The Arabic Language (Islamic Surveys)

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9780748614363: The Arabic Language (Islamic Surveys)
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This general introduction to the Arabic Language, now available in paperback, places special emphasis on the history and variation of the language. Concentrating on the difference between the two types of Arabic - the Classical standard language and the dialects - Kees Versteegh charts the history and development of the Arabic language from the earliest beginnings to modern times. The reader is offered a solid grounding in the structure of the language, its historical context and its use in various literary and non-literary genres, as well as an understanding of the role of Arabic as a cultural, religious and political world language. Intended as an introductory guide for students of Arabic, it will also be a useful tool for discussions both from a historical linguistic and from a socio-linguistic perspective. Coverage includes all aspects of the history of Arabic, the Arabic linguistic tradition, Arabic dialects and Arabic as a world language. Links are made between linguistic history and cultural history, while the author emphasises the role of contacts between Arabic and other languages. This important book will be an ideal text for all those wishing to acquire an understanding or develop their knowledge of the Arabic language. Key Features: * A general introduction to the Arabic language * Accessible and effective communication of information * Impeccably documented * Updated guide to further reading * User-friendly index

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Review:

Kees Versteegh is internationally renowned for his erudition as a historian of the development of Arabic grammatical thought. In this new and welcome handbook he casts his net wider and gives us an outline account of the historical development of the Arabic language from its earliest beginnings ... Each of Versteegh's fourteen chapters provides not merely a good general introduction to its subject, but an excellent jumping-off point for further study ... He writes with a transparent mission to explain for the benefit of the specialist and non-specialist alike, and the result is an excellent introduction to the subject. -- Clive Holes This is a very useful handbook, both for general linguists interested in various aspects of the history and present state of Arabic and for Arabists and/or Semiticists who wish to update their bibliographical knowledge of fields within Arabic linguistics in which they may not be specialists. -- Lutz Edzard This absorbing work brings together for the first time the results of an ever-expanding body of research, and can be recommended immediately and enthusiastically as a reliable introduction to the extensive literature on all aspects of the Arabic language, its origins, history, structure, dialectology and distribution, not forgetting the cultural, religious and political dimensions. In short, it is an indispensable survey of all the major topics in the field." -- M. G. Carter This is an important book, impeccably documented, with an up-to-date bibliography critically viewed in the 'further readings' at the end of each chapter, with a useful index and especially with exciting points of view, the outcome of the author's long-standing interest in the Arabic language and its various aspects. -- Nadia Anghelescu Kees Versteegh is internationally renowned for his erudition as a historian of the development of Arabic grammatical thought. In this new and welcome handbook he casts his net wider and gives us an outline account of the historical development of the Arabic language from its earliest beginnings ... Each of Versteegh's fourteen chapters provides not merely a good general introduction to its subject, but an excellent jumping-off point for further study ... He writes with a transparent mission to explain for the benefit of the specialist and non-specialist alike, and the result is an excellent introduction to the subject. This is a very useful handbook, both for general linguists interested in various aspects of the history and present state of Arabic and for Arabists and/or Semiticists who wish to update their bibliographical knowledge of fields within Arabic linguistics in which they may not be specialists. This absorbing work brings together for the first time the results of an ever-expanding body of research, and can be recommended immediately and enthusiastically as a reliable introduction to the extensive literature on all aspects of the Arabic language, its origins, history, structure, dialectology and distribution, not forgetting the cultural, religious and political dimensions. In short, it is an indispensable survey of all the major topics in the field." This is an important book, impeccably documented, with an up-to-date bibliography critically viewed in the 'further readings' at the end of each chapter, with a useful index and especially with exciting points of view, the outcome of the author's long-standing interest in the Arabic language and its various aspects.

About the Author:

Professor at the University of Nijmegen.

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