Yemen known as the Republic of Yemen, is a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Yemen is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 square kilometres; the coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south, the Arabian Sea and Oman to the east. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands. Yemen's constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sana'a, but the city has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015. Yemen was the home of the Sabaeans, a trading state that flourished for over a thousand years and included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 275 CE, the region came under the rule of the Jewish-influenced Himyarite Kingdom. Christianity arrived in the fourth century. Islam spread in the seventh century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the expansion of the early Islamic conquests.
Administration of Yemen has long been notoriously difficult. Several dynasties emerged from the ninth to 16th centuries, the Rasulid dynasty being the strongest and most prosperous; the country was divided between the British empires in the early twentieth century. The Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established after World War I in North Yemen before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1962. South Yemen remained a British protectorate known as the Aden Protectorate until 1967 when it became an independent state and a Marxist-Leninist state; the two Yemeni states united to form the modern republic of Yemen in 1990. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Under the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen was described by critics as a kleptocracy. According to the 2009 International Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Yemen ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed. In the absence of strong state institutions, elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced.
The informal political settlement was held together by a power-sharing deal among three men: President Saleh, who controlled the state. The Saudi payments have been intended to facilitate the tribes' autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen's political decision-making, it is a member of the United Nations, Arab League, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, G-77, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab Satellite Communications Organization, Arab Monetary Fund and the World Federation of Trade Unions. Since 2011, Yemen has been in a state of political crisis starting with street protests against poverty, unemployment and president Saleh's plan to amend Yemen's constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life. President Saleh stepped down and the powers of the presidency were transferred to Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, formally elected president on 21 February 2012 in a one-man election.
The total absence of central government during this transitional process engendered the escalation of the several clashes on-going in the country, like the armed conflict between the Houthi rebels of Ansar Allah militia and the al-Islah forces, as well as the al-Qaeda insurgency. In September 2014, the Houthis took over Sana'a with the help of the ousted president Saleh declaring themselves in control of the country after a coup d'état; this resulted in a new civil war and a Saudi Arabian-led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi's government. At least 56,000 civilians and combatants have been killed in armed violence in Yemen since January 2016; the conflict has resulted in a famine, affecting 17 million people. The lack of safe drinking water, caused by depleted aquifers and the destruction of the country's water infrastructure, has caused the world's worst outbreak of cholera, with the number of suspected cases exceeding 994,751. Over 2,226 people have died since the outbreak began to spread at the end of April 2017.
In 2016 the United Nations reported that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of humanitarian aid in the world with 21.2 million. The term Yamnat was mentioned in Old South Arabian inscriptions on the title of one of the kings of the second Himyarite kingdom known as Shammar Yahrʽish II; the term was referring to the southwestern coastline of the Arabian peninsula and the southern coastline between Aden and Hadramout. The historical Yemen includes much greater territory than that of the current republic of Yemen, it stretches from the northern'Asir Region in southwestern Saudi Arabia to Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman. One etymology derives Yemen from ymnt, meaning "South", plays on the notion of the land to the right. Other sources claim that Yemen is related to yamn or yumn, meaning "felicity" or "blessed", as much of the country is fertile; the Romans called it Arabia Felix, as opposed to Arabia Deserta. Latin and Greek writers used the name "India" to re
Václav Blažek is a historical linguist. He is a professor at Masaryk University and teaches at the University of West Bohemia, his major interests include Indo-European languages, Uralic languages, Altaic languages, Afroasiatic languages, Nostratic languages, Dené–Caucasian languages, mathematical linguistics. In his book Numerals Blažek discusses words for numerals in several language families of Eurasia and Africa, with briefer discussions of numerals in other languages around the world. "Lexica Nostratica: Addenda et Corrigenda I". Archiv Orientální. 57: 201–210. 1989. "Lexica Nostratica: Addenda et Corrigenda II". Archiv Orientální. 58: 205–218. 1990.. "Lexica Dene–Caucasica". Central Asiatic Journal. 39: 11–50.. "Lexica Dene–Caucasica". Central Asiatic Journal. 39: 161–164. Numerals: Comparative-etymological analyses of numerical systems and their implications. Brno: Masarykova Univerzita. 1999.. "Lexical Parallels Between Ainu and Austric, Their Implications". Archiv Orientální. 68: 237–258. "Lexica Nostratica Addenda".
