2006: 32). Admittedly, the orthography of ancient Judeo-Arabic did not propose an exact and stable system of graphical signs for writing. But this is not exceptional: first, because no language attains perfect matching between its phonetics and orthography; secondly, all other non-Hebrew orthographies used for Arabic since pre-Islamic times, including Arabic script itself, were not exact and stable. Thus, for instance, during the Medinese Caliphate (622–661), four essential principles were established for Arabic script: (a) one, two, or three diacritical points to distinguish between similar letters; (b) a special sign to indicate the long vowel ā; (c) the tāʾ marbūṭah; and (d) signs to indicate short vowels, the absence of a vowel, and the doubling of a consonant (Robin 2006). 6. Saʿadya as Stabilisator of Judeo-Arabic The stabilisation of the orthography of CA in the second half of the ninth century probably gave Saʿadya, the most eminent Jewish scholar of his time and for some generations thereafter, his main incentive to develop a new system of Judeo-Arabic orthography, one that matched CA as much as possible. But it should be stressed that he did not change the traditional Hebrew script used for writing Arabic for many generations, and this in accordance with his general philosophy regarding Arabic culture—proximity and distance. That is, his determination to raise Jewish culture to its highest level, but at the same time to protect its distinctiveness and validity in comparison with other, ‘false’ cultures (Tobi 2004a: 107ff ). Abraham ibn Ezra somewhat vaguely refers to this determination: ‫תרגם התורה בלשון‬ ‫[=( ישמעאל ובכתיבתם‬Saʿadya] translated the Pentateuch into the language of the Ishmaelites using their script). Some scholars tend to deduce that Saʿadya wrote his biblical translation (tafsīr) in Arabic characters (Blau 1999: 39–41), but no evidence has been found for this contention.


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Now, with the discovery of not a few Geniza fragments of pre-Saʿadya, non-classical Judeo-Arabic biblical translations, which Saʿadya unquestionably had right before his eyes while composing his translation, we have to render the Hebrew word ‫בכתיבתם‬, not in their script, but in their orthography (Tobi 1993: 113–114). 7. The Survival of Non-Classical Judeo-Arabic Despite the swift dissemination of Saʿadya’s new orthographic system and despite the almost complete cutting off of Arabic-speaking Jewish communities from non-classical Arabic, pre-Saʿadya non-classical JudeoArabic did not disappear, as its literature was copied and re-copied. As mentioned, the first non-classical Judeo-Arabic work indisputably composed after the tenth century is David Ha-Nagid’s Sermons in the thirteenth century; but we cannot ignore the fact that other works of that kind have been discovered in the Geniza collections. Since Ha-Nagid’s work, the non-classical language form had gradually taken priority in Judeo-Arabic literature.19 The conclusion is, then, unambiguous: non-classical Judeo-Arabic was a permanent phenomenon as a written language among a proportion of the Jewish people over the course of fifteen hundred years, at least from the sixth century in pre-Islamic Arabia through the mid-twentieth century, excluding the period from the tenth through the fourteenth century, when MWJA predominated. Our knowledge about ancient non-classical Judeo-Arabic is incomplete, because only its remnants were saved in the Geniza and, in general, they did not draw the attention of researchers, many of whom even rejected these sources. The general impression arising from a comparison of the orthography of ancient and medieval non-classical Judeo-Arabic with the later orthography of non-classical Judeo-Arabic after the expulsion from Spain is that the two are analogous. In principle, they similarly solve problems involved with writing Arabic in Hebrew script, not to speak of their relation to the colloquial language. Their common platform, which clearly distinguished 19  This kind of texts from what is usually depicted as the ‛late Geniza’ are examined by Ms. Rachel Hasson Kenat in her doctoral dissertation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the third conference of the International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic (AIMA), Florence, October 2010, she presented a paper titled “Popular literature written in late Judaeo Arabic from the Firkovitch collection”. See also Hasson 2010.

written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


them from Saʿadya’s MWJA, is their independence of the orthography of literary CA. * Today, one of the important assignments for students of Judeo-Arabic is to carry out a meticulous and comprehensive comparative examination of the ancient and later non-classical Arabic languages in order to better understand the history of Judeo-Arabic in its different and diverse appearances and exposures. Of course, non-classical Judeo-Arabic and its literature should not be referred to as vulgar and defective when judged in relation to CA and its literature. The starting point of the study on written Judeo-Arabic, non-classical and classical, should be completely different, and their interrelationships have to be examined in an unbiased manner by avoiding granting priority to CA. References Attal, Robert. 2007. Un siècle de littérature judéo-arabe tunisienne (1861–1961): Notices bibliographiques. Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute [Hebrew]. Avishur, Yitzhak. 1987. Women’s Folk Songs in Judaeo-Arabic from Jews in Iraq. Or Yehuda: The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center [Hebrew]. ——. 2001. Hebrew Elements in Judaeo-Arabic: Studies in Hebrew Elements in Iraqian, Syrian and Egyptian New Judaeo-Arabic. Tel Aviv–Jaffa: Archaeological Center Publication [Hebrew]. ——. 2009–2010. A Dictionary of the New Judeo-Arabic Written and Spoken in Iraq (1600–2000). 3 vols. Tel Aviv–Jaffa: Archaeological Center Publication [Hebrew]. Bahat, Yaakov. 2002. The Hebrew Component in the Written Arabic of the Jews of Morocco. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute [Hebrew]. Bar-Asher, Moshe. 1992. La composante hébraïque du judéo-arabe algérien: Communautés de Tlemcen et Aïn-Témouchent. Jérusalem: Magnès. ——. 1998. Traditions linguistiques des Juifs d’Afrique du Nord. Jerusalem: Université Hébraïque / Institut Bialik [Hebrew]. Ben-Yaacob, Abraham. 1985. Hebrew and Aramaic in the Language of the Jews of Iraq. Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute [Hebrew]. Blau, Joshua. 1980. A Grammar of Mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press [first edition: 1961]. ——. 1984. ‛The linguistic ideal of Yemenite Jewry in the last centuries’. Gamliel, Shalom et al. (eds.), Yemenite Paths: Studies on the Language, History, Literature and Folklore of the Jews of Yemen. Jerusalem: The Shalom Research Center. 23–25 [Hebrew; English summary on p. xxviii]. ——. 1988. Studies in Middle Arabic and its Judaeo-Arabic Variety. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. ——. 1999. The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic: A Study of the Origins of Neo-Arabic and Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute. ——. 2006. A Dictionary of Medieval Judaeo-Arabic Texts. Jerusalem: The Academy of the Hebrew Language / The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities [Hebrew].


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Blau, Joshua and Hopkins, Simon. 1984. ‛On early Judaeo-Arabic orthography’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 12. 9–27. ——. 1987. ‛Judaeo-Arabic papyri—collected, edited, translated and analysed’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 9. 87–160. Chetrit, Joseph. 2007. Diglossie, hybridation et diversité intra-linguistique: études sociopragmatiques sur les langues juives, le judéo-arabe et le judéo-berbère. Paris: Éditions Peeters (É tudes chamito-sémitiques). Cohen, David. 1964–1975. Le parler arabe des Juifs de Tunis. Vol. I: Textes et documents linguistiques et ethnographiques. Paris: Mouton (É tudes juives 7); vol. II: Étude linguistique. The Hague: Mouton ( Janua linguarum. Series practica 161). Cohen, Marcel. 1912. Le parler arabe des Juifs d’Alger. Paris: H. Champion. Eichmann, Ricardo, Schaudig, Hanspeter and Hausleiter, Arnulf. 2006. ‘Archaeology and epigraphy at Tayma (Saudi Arabia)’. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 17,2. 163–176. Eldar, Ilan. 2001. ‛The Biblical glossography in the Realm of Spoken Arabic in the East’. Haivrit Weaḥyoteha 1. 23–37 [Hebrew]. Haarmann, Ulrich. 1981. ‘An Eleventh Century Précis of Arabic Orthography. Wadad AlQadi (ed.), Studia Arabica & Islamica: Festschrift für Ihsan Abbas on His Sixtieth Birthday. Beirut: American University of Beirut. 165–182. Habshush, Hayyim. 1941. Travels in Yemen: An Account of Joseph Halévy’s Journey to Najran in the Year 1870 Written in San‛ani Arabic by His Guide Hayyim Habshush; edited with a detailed summary in English and a glossary of vernacular words by S.D. Goitein. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press. Hary, Benjamin. 1992. Multiglossia in Judeo-Arabic with an Edition, Translation and Grammatical Study of the Cairene Purim Scroll. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 14). Hasson, Rachel. 2010. ‘Qiṣṣat Zayd wa-Kaḥlāʾ: A Judeo-Arabic Folktale from the Firkovitch Collection’. Ginzei Qedem 6. 23–87 [Hebrew]. Henshke, Yehudit. 2007. Hebrew Elements in Daily Speech: A Grammatical Study and Lexicon of the Hebrew Component of Tunisian Judeo-Arabic. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute [Hebrew]. Hopkins, Simon. 2009. ‛Judaeo-Arabic inscriptions from northern Arabia’. Arnold, Werner et al. (eds.), Philologisches und Historisches zwischen Anatolien und Sokotra: Analecta Semitica In Memoriam Alexander Sima. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 125–136. Lecker, Michael. 1998. Jews and Arabs in Pre- and Early Islamic Arabia. Aldershot: Ashgate (Variorum collected studies series 639). Macdonald, Michael C.A. 2000. ‛Reflections on the linguistic map of pre-Islamic Arabia’. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 11,1. 28–79. ——. 2004. ‛Ancient North Arabian’. R.D. Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the World’s Ancient Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 488–533. ——. 2009. Literacy and Identity in Pre-Islamic Arabia. Aldershot: Ashgate (Variorum collected studies series 906). Mansour, Jacob. 1991. The Jewish Baghdadi Dialect: Studies and Texts in the Judaeo-Arabic Dialect of Baghdad. Or Yehuda: The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center (Studies in the history and culture of Iraqi Jewry Monographs 7) [a revised and enlarged edition of vols. I–II of the Hebrew book, Haifa 1974/7]. Naṭrunai Gaon. 1994. The Responsa of Rav Naṭrunai bar Hillai Gaon. Ed. Yerahmeiel Brody. 2 vols. Jerusalem: Ofek Library [Hebrew]. Newby, Gordon D. 1971. ‛Observations about an early Judaeo-Arabic’. Jewish Quarterly Review 61,3. 212–221. ——. 1988. A History of the Jews of Arabia: From Ancient Times to Their Eclipse under Islam. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. Noja, Sergio. 1979. ‛Testimonianze epigrafiche di Giudei nell’Arabia settentrionale’. Bibbia e Oriente 21. 283–316. Piamenta, Moshe. 1990–1991. Dictionary of Post-Classical Yemeni Arabic. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill.

written judeo-arabic: colloquial vs. middle arabic


Polliack, Meira and Somekh, Sasson. 2000. ‛The Hebrew-Arabic glossaries from the Cairo Geniza’. Pe‛amin 83. 15–47 [Hebrew]. Robin, Christian Julien. 2001. ‛Les inscriptions de l’Arabie antique et les études arabes’. Arabica 48,4. 509–577. ——. 2006. ‛La réforme de l’écriture arabe à l’époque du califat médinois’. Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph 59. 319–364. Schoeler, Gregor. 2002. Écrire et transmettre dans les débuts de l’Islam. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. Shraybom Shivtiel, Shlomit. 1999. ‛Language and political change in modern Egypt’. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 137. 131–140. ——. 2005. The Renaissance of the Arabic Language and the Idea of Nationalism in Egypt. Jerusalem: Magnes. [Hebrew]. Tedghi, Joseph. 1997. ‛The interlacing of Hebrew characters in the North African JudeoArabic’. Studies in the Hebrew Language and Its Literature: Proceedings of the 11th Scholarly Conference in Europe (University of Helsinki). Jerusalem: Brit ‛Ivrit ‛Olamit. 91–106 [Hebrew]. ——. 2002. ‛Usages de la graphie hébraïque dans la transcription des parlers judéo-arabes modernes au Maghreb’. Caubet, Dominique et al. (eds.), Codification des langues de France. Actes du Colloque “Les langues de France et leur codification,” écrits divers—écrits ouverts. Paris: Harmattan. 415–441. Tobi, Yosef. 1991. ‛Between tafsir and sharh: Saʿadia Gaon’s translation of the Bible among the Jews of Yemen’. Avishur, Yitzhak (ed.), Studies in the History and Culture of Iraqi Jewry 6. Or Yehuda: The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center. 127–138 [Hebrew]. ——. 1993. ‛Pre-Saʿadianic Arabic Translation of the Pentateuch’. Massorot 7. 87–127 [Hebrew]. ——. 1996. ‛Another popular Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch’. Moshe Bar-Asher (ed.), Studies in Hebrew and Jewish Languages Presented to Shelomo Morag. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute. 481–501 [Hebrew]. ——. 1998. ‛The phonetically written tafsīr alfāẓ to Exodus and other passages of popular translation’. Ben ‛Ever La-‛Arav 1. 53–74 [Hebrew]. ——. 1999. ‛The Hebrew-Arabic component in Written Yemenite Judeo-Arabic Literature’. Morag, Shelomo et al. (eds.), Vena Hebraica in Judaeorum Linguis: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Jewish Languages (Milan, October 23–26, 1995). Milano: Università degli Studi de Milano (Studi camitosemitici 5) 399–415 [Hebrew]. —— and Tobi, Zivia. 2000. La Littérature judéo-arabe en Tunisie (1850–1950). Lod: Orot Yahadut Ha-Maghreb [Hebrew]. ——. 2001. ‛On the antiquity of the Judeo-Arabic biblical translation and a new piece of an ancient Judeo-Arabic translation to the Pentateuch’. Ben ‛Ever La-‛Arav 2. 17–60 [Hebrew]. ——. 2004a. Proximity and Distance: Medieval Arabic and Hebrew Poetry. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 27). ——. 2004b. ‛The orthography of pre-Saadianic Judaeo-Arabic compared with the orthography of the inscriptions of pre-Islamic Arabia’. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 34. 343–349. ——. 2006. Poetry, Judeo-Arabic Literature and the Geniza. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University [Hebrew]. ——. 2010. ‛Literature, Judeo-Arabic’. Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World 3. 271–278. Leiden: Brill. Vajda, Georges. 1980. ‛Judaeo-Arabic’. Encyclopaedia of Islam2 4. Leiden: Brill. 303–307. Wagner, Esther-Miriam. 2010. Linguistic Variety of Judaeo-Arabic in Letters from the Cairo Genizah. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 41).

Yefet ben ʿEli’s Commentary on the Book of Zechariah Kees de Vreugd Summary: Yefet ben ʿEli, one of the most prolific Karaite exegetes, attacks his opponents, the Rabbanites, in his commentary on the Book of Zechariah. Yefet interprets the thief in Chapter 5 as the people who omit words from the Sacred Text or pervert its meaning. He further maintains that the ephah and the talent of lead in the same chapter represent respectively the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Aggadot. In Chapter 11, Yefet denounces the leaders who invalidated the tradition after the decease of the prophets.

1. Karaism and Its Main Tenets The origins of Karaism, which is a Jewish movement, are still covered in obscurity. According to Rabbanical authors, Karaism was founded by the exilarch Anan ben David (eighth century CE). The movement is characterized by the rejection of the authority of the Babylonian Talmud, adherence to the Scripture, the use of Psalms in the synagogue, strict marriage legislation and the determination of the calendar by means of natural observance. The Karaites (Hebrew qaraʾim, benei miqraʾ) derive their name from the Hebrew word for Scripture (miqraʾ). 2. Daniel al-Qūmisī, The First Karaite, and His Work Daniel al-Qūmisī, who emigrated to Jerusalem during the last quarter of the ninth century, was the first Karaite to explicitly attack Rabbanite Judaism. He composed a commentary in Hebrew on the Minor Prophets called Pitron Šeneim ʿAsar. In his comment on Joel 3:5 ‫כי בהר ציון ובירושלם‬ ‫( תהיה פליטה‬For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance) al-Qūmisī predicted the return of Israel to the observation of the law: ‫הם באים מן המדינות אל ירושלם לתשובה ולשמור מצות טרם עת צרה‬ ‫ככ׳ כי עם בציון ישב בירושלם וג׳ כצפרים עפות כן יגן יהוה צבאות על‬ ‫ ועל כן אמר כי בהר ציון ובירושלים תהיה פליטה‬.‫ בעת צרה‬. . .  ‫ירושלם‬ ‫ ובשרידים גם הם דורשי תורת‬.‫כאשר אמר ה׳ על ידי נביאים אחרים‬ ‫ה׳ אשר יותרו בארצות אויביהם אשר ה׳ קורא בארצות אויביהם לקבץ‬ .‫אותם‬ They will come from the lands to Jerusalem for penitence and in order to observe the commandments before the time of trouble, as it is said For the


kees de vreugd people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem (Isa. 30:19), As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem (Isa. 31:5) . . . in the time of trouble. Therefore (the prophet) says: For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD had said through other prophets. Also among the remnant are those seeking the law of the LORD who are left in the lands of their enemies whom the LORD is calling in order to gather them in the lands of their enemies.1

Commenting on Zech. 1:5–6 .‫אבותיכם איה הם והנבאים הלעולם יחיו‬

‫אך דברי וחקי אשר ציויתי את עבדי הנביאים הלוא השיגו אבותיכם‬

(Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live for ever? But My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, did they not get hold of your fathers?,( al-Qūmisī admonishes his brethren, the Rabbanites, to return to the law of God as delivered by His servant Moses: ‫ שובו אחינו אל תורת‬.‫ ואשרי צדיקים ואוי לרשעים‬.‫ואשרי שומרי תורתו‬ ‫ עשו חסד עם‬.‫ ככ׳ ועוכר שארו אכזרי‬,‫ה׳ ואל תהיו אכזר על נפשכם‬ ‫נפשכם ככ׳ גומל נפשו איש חסד‬ Happy are those who keep His law. Happy are the righteous, but woe to the wicked. Return, o our brethren [the Rabbanites] to the law of the LORD, and be not cruel to yourselves, as it is written He that is cruel troubleth his own flesh (Prov. 11:17). Be benevolent to yourselves, as it is written The merciful man doeth good to his own soul (Prov. 11:17).2

3. Yefet ben ʿEli and His Literary Activity Yefet ben ʿEli, whose full Arabic name is Abū ʿAlī Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī al-Lāwī al-Baṣrī, was a Karaite Biblical exegete whose literary activity took place in the second half of the tenth century. The nisba ‘al-Baṣrī’ indicates that he probably originated from Baṣra, a city in south-eastern Iraq. According to S. Pinsker,3 Yefet may have lived for a period of 95 years, a considerable part of which he spent in Jerusalem, where he commented in Arabic on the entire Hebrew Bible. The Karaites accused the Rabbanites of introducing traditions created by man, which they denounced as miṣvat ’anashim melummadah (taught by the precept of men), which is an expression taken from Isa. 29:13: ‫ויאמר‬

‫אדני יען כי נגש העם הזה בפיו ובשפתיו כבדוני ולבו רחק ממני ותהי‬ ‫( יראתם אותי מצות אנשים מלמדה‬Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch  Al-Qūmīsī 1957: 30.  Al-Qūmisī 1957: 62. 3  Pinsker 1860: II 88. 1


yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men).4 Yefet be ʿEli comments on this verse: ‫לתה‬ ֗ ‫פדכר להם ֗ת‬ ֗ ‫ומאכרהם פי דינה‬ ֗ ‫מדהב האולי אלקום‬ ֗ ‫ערף‬. . . . ]‫ב‬33[ ‫רץ פיה עבאדתהם לה וליס יעבדו‬ ֗ ‫ואלג‬ ֗ ‫ אחדהמא ִּכי נִ ּגַ ׁש ָה ָעם ַהּזֶ ה‬.‫אשיא‬ ‫רץ פיה אנהם‬ ֗ ‫ואלג‬ ֗ ‫ּוב ְׂש ָפ ָתיו ִּכ ְּבדּונִ י‬ ִ ‫ואלתאני ְּב ִפיו‬ ֗ .‫דינה כמא פעל אלאבא‬ .‫ואיצא יקדון פיה‬ ֗ ‫א] קול אללה ואנביאה וידכון ען כתאבה‬34[ ‫יצדקון‬ ‫ולדלך‬ ֗ ‫פראיץ בידהם יעתקדון פיהא אנהא ען אללה‬ ֗ ‫אלת פעלהם‬ ֗ ‫ואלת‬ ֗ ‫חית אן אללה לם‬ ֗ ‫קאל וַ ְּת ִהי יִ ְר ָא ָתם א ִֹתי וקולה ִמ ְצוַ ת ֲאנָ ִׁשים ְמ ֻל ָּמ ָדה מן‬ ‫יאמר בהא ואנמא הו שי ֗וצעה מן אנפסהם ועלמוהא ללגמאעה ונקלוהא‬ ‫ענהם ויעלמון בהא וידינון אללה באסתעמאלהא ואללה ינכר ֗דלך עליהם‬ ‫נכאף אללה ונדינה כמא אמרנא פי שריעתה אלתי ענה‬ ֗ ‫אד אנמא יגב אן‬ ֗ ‫ פאמא אמר ר׳ פלוני כך וכך וכך התקין ר׳ פלוני פלא יגוז אן‬.‫יען נביה‬ ‫ וקולה וְ ִלּבֹו ִר ַחק ִמ ֶּמּנִ י יריד בה אן קלובהם מנצרפה עמא‬.‫נלתפת אליה‬ .‫יגב אסתעמאלה יעני שריעתה‬ [33b]. . . . (God) informs about the teaching of these people and their backsliding in His religion and He states to them three things: firstly, Forasmuch as this people draw near (Me); the intention of which is their worship of Him, albeit they do not serve Him as the fathers did. Secondly, With their mouth and with their lips they honour Me; the meaning is, they believe [34a] the word of God and His prophets, but they destroy His word and even cut in it. Thirdly, their deeds are precepts of themselves; they believe in them that they are from God; therefore He says It became their fear toward Me; and the statement A precept taught by men, because God did not command it, but it is only something imposed by themselves and they teach this to the community, they transmit it to them and teach it and serve God by its observance. But God censures them for this, as we ought to fear God and serve Him as He has commanded us in His Torah on His authority, that is, His prophet. As for (the statement) Rabbi So and So has ordered this or that, Rabbi So and So has ordained, we should not pay attention to it. By the statement But they have removed their heart far from Me He means their hearts have departed from what His service requires, that is, His Torah.5

The fierce attacks by Saʿadya Gaon, the head of the academy in Sura, were the driving force for the Karaites to settle in Jerusalem at the beginning of the tenth century. Yefet also went to live in Jerusalem, where he belonged to the esteemed leaders of the Karaite movement, and was known by honorific titles such as maskil ha-golah (teacher of the exile), ha-sar (the prince), aš-šaix

 This verse is also quoted in Matthew 15:8 and in Mark 7:7.  See BL Or 2502; fol. 33b–34a.

4 5


kees de vreugd

al-fāḍil (the distinguished elder), ha-palīl ha-’aṣīl (the noble judge), and roš ha-potrim (chief of the interpreters). 4. The Decline of Prophecy after the Exile The prophecy of Zechariah is very hard to understand, as Rashi6 testifies in his comment on the first verse:7 “The prophecy of Zechariah is extremely sealed up (setūmah meʼod), because it contains visions resembling a dream that requires an interpretation. We are not able to ascertain the truth of it until the teacher of righteousness (moreh ṣedeq) comes”. R. Qimḥi8 remarks: “The visions of Zechariah are very obscure, like those of Daniel, but the visions of the other prophets are not so. The reason is that the power of prophecy had been gradually exhausted since the days of the exile. Therefore they did not make their words clear, and did not understand the visions as they were”. Concerning prophecy, Maimonides distinguishes eleven degrees thereof. The highest rank is that occupied by Moses.9 Yefet, meanwhile, lists five degrees of prophecy in descending order in his comment on Zech 1:8 (I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse). Yefet states: ‫א] �يري��د ب��ه ب�ا ح��لو �ه�لا ي�لا‬54[ ‫יתי ַה ַּליְ ָלה] ق�ي���ل ا ن��ه‬ ִ ‫ و ق�و �ل�ه ر ا ي�ث�� �ه�لا ي�ل [ ָר ִא‬. . . ]‫ב‬53[ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ .�‫[ ַּב ֲחלֹום ַהּליְ ָלה] و �هي� ا د و ا � �مر ا ت� ب� ا �ل ن����بو‬

� ‫و �ذ �ل�ك ا ن� �مر ا ت� ب� ا �لن����بو�ة خ��م��س��ة وا ن�ا ا �ش��ر‬ .‫�ح�ه�ا ب�ا خ�ت�����ص�ا ر‬

6  Acronym of Rabbi Shlomoh ben Yiṣḥaq (1040–1105), a leading commentator on the Bible and Talmud. See Encyclopaedia Judaica 2nd ed. 17: 101–106 (Rothkoff et al. 2007). 7  The following quotations of commentaries by the Jewish exegetes Rashi, Qimḥi, and Ibn Ezra are taken from the Miqra’ot Gedolot 1975, Jerusalem: Eshkol. 8  David Qimḥi, known as Radak from the acronym of Rabbi David Kimḥi (1160?–1235?), grammarian and exegete; see Encyclopaedia Judaica 2nd ed. 12: 155–156 (Talmage 2007). 9  Maimonides (1974) part 2, chapter 45: The degrees of prophecy are: 1. Man is accompanied by divine help which arouses and encourages him to perform a great act of importance; 2. It makes man feel as if some word has fallen upon him, and a strange power has seized him which makes him speak words of wisdom or praise or reproof; 3. One who says ‘the word of the LORD came to me’; 4. One who hears words in a dream of prophecy, distinct and clear, but without seeing the speaker; 5. When someone speaks to him in a dream; 6. When an angel speaks to him; 7. When one sees in a dream of prophecy as if the Exalted speaks with him, like Isaiah; 8. When a vision comes to him, and he sees allegories, like Abraham concerning the Covenant of the Pieces; 9. When one hears words in a vision, like those spoken to Abraham ‘This shall not be thine heir’ (Gen. 15:4); 10. when one sees a man speaking with him, like Abraham in the plains of Mamre; and 11. When one sees an angel speaking to him in a vision, like Abraham during the binding of Isaac.

yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


‫�ذ‬ ‫ت �ة ن‬ ‫ش‬ ֶ ‫ا ح�د �ه�ا ف��ا ا �ل��ف� �ا [ ֶּפה ֶא‬ �‫ל־ּפה] و �هي� �مر �ب�� ر ب�ي��و �مو����ا [ ַר ֵּבנּו מֹשה] ع� ي�ل��ه ا �ل��س�لا م ا �ل� �ي‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�م�ا �ق�ا ل ولا �ق�ا ن�ا �� �عو�ذ ب��ي��سر ا ي� ك‬ ‫א־קם נָ ִביא‬ ָ ֹ ‫��مو�ش���ا [וְ ל‬ �‫ي�ه�ا ا ح�د �م� ن� ا لا ن�ب�ي��ا ك‬ ���� ‫��ه‬ ‫لا �ي ش���ر ك‬ ‫ل‬ ‫م بي‬ .]‫עֹוד ּביִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל ְּכמ ֶֹשה‬ ‫ׁשֹור ִרים] ا � ن‬ ‫־הּק ֶֹדׁש] �ه ��ل �ش‬ ְ ‫م�� و ر ري� [ ְמ‬ ַ ‫רּוח‬ ַ [ ���‫و د و ن���ه�ا ر و �ه���قود ش‬ ‫ع�� ����سي���د ن�ا �مو�ش���ا‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ف و ي� نل � �ذ ث نم‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ּובנֵ י־‬ ְ ‫ּוׁשֹלמֹה‬ ְ ‫מׁשה וְ ָדוִ ד‬ ֶ [ �‫و �ذ ا وي��ذ و �ش����لو�مو و ب� ن�� �قو ر ا ��س�ا �� �هي�����م�ا � وي� و�و‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ي‬ .]‫ימן וִ ידּותּון‬ ָ ‫ק ַֹרח ָא ָסף ֵה‬ ‫מּואל] ��ذ � �ق‬ ‫د ن��ه�ا مخ �ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ف‬ ‫�خ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ش‬ ‫ث‬ �‫و و‬ ‫��ا ط ب��� ا �ل���م�لا ���� �ا �ه�ا �م���ل �مر �ب�� � �ش� ���موا ي�ل [ ְׁש ֵ ا ل� ي� �ا ل وي�ا ب�و‬ ّ ‫׳׳׳وي��تي����ص�ا ب� و�ي��ق��ر ا خ���ف� �ا �ع ب���ف� �ا �ع � �ش� ���موا ي�ل � �ش� ���موا ي�ل [וַ יָ בֹא יהוה וַ ּיִ תיַ ֵּצב וַ ּיִ ְק ָרא ְכ ַפ ַעם־‬ ‫ � ثم � ا � ا ن� ف� ا � ف� �ة ا ل �خ �ة ا � �ذ � �ة ف� ف‬.]‫מּואלم‬ � ֵ ‫ְּב ַפ ַעם ְׁש‬ � ‫ص‬ �� � ‫מּואל ְׁש ֵ و م���ل م�ا ر ي� د ي��ا ل ي� ل�د ��ع� ا ��ير ل���م� كو ر ي� ل‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ش‬ � ‫ب��و �ع��سر� وا ر ب�ا ع�ا لا‬ .]‫حود ��� �ه�ا ر �ي �ش�� و� [ ְּביֹום ֶע ְׂש ִרים וְ ַא ְר ָּב ָעה ַלח ֶֹדׁש ָה ִראׁשֹון‬ ‫يم‬ ‫ي م‬ ‫יׁש ְעיָ הּו] �غ �ه ��ذ � ن ن ن ظ ن � �ذ‬ �‫و د و ن���ه�ا �مرت�ب���ة ي‬ ַ ִ‫ح�ز �ق�ا ل و�ي �ش�� �ا �عي���ا �هو[יְ ֶחזְ ֶקאל ו‬ � �‫و ��ير م ا ل� ي‬ ‫كا �و ي�����ر و� �كي����بو‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�ق ش ف‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫� ت‬ � �‫� لا �ي�ع�� ��لوا ���ي� �ي� ا �ل�د ن�ي��ا �ي� ا �لو�� ت‬ ‫׳׳׳ [ ְּכבֹוד יהוה] ا و �م�لا �ي�م [ ַמ ְל ָא ִכים] و هم ��س كو‬ ‫�ه � �ش �غ‬ �‫ا �ل��ذ �� ي‬ .‫��م�� �ا � ي���ل‬ �‫كا ل‬ � ‫�خ�ا ط��بوا ب�ل م‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫ق‬ ‫�خ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ � ‫و د و ���ه�ا �مر �ب�� �ري�ا ا ��ل�� هي� ب�ا ح��لو �ه�ل ي�ل [ ַּב ֲחלֹום ַה ָּל ָילה] ا �ل���� �� ح��ل �ه������ا‬ ‫ي‬ ‫و ر � ب�ي� وم ب ي يم‬ ّ ‫ف �م ن �ذ ن‬ ‫יאים] ��� ن‬ ] ‫ר‬ ‫אּצ‬ ַ ֶ‫נ‬ ‫ד‬ ְ ‫בּוכ‬ ַ ְ‫ּונ‬ ‫ֹה‬ ‫ע‬ ‫ר‬ ְ ‫ּפ‬ ַ ‫לֹום‬ ‫ח‬ ֲ [ ִ ‫[ ֲחלֹום ַהנְּ ִב‬ � ‫�ه‬ ‫ع‬ ‫�ل‬ ‫ا‬ � � ‫ح‬ � � � ‫ح‬ ‫ص‬ � �� � ‫ر‬ ‫و‬ ‫و بي� وم ر و و بو‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫خ‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫خ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫كا ب�و و�ي��س���م�عوا �م����ه� ���ط�ا ب� ر ب� ا �ل�ع��ل �ب��ا ر ك‬ � ‫�ه� ا و �هو ا � ا ��ل��ب�ي��ا ي�م �ير و �م�لا ي�م و‬ ‫م‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫هم ك ق‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫���ة ف�� ا �ل‬ ‫ك‬ ‫ن � ا‬ �‫خ‬ � � ‫ح��لو ا �ل� �ي� ر ا‬ ‫�م�ا ��ا ل‬ ‫قو ��ع�ا لي� �م�ا ��س���مع د ا �ي�ق�ا ل ��ط�ا ب� ر ب� ا �ل�ع��لم �م�� ا ل���م�ل ء ك ي‬ ‫م‬ .]‫ן־ק ֲא ַמּיָ א‬ ָ ‫ל־חד ִמ‬ ַ ‫�ر ب�ي�� ت� ع�ل ح�ا د �م� ن� ��ا �ميّ���ا [ ִק ְר ַבת ַע‬ [53b] . . . Concerning his saying I saw by night, it is said that [54a] he means ‘In a dream of the night’; this is the least degree of prophecy. Now there are five degrees of prophecy, and I will explain them briefly.10 1. Firstly, Mouth to mouth (Nu. 12:8); this is the degree belonging to our master Moses (peace be upon him), which none of the prophets shared with him, as it is said And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses (Dt. 34:10). 2. Below this is the Holy Spirit, which belongs to the poets, such as our master Moses, David, Solomon, the children of Korah, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun.  Frank 2004: 101: ‘We have found the degrees of prophetic experience to be six in number’ (taken from Yefet’s commentary on Numbers 12:6,7). Yefet lists them here in the following descending order: 1. That of Moses—mouth to mouth—a rank in which no other prophet shared; 2. That of the ‘Holy Spirit’, given to Moses and many other prophets; 3. The rank of Samuel, who used to hear God’s speech; 4. That of beholding a vision, which is the rank of Aaron, Miriam, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and most of the other prophets; 5. The rank of Daniel, who beheld an angel speaking and heard his speech; and 6. The rank of dreams. 10


kees de vreugd 3. Below this is the word of the angel, orally, such as the decree of Samuel, which said And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel (1S. 3:10). And such as what Daniel saw the last time in the chapter And in the four and twentieth day of the first month (Dan. 10:4). 4. Below this is the degree of Ezekiel, Isaiah and others who, while keeping silent, would behold the glory or angels, not paying heed to the things of the human world while they were being addressed, but rather in a state of preoccupation. 5. Below this is the rank of Zechariah, which was in a dream by night. The difference between a dream of the prophets and the dream of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar is this: the prophets see angels and the glory and hear from them the word of the LORD of the universe (may He be praised and exalted), such as Daniel heard the word of the LORD of the universe from the angels in the dream which he saw, as it is said ‘I came unto one of them that stood by’ (Dan 7,16).11

Likewise, Zechariah heard the word of the LORD of the universe from the angel of the LORD. In Zechariah Chapter 5:1–4 the prophet sees a flying scroll, its length and breadth 20 cubits, entering into the house of the thief and into the house of him who swears falsely in the LORD’s name. Yefet comments upon it as follows: ‫ّن‬ ّ ‫ن �ذ‬ ‫ق ق‬ ‫ل�ا ب� ا ل[גַ ּנָ ב] �هو ك‬ ��‫و ��ا ل �و ا � �ه� ا ا � ك‬. . . . ]‫א‬82[ ‫�ون�ي�� ب� �م�د �بر �ي� ייי [גֹנב ִמ ִּד ְב ֵרי‬ ‫م‬ ٰ ‫ت‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ق‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ّ �غ‬ ‫ن‬ �� �‫ �ي �ش�� ��ير ب��ه ا لي� ا �ل���قو ا �ل� �ي� ��سر �وا �م� ن‬.]‫יהוה‬ �‫كا ب� ا �ل��ل�ه و ��ير وا �م�ع�ا �ي��ه و �ل�ك ع��لي‬ ‫م‬ ‫ض‬ .�‫��ر و ب‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ق �ة‬ . ���‫��م ن����ه� �م� ن� ن���ق�����ص ا ش�����ي���ا �م� ن� ا �ل���م�د و� �مث���ل ا �ل���ص�د و �ي‬ ‫م‬ ّٰ ‫ت‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫�غ � ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫خ ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ق‬ ‫���ه�ه �و �ض‬ �� ‫و�م ن����ه� �م� ن� ����ص�د ا لي� ا � �ي�ع��بر‬ ‫كا ب� ا �ل��ل�ه ع��لي� ��ير و ج‬ �‫�ع �م� ا �ه� ب� ب��لا �� �م�ا �ي‬ ‫م‬ ّٰ ‫ت‬ ‫ق‬ ‫�ة‬ .‫كا ب� ا �ل��ل�ه و �ي����ص���ب�ه�ا د لا �ل� �ل�ه‬ �� �‫תֹורה] وا ��ست��ر � ا �ل��ف� �ا ظ� �م� ن‬ ָ ‫ا � ت�ل�و ر ا [ا ل‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ذ ن �ف‬ � ‫و �ه� ا ا �ل�� ش�����ب���اع [الנִ ְׁש ָּבע] ي� �ش�� ��ير ب��ه ا لي� ا �ه�ل ب�ا ي� ث� �ش���ي� ن�ي� [ ַּבית ֵׁשנִ י] ا �ل� �ي� ح��ل� وا ا‬ ّٰ ‫���س�� ا ف� ت� ا ث‬ ‫�م�ا ق��ا ل م‬ � �‫ּתֹורת יהוה] ع��ل� �م�ا ا و ج�� ب� ا �ل��ل�ه ك‬ ]‫ב‬82[ ‫ح�ز ي����ق ي� ع�ل‬ ַ [ ‫� ייי‬ ‫ي ير و ي� و ر‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ّ ‫�ا � �ا لا � ش������� ع�ا لا لا خ�� ث� �ت� ا ث‬ �‫ا‬ � � ‫יקים ַעל־‬ ִ ִ‫�ه� [ ַמ ֲחז‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ا‬ � ‫ه‬ ‫ا‬ � ‫ه‬ ���‫ح‬ � ‫ب ور‬ ‫و مي‬ ‫ي�ه�ا م ا د �يري��� م و ب يم ب و ب بو‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ � ִ ‫תֹורת ָה ֱא‬ ַ ‫בּועה ָל ֶל ֶכת ְּב‬ ָ ‫ּוב ְׁש‬ ִ ‫ּוב ִאים ְּב ָא ָלה‬ ָ ‫יהם‬ ֶ ‫ּדיר‬ ֵ ‫יהם ַא‬ ֶ ‫ֲא ֵח‬ ��‫ֹלהים] ر ج� ��عوا �م‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف� خ� ا ا � ا ف� �ق �ة ف� � ذ � ا ف� ا ن‬ ‫ب��ع�د �ل�ك و ��س�� و ل���مو �� � ك‬ . �‫��� بو ي� ي����م�ا ���ه‬ ‫م‬ [82a] . . . Some say that this thief is one who steals from the words of the LORD.12 It refers to people who have stolen from the book of God and changed its meanings in various ways:  See Ms. BL. Or. 2550; p. 53b–54a.  Al-Qūmisī (1957: 66): ‫ומענה הגונב מגנבי דברי יהיו כלם במגלה הזאת נקה וערום‬ .‫‘ ועריה מכל טובות עפה מכל ברכות כי כל טובתם כנשר ועוף השמים‬The meaning of the thief is—those that steal My words will all be according to this scroll destitute, devoid 11


yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


Among them are those who omitted things from the recorded text, such as the Sadducees.13 And among them are those who intended to interpret the Scriptures of God in ways which are incorrect and who imposed doctrines contrary to what is in the Torah and have stolen words from the word of God and have cast them into a hermeneutical rule for it (the word of God). And this swearer refers to the people of the second temple who swore to walk in the law of the LORD according to what God had enjoined, as it is written They clave [82b] to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath to walk in God’s law (Neh. 10:29); but they turned back afterwards and revoked the agreement and became unfaithful to their belief.’14

In the following verses (Zech. 5:5–10) an ephah15 [Ar. wayba] is shown to the prophet with a woman sitting in its midst while a weight of lead is being lifted up. The angel who used to talk to Zechariah said to him This is wickedness [Heb. rišʿah], and he cast her into the midst of the ephah. Then the prophet saw two women with wings like those of a stork, who carried the ephah between heaven and earth. The angel told Zechariah that a house would be built for it in the East. Yefet comments: ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫��ا �ع ف��ا ث‬ ָ ‫وا �م�ا ا لا ي���ف� �ا ا ل ֵא‬. . . . ]‫א‬87[ ‫יפה و ك‬ ‫� و ִּכ ַּכר ע ֶֹפ ֶרת ����ه���م�ا �م� ا �ه� ب� ا ب��د �عو�ه�م�ا‬ ‫� ك� ر و ر‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�� ض‬ ‫יפה �ه ا �ل� ش‬ �‫� ك‬ ָ ‫ ��ا لا ي����ق�ا ��ا ل ֵא‬.‫ع���� ا لا �م��ة ب��ع�د ا ن����صر ا �ف� ا لا ن�ب�ي��ا‬ ‫��م�����ن���ا ه ا ل ִמ ְשׁנָ ה و ك‬ ‫��ا ر‬ �‫ي‬ ‫ب‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ث‬ ‫�ع ��ا ث‬ .‫� و ا ل ַאּגָ דֹות‬ � ‫� و ִּכ ַּכר ע ֶֹפ ֶרת �هي� ا � ت�ل��ل�مو ا ل ַּת ְלמוּד وا ل ا‬ ‫و ر‬ ‫كا و‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫� ت‬ ‫وا �م�ا ا لا �ش���ا ا ل ִא ָּשׁה ف����ه� ا �ل‬ � .�‫���� ب‬ ‫�و ري� ن� �ي� �ه��ذه ا ل ك‬ ‫ح�� خ��ا � يم� ا ل ֲח ָכ ִמים ا �ل���م� ك‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫�خ‬ ‫ا �م�ا ش�����ت���ا � ن�ا �ش��� ְשׁ ַּתיִ ם נָ ִשׁים ف���ه� ا �ل���مث������ت���� ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ة �ش‬ ְ ‫ي� ا ل ְמ ִת‬ �‫יב ַתין ا ��ل�ي� ا �لوا ح�د � ب�ا �ل�� �ا م وا لا �ر �ي‬ ‫�م يب‬ ‫و ق يم ف �ذ يم‬ ‫�ق‬ � .�‫ ����ه� ا ا �ل�� ول ج �م��ل‬.� ‫ب�ا �ل�عر ا‬ ‫ي‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ث� ن‬ ‫��ا �ع ��ا ث‬ ‫ف� ن ن � ن‬ ָ ‫ع�� ف�� ت����مث��ي���ل ا �ل���م� ا �ه� ب� ب�ا ي���ف� �ا ب� ֵא‬ ‫� و ִּכ ַּכר ע ֶֹפ ֶרת‬ ‫יפה و ك‬ ‫� ك� ر و ر‬ ‫م ��عود �� ب��ي��� ا ل���م� ي ي‬ ‫وت����مث��ي��� ا �ص‬ � .‫ح�ا ب���ه�ا ب�ا �ش���ا ب� ִא ָּשׁה و ن�ا �ش��ي� وנָ ִשׁים‬ ‫ل‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫ف����ق��� ا ن ا �ل ��� ا �ل����ص ن������ ��ه���م�ا �ت��ع�ا �م��ل ا � ن�ل��ا �� ��ه�ا ت���� ن د �ا ن�ا ت‬ ]‫ב‬87[ ‫� ا � ن�ل��ا ��س و �م‬ � � ‫ي‬ ‫ب‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫ج‬ � � ‫س‬ ‫و‬ �‫ي‬ ‫ب ب‬ ‫ي‬ ‫يل‬ ‫ويب‬ ‫ع‬ ‫ف‬ �‫�ذ �ل�ك ف��ل��ي�� ي ج‬ �‫�و ن� �ق�د ب‬ .‫�خ��س‬ ‫�و �ز لا ح�د ي��ز ي��د ع��لي���ه�ا ولا ي�ن�ق�����ص �م ن����ه�ا �ي�� ك‬ ‫س‬

and deprived from all the goods; Flying from all the blessings, for all their good is like an eagle and bird of heaven’. 13  Or Zadokites, named after Zadok, a student of Antigonos of Sokho (see Encyclopædia Judaica, vol. 3, p. 67). According to al-Qirqisānī, the Zadokites rejected the belief of reward and punishment and the afterlife. See Erder 2003: 123. 14  See Ms. BL.Or. 2550, fols. 82a–82b. 15  The ephah is a corn measure (see Koehler-Baumgartner 1958: 40); however, in Zach. 5:6 it should probably be interpreted as a vessel; see also Goodman 2002: 314.

‫‪kees de vreugd‬‬

‫ ‪286‬‬

‫�ذ‬ ‫ف��ل�م�ا د ن� ا �ل���ق ا �ل� ش‬ ‫��م�����ن���ا ا ل ִמ ְשׁנָ ה وا � ت�ل��ل�مو وا لתַּ ְלמוּד وا �ل�ز �موا ا لا �م��ة ا لا ����ست���ع���م�ا ل ب����م�ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫وم‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�س‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ي�ه���م�ا و ج ��ع���ل�ه���م�ا د ����س��و ر �ل�ه� ور و ي ج و وا لا ح�د ا � ي���ع�د �ي� ر ��س����م�ه� ولا ي ي��د‬ ‫����‬ ‫م م‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫ولا ي�ن�ق�����ص‪.‬‬ ‫َ ثّ ت‬ ‫ن ف ن‬ ‫ن �ة ن‬ ‫� ك�‬ ‫������ب�ه� ب�ا �ي��ف� �ا ب� ֵא ָ‬ ‫יפה و ك‬ ‫�م���ل �ك‬ ‫��ا ر و ִּכ ַּכר‪ .‬وا �ل���م�ع�ي� �ي� ا � ج� ��ع�ل ا �ل����ص���� ج�� �م�� ر �ص�ا �ص �هو‬ ‫م‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫�ظ‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫��ل�يو ر �ي� �ل��م�ه� لا � ا ل����ص���� ج � ا لر�ص�ا ص هي� ��ص���� ج � �ا ��س�د � ولا ي ج و ا � �ي����س���ع���م�ل ولا‬ ‫م‬ ‫ي�ت��ع�ا �م�ل ب���ه�ا‪.‬‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫كا ن� ا � ت�ل��ل�م ا ل ַּת ְלמוּד ا � �ش�� �م� ن ا �ل� ش‬ ‫ن‬ ‫��م�����ن���ا ا ل ִמ ְשׁנָ ה و �ي���ه �م� ا �ه� ب� � ب����ي���‬ ‫��ل�م�ا �‬ ‫و‬ ‫بع �‬ ‫ح� �م���م��لوا �م��‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ف ث‬ ‫�خ ا ف��ا ت‬ ‫עֹופ ֶרת ا �ل� ش‬ ‫�‬ ‫� ك�‬ ‫� �مث���ل�ه ب� ك‬ ‫��م�����ن���ا وا ل ִמ ְשׁנָ ה �هي� ا �ص��ل�� �� ي�ل��لا‪.‬‬ ‫��ا ر �عو��ا ر � ب� ִּכ ַּכר ֶ و‬ ‫ا ل�ر‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ن‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ت‬ ‫وت����مث��ي���ل�ه لا �ص‬ ‫ح�ا ب���ه�ا ب�ا �ش���ا � ִא ָשׁה ي�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ح�����م�ل ا ر ب��ع� �م�ع�ا �ي�‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ذ‬ ‫ن ن ق‬ ‫� �غ‬ ‫���ه�ا ل وا �جل‬ ‫ا �م�ا � ن�ل�ق�����ص �م�عر ف�ت����ه� لا ن� ا �ل�ن���س�ا ج�‬ ‫��� �ل�ك �‬ ‫���ه�ل �ا �ل� ب� ع��لي���ه� ‪ .‬و ك‬ ‫كا �وا �ا ����ص‬ ‫م‬ ‫ف�ة‬ ‫���ت�ـ�ا ا �ل�ّ�لٰم�ه ���ط �ق�ه ا لا ف� �� ض‬ ‫ع���� ا لا ش�����ي���ا‪.‬‬ ‫ا �ل���م�عر �� ب� ك ب�‬ ‫ي� ب‬ ‫وب ر‬ ‫ا و � ن�ل�ق�����ص رت�ب���ه� و�م���ق�د ر ت���ه� ف�� �م ب���ا د �� ا �‬ ‫حوا ��ل�ه� ‪.‬‬ ‫ت م ي‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫ة ف‬ ‫ذ‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫حي��� ث� ا �ل���مر ا �ة � �غ�ر ا �جل‬ ‫ا و �م� ن� �‬ ‫�‬ ‫���ه�ا ل وت���ف� ��س�د�هم ب��ل��ط��ف����ه�ا و ك‬ ‫��� �ل�ك ��ل�ه�ا و لي� ا �ل�� وم ح�لا و � �ي�‬ ‫�ق��لو� ا �جل‬ ‫�‬ ‫���ه�ا ل‪.‬‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ن ن ث‬ ‫��ا ����ست‬ ‫���ر � ن� ا �ل ن���� ج��ا ��س��ة و ج�‬ ‫�ث��ر �ة ج�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ل‬ ‫�‬ ‫ا‬ ‫��ا ����ست����ه� ث����ق ي���ل��ة ‪.‬‬ ‫ا‬ ‫�‬ ‫س‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ه‬ ‫ا و �ل‬ ‫��‬ ‫���‬ ‫ا‬ ‫�‬ ‫ل‬ ‫ك‬ ‫ك‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن ت‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ذ‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫ض‬ ‫ث‬ ‫��� ا �ل���م���ص ث‬ ‫�‬ ‫� ا ل ִמ ְצֹות و �م�ا ا �ب�ت��ه ب��ع������ه� �م� �‬ ‫�‬ ‫ح�د ي��د‬ ‫وك‬ ‫��� �ل�ك �ه�ا و لي� ا �ل�� وم �م�ا ��ا �لوه �ي� ا ك ر‬ ‫وو‬ ‫م �‬ ‫ن � ن ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ن‬ ‫خ‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫ا‬ ‫]‬ ‫א‬ ‫[‪88‬‬ ‫�‬ ‫ا � ب�ل��ا ر �ي� �ج �ل و ع�ل و�م�ا �ا لوه �م�� ا ل����ط�ع�� ي� ا �ب�ي��ا ه وا ي���ا ر ه‬ ‫ع��ل� �م�ا �ه �م�ع��ل‬ ‫و وم‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫�غ �ذ‬ ‫�ف‬ ‫�م� ن� �قو��ل�ه� ش�����ي���عو ر �قو�م�ا שֵׁ עוּר ָ‬ ‫קֹומה و ��ير �ل�ك �م���م�ا � �ش�����م�ا �ز ا � ن�ل�� ��س �م� ن� ك‬ ‫�ره ع��لي� ��س�ب�ي��ل‬ ‫�ة م‬ ‫ا �ل‬ ‫�‬ ‫ح ك�‬ ‫��ا ي� ‪.‬‬ ‫ف‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ف‬ ‫ت‬ ‫����� ا �ت�ل� �ه ك ث‬ ‫كا ن� ت� ا ج�ل‬ ‫���لو �‬ ‫��م�ا ع� ت����بر ا �م� ن� ��ا ��ل‬ ‫� �ه��ذه ا �ل���م� ا �ه� ب� ا �ل�� �ا ��س�د � وا �ل ك ب ي� ي�‬ ‫�����ر �م���ل‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ا ث�ّ� ث‬ ‫אֹותּיֹות ֲע ִק ָ‬ ‫� �ع���ق ي�� ب���ا و ����سي�� ف��ر �ه�ا ر ا �ز ي� و�ش��ي� ط�ا �هو ر و�ش��ي� ط�ا م� ִ‬ ‫יבא و ֵס ֶפר ָה ָרזִ ים‬ ‫و يو‬ ‫م ي‬ ‫م‬ ‫م‬ ‫ة‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ت‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫בֹות‬ ‫ּתֹוע‬ ‫ֵ‬ ‫א‬ ‫מ‬ ‫ֵ‬ ‫ט‬ ‫ָ‬ ‫ם‬ ‫ש‬ ‫ֵ‬ ‫הֹור‬ ‫ט‬ ‫ָ‬ ‫ם‬ ‫و ֵש‬ ‫�‬ ‫�‬ ‫و ��س�ا ير � ا �ل�وعي����بو� ا ل‬ ‫و‬ ‫ا �ل�ي� د و�و�ه�ا و هي� ب�ي��د �ي��سر ا ي�ل‬ ‫ٰ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫� �ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ة‬ ‫�ة‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫�ق‬ ‫كا � ا �ل��ل�ه ���ط�ا �ل�� ا �ل�� �ا ��ل�� ن ��ه��ذه ا لا ��ا � ا � ن‬ ‫ع�� ا ب��د عو�ه�ا ي� و ��س��ط ا لا �م� ‪.‬‬ ‫�مو ج�ود � ��� �د �‬ ‫ي ي� ب �‬ ‫ي ب‬ ‫ويل ي‬ ‫‪[87a]. . . . Concerning the ephah and the talent of lead, these are the doc‬‬‫‪trines that some people introduced after the death of the prophets. The‬‬ ‫‪ephah is the Mishnah and the talent of lead is the Talmud and the Aggadot.‬‬ ‫‪Concerning the woman, they are the sages mentioned in these writings.‬‬ ‫‪As to the two women, these are the two academies,16 one of which is in‬‬ ‫‪Syria and the other in Babel.17 This is the matter in summa.18‬‬ ‫יבא“ ‪ Jastrow 1903: 861:‬‬ ‫יב ָּתא ‪ְ ,‬מ ִת ָ‬ ‫‪ְ school, academy”.‬מ ִת ְ‬ ‫‪ Sahl b. Maṣliaḥ (commenting on the two staffs in Zech. 11): ‘. . . And afterwards He‬‬ ‫‪cut off His second staff (Bands) which is the iniquity of the two women (Zech. 5:9) whose‬‬ ‫‪dominion is over Israel in Sura and Anbar (=Pumbaditha) and who led Israel from the‬‬ ‫‪way of the Torah in which the priests, the prophets and our ancient fathers walked, and‬‬ ‫‪instructed them in a precept taught by man’. (See Pinsker 1860, part 2, p. 42).‬‬ ‫‪18‬‬ ‫‪ Ibn Ezra: ‘The meaning of the two women is the two princes of Artaxerxes, who was‬‬ ‫‪king of Babylon, and who made violence to the houses of Israel who were residing in‬‬ ‫‪16‬‬ ‫‪17‬‬

yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


Now we will return and explain the meaning of the representation of the doctrines by the ephah and the talent of lead, and the representation of their adherents by the [single] woman and the two women. It is said that men do business with the ephah and the balance; by them the religious deeds19 of men are made manifest. Moreover [87b], no-one is allowed to add to them or to subtract from them else he would be guilty of fraud. When people put the Mishnah and the Talmud down in writing they compelled the nation to use what was contained in it and made them as a law and statute for them; furthermore they did not allow anyone to transgress its prescriptions or add or subtract. He compared their writings to an ephah and a talent. The meaning that he represented by the weight being of lead is to show their iniquity, because a balance of lead is a false balance and it is not fit to use or to do business with it.20 As the Talmud is more loathsome than the Mishnah, with disgusting doctrines in it, replete with tales, he compared it with a talent of lead, but the Mishnah is a little better. His representation of its authors by a woman admits of four reasons: (1) Either because of a lack of their knowledge, since women are ignorant and stupidity is prevalent in them. And likewise they are deficient in knowledge concerning the book of God and in His ways except in a few matters. (2) Or owing to deficiency of their level and their capacity in the fundamentals of their matters. (3) Or because the woman deceives the ignorant and demoralizes them by her gracefulness; so to these people it is (like) sweetness in the hearts of the foolish. (4) Or because of the multitude of their filthiness, as women are abundant in uncleanness and their uncleanness is serious. Babylon and had remained and did not obey the commandments of the LORD through His prophet, namely to return to the second temple. Behold, these did not allow the woman, who is the house of Israel sitting in the ephah, to escape from there. Being led astray hither and thither, they bring the ephah—the measure which God had decreed to recompense them.’ Abraham Ibn Ezra (1089–1164) was one of the most important Jewish Bible exegetes. He was also a poet, composer of piyyutim, grammarian, translator, philosopher, astronomer, and astrologer. He was born in Tudela, Spain. See Encyclopaedia Judaica 2nd ed vol. 9: 665 (Simon 2007). Qimḥi: And behold, two women. ‘We interpreted one woman as the ten tribes; so we will interpret the two women as Judah and Benjamin who were exiled to Babylon. Although some had long ago gone up from the exile when this vision happened, he showed him the vision for the sake of those who had remained in Babylon and had tarried to go up to Jerusalem, even after they had started to build the temple. He said that he saw these women going forth into ّ ‫ ن‬exile’. 19  Blau 2006: 225b: �� ‫‘ د ي�ا‬religious’.

