Kenneth Lee Pike
Kenneth Lee Pike was an American linguist and anthropologist. He was the originator of the theory of tagmemics, the coiner of the terms "emic" and "etic" and the developer of the constructed language Kalaba-X for use in teaching the theory and practice of translation. In addition, he was the First President of the Bible-translating organization Summer Institute in Linguistics, with which he was associated from 1942 until his death. Pike was born in Woodstock and studied theology at Gordon College, graduating with a B. A. in 1933. He wanted to do missionary work in China; when this was denied him, he studied linguistics with Summer Institute of Linguistics. He went to Mexico with SIL, learning Mixtec from native speakers there in 1935. In 1937 Pike went to the University of Michigan, where he worked for his doctorate in linguistics under Charles C. Fries, his research involved living among the Mixtecs, developing a written system for the Mixtec language with his wife, Evelyn. After gaining his Ph.
D. in 1942, Pike became the First President of the Summer Institute in Linguistics. The Institute's main function was to produce translations of the Bible in unwritten languages, in 1951 Pike published the Mixtec New Testament, he was the President of SIL International from 1942 to 1979. As well as and in parallel with his role at SIL, Pike spent thirty years at the University of Michigan, during which time he served as chairman of its linguistics department, professor of linguistics, director of its English Language Institute and was Professor Emeritus of the university. Pike is best known for his distinction between the etic. "Emic" refers to the role of cultural and linguistic categories as understood from within the cultural or linguistic system that they are a part of, while "etic" refers to the analytical study of those sounds grounded outside of the system itself. Pike argued that only native speakers are competent judges of emic descriptions, are thus crucial in providing data for linguistic research, while investigators from outside the linguistic group apply scientific methods in the analysis of language, producing etic descriptions which are verifiable and reproducible.
Pike himself carried out studies of indigenous languages in Australia, Ecuador, Java, Nepal, New Guinea, the Philippines, Peru. Pike developed his theory of tagmemics to help with the analysis of languages from Central and South America, by identifying strings of linguistic elements capable of playing a number of different roles. Pike's approach to the study of language put him outside the circle of the "generative" movement begun by Noam Chomsky, a dominant linguist, since Pike believed that the structure of language should be studied in context, not just single sentences, as seen in the title of his magnum opus "Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human behavior", he became well known for his "monolingual demonstrations". He would stand with a large number of chalkboards. A speaker of a language unknown to him would be brought in to work with Pike. Using gestures and objects, not asking questions in a language that the person might know, Pike would begin to analyze the language before the audience.
He was a member of National Academy of Sciences, the Linguistic Society of America, the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States, the American Anthropological Association. He served as president of LSA and LACUS and was nominated for the Templeton Prize three years in a row; when he was named to the Charles Carpenter Fries Professorship of Linguistics at the University of Michigan in 1974, the Dean's citation noted that "his lifelong originality and energetic activity verge on the legendary". Pike was awarded honorary degrees by a number of institutions, including Huntington College, University of Chicago, Georgetown University, L'Université Réné Descartes, Albert-Ludwig Universität. Though the Nobel Prize committee did not publicize nominations, in 1983 US Senator Alan J. Dixon and US Congressman Paul Simon announced that they had nominated Pike for the Nobel Peace Prize. Academic sponsors for his nomination included Charles F. Hockett, Sydney Lamb, Gordon J. van Wylen, Frank H. T. Rhodes, André Martinet, David C.
