The Constructive Perceptions of Meaning between the Modern Semantic Theory and Arab Islamic Heritage
The Constructive Perceptions of Meaning between the Modern Semantic Theory and Arab Islamic Heritage
أسس تصور المعنى بين التّراث العربي الإسلامي والنّظريّة الدّلاليّة الحديثة
غسان إبراهيم محمد الشمّري Ghassan Ibrahim Mohammad Alshamary
تاريخ الإرسال:22-11- 2023 تاريخ القبول: 7-12-2023-
يقارن البحث بين تراثنا اللغوي العربي وما تقدمه النّظريّة الدّلاليّة الحديثة اليوم بخصوص ثلاثة قضايا دلاليّة كبرى، هي: أولًا: قضية بنية المعنى، هل هو كيان مركَّب مؤلَّف من عناصر أم كيان بسيط؛ ثانيًّا: قضية الإحالة، هل تحيل العبارة على كيان خارجي مستقل عن المتكلم أم على كيان داخلي تابع لتصوره؛ وثالثًا: قضية إدراك المعنى، أو ما هي الكيفيات التي تُدرَك بها المعاني والدور الذي يمكن أن تؤديه مختلف الملكات الذهنية في هذا الإدراك. ويستدل البحث على أنّ الإجابات التي قدمها أسلافنا، توافق، في خطوطها العريضة في المبادئ العامة، الإجابات التي تقدمها أبرز النظريات الدلالية المعاصرة.
الكلمات المفاتيح : التراث العربي، الدلالات، الإدراك،اللغة، المنطق، المعنى.
The research compares Arabic linguistic heritage with the modern semantic theory today on three major issues: 1- the structure of meaning, is it a composite entity composed of elements or a simple entity? 2- The issue of assignment, does the term refer to an external entity independent of the speaker or an internal entity of his or her perception? And 3- perceiving the meaning, or the qualities in which the meanings and the role that different mental abilities can play in this realization. The research suggests that the answers given by Arab ancestors agree, in their broad outlines and in terms of general principles, with the answers presented by the most prominent contemporary semantic theories.
Keywords: Arabic heritage, semantics, perception, language, logic, and meaning.
There are perceptions of the ancients, interpreters, fundamentalists, and linguists, on issues of close association with the nature of the things in which the semantics take place. This perception would not have been presented in the manner in which it was presented, except assuming the existence of a conception of the relationship between the word and the meaning under which words can vary with respect to different meanings. This refers, among other things, to the perception of the occasion between the words and the meanings, whereby words are a function of the situation on the meanings, not on external matters [1-3].
Thus, the ancients explored the connection between words and their meanings, engaging in discussions regarding the significance of word meanings and their impact on the broader concept of social processes , as well as the importance of the meaning through which the words were formed . There is, therefore, a set of origins or introductions that define the treatment of the ancients and the traitors to the semantic questions and their direction. This attention can be seen from the perception of the applicants and the latter of the elements in which the semantics of the meeting takes place, their types (mental, natural and situational), especially (conformity, guarantee and commitment) and then their perception to understand meanings [6, 7]. Furthermore, concerning the issue of referring, the question is: does the term refer to an external entity independent of the speaker or an internal entity that is related to its perception?
1 – Semantic diligence in the Arab heritage
One of the works that left a clear impression in the semantic research is that of the interpretations of the ancient Arab scholars, commentators, fundamentalists and linguists, on issues of close association with the nature of the things that take place in the semantics. The linguists who are the owners of the dictionaries were interested in the semantics in the framework of their definition of the meaning of the words . The rhetoricians were interested in the issue of truth and metaphor, and the fundamentalists were interested in the issue of semantic in the introductions of the books of the fundamentals of jurisprudence, philosophers and speakers have known the issues rose by Aristotle in the semantics and discussed and added to it . These perceptions were not presented in the manner in which they were presented, except on the assumption that there is a conception of the relationship between the word and meaning, whereby words can be different for different meanings, or vice versa. This refers, among other things, to a conception of the occasion between words and meanings, in which words indicate the meanings, not the external things, a voluntary indication of change [10-12].
