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A mosaic of scripts : Arabic script in Africa from a comparative perspective

Taught from primary school to the university level – where new courses on the globalization of the Arabic writing system have cropped up (Abdallah 2014) – the Arabic script, with all its orthographic peculiarities and multiple facets, continues to shape languages other than Arabic, their communities and specific textual traditions.

Annachiara Raia
10 March 2021

However, comparative research on the Arabic script as used to write languages other than Arabic, as well as broader topics such as digraphia and allography, are still rather scarce. This holds particularly true for Africa. One interesting exception is the book "The Arabic Script in Africa". The first part of this review article is dedicated to situating this book within the wider context of studies on digraphia, allography and specific local adaptations of the Arabic writing systems, while also pointing out the necessity for further research; the second part discusses the case studies presented in this book and their implications.

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