Monday, September 13, 2021

New OA book: A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic

"Written forms of Arabic composed during the era of the Ottoman Empire present an immensely fruitful linguistic topic. Extant texts display a proximity to the vernacular that cannot be encountered in any other surviving historical Arabic material, and thus provide unprecedented access to Arabic language history.

This rich material remains very little explored. Traditionally, scholarship on Arabic has focussed overwhelmingly on the literature of the various Golden Ages between the 8th and 13th centuries, whereas texts from the 15th century onwards have often been viewed as corrupted and not worthy of study. The lack of interest in Ottoman Arabic culture and literacy left these sources almost completely neglected in university courses.

This volume is the first linguistic work to focus exclusively on varieties of Christian, Jewish and Muslim Arabic in the Ottoman Empire of the 15th to the 20th centuries, and present Ottoman Arabic material in a didactic and easily accessible way. Split into a Handbook and a Reader section, the book provides a historical introduction to Ottoman literacy, translation studies, vernacularisation processes, language policy and linguistic pluralism. The second part contains excerpts from more than forty sources, edited and translated by a diverse network of scholars.

The material presented includes a large number of yet unedited texts, such as Christian Arabic letters from the Prize Paper collections, mercantile correspondence and notebooks found in the Library of Gotha, and Garshuni texts from archives of Syriac patriarchs."

A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic
Esther-Miriam Wagner (ed.) | September 2021
488pp. | 4 B&W or colour illustration | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
Semitic Languages and Cultures | ISSN: 2632-6906 (Print); 2632-6914 (Online)ISBN Paperback: 9781783749416
ISBN Hardback: 9781783749423
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783749430

DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0208
Subject Codes: BIC: CFF (Historical and comparative linguistics), CFP (Translation and interpretation); BISAC: REL006020 (RELIGION / Biblical Biography / General), LAN009010 (LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative)


Abbasid History Podcast

With 32 episodes made so far, the Abbasid History podcast is a great way to learn more about this specific period in history. The makers of the podcast formulate their intentions as follows: "An audio platform for the study of the pre-modern Islamic(ate) past and beyond. We interview academics, archivists and artists on their work for peers and junior students in the field. We aim to educate, inspire, perhaps infuriate, and on the way entertain a little too. Suitable also for general listeners with an interest in geographically diverse medieval history." 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Alpheios Tool explained for Arabists

Around ten years ago, our Peter posted the Alpheios Project here for the first time:

In the meantime, there are tools for morphological analyses of Arabic texts (classical and modern). You can implement these tools into your browser and learn from them. My friend Hakan Özkan in his insightful video-tutorial explains us how to make use of it.

The Alpheios Reading Tool ... enables you to get definitions (in a pop-up window) of Arabic words with one click directly into your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari).  One major dictionary the tool uses is E.W. Lane's Arabic-English lexicon, which makes this tool especially useful for premodern texts. Alpheios also runs a morphological analysis of the selected Arabic word and thus makes it easier for you to see the underlying root or basic form. Watch the video for details.