The formation and the development of the Arabic script from the earliest times until its standardisation

Bożena Prochwicz-Studnicka


The article overviews and systematises the theories and hypotheses, in the current paleographical discourse, that refer to the beginning of the Arabic script and the paths and the causes of its development until the 10th century, when this script was standardised. The article briefly discusses the linguistic situation in the Arabian Peninsula beginning from the 1st millennium BC and the issue of the diffusion of the Ancient South Arabian script in the notation of the proto-Arabic dialects. Subsequently it presents hypotheses devoted to the origin of the Arabic script and the probable paths through which the Nabataean script made its way to the Arabian Peninsula. It presents the current state of knowledge in reference to the development of the Arabic writing, the causes and the nature of the changes in the graphical form of the script. All of these elements are presented in the context of the cultural and socio-political changes which accompanied these processes in the Arabian Peninsula and in the Near East.

Słowa kluczowe: Arabic script, Arabs, paleography, ḥijāzī, kūfī, naskhī, khaṭṭ mansūb

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