Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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Nabaṭī Poetry, Language of

(16,239 words)

Author(s): Clive Holes
  1. Introduction: what is nabaṭī poetry? Nabaṭī poetry is the traditional oral poetry of inner Arabia. The term “nabaṭī”, whose first attested use is in the 13th century CE (Sowayan 2000:68), is not to be taken literally. It seems originally to have been a transferred epithet applied to the language of Bedouin poetry, which was, when judged against the yardstick of Classical Arabic, ungrammatical and hence like the ‘broken’ Arabic supposedly spoken by the ancient Nabateans. That, at least, is the most…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Compounds
Date: 2018-04-01


(6 words)

see Grammatical Tradition: Approach
Date: 2018-04-01

Najdi Arabic

(4,547 words)

Author(s): Bruce Ingham
1. General This entry provides a description of the Arabic dialect of Najd in Central Arabia. Because this is a large area, showing considerable linguistic diversity, the description is based on the dialect of Sudayr in the central area, mentioning variation in the northern and southern areas where relevant. 1.1 Area Geographically, the Najdi dialects span the following regions: i.The speech of the sedentary population of the areas of Central Najd and of Qaṣīm and Jabal Šammar to the north and Najrān and Bīša to the south. ii.The speech of the main Bedouin tribes of those regions,…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,278 words)

Author(s): Muhammad Hasan Bakalla
In order to discuss nasalization, one has to give a brief account of nasality. Both nasality and nasalization are natural properties of language. Nasality in speech, as opposed to orality, is a reflection of the physical position of the soft palate, or the velum. In this position, the posterior part of the velum, or the uvula, is lowered so as to keep the nasal cavity or specifically the velopharyngeal port open while pronouncing the nasal sounds. There are two basic nasal consonants in most lan…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see ʾIʿrāb
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Nawāsix
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,075 words)

Author(s): Adam Gacek
Nastaʿlīq is the Persian script par excellence, emerging in its definite form in Iran (Tabriz and Shiraz) in the late 8th/14th century (Richard 2001:77). This script, originally known as nasx-taʿlīq or nasx-i taʿlīq(Richard 2003b:77), implies a blend or derivation from both nasx and taʿlīq ‘hanging, suspended’, the latter being a Persian chancery script which appears to have been derived principally from tawqīʿ script (t̲ulut̲) and which, although employed earlier (perhaps as early as the 5th/11th century), was practiced in its definitive form in the 7th/…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,239 words)

Author(s): Adam Gacek
Nasx is a generic name for a variety of Arabic scripts used for many centuries, mostly for the copying of books and later for printing, from Egypt to China and Southeast Asia. The root n-s-x of the word nasx is Nabataean in origin and appears to have been associated with copying and transcription from an early period of Islam. The term nasxī was originally introduced by Western Arabists to cover all round scripts of the earlier Muslim centuries (Abbott 1939:34, 37). Even though the original sources use the term nasx, the term nasxī has remained in use to cover both formal and informal …
Date: 2018-04-01

Nationalism and Language

(6,602 words)

Author(s): Elie Kallas
1. Definition Language is a communication tool and a cultural vehicle, which implies that it is also a reference for identifying ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’, a content of loyalty and hostility, of social and cultural status. For nationalists, language is a tool that connects past and future, projecting a reconstructed centripetal unity out of the centrifugal reality of the present. Language is, therefore, one of the most visible symbols in the nationalistic museum, a symbol with a powerful legitimizing role (Fishman 1972). The etymology of the word ʿArab is still uncertain. It was c…
Date: 2018-04-01


(1,052 words)

Author(s): Nadia Anghelescu
The term nawāsix (sg. nāsixa) ‘cancelers’ is borrowed from Muslim canonic law, where the verb from which it is derived, nasaxa ‘to make something disappear’, is used with the technical sense ‘to abolish’, with reference to a verse from the Qurʾān or a tradition about the Prophet which revokes another one. Used by the later Arab grammarians, probably not earlier than the time of ʾAbū Ḥayyān (d. 1344; see Carter 1981:207), to designate a category of ‘operators’ ( ʿawāmil, sg. ʿāmil; ʿamal) grouped by some previous grammarians under headings which indicate that these elements …
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,946 words)

Author(s): Jamal Ouhalla
Negation refers to the phenomenon whereby a function word with the meaning ‘not’ (negation marker) is used to negate a sentence (sentence negation) or a given constituent of the sentence (constituent negation). Sentence negation markers can be part of the auxiliary system and interact fairly intimately with some of its constituents, notably tense. Constituent negation markers tend to relate to focus, the phenomenon whereby a given constituent of the sentence is highlighted for discourse consider…
Date: 2019-03-23

Negev Arabic

(5,707 words)

Author(s): Roni Henkin
1. General 1.1 Area and range Negev Arabic is spoken by some 150,000 Bedouin in the Negev ( án-Nagab in Negev Arabic) desert, which occupies most of southern Israel. Today it is an isolated, peripheral minority dialect, not spoken and barely understood elsewhere within the contemporary political boundaries. Before 1948, however, the Negev belonged to a vast historical, economic, sociocultural, and linguistic continuum extending from the Ḥijāz to North Africa, along which nomadic and seminomadic tribes conducted raiding, trading, and smuggling relations with ot…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,098 words)

Author(s): Werner Arnold
1. The Neo-Aramaic dialects The modern Aramaic dialects are the remnants of a wide variety of Old and Middle Aramaic dialects that dominated the Middle East in antiquity. The western variety of Aramaic survived only in three villages in the Qalamūn Mountains in Syria, 60 km north of Damascus, whereas the eastern variety survived until the beginning of the 20th century in large areas with hundreds of thousands of speakers in southeast Turkey, in northern Iraq, in Persian Azerbaijan, and in Persian Kurdistan. The massacres in eastern Turkey in 1915 exterminated not only Ar…
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Terminology
Date: 2018-04-01