C. Li, Ming Liu. Wycliffe Bible Translators SIL See Complete list of Pike's publications 1943: Phonetics, a Critical Analysis of Phonetic Theory and a Technique for the Practical Description of Sounds 1967: Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior 1970: Rhetoric: Discovery and Change, with Richard E. Young and Alton L. Becker Brend, Ruth M. 1987. Kenneth Lee Pike Bibliography. Bloomington, IN: Eurasian Linguistics Association. Emily A. Denning, "Kenneth L. Pike", in Encyclopedia of Anthropology ed. H. James Birx Headland, Thomas N. 2001. "Kenneth Lee Pike." American Anthropologist 103: 505-509. Hildebrandt, Martha. 2003. "A Portrait of Kenneth L. Pike," in Language and Life: Essays in Memory of Kenneth L. Pike. Mary Ruth Wise, Thomas N. Headland, Ruth M. Brend. Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington, pp. 3–10. Pike, Eunice V. 1981. Ken Pike: Scholar and Christian. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics. Languages for Peace: Tribute to
North American English
North American English is the most generalized variety of the English language as spoken in the United States and Canada. Because of their related histories and cultures and the similarities between the pronunciation and accent of American English and Canadian English, the two spoken dialects are grouped together under a single category. Due to historical and cultural factors, Canadian English and American English retain numerous distinctions from each other, with the differences being most noticeable in the two languages' written forms. Canadian spellings are based on British usage as a result of Canada's longer-standing connections with the United Kingdom. Canadians are tolerant of both British and American spellings, with British spellings being favored in more formal settings and in Canadian print media. Spellings in American English have been influenced by lexicographers like Noah Webster, who sought to create a standardized form of English, independent of British English. Despite these differences, the dialects of both Canada and the United States are similar.
The United Empire Loyalists who fled the American Revolution have had a large influence on Canadian English from its early roots. Some terms in North American English are used exclusively in Canada and the United States. Although many English speakers from outside North America regard such terms as distinct Americanisms, they are just as common in Canada due to the effects of heavy cross-border trade and cultural penetration by the American mass media; the list of divergent words becomes longer if considering regional Canadian dialects as spoken in the Atlantic provinces and parts of Vancouver Island where significant pockets of British culture still remain. There are a considerable number of different accents within the regions of both the United States and Canada deriving from the accents prevalent in different English and Irish regions of the British Isles and corresponding to settlement patterns of these peoples in the colonies; these were developed and built upon as new waves of immigration, migration across the North American continent, brought new accents and dialects to new areas, as these ways of speaking merged and assimilated with the population.
It is claimed that despite the centuries of linguistic changes there is still a resemblance between the English East Anglia accents which would have been used by early English settlers in New England, modern Northeastern United States accents. The accents of Newfoundland have some similarities to the accents of Scotland and Ireland; the following numerical list, corresponding to the map, accounts only for major dialect areas of modern North America that can be identified by geographic location. Standard Canadian English Western American English North-Central American English Inland Northern American English Midland American English Southern American Englisha. Texan Englishb. Inland Southern American English Western Pennsylvania English Mid-Atlantic American English New York City English Southwestern New England English Southeastern New England English Northwestern New England English Northeastern New England English Atlantic Canadian EnglishBelow, twelve major North American dialects are defined by particular accent characteristics.: North American English regional phonology Comparison of American and British English American English Canadian English List of American words not used in the United Kingdom List of words having different meanings in British and American English Regional accents of English Commonwealth English Chambers, J.
K.. "Canadian English: 250 Years in the Making," in The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd ed. p. xi. Clark, Joe. Organizing Our Marvellous Neighbours: How to Feel Good About Canadian English. ISBN 978-0-9809525-0-6. Labov, William.
Federal District (Brazil)
The Federal District is one of 27 federative units of Brazil. Located in the Center-West Region, it is the smallest Brazilian federal unit and the only one that has no municipalities, being divided into 31 administrative regions, totaling an area of 5,779,999 km². In its territory, is located the federal capital of Brazil, Brasília, the seat of government of the Federal District; the capital of Brazil was transferred from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília on 21 April 1960 and its new territory, split off from Goiás state in border with the Minas Gerais state, became the current Federal District. After the transfer the old Federal District, containing the city of Rio de Janeiro, became the state of Guanabara; this state existed from 1960 until 1975. With the merge the capital of Rio de Janeiro state was transferred back from Niterói to Rio de Janeiro itself; the region has a tropical savanna climate, with a rainy season from October to April, a dry season from May to September. During the dry season, the humidity can reach critical levels in the peak hours of the hottest days.
