Risālah: ?ħasbāb ħuduwθ ?al-ħuruwf
A Treatise on Arabic Phonetics
Translation, Notes & Comments
Solomon I. Sara, S.J.
Ibn Sīnā, also known in the West as Avicenna, is a 10th -11th century Persian Muslim philosopher and scientist. He was born around 980 C.E. / 370 H near Bukhara, in modern Uzbekistan, and died in 1037 C.E. / 428 H in Hamedan, in modern Iran. Among his philosophical and scientific works are kitāb ?al-šifā? ‘The book of healing’, his compendium of philosophy and science, and ?al-qānuwn fiy ?al-t`ibb ’The canon of medicine’ his compendium of medicine, which was translated into Latin and used in European universities as the primary medical source book for centuries.
The treatise under discussion is a unique linguistic-scientific treatise , written in Arabic, about Arabic phonetics from both scientific and linguistic perspectives. This thoughtful and innovative treatise went beyond the traditional impressionistic descriptions of the sounds of Arabic to include in its purview the three modalities of phonetics: the acoustic, the articulatory, and the anatomical/ physiological. In addition, it delved into comparative phonetics and natural parallels to the sounds of Arabic. It is of interest to linguists and phoneticians to note that this uncommonly broad and global perspective on phonetics would become common only in more recent research in and teaching of phonetics (19th century on). This treatise is a landmark in the scientific study and development of phonetics.
ISBN 9783929075915. LINCOM Studies in Phonetics 04. 200pp. 2009.