On This Volume

CSOL is a series whose volumes follow a thoroughly unified organization and layout. In this sense, CSOL II (as well as CSOL III, now in an advanced stage of preparation) do not differ substantially from Volume One published in 2014. The same essential constituents are present:

  • an annotated catalogue of texts

  • the 30 texts in four-column presentation (Soqotri in Semitological transcription—English translation—Soqotri in the Arabic-based orthography—translation into Modern Standard Arabic)

  • philological annotations for each text

  • a Soqotri-English-Arabic glossary

  • a collection of artwork illustrating the realia mentioned in the texts.

The only substantial difference affects the Introduction. The four years that have elapsed since 2014 have not produced any radical growth of linguistic and philological information to seriously update (or, for that matter, replace) the 40-page introductory chapter of CSOL I—just new texts, new lexemes and new grammatical forms, most of which can be easily integrated into the general pattern expounded and implemented in Volume One.

The serial nature of this publication can also be perceived from the linguistic and philological annotations to individual texts. With few exceptions, we will not return to grammatical and lexical phenomena that have been already discussed on the pages of CSOL I: only newly discovered features will be analyzed. As far as the Glossary is concerned, there is an explicit reference to the Glossary of CSOL I for every lexeme appearing in Volume One (side by side with Leslau’s Lexique and, more rarely, other tools of Soqotri lexicography).

A word on the nature of the texts presented in CSOL II is in order. While the corpus of CSOL I consisted almost entirely of narrative and poetic folklore, CSOL II includes a few non-folkloric, mostly “ethnographic” texts describing traditional technologies and household practices. In view of the rapidly changing habitat of the islanders, both linguistic and cultural value of such specimens is hard to overestimate.

A corollary of the greater genre diversity of CSOL II is a consideraby expanded artwork section, expected to meet the necessity of describing as clearly as possible the numerous natural and economic realia of Soqotra dealt with in the present book. As in CSOL I, only a selection of photos appear in the published volume: a more comprehensive collection of visual evidence is available from Brill’s website, free of charge. The same pertains to the sound files for each of the 30 texts featuring in the volume.

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