Time to modernise Arabic grammar?

There’s an article here which says that Cherif El-Shoubashy, first under-secretary for foreign cultural relations and president of the Cairo International Film Festival, has published a book called something like Long Live Arabic, Down With Sibawayh, Sibawayh being the Persian, Basra-trained linguist who, in al-Kitab, provided Arabic grammar with its tablets of stone. That was back in the eighth century, and El-Shoubashy’s point is that since the written language has changed considerably since then, since first millennium grammar is offputting to students, and since 81% of Muslims don’t speak Arabic anyway, it would be rational to contemplate reform.

The Islamists are unchuffed.

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Comments

  1. MODERNIZING ARABIC.
    Xavier of Buscaraons sent me a link to a brief but interesting post at kaleboel:Cherif El-Shoubashy, first under-secretary for foreign cultural relations and president of the Cairo International Film Festival, has published a book called something like…

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