By David Wilmsen
This publication lines the origins and improvement of the Arabic grammatical marker s/si, that's present in interrogatives, negators, and indefinite determiners over a huge dialect region that stretches from the southern Levant to North Africa and comprises dialects of Yemen and Oman. David Wilmsen attracts on info from previous vernacular Arabic texts and from numerous Arabic dialects, and exhibits that, opposite to a lot of the literature at the diachrony of this morpheme, s/si does no longer derive from Arabic say 'thing'. as a substitute, he argues that it dates again to a pre-Arabic degree of West Semitic and possibly has its origins in a Semitic demonstrative pronoun. in this concept, Arabic say may well in truth derive from s/si, and never vice versa.
The e-book demonstrates the importance of the Arabic dialects in realizing the background of Arabic and the Semitic languages, and claims that sleek Arabic dialects couldn't have constructed from Classical Arabic. it is going to be of curiosity to historic linguists of all persuasions from graduate point upwards, relatively all these engaged on Arabic and different Semitic languages.
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Additional info for Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A Linguistic History of Western Dialects
Noting that the earliest manuscripts of these works are contemporaneous with the works of the early Arabic language philologists of the 8th century ad engaged in the work of codifying the variety of language that came to be canonical written Arabic, Hopkins further remarks: ‘the present form of the texts of the Jāhili diwans, the Qur’ān, the Prophetical literature etc. is a faithful representation of pre-normative Arabic has very frequently been assumed; it has, however, never been demonstrated’ (p.
In that sense, too, hypothetical proto-languages of the fully human language type can be viewed as a combination of all features that can be collected from and shared commonly by a language family. No absolute time-frame can be imposed upon such concepts; similarly, the relation between hypothesized steps in the descent from Proto-Semitic to its daughter languages can only be construed relatively. In the end, however, proto-languages and proto-forms must represent varieties that actually were spoken or could be conceived of as having been spoken.
The traditional opinion widely held amongst speakers of the language is that the Arabic of writing, with its desinential case and mood markings, is close to the original form of the language spoken in pre-Islamic Arabia and, with the advent of Islam, the variety carried by its speakers into lands outside of the Arabian Peninsula, where they had not previously lived in large numbers. According to this scenario, the contact between these native speakers of this older form of Arabic and their non-native subjects inevitably led to deleterious changes in the language, as those non-native populations acquired the language incompletely, resulting in the modern spoken vernaculars of Arabic.
Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A Linguistic History of Western Dialects by David Wilmsen