‫ِ ي‬


‫ ا �ل�د �ا ن�ا ت‬، �‫‘ د �ا ن‬ce qu’on dit ou fait par respect pour la religion’. Dozy 1845: I 482: � ‫ي‬ ‫ِي‬ 20  Al-Qūmisī And behold, . . . a talent of lead. ‘For they substituted the Torah of the LORD, which is more exquisite than silver, with lead, tin and loathsome silver, namely precepts taught by man and deceptive festival seasons’.


kees de vreugd Likewise are these people and what they say about most of the commandments and what some of them have established concerning the unity of the Creator, let Him be exalted, and what they abusively say about His prophets and His excellent ones, [88a] according to what is known from their words in Šiʽur Qomah21 and others of which the soul shrinks back from quoting by way of narration. But if the nation of Israel had dissociated itself from those who hold those pernicious doctrines and the books which are blasphemy, such as the alphabet of Akiva,22 the book of secrets,23 the name of purity and the name of uncleanness24 along with the rest of their abominations which they composed and being found in the hand of Israel, then God would have punished those who hold these tenets, that is to say, those who have introduced them in the midst of Israel’.25

Al-Qūmisī interprets the ephah in Zech. 5:6 ‫( זאת האיפה היוצאת‬This is an ephah that goeth forth) as the law court where justice is perverted: ‫וכתוב בה זאת עינם הוא כת׳ על ראשי ישראל יושבי בבל כי עינם‬ ‫ ואגרותם ושלוחיהם ופקידיהם שולחים בכל הארץ ללקט נכסי‬.‫בכל הארץ‬

‫ישראל אליהם מכל קצות לקחת שוחד ולהטות משפט ולהפך דברי אלהים‬ ‫חיים במצות אנשים מלמדה להצדיק רשע ולהרשיע צדיק לקלל נקיים‬ ‫ ופתרון האיפה מקומם עות המשפט אשר‬.‫ולברך חנפים בדברי שוא ושקר‬ ‫ זאת עינם כאשר כת׳ כי אין עיניך ולבך כי עם על‬.‫יקראו שמו בית דין‬ ‫ ככ׳ לא‬.‫בצעך והם קוראים לנפשם נהורא דעלמא והם חשכה דעלמא‬ .‫ידעו ולא יבינו בחשכת יתהלכו‬

Concerning this, it is written This is their eye (Zech. 5:6). This is written with respect to the heads of Israel, the inhabitants of Babel, For their eye is

21  Lit. ‘the measurement of the height’. Containing a list of the limbs of the divine figure—head, crown, beard, eyes, legs, neck; a list of the measurements of these limbs, given in the Persian unit parasang [= 4 miles]; a list of the holy esoteric names of each limb. See Encyclopædia Judaica vol. 14, col. 1417. Gershom Sholem was the first to suggest that the Šiʽur Komah relies on the anthropomorphic verses of the Song of Songs. Šiʽur Koma is strongly attacked in the Book of the wars of the LORD, written by Salmon b. Yerūḥīm, see pp. 114–124. He is of purer eyes than to exalt Him, see p. 115, line 33). 22  In the ʼOtiyyot de Rabbi Akiva (ʿAqivaʾ 1708) a mystical significance was attached to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In Sefer Yeṣirah (2,2) it is said “Twenty-two foundation letters: He engraved them, He carved them, He permuted them, He weighed them, He transformed them, and with them, He depicted all that was formed and all that would be formed”. 23  Sefer ha-Razim is divided between magical information and descriptions of the celestial realms and the angelic powers governing them. 24  See Qirqisānī (1939–43) Treatise VI.9, vol 3, pp. 575ff (On Magic and whether or not it has any reality); annotated translations: Vajda 1940–45: 89, n. 4 and Nemoy (1986). It was a popular belief that anyone who could get hold of the “Name of Cleanness” (the ineffable Name of God) was enabled to perform miracles; similarly the “Name of Uncleanness” (the secret name of Satan) would lead to denial of all genuine prophecy. 25  See Ms. BL.Or. 2550; fol. 87a–88a.

yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


through all the earth (Zech. 5:6). They send their letters, their ambassadors and their officers throughout all the earth in order to collect for them goods from Israel; from all extremities they accept bribes, they pervert judgement and change the words of the living God by means of the Precept taught by men (Isa. 29:13); they justify the wicked and condemn the righteous, they revile the innocent and bless the hypocrites by words of vanity and deceit. The interpretation of the ephah is: their place of perverting justice, which they name beit din. This is their eye, as it is written But thine eyes and thy heart are not but for thy covetousness (Jer. 22:17); while they call themselves ‘the light of the world’, they are (in fact) ‘the darkness of the world’, as it is written They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness (Ps. 82:5).26

Al-Qūmisī continues on Zech 5:7 ‫וזאת אשה אחת יושבת בתוך האיפה‬ (And this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah): ‫ בדעתי הוא כת׳ על הנקרא ראש הגלות ונקראת אשה‬.‫וזאת אשה אחת‬ ‫ יושבת בתוך‬.‫זונה המתעה כי רבים חללים הפילה ועצמים כל הרוגיה‬ .‫ מדת עוות ומרמה‬,‫ מדה תועבה‬.‫ כאיפת רזון זעומה‬.‫האיפה‬ And this is a woman. In my opinion this refers to the so-called exilarch; she is called a harlot who deludes, For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her (Prov. 7:26). That sitteth in the midst of the ephah. Like The scant measure that is abominable (Micah 6:10). An abominable measure, a measure of perverseness and deceit.27

5. The Unfaithful Shepherds of Israel In Zechariah Chapter 11, the unfaithful shepherds of Israel are charged for their neglect and harshness. In verse 7, God’s care for the poor of the flock is mentioned: And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto Me two staves; the one I called Beauty ‫נ ַֹעם‬, and the other I called Bands ‫ ;ח ְֹב ִלים‬and I fed the flock. ‫וָ ֶא ְר ֶעה ֶאת–צֹאן ַה ֲה ֵרגָ ה‬

‫אתי‬ ִ ‫וּל ַא ַחד ָק ָר‬ ְ ‫אתי נ ַֹעם‬ ִ ‫ח–לי ְשׁנֵ י ַמ ְקלֹות ְל ַא ַחד ָק ָר‬ ִ ‫ָל ֵכן ֲענִ ּיֵ י ַהּצֹאן וָ ֶא ַּק‬ ‫ת–הּצֹאן‬ ַ ‫ח ְֹב ִלים וָ ֶא ְר ֶעה ֶא‬ Yefet comments:

‫ עברת ח ְֹב ִלים מדברין מתל קולה ּכֹל ח ְֹב ֵלי ַהּיָ ם ומעני קולה‬. . . . ]‫ב‬156[ ‫וָ ֶא ְר ֶעה הו ענאיה רב אלעאלמין ְּבצֹאן ַה ֲה ֵרגָ ה פי זמאן ַּביִ ת שֵׁ נִ י ענד‬ ‫תכאמל ִשׁ ְב ִעים ָשׁנָ ה ְל ָב ֶבל אלֿדי ועדהם רב אלעאלמין אנה יפתקדהם‬  See Al-Qūmisī 1957: 66.  See al-Qūmisī 1957: 66.

26 27


kees de vreugd ‫ענד כמאל ִשׁ ְב ִעים ָשׁנָ ה כמא קאל ִּכי–כֹה ָא ַמר יהוה ִּכ ְל ִפי ְמלֹאת ְל ָב ֶבל‬ ‫ פמהמא כאנו תחת ַמ ְלכוּת ָּב ֶבל לם יכן רב‬.‫ִשׁ ְב ִעים ָשׁנָ ה ֶא ְפקֹד ֶא ְת ֶכם‬ ‫ּכֹורשׁ אפתקדהם רב אלעאלמין‬ ֶ ‫א] מא מלך‬157[ ‫אלעאלמין עאני בהם וענד‬ .‫ורעא אחואלהם פהֿדא הו מעני וָ ֶא ְר ֶעה ֶאת–צֹאן ַה ֲה ֵרגָ ה‬ ‫ֿתם קאל ָל ֵכן ֲענִ ּיֵ י ַהּצֹאן פערף אנה עני באלאמה מן אגל אֿכיאר כאנו‬ .‫פיהם והם ֲענִ ּיֵ י ַהּצֹאן‬ ‫ֿתם ערף אנה ענד מא עני בהם ורעאהם אֿכֿד לה ְשׁנֵ י ַמ ְקלֹות אלֿדי מן‬ ‫שאן אלרעאה אלשפקין ירעו אלֿגנם בעצי באידיהם ואֿדא ראוהם קד זאלו‬ ‫ פאלעצאה הי מחמודה ללֿגנם וכמא קאל‬.‫ען אלטריק ארדוהם באלעצאה‬ .‫וּמ ְשׁ ַענְ ֶּתָך ֵה ָּמה יְ נַ ֲח ֻמנִ י‬ ִ ‫ִשׁ ְב ְטָך‬ ‫אלמ ְקלֹות פערף אן אסם אלואחדה נ ַֹעם והו אסם‬ ַ ‫ֿתם ֿדכר אסמא הֿדה‬ ‫דֹורשֵׁ י טֹוב‬ ְ ‫למעניה וישיר בה אלי ָּדנִ ּיֵ אל וְ ָמ ְר ְּד ַכי וְ ַחּגַ י וּזְ ַכ ְריָ ה אלֿדי כאנו‬ .‫אלגֹולה ועמר אלקדס‬ ָ ‫ְליִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל ופי זמאנהם רגעת‬ ‫אתי ח ְֹב ִלים ישיר בה אלי קום בעד אנצראף אלאנביא‬ ִ ‫וּל ַא ַחד ָק ָר‬ ְ ‫וקולה‬ ַ ‫אעני ַחּגַ י וּזְ ַכ ְריָ ה‬ ‫ב] ידברו אחואל אלאמה ויסוסו‬157[ ‫וּמ ְל ָא ִכי פכאנו‬ .‫ּתֹורה אלי אן קרב ֿכראב ַּביִ ת שֵׁ נִ י‬ ָ ‫אמרהא עלי ֶד ֶרך ַה‬ ‫קציתהם עלי יד הולאי ְשׁנֵ י ַמ ְקלֹות עלי‬ ֿ ‫פערף אן כאן רב אלעאלמין יסוס‬ .‫אלמעני אלֿדי שרחנאה‬ ‫ואן כאן אלפעל מנסוב אלי אלנבי פאלקצד פיה אלי רב אלעאלמין כמא‬ ‫סמי מ ֶֹשׁה וְ ַא ֲהרֹון עליהמא אלסלאם ר ֵֹעה צֹאנֹו כמא קאל ַאּיֵ ה ַהמַּ ֲע ֵלם‬ ‫ִמּיָ ם ֵאת ר ֵֹעה צֹאנֹו ורב אלעאלמין הו ראעיהם באלחקיקה כמא קאל ר ֵֹעה‬ .‫יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל ַה ֲאזִ ינָ ה‬ [156b] . . . I have translated ‫ ח ְֹב ִלים‬as ‘managers’, like the expression All the

pilots of the sea (Ezek. 27:29). The meaning of the statement I will feed is the care of the LORD of the universe over the flock of the slaughter in the time of the second temple after the completion of the seventy years at Babylon that the LORD of the universe has promised to them, (namely) that He would visit them after the completion of seventy years, as it is said For thus says the LORD, surely when seventy years are accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you (Jer. 29:10). And for as long as they were under the kingdom of Babylon the LORD of the universe did not take care of them, but when [157a] Cyrus began to reign the LORD of the universe visited them and heeded their conditions. This is the meaning of And I will feed the flock of the slaughter. Then he said Even you, O poor of the flock. He states that He takes care of the nation because of the righteous who were among them; they are The poor of the flock. Then He states that while He cared for them and tended them, He took himself two staffs; for it is the custom of the compassionate shepherds to tend the flock with staffs in their hands, and when they see them straying from the way they bring them back with the staff. The staff is something commendable to the flock and as it is said Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me (Ps. 23:4). Then He mentions the names of these staffs and states that the name of the one is Beauty, because of its meaning, and refers to Daniel, Mordecai, Haggai, and Zechariah, who were seekers of the welfare of Israel, and in their time (the people of ) the exile returned and the temple was built.

yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


The phrase And the other I called Bands refers to the men after the departure of the prophets, namely Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who used to [157b] direct the matters of the nation and conduct their business by means of the Torah until the approach of the destruction of the second temple. (Scripture) informs that the LORD of the universe used to administer their affairs by means of these two staffs in the sense that we have explained. Although the action is attributed to the prophet, the intention here is to the LORD of the universe, just as he named Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) ‘The shepherd of His flock’; as it is said: Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? (Isa. 63:11), although it was the LORD of the universe who tended them in truth, as it is said Give ear, o Shepherd of Israel (Ps. 80:2).28

Zechariah 11:14 reads: Then I cut asunder Mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. The translation of this verse in Judaeo-Arabic is as follows: ‫פסך אלרואיה אלתי כאנת‬ ֿ ‫וגדעת עצאתי אלֿתאניה איא אלמדברין בסבב‬ .‫הוּדה ובין יִ ְש ָר ֵאל‬ ָ ְ‫בין י‬ (And I cut asunder My second staff, namely the managers, because of the abrogation of the tradition which existed between Judah and Israel).

‫א] ערף אנה קטע מן בין יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל קום כאנו ידברוהם בעד אנצראף‬161[ ‫אלאנביא מן וסטהם לאנהם פסֿכו אלרואיה והו אלנקל אלֿדי כאנו ינקלוה‬ ‫ ואֿכרגה ִּב ְלשֹׁון ַא ֲחוָ ה והו ַּת ְרגוּם ַהגָּ ָדה לאנה קאל וְ ִהּגַ ְד ָּת‬.‫יהוּדה‬ ָ ִ‫יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל ו‬ .‫ְל ִבנְ ָך ַּבּיֹום ַההוּא ֵלאמֹר‬ ‫הוּדה‬ ָ ִ‫פגו קום פי זמאן ַּביִ ת שֵׁ נִ י פסֿכו אלנקל אלֿדי כאנו ינקלוה יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל ו‬ ‫מצלין אפסדו אלאמה וכֿתר אלבלא‬ ֿ ‫והם קום בראהמה או קום ְר ָשׁ ִעים‬ ‫פימא בינהם פענד ֿדלך קטע רב אלעאלמין מן בינהם אלקום אלֿדין כאנו‬ .‫ידברוהם‬ ‫ב] הו אלֿדי‬161[ ‫וּבין יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל ליערף אן אלֿכבר אלצחיח‬ ֵ ‫הוּדה‬ ָ ְ‫וקאל ֵּבין י‬ ‫יתי ְל ָה ֵפר‬ ִ ‫ וליס יריד בקולה ְל ָה ֵפיר ֶאת— ְּב ִר‬.‫הוּדה וְ יִ ְשׂ ָר ֵאל‬ ָ ְ‫יתפק פיה י‬ ‫ ואנמא קום מנהם פעלו ֿדלך‬.‫ֶאת— ָה ַא ֲחוָ ה אן אלאמה כלהא פעלת ֿדלך‬ ‫ולם ימכן אלבאקיין אלֿדין הם ֲענִ ּיֵ י ַהּצֹאן אן יקאומוהם ורב אלעאלמין עז‬ .‫וגל יריד אן יכון אלחק ֿטאהרא‬ ‫יתי‬ ִ ‫ת–ּב ִר‬ ְ ‫וענד מא צאר אלחק ֿכפיא וֿגלב אהל אלשר גאז אן יקול ְל ָה ֵפיר ֶא‬ .‫ְל ָה ֵפר ֶאת— ָה ַא ֲחוָ ה‬ [161a]. . . . He states that He will cut off from Israel the men who were leading them after the decease of the prophets in their midst, because they had abrogated the tradition, that is, the tradition which was handed down to Israel and Judah. He expressed it (the tradition) by (the term) ‫ ַא ֲחוָ ה‬which is the (targumic) rendering of ‫ =[ ַהגָּ ָדה‬narrative], because He had said And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying (Ex. 13:8).29

 See ms. Evr. Arab. I 1410; fols. 156b–157b.  Wieder 1958–59: 120.




kees de vreugd Then there came men in the time of the second temple and they abrogated the tradition which was handed down to Israel and Judah; they were Brahmins30 or wicked men, leading astray and perverting the nation and the plague increased among them. Then the LORD of the universe cut off from among them the men who were governing them. He said Between Judah and Israel in order to inform that the true tradition31 [161b] is the one upon which Judah and Israel are in agreement. By the phrase That I might break My covenant (vs 10) He does not mean That I might break the brotherhood as if the whole nation did this. But some of them did this and the remnant who are The poor of the flock (vs 7) were not able to oppose them. And the LORD of the universe—exalted be He— wished that the truth would become manifest. But when the truth became obscure and the men of wickedness prevailed then one could say That I might break My covenant (vs 10), That I might break the brotherhood (vs 14).32

Conclusion The Karaite Yefet ben ʿEli interprets the visions of the prophet Zechariah as events that have taken place in the Jewish academies at Sura and Pumbedita, where doctrines invented by men were introduced and imposed upon the people, thus causing a break with authentic Judaism. References ʿAqivaʾ ben Yosef. 1708. Sefer ʾOtiyyot šel rabbi ʿAqivaʾ. Amsterdam. Blau, Joshua. 2006. A Dictionary of Mediaeval Judaeo-Arabic Texts. Jerusalem: Academy of the Hebrew Language, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Dozy, Reinhart Pieter Anne. 1881. Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill. Eißler, Friedmann. 2002. Königspsalmen und karäische Messiaserwartung. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. Erder, Yoram. 2003. ‘The Karaites and the Second Temple Sects’. Polliack, Meira (ed.), Karaite Judaism: A guide to its history and literary sources. Leiden & Boston: Brill (Handbook of Oriental studies. Section 1, The Near and Middle East 73). 119–143.

30  The Brahmins of India are members of the highest or priestly caste among the Hindus. Here the term Barāhima denotes those who deny prophetic inspiration and maintain that men must depend in religious matters upon their intellect alone, see Qirqisānī 1939–43: vol. II p. 287, 288. 31  In the original ‫ ;אלֿכבר אלצחיח‬see also Eißler 2002: 84: ‘Der Ausdruck ʾaḥbār “Nachrichten, Botschaften” bezieht sich bei Jefet auf die schriftlich überlieferte biblische Offenbarung, deren Gesamtheit als ḥabr ṣadiq “authentische Überlieferung” eine der grundlegenden Quellen der Erkenntnis darstellt.’ 32  See Ms. Evr. Arab. I 1440; pp. 161a–161b.

yefet b. ʿeli’s commentary on the book of zechariah


Frank, Daniel. 2004. Search Scripture Well: Karaite exegetes and the origins of the Jewish Bible commentary in the Islamic East. Leiden: Brill (É tudes sur le judaïsme médiéval 29). Goodman, Martin (ed.). 2002. The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jastrow, Marcus. 1903. A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature. Philadelphia. Kaplan, Aryeh. 1995. Sefer Yeṣirah. Northvale: Jason Aronson. Inc. Koehler, Ludwig and Baumgartner, Walter. 1958. Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti libros = Wörterbuch zum hebräischen Alten Testament in deutscher und englischer Sprache. Leiden: Brill. Maimonides, Moses. 1974. The Guide of the Perplexed; translated from the Arabic with an introduction and notes by Shlomo Pines. 2 vols. Chicago London: University of Chicago Press. Miqra’ot Gedolot. 1975. Jerusalem: Eshkol. Nemoy, Leon. ‘Al-Qirqisānī on the occult sciences’. Jewish Quarterly Review 76:4. 329–67. Pinsker, S. 1860. Lickute Kadmoniot: Zur Geschichte des Karaismus und der karäischen Literatur. Wien: Adalbert della Torre. Polliack, Meira. 2005. ‘Karaite Conception of the Biblical Narrator (Mudawwin)’. Neusner, Jacob and Avery Peck, Alan J. Encyclopaedia of Midrash: biblical interpretation in formative Judaism, vol I. Leiden: Brill. 350–374. Qirqisānī, Yaʿqūb. 1939–43. Kitāb al-Anwār waʼl Marāqib: Code of Karaite Law. Ed. Leon Nemoy. 5 vols. New York: The Alexander Kohut Memorial Foundation. Al-Qūmisī, Daniel b. Moses. 1957. Pitron šeneim ʻasar (Commentarius in Librum Duodecim Prophetarum). Ed. I.D. Markon. Jerusalem: Meqiṣe Nirdamim. Rothkoff, Aaron, et al. 2007. ‘Rashi’. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. vol. 17. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. 101–106. Simon, Uriel. 2007. ‘Ibn Ezra, Abraham’. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. vol. 9. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. 665–672. Talmage, Frank. 2007. ‘Kimḥi, David’. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. vol. 12. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. 155–156. Vajda, G. 1941–1945. ‘Etudes sur Qirqisani’. Revue des études juives 106. 87–123. Wieder, N. 1958–59. ‘Three terms for “tradition” ’. Jewish Quarterly Review 49. 108–121. Yeruḥīm, Salmon b. 1934. Sefer Milḥamot ha-Šem (The Book of the Wars of the Lord). Ed. Israel Davidson. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Damascus Arabic according to the Compendio of Lucas Caballero (1709) Otto Zwartjes and Manfred Woidich Summary: The Compendio de los Rudimentos y Gramatica Araba en que se da suficiente notizia de la lengua Vernacula o Vulgar y algunas Reglas de la literal Iustamente, which was created by the Spanish Franciscan Lucas Caballero in 1709, is an unpublished missionary grammar which describes the spoken variety of Damascus, although it also contains some rules for literary Arabic. This work is important for two fields of study: 1) the history of linguistics; and 2) historical linguistics. The article briefly describes the approaches of missionary-linguists towards language description in diglossic societies in Asia. It also offers a provisional linguistic analysis of a number of conspicuous features, comparing these to modern dialects spoken in the region. These features partly coincide with what we know from Modern Damascus Arabic, but also partly deviate from it, thus giving meaning to the question: from precisely whom did the missionaries obtain their linguistic data? Further thorough study, in particular with respect to scribal habits, will certainly reveal more details and lead to a better understanding of these sources, which could be a valuable source of information on the Levantine Arabic spoken 300 years ago.

1. Introduction In this article, eighteenth-century Spanish grammars and Arabic dictionaries (both vernacular and classical) written by Franciscans in Damascus are the subject of our attention, in particular the work of Lucas Caballero and his teacher, Bernardino González (c. 1665–1735). A facsimile edition of the grammar and dictionary by the latter has been published recently (Lourido Díaz 2005), but the work of the former is still unpublished and has escaped the attention of scholars until today. In the Spanish Franciscan tradition, the authors made use of both local native teachers and written sources. They were also familiar with grammars and dictionaries published in Latin, such as those by Thomas van Erpen (Erpenius, 1585–1624) and Jacob Golius (1596–1667), as well as works produced in Italy.1 As the title of the grammar indicates: Compendio de los Rudimentos y Gramatica Araba en que se da suficiente notizia de la lengua Vernacula o Vulgar y algunas Reglas de la literal Iustamen[te], the vernacular spoken 1  Dominicus Germanus (1588–1670), Philippus Guadagnoli (1596–1656), Franciscus Martelottus (?–1618), Antonio ab Aquila (died in 1679), and Agapito da Valle Flemmarum (seventeenth century, fl. 1687). See Piemontese (1996).


