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The Development Of Arabic In Pre-Islamic Times

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the external and internal ecology of the Arabic language, just prior to the Arab conquests, in particular. The assumptions made center around the state of evolution Pre- Islamic Arabic, its varieties and sociolinguistic makeup on the eve of the conquests to compare it with the state of Arabic under the different ecological circumstances of the conquests. The chapter shows that the dialects of the Peninsula before Islam were functionally and formally different from the variety used for poetry and the Qur'an. The author proves that the grammarians concentrated primarily on a particular part of the linguistic scene of Arabic for their purposes. Finally, the author defines the functional role of the Old Arabic dialects and the variety of poetry in relation to one another. In this respect, it is stressed that the basic function of the variety from which Classical Arabic developed was poetic rendition.

Keywords: Arabic language; dialects; grammarians; Islam; peninsula; Qur'an

10.1163/ej.9789004186064.i-266.10
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