Arabic in Context

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.

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Ahmad Al-Jallad, Ph.D. (2012) Harvard University, is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University. He has published on the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages, the history of Arabic, and on the epigraphy of Ancient North Arabia, including An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions (Brill, 2015).

Contributors are: Ahmad Al-Jallad, Martin F. J. Baasten, Johnny Cheung, Guillaume Dye, Lutz Edzard, Jordi Ferrer i Serra, Francesco Grande, John Huehnergard, Geoffrey Khan, Manfred Kropp, Alexander Magidow, Daniele Mascitelli, Laïla Nehmé, Na’ama Pat-El, and Andrzej Zaborski.
"[...]this is an excellent collection of articles, which contains a wealth of information and shows a high level of scholarship. The book does exactly what it promises on the cover: to look at Arabic from an interdisciplinary point of view, combining methodology from the fields of historical linguistics, epigraphy, dialectology, and history. This book is a must-read for everyone interested in the history of the Arabic language." ~ Liesbeth Zacks, University of Amsterdam, in BIBLIOTHECA ORIENTALIS LXXV N° 3-4, mei-augustus 2018, pp. 433-438
All interested in the history of Arabic and the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages.