This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
This volume deals with the numerous grammatical passages included in the voluminous Kitāb al-‘Ayn, the earliest Arabic dictionary (8th century). This material is isolated and classified according to its various grammatical categories and then analyzed, taking due account of the current knowledge of the state of Arabic grammar in its early stage of development. The much disputed attribution of Kitāb al-‘Ayn to h̬alīl b. Aḥmad is reconsidered from the vantage point of this grammatical material. This reconsideration involves a critical study of the vast medieval literature about ̬alīl's personality and the question of attribution of this early Arabic dictionary. In addition to the author's analysis, the volume includes an appendix with citations of the original grammatical passages of this dictionary with useful indices.