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Volume Editors: Manuel Sartori and Francesco Binaghi
This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the Fifth Conference on the Foundations of Arab Linguistics (FAL V, Cambridge, 2018). The first part of the book deals with Sībawayhi’s Kitāb, the oldest known treatise of Arabic grammar: after providing insights on some of its specific terminology, these chapters evaluate its place as a source within the long-term tradition of grammatical studies. The second part of the book focuses on parallel developments in the Arabic grammatical theory, both in the classical and postclassical periods up to the 15th century. Some contributions also address the relationship between grammar and other disciplines, notably philosophy and Qurʾānic exegesis. As such, this volume aims to deepen our knowledge of the development of linguistic theories in the Islamicate world.
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.
A Reconstruction Based on the Safaitic Inscriptions
Author: Ahmad Al-Jallad
This book approaches the religion and rituals of the pre-Islamic Arabian nomads using the Safaitic inscriptions. Unlike Islamic-period literary sources, this material was produced by practitioners of traditional Arabian religion; the inscriptions are eyewitnesses to the religious life of Arabian nomads prior to the spread of Judaism and Christianity across Arabia. The author attempts to reconstruct this world using the original words of its inhabitants, interpreted through comparative philology, pre-Islamic and Islamic-period literary sources, and the archaeological context.
From its Hijazi Origins to its Classical Reading Traditions
What was the language of the Quran like, and how do we know? Today, the Quran is recited in ten different reading traditions, whose linguistic details are mutually incompatible. This work uncovers the earliest linguistic layer of the Quran. It demonstrates that the text was composed in the Hijazi vernacular dialect, and that in the centuries that followed different reciters started to classicize the text to a new linguistic ideal, the ideal of the ʿarabiyyah. This study combines data from ancient Quranic manuscripts, the medieval Arabic grammarians and ample data from the Quranic reading traditions to arrive at new insights into the linguistic history of Quranic Arabic.
Author: Alexander Borg
Deploying a bottom up instead of the conventional top down approach, and drawing extensively on both literary and dialectal Arabic lexical sources, the present glossary proposes and validates the contention of a prehistoric symbiosis transpiring between Ancient Egyptian and Arabic two and a half millennia before the advent of Islam. Its empirical rationale and methodological basis rest firmly on these venerable idioms’ rich textual documentation, yielding the language historian an ample etymological database enriched—in the case of Arabic—with a virtually unlimited corpus drawing on the living speech of some 300 million speakers across the Near East and Africa. The muster provided here comprises over 800 lexemes and reveals, for the first time in longue durée research on Afroasiatic, striking unsuspected commonalities linking Old Egyptian to Yemeni Arabic.
Semantic studies of the Biblical Hebrew verb שׁלם have been influenced by those of its most invoked nominal form שָׁלוֹם‎. In this volume Andrew Chin Hei Leong shows that the concepts of balance, alliance, and completeness form the basic semantic structure of שׁלם.
Previous studies on שׁלם employed either historical or textual methodology, which has been dominant in biblical lexical studies. In addition to these methods, in Leong develops a systematic semantic methodology from Cognitive Semantics and Frame Semantics, to demonstrate that it is balance, rather than completeness, that is the most central concept in holding the semantic network together.
The Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte / Word Atlas of Arabic Dialects (WAD) intends to provide an unprecedented survey of the lexical richness and diversity of the Arabic dialects as spoken from Uzbekistan to Mauretania and Nigeria, from Malta to Sudan, and including the Ki-Nubi Creole as spoken in Uganda and Kenya. The multilingual word atlas consists of four volumes in total with some 500 onomasiological maps in full colour. Each map presents a topic or notion and its equivalents in Arabic as collected from the dialectological literature (dictionaries, grammars, text collections, ethnographic reports, etc.), from the editors’ own field work, from questionnaires filled out by native speakers or by experts for a certain dialect region, and also from the internet. Polyglot legends in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian accompany the maps to facilitate further access. Each map is followed by a commentary in German, providing more details about the sources and the individual forms, and discussing semantic and etymological issues. All quotations are in their original language. The maps mainly show lexical types, detailed and concrete forms are given in the commentaries. An introduction is provided in Volume 1 in both German and English. Indices of all lexemes in the atlas will be available for each volume.
The first volume Band I: Mensch, Natur, Fauna und Flora / Volume 1: Mankind, Nature, Fauna and Flora contains subjects such as ‘family members’, ‘professions’, ‘human qualities’.
