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Arabic Passes By

 Arabic was born in the Pre-Islamic era and was the native language of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula.  The original pure Arabic, FuSha, is the language of the Holy Quran, and its grammar as codified in the 8th and 9th centuries remains normative. Since the advent of Islam and after the Muslim conquests of what is now the Arab world, FuSha has played two important roles in people’s minds.

 The first role is the religious one as people find it the only way to approach God and to learn about the doctrines of Islam and the five pillars of Islam. Secondly, there was, on the other hand, an imperative need for varieties of Arabic to develop which would allow Arabs to communicate with each other regarding more mundane matters. Because FuSha could not be changed, some believe that Arabic is a Holy Language. It has been the religious language and official written language for more than fourteen centuries in the Arab world. Over time, Arabic has been affected by numerous political, religious, and historical events and sociolinguistic factors. These events and factors, as well as the need for the Arabs to communicate naturally in a spoken language, have led to the organic evolution of different variations of the language. The existence of these variations alongside FuSha has been dubbed "diglossia." Although Arabic is the official language of twenty-one Arab countries as well as an official language of the UN, official religious and academic institutions in the Arab world, including Al-Azhar, do not officially recognize the organic evolution of the living spoken language; and therefore, some international academic institutions do not recognize it as one of the current living languages. So, is Arabic a living language organically, academically and scientifically?

 

Abstract:

In an attempt to apply Badawi’s research on the five variations of Arabic in Egypt, this book aims to explore the events and factors across the centuries that have led to the current diglossic situation, from the pre Islamic era to the present time. What is the current state of the language, and what is the outlook for its continued organic growth and survival? Briefly, this book attempts to answer the following questions: Is Arabic a Holy language? Why or why not?  Where is the real FuSha now? How has the borrowing of foreign words and the adoption of lower and higher varieties - as well as the maintaining of the FuSha for religious needs -  allowed the language to survive and cope with modernization? What are the problematic issues in dealing with other varieties of Arabic? What is the role and function of case endings in Arabic in understanding the meaning of sentences? What are the most common pedagogical approaches of Western and Arab linguists?  Is Arabic a living language organically and scientifically? So to speak, what features does it have in common with what we might call "Permutations and Combinations of False Dichotomies"? The book concludes with the author’s views on the future prospects of the Arabic Language.

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