The Arabic Language

Overview

This general introduction to the Arabic Language, now available in paperback, places special emphasis on the history and variation of the language. Concentrating on the difference between the two types of Arabic - the Classical standard language and the dialects - Kees Versteegh charts the history and development of the Arabic language from the earliest beginnings to modern times. The reader is offered a solid grounding in the structure of the language, its historical context and its use in various literary and ...
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Overview

This general introduction to the Arabic Language, now available in paperback, places special emphasis on the history and variation of the language. Concentrating on the difference between the two types of Arabic - the Classical standard language and the dialects - Kees Versteegh charts the history and development of the Arabic language from the earliest beginnings to modern times. The reader is offered a solid grounding in the structure of the language, its historical context and its use in various literary and non-literary genres, as well as an understanding of the role of Arabic as a cultural, religious and political world language. Intended as an introductory guide for students of Arabic, it will also be a useful tool for discussions both from a historical linguistic and from a socio-linguistic perspective. Coverage includes all aspects of the history of Arabic, the Arabic linguistic tradition, Arabic dialects and Arabic as a world language. Links are made between linguistic history and cultural history, while the author emphasises the role of contacts between Arabic and other languages. This important book will be an ideal text for all those wishing to acquire an understanding or develop their knowledge of the Arabic language.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Versteegh (Arabic and Islam, U. of Nijmegen, the Netherlands) explores the structure of the language, its history, and its uses in various literary and non-literary circles. He distinguishes the classic Arabic of the "Quran" and literature from the many dialects that are spoken throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Africa. He assumes no knowledge of Arabic or linguistics, and includes both the original and a translation of quotations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Die Welt des Islams
This is a very useful handbook, both for general linguists interested in various aspects of the history and present state of Arabic and for Arabists and/or Semiticists who wish to update their bibliographical knowledge of fields within Arabic linguistics in which they may not be specialists.

— Lutz Edward

International Journal of the Sociology of Language
An up-to-date textbook in English as an introduction to the history of Arabic has been a desideratum for a long time.... The author is to be congratulated on giving us a work that should become the standard handbook for years to come.
Die Welt des Islams - Lutz Edward
This is a very useful handbook, both for general linguists interested in various aspects of the history and present state of Arabic and for Arabists and/or Semiticists who wish to update their bibliographical knowledge of fields within Arabic linguistics in which they may not be specialists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748645282
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2014
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kees Versteegh is professor of Arabic and Islam at the University of Nijmegen.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Figures and Maps
Note on Transcription and Glossing

1. The Study of Arabic in the West
2. Arabic as a Semitic Language
3. The Earliest Stages of Arabic
4. Arabic in the Pre-Islamic Period
5. The Development of Classical Arabic
6. The Structure of Arabic
7. The Arabic Linguistic Tradition
8. The Emergence of New Arabic
9. Middle Arabic
10. The Study of the Arabic Dialects
11. The Dialects of Arabic
12. The Emergence of Modern Standard Arabic
13. Diglossia
14. Bilingualism
15. Arabic as a Minority Language
16. Arabic Pidgins and Creoles
17. Arabic as a World Language

Bibliography
List of Abbreviations
Index

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