The Arab scholars have understood the value of meaning and the importance of its existence in the minds of human beings. Hence the ancient people in the field of the relationship between the word and the meaning and their discussions in the meaning of the word on the meaning and the importance of the word and its impact on the concept of social process, as well as the importance of the meaning through which the words were formed . Due to the importance of the meaning in the Arab-Islamic culture, so preoccupied by the critics of the Arabs and Westerners old and recent, has been around the views and different approaches and terminology from one field to another. They tried to identify them in different ways. The maturation of the perception of the ancient Arabs of the meaning was achieved by recognizing the strength of the relationship between the word and the meaning, and drew the meaning of the question and asked it and took control of their thinking; meaning does not stand without the word [14-16].
The concept of meaning has been adopted on the link with the language and its wording or systems, which means the linguistic context in which the word is placed whether the systems are words or written text, and otherwise the meaning is referred to as sporadic references as a stand-alone element in the same person .
Al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi (1701 AH) pointed out in his dictionary “Al-Ein” to the subject of meaning that it is absolute from the restriction of language, meaning the meaning of everything is its ordeal, and the state in which it becomes its state . The question of truth, metaphor, tandem, contradictions, and common was the major part of their studies because they have a clear effect on the meaning of the word and on the interpretation of the text . Metaphoric efforts included searching the issue of word and meaning in terms of the relationship between them, in addition to the search in the word and its bodies and conditions. These efforts have also been extended to include descriptions of meanings and words . The perception of the ancient Muslim Arabs of the structure of meaning, as reflected in their reference to the meaning of words based on the tri-semantic classification signification to the conformity, guarantee and commitment, is a metaphor in which the meaning is based on a set of elements that it constitutes. A concept that agrees, in general principle, to the authoritative hypothesis that is advocated today by the most important semantic theories based on considerations of language acquisition and creative nature [21, 22], emphasizing the words of direct function in the embodiment of meanings; linguists spoke of the Arabs to determine the relationship between the word and the meaning. It is noteworthy that the follower of the Arab heritage finds a great struggle on this issue, through the whereabouts of the miracle, in the word and its composition, meaning and semantic, or both, or the relationship generated between them . This problem was presented by AlJahiz and Abu Hilal al-Askari who were interested in the word, and Ibn Qutaiba and Qadamah Ibn Jaafar who were interested in both word and meaning. Another team represented by Ibn al-Atheer and Ibn Rashid who did not separate between the meaning and the word. Another group represented by Abdul Qahir abstracted both of the word and meaning and set the relationship between them .
Accordingly, we see that both rhetoricians and critics gave priority to the study of the meaning because it is the origin of the word and its content. They touched upon the study of semantics, or what is closely linked to it, but they have invested a great deal of effort and time in the issue that was a field for studying critical and rhetorical studies.
Some scholars believe that their studies have reached many of the conclusions reached by the modern semantic studies in the modern era and drew the attention of thinkers from the Arab countries and they asked about some of the initial concepts developed by Greek philosophy within the abstract mental view in an attempt to subjugate the meaning of a set of laws and boundaries, the relationship between the words and their meanings was intellectual . Their common denominator is the abstract mind. Some scholars thought that some Arabic studies have showed advanced trends that match the data of modern semantics.
