Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Modern Standard Arabic
(12,573 words)


1. General

Arabic is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages; it is the official language of the 22 nations of the Arab world, the area bounded by the Atlantic on the west, the Mediterranean on the north, the Sahara on the south, and the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq on the east; it is spoken by more than two hundred million people. Modern Standard Arabic is the High literary form of Arabic that goes back to the literary language of pre-Islamic Arabia (poetic koine; Classical Arabic; see…

Cite this page
Ernest N. McCarus, “Modern Standard Arabic”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 10 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_vol3_0217>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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