A Linguistic History of Arabic

A Linguistic History of Arabic

by Jonathan Owens
     
 

A Linguistic History of Arabic presents a reconstruction of proto-Arabic by the methods of historical-comparative linguistics. It challenges the traditional conceptualization of an old, Classical language evolving into the contemporary Neo-Arabic dialects. Professor Owens combines established comparative linguistic methodology with a careful reading of the

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Overview

A Linguistic History of Arabic presents a reconstruction of proto-Arabic by the methods of historical-comparative linguistics. It challenges the traditional conceptualization of an old, Classical language evolving into the contemporary Neo-Arabic dialects. Professor Owens combines established comparative linguistic methodology with a careful reading of the classical Arabic sources, such as the grammatical and exegetical traditions. He arrives at a richer and more complex picture of early Arabic language history than is current today and in doing so establishes the basis for a comprehensive, linguistically-based understanding of the history of Arabic. The arguments are set out in a concise, case by case basis, making it accessible to students and scholars of Arabic and Islamic culture, as well as to those studying Arabic and historical linguists.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199563302
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/17/2009
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Owens is Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland, where he is on leave from his position as Professor of Arabic Linguistics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Starting his linguistics career with a SOAS PhD on Creole Arabic Nubi of East Africa, he has taught and conducted research at universities in Libya (Garyounis), Nigeria (Maiduguri), and Jordan (Yarmouk). His books include A Grammar of Libyan Arabic, Harrassowitz, 1984, A Short Reference Grammar of Nigerian Arabic, Harrassowitz, 1993 and The Foundations of Grammar: an Introduction to Medieval Arabic Grammatical Theory, Benjamins,1988.

Table of Contents

1Introduction : a language and its secrets1
2Old Arabic, neo-Arabic and comparative linguistics34
3Case and proto-Arabic79
4Al-Idgham al-Kabiyr and case endings119
5Pre-diasporic Arabic in the diaspora : a statistical approach to Arabic language history137
6Nigerian Arabic and reconstruction of the imperfect verb184
7Imala197
8Suffix pronouns and reconstruction230
9Summary and epilogue266

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