Interactions with Arabic Script.

I am informed by bulbul that he is hanging out with Lameen: “He is apparently too busy with his new responsibilities and other work, so it’s up to me to plug his – open access! – new book,” Creating Standards: Interactions with Arabic script in 12 manuscript cultures, ed. by Dmitry Bondarev, Alessandro Gori, and Lameen Souag (De Gruyter, 2019):

Manuscript cultures based on Arabic script feature various tendencies in standardisation of orthography, script types and layout. Unlike previous studies, this book steps outside disciplinary and regional boundaries and provides a typological cross-cultural comparison of standardisation processes in twelve Arabic-influenced writing traditions where different cultures, languages and scripts interact. A wide range of case studies give insights into the factors behind uniformity and variation in Judeo-Arabic in Hebrew script, South Palestinian Christian Arabic, New Persian, Aljamiado of the Spanish Moriscos, Ottoman Turkish, a single multilingual Ottoman manuscript, Sino-Arabic in northwest China, Malay Jawi in the Moluccas, Kanuri and Hausa in Nigeria, Kabyle in Algeria, and Ethiopian Fidäl script as used to transliterate Arabic. One of the findings of this volume is that different domains of manuscript cultures have distinct paths of standardisation, so that orthography tends to develop its own standardisation principles irrespective of norms applied to layout and script types. This book will appeal to readers interested in manuscript studies, sociolinguistics, literacy studies, and history of writing.

Looks very interesting, so I join in plugging it!

Also, I don’t know how long it will last, but Amazon has the Kindle edition of George Steiner’s famous After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation on sale for $1.99; I’ve been wanting to read it for years, so I grabbed it. (Thanks, Eric!)


  1. Thanks! In my biased opinion, there’s a lot of fun stuff inside 🙂

  2. A certain linguist who shall remain nameless, earlier yesterday: “Ah yes, After Babel. A tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  3. George Grady says

    …so I join in plugging it!

    Hmmm… I’d have to say “I join him/her/them in plugging it!” or “I join in in plugging it!”. It’s possible I’m just strange, though.

  4. Bathrobe says

    I would agree with you, but for a fear of being thought strange.

  5. Interesting — I’m usually on the conservative side of such issues, but I have no problem with my usage (though I agree the version with the direct object sounds “better” in the sense that I can see why one would accept it but not mine).

  6. J.W. Brewer says

    The OED has a 17th-century example that seems pretty parallel to Hat’s: “The People vocally joyned in the Hymns and Psalms.” Joyned whom? It was not grammatically obligatory to make that explicit, so it wasn’t made explicit. See also 1.b under “Intransitive” here:

  7. Rodger C says

    “Joined in the hymns” is perfectly contemporary English to me.

  8. John Cowan says

    “The People vocally joyned in the Hymns and Psalms.”

    I think it’s just a haplology, and should read “The People vocally joyned in in the Hymns and Psalms”; that is, in the hymns and psalms, the people vocally joined in.

    I looked in WP s.v. haplology and found some interesting cases that have stuck: coercive < coercitive, monomial < mononomial, urinalysis < urine analysis and biological Nycteridae < Nycterididiae, anomalocarid < anomalocaridid. Similarly Latin nutrix ‘nurse’ < nutritrix and idolatria < idololatria, Greek amphoreus < amphiphoreus, and Spanish impudicia < impudicicia.

  9. I think it’s just a haplology, and should read “The People vocally joyned in in the Hymns and Psalms”; that is, in the hymns and psalms, the people vocally joined in.

    Since the textus receptus is perfectly acceptable to Rodger C and me (and perhaps JWB, though it isn’t clear from his comment), I see no need for emendation.

  10. J.W. Brewer says

    To be clear, the example sentence is perfectly acceptable to me. While the phrasal verb “join in” is a thing, I think the right parsing here is [joyned [in the hymns etc.]] not [[joyned in] [the hymns etc.]].

    If one were some sort of Chomskyan one could hypothesize a fuller “The People vocally joyned [one another] in [singing] the Hymns and Psalms,” with rules accounting for why deleting the bracketed bits during the multi-step journey from Deepness to Surfaceness was okay. But why go there?

  11. The oldest form must be joined in the hymns. From this would derived the phrasal verb joined in. However, the appearance of this innovation does not block the use of the older form, in which in is a true preposition.

    Unlike standard German, English does not have a way of marking whether a word like in is to be interpreted as a preposition, or whether it has been transformed into part of a phrasal verb. (Dialectical German can also be ambiguous about whether a word is a preposition or a separable prefix.)

  12. John Cowan says

    From this would derived the phrasal verb joined in.

    The OED agrees: in acquired the ability to appear without an object. The Puddleston model of prepositions allows them to appear with NP, clausal, or null objects/complements, and says it is lexically specific which preposition can appear with what, rather than dealing separately with prepositions, subordinating conjunctions, and adverbs/particles. Likewise we have absolute join up ‘enlist in the armed forces’.

    But it was still worth it for all that haplogy.


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