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Damascus Arabic

(6,059 words)

Author(s): Jérôme Lentin
1. General Damascus Arabic ( llahže ššāmiyye) is spoken in Damascus, capital of the Syrian Arab Republic (1.6 million people in 2004; 3.5 million including Greater Damascus, with an important proportion of non-native speakers: immigrants from various parts of the country, Palestinians). In the old villages of the surrounding Ġūṭa different dialects are spoken, which have not yet been studied. Damascus Arabic is well understood in the whole country, and in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. Contiguous to the Damascus area are the Qalamūn dialects in the north, the Ḥōrān di…
Date: 2018-04-01

Middle Arabic

(6,027 words)

Author(s): Jérôme Lentin
1. Definition The very term ‘ Middle Arabic’ is ambiguous because of the history of its use, the multiple meanings of the term ‘middle’ (historically middle, sociolinguistically intermediate, linguistically mixed – not to mention the middling quality of texts, in the opinion of some people), and the variety of views on the history of the Arabic language. Different definitions or characterizations have thus been proposed. As is the case for other languages, ‘Middle’ has been used to refer to a historic…
Date: 2018-04-01