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Arabia Antica


L’Arabo in epoca preislamica: formazione di una lingua

Daniele Mascitelli 2006, L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER, 340 pp., 19 pl., ISBN: 978-88-8265-416-0

The origin and formation of Old Arabic, the language prior to the Koran and pre-Islamic poetry, is a much debated subject, and evidence of it is very scanty and enigmatic.

Pre-Islamic Arabs do not seem to have felt the need to write or describe themselves, as though culture in their society were spread differently than in neighbouring civilizations.

Mascitelli’s book begins by analysing the pre-Islamic epigraphic corpus and comparing it with direct and indirect sources so as to enhance the little linguistic proof there is on Old Arabic. He then goes on to reassess the hypothesis favoured up to now by re-examining the origins of Arabic and the later linguistic phenomena such as the formation of the literary language, dialectal divisions, diglossias and the development of writing and orthography.

L'Erma di Bretschneider editore