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

in Damascus is described and analysed, and there is an appendix added to the end of the book, containing “some rules of the literary language”. This work is important for two fields of study: 1) the history of linguistics; and 2) historical linguistics. The manuscript contains some interesting material concerning the colloquial speech of the period. The impact of the literary register in the representation of the colloquial is often visible, while hybrid forms are sometimes provided as well, such as antum faʿaltu. However, classical elements can also be found, such as the use of the feminine plural in the verbal paradigms. In the first place, we shall briefly describe the approaches taken by missionary-linguists to language description and teaching in diglossic societies in Asia in general. Secondly, we will analyse some phonological and morpho-syntactic features of the dialect spoken in Damascus according to the Franciscan Lucas Caballero. 2. Missionary Approaches to Diglossic Societies Missionary grammarians generally followed the examples from traditional, classical grammars, and it is possible to see that the Greco-Latin based framework is often adapted in order to fit in with less common or hitherto unknown linguistic features. Sometimes, elements from non-Western traditions are integrated into this traditional model. Ideologically, missionaries often followed their classical examples. As in Antiquity, in Renaissance Europe there was a relative lack of interest among humanist scholars in the study of ‘exotic’ languages, since they were not considered to be useful for understanding the Bible. In the sixteenth century and later, scholarly interest in Aramaic (Syrian), Hebrew and Arabic began to grow significantly. When ‘vulgar Latin’ was separated into local idioms, these were regarded as analogous with the Greek dialects (Diderichsen 1974: 282). However, vernaculars such as German and the Romance languages were generally all considered to be ‘barbarian’ languages and the study of them was never viewed as a serious intellectual challenge, although interest in ‘national’ languages and the production of dictionaries and grammars of the standard language increased gradually.2 We also see that in Muslim Spain, there was hardly any interest in the languages spoken in al-Andalus, other 2  It is not a surprise to find a comparable attitude towards ‘exotic’ languages spoken by non-cultivated ‘savages’ in the New World. Grammars of European vernaculars were written in the context of the foundation of the modern nations, but grammars of the indigenous languages of America were not written with the same purposes.

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


than Arabic, and there are no Arabic dictionaries or grammars describing Andalusī Romance, Basque, or Berber, which were all spoken in the Iberian Peninsula at that time.3 During the Renaissance period in Europe, the study of language grew simultaneously with European expansion into other countries (Bossong 1992: 5). Along with Latin and Greek, the study of Hebrew was added to the educational curricula of missionaries and academics, while grammars of the vernacular languages of the nations of Europe also began to emerge.4 The intellectual milieu in the Renaissance, and the emergence of new nations, created a situation whereby ‘vernacular grammars’ were required alongside their traditional Latin and Greek counterparts. At the same time, the production of dictionaries and grammars began to increase in both the New World and Asia, often outnumbering what was being produced in Europe. Missionaries abroad needed to describe different languages typologically, and they often drastically adapted the traditional Greco-Latin model in order to accommodate linguistic features they were unfamiliar with. It must be noted that some missionary grammars and dictionaries are quite homogenous, but as Hovdhaugen (1996: 15) observes, most are not, since they vary enormously in quality and length. Some missionaries attempted to follow strictly the ‘normative’ approach of the language study of Antiquity. When they described languages that had never been ‘reduced to grammar’, they often taught that some ‘vulgar’, ‘rude’, or ‘rustic’ pronunciations, forms or expressions were to be condemned, whereas others were considered to be ‘more elegant’ or ‘refined’ or ‘polished’ (‘lengua política/ pulítica’); in New Spain this was often called ‘the language of the court’.5 When missionaries initiated linguistic studies in diglossic societies where languages with a long-standing grammatical tradition and educational infrastructure were spoken, they were forced to make an important decision when it came to writing a descriptive grammar of the colloquial speech or a normative grammar based on the literary written style. What follows are some examples of the approach taken by missionary-linguists to language usage (consuetudo) versus normative grammar, based on auctoritas.6 3  The same generally applies to other regions of the Muslim World; grammars and glossaries of Qipčaq-Turkic are an important exception (see Ermers 1999). 4  For this ‘explosion’ of linguistic activity, see Padley (1988), Lepschy (1998), Law (2003: 210–257) and, in particular, Auroux (1992b). 5  Particularly in the grammars of Nahuatl (Flores Farfán 2007). 6  Following the tradition of Antiquity, particularly Quintilian’s (c.35–c.100) Institutio Oratoria, I.6.1–3.


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich Greek

The Franciscan Pedro Antonio Fuentes (fl. 1775/6) composed a grammar of both Classical Greek, a language that served as the “universal key of sciences” (“llave universal de las sciencias”, 1776:vi), and another of colloquial Cypriote Greek, since this was the language that missionaries had to learn for their religious enterprises in that region. The colloquial variety was necessary for communicating with all kinds of people, whether literate or uneducated, and for preaching and confessing.7 It must, however, be noted that Fuentes often also provides information on Classical Greek in his grammar of colloquial Greek (cf. 1776: 11).8 The Indian Sub-Continent Two mainstream literary and grammatical traditions can be distinguished in India, Tamil and Sanskrit. In contrast to the practice in the Americas, missionaries were able to benefit from local grammatical traditions. Some missionaries, such as the Jesuit Heinrich Roth (1620–1668), used the technical terms of Indian grammar perfectly; Roth stands entirely within the Indian grammatical tradition (see Zwartjes 2011: 27–28). Portuguese sources reveal that they distinguished between the literary and colloquial registers of the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages, but the terminology they utilized is far from clear. For instance, the term ‘Malabar’ was used for both Malayalam and Tamil. The ‘Bracmana tongue’ did not necessarily mean Sanskrit, and in Goa it referred to Konkani or Marathi, whereas the term Hindostani was even applied to Marathi. In his Tamil grammar, the Jesuit Henrique Henriques (1520–1600) supplies a great deal of information about the linguistic varieties of Tamil (‘Malabar’). His grammar is predominantly descriptive, although there are some normative/prescriptive observations where more ‘elegant forms’ are provided. Henriques had the tendency to use more literary forms in the declensions of nouns, whereas spoken Tamil is more recorded in the tense-formation of verbal morphology (Vermeer 1982: xx). Japan The Jesuit João Rodrigues (1562–1633) composed two Japanese grammars, in which he distinguished between three different styles, two of which are ‘pure’, while the third is a ‘mixed’ variety: 7  “. . . no sólo el Misionero ha de hablar con todo género de personas, sino que ha de predicar, y confesar en esta lengua” (Fuentes 1775: v). 8  Sometimes he gives more details about the speech of the “los rústicos” (1775: 22).

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


1– Pure Yomi (“sem mistura de coye/ natural/ natiua”, “sua poesia”) [“without mixture of coye, i.e. ‘natural’, ‘native’, as in their poetry”] 2– Pure Coye (“o qual usam os Bonzos quando rezam”) [“used by the ‘Bonzos’ when they pray”] 3– Mixture of Yomi and Coye (“misturada de Yomi & Coye”) (see Zwartjes 2011: 111–114). The variety described by Rodrigues belongs grosso modo to the third type, but information is often also given about the other styles. The distinction between the literary (“estillo de escritura”) and the colloquial styles (“fallar commum”) is determined by the following criteria: – The word-endings (“as terminaçoens das voces”) – The tenses and modes of verbs (“os tempos & dos modos dos verbos”) – The great variety of particles (“variedade de particulas”). China The Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) wrote as early as 1582 that “The Chinese have such different languages in different provinces, that they do not understand each other, other than by writing; for they write the same characters and letters, which, since they are the figures of things and since things have everywhere the same figure, are understood by everyone, although they use different words in different languages” (cited in Schreyer 1992: 9). According to Ricci, all missionaries should speak and write the language of the court, known as Mandarin (guānhuà,9 spelled as cuonhua by Ricci, or ‘la lingua della corte forense’) (Schreyer 1992: 31). This language “is used in audiences and tribunals” and “if one learns this, he can use it in all provinces; in addition, even the children and women know enough

9  Mandarin in Ricci’s time referred to the court language of the Nanjing area and was thus not based on the pronunciation of the Beijing region, like modern Mandarin. ‘Mandarin’ has distinct meanings. According to the definitions of South Coblin (2000: 537), what missionaries called ‘la lengua mandarina, ‘falla mãdarin’ is “the universal standard language or koinè spoken by officials and educated people in traditional China during the Míng (1368–1644) and Qīng (1644–1912) dynasties”. The guānhuà is the direct continuation of what missionaries called ‘lengua mandarina’. Other senses of the word ‘Mandarin’ are zăoqí guānhuà (‘Old Mandarin’), which dates back to the Yuán period (1260–1368); běifāng fāngyán or guānhuà fāngyán, which is used for the entire northern or northern-like Chinese speech forms; and finally ‘Mandarin’ is used as a synonym for Modern Standard Chinese. Chinese linguists classify Mandarin today into four subgroups: (1) northern, (2) north-western, (3) south-western and (4) eastern Mandarin (Norman 1988: 191). See also Zwartjes (2011: 284–285).


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of it to be able to communicate with all the people of another province” (cited in Coblin 2000: 539). The Spanish Dominican Francisco Varo (1627–1687) composed a grammar, a dictionary and a catechism, which are some of the few sources to shed light on the syntax of vernacular Chinese. His grammar is predominantly descriptive and, as the title of his dictionary demonstrates, the author does not concentrate on the literary variety, but on the language that is spoken “without elegance” (Vocabulario de la lengua Mandarina con el estilo y vocablos con que se habla sin elegancia). Varo’s approach is different from that of Rodrigues. In his Chinese grammar we read that contemporary “vernacular novels” (siàoxuě) are the most appropriate texts for the learning of the Chinese language: Con solas las reglas que da Nebrixa para aprender la latinidad, no se haze uno grande latino; tiene necesidad de Ciçeron, Virgilio, &c. Pero aunque tenga Cicerones y Virgilios sin tener primero las reglas de Nebrixa, no se forman latino. Assi mismo sepa sy este el Ministro primero en las reglas y advertencias de este breve tratado, y despues entre en los Ciçerones que son en China los libros que llaman Siào xuě. (Varo 2000 [1703]: Ia–Ib) [Even if, in studying Latin, one knows all the rules of Nebrixa,10 that still does not make him a great Latinist. He needs Cicero, Virgil, etc. for that. However, even if he has Ciceros and Virgils, without first mastering the rules of Nebrixa he will not make a Latinist. In the same way the minister should first know the rules and monitions of this brief work, and thereafter he should be exposed to all those [modern-day] Ciceros who in China are in fact the books called siàoxuě [“vernacular novels”] (translation by Levi & Coblin, Varo 2000 [1703]: 5–7. cf. Coblin 2000: 549–550).

As we have seen, Rodrigues stated that the use of courtiers provided a norm of purity and elegance in the spoken language. He aimed to teach the language of the elite, while for the conversion and teaching of the Christian faith, knowledge of the principles of Confucian thought and the literary style of the Japanese was indispensable.11 Arabic Arabs rarely write down their everyday Spoken Arabic. Their colloquial speech was, however, studied in the so-called laḥn al-ʿāmma literature, 10  Elio Antonio Martínez de Jarava (1444–1522), also known as Antonio de Nebrija, was a Spanish humanist, lexicographer and grammarian. He is the author of a Latin grammar (1481) and the first printed Castilian grammar (1492). 11  Unlike the Dominicans and the Franciscans, the Jesuits attempted to teach the language of high prestige, which in China was guānhuà and in Japan the language of the court, whereas the Dominicans also described other local languages, such as Southern Mĭn varieties (cf. Klöter 2011).

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which was mainly written for the purpose of studying the errors in Classical Arabic caused by interference between literary Arabic and colloquial speech or the inclusion of foreign elements, which, according to its authors, should be banned from fuṣḥā (Zack 2009: 31). Arabic speaking communities are diglossic. The Spanish Hieronymite Pedro de Alcalá (fl. 1491–1505) describes the colloquial Arabic of Granada in his dictionary and grammar. His purpose was to teach the language of the ‘ordinary people’ (“los populares”) and not that of the wise theologians (“sabios alfaquíes”). The objectives for compiling this dictionary were also slightly different, compared to what was found in the New World, where missionaries composed dictionaries for their own use and for the novices from the Old World. As we can read in the prologue to his dictionary, Pedro de Alcalá wrote his dictionary not only for the Old Christians who wanted to learn Arabic, but also for the converts, namely the new Christians.12 As has been demonstrated in recent research, mainly by Corriente (1988), the language described is predominantly colloquial,13 but at the same time it is also obvious that there is some interference between the colloquial and the classical registers. As the title of the grammar by Caballero demonstrates, the language described is the spoken variety of Arabic (“la lengua vernacular o vulgar”). Caballero is only one of the missionaries whose grammar has survived, but we must be aware that not all Arabic studies were concentrated in Damascus. Bernardino González was taught by native Arabic speakers, mainly Maronite Christians, such as Giorgius Ebn Barbak (or Barhak) and Hanna Ebn Juseph Abu Habna [sic] (Lourido Díaz 2006: 205), although many Franciscans studied Arabic in Harisa, Aleppo, Ramlah or Jerusalem.14 In the prologue of the Epítome (Lourido Díaz 2005: I:152), Bernardino González describes the diglossic Arabic society as follows:

 “Ca assi como los aljamiados (o cristianos viejos) pueden por esta obra saber el arauia, viniendo del romance al arauia: assi los arauigos (o nueuos cristianos), sabiendo leer la letra castellana: tomando primero el arauia, ligeramente pueden venir en conocimiento del aljamia).” (Pedro de Alcalá 1505: prologue: ii v.) See also Cowan (1981: 358). [As the ‘aljamiados’, or Old Christians can learn Arabic through this work, coming from Romance to Arabic, so the Arabs (or New Christians), having mastery of the Castilian alphabet, taking first the Arabic, can easily have knowledge of the ‘aljamia’]. 13  His purpose was “hazer vocabulista de la habla comun y usada de la gente deste.” (ibid.) [to compose a dictionary of the common speech and used by the people.] 14  It will be safer to label the linguistic variety as Syro-Lebanese-Palestinian, and it still has to be investigated if any conclusions can be drawn concerning varieties between them. Since Caballero’s manuscript was mainly produced in Damascus, we shall label the variety as ‘Damascene’, but we shall not exclude the possibility that other varieties may be present as well. 12


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich Aunque es tan dilatada como vastissima la lengua Arabica, que no ha faltado, quien a su Lexicon le diese el nombre de Kamus, que quiere decir Oceano. Con todo eso Los Maestros antiguos la pusieron reglas sacandolas de la Hebrea de quien se origina; y por eso la ay de dicha lengua Arabiga Gramatica, y la que asi es regulada se denomina gramatical o literal. Pero asi como en la Latina y Griega ay sus lenguas vulgares o vernaculas, que no estan reguladas, assi en la Araba ay su vulgar y vernacula, que padece el mismo defecto. Esta lengua vulgar Arabiga tiene alguna variacion según la variedad de Payses, como sucede en las Europeas, especialmente en la Española. Y si como es verdad pareçe cosa dificil por esto regular una lengua vulgar, con todo eso, Dios mediante, espero de propio intento dar reglas de la lengua vulgar Araba. [The Arabic language is so vast and copious that the name of Kamus is given to its lexicon, which means ‘Ocean’. In doing so, the old Masters gave the rules of this language, which were taken from Hebrew, from which it is derived. Therefore there exists a grammar of this language, which is regulated and called ‘grammatical’ or ‘literary’. But as occurs in the Latin and Greek languages, there are also vulgar or vernacular languages in existence, which are not regulated by rules, and in the same manner, vulgar or vernacular Arabic also exists, which suffers from the same shortcoming. This vulgar Arabic language has some varieties according to the countries where they are spoken, as occurs with European languages, particularly with Spanish, and even if it seems difficult to regulate a vulgar language, I hope, with the help of God, to provide the appropriate dedication rules of the vulgar Arabic language.]

3. Missionary Studies of Oriental Languages in Spain and in the Middle East As we can read in the prologue of the grammar of Classical Greek by the Franciscan Helenist Pedro Antonio Fuentes, the Propaganda Fide, which was a decree from the year 1682, established that Oriental languages had to be taught in the Franciscan missionary-schools, particularly in Paris, Toulouse, Salamanca and Alcalá de Henares (Fuentes 1776: iii). The ‘Colegio Trilingüe de San Francisco de Sevilla’ was founded in 1694 (Lourido Díaz 2006: 63), and was the college where the novices could study Hebrew, Greek and Arabic, ten months a year (except in July and August), six hours a day comprising three hours in the classroom and three hours of individual study (Lourido Díaz 2006: 82–83). The teaching of Arabic in Seville was heavily influenced by the teaching practices and methodology used at the San Pedro de Montorio College in Rome, but it seems that in Seville much more attention was paid to colloquial than to literary Arabic. The reason for teaching these three languages in Spain was that in the East, as a direct consequence of the plague, there were not enough teachers available with

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sufficient knowledge of the local languages, or, in some cases, such as in Cyprus, no Franciscans survived after the outbreak of the plague.15 4. The Manuscript 4.1. Intérprete Arábico Caballero’s manuscript is derived from the work of his teacher, Bernardino González, and several other copies have survived, most of which were compiled by other pupils of the same teacher. The first printed work appeared at the end of the eighteenth century, in 1775, in the form of the grammar and dictionary by Francisco Cañes (1730–1795), who spent the years 1755–1771 in the Middle East (Damascus, Jerusalem, S. Juan de Judea, Rama, see Lourido Díaz 2006: 216). What follows is a list of the manuscripts described by Lourido Díaz (2005 and 2006): 1. Juan Gallego. Biblioteca Islámica “Félix María Pareja”. Madrid, 1707–1708. 2. Pedro Vahamonde. Convento Franciscano de San Salvador, Jerusalem, 1709. 3. Anónimo. Biblioteca de los Franciscanos Santiago de Compostela, Before 1724. 4. Francisco Cañes. Biblioteca Nacional. Madrid, 1760. 5. Anónimo. Biblioteca Islámica “Félix María Pareja”, Madrid, 1874. 6. Anónimo. Universidad Complutense. Madrid, (undated). 7. Gonzalo Ruiz. Universidad de Zaragoza. Zaragoza, 1727 (lost). 4.2. Epítome de la Gramática árabe 1. Blas de Francisco de Salamanca. Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 1704. 2. Lucas Caballero & Juan de la Encarnación. Strängnäs, Sweden, 1709–1710. 3. Bernardino González. Real Biblioteca del Monasterio El Escorial, 1719.

15  “Tierra-Santa tiene quatro Colegios para la enseñanza de las lenguas griega y árabe. Con todo eso quando vienen las pestes, suele quedar exhausta de Obreros, y algunas veces sin ninguno (“mortui sunt omnes Missionarii in Regno Ciprio . . .”) (Fuentes 1776: ii). [In Tierra Santa there are four Colleges where Greek and Arabic are taught. When the Black Death came to these lands, few workers remained, and sometimes, no-one (all of the missionaries died in the Reign of Cyprus)].


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4. Anonymous Universidad de Valencia. Valencia, 1719. 5. Anonymous Real Academia de la Historia Madrid, (undated). 6. Several anonymous authors/ scribes Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, (undated).

Figure 1. Front page of the Strängnäs manuscript of Caballero16

The so-called Strängnäs manuscript by Caballero has the year 1709 on its front page, but in the colophon we see that Juan de la Encarnación finished this work in 1710. Not much is known about the life of Caballero. He arrived in the Middle East in 1705 with Juan Gallego. He then spent several months in Jerusalem, but soon moved to Damascus where he started to study Arabic with his teacher, Bernardino González. Later, as a ‘Lector’, 16  The illustrations in this article are published with kind permission of the Roggebi­ blioteket in Sweden.

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he taught Arabic in the same college in Damascus (Lourido Díaz 2006: 240–241). The Strängnäs manuscript has two parts, a grammar and a vocabulary that also includes some phrases. The former contains both colloquial and written Arabic, whereas the latter is comprised of lots of apparently colloquial material. Both variants are mixed. So, on the one hand, there is a table with all of the declensions and conjugations of Classical Arabic, with their technical terms, such as raf ʿ, naṣb, and ǧarr (p. G. f.14r; cf. Zwartjes 2007c):

Figure 2. Table with declensions (f.14r)


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On the other hand, the numbers are presented without declensions in— more or less—their colloquial forms, cf. ‫‘ ثنثني اثنني‬two’ and the tense ending in -īn.17

Figure 3. The cardinal numbers (f.19r)  Cf. Lentin (2006: 550b): tnēn (masc.) and təntēn (fem.).


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5. Colloquial Damascus Arabic According to Lucas Caballero 5.1. Introduction Damascus Arabic is a Syro-Lebanese sedentary dialect, and historical information about it can be gathered from Middle Arabic texts, which are sometimes highly colloquial. According to Lentin (2006: 546a), “shadow theater plays, and many manuscripts of popular epic literature date back to at least the 19th century. It is nevertheless difficult to draw a documented history of the dialect, which seems to be, for the two last centuries anyway, remarkably stable”. We believe that the manuscripts by Bernardino González and his ‘school’ of Franciscan pupils must be included in any attempt to document the history of the dialect. Moreover, this material is of considerable interest, since it dates back from the beginning of the eighteenth century, i.e. more than a hundred years earlier than the sources mentioned by Lentin, loc. cit. Although the Spanish Franciscans often provide the learner with the rules related to morphology and syntax, there is limited information about phonology. The reason for this seems to be the fact that, according to González, pronunciation has to be acquired ‘viva voce’, i.e. from the teacher, and not in the first place from the ‘speculation of rules’: la recta pronunciacion mas depende de oirlas viua voce al Maestro, que dela especulacion de reglas, omitiré el poner muchas de ellos. (González 1719: f.5) [The correct pronunciation depends more on listening to the living voice of the instructor than on the ‘speculation of rules’. I shall therefore omit many of them].

The Alphabet and the Phonological Classification of Letters In his classification of Arabic letters, Caballero does not explicitly tell his readers that he is following the Arabic model, nor does he provide the Arabic technical terms for these classes, like other Franciscans did before him, but instead gives the Spanish terms:18 – gutturales (porque se pronuncian en la garganta) [because they are pronounced in the throat] – lauiales (porque se pronuncian colos lauios) [because they are pronounced with the lips]  E.g. Martelottus (1620: 35): chalchiiton (‫‘ = ح��قل��ي���ه‬guttural’, ‘pharyngo-laryngeal’), scia‫ش‬ ‫ف‬ �� � giariiaton (‫‘ = ج ر�ي�ه‬palatal’, ‘oral’), sciaphahiiaton (‫‘ = �ش������هي���ه‬labial’), etc. 18


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich – palatales (porque se pronuncian en el paladar) [because they are pronounced in the palate] – dentales (los quales para pronunciarlos se pone la lengua serca de los dientes) [which are pronounced by moving the tongue towards the teeth] – linguales (porque su fuerza en pronunciarse por la maior parte resta en la lengua)19 [because the force of pronunciation is mainly with the tongue]

Generally speaking, no special rules are provided in respect of distinguishing between the pronunciation of Classical Arabic and the Damascene colloquial. Nevertheless, when dealing with morphological questions, the authors sometimes explicitly point out differences between the classical and the colloquial language by referring to “El vulgar . . .” (see examples below in 5.3). In general, however, information must in the first instance be derived from the Arabic examples themselves, particularly from those available in the word lists. The question that arises here relates to the type of colloquial we are concerned with. As we know, the varieties of Arabic spoken in Levantine towns such as Damascus and Aleppo differ depending on religious affiliations, presumably more so in the past than today.20 As Christian missionaries, it is far from clear whether Caballero and González derived their linguistic data from Muslim informants; it is quite probable that they in fact used their fellow Christians as their teachers.21 We also know from Caballero that he came to Damascus after having spent several months in Jerusalem. Accordingly, we have to take into account the fact that some of the deviating features could be due to the impact of the other dialects that Caballero was confronted with. What follows below is a selection of some of the more conspicuous features.

19  In other missionary sources, such as Fuentes’ grammars of Greek, we find the Western classical classification of letters as expected. Fuentes also gives the Greek grammatical meta-language in his text. Consonants are first divided into two classes: “mudas” and “semivocales”, while the semi-vowels are divided into three classes: “double” (‘dobles’) (ζ, ξ, and ψ); “inmutables” (λ, μ, ν, ρ), also called “líquidas”, and “singular” (σ). There are nine “mute consonants” (‘mudas’), which are also divided into three categories: “tenues” (κ, π, and τ), “medias” (γ, β, δ), and “aspiradas” (χ, φ, θ) (Fuentes 1775: 7 and 1776: 10). If he had studied the Arabic grammars thoroughly, he would have been able to make progress in Western approaches to phonology, but, apparently, Fuentes had not benefited from the knowledge acquired by other Franciscans-Arabists. As is well-known, the Western classical system concentrates more on the manner of articulation than the place, whereas the Arabic system does the opposite. 20  Lentin (2006: 546a) observes only ‘minor differences, mainly lexical’ today. For Christian Aleppo see Behnstedt (1989) for more literature. 21  Astonishingly enough, when staying in Cairo in 1764, Carsten Niebuhr (1733–1815) had a Maronite teacher from Aleppo; see Woidich-Zack (2009: 48).

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5.2. Phonology and Orthography The Arabic entries are vocalized, but not in a systematic manner. As one may conclude from the examples set out below, the author often tries to indicate both the classical and the colloquial pronounciation by writing ُُْ �‫ ب‬buxl ~ buxul ‘avaricia’ (f.1r) [avaseveral vowel signs in one word, e.g. ‫�خ�ل‬ rice], the latter being the colloquial variant:


‫ خ‬buxl ~ buxul ‘avaricia’ [avarice] (f.1r) Figure 4. ‫��ل‬ ‫ب‬

َْ َ ‫ ��س‬saxl ~ saxal ‘cabritillo’ [(billy-) kid] (f.3r): Or ‫�خ�ل‬

َْ َ

‫ ��سخ‬saxl ~ saxal ‘cabritillo’ [(billy-) kid] (f.3r) Figure 5. ‫��ل‬ Further examples will follow in Due to this somewhat idiosyncratic orthography, it is not always easy to understand what is meant in the ُّ text. How should we interpret, for instance, ‫‘ َو ز� ِه‬ganso’ [goose] (f.4r) with both ḍamma and fatḥa? wazze corresponds to modern Damascene Arabic (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 106a), but wuzze is neither Standard Arabic (ʾiwazz) nor is it attested for the Levantine area; it sounds more like the Egyptian wizza (see another case discussed in

ّ‫ُ ز‬

Figure 6. ‫ َو � ِه‬wazze ~ wuzze ‘ganso’ [goose] (f.4r)

Colloquial and classical forms may be adduced without any explanation, ُ ََ ُ as in ‫‘ ز� ْو ج ج�و ز� ب���ق��ر‬par de bueyes iugado’ (f.9v) [a pair of yoked oxen]. � The latter shows the classical sequence ‫{ ز� و ج‬zwǧ} of the consonants, � but apparently a monophthong ū/ō instead of the classical diphthong aw, while �‫{ ج�و ز‬ǧwz} represents the colloquial form with metathesis.


