chapter  2
28 Pages

Middle Arabic

WithJoshua A. Sabih

Then the faculty of Muḍar [linguistic competence to speak correctly] became corrupt due to their contact with non-Arabs. The reason for its corruption [evolution] is the new generation began to hear ways of speaking linguistically different from what Arabs were used to. They adopted these new ways and used them when they spoke, due to the impact of non-Arabs on the speech of Arabs. He also heard how Arabs spoke in proper Arabic. At the end on hearing both ways, he became confused. Choosing from both the speech of the Arabs and the non-Arabs, he created a new faculty [language variety], which was different from the first one. This is the meaning of the corruption [evolution] of the Arabic language. (’Ibn Khaldun 1958, 555)