ADĀT “particle,” Arabic word corresponding to the Persian abzār which is used as a technical term in logic (manṭeq), grammar (dastūr), and rhetoric (maʿānī o bayān).

Logic. Writers on logic class the particle as one of the three parts of speech. A particle does not, in itself, possess a complete or independent meaning. Its meaning only becomes clear when it is joined to another word, as in the case of bar and az, in contrast to the noun/adjective (esm) and verb (kalema, feʿl), each of which possesses an independent meaning. Some writers have considered the term adāt as synonymous with ḥarf in the context of grammar (ṣarf o naḥw) and have either employed the latter term or applied both words indifferently (Tahānavī, Kaššāf-e eṣṭelāḥāt-e fonūn, 2 vols., Calcutta, 1862; Ebn Sīna, Resāla-ye manṭeq in Dāneš-nāma, ed. M. Moʿīn and M. Meškāt, Tehran, 1331 Š./1952, p. 29; Ḵᵛāǰa Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī, Asās al-eqtebās, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1326 Š./1947, pp. 14-15; Dorrat al-tāǰ, ed. M. Meškāt, 1st ed., I, 1320 Š./1941, p. 19). Nevertheless, there is some distinction between the use of adāt in logic and that of ḥarf in Arabic and Persian grammar. For example, logicians have regarded the Persian connective verbs ast, būd, and šod and the Arabic defective verbs kāna and ṣāra as examples of adāt, considering them as not possessing complete meanings in themselves. Kāna and būd, the Arabic pronoun howa, and Persian ast/hast, which are used in clauses containing three terms such as ū dānešmand ast or Zaydon howa ʿālemon, are regarded as the link between subject and predicate (rābeṭ-e maḥmūl be mawżūʿ). Similarly, in logic the Arabic word eḏā is considered a particle, because it links the following to the preceding term, whereas in syntax it is termed a noun of condition (esm-e šarṭ).

Grammar. In Arabic grammar, we find the use of both adāt and ḥarf, the latter being of two types: indeclinable or alphabetical particles (ḥorūf-e mabānī or alefbāʾī)—which fall outside the range of our discussion—and rhetorical particles (ḥorūf-e maʿānī). In grammar, the rhetorical particle is approximately equivalent to the adāt in logic, designating a word whose meaning becomes clear only by the addition of another word or phrase, such as fa, ṯomma, or enna. In Arabic grammatical usage, the term ḥarf is more common, although adāt is occasionally used, sometimes as an equivalent of ḥarf: sometimes with the meaning of word (kalema) in general.

As an example of the use of adāt in place of ḥarf, we may note the substitution of adāt mošabbaha beʾl feʿl (verblike particle) for ḥarf mošabbaha be’l-feʿl. Thus, Ebn ʿAqīl writes on the adāt mošabbaha be’l-feʿl: “These particles (adawāt) are all ḥorūf and are six in number” (Šarḥ Ebn ʿAqīl, Cairo, 1956, I, p. 573). Adāt is not strictly equivalent to ḥarf but, rather, to kalema in general; however it is used to refer to words similar to those signified by the term ḥarf. Included in this concept are those particles which render the apocopated verb. These are of two kinds: those which apocopate a single verb (all of which are ḥoruf: the imperative lām, the of negation, lam, and the lammā of negation) and those which apocopate two verbs (i.e., en, man, , mahmā, ay, mattā, eḏ, annā, and ḥayṯamā). Of these latter, en is a ḥarf, the remainder are esm. Adāt is, therefore, used in Arabic grammar at times for ḥarf and at times for esm; the latter use occurs often in phrases implying the involvement of several grammatical elements, e.g., adāt ǰāzem feʿl, which includes ḥorūf (en, lam, lammā) and asmāʾ (man, ).

Even where words that apocopate the verb belong to the category of esm, they are incomplete in meaning whenever they govern two verbs. In such circumstances, these elements must be joined to a clause (ǰomla). In this case, therefore, although Ebn Mālek and Ebn ʿAqīl have regarded these as esms (ibid., p. 285), they do not, in fact, possess independent meanings; their character is, rather, somewhat similar to that of the ḥorūf, and they can be termed ḥarf or quasi-ḥarf.

