The Book of Literary Expressions


Published in 1885 by the Jesuit Fathers’ printing press of Beirut, the present volume contains an edition of one of the three extant versions of Kitāb al-Alfāẓ al-Kitābiyya (The book of literary expressions) by the tenth-century grammarian, ‛Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‛Īsā al-Hamḏānī. This work presents a collection of difficult words and expressions found in classical Arabic literary texts. For each word or expression, the author offers a number of synonyms and paraphrases intended to guide the reader to a better understanding of the lexical, grammatical, and syntactical peculiarities of the language used by authors writing in classical Arabic. There are no explicit references to the literary works where these expressions are found; they are all introduced by the phrase “it is said.” Qurʼanic verses are mentioned as well, when the features discussed in the chapters have parallels in the Qurʼan. An index to all the expressions analyzed in the book and a word index conclude the work.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Matbaʻat al-Abāʼ al-Yasuʻīyyīn, Beirut


Title in Original Language

كتاب الألفاظ الكتابية

Type of Item

Physical Description

339 pages ; 17 centimeters

Last updated: April 3, 2015