A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic

Citation:

Blau, Joshua. A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation, 2002.
A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic

Abstract:

In the present Handbook of Early Middle Arabic, Professor Joshua Blau of  the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the undisputed dean of the study of Middle Arabic, presents a reliable and up-to-date survey, comprehensive yet concise, of the whole field.

The Handbook contains a grammatical outline of Middle Arabic structure, annotated examples of the main Middle Arabic varieties and a glossary of all words occurring in the book.

An important feature of the book is the variety of texts presented. These cover (a) Muslim, (b) Christian and (c) Jewish Middle Arabic, each represented by typical or noteworthy examples, some of them published here for the first time. Particularly significant are the Jewish texts, Rabbanite and Karaite, which have been transmitted in different orthographical modes. Standard Judaeo-Arabic orthography is represented by samples from Saadia Gaon, Qirqisānī and David b. Abraham al-Fāsī. Linguistically more revealing are Judaeo-Arabic writings in the earlier phonetic orthography; these are exemplified in the Handbook by selected texts on papyrus, by specimens of a translation of Halakhot Pesuqot and a translation of the Biblical  book of Proverbs. In the Appendix, two examples of vocalized Middle Arabic are given: one written in Coptic characters, the other a Judaeo-Arabic letter from the Cairo Geniza.

Professor Blau's Handbook will enable all Arabists to gain immediate access to the world of Middle Arabic, guided in their journey by the leading authority in the field.  On the one hand, scholars familiar only with the classical, literary tongue will be able to see in what directions the language subsequently developed; on the other hand, Arabic dialectologists will be afforded a valuable glimpse into the history of modern colloquial forms. The Handbook will thus be a valuable tool for all who are concerned with the history of the Arabic tongue.

An important feature of the book is the variety of texts presented. These cover (a) Muslim, (b)  Christian and  (c) Jewish  Middle  Arabic,  each  represented by typical or noteworthy examples, some of them published  here for  the first time. Particularly significant are the Jewish texts, Rabbanite and Karaite, which have been transmitted in different orthographical modes. Standard Judaeo-Arabic orthography is represented by samples from Saadia Gaon, Qirqisānī and David b. Abraham al-Fāsī. Linguistically more revealing are Judaeo-Arabic writings in the earlier phonetic orthography; these are exemplified in the Handbook  by selected texts on papyrus, by specimens of a translation  of Halakhot Pesuqot and a translation of the Biblical  book of Proverbs. In the Appendix, two examples of vocalized Middle Arabic are given: one written in Coptic characters, the other a Judaeo-Arabic letter from the Cairo Geniza.

 

Last updated on 12/23/2018