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  • The Lexicon

    Alexander Key

    Chapter from the book: Key, A. 2018. Language between God and the Poets: Maʿnā in the Eleventh Century.


    This chapter introduces the theory and practice of the Arabic lexicon. The lexicon was both lexicographers’ iterative curation of lexical precedent, and an epistemological foundation for theory across all scholarly genres. In the lexicon, vocal forms connected to mental contents, and the intent of the speaker governed whether or not those connections followed lexical precedent. With the theory of ḥaqīqah and maǧāz, language that is accurate and language that goes beyond the lexicon, we start to see how eleventh-century Arabic theory probed the boundaries between language, mind, and reality – between epistemology and ontology – in a way quite different from European and Anglophone thought.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Key, A. 2018. The Lexicon. In: Key, A, Language between God and the Poets. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.54.e

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Aug. 28, 2018