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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book which is designed to investigate the mechanisms of the Arabicization process and language shift to Arabic following the conquests of the Muslim armies, and with particular focus on Egypt. It analyzes the sociolinguistic situation of the early period after the Arab conquests. This goal is achieved by attempting to understand the linguistic and non-linguistic factors that facilitated the process and shaped its results. The underlying assumption throughout the book is that ecological factors determine the process of linguistic shift, its speed, direction, outcomes, and the structural makeup of whatever result it might bring about. In addition, ecology should also help refocus the different and sometimes contradictory theories about the development of the Arabic language. The model developed in the book is limited to the garrison towns in the first few decades of the Islamic era, with special emphasis on those in Egypt.

Keywords: Arabicization process; Egypt; Muslim; sociolinguistic situation



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