Mother Tongue: 11–22. 2003. "On the internal classification of Indo-European languages: survey". 2005
Saudi Arabia the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of 2,150,000 km2, Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south, it is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, most of its terrain consists of arid desert and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia enjoys one of the world's youngest populations; the territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world.
The world's second-largest religion, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia and Europe; the area of modern-day Saudi Arabia consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz and parts of Eastern Arabia and Southern Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, he united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.
The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam; the state's official language is Arabic. Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer and the world's largest largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves; the kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies. The state has attracted criticism for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to: its archaic treatment of women, its excessive and extrajudicial use of capital punishment, state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities and atheists, its role in the Yemeni Civil War, sponsorship of Islamic terrorists, its strict interpretation of Sharia Law.
An autocratic monarchy, the kingdom has the world's third-highest military expenditure and, according to SIPRI, was the world's second largest arms importer from 2010 to 2014. Saudi Arabia is considered a middle power. In addition to the GCC, it is an active member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and OPEC. Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud. Although this is translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, it means "the Saudi Arab kingdom", or "the Arab Saudi Kingdom"; the word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud. Its inclusion expresses the view. Al Saud is an Arabic name formed by adding the word Al, meaning "family of" or "House of", to the personal name of an ancestor.
In the case of the Al Saud, this is the father of the dynasty's 18th-century founder, Muhammad bin Saud. There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 125,000 years ago, it is now believed that the first modern humans to spread east across Asia left Africa about 75,000 years ago across the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The Arabian peninsula is regarded as a central figure in our understanding of hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia underwent an extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary that led to profound evolutionary and demographic changes. Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, the quantity of Oldwan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia. In the Neolithic period, prominent cultures such as al-Magar whose epicenter lay in mod
Oman the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Its official religion is Islam. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the southwest, shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan; the coast is formed by the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries. From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and the UK for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, as far south as Zanzibar; when its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom.
For over 300 years, the relations built between the two empires were based on mutual benefits. The UK recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trade lanes in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. By contrast, the British strengthened Oman's internal unity and allied the sultanate against external threats. Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean; the Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country, an absolute monarchy, since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving current ruler in the Middle East, third-longest current reigning monarch in the world. Oman is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, it has ranking 25th globally. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years.
A significant portion of its economy involves tourism and trade of fish and certain agricultural produce. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 70th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index. At Aybut Al Auwal, in the Dhofar Governorate of Oman, a site was discovered in 2011 containing more than 100 surface scatters of stone tools, belonging to a regionally specific African lithic industry—the late Nubian Complex—known only from the northeast and Horn of Africa. Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates place the Arabian Nubian Complex at 106,000 years old; this supports the proposition that early human populations moved from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene. In recent years known from survey finds and Neolithic sites have come to light most on the eastern coast. Main Palaeolithic sites include Saiwan-Ghunaim in the Barr al-Hikman. Archaeological remains are numerous for the Bronze Age Umm an-Nar and Wadi Suq periods.
Sites such as Bat show professional wheel-turned pottery, excellent hand-made stone vessels, a metals industry, monumental architecture. The Early and Late Iron Ages show more differences than similarities to each other. Thereafter, until the coming of the Ibadhidya, little or nothing is known. Sumerian tablets refer to a country called Magan and Akkadian ones Makan, a name which links Oman's ancient copper resources. Mazoon, a Persian name used for the region. Over centuries tribes from the west settled in Oman, making a living by fishing, herding or stock breeding, many present day Omani families trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia; when the emigrants from northern-western and south-western Arabia arrived in Oman, they had to compete with the indigenous population for the best arable land. In the 1970s and 1980s scholars like John C. Wilkinson believed by virtue of oral history that in the 6th century BC, the Achaemenids exerted control over the Omani peninsula, most ruling from a coastal center such as Suhar.