In the description of the Persian language, the terms adāt and adawāt are more frequent in the old grammars, which were influenced by Arabic theories of speech and syntax. In modern grammars their use has declined; some grammarians do not use them at all (P. Ḵānlarī, Dastūr-e zabān-e fārsī, Tehran, 1976; Ḵ. Faršīdvard, Dastūr-e emrūz, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969). In some grammars, adāt does not occur as a basic term but is used in a secondary sense. When used, adāt has various meanings, including kalema, ḥarf, suffix (pasvand), prefix (pīšvand), connective verb (ast, nīst, hast, būd), interjection (ṣawt), adverb (qayd), adverbial complement (motammem-e qaydī), and indirect object (mafʿūl-e be-wāseṭa).

One main difference is noticeable between ḥarf and adāt in Arabic syntax and in Persian grammars based on Arabic models. In Arabic syntax, the defective verbs and the pronoun howa when used as an auxiliary verb (e.g., Zaydon howa ʿālemon) are not considered adawāt, whereas in the Persian grammars such words are regarded as both ḥorūf and adawāt. The Persians also regard many suffixes as both ḥorūf and adawāt (see Ḵānlarī, Dastūr; Ḥāǰǰī Moḥammad Moḥyī-al-dīn, Taḥqīq al-qawānīn, n.p., n.d.; Naǰm-al-Ḡanī Rāmpūrī, Nahī al-adab, India, 1919; Mīrzā Ḥabīb Eṣfahānī, Dabestān-e pārsī, Istanbul, 1308/1890-91). But in Arabic, which employs derivation from roots rather than from stems and has few suffixes, these elements are not regarded as ḥorūf or adawāt. One of the first to describe the Persian suffixes as ḥorūf was Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad b. Qays Rāzī, who called -āsā, -gūn and similar endings ḥarf (al-Moʿǰam fī maʿāyīrašʿār al-ʿaǰam, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935, pp. 154ff.), and it may be conjectured that later lexicographers and grammarians followed him in calling these elements ḥorūf.

Persian and Arabic syntax also contrast in another respect. In some of the old Persian grammars, nouns, interrogative adjectives (ṣefāt-e porsešī), pronominal suffixes (żamāʾer-e mottaṣel), and many interjections are regarded as ḥorūf. But in Arabic the interrogative particles (except for hal and a) are nouns (esm), as are

fixes as adāt-e tašbīh, ḥorūf-e tašbīh, or ḥorūf-e rang. The particle of comparison in Persian may be a word, phrase, suffix, quasi-suffix, or incomplete clause. Probably the most common are, grammatically, prepositions; also widely found are the suffixes and quasi-suffixes. Verbs, adjectives and adverbs are rarely used as particles of comparison.

1. Prepositions (ḥorūf-e eżāfa) and compound prepositions (gorūhhā-ye eżāfī). Some prepositions indicate comparison, thus becoming particles of comparison; čūn, hamčūn, čonān, hamčonān, īdūn, be, čonāṇčūn. Compound prepositions so used are generally made up of one preposition and one noun with one eżāfa, the last element connecting the noun to the thing to which comparison is made. Among these are: be-kerdār-e, bar-sān-e, bar-gūna-ye, be-mānand-e. Some adjectives and nouns which function in a manner similar to that of the particle of comparison are equivalent to the preposition or compound preposition. Among these are: mānand-e, meṯl-e, hamrang-e and šabīh-e. Some of these words can be used with the preposition be: be-mānand-e, be-meṯl-e, be-rang-e.

2. Adjectives. Šabīh and naẓīr, which are particles of comparison, sometimes function as adjectives within their clause: baččahā-ye šabīh be ham, šahrhā-ya naẓīr-e yak dīgar, rū-ye ū be gol šabīh ast. The meaning of šabīh and naẓīr in these cases is incomplete, so they are regarded as particles.

