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A Linguistic History of Arabic - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Linguistic History of Arabic

Jonathan Owens


A widespread interpretation of the history of Arabic is that of Old Arabic, roughly Classical Arabic of the 9th and 10th centuries, developing into the contemporary Neo-Arabic dialects. This development involved a simplification of grammar and a spread of analytic as opposed to synthetic structures. This idea, first propounded in 1854, constitutes interpretations of Arabic language history until today. This book takes a very different interpretive perspective. Arguing that the historical comparative method has never been systematically applied to explain the development of contemporary spoken ... More

Keywords: Arabic historical linguistics, Old Arabic, Neo-Arabic, proto-Arabic, Arabic dialectology, Classical Arabic, koranic variants, pre-diasporic Arabic, Arabic grammatical tradition, comparative method

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199290826
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290826.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonathan Owens, author
University of Maryland and Bayreuth University, Germany
Author Webpage