Central Oman has its own indigenous Samad Late Iron Age cultural assemblage named eponymously from Samad al-Shan. In the northern part of the Oman Peninsula the Recent Pre-Islamic Period begins in the 3rd century BC and extends into the 3rd century AD. Whether or not Persians brought south-eastern Arabian under their control is a moot point, since the lack of Persian finds speak against this belief. Four centuries Omanis came in contact with and accepted Islam; the conversion of Oman is ascribed to Amr ibn al-As, sent by the prophet Muhammad during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha. A decade after Vasco da Gama's successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and to India in 1497–98, the Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period, from 1507 to 1650, their fortress still remains. In need of an outpost to protect their sea lanes, the Portuguese built up and fortified the city, where remnants of their colonial architectural style still exist. An Ottoman fleet captured Muscat in 1552, during the fight for control of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
The Ottoman Turks captured Muscat from the Portuguese in 1581 and held it until 1588. Rebellious tribes drove out the Portuguese, but were themselves pushed out about a century in 1741, by the leader of an Omani tribe, who began the current line of ruling sultans. Except for a brief Persian invasion in the late 1
Socotra called Soqotra, located between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea, is the largest of four islands of the Socotra archipelago. The territory is located near major shipping routes and is part of Yemen, had long been a subdivision of the Aden Governorate. In 2004, it became attached to the Hadhramaut Governorate, much closer to the island than Aden. In 2013, the archipelago became the Socotra Governorate; the island of Socotra constitutes around 95% of the landmass of the Socotra archipelago. It lies some 240 kilometres east off of the coast of Somalia and 380 kilometres south of the Arabian Peninsula. While politically a part of Yemen and the rest of its archipelago geographically are part of Africa, thus making Yemen a transcontinental country; the island is isolated, home to a high number of endemic species. It has been described as "the most alien-looking place on Earth." The island measures 132 kilometres in 49.7 kilometres in width. In 2008 Socotra was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the notes to his translation of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, G. W. B. Huntingford remarks that the name Suqotra is not Greek in origin, but from the Sanskrit dvīpa sukhadhara. (Note that the natives are saying that the origin of the Island's name came from the old Arabic words where the Island was described as in the old trading road. "Source from the native's story" There was an Oldowan lithic culture in Socotra. Oldowan stone tools were found in the area around Hadibo by V. A. Zhukov, a member of the Russian Complex Expedition in 2008. Socotra appears as Dioskouridou in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a 1st-century AD Greek navigation aid. A recent discovery of texts in several languages, including a wooden tablet in Palmyrene dated to the 3rd century AD, indicate the diverse origins of those who used Socotra as a trading base in antiquity. In 2001 a group of Belgian speleologists of the Socotra Karst Project investigated a cave on the island of Socotra. There, they came across a large number of inscriptions and archaeological objects.
Further investigation showed that these had been left by sailors who visited the island between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD. Most of the texts are written in the Indian Brāhmī script, but there are inscriptions in South Arabian, Greek and Bactrian scripts and languages; this corpus of nearly 250 texts and drawings thus constitutes one of the main sources for the investigation of Indian Ocean trade networks in that time period. A local tradition holds that the inhabitants were converted to Christianity by Thomas the Apostle in AD 52. In the 10th century, the Arab geographer Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani stated that in his time most of the inhabitants were Christians. Socotra is mentioned in The Travels of Marco Polo, they were Nestorians but practised ancient magic rituals despite the warnings of their archbishop. In 1507, a Portuguese fleet commanded by Tristão da Cunha with Afonso de Albuquerque landed at the capital of Suq and captured the port after a stiff battle, their objective was to set a base in a strategic place on the route to India, to liberate the presumed friendly Christians from Islamic rule.
Tomás Fernandes started to build a fortress at Suq, the Forte de São Miguel de Socotorá. The infertility of the land led to sickness in the garrison, however. Moreover, the lack of a proper harbour for wintering led to the loss of many moored Portuguese ships, the most important of, the Santo António galleon under the command of captain Manuel Pais da Veiga, thus the Portuguese abandoned the island four years as it was not advantageous as a base. The islands passed under the control of the Mahra sultans in 1511, its inhabitants were Islamized during their rule. In 1737, Captain de la Garde-Jazier, commander of a French naval expedition heading for Mocha, was surprised to find Christian tribes living in the interior of Socotra during a five-week stopover on the island, he reported in a letter home that the tribesmen, "due to lack of missionaries, had only retained a faint knowledge of Christianity."In 1834, the East India Company, in the expectation that the Mahra sultan of Qishn and Socotra, who resided at Qishn on the mainland, would accept an offer to sell the island, stationed a garrison on Socotra.
