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THE GLOTTAL STOP (al-Hamz) Between the Qurrâ’ and the Grammarians

Submitted by on April 24, 2013 – 10:37 amNo Comment


Between the Qurrâ’ and the Grammarians

Akram Ali Hamdan*

The glottal stop is a very important subject because of its prominent presence in grammar, philology and qirâ’ât books such as Sībawayh’s al-Kitâb, ibn Jinnī’s al-Khasâ’is, and Abu Ali al-Fârisī’s al-Hujjah li l-Qurrâ’ al-Sabah. This subject has created a controversy between the grammarians and the qurrâ’ each group accusing the other of  being mistaken.

I have tried in this paper to trace the origin of this problem which I found started with Sībawayh, and have tried to elucidate the matter by reading the books of both the groups, and carefully studying their statements, and comparing them with each other till I arrived at a conclusion  which, I hope, will clear the ambiguity surrounding the issue.

I have restricted my research in this paper to the study of the hamzah as discussed by the qurrâ’, and have not dealt  with the opinions of the grammarians which are easily to be accessed in their books.

I have endeavoured to be clear and exhaustive in my study of the hamzah and this will help the reader to find out the causes of disagreement and the areas where this has happened.

* Director, al-Mu’assat al-Mahdûdah al-Mutarjimīn, London.

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