This is the original Home Page, which still contains all the links you need,
and (largely) unrevised technical and background information about the Project.
Return to revised Home Page

Contents of the Demo

  • Description of the Sībawayhi Project

  • Sībawayhi and the Kitāb

  • About this Demo

  • List of works in the Project

  • Hints on getting the best out of the Demo

  • New Developments Recent support from Oslo. ARC and NFR Grant Applications.
  • New French translations of Chs. 1-7.

  • Related pages (also links to Kitāb on other websites, Georgetown translation)

  • Questions of Copyright and Access

  • Go directly to the Base Text at Ch. 1, Ch. 285 or Ch. 565

  • Contacts and Feedback: michael.carter "at"


    The project is (still) in a state of flux, and recent developments in Norway make us wonder whether it is still alive: some more chapters have been added (see New Developments) but the framework of the site as originally conceived may have broken down.

    However, we have had a chance to correct a serious error in Base text. ch. 7 with some minor consequential changes, and a few other typos have been eliminated. Grateful thanks to our friends in Moscow for pointing out the mistake in Ch. 7.

    From now on the website will be mirrored on both the Sydney University site and the original Oslo University site, so it should not matter, for the time being, which one you log on to. We hope Google will find them both! However, it is only fair to point out that at the time of writing (Feb. 2009) the Oslo site is rather inactive, so you would do better to go to the Sydney site anyway.

    Welcome to the second edition of the Sībawayhi Project. It is no longer exclusively based in Norway, but has opened another site in Sydney, where it is hoped to continue with the digitisation of further texts in tandem with our colleagues in Norway.

    For the time being there will be some instability in the documents and links as we move over to a Unicode font (see below), but in principle the contents are the same as those of the first edition.

    You may notice the website is called "Sibawiki" now: the reason is that we are hoping to make it interactive on the model of the Wikipedia.

    System Requirements:

    This Demo of the first and the last seven chapters of the Kitāb of Sībawayhi in Hypertext was originally formatted for the Arabic Language Version of Internet Explorer 4.** which can be run on both Arabic and standard European versions of Windows 95, Windows 98 and NT 4. It also runs on Windows XP and 2000+ and Internet Explorer 5.** when the Arabic support option is enabled (for the transliteration font see below). All the files have now been converted to UTF-8, so it will be interesting to see whether any were overlooked (please let us know). The original and still preferred Arabic font is Ahkbar MT, but this is not the default font in Explorer, so if you know someone who has Windows 98+ or Word with Arabic you can simply import this font (regular and bold) from their WINDOWS\FONTS directory.

    Bad news for Netscape and Mozilla users, especially Mac: it will be a while before this website can be successfully viewed in those browsers. Be patient. At present Netscape + Mac seem to handle the Western parts of the text (but you still need Gentium for the diacriticals); however, if you cannot persuade your machine to display Arabic characters there is nothing we can do for you.

    The transliteration font is Gentium, which can be downloaded free from the Gentium page of the SIL International website. It is a far more attractive and versatile font than Times. Other Unicode fonts may work, but this has not been checked (in general the standard Unicode character set does not include all the symbols necessary for transliterating Arabic).

    If the Arabic does not display, select "Fonts" or "Encoding" from the "View" menu and then select "Arabic [Alphabet] (Windows)".
    This may mean that when you return to a non-Arabic page you may have to select "Western Alphabet" from the same menu in order to display correctly. Current versions of Windows Explorer seem to be able to handle two default languages/scripts


    The Pilot Project was financed by the Norwegian Research Council and the Communication, Technology and Culture Initiative of the Hist. Phil. Faculty at Oslo University. In addition the Department of East European and Oriental Languages offered its own help and encouragement both with equipment and technical support personnel. To all these we here express our sincere gratitude.

    The hard work of scanning, initial marking up and general design was done by Alexander Matveev of the Department of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg, with indispensable practical and personal assistance from the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Bergen.

    Part two of the Project was made possible by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with a grant to Dr. Lutz Edzard, of Bonn, which was again generously supplemented by the Oslo University International Department, the Faculty of Humanities and the Department of East European and Oriental Languages. This more than doubled the amount of material we can offer.

    A follow-up grant from the Humboldt Foundation enabled us to make a thorough revision of the files (see New Developments).

    The site is now accommodated in two places, in Oslo and on the Arts Faculty Research website of Sydney University.