The Overlap of the Functional Meaning in the Holy Quran: Patterns and Significance


The paper addresses the functional meaning of the word and its overlaps in the Holy Quran. It is shown that, as grammarians were concerned with the functional meaning of any linguistic element, they used to interpret the syntactic relations among words or structures. They believed that functional words are set apart from the other words by the fact that they are not autonomous, and that their meaning was determined by the structures they form part of. It is also shown that grammarians were concerned about meaning since they believed that grammar is not just about rules, but has to do with the meaning and expressive power of the sentences. Also proved throughout is the multiplicity and potentiality of the functional meaning, for one structure can perform a multiplicity of functions. It also appeared that the functional meaning is a relational meaning, in terms of the ‘theory of patterns’ adopted by Al-Gerjani, where the meaning of the word is determined by what comes before and after it. The paper also shows the kind of overlap in the functional meaning, as in the performance of meaning particles and grammatical particles, in such a way that helped the interpreters and exegetes of the Holy Quran to uncover its meaning and direct its reading in a functionally-informed manner.