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Arabic in context: celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden university

The edited volume 'Arabic in context: celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University' edited by Ahmad Al-Jallad is out. The volume contains the contributions to the 2013 conference with the same title, held at Leiden University and was published as part of Brill's the Studies in Semitics Language and Linguistics series.

Ahmad Al-Jallad
01 June 2017
Brill website


The writing of Arabic’s linguistic history is by definition an interdisciplinary effort, the result of collaboration between historical linguists, epigraphists, dialectologists, and historians. The present volume seeks to catalyse a dialogue between scholars in various fields who are interested in Arabic’s past and to illustrate how much there is to be gained by looking beyond the traditional sources and methods. It contains 15 innovative studies ranging from pre-Islamic epigraphy to the modern spoken dialect, and from comparative Semitics to Middle Arabic. The combination of these perspectives hopes to stand as an important methodological intervention, encouraging a shift in the way Arabic’s linguistic history is written.

Biographical note and Contributors

Ahmad Al-Jallad, Ph.D. (2012) Harvard University, is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University. He has published on the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages, the history of Arabic, and on the epigraphy of Ancient North Arabia, including An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions (Brill, 2015). 

Contributors are: Ahmad Al-Jallad, Martin F. J. Baasten, Johnny Cheung, Guillaume Dye, Lutz Edzard, Jordi Ferrer i Serra, Francesco Grande, John Huehnergard, Geoffrey Khan, Manfred Kropp, Alexander Magidow, Daniele Mascitelli, Laïla Nehmé, Na’ama Pat-El, and Andrzej Zaborski.

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