3. Nouns. In addition to those nouns which are equivalent to prepositions, some other nouns may express comparison: rašk, ḡayrat, ʿayn, nomūna, and raqīb. Comparison using these is equivalent to emphasis (taʾkīd) or hyperbole (eḡrāq), and it is, therefore, possible to refer to them as emphatic or hyberbolic particles of comparison. When the object to which comparison is being made follows the particle of comparison without hiatus and the particles are noun or verbal phrases, the thing to which comparison is made appears as the second part of the genitive construction or as the complement: u rašk-e parī (a)st. Adjectives and nouns which become particles of comparison require complements and are thus regarded as particles.

4. Conjunctive particles and phrases. Čūn, čo, ka, čonānka, čonāṇčūn, īdūn, hamčūn-ka, (a)z-ān sān-ka, mānā-ka, mānand-e ān-ka, meṯl-e ān-ka are, to the extent that they are almost all synonyms, included among the conjunctions and conjunctive phrases; but sometimes they perform the function of particles of comparison in making a comparison between two classes. Ka meaning zīrā-ka (“because”) also falls into this category.

Va (o) and , which are conjunctive particles, also sometimes link two elements or clauses which are being compared. In this case, they are equally particles of comparison and conjunctive particles: soḵan rānd o dāmān-e gowhar fešānd (Saʿdī); ḡazal goftī o dorr softī (Ḥāfeẓ). In these examples, o has the meaning of va meṯl-e īn ka or va gūʾī ka and is, therefore, to be considered a particle of comparison. Similarly, , which is a conjunction (conjunctive particle), sometimes indicates emphatic comparison in cases where it points out an identity: īn barg-e gol ast yā bonāgūš (Saʿdī).

5. Adverbs. Engār, gūyā, meṯl-e īn ka, to goftī, pendārī, bīnī, be-meṯl-e, most of which are adverbs or adverbial conjunctions, sometimes also indicate comparison and can be considered particles of comparison.

6. Verbs and verbal phrases. Mānestan, šabāhat dāštan, nomūdan, be-naẓar rasīdan and any other connective verb which indicates identity sometimes convey the idea of comparison and may be included among the particles of comparison. Verbs and verbal phrases which indicate “coming to mind” or “bringing to mind” sometimes act as particles of comparison, and the same is true of any verb which conveys the idea of closeness. Lāla dīdam rū-ye zībā-ye to-am āmad be-yād (Rahī Moʿayyerī).

7. Suffixes. Many suffixes also indicate comparison and so are regarded as particles of comparison: -vār, -āna, -īn, -īna, -vaš, faš, -sān, -āsā, -gūn and -ī all are added to the noun. Some nouns which convey the sense of comparison are compounded with a preceding word to form comparative adjectives: e.g., āsmān-kerdār, bolbol-ṣefat. It is possible for a comparison to have more than one particle. This occurs when the particle of comparison is a verb, in addition to which another particle is used, e.g., ū meṯl-e māh mī-mānad.


See also: M. Ḵᵛānsārī, Qawānīn-e manṭeq-e ṣūrī, 1338 Š./1959.

ʿA. Qarīb, Dastūr-e zabān-e fārsī, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960, p. 84.

Idem et al., Dastūr-e zabān-e fārsī II, Tehran, 1329 Š./1950, p. 6.

Ḵ. Faršīdvard, Dastūr-e emrūz, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 179-240.

Idem, Naqd-e šeʿr-e fārsī (tašbīh va esteʿāra dar zabān-e fārsī), Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.

M. R. Bāṭenī, Tawṣīf-e sāḵtemān-e dastūrī-e zabān-e fārsī, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 174-75, 191.

M. Ḵ. Raǰāʾī, Maʿālem al-balāḡa, Šīrāz, 1340 Š./1961, pp. 257-58.

R. Šarṭūnī, Mabādī al-ʿarabīya, Beirut, 1924.

N. Taqawī, Henǰār-e goftār, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, p. 165.

(Ḵ. Faršīdvard)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, pp. 449-451

Cite this entry:

Ḵ. Faršīdvard, “ADĀT,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, pp. 449-451; an updated version is available online at (accadat-particle-arabic-word-corresponding-to-the-persian-abzar-which-is-used-as-a-technical-term-in-logic-manteq-gramessed on 7 February 2014).