A Judaeo-Arabic Biblical Glossary as a Source for Arabic Historical Dialectology

  • Nick Posegay University of Cambridge

Abstract

MS T-S Ar.5.58 is a translation glossary from the Cairo Geniza that contains a list of Judaeo-Arabic glosses for Hebrew words from the biblical book of Samuel. These Arabic words are fully vocalised with the Tiberian Hebrew pointing system, providing more precise phonetic information about the scribe’s native Arabic dialect than could be expressed with standard Arabic vowel signs. This pointing reveals linguistic features known from modern varieties of vernacular Arabic, including a conditional tendency to raise /a/ to /e/ and a reflex of ǧīm as /g/. The manuscript can be dated between the tenth and twelfth centuries, making it an important source for the history of spoken medieval Arabic and Middle Arabic writing.

Published
2020-04-01
How to Cite
Posegay, N. (2020). A Judaeo-Arabic Biblical Glossary as a Source for Arabic Historical Dialectology. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, 20, 33-52. https://doi.org/10.5617/jais.7863
Section
Articles