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Edited by Vitaly Naumkin and Leonid Kogan

Four years after the publication of the Corpus of Soqotri Oral Literature, volume I (Brill, 2014), this volume present the second installment of the Corpus. Inspired by D.H. Müller’s pioneering studies of the 1900s, the authors publish a large body of folklore and ethnographic texts in Soqotri. The language is spoken by more than 100,000 people inhabiting the island Soqotra (Gulf of Aden, Yemen). Soqotri is among the most archaic Semitic languages spoken today, whereas the oral literature of the islanders is a mine of original motifs and plots. Texts appear in transcription, English and Arabic translations, and the Arabic-based native script. Philological annotations deal with grammatical, lexical and literary features, as well as realia. The Glossary accumulates all words attested in the volume. The Plates provide a glimpse into the fascinating landscapes of the island and the traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants.

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Edited by Jacob Høigilt and Gunvor Mejdell

The Politics of Written Language in the Arab World connects the fascinating field of contemporary written Arabic with the central sociolinguistic notions of language ideology and diglossia. Focusing on Egypt and Morocco, the authors combine large-scale survey data on language attitudes with in-depth analyses of actual language usage and explicit (and implicit) language ideology. They show that writing practices as well as language attitudes in Egypt and Morocco are far more receptive to vernacular forms than has been assumed.

The individual chapters cover a wide variety of media, from books and magazines to blogs and Tweets. A central theme running through the contributions is the social and political function of “doing informality” in a changing public sphere steadily more permeated by written Arabic in a number of media.

The e-book version of this publication is available in Open Access.

Arabic in Context

Celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University.

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Edited by Ahmad Al-Jallad

The writing of Arabic’s linguistic history is by definition an interdisciplinary effort, the result of collaboration between historical linguists, epigraphists, dialectologists, and historians. The present volume seeks to catalyse a dialogue between scholars in various fields who are interested in Arabic’s past and to illustrate how much there is to be gained by looking beyond the traditional sources and methods. It contains 15 innovative studies ranging from pre-Islamic epigraphy to the modern spoken dialect, and from comparative Semitics to Middle Arabic. The combination of these perspectives hopes to stand as an important methodological intervention, encouraging a shift in the way Arabic’s linguistic history is written.

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Edited by Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett

This volume brings together the leading experts in the history of European Oriental Studies. Their essays present a comprehensive history of the teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe, covering a wide geographical area from southern to northern Europe and discussing the many ways and purposes for which the Arabic language was taught and studied by scholars, theologians, merchants, diplomats and prisoners. The contributions shed light on different methods and contents of language teaching in a variety of academic, scholarly and missionary contexts in the Protestant and the Roman Catholic world. But they also look beyond the institutional history of Arabic studies and consider the importance of alternative ways in which the study of Arabic was persued.

Contributors are Asaph Ben Tov, Maurits H. van den Boogert, Sonja Brentjes, Mordechai Feingold, Mercedes García-Arenal, John-Paul A. Ghobrial, Aurélien Girard, Alastair Hamilton, Jan Loop, Nuria Martínez de Castilla Muñoz, Simon Mills, Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, Bernd Roling, Arnoud Vrolijk.

This title, in its entirety, is available online in Open Access.

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Edited by Manuel Sartori, Manuela E.B. Giolfo and Philippe Cassuto

This volume includes the reflections of leading researchers on Arabic and Semitic languages, also understood as systems and representations. The work first deals with Biblical Hebrew, Early Aramaic, Afroasiatic and Semitic. Its core focuses on morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, rhetoric and logic matters, showing Arabic grammar's place within the system of the sciences of language. In the second part, authors deal with lexical issues, before they explore dialectology. The last stop is a reflection on how Arabic linguistics may prevent the understanding of the Arabs' own grammatical theory and the teaching and learning of Arabic.

The Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary by al-Malik al-Afḍal

An Annotated Edition with a Linguistic Introduction and a Lexical Index

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Maria Bulakh and Leonid Kogan

The Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary by al-Malik al-Afḍal by Maria Bulakh and Leonid Kogan is a detailed annotated edition of a unique monument of Late Medieval Arabic lexicography, comprising 475 Arabic lexemes (some of them post-classical Yemeni dialectisms) translated into several Ethiopian idioms and put down in Arabic letters in a late-fourteenth century manuscript from a codex in a private Yemeni collection. For the many languages involved, the Glossary provides the earliest written records, by several centuries pre-dating the most ancient attestations known so far. The edition, preceded by a comprehensive linguistic introduction, gives a full account of the comparative material from all known Ethiopian Semitic languages. A detailed index ensures the reader’s orientation in the lexical treasures revealed from the Glossary.

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Geoffrey Khan

This work is a detailed documentation of the Neo-Aramaic dialect spoken by Assyrian Christians in the region of Urmi (northwestern-Iran). It consists of four volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 are descriptions of the grammar of the dialect, including the phonology, morphology and syntax. Volume 3 contains a study of the lexicon, consisting of a series of lists of words in various lexical fields and a full dictionary with etymologies. Volume 4 contains transcriptions and translations of oral texts, including folktales and descriptions of culture and history. The Urmi dialect is the most important dialect among the Assyrian Christian communities, since it forms the basis of a widely-used literary form of Neo-Aramaic.

Coastal Dhofari Arabic

A Sketch Grammar

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Richard Davey

In Coastal Dhofari Arabic: A Sketch Grammar, Richard Davey provides a detailed description of a hitherto neglected Arabic dialect found in southern Oman. Previously recorded by Rhodokanakis, as part of the südarabische Expedition of the Austrian Imperial Academy, the dialect presented here offers a specific account of the day-to-day language spoken by the historical sedentary, coastal community.

Using data collected during 2010-2012, Richard Davey delivers an overview of the phonology, morphology and syntax of this variety. In addition to this, a lexicon of coastal Dhofari Arabic is provided, along with a discussion of its grammaticalized features. It is a timely account of a dialect that is endangered due to development, modernization, and the resulting social changes in Dhofar.

Tense and Text in Classical Arabic

A Discourse-oriented Study of the Classical Arabic Tense System

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Michal Marmorstein

In Tense and Text in Classical Arabic, Michal Marmorstein presents a new discourse-oriented analysis of the indicative tense system in Classical Arabic. Critical of commonly held assumptions regarding the binary structure of the tense system and the perfect-imperfect asymmetry, the author redefines the discussion by analysing the extended syntactic and textual environments in which the paradigm of the indicative forms is used.The study shows that the function of Classical Arabic tenses is determined by the interaction of their inherent grammatical meaning and the overall dialogic, narrative, or generic contexts in which they occur. It also demonstrates the particularizing effect of context, so that temporal and aspectual meanings are always more nuanced, delicate, and pragmatically motivated in actual discourse.

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Paul S. Stevenson

In Stanzaic Syntax in the Madrashe of Ephrem the Syrian, which focuses on madrāšê V and VI in the Paradise cycle, Paul S. Stevenson looks at Ephrem’s poetic art from the point of view of a linguist. This study goes beyond the traditional levels of analysis, the clause and the sentence, and examines the structure of whole stanzas as units. The result is a surprisingly rich tapestry of syntactic patterning, which can justly be considered the key to Ephrem’s prosody. The driving force behind Ephrem’s poetry turns out not to be meter or sound play, but a variety of syntactic templates, which include even vertical patterning of constituents.