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.
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 served as director of the IDEO between 2014 and 2020. He currently studies a manuscript of Sībawayh’s (180/796?) Kitāb that has never been edited.
- Send him an email: .
- 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.
- 2008: co-authored with René-Vincent du Grandlaunay. Nisba. In: Encyclopedia of Arabic language and linguistics (Vol. 3: Lat‒Pu). Leiden: Brill. 377‒381.
- 2012: Numerals in Arabic grammatical theory. PhD thesis. Nijmegen University.
- 2012: The proper name Aḥmar : A morphological discussion in the 2nd‒4th centuries AH. MIDÉO 29. 51‒60.
- 2013: How to deal with contradictory chapters in the Kitāb of Sībawayh? Les cahiers du MIDÉO 6. 73‒91.
- 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. Leiden & Boston: Brill. 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. Leiden & Boston: Brill. 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. Leiden & Boston: Brill. 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.
- ٢٠١٩ : «كتاب سيبويه: دراسة كوديكولوجية لنسخة (كوفية؟) مفرّقة بين ميلانو وقازان ولندن» (نقلها إلى العربيّة تامر الجباليّ من مقال …The Kazan parchment fragments). مجلّة معهد المخطوطات العربيّة، المجلّد ٦٣ الجزء الأوّل (رمضان ١٤٤٠ھ/مايو ٢٠١٩م)، ٢٤٤‒٢٧٧.
- ٢٠١٩: تمّ تأليفه مع السيّد/ يوسف السنّاريّ، «كتاب سيبويه بين أيادي المستشرقين والعرب». تراثنا: النشر الرقميّ باعتماد معهد المخطوطات العربيّة (السلسلة الثقافيّة؛ ٢٥). السنة الثانية، ذو القعدة ١٤٤٠/يوليو ٢٠١٩.
- 2020: A sparkle in the debate about the word ʾāmīn used in supplication and its rules in Arabic, by ʾAbū Muḥammad Ibn al-Ḫaššāb (d. 567/1172), an annotated translation. Beata Sheyhatovitch & Almog Kasher (editors). From Sībawayhi to ʾAḥmad Ḥasan al-Zayyāt: New angles on the Arabic linguistic tradition. Leiden & Boston: Brill. 123‒140.
- 2020: The Kitāb Sībawayh of ʾAbū al-Ḥasan ʾAḥmad b. Naṣr: A non-Sīrāfian recension of the Kitāb. Zeitschrift für arabische Linguistik 71. 29‒56.
- (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.
- (forthcoming): co-authored with Ilyass Amharar. ‘A little Yesterday’: The ‘canonical’ text of Sībawayh’s teaching confronted to two unedited manuscripts of the Kitāb. Francesco Binaghi and Manuel Sartori (editors). The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics V. Leiden & Boston: Brill.