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The Spread of Arabic

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by djazairi-arab, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. djazairi-arab New Member

    arabic
    Hi just curious to know if anyone has any ideas about this. The Arabic language and it's dialects are spread all over the Arab lands however the Arabs also invaded Persian and modern Afghanistan so why is the Arabic language and identity not as prevalent there. I know the Arabic language was more prevalent in the Arab lands and with re-Arabisation with hilal, maqil and also unlike the Arab lands the Arabs of Persia and afghan assimilated. But does anyone know any other reasons,
     
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    My theory - which I think is very viable - is that the original languages in North Africa and the Levant (Berber, Coptic, Aramaic, etc.) are structurally similar to semitic languages like Arabic - at least more so than Persian - so the transition to Arabic was not a big deal.

    Places east of us adopted Persian (then Turkish, in other parts later on) as their literary Islamic language because indo-european languages are fundamentally different to Arabic in grammar and structure - so despite immense numbers of Arabic loanwords into Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Urdu, etc. - these countries did not become Arabic speaking, though their scholars used to come to Arab countries and learn Arabic on a wider scale than they do today.
     
  3. آمين

    آمين Senior Member

    English
    Ha ha! Primary motivation for learning Arabic is the religion. And we have long history and system of learning Classical Arabic in Subcontinent [India, Pakistan...] which we are VERY proud of. And consider er. . . um - superior to any Arabic system going. :p

    - - -

    Persia was an ancient and great civilization - with very strong identity and culture. Old Persian language is older than Arabic - you cannot expect this to be completely replaced. Also further you are from the nucleus then harder it is to control. Arab Khilafah could not exert its power far enough or sustain it across such great land mass.

    Urdu displays marvellous characteristics of taking so many influences and still creating a new languages - its grammar is Hindi [Sanskrit] it vocabulary is a mixture of Arabic, Hindi, Persian and Turkish.

    But I think if Arabic had overcome Persian and able to sustain wider political influence then Arabic would have been the default language.

    There is a lot Persian influence in Afghanistan, India and languages of former USSR states.

    Although Persian was widely used and the official language in Mughal India - but it too could not maintain its influence and was replaced by Urdu a new language which was once considered to be inferior than Persian took over.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  4. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Turkic-speakers
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Map-TurkicLanguages4.png
    Indo-Iranian speakers (brown)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Indo-European_branches_map.png
    Hamito-Semitic speakers
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Hamito-Semitic_languages.jpg
    I hope it is clear that because of language grouping (according to similarity and presumed common origin of separate languages), it is easier for, say, a Somali to learn Arabic than it is for a Persian.
     
  5. Tracer

    Tracer Senior Member

    Wadi Jinn
    American English
    I agree. It is the principal reason, as you suggest, that Arabic never superceded the native languages of the Perso-Indic-Turkic lands.

    Another reason is that Arabic was already spoken throughout the area before the Arab Conquests took place. True, it was not the main language used, but the idea that the Conquests “introduced” Arabic to the conquered lands is erroneous. Arabic had been a presence in the greater Mesopotamia area for generations before the Conquests.

    (This linguistic incompatibility is also the reason Arabic never took permanent root in Spain even though Arabic was spoken there for 700 years.)
     
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I am not really sure what you mean by "throughout the area". Iraq, Syria, Palestine (or at least parts of them): yes. Egypt: not very likely. North Africa, Khurasan, Transoxania: certainly not.
     
  7. Tracer

    Tracer Senior Member

    Wadi Jinn
    American English
    Yes, I should have been more clear. I meant "the greater Mesopotamia area" (I think that's fair to say). As you said, definitely not North Africa, Khurasan, Transoxania. In these last named, Arabic was obviously introduced into these areas by the Conquests (and all that implied for these areas).
     
  8. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I very much doubt this is the reason. Arabs simply didn't rule Persia long enough to establish their language: little more than 100 year. The way political power and cultural influence was distributed in the Abbasid caliphate, you could seriously question whether Persia was under Arabic rule or Arabia under Persian rule. And with the establishment of the Buyid Emirates in 934-945, Arab rule over anything east of the Shatt-Al-`Arab was gone for good.
     
  9. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    I would suggest that Persia did become Arabic speaking, but that later it was "re-Persified".

    Of course it was never fully Arabicised, as neither was the Maghreb, nor even Sham, which today still contain pre-Arabic languages.

    The reason Persian had such a resurgence was mostly due to sectarianism. Persians adopted the Shi'a belief system, and so they separated themselves from the main body of the Islamic world. This sectarian divide led them to cling to their Persian culture and language, and to use them as a means to distinguish themselves from the "Arabic Muslims".
     
  10. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I am not quite sure, denomination played such a big role. Egypt also became Shiite about the same time, yet Arabic had replaced Coptic by the time Saladin conquered it and the country became Sunni again.
     