- Semantics in language and terminology:
In the language of the Arabs, the meaning of the evidence is indicative of the meaning of the sign , and the meaning of a broader term of meaning. Given the deep understanding of the ancient Arabs, linguists, interpreters, and builders, as well as fundamentalists, regions, and jurists, they have identified the many definitions according to their perceptions and interests. The meaning in the term means what comes to know the thing as a sign of words on meanings, which the particular word suggests, bears, or denotes . Thus, it is clear that the earliest definitions of this article in the Arab heritage by Ragheb Al-Asfahani (502 e) refer to the science which aims to study the meaning that is achieved from the symbols of the phonetic, verbal, written and other, where he says, “semantic: what comes to know the thing as a sign of words on the meaning and semantic of signs, symbols, writing and contracts in the account, whether with the intention of making it meaningful, or not with the intention of seeing the movement of a human being to know that he is alive ” [27, 28].
The definition may differ between the researchers, all of which are definitions that are close to each other or are integrated and kept from what was settled in the late logistics. From an absolute perspective, semantics requires an awareness of an additional element: the signifier confronting the signified. In linguistic terms, semantics is conceptualized in a way that, upon its introduction, evokes an understanding of its meaning within the framework of its status. It can be categorized as a sign of conformity, an indication of guarantee, or an expression of commitment. This linguistic inclusion necessitates a mental commitment, distinguishing humans as conscious beings, whereas animals are characterized as conforming spokespersons. The fact that something is necessary to understand something else is also the fact that something is necessary to know science by something else mental or customary and permanent and other .
Through these definitions, we see that these definitions necessarily lead to a consensus in the transition from the signifier to the meaning and this automatic transmission, that is, the mere mention of the sign raises the signifier, which agrees, as we have pointed out, with Western perceptions [26, 29-31].
In our Arab heritage, we found a division of the types of semantics among ancient Arab linguists. It differs from the division of linguists, fundamentalists, and philosophers in terms used .
- The semantics and their types
The perception of the ancient Muslim Arabs of the construction of meaning, as reflected in their reference to the meaning of words based on the tri-semantic classification to the conformity, guarantee and commitment, is a metaphor in which the meaning is based on a set of elements that it constitutes . A concept that agrees, in general principle, to the authoritative hypothesis advocated today by the most important semantic theories, based on considerations of language acquisition and creative nature .
The fundamentalists have derived their philosophy and related research in determining the meaning and its logical parts, but in different ways, the absolute definition of the previous meaning (the fact that the thing is necessary knowing science by something else, the first thing is the semantic and the other thing is the meaning). This definition is agreed between the two groups, and forms a field to derive the nature of the semantics. This may be a status indication if the basis and nature of the correlation and the quality of the relationship between the sign and the meaning that is knowledge of the situation. Therefore, it is based on the division of types of semantics into mental, natural and situational, depending on the type of relationship between the signifier and the meaning, or “the origin of understanding”. If the origin is rooted in the mind, referred to as the semantics of mentality, it is termed ‘natural’ through habit and inherent qualities, while the conditions, form, and structure are denoted as ‘status’ .
The semantic of the word is not based on a situation or a pattern; it is not necessary to be based on reason, and so (the semantics subjected to the classification of semantics based on the performance of the context. For the meaning, the word either to be taken to indicate the full meaning, or some of its meaning, or to be taken to indicate the meaning of another out of the meaning, but necessary mind or custom. These three indications are included in a general indication, which is a semantic signifier which is a division of the verbal meaning .
Scholars recognize that the meaning of these semantic sections can be discerned. In verbal semantics, the interaction of three essential elements— the word, representing a specific auditory context; the meaning attributed to the word, signifying the intended concept; and the interplay of a contextual situation—facilitates the representation of meaning through the word.
3.1 Verbal semantic status
It is the meaning of the word, so that when the word is said, the meaning is understood due to the knowledge of its status, as an example, the meaning of the human word on the spoken animal, which is the conventional meaning of “making something prominent about something else if they understand the second.” What is required by the mind, that is, the mind finds a relationship between the semantics and the meaning by an introduction that rests in the proof of reason and did not invoke other status, nature or other. The mind moves in that relation from the semantics to the meaning and it will arrive semantics. As the semantic heard from behind the wall on the existence of the notary, and the significance of the voice on the life of the owner, once we hear the voice, we know that the owner alive; because he is able to speak, the mind is indicative of his life. Thus, mental semantic is the one that finds the mind between the sign and the meaning of self-relationship for which it is necessary to achieve the same semantic [35, 36].