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5.2.1. Vowels kasra Instead of the Expected fatḥa This can be understood as a development of /a/ > /i/ and occurs in ‫ِكلْب‬ {kilb}22 ‘perro’ [dog] (f.3r). Modern Damascene would be kalb (see Stowasser-Ani 1964: 70a).23 However, it occurs more conspicuously in open unstressed syllables, e.g. in plurals: {qināfid} ‘erizo’ pl. [hedgehogs] (f.2r) ‫ قِ� ن���ا فِ��د‬ ����‫{ ����م�ا ����س‬timāsīḥ} ‘cocodrillo’ pl. [crocodiles] (f.2r) ‫تِ ن يشح‬ ‫{ �ِم���ا ِك‬minākīš} ‘vuril’ [‘buril,’ awls, chisels] pl. (f.22r) ���‫���ي‬ ‫ � ن���ا � ن‬ {ǧināyin} ‘huerta’ pl. [gardens] (f.7r), ‘jardinillo’ pl. [little �‫جِ ي‬

gardens] (f.35r) {biyādir} ‘parva’ pl. [threshing floors] (f.8r) ‫ �بِي��ا دِر‬ ‫{ د لا ف��� ن‬dilāfīn} ‘delfin’ pl. [dolphins] (f.9r) �‫ِ ُ ي‬ {bulābil} ‘rui señores’ pl. [nightingales] (f.3v); here with ‫ ب�لا بِ�ل‬ ḍamma /u/, which may be by way of association with ُُ the sg. ‫ ب��� بل��ل‬and, similar ‫ُ قْ ف‬ ‫ُ قَ ف‬ ���‫{ �م�����ا د �ي‬muqādīf} ‘remo’ pl. [oars] (f.10v), cf. sg. �� ‫ �م�����د ا‬with the root qdf, not ǧdf as in modern mǝždāf, mažadīf ‘oar’ Stowasser-Ani (1964: 160a). Barthélemy (1935: 643) reports mǝqdāf, mqādīf for Jerusalem, miqdāf in Elihay (2004: 348b), who considers miǧdāf as َ a ُ ‫ف‬ loan from Standard Arabic (op.cit. 346b). ���‫�م��ق���ا د �ي‬ {muqādīf} therefore might represent a more colloquial form than the modern mǝždāf.

In neither modern Damascene nor Classical Arabic is there such an /i/ in these plurals, but the /a/ is retained: qanāfed, bayāder, žanāyen etc. (see the corresponding items in Stowasser-Ani). The issue is whether this is indeed an older stage of Damascus Arabic or due to the influence of another dialect. We find fatḥa, however, when the first radical is a back consonant: َ ‘rana’ pl. [frogs] (f.2r) ��ِ‫{ ض�� ف���ا ض‬ḍafāḍiʿ} ‫خَ ن ع‬ ‫{ ����ا زِ�ي�ر‬xanāzīr} ‘marrano’ pl. [swines, pigs] (f.3r) 22  Transliterations are given between braces, while modern phonological notations are written in italics. The English translation between square brackets refers to the Arabic lexeme. 23  For comparison purposes, the Stowasser-Ani (1964) dictionary for Damascus, although ‘sometimes reflecting a classicysing layer’ (Lentin 2006: 546b), was used; furthermore, Barthélemy (1935) for Aleppo, Elihay (2004) for Palestine, and Behnstedt (1997), the dialect atlas of Syria.

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َ َ َ ‫فَ��د ا د � ن‬ ‫��� ن‬ This also occurs in many other cases, cf. ‫ ج��ز ا �ير‬، ‫ �م�د ا ��س‬، �‫ي‬ ‫ د‬، �‫ي‬ ‫كا‬ � ‫ك‬ ِ‫ر‬ (f.9v), which would correspond to modern usage. ḍamma Instead of the Expected kasra or sukūn Sometimes, ḍamma /u/ appears where, in view of the modern language, one would expect to see either kasra /i/ (for modern ǝ) in closed syllables, or sukūn, i.e. no vowel in open syllables: َُ {ḥumār} ‘borico’ [‘burrico,’ donkey] (f.3r) ‫ ح�م�ا ر‬ ‫�ُ ن‬ {ḥuṣān} ‘cavallo’ [horse] (f.3r) � ‫ ح���ص�ا‬ َ َ ُ ‫{ ر �ص�ا �ص�ه‬ruṣāṣa} ‘bala’ [bullet] (f.26v) َّ َ‫ُ ق‬ ‫{ �م�ا �م���� ُ�د ��س‬mā muqaddas} ‘agua bendita’ [holy water] (f.10r) ‫ د ب�ا ن�ِ�ه‬ {dubbāne} ‘mosca’ [fly] (f.2v) ُ ‫ د ر ا‬ {dura} ‘trigo dela india’ [millet] (f.8r) َ ُْ {mudriyye}? ‘vieldo’ [winnowing fork] (f.8r), modern �‫ �م�د ر �ي‬ َ‫ فُ� ض��ّ��ه‬ � ّ‫ُ ز‬ � ‫ ر‬ ّ ‫غُ ش‬ ����� ُ ‫�ِ�ه‬ ‫ ��س �ك‬ ّْ ُ ‫ ج��مي���ز ِه‬ ِ ْ َّ ُ‫خ‬ ‫�ز‬ ‫ � ب��ي�� ِه‬ ‫ُ قْ ف‬ �� ‫ �م�����د ا‬


mǝdrēye (Barthélemy 1935: 238) ‘plata’ [silver] (f.23b)


‘aroz’ [rice] (f.8r)


‘engaño’ [deceit] (f.23r)


‘reja’ [plough share] (f.9v)


‘higo de faraon,’ ‘sicomoro’ (f.5r)


‘malva’ [mallow] (f.6r) [Egyptian fig tree] (f.5r)


‘remo’ [oar] (f.10v)

It should be noted that the corresponding modern items in Stowasser-Ani ّ ُ‫غ‬ (1964) are ḥmār, ḥṣān, rṣāṣa or rǝzz, fǝḍḍa, dǝbbāne etc. For ���‫{ �� ش‬ġušš} ‘engaño’ [deceit], the modern Damascus equivalent would be ġašš, while Jerusalem has ġušš (see Löhr 1905: 136a, Elihay 2004: 148a). Other cases also have a u-vocalisation, as is common in Palestinian, such as foḍḍa (Elihay 2004: 132b), rozz (Elihay 2004: 456a), and dubbāna (Elihay 2004: 106b). ُ ‫�ِ�ه‬ ‫{ ��س �ك‬sukke} ‘reja’ [plough share] is only attested in Syria with an i-vowel, i.e. sikke or something similar (cf. Behnstedt 1997: 953, map 476); while ḥumār only appears with an elided vowel ḥmār (see Behnstedt 1997: 857, map 428). Again we have to question whether this represents an older stage of Damascus Arabic or the impact of other dialects. ‫َُ ن‬ An alternative is given in � ‫{ سِ�� ���م�ا‬su/immān} ‘tordo’ [song thrush] (f.4v). Normally this lexeme would mean ‘quail’, not ‘thrush’. A u/i-variation shows up again in Löhr (1905: 139b) for Jerusalem, with summan or


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

simman ‘Wachtel’ [quail], but in Elihay (2004: 485a) there is only summan, both with short a. Cf. Egyptian simmān ‘quail’. kasra Instead of ḍamma In contrast, in the plurals CuCūC(a) there is often a kasra where the classical language has a ḍamma and modern Damascene an initial consonant cluster. �� �ُ� {tiyūs} ‘cabron’ pl. [billy goats] (f.3r) َ‫تِي و س‬ ‫{ نِ����مو ر ه‬nimūra} ‘tigre’ pl. [tigers] (f.3v) ُ ‘puente’ pl. [bridges] (f.9r) ‫{ جِ���سو ر‬ǧisūr} ‫{ �ل‬ṯilūǧ} ‘nieve’ pl. [snows] (f.12v) �‫ثِ�ُو ج‬ ‘cavallo’ pl. [horses] (f.3r) ‫{ خِ�ي��ول‬xiyūl} َ ‫{ ����سبِ��وع�ه‬sibūʿa} ‘leon’ pl. [lions] (f.2r) ُ�� {nibūʿ} ‘manantial’ pl. [springs] (f.10r) ‫نِبوع‬ This can be seen as a dissimilation of the short /u/ before the long /ū/ in the following syllable. In other cases, however, a ḍamma appears: ُُ ‫{ �جع‬ʿuǧūl} ‘bezerro,’ ‘ternera’ [bull calfs, (cow) calfs] pl. (f.3r) ‫�ول‬ َ �ُ‫�ذ‬ ‫{ كو ر ه‬ḏukūra} ‘macho’ pl. [males] (f.3v) ‫ُق‬ ‫{ ���ل‬qulūʿ} ‘vela’ pl. [sails] (f.10v) ‫ُ وع‬ ‫� ُن‬ ��‫{ ع‬ʿuyūn} ‘fuente’ pl. [springs] (f.10r) �‫يو‬ In modern Damascene, and generally in Levantine Arabic, these short front vowels are usually elided in open pre-tonic syllables, which results in an initial consonant cluster, cf. tyūs (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 22) and nmūra (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 242) etc. For further discussion of this issue, see below. Feminine Suffix -e, -a Modern Damascene Arabic has an allomorphic split of the fem. suffix *-a(t) depending on the phonological nature of the final consonant: -a after back and pharyngealized consonants, -e elsewhere (Lentin 2006: 547a). This is clearly indicated in the manuscript by kasra and fatḥa. It should be noted that these signs are often not placed under the consonant they belong to according to the rules of Arabic orthography, but instead appear under the final ‫�ه‬:

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero

ََ ‫ب���ق��َره‬ ََ َ ‫ع��لق���ه‬

َ ُ ‫ت���ف���ا ح�ه‬ َ ‫ف‬ ‫��ا ر ه‬ َ َّ ُ ‫د ره‬ َ‫�َ ّ��ط�ه‬ ‫ب‬ َ‫َ���قّ���ه‬ ‫ب‬ َ‫��س ْ ق��ه‬ ‫ِر‬

َ َ ‫�م ْر ج�وح�ه‬ َ َ ‫ب���ط��ي�� خ��ه‬ َ ُ ‫نِ���سو ر ه‬ َ ُ ‫خ� ْو�خ �ه‬

َ َ ُ ‫ر �ص�ا �ص�ه‬ َْ ‫حِ���ن��ط�ه‬

-a {baqara} {ʿalaqa}

‘buei, baca’ [cow] (f.3r)

‘sanguijuela’ [leech] (f.2r) {tuffāḥa} ‘mancana’ [‘manzana’, apple] (f.5r) {fāra} ‘raton’ [mouse] (f.2v) {durra} ‘papagaio, parroquero’ pl. [parrot] (f.4r) {baṭṭa} ‘pato, anade’ [duck] (f.4r) {baqqa} ‘chinche’ [bug] (f.2v) {sirqa} ‘hurto’ [theft] (f.23a) {marǧūḥa} ‘columpio’ [swing] (f.1r) {baṭṭīxa} ‘melon’ [water melon] (f.2r) {nisūra} ‘aguila’ pl. [eagles] (f.2v) {xōxa} ‘ziruela’ [ciruela, plum] (f.5r) {ruṣāṣa} ‘bala’ [bullet] (f.26v) {ḥinṭa} ‘trigo’ [wheat] (f.4r)

‫ن�ا �مو��سِ �ه‬ ْ‫َق‬ ‫��م�لِ�ه‬

ُ ‫د ب�ا ن�ِ�ه‬ ‫�م�ع�ز ا ي�ِ�ه‬ َْ ‫ع ن���ز ِه‬ َ َ‫غ‬ ‫����ن�ِ��مِ�ه‬ َ�َ ‫جح‬ ‫��لِ�ه‬

‫ب�ا ر و د ِه‬ ََ ‫ب����ص�ِل�ه‬ ُّ ‫َو ز� ِه‬ ََ ‫�ِ�ه‬ ‫��س���م �ك‬ َ ‫جِ� ن���ي� ن�ِ�ه‬ َْ‫ن‬ � � ‫ح�لِ�ه‬ ْ ِ‫ف‬ �‫ج‬ ‫��ِل�ه‬


-e {nāmūse} {qamle}

‘moskito’ [moscito] (f.1v) ‘louse’ [louse] (f.2v)

{dubbāne} ‘mosca’ [fly] (f.1v) {miʿzāye}

‘cabros’ pl. [goat] (f.3r)


‘cabros’ pl. [goat] (f.3r)


‘ganados obegunos’ ['ovejunos', ewe] (f.3r) ‘perdiz’ [partridge] (f.2v) ‘escopeta’ [shotgun] (f.23r) ‘zebolla’ [onion] (f.7v)

{ḥaǧale} {bārūde} {baṣale} {wa/uzze}

‘ganso’ [goose] (f.4r)


‘pez’ [fish] (f.5r)


‘jardinillo’ [little garden] (f.3r) ‘abeja’ [bee] (f.2v) ‘rabanos’ pl. [radish] (f.3r)

{naḥle} {fiǧle}


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

Table (cont.) -a

َ ‫�رَه‬ �‫ب�ُ ك‬


َ ُ‫�ذ‬ ‫�و ر ه‬ ‫ك‬


َ ‫���سِ���بوع�ه‬


َ ‫خِ�ي���ا ر ه‬


‘mañana’ [tomorrow] (f.19r) ‘macho’ pl. [males] (f.2v) ‘leon’ pl. [lions] (f.2r) ‘pepino’ [cucumber] (f.6r)

ّ ُ ‫��ه‬ ‫��س ِ�ك‬

ُ ‫ج� ْو ز� ِه‬

-e {sukke} {ǧōze}

‘reja’ [ploughshare] (f.5r) ‘nueces’ pl. [nut] (f.3v)

‫ج�ِ�ز �ير ِه‬


‫نِ� ش����ا ب�ِ�ه‬

‘isla’ [island] (f.5r)


‘flecha, saeta’ [arrow] (f.26v)

This notation of the distribution of the alternants -e/-a is astonishingly accurate, and corresponds more or less to what we know from contemporary Damascus Arabic. Diphthongs Words containing diphthongs cause some interpretational problems due to the varying forms of notation. It is unclear whether we are concerned here with a notational problem, i.e. Caballero could not make his mind up about how to write /ō/ and /ē/ in Arabic script, or whether there are dialectal variations. Consider the following cases: َ ُ‫خ‬ (1) ḍamma + sukūn = ō (?) ‫� ْو�خ �ه‬ {xōxa} ‘ziruela’ [ciruela, plum] (f.5r), modern xōxa ُ ‫�ل ْو ز� ِه‬ {lōze} ‘almendra’ [almond] (f.6v), modern lōze ُ ‫�ْ ز‬ {ǧōz} ‘nuez’ [nuts] (f.6v), �‫ج و‬ (2) kasra + sukūn = ē (?)

ْ ‫تِ��ي��س‬

ْ ‫�ِم��ي��س‬ ‫ش‬ ���‫�ِل��ي‬ ْ ‫ِد ي�ر‬ َ‫َ ز‬ (3) fatḥa + sukūn = aw/ay ‫�م ْو � ه‬ ْ َ‫خ‬ ‫�ي���ل‬

modern ǧōz ‘cabron’ [billy goat] (f.3r), modern tēs (Barthélemy 1935: 98) {mēs}? ‘oropel’ [gold foil] (f.16v), modern mīs (Barthélemy 1935: 809) {lēš} ‘porque’ [because] (f.20r), modern lēš {dēr} ‘convento’ [monastery] (f.37v), modern dēr {mawza} ‘higos de Adam’ [banana] (f.5r), modern mōza {xayl} ‘cavallo’ [horse] (f.3r), modern xēl {tēs}

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero َ ‫��صيْ���د‬ َْ �‫ب�ي�� ت‬ ْ َ‫ث‬ ‫�و ر‬

{ṣayd} {bayt} {ṯawr}


‘pesca’ [fishing] (f.9r), modern ṣēd ‘casa’ [house] (f.37v), modern bēt ‘toro’ [bull] (f.3r) but as in (1) ‫{ ال ُث ْور‬it-tōr} (f.12r), modern tōr

The transliterations offered here are tentative. While (1) and (2) seem to indicate a monophthong, (3) can only be read as a diphthong. At first glance, this would appear to suggest that diphthongs had only partly been replaced by monophthongs, which does َ not seem to beُ particularly plausible because of the variation as in ‫{ ث� ْو ر‬ṯawr} and ‫{ ا � ث�ل� ْو ر‬it-tōr}, as well as the apparent lack of phonetic conditioning; the likelihood is that Caballero is mixing the classical and colloquial forms here. ‫َقْ ن‬ On the other hand, there are unusual cases of (3), such as � ‫ �ي��ق���ا‬qayqān, َ ‫قق‬ the pl. َ of �ْ ‫ ��َا‬qāq ‘choia, graga, pega’ [crow, jackdaw, magpie] (f.4a), and ‫�ْ ن‬ � ḥayṭ, ḥayṭān ‘pared’ [wall] (f.36r). In these cases we expect � ‫ حي����ط�ا‬، ‫حي����ط‬ a plural KīKān, not KayKān, see modern Damascene qāq, qīqān ‘crow’ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 57b), and ḥēṭ, ḥīṭān (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 258a). In other cases we only find the vowel sign without the sukūn, and it remains َ ْ open to interpretation whether this has to be read as ū/ī or ō/ē: ‫‘ ���سِ�ن��ُوب�ر‬piñones’ [pine nut] (f.5r), modern ṣnōbar (Stowasser-Ani 1964: ُّ 173b) with /ṣ/; ‫‘ ج��مي��ِ�ز ِه‬sicomoro’ [sycamore tree] (f.5r), modern žǝmmēz ُ (Barthélemy 1935: 120); and ‫‘ ِا �ي�ل�وم‬oy, hoy’ [today] (f.37v), modern lyōm (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 244a). However, there is also: ‫ ث�ُو‬، ‫‘ ث�ُو�ِم�ه‬ajo’ [garlic] ‫م‬ ُ�ْ‫{ َ���ن‬yanbūʿ} ‘manantial’ (f.7v), modern tūm (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 100a); ‫بو‬ ‫ي‬ َ َ ‫ع‬ ‫ن‬ [spring, fountain] (f.10r), modern yambūʿ (Barthélemy 1935: 918); and �‫���ِي�� ت‬ ‫�ع���ا �كب‬ {ʿanākabīt}24 ‘araña’ pl. [spiders] (f.2r). Vowel Elision Modern Damascene Arabic elides the short vowels /i/ and /u/ in open pretonic syllables, thus enabling there to be syllable-initial consonant clusters. Even the /i/ from */a/ is elided (Grotzfeld 1964: 32 §37c). Some words underlie further phonological reductions. In the manuscript, however, we find that vowels are generally indicated here with the corresponding vowel signs, kasra and ḍamma:

24  A very strange plural formed from a root with five radicals. We would expect something like ʿanākeb, as in Elihay (2004: 14b).


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich ‫� ن���ا‬ ‫جِ ح‬ َ ‫جِ� ن���ي� ن�ِ�ه‬ ‫ك ش‬ ����‫�ِ�د ي‬ ِ

{ǧināḥ} {ǧinēne} {kidīš}

‫ن‬ �‫ِط��حِ���ي‬


‫�� ش‬ ��� ‫كا‬ ‫ِب‬



‫ن‬ �‫تِ����م��ي‬ ‫ج�ِ�ز �ير ِه‬ َ ‫ِ��ا جِ��ه‬ ‫د ج‬

{ǧilīd} {timīn} {ǧizīre} {diǧāǧe}

‘ala’ [wing] (f.5v), modern ž(i)nāḥ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b), žnāḥ (Barthélemy 1935: 123) ‘jardinillo’ [little garden] (f.7r), modern žnēne (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 100a) ‘rocín, cavallo de carga’ [packhorse, nag] (f.3r), modern gdīš (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 155a), kdīš (Barthélemy 1935: 738) ‘harina’ [flour] (f.8v),َmodern ṭḥīn (Stowasser-Ani ‫ د ��� ق‬daqīq ‘harina’ (f.8v), which is 1964: 93a) but cf. �‫ي‬ ِ‫ق‬ not Damascene and sounds Egyptian (diʾīʾ) ‘carnero’ pl. [rams] (f.3r), modern kbūše (StowasserAni 1964: 186a), but kbāš (Barthélemy 1935: 702) ‘ielo’ [‘hielo,’ ice] (f.12v), modern žalīd (StowasserAni 1964: 121a), žlīd (Barthélemy 1935: 117) ‘precioso’ [precious] (f.23v), modern tamīn (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 178) ‘isla’ [island] (f.5r), modern žazīre (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 127b), ǧazīre, zīre (Barthélemy 1935: 111) ‘gallina’ [hen] (f.5v), modern žāže (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 115b)

Further examples can be found in above. When the first consonant is a sibilant, initial consonant clusters seem to be possible (cf. below). In other cases, when modern Damascene Arabic elides vowels in open syllables (see Grotzfeld 1964: 32 §37), the manuscript provides full vowَ ُْ ُ els, for instance, ‫{ ز� �ل��ق����ط��ة‬ẓulquṭa} ‘avispa’ [wasp] (f.2v), compare this to the ُ ُ modern ẓǝlǝʾṭa (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 259a); ‫{ �م ش������م شِ����ه‬mušmuše} ‘alberchigo’ [apricot] (f.6v), modern mǝšǝmše (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 11a). An elision of a short /a/ in an open, unstressed syllable in medial position (CaCaCa > CaVVa), which is a feature that is not uncommon in the modern (see َْ َ‫ خ‬Grotzfeld 1964: 24 §36), seems to be indicated in َ‫ خ‬language َ‫خ‬ َ‫� ش‬ ‫� ش��َْ������ا ت‬ ‫ش‬ ، ‫�ه‬ �� ، ‫�ه‬ �� �� � � � � � � � ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ِ ‫{ ��� ب‬xašabe/xašbe} ‘madero, maderos’ [wood] (f.36v). Modern Damascene does not, however, elide the /a/ in this particular word: xašabe ‘piece of wood’ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 265b). All other items ََ of this type have only a fatḥa, e.g. ‫�ِ�ه‬ ‫{ ��س���م �ك‬samake} ‘pez’ [fish] (f.9r). Word-Final Clusters -CC The common anaptyctic vowel that is inserted in word-final consonant clusters25 is often indicated by a fatḥa, kasra or ḍamma on the first conso Well-known from Modern Damascus Arabic, cf. Cowell (1964: 29).


damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


nant of the cluster. This anaptyctic vowel copies the quality of the previous vowel: َ ‘leon’ [lion] (f.2r) ��َ‫{ ����س‬sabaʿ} ‫بع‬ َ ‘onza’ [hyena] (f.2r) ��َ �‫{ �ض‬ḍabaʿ} ‫� بع‬ َ‫َ ق‬ ‘ave de rapiña’ [bird of prey]26 (f.4r) ‫{ �ص��ر‬ṣaqar} ََ �‫ ب‬ {baḥar} ‘mar’ [sea] (f.10r) ‫حر‬ َ‫َ غ‬ ‘mulo’ [mule] (f.4v) ‫{ ب����ل‬baġal} ‘tigre’ [tiger] (f.3v) ‫{ نِ��ِ��مر‬nimir} ‫�َق‬ {qabir} ‘entierro’ [tomb] (f.1r) ‫ بِ��ر‬ ‫��� ن‬ {tibin} ‘pallo’ [straw] (f.4r) �ِ‫ تِب‬ ‫�ل�� ن‬ {libin} ‘adoves’ [‘adobes’, bricks] (f.36v) �ِ‫ ِب‬ ُ ُ‫ظ‬ ‘medio dia’ [noon] (f.37r) ‫{ ا �ل�����هر‬iẓẓuhur} Vowel insertion seems to be limited to the final liquidae /n/, /r/, /l/, and /ʿ/ in contrast to the unconditioned insertion in the modern dialects of the region. Note the following cases where the first consonant of these final clusters carries the sukūn: َ ‫��ْ ش‬ ‘carnero’ [ram] (f.2r) �� ‫ك‬ ‫�ب‬ � َ {kabš} ْ‫ن‬ � {naḥl} ‘abeja’ [bees] (f.2v) � ‫ح�ل‬ ْ ‘garduño’ [marten] (f.2r) ‫{ نِ����مَْ��س‬nims} ‫ف‬ ��‫ح‬ ‘macho’ [male animal] (f.3v) ‫{ � ل‬faḥl} In other cases both possibilities are indicated (see 5.2. above): َْ‫َ ق‬ � {ḥaql ~ ḥaqal} ‘campo’ [field] (f.5r) ‫ح�����ل‬ َْ‫َ ف‬ ‫ن‬ ��َ� ‫{ د‬dafn ~ dafan} ‘entierro’ [tomb] (f.1r) ْ ‫َن‬ ‫{ ���هر‬nahr ~ nahar} ‘rio’ [river] (f.10r) ْ ‘aquila’ [eagle] (f.2v) ‫��سر‬ ِ �ِ‫{ ن‬nisr ~ nisir} ْ ‘viga’ [beam] (f.36v), ‘puente’ [bridge] (f.9r) ‫��سر‬ ِ �‫{ ج‬ǧisr ~ ǧisir} ْ ِ‫ِ ف‬ � ‘rabanos’ [radish] (f.4r) ‫��ل‬ ِ‫{ ج‬fiǧl ~ fiǧil}  The Arabic ṣaqar actually means ‘falcon’.



otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

ُُْ ‫ خ‬ {buxl ~ buxul} ‘avaricia’ [avarice] (f.1r) ‫ب‬ ‫��ل‬ ُْ ُ‫غ‬ ‫ن‬ �‫{ �����ص‬ġuṣn ~ ġuṣun} ‘ramo’ [branch] (f.6v) ُ ‫ُ فْ ن‬ {sufn ~ sufun} ‘nave’ [ship] pl. (f.10r) ����‫ ��س‬ ُُْ ‫ �ه ن‬ {huǧn ~ huǧun} ‘dromedario’ pl. (f.4v) ���‫ج‬ Here, it seems, Caballero wanted to indicate both the classical pronunciation without the insertion and the dialectal pronunciation with an inserُُ tion. He incorporated the correct pl. �‫{ ��سف��� ن‬sufun} ‘ships’ in this group by ُُ ‫�جه‬, cf. hǝǧǝn (Barthélemy 1935: putting a šadda on the medial letter, as in �‫�� ن‬ 864). Apparently, this reflects colloquial usage. Word-Initial Cluster CCOften, a word-initial short vowel is indicated with a kasra under an alif, while in other cases a fatḥa is used, as is common in standard plural forms. This kasra certainly stands for an initial vowel that corresponds to standard usage, e.g. ‫نْث‬ {inṯāye} ‘hembra’ [female] (f.3v), modern ʾǝntāye ِ‫ِا ���ا ي��ه‬ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 88a) َ ْ �����ِ‫{ ِا ج� ن‬iǧniḥa} ‫ح�ه‬ ‘ala’ pl. [wings] (f.5v), modern ʾažniḥa (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b) ‫قف‬ ‘camdado’ pl. [‘candado’ padlocks] (f.36r), ‫{ ِا ������ا ل‬iqfāl} modern ʾfāl (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 167a) ‫ا ث�نَ��� ن‬ {iṯnēn} ‘dos’ [two] (f.10v), modern tnēn (Stowasser-Ani �‫ِ ي‬ 1964: 251b) ْ‫ن‬ َ‫��ا ص�ه‬ ‘pera’ [pear] (f.5r), modern nžāṣa (Stowasser� �‫{ ِا ج‬inǧāṣa} Ani 1964: 264b) َْ ‫{ ِا �ص��ط�ا د‬iṣṭād} ‘pescar’ [to fish] (f.9r), modern ṣṭād (StowasserAni 1964: 91b) َ ْ‫ن‬ ‫��ل��ِ�ز‬ ‘anguilas’ [eel] (f.9r), modern Damascus ḥanklīs ‫{ ِا � ك� ي‬inkalīz} ُْ ‫اِ �هو�ي�ه‬ ِِ

‫َن‬ ‫ا �ي��ا �ص‬ َ ‫ا ري�ا‬ ‫ح‬

{ihwiye, ihūye}

{anyāṣ} {aryāḥ}

(Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b), but Aleppo ʾǝnglēzi (Barthélemy 1935: 18) ‘viento’ pl. [winds] (f.12r), modern ʾǝhǝwye (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b), corresponds neatly to the modern forms ʾǝhuye, ʾǝhwǝye as given in Barthélemy (1935: 877) ‘puercoespin’ pl. [porcupines] (f.3v.), modern nyāṣ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 176b) ‘viento’ pl. [winds] (f.12r), modern ryāḥ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b, Barthélemy 1935: 303)

Caballero here more or less follows the classical orthography, sometimes putting a kasra to indicate an i-vowel where Classical Arabic would have

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


an /a/; in other cases he uses the fatḥa. In most cases, the modern dialect would have initial consonant clusters here. Particularly interesting are the spellings we find in the following examples: a word-initial sibilant carries both a kasra and a sukūn.

