The aim of the paper is to comment on different strategies of coining the names of the diseases in classical Arabic and on their semantics. Every language has its own means of naming diseases. To some extent, ways of understanding the nature of pathological states are encoded in each language in a manner specific to it. This question was approached by the Classical Arab grammarians together with the rise of the linguistic thinking in this civilization. Sibawayhi is interested mainly in the morphological aspect of words that denote diseases wheras Al-Ta'alibi represents a lexicographer's point of view. Two principal verbal patterns expressing pathological states, KaTiBa and KuTiBa, must be taken into consideration when speaking of naming diseases in Classical Arabic. Some interesting semantic implications result from formal affinities with other verbs which do not denote diseases. Also adjectives can be informative of how Arabic speakers conceive of diseases. There are numerous strategies of coining names of diseases in this language, many of which are based upon interesting metaphors.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.