Al-Bustanı’ s approach to the Arabic language: From theory to practice

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Butrus al-Bustanı (1819–1883) was one of the leading figures of the Nahda period. In most studies on the Nahda, his activities, work and projects are seen as having made an important contribution to the revival of the Arabic language by transforming it to meet the needs of modern times. Although his lexical contribution has been researched there is no comprehensive research on his grammatical contribution to the Arabic language. This article shows that al-Bustan ı’ s Encyclopedia reflects a conservative approach toward grammar in that he confined himself to abridging the grammatical rules enshrined by traditional grammarians. However, he took a liberal and reformist approach to the lexicon that drew on both classical and Western sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-413
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Asiatic Society 2019.


  • Arabic Lexicon Arabic Grammar
  • Butrus al-Bustanı
  • Da irat al-Maarif
  • Nahda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities


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