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Socotra Language Online


Check out this new website on the Socotran Language.

Below is a description from the site...


Goals and scope

In spite of Soqotri’s deeply archaic linguistic profile and the exceedingly rich oral tradition of the islanders, the linguistic and cultural heritage of Soqotra is still understudied and underrepresented. As of today, it is only sparsely known to the Western scholarly audience and practically unknown to academics and laymen in the Arab and Islamic world. This pertains, in particular, to the lexical resources of Soqotri, copious beyond one’s imagination and legitimately comparable to the proverbially rich vocabulary of pre-Islamic and early Islamic Classical Arabic. Producing a truly fundamental, all-encompassing account of the Soqotri vocabulary is, therefore, not only a most urgent task of today’s Semitic lexicography, but also a most challenging one.

The SLOnline project pursues two different, yet closely related goals.

On the one hand, it is conceived as a robust prolegomenon for an eventual book-format reference dictionary of Soqotri (Soqotri-English-Arabic). This publication is expected to become the basic, indispensable tool for the study of Soqotri (and Soqotra) and a new member of the family of MSA dictionaries which the scholarly community owes to T.M. Johnstone's pioneering efforts to describe the lexicons of Jibbali and Mehri.

On the other hand, it will play a key role in establishing Soqotri as an efficient written medium on the Island, which will be achieved through a systematic application of the Arabic-based Soqotri writing developed and implemented by the Soqotri-Russian working team. Moreover, all Soqotri words will be translated not only into English, but also Standard Literary Arabic, which will make Soqotri’s lexical treasuries fully accessible to the Arabic-reading public in the UAE, the Gulf region more broadly, and, eventually, throughout the Arab and Islamic world. Last but not least, it is expected to give a serious impetus to comparable initiatives involving Soqotri’s sister tongue Mehri in the Yemeni Mahra province.

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