2.3: Natural semantics
It is what is required by the nature, i.e., the nature is a reason for the indication in terms of the nature issued the semantic when proven meaning, it is a reason for verification of the signifier, and achieved at this time is a positive relationship that requires verification of significance, because the nature is the reason of semantic, this is the reason for the verification of word, “akh” on the chest pain, because it is the habit of issuing it when the chest hurts. As people used to issue certain sounds as a result of certain accidents, when pain occurs in any place in the body, it is normal to issue an “akh” as a result of that pain. However, their interest was mainly based on the meaning of the word without the other sections. This is because of the relationship of this sound and its general use in the chest heart. The interest was directed for situational semantics rather than the other sections, because “If it is optional, it is the situation, otherwise it can be left behind because it is natural, otherwise it is the mentality .
As well as under the verbal semantic of the word, Arab speakers include all the words without exception, but they distinguish within them useful items in understanding the composition of the semantics. The classification is based on the amount of subject and subject matter and the amount of side marked each of them, for example that may be placed a partial term marked a total order of the meaning of a total marked by partial order .
In general, the research is confined to the semantics among the advanced philosophers including Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, and Al-Ghazali on the verbal semantics, the semantics of their view addresses the word and psychological impact (mental image) and the external mazes. This is an old idea in the Arab heritage. An old question was asked about the nature of the meaning, and if the words are placed in the face of mental images or external mazes. Razi’s perception was based on the fact that the pronunciation changes according to the change in the picture in the mind, and therefore their connection to the verbal semantics is related to the four elements of writing, pronunciation, mental image and external mazes. The writing indicates the words, what is outside. “Here, however, the link in the verbal connotation is centered on the relationship between verbal and mental image. The consideration of four things in the linguistic meaning does not mean that the linguistic semantics requires four elements or at least three if we take out the writing. The semantics is complete only with two elements, meaning and signifier. Hence, word semantic is determined by relationship between the word and the mental image [39, 40].
Ibn Sina realized the essence of the semantics, the importance of the symbol and its effects in the soul, because of the rise of the symbol image in the mind constitutes effects, and then turn into accumulations of mental meanings in memory, and so whenever the sound is verified, its image is made. The audial image reflects the concept of meaning in the soul, which makes the meaning in mind within the memory of the linguistic link to the meaning of the word. Ibn Sina does not exclude the external mazes, i.e. any reference from the verbal semantics, but the relation is not done only by mental image by additional indication. This relationship between meaning and external objects is sometimes likened to the relationship between the object and its image in the mirror. The meaning of our perception of man is only to draw from it a picture in the mind that is distinguished from the other in the mind, as the image of the thing is shown in the mirror, such as the senses, and the self -mirror in which they are perceived as reasonable and sensual [41-43].
- Semantic classification:
Although the absolute situational semantics (verbal and non-verbal) is divided into a semantics of inclusion and a semantics of commitment, this division by the Semitists came (based on criteria based on the perception of the nature of the relationship between the poles of the semantic act), which is no more than three mental, natural, and situational . The scholars of the semantics subject the division of semantics based on the performance of the context of the meaning, the words are either to be taken to indicate the full meaning, or some of its meaning, or to be taken to indicate another meaning outside its meaning. Accordingly, linguists made a difference between word semantics and semantic by word in which word semantic implies the intention of speaker, i.e., the semantic of speaker is what he intends to say from the word, not what understood by the hearer, and hence the semantic is a characteristic of the hearer. Based on this, the verbal status semantics is divided into three categories, which is a semantic of conformity and a semantic of guarantee and a semantic of commitment. Therefore, this division is distinguished by verbal meaning, because the non-verbal position on the part or the outside in the statement is unintentional, the intention and the sign in the part of meaning are not required, as well as the writing, that the parts of the writing are placed in the face of some part of the situation. Considering the meaning of the word, semantics was divided into: conformity, inclusion and commitment .
