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The distinct traits shared by the Semitic languages determine the essential unity of research in these languages. Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics has been a prominent forum for linguistic publications concerning the Semitic languages ever since its foundation in 1967.

The series includes both books written in the philological tradition of research and ones applying modern linguistic theories. Such sub-disciplines as descriptive linguistics, comparative linguistics, socio-linguistics et cetera all fall within the scope of the series. While studies of individual aspects of individual languages are accepted on a selective basis, the series specifically includes monographs, collaborative volumes, and reference works of a wider scope.

The goal of the series is to provide a widely read and respected international forum for high quality theoretical, analytical, and applied pragmatic studies of all types. By publishing leading edge work on natural language practice, it seeks to extend our growing knowledge of the forms, functions, and foundations of human interaction.

In the Arab world, people belong to kinship groups (lineages and tribes). Many lineages are named after animals, birds, and plants. Why? This survey evaluates five old explanations – “totemism,” “emulation of predatory animals,” “ancestor eponymy,” “nicknaming,” and “Bedouin proximity to nature.” It suggests a new hypothesis: Bedouin tribes use animal names to obscure their internal cleavages. Such tribes wax and wane as they attract and lose allies and clients; they include “attached” elements as well as actual kin. To prevent outsiders from spotting “attached” groups, Bedouin tribes scatter non-human names across their segments, making it difficult to link any segment with a human ancestor. Young’s argument contributes to theories of tribal organization, Arab identity, onomastics, and Near Eastern kinship.
In the Arab world, people belong to kinship groups (lineages and tribes). Many lineages are named after animals, birds, and plants. Why? This survey evaluates five old explanations – “totemism,” “emulation of predatory animals,” “ancestor eponymy,” “nicknaming,” and “Bedouin proximity to nature.” It suggests a new hypothesis: Bedouin tribes use animal names to obscure their internal cleavages. Such tribes wax and wane as they attract and lose allies and clients; they include “attached” elements as well as actual kin. To prevent outsiders from spotting “attached” groups, Bedouin tribes scatter non-human names across their segments, making it difficult to link any segment with a human ancestor. Young’s argument contributes to theories of tribal organization, Arab identity, onomastics, and Near Eastern kinship.
This book offers a comprehensive survey of the agreement phenomena found in written and spoken Arabic. It focuses on both the synchronic description of these agreement systems, and the diachronic question of how they evolved. To answer these questions, large amounts of data have been collected and analysed, ranging from 6th century poetry and Quranic Arabic to the contemporary dialects. The results presented by the authors of this research greatly improve our understanding of Arabic syntax, and challenge some well-established views. Can Arabic be envisioned as possessing more than only two genders? Are some contemporary dialects more similar to the pre-Classical version of the language than MSA is? And is the Standard rule prescribing feminine singular agreement with nonhuman plurals a more recent development than previously thought?
A Description and Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Variation
This work focuses the social context of writing in ancient Western Arabia in the oasis of ancient Dadan, modern-day al-ʿUlā in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula between the sixth to first centuries BC. It offers a description and analysis of the language of the inscriptions and the variation attested within them. It is the first work to perform a systematic study of the linguistic variation of the Dadanitic inscriptions. It combines a thorough description of the language of the inscriptions with a statistical analysis of the distribution of variation across different textual genres and manners of inscribing. By considering correlations between language-internal and extralinguistic features this analysis aims to take a more holistic approach to the epigraphic object. Through this approach an image of a rich writing culture emerges, in which we can see innovation as well as the deliberate use of archaic linguistic features in more formal text types.
Yiddish-Slavic Language Contact and Its Linguistic Outcome
Yiddish, the language of Eastern-European Jews, has so far been mostly described as Germanic within the framework of the traditional, divergence-based Language Tree Model. Meanwhile, advances in contact linguistics allow for a new approach, placing the idiom within the mixed language spectrum, with the Slavic component playing a significant role. So far, the Slavic elements were studied as isolated, adstratal borrowings. This book argues that they represent a coherent system within the grammar. This suggests that the Slavic languages had at least as much of a constitutive role in the inception and development of Yiddish as German and Hebrew. The volume is copiously illustrated with examples from the vernacular language.
With a contribution of Anna Pilarski, University of Szczecin.
A Textual Reconstruction of Chapters 1–7
The first half of the book of Daniel contains world-famous stories like the Writing on the Wall. These stories have mostly been transmitted in Aramaic, not Hebrew, as has the influential apocalypse of Daniel 7. This Aramaic corpus shows clear signs of multiple authorship. Which different textual layers can we tease apart, and what do they tell us about the changing function of the Danielic material during the Second Temple Period? This monograph compares the Masoretic Text of Daniel to ancient manuscripts and translations preserving textual variants. By highlighting tensions in the reconstructed archetype underlying all these texts, it then probes the tales’ prehistory even further, showing how Daniel underwent many transformations to yield the book we know today.
Following the traces first left by The Arabic Literature of Africa volume 3A published in 2003, this widely enlarged and precisely updated edition of that pioneering work aims at providing a full-fledged and meticulously detailed reference book on the literature produced and circulated by the Muslim communities of the Horn of Africa. This entirely revised version of ALA3A makes use of the absolutely fresh data discovered and collected by the editors from 2013 to 2018 the framework of the ERC-funded project Islam in the Horn of Africa: A Comparative Literary Approach and draws a new comprehensive picture of the textual production of the Islamic scholars of the Horn of Africa since its first attestations until the present time.

Contributors
Sara Fani, Alessandro Gori, Adday Hernández, John M. Larsen, Irmeli Perho and Michele Petrone.
What is the relationship between spatial and temporal representations in language and cognition? What is the role of culture in this relationship? I enter this discussion by offering a community-based, cross-generational study on the community of speakers of aṣ-Ṣāniʿ Arabic, members of a Negev Desert Bedouin tribe in Israel. The book presents the results of ten years of fieldwork, the linguistic and cognitive profiles of three generations, and first-hand narration of a century of history, from nomadism to sedentarism, between conservation, resilience, and change. Linguistic and cognitive representations change with lifestyle, culture, and relationships with nature and landscape. Language changes more rapidly than cognitive structures, and the relationship between spatial and temporal representations is complex and multifaceted.