By Jonathan Owens
A Linguistic background of Arabic provides a reconstruction of proto-Arabic by means of the tools of historical-comparative linguistics. It demanding situations the normal conceptualization of an previous, Classical language evolving into the modern Neo-Arabic dialects. Professor Owens combines demonstrated comparative linguistic method with a cautious studying of the classical Arabic assets, akin to the grammatical and exegetical traditions. He arrives at a richer and extra advanced photo of early Arabic language historical past than is present this present day and in doing so establishes the root for a finished, linguistically-based figuring out of the historical past of Arabic. The arguments are set out in a concise, case by means of case foundation, making it obtainable to scholars and students of Arabic and Islamic tradition, in addition to to these learning Arabic and ancient linguists.
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The Birds and the Bees Teach me half the gladness That thy brain must know; Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then, as I am listening now. PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, 1792–1822, To a Skylark Most animal species possess some kind of communication system. Humans also communicate through systems other than language such as head nodding or facial expressions. The question is whether the communication systems used by other species are at all like human language with its very specific properties, most notably its creative aspect.
Birdsongs have also inspired poets as in Shelley’s To a Skylark, not to mention cartoonists. Birds do not sing for our pleasure, however. Their songs and calls communicate important information to other members of the species and sometimes to other animals. Birdcalls (consisting of one or more short notes) convey danger, feeding, nesting, flocking, and so on. Bird songs (more complex patterns of notes) are used to stake out territory and to attract mates. Like the messages of crabs and spiders, however, there is no evidence of any internal structure to these songs; they cannot be segmented into discrete meaningful parts and rearranged to encode different messages as can the words, phrases, and sentences of human language.
According to this view language acts like a filter on reality. One of Whorf’s best-known claims in support of linguistic determinism was that the Hopi Indians do not perceive time in the same way as speakers of European languages because the Hopi language does not make the grammatical distinctions of tense that, for example, English does with words and word endings such as did, will, shall, -s, -ed, and -ing. A weaker form of the hypothesis is linguistic relativism, which says that different languages encode different categories and that speakers of different languages therefore think about the world in different ways.
A Linguistic History of Arabic (Oxford Linguistics) by Jonathan Owens