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A History of the Arabic Language - Term Paper Example

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Arabic language is one of the most spoken languages around the world today. Its extensive growth is mainly due to the spread of Islam. Before the emergence of Islam, Arabic was used by a small number of people, usually by the nomad tribes in the Arabic peninsula…
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A History of the Arabic Language
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Download file to see previous pages But it was after the rise of Islam, that Arabic became the official language of the boundaries stretched between the Oxus River to the Iberian peninsula of Europe. ARABIC AND ISLAM Arabic as a major language became important after the rise of Islam. Thus the early form of Arabic can be gathered from the Quran, as it used to be written down in Arabic, the classical poetry and the descriptive work written on the life of the Prophet P.B.U.H. This classical Arabic later evolved into standard Arabic used today, however there is no much work done on the spoken language. ARABIC AS A SEMITIC LANGUAGE: Arabic Language belongs to the family of the Semitic language. The members of the Semitic language have history that dates back to thousands of years, and is enriches with knowledge. These languages prospered in the Mediterranean Basin, and it is therefore that Arabic language is sometimes taken as Proto- Semitic. Thus Arabic is considered to be the descendant of the Semitic Arabic language, used in the 6th century. The roots of the Arabic language lie between the Afro- Asiatic groups of languages. Since being a member of the Semitic family it is related to Hebrew and Neo- Aramaic language and is also associated with the south Semitic languages of Ethiopia, Yemen and Oman. There are many varieties and dialects of written and spoken Arabic language. There are many forms or states of the Arabic language, constituting mainly on ethnic and political backgrounds. If these varieties are considered as one single language then the Arabic language has around 340 million speakers. These varieties include Fusha or Standard Arabic, Mudaric Arabic, Namra, Quranic Arabic and many more (Brian Bishop, 1998). Arabic is the only remaining member of the Old North Arabic Dialect, having a rich background and inscriptions dating back to the 4th century. Arabic is written by using Arabic alphabet or fonts, which is written from right-to-left. Arabic language is a very old and rich language, which has formed the basis of many other languages such as Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi etc. Because of the Muslim rule in Spain, which was for 700 years, the influence of Arabic language can be seen in Spanish and Roman languages. Not only that, Arabic has borrowed words from many languages such as Hebrew, Greek, and Syrian etc. The fast surfacing and spread of Arabic language was mainly due to the fact that the speakers of the Arabic language became political figures and thus unlike other Semitic languages which fossilized with time, Arabic language emerged as a leading language of the Arabian Peninsula. Arabic language is unique and important for many historians as it has preserved a large majority of the original Proto-Semitic features .According to many linguists, Arabic is important source of information as it is the only Semitic language which has preserved features of Proto-Semitic (i.e. Hebrew or Amharic) in the Afro-Asiatic group of languages).Hence, the Modern Arabic is also thought to be part of the Arabo-Canaanite sub-branch the central group of the Western Semitic languages. CHANGES WITH MODERN TIMES Arabic language has three cases, which are the nominative, the accusative and the genitive. While writing any Arabic word 28 letters are used along with some foreign words. The long vowels that are “a, i and u” are represented by the Arabic letters 'alif, ya' and waw respectively. From the modern standard Arabic to the earliest Proto Semitic Arabic many changes have occurred with time. These changes are mainly in terms of phonology, syntax and lastly morphology. Phonology is the sound or the pronunciation of a word. The proto –Semitic is characterized by a six vowel system composed of three long which are explained above and three ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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