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The uniquely human faculty of (primarily) verbal expression. In the Qurʾān, the concept of language is expressed by the word lisān (lit. tongue). The other common term for language, lugha, which is well-attested in classical and modern standard Arabic (see arabic language ), does not appear in the Qurʾān; one encounters only the related words laghw and lāghiyalāghiya iii, 108a iv, 103a iv, 482b , which express exclusively the connotation of “vain utterance.”

The semantic field of “language” includes several triliteral Arabic roots: l-s-nl-s-n iii, 109b (Dāmaghānī, Wujūh, ii, 200-1; see H. Jenssen, Arabic language, 132; see also language, concept of), k-l-m (Yaḥyā b. Sallām, Taṣārīf, 303-5; Dāmaghānī, Wujūh, ii, 186-7), q-w-l, l-ḥ-nl-ḥ-n iii, 109b (Khan, Die exegetischen Teile, 276, on q 47:30: “the burden of their talk,” laḥn al-qawl; Fück, ʿArabīya, 133; Fr. trans. 202; Ullmann, Wa-h̲airu, 21-2). It should be noted that lugha in the sense of manner of speaking (Fr. parler, Ger. Redeweise) is totally absent from the Qurʾān — although the root l-gh-wl-gh-w iii, 109b is attested, but with the meanings of “vain conversation” (q 23:3), “to talk idly” (q 41:26), “idle talk” (q 19:62; see gossip ), or to be “unintentional” in an oath (q 2:225; 5:89; Dāmaghānī, Wujūh, ii, 198; Ibn al-Jawzī, Nuzha, 531-2; see oaths ).