Author: Jonathan Owens, Bayreuth University
Hardback: ISBN: 0199290822 Pages: 320 Price: U.K. £ 60.00
A Linguistic History of Arabic presents a reconstruction of proto-Arabic by the methods of historical-comparative linguistics. It challenges the traditional conceptualization of an old, Classical language evolving into the contemporary Neo-Arabic dialects.
Professor Owens combines established comparative linguistic methodology with a careful reading of the classical Arabic sources, such as the grammatical and exegetical traditions. He arrives at a richer and more complex picture of early Arabic language history than is current today and in doing so establishes the basis for a comprehensive, linguistically-based understanding of the history of Arabic. The arguments are set out in a concise, case by case basis, making it accessible to students and scholars of Arabic and Islamic culture, as well as to those studying Arabic and historical linguists.