َ ْ

Figure 7. ‫ ���سِ�ن�� ُو ب�ر‬snōbar, sinōbar ‘piñones’ [pine nut] (f.5r)

ِ‫ْ ن‬

Figure 8. ‫ ِ����سب���ا �خ‬sbānix, sibānix ‘espinaca’ [spinach] (f.8v) �

ْ ِ‫زِ ِ ب‬

Figure 9. ‫ � ب�ي���ه‬zbībe, zibībe ‘pasa’ [raisin] (f.6v)


Figure 10. ‫ �ِ�س��ي�� نِ���ه‬sfīne, sifīne ‘nave’ [ship] (f.10r)


ْ Figure 11.  ‫� ��طُو‬ ṣṭūḥ, ṣiṭūḥ ‘terrazo, techo’ [terraces, roofs] (f.36v) ‫صِ ح‬


Figure 12. ‫ �ِ�سفِ�� ْر جِ��ل‬sfirǧil, sifirǧil ‘membrillo’ [quince] (f.5r)


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

At first glance, spellings like these suggest that Caballero tried to note a variation, i.e. an optional choice between a short vowel inserted between the two consonants and a cluster with a vowelless first consonant. Looking closer at the original writing, we can see that in many cases the kasra slightly precedes the sukūn.27 Could this be an infelicitous attempt to write an anaptyctic initial vowel, something like isnōbar, isbānix,28 izbīb etc.? According to the rules of Arabic orthography, this could only be written by means of an initial alif, since vowel signs need a carrying letter, which must be an alif word-initially. Starting these words with an alif would change their consonantal spelling drastically, and Caballero may have seen this as too strong an interference and divergence from the traditional writing habits and thus avoided it. Accepting this speculation, which might find a corroborating argument in the fact that these cases are limited to sibilant-initial words, would mean that we interpret the kasra as the anaptyctic ǝ that is so common in modern language. As long as this cannot be corroborated by further research on the manuscript and others of its kind, these considerations will continue to be speculative. See the following examples: ْ {zbībe} ‘pasa’ [raisin] (f.6v), modern zbībe (Stowasser-Ani ‫� ب�ِي���ه‬ ِ‫زِ ب‬ 1964: 186ab) ْ {stētīye} ‘tortola’ [turtle dove] (f.4r), modern stētīye ‫ِ����ست���ي���تي��ِ�ه‬ (Barthélemy 1935: 333) ‫��ْ��س���ا نِ�خ‬ {sbānix, ‘espinaca’ [spinach] (f. 8v), modern sabānex ‫ب‬ ِ � sibānix} (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 220a, Barthélemy 1935: 328), ْ ‫�ِ�سف��يِ�� نِ���ه‬ َُ ‫ْ ن‬ ‫���سِ���وب�ر‬

ْ ْ ‫�ِ�سفِ��ر جِ��ل‬

{sfīne, sifīne} {snōbar, sinōbar} {sfirǧil, sifirǧil}

but sbānix in ʿAbd ar-Raḥīm II (2003: 727) ‘nave’ [ship] (f.10r), modern saf īne (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b), sf īne (Barthélemy 1935: 346) for Aleppo ‘piñones’ [pine nut] (f.5r), modern ṣnōbar (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 173b), ṣanōbar, ṣnawbar (Barthélemy 1935: 446) ‘membrillo’ [quince] (f.5r), modern safarǧal (Barthélemy 1935: 344)

27  It is important here to go back to the original spelling of the manuscript. Looking only at the Arabic transliterations conducted by the software is insufficient, as the computer only permits pre-fixed positions of the vowel signs. 28  In modern dictionaries we find sabānex with an unelided /a/ in the first syllable, see Stowasser-Ani (1964: 220a), and Barthélemy (1935: 328). This reflects the influence of Standard Arabic in the modern language, see Lentin (2006: 546b) quoted above in footnote 22.

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero

‫ْن ن‬ ‫ِ��ص��و�و‬

ْ ُ‫� ��ط‬ ‫و‬ ‫صِ ح‬

{ṣnūnu, ṣinūnu} {ṣṭūḥ, ṣiṭūḥ}


‘golondrina’ [swallow] (f.4v), modern snūnu (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 264b), ṣnūnu (Barthélemy 1935: 447) for Aleppo pl. ‘terrazo, techo’ [terraces, roofs] (f.36v), modern ṣṭēḥa ‘terrace’ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 237a), ʾǝṣṭūḥ ‘roof’ (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 195a)

َ The pl. variants ‫{ ا ري�ا‬aryāḥ} and ‫{ ري�ا‬ryāḥ} of �‫‘ ر ي‬viento’ [wind] (f.12r) ‫ح‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ح‬ also seem to suggest this variation between an anaptyctic vowel and initial cluster, but ‫ ري�ا‬could also be an unvoweled notation of ‫ ي�ا‬. Only a ‫ح‬ ‫رِ ح‬ sukūn would make clear what is meant here. ْ The fact that ‫‘ جِ� ن���ا‬ala’ [wing] (f.5v) is incorporated in this group with ‫ح‬ initial sibilants suggests that ‫ ج‬was pronounced as a sibilant ž, not as an � affricate ǧ. 5.2.2. Consonants

‫ ث‬and /ð/ ‫�ذ‬. The Interdental Fricatives /θ/ � The interdental fricative /θ/ is rare in urban Syrian Arabic (θawra ~ sawra = ‘revolution’). The sound is used in classicisms and generally replaced by /s/ in a ‘less elegant style’ (Cowell 1964: 3). Its voiced interdental coun‫�ذ‬ terpart /ð/, corresponding to the Classical , is not used in urban Syrian Arabic, but only in certain rural dialects. In the urban dialects, its reflex is /d/ (as in háda = ‘this’) (Lentin 2006: 549a) or /z/ (íza = ‘if’ Lentin 2006: 554b). Caballero generally writes historical interdentals as such: َ َ‫�ذ‬ َ‫ث‬ {ḏakar} ‘macho’ [male] ‫� ْو ر‬ {ṯawr} ‘toro’ [bull] ‫ك‬ ‫�ر‬ (f.2v) (f.3r) ْ َ َ‫�ذ‬ {ḏahab} ‘oro’ [gold] ‫ِا ن�ث��ا ي�ِ�ه‬ {inṯāye} ‘hembra’ �‫�ه� ب‬ (f.16v) [female] (f.3r) ْ َ َ َ ‫ق�ذ ف‬ ‘remar’ [to row] ‫ث��ل��ج‬ {ṯalǧ} ‘nieve’ [snow] �� �� {qaḏaf } � (f.10v) (f.12v) Nevertheless, in a certain number of cases they appear as stops: ُ ‫{ َ� ْ غ��ُ ت‬barġūt} ‘pulga’ [flea] ‫د ب�ا ن�ِ�ه‬ {dubbābe} ‘mosca’ [fly] � ‫بر و‬ (f.2v) (f.2v) ُ ‫ن‬ ‫د را‬ {timīn} ‘precioso’ {dura} ‘mijo’ [millet] �‫تِ����م��ي‬ ‫�تْ ن‬ ��‫�ِم� ���م‬

[precious] (f.23v) {mitmin} ‘precioso’ [precious] (f.23v)

‫ُ قْ ف‬ �� ‫{ �م�����د ا‬muqdāf}


‘remo’ [oar] (f.10v)


ُ ‫�ّ ا ت‬ � ‫كر‬

otto zwartjes and manfred woidich {kurrāt}



َ ‫َق ن‬ ��� ‫د‬


‘puerros’ [leek] ‫� ن�����د‬ (f.6r)

‘erizo’ [hedgehog] (f.2r) [beard] (f.1r) ‫ا ف�ْ َ��س��ن ت��� ن‬ in = �‫ي‬

َ ‫ل��َ��������خ‬ ‫َق ن ش‬ ‫د ��� ا � ي‬

‘inciento berde’ [‘verde’ absinth]

It should be noted that the same root may be presented differently, e.g. ‫ْ ف‬ ‫َق�ذَ ف‬ f.10v gives �� ِ‫ ي���ق����ذ‬، �� �� {qaḏaf, yiqḏif} ‘remar’ [to row] with the interden‫{ َق� ّ�د ا ف��� ن‬qaddāfīn} (sic!)29 ‘remador’ [rowers], tal, the corresponding nouns �‫ي‬ ‫ُ قْ ف‬ ‫ُ قَ ف‬ ����‫ �م�����ا د ي‬، �� ‫{ �م�����د ا‬muqdāf, muqādīf} and ‘remo’ [oar], however, show the plosive ‫د‬. /m/ ~ /l/

ْ ْ

Figure 13.  ‫ ا �م ب���ا ر‬، ‫  ا ��ل��ا‬ilbāriḥ ~ imbāriḥ ‘aier tarde’ [yesterday evening] ‫ح‬ ‫ب رِح‬ (f.37v)30

ْ ْ The item ‘yesterday evening’ appears with the variants ‫ ا �م ب���ا ر‬، ‫ا ��ل��ا‬ ‫ح‬ ‫ب رِح‬ ilbāriḥ ~ imbāriḥ ‘aier tarde’ (f. 37v), whereas in modern Damascene Arabic only mbāreḥ, mbārḥa ‘hier soir’ with an assimilated /l/ and as fem. is attested (Stowasser-Ani 1964: 269a). The unassimilated masc. form ilbāriḥ is more common in the Eastern parts of Syria (cf. Behnstedt 1997: 611 map 305). However, until we know more about Caballero’s sources, it will be difficult to say whether this does indeed reflect Damascene usage around 1700. bukaṛa—Syndrome An /a/ is inserted in a cluster, the second consonant of which is /r/, which is a common feature of Middle Egyptian dialects, although it is not ‫َق ّ ف‬

‫ ��د ا ��� ن‬is a plural, the translation is sg.  �‫ي‬ 30  Cf. González; Intérprete arábico f. 25: “El vulgo pronuncia ayer tarde 29

‫ا �م���ا‬.” ‫ب رح‬

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


present in modern Damascene Arabic. There are examples of this in the ُ َ �َ ُ َ �َ �َ manuscript: ‫�ره‬ ‫{ ب� ك‬bukara} ‘mañana’ [tomorrow] (f.37v), ‫�ره‬ ‫{ �مو�ي�ه ع ِك‬mūye ِ ُ ُ‫ظ‬ ّ ُ ُ‫ظ‬ ʿaka/ire} ‘aguaturbia’ [troubled water] (f.10r), and ‫ ���هر�ي�ه‬، �‫{ ���هر �ي‬ḏ̣ uhuri, ḏ̣ uhuriyya} ‘meridiano’ [noonish] (f.37r):


�‫ ب�ُ ك‬bukara ‘mañana’ [tomorrow] (f.37v) Figure 14. ‫�ره‬ Loss of hamza As is common in all modern dialects, we find /y/ instead of hamza in, for example, the broken pl. forms: ‫{ ن�� ن‬kināyin} ‘nueras’ pl. [daughter-in-law] (f.48r) ��‫كا ِي‬ ِ ‫َق‬ �‫{ �ر ا ي�ِ ب‬qarāyib} ‘parientes’ [kin] (f. 49v) From spellings such as ِ‫{ �لُو�لُوه‬lūluwe} ‘perla’ [pearl] (f.16v), pl. ‫�لو�لو‬, it may be concluded that hamza was no longer pronounced. 5.3. Morphology 5.3.1. Independent Personal Pronouns Caballero divides the ‘indistinct noun’ (‘nombre indistinto’) or ‘pronoun’ (pronombre) into three categories: personal, demonstratives and relatives. Personal pronouns can be divided into ‘disjunct’ or ‘separate’ (‘disiunto, o separado’) and affix/suffix pronouns (‘pronombre afixo’). According to Caballero, separate pronouns can only have the function of an ‘agent’ or nominative: “El separado tiene solamente significacion por modo de agente, esto es por modo de nominatiuo y es:”31 (f. 25v) ُ ُ ُ {hun}�‫�ه� ن‬ {hum} ‫�ه‬ {hī}�‫�هي‬ {hū}‫�هو‬ ‫م‬ ipsi [themselves] ِ‫ن‬ ‫�ْ ن‬ � }niḥn/niḥin{ ��ِ‫ح‬ nos [we] 31

ipsi [themselves]

‫} ا ن�ا‬ana{ ego [I]

ُْ ‫} ِا ن�ت�وا‬intu{

vos (com.) [you (pl. c.)]

 Same order as in the manuscript.

ipsa [herself]

ْ �‫} ِا ن� ت‬inta{

tu (masc.) [you (masc.)]

ipse [himself]

ْ‫ن‬ �‫} ِا �تِ�ي‬inti{ tu (fem.)

[you (fem.)]


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

Caballero notes that in literary Arabic, Arabic grammarians distinguish a form for the second person masculine pl. and another for the feminine pl. َّ ُ‫ْت‬ ‫ت‬ i.e. ��‫{ ا ن‬antum} and �‫{ ا ن��� ن‬antunna}, as well as other forms for the dual. This ‫م‬ is different from the colloquial Arabic of Damascus, where no gender distinction is made in the second and third person plurals of pronouns (and verbs), and a dual does not exist in the verbal and pronominal systems (see Lentin 2006: 548). According to Lentin (loc.cit), the paradigm of the pronouns of Damascus Arabic appears as follows:32 Singular


1st person 2nd person masc.

ʾana ʾənte


fem. 3rd person masc.

ʾənti huwe



ʾəntu hənne(n)

ُ Caballero, however, observes that this form �‫ �ه� ن‬for the masculine is only ُ used in colloquial speech in some regions: “El vulgar aun esta diccion �‫�ه� ن‬ en algunos Paises la suelen incluir en la masculina” (par. 4, f. 25v).33 Hon is in fact the third person plural masculine and feminine of the bound personal pronoun of modern Damascene Arabic. It should also be noted that for the first person ْ ِ‫ ن‬pl. the forms given by Caballero differ partly from � {niḥn/niḥin} [we] has a final consonant cluster, or � the modern ones: �‫حِ� ن‬ a variant with an inserted vowel (cf. above). This is in contrast to modern nəḥna; similar forms are found today in rural areas to the north of Damascus and Aleppo and in Antakia (see Behnstedt 1997: 511 map 255), but Cowell (1964: 539) also uses nǝḥǝn apparently for modern Damascene. 5.3.2. Demonstratives Caballero gives two paradigms of demonstratives, although he does not use González’s term ‘demonstratiuo propinquo’ for ‘hic, haec, hoc,’ but only ‘demonstratiuo remoto’ for the form ‘ille, illa, illud’. (f.152). Caballero sets out the following demonstrative pronouns:  For more variant forms see also Driver (1925: 25–26). ُ ُ  Cf. González: “El vulgar suele equivocar a �‫ �ه� ن‬con ‫( ”�ه‬f.143).

32 33


damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero Haec Hic Hi et hae

‫ �ذِ ه‬ َ‫�ذ‬ ‫َُ ا‬ ‫�ذ‬ �‫ �ه� و لي‬


Demostratibos ‫�ذ‬

‫�ه� ِه‬ َ‫�ذ‬ ‫َ�ه� ا‬ ‫�ه ُ ل‬ � ِ‫و ي‬

Estos demostrativos si se juntan con nonbres, el vulgo los abreuia, principalَ mente en la pronunciación se pone esta abreuiatura ‫�ه�ل‬.34 Vg. Nunc modo ُ ُ ‫َ�ذ � �ت‬ ‫ق‬ ‫�ه� ه ا ل ك‬ �‫ �ه�ا �ل َو�� ت‬Hi libri �‫�� � ب‬ I se pone dichas particulas sin distinción de genero y numero y se las pone para singular y plural, para masculino y femenino Los pronombres demostratiuos remotos son estos v[erbi] g[rati]a. Ille, is Illa, ea Illi et illae

َ‫�ذ‬ ‫ �ِل�ك‬ ‫ُ تِ��ل�ك‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ �ه� و �ي�ل��ك‬

‫ �ذَِ ه‬ Haec ‫�ذ‬ ‫ ا‬ Hic ُ‫َ�ذ‬ Hi et hae �‫ �ه� و لي‬

‫�ذ‬ ‫ اك‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫َ ي��ك‬ ‫ �ه ُولا ي��ك‬

‫َ�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ا ك‬ ‫َ�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ي��ك‬ ‫( ا ُو �ي�ل��ك‬f. 21v).

[Demonstratives ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ِه‬ َ‫�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ا‬ َ ‫�ه ُو يل‬ � ِ

The [ordinary] people abbreviate these demonstratives if they are َ combined with nouns, in particular they use these shortened forms ‫ �ه�ل‬in their ُ ‫َ�ذ‬ ‫ �ه�ا �ل َ ق�� ت‬Hi libri ��‫��ُ�ت‬ pronunciation, e.g. Nunc modo (“this moment”) � ‫و‬ ‫�ه� ه ا �ل ك ب‬ (“these books”). And when these particles are used, gender and number are not distinguished and they are used for the singular and plural, masculine and feminine. The remote demonstrative pronouns are as follows, e.g. Ille, is (“this”, etc.) Illa, ea Illi et illae

َ‫�ذ‬ ‫ �ِل�ك‬ ‫ تِ��ل�ك‬ ُ‫�ذ‬ ‫ �ه� و �ي�ل��ك‬

‫�ذ‬ ‫ اك‬ ‫�ذ‬ ‫ ي��ك‬ َ ‫ �ه ُولا ي��ك‬

‫َ�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ا ك‬ ‫َ�ذ‬ ‫�ه� ي��ك‬ ‫( ا ُو �ي�ل��ك‬f. 21v).]

Lentin (p. 548) gives the form hal- when assimilated to sun-letters; hāda (masc.), hādi or hayy (fem.), and hadōl (plural); remote: hadāk, hadīk(e), pl. hadolīk or hadənk(e); all except the latter are also documented by Caballero.35 What is striking here is ‫{ �ذِ ه‬ḏeh} and ‫{ ذَا‬ḏā} without the prefixed hā-. Similar forms are not mentioned in modern grammars and appear only in

34  According to Grotzfeld (1965: 21) the form hā + article in halbēt (‘this house’) in SyroPalestinian and particularly in Damascene Arabic is not the result of the apocope of -da in hāda but its origins can be traced back to the interjection hā + article. Cf. Driver (1925: 35). 35  For more variant forms, see Driver (1925: 34).


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

the village ʿĒn ǝtTīne, north of Damascus, and in the oasis of Soukhne (see Behnstedt 1997: 551,553, maps 275 and 276). 5.3.3. Relative Pronouns Caballero first sets out the classical forms of the relative pronoun, followed by the forms used in ‘vulgar speech’: “El vulgo en lugar destos rela‫�ذ‬ tiuos,ّ suelen poner sinّ distinction de genero y numero este vga.36 e ‫ا �ل� �ى‬ este �‫ ا لي‬El siervo que �‫ ا �ل�ع ب���د ا لي‬. . .”, (f. 21r–22v). This corresponds to Lentin (p. 549) and Grotzfeld (1965: 24), where we read that the relative pronoun is invariable, although both authors give different forms, əlli (lli after a vowel), yəlli and halli/yalli, which are not documented by Caballero or González. 5.3.4. The Nominal System: Case As Driver (1925: 154) observes, “there is no trace of the old case-endings left in modern Arabic”, which is corroborated by Caballero: Los Arabos en la lengua vernacular o vulgar no tienen terminacion de cassos en el nonbre assi como los Castellanos, de suerte, que como nosotros al hombre vga. Siempre le terminamos de una misma suerte y solo hacemos cassos por preposiciones vg. El hombre, del hombre & assi tanbien los َُ َُ Arabos dicen El hombre ‫ ا �لر ج��ل‬o Varon ‫( �ِم� ن� ا �لر ج��ل‬Caballero f. 15v)

[The Arabs do not distinguish nominal case-endings in their vernacular or vulgar speech, like we Castilians do, e.g. the word ‘el hombre’ (the man) always ends in the same way, and we only make cases with prepositions, َُ e.g. The man, of the man, and the Arabs say also The man ‫ا �لر ج��ل‬, ar-raǧul, َُ ‫ن‬ or Male, ‫�ِم�� ا �لر ج��ل‬, min ar-raǧul of the man.]

5.3.5. The Verbal System bi-Prefix Generally, it is the paradigm of Classical Arabic that is set out, but there are often also observations about vernacular forms. In Caballero/Encarnación, we find a description of the use of the proclitic b- with its allo-

36  González (f. 154): “En el modo ّmas vulgar de hablar a estos relatiuos los suele sinco‫�ذ‬ par y ponen en lugar de ‫ ا �ل� �ى‬este �‫”ا لي‬.

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


morph m- for the first person plural.37 This is a vernacular form that is used in ‘some countries’, such as Damascus, according to the author(s): Nota que en algunos Paises como Damasco al presente de indicativo le añaden a su primera letra seruil un �‫ ب‬y en la primera persona ‫� �ف‬del plural un . De‫ ف‬suerte que en el Vulgar modo de hablar dicen ‘No sé’ � ‫ �م�ا ب�ا عر‬en lugar ‫‘ �م�ا ا �ع � م‬yo no lo se’ ‫‘ �ه ���ع �ف‬el lo sabe’ de ��‫‘ �م ن‬nos vamos’. (Caballero �‫ر‬ � ‫و بي ر‬ ‫ر‬ ‫و‬ ‫ح‬ f. 42r).

[Note that in some regions, such as in Damascus, they add a �‫ ب‬to the first servile letter in the present of the indicative and in the first person plural ‫ف‬ [they add] a , so that in the vulgar way of speaking, they say: �� ‫‘ �م�ا ب�ا �عر‬I do ‫م‬ ‫� �ف‬ ‫�ف‬ not know’ instead of � ‫�م�ا ا عر‬, ‘I do not know’ � ‫‘ �هو ب�ي��عر‬he knows’ ‫�م ن��ر و‬ ‫ح‬ ‘we are going’.]

Figure 15. bi-prefix (f.42r.)

In González’s grammar (f.103) there is a similar description of the proclitic b-imperfect: Nota asimesmo para lo que sucede en algunos payses en el vulgar modo de hablar, que al presente de indicativo al íe servil le añaden en algunas 37  “The present tense is formed by prefixing b to the imperfect in all persons except the first person plural, to which m- is prefixed, although b is sometimes heard” (Driver 1925: 50).


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich

‫َ ف‬

personas el �‫ ب‬y en la primera de plural el . Y asi dicen �� ‫ �هو ب�ي��عر‬en lugar ‫َ ف‬ ‫م‬ de �� ‫ �هو �ي�عر‬El lo sabe. Ya lo sabe. . . . (González, Epítome 1719: f. 103) [Note also that it occurs in some countries in vulgar speech that in some persons b is added to ie in the present of the indicative, and in the first ‫َ ف‬ ‫َ ف‬ person plural the m; they say �� ‫ �هو ب�ي��عر‬instead of �� ‫ �هو �ي�عر‬He knows [it], he knows [it] yet. . . .]

