I just found a full translation online of the fifth chapter of Ibn Hazm's 11th-century work Iħkām fī Uṣūl al-Aħkām, discussed previously - a chapter remarkable for anticipating the ideas of a language instinct and of conlanging, and for clearly stating the relationship between Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac. Enjoy! The Origins of Language: Divine Providence or Human Codification.
Not long before Ibn Hazm's time, some Arabic-speaking Maronites fled the Levant for Cyprus. In the village of Kormakiti, they have kept their language up to the present. YouTube being what it is, you can hear some on a program called Sanna (ie لساننا - our language) - go straight to 2:40, 5:00, 7:04 to hear the language itself. (Ignore the video's ill-informed claims that this is descended from Aramaic, by the way.) If you speak Greek, there are even lessons at Hki Fi Sanna. This is far more incomprehensible to me than any mainstream Arabic dialect I've ever heard, including the Levantine Arabic from which it presumably derives - a remarkable case study in how much isolation from related varieties speeds up language differentiation.
Celebrating Aboriginal language survival
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