Jean Druel and Almog Kasher, “‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t’: The mamnūʿ min al-ṣarf (diptotes) in Arabic grammatical tradition” in Arabica 66 (2019), pages 98‒136.
Jean Druel, “Can Ambrosiana X 56 Sup. improve our understanding of Sībawayhi’s grammar?” in Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh (editors), The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics IV, Brill: Leiden, Boston, 2019, pages 133‒156.
Jean Druel, Cercare di capirsi: Avvio al dialogo interreligioso, Brescia: Queriniana, 2018, 88 pages.
«Lo scopo di questo libriccino è aiutare persone che vorrebbero imbastire un dialogo con altri credenti (o con non credenti), ma non sanno bene come e da dove cominciare. Vorrei cercare di aiutare tutte queste persone a entrare progressivamente in una maggiore complessità, verità e bellezza».
La nostra epoca ha creduto di ottenere la pace mettendo a tacere le religioni e i credenti. Ha pensato che lo studio storico-critico dei dogmi e delle pratiche religiose avrebbe neutralizzato il potenziale di violenza delle fedi. Invece è accaduto il contrario. Sicché abbiamo bisogno più che mai di dialogare, di confrontarci con le nostre credenze e con i nostri racconti. Di divenire adulti nella fede, liberi e felici di essere diversi.
Se rispettiamo alcune regole semplici, come quella di prendere sul serio l’interlocutore, di ascoltarlo fino in fondo senza innervosirci, di dire davvero ciò che pensiamo, di distinguere i diversi livelli di discorso, possiamo superare le nostre paure reciproche e vivere meglio insieme.
La scommessa dell’autore è che il libro riesca a far imboccare davvero questa via a chiunque lo legga.
Un libro agile e pratico, non privo di humour, nato dall’esperienza vissuta, sul confronto con i non credenti (e i credenti di fedi diverse dalla nostra).
Director of IDEO
icon-calendar November 7, 2017
In his short treatise entitled A glitter in the debate about the word āmīn used in supplication and its rules in Arabic, Ibn al-Ḫaššāb al-Baġdādī (d. 567/1172) presents the state of the art of the grammatical knowledge on the word āmīn in his time. All grammarians agree that āmīn is not an Arabic word, but a Hebrew one (or Persian, or Syriac), which is however well attested in the Ḥadīṯ: the Prophet and his companions would conclude the recitation of the first sūra, al-Fātiḥa, by saying āmīn. This situation has triggered the curiosity of both Qurʾānic commentators and grammarians, who have studied the following issues: the validity of both forms, long āmīn and short amīn; the part-of-speech āmīn belongs to; its meaning; and the possibility that āmīn be a name of God.
Grammarians agreed on the analysis of āmīn as an ism fiʿl ‘verb name’ (a category refering to the verbs’ proper names, see Levin 1991), based on a commentary by Muǧāhid (d. 104/722) and ʿIkrima (d. 105/723) that the dual in Qad uǧībat daʿwatukumā (Q10, Yūnus, 89) refers to the invocation of Moses and Aaron, and that Aaron’s invocation consisted in saying āmīn. In order for āmīn to be an invocation, it has to be a full sentence. This means that āmīn is comparable to ṣah ‘sh!’, which is a ‘verb name’ whose meaning is the imperative ‘hush!’. Grammarians have thus interpreted āmīn as being a ‘verb name’, and its meaning is Allāhumma staǧib ‘Lord, answer!’
Lastly, although four ḥadīṯs transmitted by Hilāl b. Yasāf (or Yisāf), Muǧāhid and Ḥakīm b. Ǧābir mention that āmīn is a name of God, both Abū ʿAlī al-Fārisī (d. 377/987) and Ibn al-Ḫaššāb (d. 567/1172) agree that it cannot be so, although for different reasons. The former argues that an invariable noun cannot be a name of God, whereas the latter argues that it is because āmīn is a complete sentence that it cannot be one of God’s names.
Jean Druel, What happened to the grammar of numerals after Sībawayhi? Amal E. Marogy and Kees Versteegh (Editors). The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics II. Brill: Leiden, Boston, 2015. 81‒99.
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?
Jean Druel, « Why is it difficult to date when qalqala became unintelligible to Qurʾānic reciters and grammarians? », Arabica 62, 2015, p. 19‒52.
Doctor in Arabic linguistics
icon-calendar March 17, 2015
As the classical corpus of the Arabic language was practically closed by the 4th/10th century, the post-Arab lexicographers were then able to practice their art with the exhaustive compilation of the language’s words.
Jean Druel is French and lives in Cairo. Since October 2014, he is director of IDEO.
After a Master’s Degree in theology and Coptic patrology (L’expérience spirituelle de saint Pachôme…, Catholic Institute in Paris, 2002), he graduated in Teaching Arabic as Foreign Language at the American University (Emphatic sounds in educated Cairene Arabic, 2006).
In 2012, he completed a PhD thesis in the history of Arabic grammar at the University of Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, under the supervision of Pr. Kees Versteegh (Numerals in Arabic grammatical theory).
He managed the 200 Project (2013‒2016), the aim of which is the historical contextualization of the works of 200 authors of the Arab Islamic heritage. He currently studies a manuscript of Sībawayh’s (180/796?) Kitāb that has never been edited.
- Send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- See his publication on this site.
- Click here to see his authority record and list of publications on AlKindi.
Publications in the field of Arabic grammar:
- 2006: Emphatic sounds in educated Cairene Arabic: What to teach to AFL students? MA Thesis. American University in Cairo.
- 2012: Numerals in Arabic grammatical theory. PhD thesis. Nijmegen University.
- 2012: How to deal with contradictory chapters in the Kitāb of Sībawayh? Les cahiers du MIDÉO 6. 73‒91.
- 2013: The proper name Aḥmar : A morphological discussion in the 2nd‒4th centuries AH. MIDÉO 29. 51‒60.
- 2015: Why is it difficult to date when qalqala became unintelligible to Qurʾānic reciters and grammarians. Arabica 62. 19‒52.
- 2015: What happened to the grammar of numerals after Sībawayhi? Amal E. Marogy and Kees Versteegh (editors). The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics II. Brill: Leiden, Boston. 81‒99.
- 2018: Blind spots in Raḍī al-Dīn al-Astarābāḏī’s grammar of numerals. Georgine Ayoub and Kees Versteegh (editors). The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics III. Brill: Leiden, Boston. 96‒114.
- 2018: The Kazan parchment fragments of Sībawayh’s Kitāb. Гасырлар авазы (= Эхо веков) 90/1. 14‒26.
- 2019: Can Ambrosiana X 56 Sup. improve our understanding of Sībawayhi’s grammar? Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh (editors). The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics IV. Brill: Leiden, Boston.133‒156.
- 2019: co-authored with Almog Kasher, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”: The mamnūʿ min al-ṣarf (diptotes) in Arabic grammatical tradition. Arabica 66. 98‒136.
- (forthcoming): A glitter in the debate about the word āmīn used in supplication and its rules in Arabic, by Abū Muḥammad Ibn al-Ḫaššāb (d. 567/1172), an annotated translation.
- (forthcoming): Ibn Manẓūr (d. 711/1311). Muhammad A. S. Abdel Haleem, Mustafa A. A. Shah (Editors). The I. B. Tauris Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilization. London: I. B. Tauris.