qāl Šlomo en-nabī: qadāš zēn bēt əl-miqdās matāʕ allāh... (1:17)
Jay C. Treat's brilliant translation and the original Aramaic text (אמר שלמה נבייא כמא יאי בית מקדשא דיי) inform me that the qadāš zēn part means "how beautiful!". Hm. I'd be the first to admit that my knowledge of the maghribī dialects is sketchy at best, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect some form of kīf for "how". That is, if I was expecting this word to appear here as it does in English in the role of an exclamatory particle. In CA, one would have to resort to mā (as in the famous example of laħn al-ʕāma, i.e. Mā aħsanu/aħsana 's-samā').
And so I'm a little puzzled: Handbuch (p. 258) lists qaddāš as "das Vorherrschende Frageadverb für 'wieviel'". Willms' Einführung (p. 51) describes qədd-əš as the North-East Algerian word for "wieviel(e)". Willms also mentions qədd with the meaning of "same size as, same extent as, same kind as" in hist list of prepositions next to kīf and zay. "Same size/extent/kind as" (see Maltese daqs) is certainly a bit closer to "how" than "how much" and the interrogative particle "what" -āš/-əš appears to be a suffix often used to create other interrogative particles (b-āš, kīf-āš, ʕl-āš, w-āš or k-āš). But still - that would make qaddāš an interrogative particle, maybe (and that's a big 'maybe') a relative particle. How does it then wind up being used in an exclamatory sentence? Is it a normal current use, a normal use in the 19th century, both, just another case of a typical šarħ translation or something completely different? Any thoughts?