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Chapter Summary

This introduction focuses on the use of Arabic script in Africa, and in particular on how Arabic script has been used to write African languages other than Arabic. It focuses on linguistic aspects of the contents and contexts of these writing traditions. The chapter deals with linguistic, grammatological, sociolinguistic, and historical aspects of the emergence and the past and present usage of these traditions, with an emphasis on the sociolinguistics of writing. Peter Daniels discusses the expansion of the expressive capacities of Arabic(-based) scripts within their historical context, and the logic behind this development. The chapter presents an overview of the linguistic and geographic spread of Arabic script in Africa and highlights some of the implications and potential benefits of this field of study. It deals with a lesser known orthographical tradition, that of the Cape Muslim community.

Keywords: Africa; Arabic-based scripts; grammatological aspects; historical aspects; Peter Daniels; sociolinguistics



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