The present volume collects nine contributions that describe the linguistic landscape of the Persian Gulf and Southern Arabia. These works introduce the reader to the extraordinary diversity of a region characterized by an ancient history of intersections, contacts and cosmpolitism. Through the ages, the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula has always represented one of the fundamental hubs of the world's commercial routes, a crossroads between the Mediterranean World, East Africa and Asia. The complexity of this land of encounters, trade and conflicts is reflected on the linguistic level: from the little known history of the indigenous South Arabian Languages (which are the focus of Julien Dufour's and Sabrina Bendjaballah's articles) to the presence of Arabic, great language of culture and international communication which manifests itself a myriad of local varieties (these are the object of Simone Bettega's, Roberta Morano's and Emma de Murtas' studies). Dénes Gazsi takes the reader to the transitional space which exists between the two shores of the Gulf and their respective linguistic horizons, the Arabic and the Persian one, where the identity of those who cross the sea is constantly being negotiated. Andrei Avram explores instead the little known reality of Gulf Pidgin Arabic, an unusual "lingua franca" whose existence is the result of the economic and political upheavals that the region has witnessed in the course of the last decades. This reminds us that linguistic change always reflects social change, and that change often comes at the price of loss. This is the topic of Fabio Gasparini's, Janet Watson's and Abdullah Musallam Al-Mahri's contributions, who relate the story of the decline and disappearence of the traditional languages of Southern Arabia, and of the worlds that disappear along with them.

Simone Bettega is currently Adjunct Professor of Arabic Dialectology and Postdoctoral Researcher in Linguistics at the University of Torino. His main research interests include the study of syntax, sociolinguistics and linguistic contact, as well as language documentation and linguistic fieldwork. In particular, he has focused on the varieties of Arabic spoken along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and in Oman, where he carried out fieldwork during his PhD.

Fabio Gasparini is a PhD student from the University “L’Orientale” of Naples. His current project concerns the study of Baṭḥari language, the least known and documented among the Modern South Arabian Languages. His main research interests are Modern South Arabian Languages and Semitic languages in general, Phonetics and Phonology, Endangered Languages and Documentation. His previous works related to Neo-Aramaic studies.

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Simone Bettega, Fabio Gasparini (edited by), Linguistic Studies in the Arabian Gulf, Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature straniere e Culture moderne, Università di Torino, 2017

ISBN: 978‐88‐7590‐113‐4

(«QuadRi» – Quaderni di RiCOGNIZIONI, VII)

Pubblicato: 2017-12-18

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