The second volume, Band II: Materielle Kultur, deals with material culture (‘house’, ‘utensils’, ‘food’, ‘clothing’, ‘vehicles’, etc.).
The third volume Band III: Verben, Adjektive, Zeit und Zahlen focuses on verbs, and adjectives.
The fourth volume Band IV: Funktionswörter und Phraseologisches contains functionwords and some phraseological items.
The atlas is indispensable for everyone interested in the modern spoken Arabic language, as well as for dialectologists and for semanticists.
The alignment splits in the Neo-Aramaic languages display a considerable degree of diversity, especially in terms of agreement. While earlier studies have generally oversimplified the actual state of affairs, Paul M. Noorlander offers a meticulous and clear account of nearly all microvariation documented so far, addressing all relevant morphosyntactic phenomena. By means of fully glossed and translated examples, the author shows that this vast variation in morphological alignment, including ergativity, is unexpected from a functional typological perspective. He argues the alignment splits are rather the outcome of several construction-specific processes such as internal system harmonization and grammaticalization, as well as language contact.
The Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte / Word Atlas of Arabic Dialects (WAD) intends to provide an unprecedented survey of the lexical richness and diversity of the Arabic dialects as spoken from Uzbekistan to Mauretania and Nigeria, from Malta to Sudan, and including the Ki-Nubi Creole as spoken in Uganda and Kenya. The multilingual word atlas consists of four volumes in total with some 500 onomasiological maps in full colour. Each map presents a topic or notion and its equivalents in Arabic as collected from the dialectological literature (dictionaries, grammars, text collections, ethnographic reports, etc.), from the editors’ own field work, from questionnaires filled out by native speakers or by experts for a certain dialect region, and also from the internet. Polyglot legends in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian accompany the maps to facilitate further access. Each map is followed by a commentary in German, providing more details about the sources and the individual forms, and discussing semantic and etymological issues. All quotations are in their original language. The maps mainly show lexical types, detailed and concrete forms are given in the commentaries. An introduction is provided in Volume 1 in both German and English. Indices of all lexemes in the atlas will be available for each volume. The first volume Band I: Mensch, Natur, Fauna und Flora / Volume 1: Mankind, Nature, Fauna and Flora contains subjects such as ‘family members’, ‘professions’, ‘human qualities’. The second volume, Band II: Materielle Kultur, deals with material culture (‘house’, ‘utensils’, ‘food’, ‘clothing’, ‘vehicles’, etc.). The third volume Band III: Verben, Adjektive, Zeit und Zahlen focuses on verbs, and adjectives. The fourth volume Band IV: Funktionswörter und Phraseologisches contains functionwords and some phraseological items. The atlas is indispensable for everyone interested in the modern spoken Arabic language, as well as for dialectologists and for semanticists.
In the bilingual English-Arabic work, The Oral Art of Soqoṭra: A Collection of Island Voices, Miranda Morris and Ṭānuf Sālim Di-Kišin, in collaboration with Soqoṭrans from all parts of the island, present over a thousand examples of poems and songs, prayers, lullabies, work-chants, messages in code, riddles, examples of community wisdom encapsulated in poetic couplets, and stories centred on a short poem or exchange of poems. These were documented by oral transmission directly to the authors, or through recordings collected by them. They are presented in Soqoṭri (transcribed phonetically in Roman and in Arabic script), and in English and Arabic translation.

في هذا الكتاب، الفن الشفاهي من سقطرى: مجموعة من أصوات الجزيرة، باللغتين الانجليزية والعربية، يقدم المؤلفان ميراندا موريس وطانف سالم دكشن أكثر من ألف قصيدة وأنشودة ودعاء وتهليل وأغنية عمل ورسالة مشفرة ولغز ومثل من الحكمة الاجتماعية مغلفة في أبيات شعرية وقصة متمحورة حول قصيدة قصيرة أو تبادل قصائد. تم توثيق هذا الرصيد من خلال النقل الشفاهي المباشر إلى المؤلفين أو عن طريق تسجيلات صوتية تم جمعها من قبلهما. هذا الكتاب يعرض هذا الفن الشفاهي باللغة السقطرية (وتم تدوينه بالأحرف اللاتينية والعربية طبق قواعد علم الصوتيات)، إلى جانب ترجمة انجليزية وعربية.