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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Introduction to Classical Arabic
Module Code TP123
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jonathan Kearney
Semester 2: Jonathan Kearney
Autumn: Jonathan Kearney
Module TeachersJonathan Kearney
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module introduces participants to a form of Arabic known as al-'Arabiyya al-Fuṣḥā (literally: ‘the most eloquent / pure Arabic’). This language – in its different historical phases – is described in English by a variety of terms: Classical Arabic, Literary Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Formal Arabic and so on. To those who use the language, both forms are Fuṣḥā, and if a distinction is made, the terms Fuṣḥā al-Turāth (‘heritage’) and Fuṣḥā al-Ar (‘contemporary’) are used. This formal and standardised form of the language is the only form of Arabic that enjoys official status in the Arabic-speaking world and in international organisations. Fuṣḥā is not to be confused with the numerous local spoken forms of Arabic (spoken as the first language of more than 250 million people – and sometimes referred to as ‘dialects’). Fuṣḥā also plays a central role in the lives of the world’s approximately 1.8 billion Muslims as it is the language of the Islamic revelation (the Qur’ān) and the corpus of Islamic tradition (the Ḥadīth). Fuṣḥā is also the language of canonical prayer and the numerous Islamic religious discourses (scriptural exegesis, jurisprudence and theology, for instance.) In this module students develop knowledge and skills in the morphology, syntax and vocabulary of Classical Arabic, and will begin to read and translate basic texts in Classical Arabic.

Learning Outcomes

1. Read and write using the Arabic writing system.
2. Understand the basic morphology and syntax of Classical Arabic.
3. Manipulate a core vocabulary of the most frequently encountered Arabic words.
4. Read, and translate basic texts in Classical Arabic from both the modern and pre-modern period.
5. Use the standard reference tools necessary for engaging with Classical Arabic texts.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Assignment Completion36No Description
Directed learning26.5No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

1. The history and sociolinguistics of Classical Arabic 2. The Arabic writing system and transliteration / romanization systems 3. Arabic morphology 4. Arabic syntax 5. Arabic lexis 6. Classical Arabic literary genres 7. Using standard reference works 8. Working with Arabic manuscripts

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • J. A. Haywood, and H.M. Nahmad: 1965, A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language, 2nd ed., Lund Humpreys, London,
  • Karin C. Ryding: 2014, Arabic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 9781107023314
  • Alan Jones: 2005, Arabic Through the Qur'an, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 0946621683
  • Wolfdietrich Fischer,Jonathan Henry Rodgers: 2002, A Grammar of Classical Arabic, 3rd ed., Yale University Press, New Haven, 9780300084375
  • David Cowan: 1958, An Introduction to Modern Literary Arabic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 9780521092
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BATLEBA in Theology and Lifelong Education

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