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Qur'anic Arabic etc.

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: The 'mother tongue" The long version!

Submitted by gato branco (Lithuania), Jan 26, 2018 at 01:27

Dear dhimmi no more

Concerning the language of Qur'an, the most probably the original language of Qur'an was based on North-Western Arabic dialects, spoken in contemporary Jordan, Negev and adjoining regions of Saudi Arabia of the formerly Nabatean domain. This variety had strong admixture of Aramaic words and other borrowings (eg. siraaT from Latin strata) and otherwise vocabulary different from other Arab dialects. However Arab grammarians in establishing the norm of Classical Arabic were heavily biased towards the beduin dialects of Eastern Arabian peninsula (considered "pure" - Arab grammarians probably thought that in the times of Muhammed all Arabic language was "pure", but later most of it becaming "corrupt" except for beduin dialects) which had many different grammatical and lexical features from the North-Western Arab dialect of the time of Muhammed.

As for the emergence of variant readings, many factors have contributed to it, including both speakers of different Arab dialects and islamicized speakers of non-Arabic languages.

By the time Tabari wrote his Tafsir not only the language has changed, but also the form of language that Tabari took as exemplary was based on a different dialect that the original version of Qur'an(of which only consonantal rasm existed, without vocalization and diacritic signs). He interpreted this rasm in the terms of emerging Classical Arabic. We can only guess how it sounded in 630 but certainly it was quite differently than it was after the massoretic efforts of Tabari after 800(quite probably in original Qur'anic language there was neither hamza left nor i3raab). Some words which were no more familiar to Tabari and his generation were given new meanings in the terms of Classical Arabic, some words were difficult to interpret even in terms of classical Arabic.

So that answering the question whether the language of Qur'an is Classical Arabic or not you can give the answer - certainly in the form edited by Tabari it is but it still bears some traces of its non-Classical origin. As for the original Qur'anic language it certainly was not Classical Arabic(simply because no classical Arabic existed by this time) neither it was the direct precursor to the Classical Arabic.

Some comments about your other posts. Since I know Italian and have some knowledge of Latin, and also some knowlede of both fuSHa and Egyptiant Arabic, I know for sure that the difference between fuSHa and EA is by no means so great than as between Latin and Italian, but of course it is big enough to consider them different languages. And yes, I am a little bit familiar with the linguistic situation in Egypt.

[in the case of Iran the Persian language won for many reasons but I still believe that on the top of the list is the fact that the Persian language is the mother tongue]

Initially the New Persian(Farsi-Dari or simply Dari) was mother tongue only in Khurassan, for other areas of Iran and Central Asia Iranian languages other than Dari were spoken(North West Iranian dialects, South Wester Iranian dialects, Bactrian, Soghdian etc.). Apparently in the first two centuries of Hijra it became mother tongue for the most of the urban population in Central Asia(Bukhara, Balkh) and it was about 900 that Samanid kings made it the official language of their Empire. And certainly the variety of Dari spoken not only by masses but by intellectuals of Ferdowsi's time was still very pure and had little arabisms(there is very few of them either in Ferdowsi or in preserved verses of Rudaki). I think it is quite sure that colloquial Egyptian spoken during the Christian period in Egypt had much less grecisms that the language of Gospels and Gnostic texts(which were actually all translations from Greek)

Submitting....

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