4.1 Semantics of Conformity: It is the semantic of the word on the conformity of the name, and was called conformity to match the word to the name and to agree with it. The semantic of conformity is the original semantics of words for which meanings were directly put, and the conformity was derived to match the meaning with the word. In this context, the conformity of meaning and word means that the word should not increase over the meaning, or not to have increasing of the meaning over the word. Logistics expressed their views as semantic of conformity as what indicates the perfect meaning. Let us consider, for example, the word “house” which its semantics indicates the meaning of house by confirmation, and accordingly, the semantic of conformity implies the understanding of hearer of speaker words the perfect of named word .
4.2 Semantic of inclusion: It is a semantic of word on a part of its name and its status in terms of which it is also in the total, as a semantic of the human word on the living organism only, or on the speaker only. The inclusion semantics, then, is semantic word on a part called the human signification of the spoken animal only, and so called for it to be included, the meaning to be mediated by the placement of this term for the meaning within it. By thus, to label it as inclusion because it is indicative of the part within the whole, in this way, the inclusion semantic is what the hearer understands from the speaker is part of the words of the speaker .
4.3 The semantics of the commitment: is that the pronunciation of the verb on the outside indicating its name that is required for it. This semantics is the understanding of hearer the speech of speaker which is in the mind .
The relationship between these three sections lies in the fact that the significance of the conformity is common and implies that each of them is not indicative of an order outside the object. The significance of the inclusion and the significance of the commitment also share that each of them requires the first indication, i.e., the conformity .
The logistics have stipulated in the semantics of commitment that it is necessary to be mentally, meaning that whenever the meaning of the word is understood, it is necessary to understand it, whether it is necessary in mind and outside together, or if it is required in the mind only without the outside. This is contrary to the writers and the fundamentalists who did not stipulate this condition, and considered the semantic of commitment even in the case of the meaning of the word on the outside of its meaning necessary for him outside without the mind, as a sign of the crow on blackness and snow on the whiteness. This is considered to be a limitation of the meaning of the word in relation to the subject, whether it is in conformity with it or on its part (including) or by its obligation, purely mentally and not extrapolative .
In light of this, it is easy to understand differences in the use of the concept of commitment in the people of logic and literature. The commitment has been divided into two categories: the first is that the commitment is divided into both the mind and the outside, such as the courage of the lion, and the necessity of the mind only as a blind eye and a necessity only outside like the blackness of the crow. The ratio between the necessary in mind and the necessary abroad is absolute; absolutely necessary in mind is what was between it and the necessary as a limited logical relationship. The only necessary abroad is that it does not result from the obligation by relations with being realized abroad with it. The second category is that the necessary is divided into clear and non-clear, and the clear is what is required from the synonyms of the perception of necessity, between them that does not need evidence. In case of non-clear, it is not necessary for evidence. The clear is further subdivided into mental in which it is required to match the perception of necessary with the perceived such as the perception of the necessary courage of the lion. The other division is the non-mental, which is not necessary to perceive what is not required such as imaging human as a horse, it is not necessary to imagine a human perception of others as well as being different.
Thus, the concept of commitment in logic is understood in the sense of necessity. There is a difference between the logistics and literatures with regard to the ratio of the three semantics to the situation. The three are situational for the linguistics, because situation is a reason for the first semantics and led to the reason for the remaining two semantics.
The difference is that the logistics are looking for the pure mental meanings that have no place in them, so that they want the mentality of what is not for the reason of the entrance, but the literatures are looking for semantics of inclusion and commitment as mental semantics, because they were looking for meanings in relation to status. The difference is that the logistics are looking for mental meanings that have no any interactions from status, whereas the literatures are looking for the meanings from the status point of view.
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