  11. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The Persians became followers of the Shi'a at the time of the Safavids (16th century). Before that they were overwhelmingly Sunnite.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I am afraid this is total rubbish. The New Persian literary language emerged under the patronage of the Samanids and Ghaznavids, both of them staunch Sunnites.
     
  13. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    But this is an old pattern - Norman never replaced English because the differences were too great and the Normans were too few, Arabic never made serious inroads in Spain because they were too few and too linguistically different, the Turks had no incentive (or need) to adopt a conquered people's language, and in Persia they might have influenced the language, but the cultural and linguistic gap was to wide to be bridged. North Africa is a different story all together. The Afro-Asiatic languages were already established in that region, and the transition from - say - Coptic to Arabic was less of a challenge than for Romance, Turkic or Persian speakers.
     
  14. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    The question: Arabic replaced Greek, Coptic and Romance in North Africa. Why Arabic did not replace Persian?

    My explanation relies on the religion.

    As part of the Roman empire, the population of North Africa was Christians: followers of Abraham and adherent to the Allah, the God of Abraham, in particular. They were converted to Islam gradually. Those who were converted to Islam, had to join the muslim community where Arabic was spoken. In this way, the gradual expansion of the muslim community caused the expansion of Arabic in North Africa (and also Syria, Lebanon and the other territories of the Roman empire).

    Persia was another empire populated by pagans. Persians were subjects of exigent conversion to Islam. The entire community was converted to Islam and in this way, the community did not switch the language. ​
     
  15. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Turkish is as far away from Greek as from Persian. Why then did the Turks who conquered Persia assimilate into the Persian culture and language while the Turks who conquered Anatolia didn't? Why do Iranians today speak Farsi and not Turkish and why do the modern Turks speak Turkish and not Greek?
     
  16. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    The Turcophone community in the Middle East being paganic was converted to Islam as a whole and in this way it kept the language. It was the same scheme as that for the Persian language.

    Obviously, there was no reason for replacing Persian by Turcic. Rather, Turkophone invaders were assimilated in both Persia and India.

    For Anatolia and the Balkans, the same scheme as that for North Africa took place. The population was Christian. Thus, it was converted to Islam gradually. The initial muslim community consisted of Turcophone invaders. Muslim-neophytes (recently converted to Islam) had to leave the Christian community (mostly Hellenophone) and had to join the muslim community where Turkish was spoken. In this way, Turkish was spread in Anatolia and the Balkans.

    Question: In Messopotamia (present day Iraq), in pre-islamic erra, there was a paganic comminuty speaking Aramaic similar to that speaking Persian. Why Persian survived but Aramaic did not? Perhaps, switching between Semitic languages was easier to take place?
     
  17. Perseas Senior Member

    Athen
    Griechisch
    Anatolia became the home of the Ottomans after they had moved there. Specifically, the centre of their state was in the northwestern Anatolia, and yet Bursa became their capital city (1324). Persia was relatively far from that centre or maybe as far as Hungary was.
     
  18. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I can only repeat my question: Why did the Turks who conquered Persia (the Sejuqs) not keep their language but assimilated into the Persian culture? By your logic, Iranians should be speaking Turkish today.
    There had been Arabic speaking tribes settling in Syria and Mesopotamia before the Islamic conquest. Because Aramaic had been the prestige language and the lingua franca of the region, the number of surviving documents probably suggests a greater importance than the language really had in daily communication.
     
  19. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I didn't mean the Ottomans. They came much later.
     
  20. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    It was also largely due to the fact the Persian territories were far-off lands, which were not easily dominated by the Caliphate's centralised power. Egypt on the other hand was. Sectarianism was not the only factor, but I think it was a large factor, especially in maintaining the separation.
     
  21. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Persians began to adopt Shi'ism from its early days as a movement. Yes the majority did not adopt it until Safawi times, but it was an underlying current long before that, and Persian nationalism and Shi'ite sectarianism usually went hand in hand, as both ideologies fed off one another and played to the same tune of separating from the 'Arabic' Caliphate.

    Actually it emerged before this under the Saffarids whose founder was said to have been an Ismaili Shi'ite. And also under the Tabristani Alawis. The region of Persia was a hotbed of Shi'ite sectarianism for centuries before the Safawi empire. It was only during this time that it was forced upon the people as a state-sanctioned sect. And of course there was the Buwayhids who were long before the Safawids.
     
  22. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    This is a bit upside-down. The (Abbasid) Caliphate's centralised power was Persian.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  23. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Nationalism is an invention of the 19th century


    three tiny fragments of poetry


    for which there is, however, no evidence


    who have no connection with Persian language or literature.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  24. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    As did many Arabs. The Abbasids actually won the Caliphate on the Shiite "ticket" and later stayed denominationally neutral.

