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Arabic and its Alternatives

Religious Minorities and their Languages in the Emerging Nation States of the Middle East (1920-1950)

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Edited by Heleen Murre-van den Berg, Karène Sanchez Summerer and Tijmen Baarda

Arabic and its Alternatives discusses the complicated relationships between language, religion and communal identities in the Middle East in the period following the First World War. This volume takes its starting point in the non-Arabic and non-Muslim communities, tracing their linguistic and literary practices as part of a number of interlinked processes, including that of religious modernization, of new types of communal identity politics and of socio-political engagement with the emerging nation states and their accompanying nationalisms. These twentieth-century developments are firmly rooted in literary and linguistic practices of the Ottoman period, but take new turns under influence of colonization and decolonization, showing the versatility and resilience as much as the vulnerability of these linguistic and religious minorities in the region.

Contributors are Tijmen C. Baarda, Leyla Dakhli, Sasha R. Goldstein-Sabbah, Liora R. Halperin, Robert Isaf, Michiel Leezenberg, Merav Mack, Heleen Murre-van den Berg, Konstantinos Papastathis, Franck Salameh, Cyrus Schayegh, Emmanuel Szurek, Peter Wien.

Keys to the Sciences

Maqālīd al-ʿulūm. A Gift for the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ on the Definitions of Technical Terms

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Edited by Gholamreza Dadkhah and Reza Pourjavady

Maqālīd al-ʿulūm (Keys to the Sciences) is a significant source on definitions of Arabic scientific terms in the post-classical period. Composed by an anonymous author, it contains over eighteen hundred definitions in the realm of twenty-one religious, literary, and rational sciences. The work was dedicated to the Muzaffarid Shāh Shujāʿ, who ruled over Shiraz and its neighbouring regions from 759/1358 to 786/1384. The present volume contains a critical edition of Maqālīd al-ʿulūm based on its three extant manuscripts. In the introduction, the editors review previous scholarship on the text, present an overview of patronage at the court of Shāh Shujāʿ and identify some of the sources used by the author of the work. They suggest that the work in its structure mirrors Abū ʿAbdullāh Khwārazmī’s Mafātīḥ al-ʿulūm, completed in 366/976.

The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān (324/936)

Ibn Mujāhid and the Founding of the Seven Readings

Shady Nasser

In The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān, Nasser studies the transmission and reception of the Qurʾānic text and its variant readings through the work of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324/936), the founder of the system of the Seven Eponymous Readings of the Qurʾān. The overarching project aims to track and study the scrupulous revisions the Qurʾān underwent, in its recited, oral form, through the 1,400-year journey towards a final, static, and systematized text.
For the very first time, the book offers a complete and detailed documentation of all the variant readings of the Qurʾān as recorded by Ibn Mujāhid. A comprehensive audio recording accompanies the book, with more than 5,000 audio files of Qurʾānic recitations of variant readings.

The Inimitable Qurʾān

Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features

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Khalid Yahya Blankinship

In The Inimitable Qurʾān: Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features, Khalid Yahya Blankinship examines certain Arabic rhetorical features of the Qurʾān as represented in seven English translations. The author addresses the intersection of two important topics in Qurʾānic studies: the critique of the available English translations and the role of rhetoric in the interpretation of the Qurʾān. He identifies a number of figures characteristic of Qurʾanic style which represent some of the chief stumbling blocks for readers who are used to English in attempting to understand, interpret, and appreciate the text. The book should be useful to all those interested in rhetorical and translation studies and theory as well as Islamic studies.

Atlas of the Arabic Dialects of Galilee (Israel)

With Some Data for Adjacent Areas

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Peter Behnstedt and Aharon Geva Kleinberger

This atlas is based on large-scale fieldwork conducted in Galilee in the mid-nineties of last century. Galilee is the area with the highest percentage of arabophones in Israel and displays a rather complex dialectal situation. The reshuffling of large parts of the population after 1948 led to a considerable degree of dialectal diversity in many places. Moreover, many points of investigation show, besides the notorious Bedouin-sedentary dichotomy, a significant sociolinguistic variation with respect to age, sex, and denomination.The atlas contains seventy-three phonetic and phonologial maps, in addition to eighty morphological and thirty-eight lexical maps.Ten maps deal with the classification of the dialects.The atlas is of interest to semitists, dialectologists and variationists.

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Edited by Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh

This volume contains sixteen contributions from the fourth conference on the Foundations of Arabic linguistics (Genova, 2016), all having to do with the development of linguistic theory in the Arabic grammatical tradition, starting from Sībawayhi's Kitāb (end of the 8th century C.E.) and its continuing evolution in later grammarians up till the 14th century C.E. The scope of this volume includes the links between grammar and other disciplines, such as lexicography and logic, and the reception of Arabic grammar in the Persian and Malay linguistic tradition.

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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 Lily Kahn

Jewish Languages in Historical Perspective is devoted to the diverse array of spoken and written language varieties that have been employed by Jews in the Diaspora from antiquity until the twenty-first century. It focuses on the following five key themes: Jewish languages in dialogue with sacred Jewish texts, Jewish languages in contact with the co-territorial non-Jewish languages, Jewish vernacular traditions, the status of Jewish languages in the twenty-first century, and theoretical issues relating to Jewish language research. This volume includes case studies on a wide range of Jewish languages both historical and modern and devotes attention to lesser known varieties such as Jewish Berber, Judeo-Italian and Karaim in addition to the more familiar Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, and Ladino.

The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics III

The development of a tradition: Continuity and change

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Edited by Georgine Ayoub and Kees Versteegh

All contributions deal with the reception of theories in the Arabic grammatical tradition from the time of Sībawayhi (d. end of the 8th century C.E.) to the later grammarians in the 14th century C.E.. After Sībawayhi, considerable changes in the linguistic situation took place. The language of the Arab Bedouin described by him died as a native language. Grammars also changed, even if grammarians used for the most part the data given by Sībawayhi. This volume aims to determine continuities and changes in Arabic grammars, providing a new perspective on the impact of cultural and historical developments and on the founding principles of Sībawayhi's Kitāb.

Omani Mehri

A New Grammar with Texts

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Aaron D. Rubin

This book contains a comprehensive grammatical description of Mehri, an unwritten Semitic language spoken in the Dhofar region of Oman, along with a corpus of more than one hundred texts. Topics in phonology, all aspects of morphology, and a variety of syntactic features are covered. The texts, presented with extensive commentary, were collected by the late T.M. Johnstone. Some are published here for the first time, while the rest have been newly edited and translated, based on the original manuscripts. Semitists, linguists, and anyone interested in the folklore of southern Arabia will find much valuable data and analysis in this volume, which is the most detailed grammatical study of a Modern South Arabian language yet published.