González points out here the allomorph m- which is an alternate form for the prefix b- used with the first person plural prefix. This description corresponds quite neatly to the modern situation, because the prefix bhas an alternate form m- which is used with the first person plural prefix: me-nə́ -ktob ‘we write’, mə-n-šū́f ‘we see’ mə-m-bī�ʿ́ ‘we sell’ (cf. Cowell 1964: 180; see also Grotzfeld 1965: 81–82). Vowels of the Personal Prefixes of the Imperfect The personal prefixes of the imperfect display two different vowels, indicated by the kasra /i/ and the ḍamma /u/. Their distribution is rather systematic and corresponds to some extent to the base vowel. If this is the ḍamma /u/, then the prefix has /u/ as well. If the base vowel is the fatḥa /a/ or kasra /i/, the vowel of the prefix is /i/ in both cases: ُ ‫حُْ ث‬ ‘arar’ [to plough] (f.9v) � ‫{ ي�ر‬yuḥruṯ} ُ‫ُ�ْ ف‬ �‫{ ي‬yuḥfur} ‘cabar’ [to dig] (f.8v) ‫ح����ر‬ َ ْ‫ِ�ز‬ � ‘sembrar’ [to sow] (f.9v) ‫{ ي ْرع‬yizraʿ} ‫ث‬ ‘nevar’ [to snow] (f.12v) ����� {yiṯliǧ} �‫يِ لِ ج‬ 6. Conclusion The standardization of the Arabic languages began in the age of the study of Qurʾānic exegese. European scholars, such as Thomas Erpenius and Jacob Golius, wrote grammars and compiled dictionaries for academic purposes, while the study of Arabic was mainly a tool for Hebrew studies. Missionaries of the Propaganda Fide composed grammars and dictionaries in Latin and concentrated on Classical Arabic. As we have demonstrated in this paper, Spanish Franciscans initially described colloquial registers, and it is only at the end of their grammar that the rules of Classical Arabic are provided. The manuscripts which were developed in the Middle East are undoubtedly important for: (1) those working in the field of the history of linguistics (as we have demonstrated in Zwartjes 2007a and b), since

damascus arabic in the compendio of caballero


the original Arabic linguistic terminology is maintained in an adapted Hispanicised form, extending in this way the Greco-Latin framework; and (2) for the scholars working in the field of the history of the Arabic language and its varieties, in particular the colloquial Arabic spoken in Damascus. A good example of this type of grammar is the manuscript by Lucas Caballero, which contains much colloquial material. In some respects, the data given in this manuscript correspond to modern Damascus Arabic. As we have shown in, for instance, Caballero’s data very nicely reflect the allomorphic variation of the fem. suffix -a/-e in modern Damascus Arabic. In other respects, in particular when it comes to the insertion and elision of vowels (see the discussion above in and, the data deviate from modern Damascus Arabic. Further thorough study, in particular with respect to scribal habits, will certainly reveal more details and lead to a better understanding and the correct interpretation. For the time being, however, we cannot tell with reasonable certainty whether we have to assume here the influence of the standard variety or another Arabic dialect on Caballero’s language, possibly that of his non-Damascene teachers and informants (see 5.1 above). Alternatively, it may be that this description represents an older stage of linguistic development, namely a kind of pre-modern Damascus Arabic. The questions are: how reliable is the data from the beginning of the eighteenth century that is presented here? Can we trust in Caballero’s actual knowledge of the Damascus colloquial of his time?38 To find an answer to these questions, and to obtain a more complete picture of the problems at hand, it is extremely important to carefully investigate this and similar works on Damascus Arabic by the Spanish Franciscans. This is a desideratum for the future. The Arabic material collected by these authors from native speakers could prove to be extremely useful in our attempts to reconstruct the colloquial variety as it was spoken in Damascus around the year 1700. ُْ ّ

 There are obvious mistakes such as ‫{ ك ���سِ�ن���ه �ع�مَر ك‬kam sinne ʿumrak?} ‘how old are ‫م‬ you?’ Somehow, the words sane ‘year’ and sinn ‘age’ appear to be mixed up here. The šadda on the nūn seems to be superfluous, since it is either kam sane ʿumrak? or kam sane ‫َ ُ ن‬ ‫ �َ ا د � ن‬transsinnak? ‘how old are you?’—A different case represents the item �‫ ج� ْر د و‬، �‫ي‬ ‫جر‬ lated as ‘lagarto’ [lizard] (f.2r). It shows clearly ‫{ ج‬ǧ} in both the sg. and pl., but ‘lizard’ is 38



‫ ح‬with {ḥ}. �‫ ج�ر د و‬would be ‘rat’, as is correctly quoted common in the Levant as �‫�ر د و‬ ‫ح‬ in f.2v. This seems to be a copyist’s error, which gives rise to the question of whether Caballero noted his entries ‘viva voce’ or took over lists of items prepared for him by, for instance, native speakers.


otto zwartjes and manfred woidich References A. Primary Sources

Alcalá, Pedro de. [Before 5 feb. 1505a]. Arte para ligeramente saber la lengua arauiga. Salamanca: Juan Varela. ——. [Before 5 feb. 1505b]. Vocabulista arauigo en letra castellana. Salamanca: Juan Varela. ——. 1971/1883 [c.1506a].39 Arte para ligera mente saber la lengua arauiga emendada y añadida y Segunda mente imprimida. Salamanca: Juan Varela. Reimpresiones [1506a y b]: Paul de Lagarde: Petri Hispani de lingua arabica libri duo. Gottingae: In aedibus Dieterichianis Arnoldi Hoyer. Reprint: Osnabrück: Otto Zeller, 1971[1883]. [Biblioteca Nacional, R 31638.] ——. 1971/1883 [c.1506b]. Vocabulista arauigo en letra castellana. Salamanca: Juan Varela. [Biblioteca Nacional, R 31638.] Reeditions [1506a y b]: Paul de Lagarde: Petri Hispani de lingua arabica libri duo. Gottingae: In aedibus Dieterichianis Arnoldi Hoyer. Reprint: Osnabrück: Otto Zeller, 1971[1883]. ——. 1928 [c.1506b]. Facsimilar edition: New York: Hispanic Society of America. Cañes, Francisco. 1775. Gramatica arabigo-española, vulgar, y literal. Con un diccionario arabigo-español, en que se ponen las voces mas usuales para una conversacion familiar, con el Texto de la Doctrina Cristiana en el idioma arabigo. Madrid: En la Imprenta de Don Antonio Perez de Soto. [Biblioteca Nacional, 3/ 53522.] Cauallero (= Caballero), Lucas. 1709.40 Compendio de los Rudimentos y Gramatica Araba en que se da suficiente notizia de la lengua Vernacula o Vulgar y algunas Reglas de la literal Iustamente P.M.R.F. Bernardino Gonzalez hijo de la Proâ de la Concepzion en España Lector Jubilado en Arabo y Misionero Apostolico del Oriente y recoplada por el Re.do P. Fr. —— Mo Apostolico hijo de la Proa de los Angeles Lector actual Arabo en el colegio de Damasco. Ms [Roggebiblioteket (Kungliga biblioteket—Sveriges nationalbibliotek), Strängnäs, Handskriftssamlingen, Sweden; J. Tingstadii Gåfva 4:0, 108.] Cauallero, Lucas. 1710. Manera o modo de introducirse hablar en que se ponen las mas frequentes salutaciones que se hacen vnos a otros los que vsan la lengua Araba con algunas otras palabras communes para los principiantes. Comenzelo dia dieziseis de henero de 1710 dia en que nuestra sagrada Relijion dio el primer lustre a la Iglesia por los Bienabentura y sus Compañeros. Ms [Roggebiblioteket (Kungliga biblioteket—Sveriges nationalbibliotek), Strängnäs, Handskriftssamlingen, Sweden; J. Tingstadii Gåfva 4:0, 108.] Fuentes, Pedro Antonio. 1775. Gramatica vulgar griego-española. Compuesta por el P. Fr. —— de la Regular Observancia de N.P. San Francisco de la Santa, y Apostolica Provincia de Santiago, Predicador Apostolico, Ex-Guardian de Belen, Ex-Presidente Parroco, y Lector de lengua Griega en el Colegio de Misiones de Santa Cruz de Leufcosia, Capital del Reyno de Chipre. Madrid: Joachin Ibarra. [Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid Sign. R-38693]. ——. 1776. Gramatica griego-literal para el uso de los estudios de España y seminario de Tierra Santa por el P. Fr. —— de la Regular Observancia de nuestro P.S. Francisco, Guar­ dian del Convento de Belen, Presidente, lector y Párroco que ha sido de lengua griega en los Conventos de Santa Cruz de Nicosía y Santa María de Lárnica en el Reyno é Isla de Chipre. Madrid: Joaquin Ibarra. http://adrastea.ugr.es/search~S9*spi?/.b1109120/.b1109120/1,1,1,B/ l962~b1109120&FF=&1,0,,0,-1 González, Bernardino. 2005 [c. 1705]. Intérprete Arábico: epítome de la gramática arábiga. Edición y estudio preliminar por Ramón Lourido Díaz. 2 vols. Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia / Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación. 39  Works without date, place or editor. Only the Vocabulista has a date (1505). The works have been printed probably between 1504 and 1508 (cf. Anssens-Lestienne 1983 and Norton 1978: 124–126). 40  In the colophon we read that the work was finished in 1710.

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——. 2005 [1719]. Epitome de la gramatica Arabiga en que se explica la lengua Araba en la Castellana, que es la mas unibersal en España. Convento de N.P.S. Francisco de Segovia. Ed. Ramón Lourido Díaz. Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia / Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación. Henriques, Henrique. [Anrrique Anrriquez]. 1982 [1549]. Arte malauar. Ed. Hans J. Vermeer: The First European Tamil Grammar. A critical edition by ——. English version by Angelika Morath. Heidelberg: Julius Groos Verlag. [Edition based on cod. 3141, Biblioteca Nacional, Lisboa]. Martelottus (= Martelotti), Franciscus. 1620. Institutiones Linguae Arabicae tribus libris distributae. In quibus uberrime quaecumque ad litteras, dictiones & orationem attinent, explicantur. Authore P. Francisco Martelotto Martinensi, Sacerdote, Theologo, Clericorum Regularium Minorum. Romae: Excudebat Stephanus Paulinus. Rodriguez, Ioão. 1604–1608. Arte da lingoa de Iapam composta pello Padre —— Portugues da Cõpanhia de IESV diuidida em tres livros. Nangasaqui: no Collegio de Iapão da Companhia de IESV. Facsimile edition: Tadao Doi, ed. 1976 [1604–1608]. Tokyo: Bensheisha. Rodrigvez, Ioam. 1620. Arte Breve da Lingoa Iapoa tirada da Arte Grande da mesma lingoa, pera os que começam a aprender os primeiros principios della. Pello Padre —— da Companhia de Iesv Portugues do Bispado de Lamego. Diuidida em tres Livros. Amacao: no Collegio da Madre de Deos da Companhia de Iesv. Ruggieri, Michele & Matteo Ricci. 2001 [1583–1588]. Dicionário Português-Chinês = Pu Han ci dian. Ed. John W. Witek. San Francisco: Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, University of San Francisco. Varo, Francisco. 2000 [1703]. Arte de la lengua mandarina compuesto por el M.Ro. Pe —— de la sagrada Orden de N.P.S. Domingo, acrecentado, y reducido a mejor forma, por No H. fr. Pedro de la Piñuela P[redicad]or y Comisario Prov[incial] de la Mission Serafica de China. Añadiose un Confessionario muy vtil, y provechoso para alivio de los nuevos Ministros. Canton: [publisher unknown]. ____. 2000 [1703]. Arte de la lengua mandarina. Ed. W. South Coblin and Joseph Abraham Levi: Francisco Varo’s Grammar of the Mandarin Language (1703). An English translation of ‘Arte de la lengua mandarina’. With an Introduction by Sandra Breitenbach. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 93). [Facsimile of Ms 1682, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana R. G. Oriente III, 246 int. 7.]. ——. 2006 [between 1677–1687]. Vocabulario de la lengua Mandarina con el estilo y vocablos con que se habla sin elegancia. Compuesto por el Padre fray —— ord. Pred. Ministro de China consumado en esta lengua escrivese guardando el orden del A.B. c.d. Ed. W. South Coblin: Francisco Varo’s Glossary of the Mandarin Language. Vol. I: An English and Chinese Annotation of the Vocabulario de la Lengua Mandarina. Vol. II: Pinyin and English Index of the Vocabulario de la Lengua Mandarina. Nettetal: Sankt Augustin (Monumenta Serica Monograph Series LIII/1 and LIII/2). B. Secondary Sources ʿAbd ar-Raḥīm, Yāsīn. 2003. Mawsūʿat al-ʿāmmīya al-sūrīya. al-Ǧuzʾ al-ṯānī. Dimašq: Manšūrāt Wizārat al-ṯaqāfa. Anssens-Lestienne, Yannick. 1983. ‘L’arabe andalou. Sources et Bibliographie’. Matériaux arabes et sudarabiques (MAS ): Recherches en cours 1983. Paris: Paul Geuthner. 11–60. Auroux, Sylvain. 1992. Histoire des idées linguistiques. Vol. 2. Le développement de la grammaire occidentale. Liège: Pierre Mardaga. Barthélemy, A. 1935. Dictionnaire Arabe-Français. Dialectes de Syrie: Alep, Damas, Liban, Jérusalem. Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner. Behnstedt, Peter. 1989. ‘Christlich Aleppinische Texte’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 20. 43–96. ——. 1997. Sprachatlas von Syrien. Kartenband. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz (Semitica viva 17).


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Norton, F.J. 1978. A Descriptive Catalogue of Printing in Spain and Portugal 1501–1520. Cambridge, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Padley, G.A. 1988. Grammatical Theory in Western Europe 1500–1700. Trends in vernacular grammar. Vol. 2. Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge University Press. Piemontese, Angelo M. 1996. ‘Grammatica e lessicografia araba in Italia dal XVI al XVII secolo’. Tavoni, Mirko (ed.), Italia ed Europa nella linguistica del Rinascimento: confronti e relazioni / Italy and Europe in Renaissance Linguistics: Comparisons and relations. Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Ferrara, Palazzo Paradiso, 20–24 marzo 1991. Vol. 2: L’Italia e l’Europa non romanza. Le lingue orientali. Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini. 519–532. Schreyer, Rüdiger. 1992. The European Discovery of Chinese (1550–1615) or the Mistery of Chinese unveiled. Amsterdam: Stichting Neerlandistiek (Cahiers voor Taalkunde 5). South Coblin, W. 2000. ‘A Brief History of Mandarin’. Journal of the American Oriental Society 120: 4. 537–552. Stowasser, Karl and Moukhtar Ani. 1964. A Dictionary of Syrian Arabic (dialect of Damascus): English–Arabic. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press (Arabic series 5). Woidich, Manfred and Liesbeth Zack. ‘The g/ǧ-question in Egyptian Arabic revisited.’ Enam Al-Wer and Rudolf de Jong (eds.), Arabic Dialectology. In Honour of Clive Holes on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden, Boston: Brill (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 53). 41–60. Zack, Liesbeth. 2009. Egyptian Arabic in the Seventeenth Century: a study and edition of Yūsuf al-Maġribī’s Dafʿ al-iṣr ʿan kalām ahl Miṣr. Utrecht: LOT (LOT 199). Zwartjes, Otto. 2007a. ‘Inflection and Government in Arabic according to Spanish Missionary Grammarians from Damascus (XVIIIth century): Grammars at the crossroads of two systems?’ Ditters, Everhard and Motzki, Harald (eds.), Approaches to Arabic Linguistics. Presented to Kees Versteegh on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. Leiden & Boston: Brill (Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics 49). 209–244. ——. 2007b. ‘Agreement Asymmetry in Arabic according to Spanish Missionary Grammarians from Damascus (18th century)’. Zwartjes, Otto, James, Gregory and Ridruejo, Emilio (eds.), Missionary Linguistics III/ Lingüística Misionera III. Morphology and Syntax. Selected papers from the Third and Fourth International Conferences on Missionary Linguistics, Hong Kong/ Macau, 12–15 March 2005, Valladolid, 8–11 March 2006. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 111). 273–303. ——. 2007c. ‘Review’. Lourido Díaz (2005 and 2006). Aljamía 19. 451–471. ——. 2011. Portuguese Missionary Grammars in Asia, Africa and Brazil, 1550–1800. Amsterdam & Phildelphia: John Benjamins. (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 117).

List of Contributors Berend Jan Dikken studied Arabic and Islamic Studies, Theology and Bible Translation in Utrecht, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam (VU), Cairo and Leiden. He wrote his master’s thesis under the guidance of G.H.A. Juynboll about the position of Jews and Christians in Early Islam according to Muslim Traditions. He teaches comparative religion at the Theological University in Apeldoorn. He is currently a PhD candidate at Leiden University, writing his thesis about the text critical study of Saʿadya Gaon’s Arabic Pentateuch by Coptic Christians in the 13th century AD.  Lutz Edzard is Professor of Semitic linguistics at the University of Oslo. His research interests include comparative Semitic and Afroasiatic linguistics with a focus on phonology, Arabic linguistics, and the history of diplomatic documents in Semitic languages. Together with Rudolf de Jong, he is the editor of the online Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics at Brill, and, together with Stephan Guth, the editor of the online Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. He is also the Semitics editor of Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft and, together with Werner Diem, editor of the series Porta Linguarum Orientalium at Harrassowitz. Jacques Grand’Henry is Professor Emeritus of Arabic Language and Literature, Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve), Belgium. He obtained a PhD in Oriental Philology and History (Semitic Studies: Arabic North African Dialectology, under the supervision of Prof. Ph. Marçais), and published widely on Arabic Linguistics, Dialectology and Philology (critical editions of Middle Arabic texts from Christian origin with linguistic comments), Middle and Mixed Arabic. He is President of the International Association for the study of Middle and Mixed Arabic. For an up-to-date bibliography see: www.uclouvain.be/jacques.grandhenry. Bruno Halflants, from Belgium, first made a career as a civil engineer; one of his notable projects was directing the construction of one of the campuses of Louvain University. Since 1978, still in his former career, he developed an interest in Arabic, focusing on Arabic poetry and metric. He obtained a master’s degree in Arabic in 1998. His publication Le Conte du Portefaix et des Trois Jeunes Femmes, a study of Middle Arabic in the 1001


list of contributors

Nights, with an original edition of the tale’s earliest-known manuscript, appeared in 2007 (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain). He published, in association with Godefroid de Callataÿ, On Magic I, An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistle 52a (of the Brethren of Purity) (Oxford University Press in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2011). He is presently preparing, in association with Godefroid de Callataÿ and Sébastien Moureau, the second volume of the same Epistle on Magic (52b: its second version) of the Brethren of Purity. Benjamin Hary is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Hebrew, Arabic, and Linguistics at Emory University in Atlanta, USA. His research interests include, among other things, Arabic linguistics and dialectology in general and Judeo-Arabic (in the framework of the Jewish linguistic spectrum) in particular. His recent publications include Translating Religion: Linguistic Analysis of Judeo-Arabic Sacred Texts from Egypt (Brill, 2009) and the co-edited Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects in Judeo-Arabic Culture (with H. Ben-Shammai, Brill, 2006). His Sacred Texts: The Tradition of Sharḥ in Egyptian JudeoArabic, With Critical Editions and Translations of the Book of Genesis, the Book of Esther and the Passover Haggadah will appear next year. He also published over 40 articles and book reviews on Judeo-Arabic, Arabic, and Hebrew linguistics. Rachel Hasson Kenat is a PhD student at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on late Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts of popular literature, mainly from the Firkovitch collection. Her dissertation includes a linguistic study of late Judaeo-Arabic, classification of narratives, and textual editions. She has worked for the past decade at the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, at the Center for the Study of Judaeo-Arabic Literature, on behalf of which she is responsible for thousands of catalogue records in the Friedberg Genizah Project. Johannes den Heijer is Professor of Arabic language and literature at the Université catholique de Louvain, where he currently functions as president of the Institut Orientaliste de Louvain. He also serves the Comparative Oriental Manuscripts Studies (COMSt) project funded by the European Science Foundation, as team leader of the “Philology” team. He is in charge of the Series arabica of the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium (CSCO, Louvain-la-Neuve), and a member of the editorial

list of contributors


boards of the reviews Le Muséon (Louvain-la-Neuve) and Eastern Christian art in its late antique and Islamic contexts (Leiden), as well as of the series Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) and Sprachen und Kulturen des Christlichen Orients (Wiesbaden). He is a member of the advisory boards of the Annales Islamologiques (Cairo) and Collectanea Christiana Orientalia (Córdoba). His fields of research are Arabic and particularly Copto-Arabic historiography, Arabic epigraphy from the Fatimid period, and the sociophilological study of Middle and Mixed Arabic. Amr Helmy Ibrahim, Docteur d’État in Linguistics from Université Paris 7 (now Paris-Diderot) is Professor of General and Comparative Linguistics at the Université de Franche-Comté (Besançon) and Research Director [Thesis Supervisor] at the Université Paris-Sorbonne (formerly Paris 4). He is also a Research Member of the IFAO (Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale du Caire). His main research interest, in parallel to the study of the relation between the Arabic language and Arabic dialects, is the building and implementation of a Matrix Defining Analysis Model that aims at describing and comparing languages without resorting to any kind of metalanguage. Many aspects of the model have been detailed and published in various journals in the course of the past 15 years. A synthesis is about to be published in a book. Paolo La Spisa, Marie Curie Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) from 2008 to 2010, is now researcher of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Genova. His research interests include Christian Middle Arabic and Christian Arabic Literature of the Abbasid period, circulation of texts in the Christian Orient. His forthcoming publication is I Trattati teologici di Sulaymān Ibn Ḥasan al-Ġazzī, under publication for the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium series. Jérôme Lentin is Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Arabic at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations orientales (Paris). His research interests include Arabic Dialectology and Sociolinguistics, Middle Arabic, and Semitics. He has been working and publishing extensively on the Arabic dialect of Damascus (a city where he spent 12 years as a member of the French Institute) and is preparing, with Claude Salamé, a Dictionnaire d’arabe dialectal syrien (parler de Damas). He organized, with Jacques Grand’Henry, the First International Symposium Moyen Arabe et variétés mixtes de l’Arabe à travers l’histoire (Louvain-la-Neuve, 10–14 May 2004)


list of contributors

where they founded the AIMA (Association Internationale pour l’étude du moyen arabe et des variété mixtes de l’arabe = International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic), of wich he is vice-president. He has been a member of the advisory board of the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics and, since 1997, president of the Groupe Linguistique d’Études Chamito-sémitiques (GLECS). Gunvor Mejdell is Professor of Arabic language and culture at the University of Oslo. Her research interests include ‘Mixed Styles’ (between standard and vernacular Arabic) in spoken and written texts, and literary translation between Arabic and European languages and cultures. Among her recent publications are: Mixed Styles in Spoken Arabic in Egypt, Somewhere between Order and Chaos [Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 48], Brill 2006; “Code-switching”, Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Vol. I, Brill Academic Publishers, 2006; “Lugha wusta”, Online Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Brill Academic Publishers, 2010; “A modern Egyptian literary classic goes West: A comparative study of paratextual features of translations of Ṭāhā Ḥusayn’s novel al-Ayyām into English, French, Swedish, and Norwegian”, Alvstad, Cecilia et al.: Literature, Geography, Translation, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. Arie Schippers studied Semitic and Romance languages at Leiden University (1966–1974) and was researcher for the Netherlands Research Organization ZWO in Leiden (1974–76), taught Hebrew at Nijmegen University (1976–77), and Arabic at Amsterdam University (1977–2012). He obtained his PhD degree in Literature in 1988 at the University of Amsterdam with his dissertation Arabic Tradition and Hebrew Innovation: Arabic Themes in Hebrew Andalusian Poetry. He has published on Arabic and Hebrew literatures in connection with Romance literatures. He serves on the editorial board of The Medieval and Early Modern Iberian World (formerly Medieval Iberian Peninsula), a series published by Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden, since 2001. He was a member of the board of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, as a treasurer, from 2002–2010. Yosef Tobi is Professor Emeritus of medieval Hebrew poetry at the University of Haifa, Israel, and the Head of the Ben-Shalom Center for the Study of the Jews of Yemen in the Ben Zvi Institute, Jerusalem. His main scholarly fields treat on the spiritual, cultural and historical affinities between Judaism and Islam during the Middle Ages and modern time. His

list of contributors


main publications include The Jews of Yemen: Studies in Their History and Culture (Brill, 1999); The Judeo-Arabic Literature in Tunisia 1850–1950 (Tel Aviv, 2000); Proximity and Distance: Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Poetry (Brill, 2004); and Between Hebrew and Arabic Poetry: Studies in the Spanish Hebrew Medieval Poetry (Brill, 2010). Kees de Vreugd has been a lecturer in Mathematics for over thirty years at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include Semitic Languages and Karaite exegesis. He is currently preparing an edition of a commentary on the Book of Zechariah by the Karaite exegete Yefet ben ‘Eli. Manfred Woidich, PhD (1969) in Semitic studies, University of Munich, Professor Emeritus of Arabic language at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His research interests cover Arabic dialectology, in particular Egyptian dialects, historical linguistics, Modern Standard Arabic, and Arabic language teaching. Besides many articles and monographs on Egyptian Arabic dialects (Upper Egypt, Oases) he has published Das Kairenisch-Arabische. Eine Grammatik (Harrassowitz, 2006) and the textbook kullu tamām (2004) with Rabha Heinen-Nasr. He also co-authored with Peter Behnstedt the five volumes on Egyptian Arabic Dialects (Harrassowitz, 1984–1999), the Arabische Dialektgeographie (Brill, 2005), and the two volumes appeared so far of the Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte (Brill, 2011), and was one of the associate editors of the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2006–2009). At the moment he continues to work both on the Wortatlas and the dialects of Upper Egyptian and the Egyptian oases. He is also preparing a German–EgyptianArabic dictionary. Liesbeth Zack is Assistant Professor of Arabic language and culture at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include Arabic sociolinguistics, Middle Arabic, and Egyptian Arabic, in particular historical sources of the Egyptian Arabic dialects and modern Egyptian dialect literature. She published her PhD thesis, Egyptian Arabic in the seventeenth century: a study and edition of Yūsuf al-Maġribī’s ‘Dafʿ al-iṣr ʿan kalām ahl Miṣr’ in 2009 (UvA, LOT). She is currently working on a research project entitled The making of a capital dialect: Language change in 19th century Cairo, with funding from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).


list of contributors

Otto Zwartjes obtained his Doctoral degree in 1995 at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. He was Full Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the University of Oslo and is currently Associate Professor of Romance Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. He has been working as invited scholar in Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. One of his research interests includes Hispano-Arabic strophic poetry: Love Songs from al-Andalus. History, Structure and Meaning of the Kharja (Brill, 1997), and with Henk Heijkoop he compiled a bibliography entitled Muwaššah, Zajal, Kharja. Bibliography of Strophic Poetry and Music from al-Andalus and Their Influence in East and West (Brill, 2004). Currently his main research interest is the history of linguistics, with focus on “Missionary Linguistics”, particularly pioneering grammars written in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin of ‘exotic’ languages. Recently published monographs are his Melchor Oyanguren de Santa Inés. Arte de la lengua japona (1738), Tagalysmo elucidado (1742) y “Arte chínico”(1742) (Madrid: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, 3 vols, 2011) and his Portuguese Missionary Grammars in Asia, Africa and Brazil, 1550–1800 (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2011).

