Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


This paper attempts to explore the possible Judaeo-Arabic antecedents of Sanctius' linguistic theory. It presents Sanctius' historical background in an effort to uncover why he may have intentionally avoided citing some direct sources. It also shows that his tripartite division of speech derives not from the Arabs and the Jews but from the Greeks. Nevertheless, internal evidence seems to indicate that his notion of 'first' language underlying the spoken utterance is influenced by the Arabic tradition, and in particular by Ibn Hazm's ideas. Finally, considerations of the Judaeo-Arabic grammatical model suggests that this is essentially 'structural' and does not involve an underlying level in the Sanctian sense.

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