"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.