Course Descriptions - Details

01:013:225 Global Arabic (3) AHq, CCD

Arabic is one of the world's largest languages, spoken natively by nearly 300 million people. It is spoken continuously as a native language from Iraq in the East, all the way to Morocco and to northeastern Nigeria in the west, an area covering nearly a seventh of the latitudinal distance of the globe. By strength of numbers alone Arabic is one of our most important languages, studied by scholars across many different academic fields and cultural settings. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations and has official status in over twenty nations. Arabic is also used as a religious language by the world's Muslims, who total around one billion people. Arabic is, therefore, also acquired to various levels of proficiency, as a venerated, liturgical language, by many Muslims in Africa, the Arab world, Asia, and more recently in pockets in Europe and the Americas. The Arabic script has been adopted by at least one seventh of the world’s population to write other languages -- from Urdu to Hausa, from Persian to Swahili. In the process of its development, Arabic has influenced many other languages and has given rise to new tongues, especially in the form of pidgins and creoles. This course seeks to trace the historical development of Arabic as a global language, the various meanings Arabic has come to acquire in various parts of world, and the functions it has come to serve in different periods and different global spaces. It also looks at its interactions with other languages and their sociolinguistic implications.