LINGUIST List 15.2509

Thu Sep 9 2004

Books: Lang Description, Arabic: Holes

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. gla2, Modern Arabic: Holes

Message 1: Modern Arabic: Holes

Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 14:33:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: gla2 <>
Subject: Modern Arabic: Holes

Title: Modern Arabic
Subtitle: Structures, Functions, and Varieties, Revised Edition

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Georgetown University Press

Book URL:

Author: Clive Holes, University of Oxford

Paperback: ISBN: 1589010221, Pages: 440, Price: U.S. $ 39.95


The revised and updated edition of 'Modern Arabic' takes this
authoritative, concise linguistic description of the structure and use
of modern Arabic to an invaluable new level. Clive Holes traces the
development of the Arabic language from Classical Arabic, the written
language used in the 7th century for the 'Qur'an' and poetry, through
the increasingly symbiotic use of Modern Standard Arabic or MSA (the
language of writing and formal speech) and dialectal Arabic (the
language of normal conversation). He shows how Arabic has been shaped
over the centuries by migration, urbanization, and education--giving
us "a balanced, dispassionate, and accurate picture of the structures,
functions, and varieties of the contemporary Arabic language."

Holes explains the structural characteristics--phonology, morphology,
syntax, semantics, and lexical and stylistic developments--that the
majority of the dialects share, as distinguished from Modern Standard
Arabic. He also shows how native speakers use both types of Arabic for
different purposes, with MSA being the language of power and control
as used on television and in political speeches, and the dialects
serving as the language of intimacy and domesticity. He further shows
how MSA and spoken dialects are not as compartmentalized as one might
be led to believe. 'Modern Arabic' illustrates the use of the
Arabic language in real life, whether in conversation, news bulletins
and newspaper articles, serious literature, or song.

This new edition takes into account research published in several
areas of Arabic linguistics since the first edition was published in
1995. It includes more extensive comment on the North African Arabic
vocabulary of Modern Standard Arabic, more information about "mixed"
varieties of written Arabic that are not in MSA (especially in Egypt),
updated references, explanations, and many new examples. All Arabic is
transcribed, except for an appendix presenting the Arabic alphabet and
script. Students of the Arabic language will find 'Modern Arabic'
without peer--as will those general linguists who are interested in
discovering how Arabic compares structurally and sociolinguistically
with European languages.

Lingfield(s):	Language Description
Subject Language(s):	Arabic, Standard (Language code: ABV)
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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