    There was later a Shiite caliphate but its centre was Egypt, not Persia. Your apparent idea of the Golden Era of Islam as the huge Sunni community and a few Shia sectarians on the fringes seems a bit misty-eyed.
     
  25. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    I'm not really following there. Are you suggesting there was no form of ethnic patriotism amongst any people until the 20th. century? Surely you are speaking about nationalism which specifically revolves around the concept of a nation-state, not about the concept itself. Anyway this does not impact the linguistic issues here, so don't bother explaining your position.

    They made it their state language. The founder of the dynasty was not even an Arabic speaker, rather rare for someone of his position in that time.

    Nizam ul-Mulk reported it.

    I mentioned them to demonstrate that pre-Safawi Shi'ite states did exist in Persia. And yes Persian was their language of state.
     
  26. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    And a Shiite (Zaydi) imamate in the Yemen, which lasted for over a thousand years.
     
  27. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Very few. It was largely a movement amongst disaffected non-Arabs.

    Yes, as they looked east (towards Persia) for support.

    The Fatimids were not recognised by the vast bulk of Muslims as a valid Caliphate, so not sure what relevance this has, other than the fact they claimed a title for themselves usually reserved for orthodox Muslim rulers.

    Given the historical fact of the Rashidun, Ummayyad, Abbassid and finally Ottoman Caliphates, it seems pretty realistic to me. Anyway this is deviating off topic.
     
  28. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    But the Buwayhids were a Shia dynasty ruling the territories of modern Iran and Iraq and they were Persian speaking and of Kurdish descent.

    But I agree with you the equation Shia = Persian, Sunni = Arabic makes little sense as the Buwayhids also rules Iraq and the country still has a Shia majority yet is unmistakably Arabic.
     
  29. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Thanks for demonstrating for us what berndf meant when he said "a few shia sectarians on the fringes". you would've been better off sticking with the Safawids.
     
  30. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Of course the distinction is not 100%, just as there are plenty of Persian speaking Sunnis in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan etc.

    That was never my point.
     
  31. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Since Fatimid caliphate comprised a substantial part of the Muslim world, it is relevant.

    By definition before the schism, as it was triggered by an event that ended this period (the assassination of Ali).
    Yes.
    Not really. The Abbasid Caliphs we neutral and tried to avoid any of the two denominations to get the upper hand.
    That I wouldn't call golden era any more.
    You argument rests the equation Shia = Persian, Sunni = Arabic. If you withdraw your argument than it is off topic.
    What then?
     
  32. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)

    I do not see any evidence for this. The poetry addressed to them is all in Arabic.

    Daylami (South of the Caspian Sea), not Kurdish. But we have enough problems already with Persian and Arab nationalists without getting the Kurds involved as well.
     
  33. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Is this quote wrong then or maybe out of context?
    :D
     
  34. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Numbers. When the Turks moved into Greek-speaking Anatolia, they not only had sufficient numbers to sustain their own language, but the Greek-speakers grew too few to resist over time. In the more densely populated Persia, the Turks never reached the critical mass to trigger a language change.
     
  35. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is correct as far as Samanids and Ghaznavids are concerned, but wrong about the Buyids.
     
  36. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Is that something you guess or do you have evidence for that? From the administrative structures in the Roman and Byzantine periods, Anatolia was very densely populated. As far as I know, we don't know too much about the Seljuq/Rum-period in Anatolia. Do you have any sources from where we could infer that the population significantly declined in that period? I would be most interested.
     
  37. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Thank you.
     
  38. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Unfortunately, I cannot give all the sources (you will find them online), but I will give you a wrap-up of the theories concerning this:
    Josiah Russell (Uni of New Mexico) estimates the Anatolian population to be 12 million in late Roman times. There was a heavy Greek presence in the West, around the Sea of Marmara and in the Pontic regions to the North, but the rest of Anatolia was a patchwork of other linguistic groups, such as Armenian, Kurdish, Cilician, Assyrian, Aramaic, Persian, Arabic and perhaps remnants of Anatolian speakers. The Byzantine practice of population transfers throughout the empire to prevent certain groups from becoming too powerful, and resettling their areas with Greek-speakers, inadvertently led to a weakening of the nationalities and the linguistic hold on an area.
    Historian Speros Vryonis of UCLA claims that these population transfers (especially of the numerically strong Armenians) weakened the hold on Eastern, Southern and Central Anatolia – the areas where the Turks entered first – because the Greek identity in these areas was very thin. These were also the areas most affected by the ongoing wars, and was probably more scarcely populated outside the cities.