The artificial Paranoá Lake, with 40 km2 and 500 million cubic metres of water, was built to minimize the severe dry climatic conditions of winter in the Cerrado vegetation. According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 2,393,000 people residing in the Federal District; the population density was 410.9 inhabitants per square kilometre. Urbanization: 94%. Population growth: 2.8%. Houses: 697,000. In area, the Federal District is the island of Maui, it is larger than French Polynesia, the US State of Rhode Island, or Cape Verde. It is smaller than Bali or Trinidad and Tobago; the politics and administration of the Federal District are distinguished from the other units of the federation in some particular points, as defined in the Brazilian Constitution of 1988: The Federal District is governed by an organic law, typical of municipalities, not by a state constitution. It builds up the legislative powers reserved to states and municipalities, which are not forbidden by the Constitution; the hybrid character of the Federal District is observable by its Legislative Chamber, a mixture of Municipal Chamber and Legislative Assembly.
The Legislative Power of the Federal District is exercised by the of the Legislative Chamber, with 24 elected district deputies. The Federal District is a legal entity of internal public law, part of the political-administrative structure of Brazil, of a nature sui generis, because it is neither a state nor a municipality, but a special entity that accumulates the legislative powers reserved to the states and the municipalities, as provided in art. 32, § 1º of the CF, which gives it a hybrid nature of state and municipality. Article 32 of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution expressly prohibits the Federal District from being divided into municipalities, being considered one; the executive power of the Federal District was represented by the mayor of the Federal District until 1969, when the position was transformed into governor of the Federal District. The legislative power of the Federal District is represented by the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District, whose nomenclature represents a mixture of legislative assembly and municipal chamber.
The Legislative Chamber is made up of 24 district deputies. The judicial power which serves the Federal District serves federal territories. Brazil does not have territories therefore, the Court of Justice of the Federal District and of the Territories only serves the Federal District. Part of the budget of the Federal District Government comes from the Constitutional Fund of the Federal District. In 2012, the fund totaled 9.6 billion reais. By 2015, the forecast was of 12.4 billion Reais, with more than half billion) for public security expenditures. The Parque da CidadeLocated in Brasília, the "Parque da Cidade", named after the wife of Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek, extends over four million square meters, it includes landscape works of Burle Marx, wall tiles that decorate restrooms in the park designed by Athos Bulcão. Equipped with sports courts, a horse track, a racing kart track, skate tracks, playgrounds for children, bicycle tracks and trails for walks and jogging, the City Park attracts hundreds of people everyday, specially on weekends.
The park's main entrance is located in the Monumental Axis South, but there are secondary exits that lead to other areas in the city's south wing. The Metropolitan Cathedral of BrasiliaDesigned by Oscar Niemeyer, it was inaugurated in 1970, its shape is circular horizontally and structured around 16 curved pillars, forming a crown filled with futuristic and/or spatial stained-glass works in a triangular shape. The pillars evoke reversed praying hands that deconstruct the gothic traditional church window pattern, but conserves the triangular vaginal shape of the stained-glasses; the curves present in many of Niemeyer's works pay homage to the beautifully built bodies of Brazilian women. The stained-glasses were designed by Marianne Peretti, their disposition ensures natural lighting into the aisle, built below street level. Around the church, in the outside area, visitors can see Alfredo Ceschiatti's sculptures — the four evangelists — and inside, suspended angels. There
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is a state located in the southern region of Brazil. It is the ninth largest by area. Located in the southernmost part of the country, Rio Grande do Sul is bordered clockwise by Santa Catarina to the north and northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Uruguayan departments of Rocha, Treinta y Tres, Cerro Largo and Artigas to the south and southwest, the Argentine provinces of Corrientes and Misiones to the west and northwest; the capital and largest city is Porto Alegre. The state has the highest life expectancy in Brazil, the crime rate is considered to be low. Despite the high standard of living, unemployment is still high and according to census data, it is one of the most difficult states in Brazil for foreigners to find jobs; the state has a gaucho culture like its foreign neighbors. It was inhabited by Guarani people; the first Europeans there were Jesuits, followed by settlers from the Azores. In the 19th century it was the scene of conflicts including the Farroupilha Revolution and the Paraguayan War.
