icon-calendar September 2015‒September 2020
In her PhD research (1992, published in 1995 under the title Les voies de la transmission du Kitāb de Sībawayhi, Brill) Geneviève Humbert has reveaIed the existence of a North African (Kairouan?) parchment of Sībawayh’s Kitāb, probably dated 5th/11th century. It’s a very rare parchment (not paper) that roughly contains one sixth of the Kitāb (chapters 327 to 435 of Derenbourg’s edition).
Geneviève Humbert studied in great detail the history of the transmission of the Kitāb, both in the East and in the West, and according to her, this parchment contains a quite different version of the Kitāb than the “official” version circulated by al-Mubarrad (d. 285/898). In particular, it seems that the “canonical corpus of internal glosses” found in all other manuscript is not found in its matn.
Here are, always according to Geneviève Humbert, names of Andalusian grammarians who played an important role in the transmission of the Kitāb in the West.
- Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-Rabāḥī (d. 358/969) who brought back in al-Andalus a copy of the Kitāb that he had read in Cairo before Abū al-Qāsim Ibn Wallād (Abū al-ʿAbbās’ brother, died 332/944) and Abū Ǧaʿfar al-Naḥḥās (d. 338/950?).
- Abū Naṣr Hārūn b. Mūsā (d. beginning of 5th/11th century), who studied with al-Rabāḥī (d. 358/969) and Abū ʿAlī al-Qālī (d. 356/967), and whose version of the Kitāb circulated a lot in al-Andalus.
- Abū Bakr ʿAbd Allāh b. Ṭalḥa al-Yābūrī (d. 517/1123) whom al-Zamaḫšarī (d. 538/1144) meets in Makka and compares his copy of the Kitāb.
- Ibn Ḫarūf (d. ca 609/1212) found Abū Naṣr Hārūn b. Mūsā’s copy and compared it with a personal copy of Abū ʿAlī al-Fārisī (d. 377/987) that he found in Syria.
In this research, Jean Druel wishes to focus not on the transmission of the text, as did Geneviève Humbert, but on the grammatical lessons that can be drawn from this different text. Does this peculiar parchment contain significantly different lessons? Does it bring a new light, not only on the reception of the Kitāb but on Sībawayh’s teachings?