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Historical Linguistic Remarks on Greater-Syrian Dialects from the Beginning of the Twentieth Century in Letters of Faraḥ Tābri, Gustaf Dalman‘s Most Important Informant

Aharon Geva-Kleinberger

Pages 327 - 345


Faraḥ Ḥabīb Tābri (Classical Arabic: Tābrī) was the most dynamic informant of the famous German scholar Gustaf Dalman (1855–1941). He was an almost anonymous Christian from the Transjordanian city as-Salṭ, yet he conducted a vigorous letter exchange with Dalman over a long period. This article reveals details about these letters which I accidentally discovered during a visit to Dalman’s institute at the Theological Faculty of the University of Greifswald in Germany. Dalman had wrapped many of these letters together in one binding, which was full of dust when I first saw it. The following article describes not only the quality of the relationship between Dalman and Tābri but also analyses historical-linguistic remarks throughout this mysterious letter exchange that sheds light on the Greater Syrian Arabic dialects of the beginning of the twentieth century. These data are considered essential to filling in various lacunae in the story of these dialects in an era that has not been sufficiently covered until now.

This article is written in English.


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