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Author: Ahmad Al-Jallad

The present contribution proposes the existence of two ‘micro linguistic areas’ in Arabia in which features from Arabic and other Semitic languages diffused multilaterally. Some of the output varieties pose a significant challenge to phylogeny as they exhibit conflicting isoglosses connecting them equally with different lineages of Semitic. We introduce to the term ‘areal hybridity’ to explain the genetic position of languages emerging from contact situations such as these. We argue that several older varieties, such as the dialect of Ṭayyiʾ and the medieval Ḥimyaritic language described by the Arab grammarians, as well some modern varieties of southwest Arabia, such as Rāziḥī and Riǧāl Almaʿ, fall into this category.

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In: Journal of Language Contact
Author: Ahmad Al-Jallad

This article provides a new reading and interpretation of the undeciphered Ancient North Arabian inscription krs 2453. It is argued that the text is composed in a mixed Safaito-Hismaic script, and contains a three-line poem recounting the conflict between the Canaanite deities Baal and Mōt as known from the Ugaritic Baal Cycle. The inscription’s Ancient North Arabian context is also discussed, and its style and structure are examined in light of the ʿĒn ʿAvdat inscription, the only comparable Old Arabic text.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
In: Arabic in Context
In: Arabic in Context
In: Arabic in Context
In: To the Madbar and Back Again
Celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University
Volume Editor: 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.
Author: Ahmad Al-Jallad
This volume contains a detailed grammatical description of the dialects of Old Arabic attested in the Safaitic script, an Ancient North Arabian alphabet used mainly in the deserts of southern Syria and north-eastern Jordan in the pre-Islamic period. It is the first complete grammar of any Ancient North Arabian corpus, making it an important contribution to the fields of Arabic and Semitic studies. The volume covers topics in script and orthography, phonology, morphology, and syntax, and contains an appendix of over 500 inscriptions and an annotated dictionary. The grammar is based on a corpus of 33,000 Safaitic inscriptions.
In: An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions