Monday, April 09, 2018

On the origins of Arabic

LECTURE SUMMARY: Origins of Arabic (Cinatra Fernandes, Arab Times).
Dr Christian Robin delivered a lecture on the origins of the Arabic language at the Yarmouk Cultural Centre on Monday evening as part of the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah’s 23rd cultural season.

Dr Robin is the director of research emeriti of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, the founder of the French research center in Sana’a (Yemen) and has served as director for many archaeological expeditions and research projects. He is the author of numerous books and scientific papers, most related to Yemen and its history. He also edited several publications and created two important archaeological maps, one of ancient Yemen and the other of Yemen’s Al-Jawf Valley.

In his lecture, he shared that in ancient times, the linguistic diversity of Arabia was greater than it is today. From the beginning of the twentieth century, the languages of pre-Islamic Arabia have been divided into two groups: the South Arabian and the North Arabian languages. The foundations of this ranking were more cultural than linguistic.

This is a nice summary of the origins of the Arabic language and alphabetic script. Aramaic (Nabatean) is involved.

Some past PaleoJudaica posts on the Nabatean language and the pre-Islamic Arabic language(s) are here and here and links. Cross-file under Nabatean (Nabataean) Watch.

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