Authors: Kazuhiko Nakae
My research has continued in the framework of Arabic multiglossia. (Modern) Standard Arabic has been invented in the
historical process of this multi-lect contact situation since the beginning of Islam. The scope of ‘standard’ Arabic, which has long been blurred and chageable, can only be demarcated by the on-going in-depth researches on the multi-lect contact situation of each stage in the history of Arabic. It has been idealized that Arabic should be standardized based on the norm of prescriptive (classical) Arabic. In the present twenty-first century, prescriptive Arabic, which had been the possession of the elite, is liberated from the normative bind, whereas the role of colloquial Arabic is relatively elevated. We must escape from the prevailing conservative, puristic assumption. Here I propose it should be actually, not ideally standardized on the basis of the non-artificial data from the prestigious regional colloquial Arabic, which is not stigmatized and reflects native speakers’ intuition.
standard Arabic, colloquial Arabic, classicization, koineization, leveling, standardization, multiglossia, prescriptivism, normativism