Index -āʾ instead of ʾalif or ʾalif maqṣūra 227 Aaron 283, 291 Abraham Ibn Ezra 58, 65, 78, 273, 282, 286–287 Abū al-Faraǧ Ibn ʾAsad see Ben Yehudah, Yeshuʿah Abū ʿAlī al-Baṣrī see Ben ʿEli, Yefet Abū Saʿīd 59, 62 accusative case 99, 166 marker ʾet in Hebrew 128 ʿād 64, 76–77 affricate 321 Aggadot 279, 286 -āʾi (interpretation of the digraph)  228–229 AIDA 2 AIMA aims of 5, 11, 15, 22, 23, 171, 235 Cairo workshop 3–4, 10, 13, 22–23 First Conference 3–4, 6–8, 13, 16, 18, 22, 157, 235 foundation of 3 Second Conference 3–4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 125, 172, 235 Third Conference 3–4, 6, 10, 16, 18, 27, 274 Akiva, alphabet of 288 aku (existence marker) 90 Al-Andalus, see Spain, Muslim Al-Baṣīr, Yūsuf 247 Alcalá, Pedro de 301 Al-Dāwūdī, Saʿīd 69 alef (Hebrew) indicating nunation 251, 261–262 Alexandria, Egypt 247 ʾalfāḏ̣ 272 Al-Fayyūmī, Saʿadya, see Saʿadya Gaon Al-Ǧabartī 182 Al-Ġazzī, Sulaymān Ibn Ḥasan 187, 195, 197–200, 202–203 Al-Ḥarīzī, Yehudah (Juda) 248 Al-Ḥimyarī 261 ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib 147 ʾalif al-wiqāya, see ʾalif otiosum ʾalif fāṣila, see ʾalif otiosum ʾalif instead of -āʾ 216 ʾalif instead of ʾalif maqṣūra 75, 98, 162, 216

ʾalif instead of tāʾ marbūṭa 216–217 ʾalif maqṣūra instead of yāʾ 161–162 written with Hebrew alef 86, 136 written with Hebrew he 86, 136 written with Hebrew yod 85 ʾalif otiosum 64, 76, 105, 111, 209, 224–226 Al-Iṣfahānī, Abū al-Faraǧ 12, 197 allaḏī 137, 142. See also relative pronouns Al-Maqrīzī 159 Al-Mutanabbī 261 Al-Qūmisī, Daniel 279–280, 284–285, 287–289 Al-Rūmī, Yāqūt 12, 197 Al-Šām, see Levant Al-Sharkawi, Muhammad 10, 22 Al-Ṯaʿlabī 84 Al-Tanūxī 12, 197 -an indicating the nominative case 99 ʾanā / ʾana 85, 87, 324 Anan Ben David 279 anaptyctic vowel 316–318, 320–321 Anbar 286 Ancient South Palestinian Arabic 100, 103–106, 110 Andalusia, see Spain, Muslim ʾāni 87 ʿAntar b. Šaddād, Story of 146, 154 Arabic dialects Damascus 309–328. See also ­Damascus Arabic history of 9, 114, 236 modern 1, 118–119, 153, 175–176, 179–180, 183–184, 217 prestige dialects 5 spoken by Jewish communities 11, 16, 83–92, 266–269. See also Baghdadi Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, Palestinian Israeli Arabic study of 2 writing of 215, 225, 269–270 Arabic Language Academies 269–270 Arabic literature, editing of 187–206 Arabic written with Coptic script 211 Arabic written with Syriac script, see karšūnī



Aramaic 17, 55–57, 98, 125, 128–130, 139–141, 197, 230, 266, 270–273, 296 article, definite 89–90, 103, 137, 237, 325 article, indefinite 87 Association Internationale de Dialectologie Arabe, see AIDA Avishur, Yitzhak 56 ʾAwlād al-ʿAssāl family 71 ʾayš 119 Babylon 286–287, 290 Jewish Academy in 286 Babylon (Egypt) see Old Cairo Babylonian Talmud 136, 279 baʿḍ 103–104, 111 Baghdadi Arabic (Jewish and Muslim) 83–92 lexicon 90–91 morphology 87–88 phonology 85–87 syntax 90 balances, false (Book of Zechariah) 287 bas / bass 241–242, 252, 263 Basilius 69 basīṭ metre 258–259 Baṣra 280 Bauden, Frédéric 21 bayarūn, see water lily Bédier, Joseph 189–190, 204 Bekkum, Wout van 248 Ben David, Anan 279 Ben ʿEli, Yefet 69, 279–292 Ben Maṣliaḥ, Sahl 286 Ben Yehudah, Yeshuʿah 69 Ben Yerūḥīm, Salmon 288 Bernstein, Mark S. 83–84 bi- prefix of the imperfect 117, 153, 326–328 Bible 51, 56–64, 59, 67–70, 72, 74–78, 83, 85, 91, 129, 131–132, 272, 280, 282, 296. See also Genesis, Book of; Exodus, Book of; Pentateuch; Zechariah, Book of bin / ibn, orthography of 161 Blau, Joshua 2, 7, 9, 12, 15, 51, 53–55, 62–65, 83, 99, 105–106, 117–118, 171, 188, 251, 265 Brahmins 292 bukaṛa-syndrome 322–323 Caballero, Lucas 295–296, 301, 303–329 Cairo Coptic Patriarchate 69 Jewish community 59 Karaite community 248

manuscripts from 68 Samaritan community 61 Cairo Geniza 52, 54, 59–60, 65–66, 211, 267, 270–271, 274 calendar 279 Cañes, Francisco 303 carpe diem theme 255–256, 258 case endings absence of 85, 104, 237, 326 in conformity with Classical Arabic  63, 152 irregularity of ___ in poetry 147, 250, 252–253, 256–257, 259, 261–263 ungrammaticality of 99, 261, 262 Chetrit, Joseph 12 Christian Arabic, see Middle Arabic, Christian Chrysostomos 69 Classical Arabic 1–2, 6, 9–13, 15–16, 19–20, 53, 63–64, 75–76, 113, 127–129, 139, 145, 152–153, 159, 194, 196–197, 247–248, 257–258, 262–263, 265, 271, 301, 305, 308, 326, 328 Classical Judeo-Arabic, see Judeo-Arabic coalescence 117 code mixing 128, 158–159, 244 code switching 5, 13, 128, 158, 238, 244 collationing of manuscripts 189, 191, 193, 195, 201, 205 colloquial Arabic, see Arabic dialects concord in gender, see gender agreement consonant clusters initial 312, 315–316, 319 word-final 316–318, 324 Constantinople 55, 219 constitutio textus, see reconstruction of the original text construct state 109, 150, 162–163, 252 continuum 6–7, 92, 113, 128, 131–133, 135, 139 Coptic Christian text tradition 16, 19, 51–54, 58–60, 65–78 Christians 13, 17, 51–52 Church 58 language 17 Patriarchate in Cairo 69 copyists 51, 53, 60, 63–64, 69–70, 76–77, 105, 110, 148, 150–153, 187, 194, 196–197, 199–200, 203–205 critical edition, see text edition Cyrus, King 290 ḏ 104–105, 165, 321 ḏ̣ merged with ḍ 86, 106, 111, 165, 198


ḏ̣ written with ṭ 166 da, di/dā, dī 153, 242 ḏā/ḏeh 325 Daïr Dûma 109 ḏālika / tilka 168, 242, 325 Damascus Arabic 307–329 description of ___ by Caballero 9, 295–296, 301, 307–308 morphology 323–328 phonology 307–323 Damascus, Samaritan community 61 ḍamma 212–213, 219–221, 223, 226, 309–312, 314–316, 328 dancing metre, see raqīṣ Daniel, the Prophet 282–284, 290 Darʿī, Moshe 247–263 Dīwān 247–248 David Ha-Nagid, grandson of Maimonides 152, 270, 274 David, King 283 deemphatisation, see emphasis definite article, see article, definite Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi 157–170 demonstrative pronouns 153, 165, 168, 171, 218, 239, 242, 324–326 Den Heijer, Johannes 16 dental fricatives, see interdentals De Vreugd, Kees 14, 17 diachrony 3, 8–10, 118, 163, 180, 194, 245, 267 diacritical points absence of, in Arabic 64, 163, 168 absence of, in Hebrew script 75, 137 in Arabic 20, 150, 162–164, 210, 212, 273 dialect levelling 238 dialectology, Arabic 2, 15 dialects, see Arabic dialects Diem, Werner 21, 158 diglossia 1, 13, 128, 158, 171, 175, 180–181, 296–297, 301 Dikken, Berend Jan 13, 17–19 diphthongs 309, 314–315 diplomatic edition 192, 194, 206 diyyat 242 dōl 242 Dominant Language Hypothesis 238 Doss, Madiha 9–10, 13 ḏū 107, 111 dual 63–64, 87, 324 absence of 119, 324 with -n in construct state 252 -e / -ē, notation of 219–220 eclectic edition 187, 193


Edzard, Lutz 11, 16–17 Egypt 22, 97, 105–106, 111, 178, 182 Fatimid court 65 Jewish community 52 language contact 17 manuscripts from 53, 56–57, 62–63, 67, 95–111  Egyptian Arabic 7, 10, 13, 138, 142, 153, 182–183, 235, 239, 241–244, 322 Elʿazar ibn Isḥaq ha-Bavli 248 Elias of Nisibis (Elie de Nisibe) 199, 201 Elijah the Tisbite 252 elision of syllables in poetry 250, 252, 254, 255, 257, 263 of vowels 315–318 əlli 90, 326. See also relative pronouns emphasis influence on vowels 153 in karšūnī script 166  loss of 86, 169  secundary 86, 134, 138, 150 Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 4 ʾənte, ʾənti, ʾəntu 324 ephah (Book of Zechariah) 279, 285–289 Erpenius, Thomas (Van Erpen) 295, 328 Esther, story of 146 Exodus, Book of 56–57, 59, 67, 78, 131–132 Ezekiel 283–284 fa- 90, 215–216 fadd / fard 87 fatḥa 212–213, 219–222, 309–310, 312, 314, 316, 318–319, 328 Fau 271 faxr (self-praise) 249 feminine endings -ā 108 -a / -e 312–314, 329 -ki 215 -ti 215 feminine plural 118–119 fiʿāl form 153 Firkovitch collection 145–146, 148, 153–154 flock of slaughter (Book of Zechariah) 289–292 flower poetry 255–256, 260–261 folk literature, see popular literature Franciscans 295, 301–303, 307–308, 328–329 Frederick II of Sicily 247 Frolov, Dmitry 263 Fuentes, Pedro Antonio 298, 302, 308



Gabriel III, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox church 71 Galland, Antoine 116. See also Thousand and one nights  ǧamʿ al-qilla 108–109 Gelder, Geert Jan van 258 gender agreement 75, 137, 242 gender of nouns 100, 102 Genesis, Book of 56–64, 67–70, 72, 74–77, 83, 85, 91 genitive 166–167, 261–262 Geniza Collection, see Cairo Geniza Ghersetti, Antonella 21 glosses 175, 181 Golius, Jacob 295, 328 González, Bernardino 295, 301–304, 307–308, 327–328 Gospel 272 Graf, George 69 graffiti 159 Granada 301 Grand’Henry, Jacques 7, 9, 12–13, 18 Greek 18, 68–69, 95, 98, 103, 110, 159, 170, 296–298, 302, 308

Hebrew script for writing Arabic 11, 18, 52, 54–56, 58, 60, 62, 65, 67, 71–72, 85, 128, 145, 151–154, 247–263, 265, 269–270, 273–274, 279–292 Heijer, Johannes den 16 hemmi 87 hənne(n) 324 Henriques, Henrique 298 hierarchy of preferences 239 hiyya 87,219 hiyye 219, 324 Holes, Clive 22 hon 324 Hopkins, Simon 21 humma 87 huwe 324 huwwa 87, 219 huwwe 219 huwwi 87 hybrid forms of Arabic 7, 10–14, 101, 110, 141, 159, 196, 237–238, 296 hypercorrections 7, 89, 106, 161, 221, 227, 240 hypocorrections 7, 89, 99, 137

-h as mater lectionis 217–218 -h instead of tāʾ marbūṭa 162–163 Hacken, Clara ten 19 hāda, hādi 168, 325 hāḏā, hāḏihi 168, 218, 242, 325 hadāk, hadīk, hadolīk 325 hadənk(e) 325 hadōl 325 Haggai 290–291 hagiography 272 ḥakawātī (storyteller) genre 16, 84–85 hal- 325 Halflants, Bruno 7, 9, 12, 16, 18–20 halli 326 Ḥamat / Ḥamāh 56 hamza absence or loss of 75, 86, 108, 160–161, 168, 216, 323 ornamental use of 227–229 written with Hebrew qof 129 Hary, Benjamin 11, 14, 16–17 Hasson Kenat, Rachel 7, 11–12, 14, 16, 18, 274 hayy 325 hāza / hāzihi 242 Hebrew 17, 56, 68, 91, 125–142, 271–272, 279, 283–292 Hebrew Bible, annual cycle of readings of 59

Ibn al-Akfānī 201 Ibn al-ʿAssāl, al-Amǧad 71 Ibn al-ʿAssāl, Asʿad Hibatallah 71 Ibn al-ʿAssāl, Muʾtaman Abū Isḥāq 71–72 Ibn al-Faḍl 68 Ibn al-Ǧawzī 21 Ibn al-Muʿallim, Gabriel al-ʾAmǧad 71–72 Ibn al-Munqiḏ, Usāma 197 Ibn al-Nadīm 191 Ibn al-Rūmī 261 Ibn al-Ṭayyib 69 Ibn Bayṭār 255 Ibn Ezra, Abraham 58, 65, 78, 273, 282, 286–287 Ibn Ḥazm 191 Ibn Killis, Yaʿqūb 65 Ibn Nawfal, Waraqa 272 Ibn Qutayba 271 Ibn Sinān, al-Ḥāriṯ 68 Ibn Ṯābit, Zayd 272 Ibn Tadrus, Faḍlallah 69 Ibrahim, Amr Helmy 11, 13 ʾiḍāfa, see construct state ʾiʿǧāz 113 ʾiǧāza 200–201 ʾiḥna 87 iḥtiqār (satire) 249 ʾilā marking direct object 89, 128 il-laḏī 142. See also relative pronouns illi 90. See also relative pronouns


ʾimāla 86, 213–214, 216, 218–222, 229 imbāriḥ / ilbāriḥ 322 imperative 101, 136, 254 imperfect 1st pers. sg. with n- 129, 153 imperfect, pronominal prefixes of 328 inscriptions 16, 18, 157, 159–172, 271 interdentals 86, 98, 104–105, 111, 164–166, 321–322 interlinear notes 70–72, 75 International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic, see AIMA ʾintim 87 ʾintu 87 ʾintum 87 iʿrāb, see case endings Iraq 56 Jews in 272 Iraqi Arabic, see Baghdadi Arabic Isaiah 282–284 ʾisnād 200 Istanbul 66 istanna 118, 119 iudicium, see judgement (of the editor) ʾiyyā- 85, 89 Jacobite Syrian Christians 67 Jericho 98 Jerusalem 57, 59, 247, 249, 279–281, 304, 308 Jesuits 298–300 Jewish English 126 Jewish Malayalam 126 Joseph, Story of 75–77, 83–93, 146 Judeo-Arabic ancient 271 Classical 91, 128, 141, 267 Egyptian 142 literature 12, 14, 52–67, 72–73, 77–78, 83–92, 127, 129, 145–148, 154, 247–263, 265, 267–270, 274–275. See also maġāzī literature; midraš literature; oral literature; popular literature literature, printed 83–84, 269–270 medieval 265–275 non-classical 266–275 vernaculars 83–92, 269. See also Baghdadi Arabic Judeo-Italian 126 Judeo-Spanish 126 judgement (of the editor) 189–190 ka- 215 Kaʿba 256 Kahle, Paul 53–54, 57–59, 65 kāmil metre 255–257, 261


kāna, predicate of 166 Karaism, origins of 279 Karaite Jews 13–14, 66, 69, 247–248, 279–281, 292 movement 281 texts 17, 84 karšūnī 160, 164–166, 168 kasra 212–213, 218–223, 228–229, 310–320, 328 Khoury, Raif Georges 14 koine 175, 180, 182–184, 299 koineization 13, 180, 238 Korah, children of 283 Koran, see Qurʾān la- 215 lā 241 Lachmann, Karl method of critical edition 188–190, 196, 200–203, 206 neo-Lachmannism 201 laḥn al-ʿāmma literature 21, 300–301 lākāʾinnī 251 lam 89, 129, 137, 240–241 lām al-tawkīd, see lalanguage contact 5, 18, 170, 238 language, levelling of 194 language varieties, navigation between  175–176 La Spisa, Paolo 7, 12, 19–20 laysa 100, 107–108, 141–142, 240–242 Lebanon 22, 97, 105, 109, 111 Lentin, Jérôme 10–11, 19, 167, 206, 235–244, 307 Levant 178, 235, 308 Levantine Arabic 10, 13, 183, 295, 312. See also Damascus Arabic lexical conditioning 239 li- instead of ʾan 141 li- to mark direct object 89 li- with the indicative 89 linguistic competence 175–177, 179, 181 loanwords 126–127, 170, 214, 216–218, 222 love poetry, see taġazzul m- prefix of the imperfect 327–328 mā (negation) 239–241 ma- . . . -š 142, 241 madda 212 mafʿūl muṭlaq 89, 179 maġāzī literature 146–147 Maḥalla (al-Kubrā) 57, 67 Mahdi, M., see Thousand and one nights Maimonides 152, 270, 282



Malachi 291 manuscripts. See also Cairo Geniza; text edition; Thousand and one nights Christian 57–58, 95–111, 195–197 Coptic 52–55, 58–59, 65, 67–74, 78 Judeo-Arabic 52–56, 58, 62, 64, 66–67, 72–74, 77–78, 145, 146, 148–149 Muslim 17, 52, 66, 73–74, 78 of Caballero’s Intérprete Arábico  303–306 Samaritan 59, 61–62, 76–78 Yemenite Jewish 13, 53–54, 56–57, 63 mār 161, 170 Mardin 67 marginal notes 70–72 Maronite Christians 301, 308 matres lectionis 214–219, 226, 271 matrix of reference 175–176 Mauritania 14 Medieval Judeo-Arabic, see Judeo-Arabic, Medieval Mejdell, Gunvor 3, 7–8, 13–14, 20, 22, 158 Melammed, Uri 248, 251 merubbaʿ 249 metathesis 87, 309 metre 147, 248–250, 255–263. See also kāmil metre, basīṭ metre, raqīṣ (dancing) metre Middle Arabic 2–3, 6–10, 12–23, 52– 54, 60–64, 67–68, 75–77, 83–84, 86, 92, 95–111, 113–114, 118–120, 128, 142, 152–153, 157–172, 187, 194, 196, 235–245, 247–250, 265 Christian 12, 16, 95–111, 109, 111, 113–114, 157–172, 192 definition of the term 6 idiomatic expressions 77 Jewish, see Judeo-Arabic lexicon 109–110 Muslim 113, 121 orthographic conventions 210, 212, 230 orthographic norms 210, 211, 229  semi-classical 63  midraš literature 84, 129, 146 miḏwad 104, 111 min ḥayṯu 101–102 minor prophets 279 miš 241–242 Mishnah 247, 279, 286–287 missionary language studies China 299–300 Greece 298 Indian Sub-continent 298 Japan 298–299

Middle East 302–303 Spain 301–303 missionary linguists 296–303 Mixed Arabic 2–3, 5–10, 13–15, 17–18, 20–23, 27, 101, 104, 107–109, 157–158, 196, 235–245 mixed languages 125–142 Modern Standard Arabic, regional variety in 177–179 Monastery of St. Antonius 71 Monastery of St. Catherine 195 Monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian, see Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi Monastery of St. Sabas 196 Mordecai 290 moreh ṣedeq 282 Morocco 249 morphology 64, 76–77, 87–88, 99–103, 107–109, 166–169, 183–184, 214, 323–328 Moses 282–283, 291 mū 240–241 Muḥammad (the Prophet) 147, 272 mumkin 242–244 murabbaʿ 249, 250 muʿtazilites 247 n-, prefix 1st pers. sg. imperfect 129, 153 n- . . . -u, 1st pers. pl. imperfect 129, 131 -n suffix in the imperfect 76, 241 Nablus 61–62 name of purity 288 of uncleanness 288 Naṭrunai Gaon 273 Nazianzus, Gregory of (Grégoire de Nazianze) 95–111, 114 Nebuchadnezzar 284 negation 100, 107–108, 141–142, 239–242, 244 nəḥna 87, 324 Neo-Arabic 9, 63–64, 145, 152–153, 159–160 neo-Lachmannism 201 Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, workshop held at, see AIMA, Cairo workshop New philology 188, 200 niḥn / niḥin 324 North African Arabic script, see Orthography nouns ending in -in 100–101 numerals 102–103, 161, 163–164, 167, 306 nunation with ʾalif 99, 167 with Arabic vowel signs 99, 212, 261

index with Hebrew alef 251, 257, 261–262 with Hebrew nun 152, 251, 261

Old Cairo 60, 68–69, 71 Old South Arabic 230 oral literature 14, 84, 113, 147, 154, 201, 204, 209, 241, 267–269 orthography 10–11, 19, 64–65, 68, 72, 75–77, 85–86, 90, 97–98, 104–105, 111, 136–137, 157, 160–168, 171, 194–195, 197, 209–230, 237, 268–269, 271, 273–275, 309–323. See also Middle Arabic North African 66 Oslo, University of, workshop held at  3–4, 7, 172 Palestinian Arabic 311 Palestinian Israeli Arabic 127 Paris, Gaston 187–188, 195 Pasquali, Giorgio 190 passive verbs 169, 220 Passover Haggadah 129, 131, 134–135, 141 pausal form 227, 241, 250, 257 Pentateuch 51–78 Arabic translation of 271–273 Constantinople Polyglot 55, 57, 60 Coptic Christian 54–55, 58–60, 65–78 London Polyglot 55, 57, 59–61, 65, 68 Paris Polyglot 55, 59, 68 Saʿadya’s translation and commentary (Tafsīr) 17–18, 51–78, 83, 91–92, 132, 139, 273–274 Samaritan 53, 59, 61–62, 76–78 Yemenite 52–54, 56–57, 60–61, 63–66 Pentecost 109–110 Pérès, Henri 256 perfect 3rd pers. sg. fem. ending -ayt instead of -at 257 with tāʾ marbūṭa 220 personal pronouns 85, 87, 167, 219, 323–324 Pharaoh 284 phonology 85–87, 98, 105–106, 127, 160–166, 307–323 Pinsker, S. 280, 286 Pitron šeneim ʿasar 279 Pococke, Edward 55 Poirel, Dominique 193, 200 Polyglot, see Pentateuch popular literature 145–146, 267–268, 270 post-Classical Arabic 51, 53, 63–64, 125, 127–129 precept taught by men 281, 286, 289 prepositional phrases 101–102


pronominal prefixes of the imperfect 328 pronominal suffixes -h 212 -hi 152 -hu 152 -ī 87 in Baghdadi Arabic 87 -o/u 225–226 -ū 226–227 -ya 87 prophecy decline of 282 degrees of 282–284 Prophets, Book of the 272 prosthetic ʾalif 99, 222 pseudocorrections 7, 125, 128–129, 142, 237. See also hypercorrections; ­hypocorrections Pumbedita / Pumbaditha 286 Jewish academy in 292 Qimḥi, David (Radak) 282, 287 qiṣaṣ al-ʾanbiyāʾ genre 83–85 qiṣṣa see Popular literature Qōraḥ, see Korah Quentin, Henry 189 Qumrān scrolls 271 Qurʾān language of 113, 197, 206 orality of 201, 204, 270 orthography of 197 style of 16, 85 Rabbanites 279–280 raqīṣ (dancing) metre 249, 262 recension (recensio) 189–190, 204, 206 reconstruction of the original text 62, 190, 194, 202 relative pronouns 89–90, 137, 142, 239, 326 religiolects 16, 125, 127, 130 religious vocabulary 85, 109–110, 170 Rhode, Joseph F. 58–59, 67 rhymed prose 146–147 Ricci, Matteo 299 Rodrigues, João 298–300 Rosenbaum, Gabriel 22, 244 Roth, Heinrich 298 Russian National Library, see St. ­Petersburg National Library sa- 215 Saʿadya Gaon 17, 51–78, 83, 91, 132, 139, 141, 265, 267, 271, 273–275, 281



šadda 212–213, 220, 222–224, 329 Sadducees 285 šāf 85 saǧʿ, see rhymed prose Sahl Ben Maṣliaḥ 286 Salmon Ben Yerūḥīm 288 Samaritans 51–52, 61–62, 69 Samaritan script 59, 61 Samuel 283–284 Sanskrit 298 šarḥ 11, 14, 128–142, 267 šarḥan 130–142 Schechter, Solomon 60 Schippers, Arie 12, 14, 17 schwa / shewa written with ḍamma 220–221, 223 written with kasra 223 scriptio plena 214–216, 219, 223, 230, 240 scroll, flying 284 Sefer ha-Razim 288 Sefer Yeṣirah 288 segolization 223 Seville 302 Shehadeh, Haseeb 61 shepherds 289–290 shewa, see schwa Sholem, Gershom 288 sibilants 316, 319–321 Sinai 95, 97, 105–106, 109, 111, 221 Sirat, Colette 202 Šiʿur Qomah 288 Solomon 283 Soncino, Eleazar 55 Song of Songs 266 South Palestinian, see Ancient South Palestinian Arabic Spain expulsion of the Jews from 268, 274 Muslim 249, 261, 296 Spanish missionary grammars 9, 295, 300–302, 307–308, 328–329 spelling, see orthography staffs, two (Book of Zechariah) 286, 290–291 St. Antonius, Monastery of, see Monastery of St. Antonius St. Catherine, Monastery of, see Monastery of St. Catherine St. Moses the Abyssinian, Monastery of, see Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi St. Sabas, Monastery of, see Monastery of St. Sabas St. Petersburg Eastern Institute 248

St. Petersburg National Library 53, 62, 76, 247–248 status constructus, see construct state stemma codicum 114–115, 189, 201 Sudan 178 suffixes, see pronominal suffixes sukūn 212, 218, 222–224, 230, 311, 314, 317, 319–320 Sura, Jewish Academy in 51, 281, 292 swearer, false (Book of Zechariah) 285 Sylvestre de Sacy, Antoine Isaac 177 syntax 76, 89–90, 100–103, 109, 166–169 Syria 56, 95, 97, 105, 111, 157, 159, 235, 286 Syriac 98, 159–160, 166, 170 Syriac script, Arabic written in, see karšūnī Syrian Arabic, modern 164, 311, 321–322 ṯ 98, 164, 321 ṯ instead of t 98 t instead of tāʾ marbūṭa 97–98 tāʾ marbūṭa, undotted 162–163 tā marbūṭa instead of t 220 tafxīm, see emphasis, secondary Tafsīr of Saʿadya Gaon, see Pentateuch taġazzul 249 Taine-Cheikh, Catherine 14 talent, of lead (Book of Zechariah) 279, 286–287 Talmud 129, 247, 279, 282, 286–287. See also Babylonian Talmud Tamil 298 tanwīn, see nunation Targum Onkelos 55–57 tarqīq, see emphasis, loss of Ten Hacken, Clara 19 text edition 19–20, 96, 187–206 textual transmission 6, 13–14, 18–19, 51, 55–67, 145, 149–152, 154, 198–200, 205 text variants 188 Thousand and one nights 9, 113–121 contents of 147 critical apparatus 120 dating of Galland manuscript 116 grammar 117, 120 history of the reception 120 in the Firkovitch collection 146 language of 12, 152, 198, 204, 244 Mahdi’s critical edition 113, 117, 120–121 manuscript of Antoine Galland 113, 115, 120–121 orality 203 translations 116, 120, 121 Tunis manuscript 115

Tisbite, see Elijah the Tisbite Tobi, Yosef 12, 14, 16–17 tradition, abrogation of the 291 translation of Jewish religious texts, see šarḥ triglossia 13, 175, 180–181 -tū instead of -tum 119 Tuerlinckx, Laurence 21, 97, 102, 172 Van Bekkum, Wout 248 Van Gelder, Geert Jan 258 Varo, Francisco 300 velarisation, see emphasis verbs IIIʾ 168 verbs IIIw and IIIy 168–169 vowel elision 315–318 vowel insertion 317 vowel signs 212–213, 218–224, 226, 228–230, 309–320, 328–329. See also ḍamma, fatḥa, kasra, šadda, sukūn vowels, notation of 209–230 Vreugd, Kees de 14, 17 Wagner, Esther-Miriam 267 waqf, see pausal form water lily 255–256 wāw instead of ʾalif 197 wāw instead of hāʾ (suffix 3rd pers. masc. sg.) 226



wāw rubba 261–262 Weinberger, Leon J. 247–248 Witkam, Jan Just 20, 191, 201 Woidich, Manfred 9, 13 yāʾ, final, without dots 161–162 yāʾ instead of -āʾ 227–228 yāʾ instead of ʾalif maqṣūra 161 yāʾ instead of tāʾ marbūṭa 216–217 yahūdiyya 271 Yefet Ben ʿEli 69, 279–292 yəlli 326 Yemen, Jewish community 52, 266 Yemen, use of Medieval Judeo-Arabic in 266 Yemenite Jewish text tradition 52 Yemenite Jews in Jerusalem 57, 59 Yeshaya, Joachim 248 Yeshuʿah Ben Yehudah 69 yimkin / yumkin 242–244 ẓ, see ḏ̣ Zack, Liesbeth 10 Zayd and Kaḥlāʾ, Story of 145–154 Zechariah, the Prophet 282, 284–285, 290–292 Zechariah, Book of 279–292 Zucker, Moses 53–54, 60–61, 63, 65 Zwartjes, Otto 9, 13