Large waves of German and Italian migration have shaped the state. Rio Grande do Sul is bordered to the northeast by the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, on the southwest by Uruguay, to the northwest by the Argentine provinces of Corrientes and Misiones; the northern part of the state lies on the southern slopes of the elevated plateau extending southward from São Paulo across the states of Paraná and Santa Catarina, is much broken by low mountain ranges whose general direction across the trend of the slope gives them the appearance of escarpments. A range of low mountains extends southward from the Serra do Mar of Santa Catarina and crosses the state into Uruguay. West of this range is a vast grassy plain devoted principally to stock-raising — the northern and most elevated part being suitable in pasturage and climate for sheep, the southern for cattle. East of it is a wide coastal zone only elevated above the sea; the coast is one great sand beach, broken only by the outlet of the two lakes, called the Rio Grande, which affords an entrance to navigable inland waters and several ports.
There are two distinct river systems in Rio Grande do Sul – that of the eastern slope draining to the lagoons, that of the Río de la Plata basin draining westward to the Uruguay River. The larger rivers of the eastern group are the Jacuí, Sinos, Caí, Gravataí and Camaquã, which flow into the Lagoa dos Patos, the Jaguarão which flows into the Lagoa Mirim. All of the first named, except the Camaquã, discharge into one of the two arms or estuaries opening into the northern end of Lagoa dos Patos, called the Guaíba River, though technically it is not a river but a lake; the Guaíba River is broad, comparatively deep and about 56 kilometres long, with the rivers discharging into it affords upwards of 320 kilometres of fluvial navigation. The Jacuí is one of the most important rivers of the state, rising in the ranges of the Coxilha Grande of the north and flowing south and southeast to the Guaíba estuary, with a course of nearly 480 kilometres It has two large tributaries, the Vacacaí from the south and the Taquari from the north, many small streams.
The Jaguarão, which forms part of the boundary line with Uruguay, is navigable 42 km up to and beyond the town of Jaguarão. In addition to the Lagoa dos Patos and Lagoa Mirim there are a number of small lakes on the sandy, swampy peninsulas that lie between the coast and these two, there are others of a similar character along the northern coast; the largest lake is the Lagoa dos Patos, which lies parallel with the coastline and southwest, is about 214 kilometres long exclusive of the two arms at its northern end, 40 58 km long and of its outlet, the Rio Grande, about 39 km long. Its width varies from 35 to 58 km; the lake is comparatively shallow and filled with sand banks, making its navigable channels tortuous and difficult. The Lagoa Mirim occupies a similar position farther south, on the Uruguayan border, is about 175 kilometres long by 10 to 35 km wide, it is more irregular in outline and discharges into Lagoa dos Patos through a navigable channel known as the São Gonçalo Channel. A part of the lake lies in Uruguayan territory, but its navigation, as determined by treaty, belongs to Brazil.
Both of these lakes are evidently the remains of an ancient depression in the coastline shut in by sand beaches built up by the combined action of wind and current. They are of the same level as the ocean, but their waters are affected by the tides and are brackish only a short distance above the Rio Grande outlet. One-third of the state belongs to the Río de la Plata drainage basin. Of the many streams flowing northward and westward to the Uruguay, the largest are the Ijuí of the plateau region, the Ibicuí, which has its source near Santa Maria in the central part of the state and flows westward to the Uruguay a short distance above Uruguaiana, the Quaraí River which forms part of the boundary line with Uruguay; the Uruguay River itself is formed by the confluence of the Pelotas rivers. The Pelotas, which has its source in the Serra do Mar on the Atlantic coast, the Uruguay River forms the northern and western boundary line of the state down to the mouth of the Quaraí, on the Uruguayan frontier.
