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.
The Arabic script in Africa contains sixteen papers on the past and present use of Arabic script to write African languages. These writing traditions, which are sometimes collectively referred to as Ajami, are discussed for single or multiple languages, with examples from all major linguistic phyla of Africa but one (Khoisan), and from all geographic areas of Africa (North, West, Central, East, and South Africa), as well as a paper on the Ajami heritage in the Americas. The papers analyze (ethno-) historical, literary, (socio-) linguistic, and in particular grammatological aspects of these previously understudied writing traditions and exemplify their range and scope, providing new data for the comparative study of writing systems, literacy in Africa, and the history of (Islam in) Africa.