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The Arabic Language

Kees Versteegh

Edition: 2

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An introductory guide for students of Arabic language, Arabic historical linguistics and Arabic sociolinguistics

New for this edition

  • Additional chapters on the structure of Arabic, bilingualism and Arabic pidgins and creoles
  • A full explanation of the use of conventional Arabic transcription and IPA characters
  • An updated bibliography
  • All chapters have been revised and updated in light of recent research

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 its earliest beginnings to modern times.

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List of Figures and Maps
Note on Transcription and Glossing
1. The Study of Arabic in the West
2. Arabic as a Semitic Language
3. The Earliest Stages of Arabic
4. Arabic in the Pre-Islamic Period
5. The Development of Classical Arabic
6. The Structure of Arabic
7. The Arabic Linguistic Tradition
8. The Emergence of New Arabic
9. Middle Arabic
10. The Study of the Arabic Dialects
11. The Dialects of Arabic
12. The Emergence of Modern Standard Arabic
13. Diglossia
14. Bilingualism
15. Arabic as a Minority Language
16. Arabic Pidgins and Creoles
17. Arabic as a World Language
List of Abbreviations

About the Author

Kees Versteegh (1947) is Professor of Arabic and Islam at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He graduated in Classical and Semitic languages and specializes in historical linguistics and the history of linguistics, focusing on processes of language change and language contact. His books include Pidginization and Creolization: The Case of Arabic (Amsterdam, 1984), The Arabic Linguistic Tradition (London, 1997) and Arabic Grammar and Qur'anic Exegesis in Early Islam (Leiden, 1993). He co-edited the Handbuch für die Geschichte der Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (Berlin, 2000–2005) and the Arabic–Dutch/Dutch–Arabic Dictionary (Muiderberg, 2003), and was the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (Leiden, 2006–2009).

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