Journal Article

On the Stylistic Variation in the Quranic Genre

Hussein Abdul-Raof

in Journal of Semitic Studies

Published on behalf of University of Manchester

Volume 52, issue 1, pages 79-111
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0022-4480
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1477-8556 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jss/fgl039
On the Stylistic Variation in the Quranic Genre

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  • Middle Eastern History
  • Middle Eastern Languages
  • Literary Studies - World
  • Biblical Studies

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Stylistic variation is one of the intriguing linguistic problems of Quranic discourse. It deals with sentences that are structurally similar, yet they are stylistically and semantically dissimilar. Stylistic variation echoes language behaviour and mirrors the stylistic patterns produced by linguistic strategies and ad hoc linguistic tools. Stylistic variation is Qur’ān-specific and is context and co-text sensitive. In other words, context and co-text are the linguistic habitat of stylistic variation. Stylistic variation is directly influenced by the surrounding grammatical, lexical, and phonetic environment of a given sentence. To capture the colourful manifestation of this unique phenomenon, a multi-pronged level of Quranic Arabic needs to be investigated. Stylistic variation in Quranic genre occurs at the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, stylistic variation takes place at the morpheme, word, and sentence levels. At the macro level, however, stylistic variation takes place in texts that are far away from each other. The stylistic behaviour of sentences is attributed to a set of linguistic and phonetic factors, such as word order change within the sentence which is due to contextual factors, grammatical co-text, and grammatical differences. The other factors include idioms, case endings, the morphological form of a word, lexical co-text, phonetic co-text, gender, tense, and definiteness.

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Subjects: Middle Eastern History ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Literary Studies - World ; Biblical Studies

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