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The importance and richness of the Arabic linguistic tradition, largely neglected by Western literature, is amply demonstrated by this book, first published in 1990. Written by three experts in the field, it provides us with a comprehensive survey of the historical constitution and theoretical structure of the Arabic linguistic tradition from its beginnings in the eighth century to its mature state around the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Besides grammar, the book covers such fields as rhetoric, grammatical semantics, and methodological issues, and pays particular attention to the most representative works of the classical period. It also has the unique benefit of containing the historical background.