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A Linguistic History Of Arabic (Oxford Linguistics) Paperback – 4 Oct 2009

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A. (4 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199563306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199563302
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,841,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


...highly stimulating read for anyone with interest in the history of Arabic...It deserves a warm welcome. (Clive Holes SOAS)

About the Author

Jonathan Owens is Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland where he is on leave from his position as Professor of Arabic Linguistics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Starting his linguistics career with a SOAS PhD on Creole Arabic Nubi of East Africa, he has taught and conducted research at universities in Libya (Garyounis), Nigeria (Maiduguri), and Jordan (Yarmouk). His books include A Grammar of Libyan Arabic, 1984, A Short Reference Grammar of Nigerian Arabic, 1993 and The Foundations of Grammar: an Introduction to Medieval Arabic Grammatical Theory, 1988.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Factually mistaken in many places (my speciality is in Quranic readings and Arabic Linguistics).

I doubt he has had the bravery to debate his thesis on in front of real scholars of the Quran in Middle East etc.

For example, he made a basic mistake in referencing a reading to the correct source, showing me that he hasn't been formally educated in this field and is just from the 'casual reader' type.

I can see, however, how beginner/fresher Arabists etc. will see this as a revolutionary perspective! Oh well....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to the history of Arabic 10 Jun. 2013
By A. H. Mathias Zahniser - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating read.

Owens uses the similarities in widely dispersed contemporary Arabic dialects to hypothesize the nature of the mother language from which the daughter dialects have descended, then it further tests the hypothesis by looking at the early grammatical treatises and the various reading tradition of the Qur'an.

While one cannot adequately prove what the Arabic language was like at the time of Muhammad or during the Arab conquests, Owens makes an importance contribution to the discussion that advances our knowledge.
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