Faced with the unexpected firm refusal of the sultan to sell, however, as well as the lack of good anchorages for a coaling station to be used by the new steamship line being put into service on the Suez-Bombay route, the British left in 1835. After the capture of Aden in 1839, the British lost all interest in acquiring Socotra. In January 1876, in exchange for a payment of 3,000 thalers and a yearly subsidy, the sultan pledged "himself, his heirs and successors, never to cede, to sell, to mortgage, or otherwise give for occupation, save to the British Government, the Island of Socotra or any of its dependencies." Additionally, he pledged to give assistance to any European vessel that wrecked on the island and protect the crew, the passengers and the cargo, in exchange for a suitable reward. In April 1886, the British government, concerned about reports that
Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages. It used to be only the study of the systems of phonemes in spoken languages, but it may cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word or at all levels of language where sound or signs are structured to convey linguistic meaning. Sign languages have a phonological system equivalent to the system of sounds in spoken languages; the building blocks of signs are specifications for movement and handshape. The word'phonology' can refer to the phonological system of a given language; this is one of the fundamental systems which a language is considered to comprise, like its syntax and its vocabulary. Phonology is distinguished from phonetics. While phonetics concerns the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning.
For many linguists, phonetics belongs to descriptive linguistics, phonology to theoretical linguistics, although establishing the phonological system of a language is an application of theoretical principles to analysis of phonetic evidence. Note that this distinction was not always made before the development of the modern concept of the phoneme in the mid 20th century; some subfields of modern phonology have a crossover with phonetics in descriptive disciplines such as psycholinguistics and speech perception, resulting in specific areas like articulatory phonology or laboratory phonology. The word phonology comes from phōnḗ, "voice, sound," and the suffix - logy. Definitions of the term vary. Nikolai Trubetzkoy in Grundzüge der Phonologie defines phonology as "the study of sound pertaining to the system of language," as opposed to phonetics, "the study of sound pertaining to the act of speech". More Lass writes that phonology refers broadly to the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language, while in more narrow terms, "phonology proper is concerned with the function and organization of sounds as linguistic items."
According to Clark et al. it means the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use. Early evidence for a systematic study of the sounds in a language appears in the 4th century BCE Ashtadhyayi, a Sanskrit grammar composed by Pāṇini. In particular the Shiva Sutras, an auxiliary text to the Ashtadhyayi, introduces what may be considered a list of the phonemes of the Sanskrit language, with a notational system for them, used throughout the main text, which deals with matters of morphology and semantics; the study of phonology as it exists today is defined by the formative studies of the 19th-century Polish scholar Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, who shaped the modern usage of the term phoneme in a series of lectures in 1876-1877. The word phoneme had been coined a few years earlier in 1873 by the French linguist A. Dufriche-Desgenettes. In a paper read at the 24th of May meeting of the Société de Linguistique de Paris, Dufriche-Desgenettes proposed that phoneme serve as a one-word equivalent for the German Sprachlaut.
Baudouin de Courtenay's subsequent work, though unacknowledged, is considered to be the starting point of modern phonology. He worked on the theory of phonetic alternations, may have had an influence on the work of Saussure according to E. F. K. Koerner. An influential school of phonology in the interwar period was the Prague school. One of its leading members was Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy, whose Grundzüge der Phonologie, published posthumously in 1939, is among the most important works in the field from this period. Directly influenced by Baudouin de Courtenay, Trubetzkoy is considered the founder of morphophonology, although this concept had been recognized by de Courtenay. Trubetzkoy developed the concept of the archiphoneme. Another important figure in the Prague school was Roman Jakobson, one of the most prominent linguists of the 20th century. In 1968 Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle published The Sound Pattern of English, the basis for generative phonology. In this view, phonological representations are sequences of segments made up of distinctive features.
These features were an expansion of earlier work by Roman Jakobson, Gunnar Fant, Morris Halle. The features describe aspects of articulation and perception, are from a universally fixed set, have the binary values + or −. There are at least two levels of representation: underlying representation and surface phonetic representation. Ordered phonological rules govern how underlying representation is transformed into the actual pronunciation. An important consequence of the influence SPE had on phonological theory was the downplaying of the syllable and the emphasis on segments. Furthermore, the generativists folded morphophonology into phonology, which both solved and created problems. Natural phonology is a theory based on the publications of its proponent David Stampe in 1969 and in 1979. In this view, phonology is based on a set of universal phonological p
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.