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.
Biblical Hebrew called classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew, a Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Israelites in the area known as Israel west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Hebrew" was not used for the language in the Bible, referred to as שפת כנען or יהודית, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts, it is less mutually intelligible with modern Hebrew. Hebrew is attested epigraphically from about the 10th century BCE, spoken Hebrew persisted through and beyond the Second Temple period, which ended in the siege of Jerusalem, it developed into Mishnaic Hebrew, spoken up until the fifth century CE. Biblical Hebrew as recorded in the Hebrew Bible reflects various stages of the Hebrew language in its consonantal skeleton, as well as a vocalic system, added in the Middle Ages by the Masoretes. There is some evidence of regional dialectal variation, including differences between Biblical Hebrew as spoken in the northern Kingdom of Israel and in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
The consonantal text was transmitted in manuscript form, underwent redaction in the Second Temple period, but its earliest portions can be dated to the late 8th to early 7th centuries BCE. Biblical Hebrew has been written with a number of different writing systems; the Hebrews adopted the Phoenician alphabet around the 12th century BCE, which developed into the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. This was retained by the Samaritans. However, the Aramaic alphabet displaced the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet for the Jews, it became the source for the modern Hebrew alphabet. All of these scripts were lacking letters to represent all of the sounds of Biblical Hebrew, though these sounds are reflected in Greek and Latin transcriptions/translations of the time; these scripts only indicated consonants, but certain letters, known by the Latin term matres lectionis, became used to mark vowels. In the Middle Ages, various systems of diacritics were developed to mark the vowels in Hebrew manuscripts. Biblical Hebrew possessed a series of "emphatic" consonants whose precise articulation is disputed ejective or pharyngealized.
Earlier Biblical Hebrew possessed three consonants which did not have their own letters in the writing system, but over time they merged with other consonants. The stop consonants developed fricative allophones under the influence of Aramaic, these sounds became marginally phonemic; the pharyngeal and glottal consonants underwent weakening in some regional dialects, as reflected in the modern Samaritan Hebrew reading tradition. The vowel system of Biblical Hebrew changed over time and is reflected differently in the ancient Greek and Latin transcriptions, medieval vocalization systems, modern reading traditions. Biblical Hebrew had a typical Semitic morphology with nonconcatenative morphology, arranging Semitic roots into patterns to form words. Biblical Hebrew distinguished three numbers. Verbs were marked for voice and mood, had two conjugations which may have indicated aspect and/or tense; the tense or aspect of verbs was influenced by the conjugation ו, in the so-called waw-consecutive construction.
Default word order was verb–subject–object, verbs inflected for the number and person of their subject. Pronominal suffixes could be appended to verbs or nouns, nouns had special construct states for use in possessive constructions; the earliest written sources refer to Biblical Hebrew by the name of the land in which it was spoken: שפת כנען'the language of Canaan'. The Hebrew Bible shows that the language was called יהודית'Judaean, Judahite'. In the Hellenistic period Greek writings use the names Hebraios, Hebraïsti, in Mishnaic Hebrew we find עברית'Hebrew' and לשון עברית'Hebrew language'; the origin of this term is obscure. Jews began referring to Hebrew as לשון הקדש "the Holy Tongue" in Mishnaic Hebrew; the term Classical Hebrew may include all pre-medieval dialects of Hebrew, including Mishnaic Hebrew, or it may be limited to Hebrew contemporaneous with the Hebrew Bible. The term Biblical Hebrew refers to pre-Mishnaic dialects; the term'Biblical Hebrew' may or may not include extra-biblical texts, such as inscriptions, also includes vocalization traditions for the Hebrew Bible's consonantal text, most the early medieval Tiberian vocalization.
The archeological record for the prehistory of Biblical Hebrew is far more complete than the record of Biblical Hebrew itself. Early Northwest Semitic materials are attested from the end of the Bronze Age; the Northwest Semitic languages, including Hebrew, differentiated noticeably during the Iron Age, although in its earliest stages Biblical Hebrew was not differentiated from Ugaritic and the Canaanite of the Amarna letters. Hebrew developed during the latter half of the second millennium BCE between the Jordan and the