Rio Grande do Sul lies within the south temperate zone and is predom
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Northeast Region of Brazil is one of the five official and political regions of the country according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. For the socio-geographic area see Nordeste. Of Brazil's twenty-six states, it comprises nine: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas and Bahia, along with the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Chiefly known as Nordeste in Brazil, this region was the first to be discovered and colonized by the Portuguese and other European peoples, playing a crucial role in the country's history. Nordeste's dialects and rich culture, including its folklore, cuisines and literature, became the most distinguishable across the country. To this day, Nordeste is recognized for its history and culture, as well as for its beautiful natural sights and its hot weather. Nordeste stretches from the Atlantic seaboard in the northeast and southeast and west to the Amazon Basin and south through the Espinhaço highlands in southern Bahia, it encloses the São Francisco River and drainage basin, which were instrumental in the exploration and economic development of the region.
The region lies within the earth's tropical zone and encompasses Caatinga, Atlantic Forest and part of the Cerrado ecoregions. The climate is hot and semi-arid, varying from xeric in Caatinga, to mesic in Cerrado and hydric in the Atlantic Forest; the Northeast Region represents 18% of Brazilian territory, has a population of 53.6 million people, 28% of the total population of the country, contributes 13.4% of Brazil's GDP. Nearly three quarters of the population live in urban areas clustered along the Atlantic coast and about 15 million people live in the hinterland, it is an impoverished region: 58% of the population lives in poverty, defined as less than $2/day. Each of the states' capitals are its largest cities, they include Recife, Fortaleza and São Luís, all lying on the Atlantic coast, each with a population above a million inhabitants. Nordeste has nine international airports, the region has the second largest number of passengers in Brazil; the Zona da Mata comprises the rainforest zones of Nordeste in the humid eastern coast, where the region's largest capital cities are located.
The forest area was much larger before suffering from centuries of exploration. For many years, sugar cane cultivation in this region was the mainstay of Brazil's economy, being superseded only when coffee production developed in the late 19th century; the sugar cane is cultivated on large estates and the owners of these had and maintain tremendous political influence. Since the escarpment does not generate any further rainfall on its slopes from the lifting of the trade winds, annual rainfall decreases inland. After a short distance, there is no longer enough rainfall to support tropical rainforest since the rainfall is erratic from year to year; this transitional zone is known as the agreste and because it is located on the steep escarpment, was not used whilst flatter land was abundant. Today, with irrigation water available, the agreste, as its name suggest, is a major farming region. Despite containing no major city, it contains well developed medium large cities such as Caruaru, Campina Grande and Arapiraca.
In Portuguese, the word sertão first referred to the vast hinterlands of Asia and South America that Lusitanian explorers encountered. In Brazil, the geographical term referred to backlands away from the Atlantic coastal regions where the Portuguese first settled in South America in the early sixteenth century. Geographically, the Sertão consists of low uplands that form part of the Brazilian Highlands. Most parts of the sertão are between 200 and 500 meters above sea level, with higher elevations found on the eastern edge in the Planalto da Borborema, where it merges into a sub-humid region known as agreste, in the Serra da Ibiapaba in western Ceará and in the Serro do Periquito of central Pernambuco. In the north, the Sertão extends to the northern coastal plains of Rio Grande do Norte state, whilst in the south it fades out in the northern fringe of Minas Gerais; because the Sertão lies close to the equator, temperatures remain nearly uniform throughout the year and are tropical extremely hot in the west.
However, the sertão is distinctive in its low rainfall compared to other areas of Brazil. Because of the cool temperatures in the South Atlantic Ocean, the intertropical convergence zone remains north of the region for most of the year, so that most of the year is dry. Although annual rainfall averages between 500 and 800 millimeters over most of the sertão and 1300 millimeters on the northern coast at Fortaleza, it is confined to a short rainy season; this season extends from January to April in the west, but in the eastern sertão it occurs from March to June. However, rainfall is erratic and in some years the rains are minimal, leading to catastrophic drought. Meio-Norte is a transition area between the high rainfalls region of Amazon Rainforest and the semi arid region of Sertão covering the state of Maranhão and half of Piaui; the Northeast region comprises the drainage basins of the São Francisco, Canindé, Parnaíba Rivers. Geographically, Nordeste consists chiefly of an eroded continental craton with many low hills and small ranges.
The highest peaks are around 1,850 metres in Bahia, while further north there are no
Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the basis of Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese; because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as the Northern dialects. Many local Mandarin varieties are not mutually intelligible. Mandarin is placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers. Mandarin is by far the largest of the seven or ten Chinese dialect groups, spoken by 70 percent of all Chinese speakers over a large geographical area, stretching from Yunnan in the southwest to Xinjiang in the northwest and Heilongjiang in the northeast; this is attributed to the greater ease of travel and communication in the North China Plain compared to the more mountainous south, combined with the recent spread of Mandarin to frontier areas. Most Mandarin varieties have four tones; the final stops of Middle Chinese have disappeared in most of these varieties, but some have merged them as a final glottal stop.
Many Mandarin varieties, including the Beijing dialect, retain retroflex initial consonants, which have been lost in southern dialect groups. The capital has been within the Mandarin area for most of the last millennium, making these dialects influential; some form of Mandarin has served as a national lingua franca since the 14th century. In the early 20th century, a standard form based on the Beijing dialect, with elements from other Mandarin dialects, was adopted as the national language. Standard Chinese is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore, it is used as one of the working languages of the United Nations. It is one of the most used varieties of Chinese among Chinese diaspora communities internationally; the English word "mandarin" meant an official of the Ming and Qing empires. Since their native varieties were mutually unintelligible, these officials communicated using a Koiné language based on various northern varieties.
When Jesuit missionaries learned this standard language in the 16th century, they called it "Mandarin", from its Chinese name Guānhuà, or "language of the officials". In everyday English, "Mandarin" refers to Standard Chinese, called "Chinese". Standard Chinese is based on the particular Mandarin dialect spoken in Beijing, with some lexical and syntactic influence from other Mandarin dialects, it is the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China, the de facto official language of the Republic of China, one of the four official languages of the Republic of Singapore. It functions as the language of instruction in Mainland China and in Taiwan, it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, under the name "Chinese". Chinese speakers refer to the modern standard language as Pǔtōnghuà in Mainland China, Guóyǔ in Taiwan, or Huáyǔ in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines,but not as Guānhuà. Linguists use the term "Mandarin" to refer to the diverse group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China, which Chinese linguists call Guānhuà.
The alternative term Běifānghuà, or "Northern dialects", is used less and less among Chinese linguists. By extension, the term "Old Mandarin" or "Early Mandarin" is used by linguists to refer to the northern dialects recorded in materials from the Yuan dynasty. Native speakers who are not academic linguists may not recognize that the variants they speak are classified in linguistics as members of "Mandarin" in a broader sense. Within Chinese social or cultural discourse, there is not a common "Mandarin" identity based on language. Speakers of forms of Mandarin other than the standard refer to the variety they speak by a geographic name—for example Sichuan dialect, Hebei dialect or Northeastern dialect, all being regarded as distinct from the standard language; the hundreds of modern local varieties of Chinese developed from regional variants of Old Chinese and Middle Chinese. Traditionally, seven major groups of dialects have been recognized. Aside from Mandarin, the other six are Wu, Xiang in central China, Min and Yue on the southeast coast.
The Language Atlas of China distinguishes three further groups: Jin, Huizhou in the Huizhou region of Anhui and Zhejiang, Pinghua in Guangxi and Yunnan. After the fall of the Northern Song and during the reign of the Jin and Yuan dynasties in northern China, a common speech developed based on the dialects of the North China Plain around the capital, a language referred to as Old Mandarin. New genres of vernacular literature were based on this language, including verse and story forms, such as the qu and sanqu poetry; the rhyming conventions of the new verse were codified in a rime dictionary called the Zhongyuan Yinyun. A radical departure from the rime table tradition that had evolved over the previous centuries, this dictionary contains a wealth of information on the phonology of Old Mandarin. Further sources are the'Phags-pa script based on the Ti
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.