    When the Turks moved in, they were a minority (albeit a consolidated minority), but in relative relation to the scattered communities of other nationalities, they must have been dominant. Greek and Armenian continued to be dominant languages in parts of Anatolia until the 1920s
     
  39. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    While I sympathize somewhat with the "linguistic compatibility" theory, which indeed was cited at least speculatively by many scholars (none of them linguists as far as I can recall), I don't think it is enough to explain why some regions became Arabic-speaking and others did not. It seems plausible when looking at a language like Syriac or Hebrew, where even lay people can discern the relationship between the languages, but the theory runs into a major weakness in Egypt and North Africa. It's all fine and dandy for modern-day linguists to group these ancient languages as part of a large "Afro-Asiatic" family, but any relationship between Coptic or Berber and Arabic is far too obscure for anyone other than a specialist linguist to deduce. For all practical purposes, the difference between these languages and Arabic is so great that I can't see how knowing Coptic/Berber would make it any more likely for a person to pick up Arabic than knowing Persian or Turkish.

    The political explanation (that Arabs only ruled Persia until the 10th century at the latest) is also attractive, but again the same can easily be said about Egypt and North Africa, where all post-Fatimid dynasties were non-Arab. And these regions gained their de-facto independence from Baghdad even earlier than Persia. I don't buy the idea that Arabic did not take root in Andalusia -- I think there's every indication that Andalusia would be as much an "Arab" country today as the neighboring North African countries were it not for the Reconquista.

    I also have to disagree strongly with Abu Rashid. I don't think sectarianism or Shi'ism had anything to do with Persia not becoming an Arabic-speaking country. Most of that region was and still is Sunni (think of Kurdistan, eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and the former Soviet Republics, including the Persian-speaking Sunni nation of Tajikstan), yet they do not speak Arabic either. As the other posters have noted, Iran only adopted Shi'ism en masse under the Safavids. Before that, Shi'ism was widespread in Iran but the majority were still Sunnis. The revival of Persian culture was sponsored by Sunni dynasties such as the Samanids and the Tahirids. The symbol of Persian literary resurgence, the Shahnameh of Firdawsi was sponsored by the Sunni Samanids. While the Buyids were indeed fanatical Shi'ites and much of what we now think of as Twelver Shi'ism took shape under their patronage, there is no evidence that this was based on Persian nationalism. Their ancestors had originally converted directly from Zoroastrianism to Zaydi Shi'ism at the hands of a Zaydi (Arab) leader. There were also many Arab Shi'ite dynasties in that era, including the Hamdanids of northern Syria who were fiercely proud of their Arabian heritage and were contemporaries of the Buyids. In any case, it would appear that neo-Persian dynasties such as the Samanids simply promoted Persian as a language of state and government to reflect the fact that most of their subjects still spoke Persian. I haven't come across any evidence that they were responsible for ordinary folk adopting Persian. Witness the major Sunni scholar Al-Ghazali, a scholar of Persian heritage who wrote mostly in Arabic but tellingly wrote such books as Kiimyaa-i-Saadet (The Alchemy of Happiness), which was clearly intended to be read by lay folk, in Persian and not Arabic. The staunchly Sunni Seljuks (who rescued Sunnism from the Buyids) also apparently used Persian heavily in their court as their empire was initially largely composed of Persia. The most plausible reason is that Persian speakers were just far too numerous and eventually overwhelmed any government that ruled over that area.

    The best explanation for North Africa and Egypt adopting Arabic that I can think of is the following:
    1) these countries were sparsely populated and largely composed of deserts apart from narrow coastal strips, in contrast with Persia and central Asia, which were not only more populous but also more diverse geographically, linguistically and ethnically,
    2) these countries lacked a history of independent nationhood and had been provinces in larger empires for a long time (Egypt's pharonic kingdoms were much too far in the past at that point),
    3) much like Syria and Iraq, the waves of immigrant Arabian tribes did not cease with the initial conquests but instead continued for many centuries (though they eventually ceased, unlike Iraq and Syria, which continued to receive Arabian tribes up to the 20th century). This factor is of course tied to factor number 1.
    4) Egypt in particular was intimately connected to the Arabic heartland of Syria and western Arabia and was part of the same cultural sphere, unlike the area east of Iraq.
     
  40. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This is a very well thought out answer to what remains a difficult question.
     
  41. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I was mainly concerned with earlier periods, until and not after the Fatimids. The degree of Arabization of Egypt reached a practically irreversible level quite early. Even the Coptic Christians adopted Arabic as the official language of their church (except for liturgical purposes) already in the 11th century, if I remember correctly.
    Not only eventually. The very first viziers of the Abbasid dynasty were Persians.

    I agree.
     
  42. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    A contributing factor was probably that most Middle Eastern and North African peoples already spoke a Semitic (Afro-Asiatic) language that was structurally similar to Arabic, whereas the Turks, Persians and people of the Balkans spoke unrelated languages. A similar story is seen in the Slavic migrations of the early Middle Ages. The Magyar invasions did not yield significant linguistic change because the language was too different. The southern Slavs on the other hand prevailed because Slavic was after all more akin to e.g. Dalmatian than Magyar in terms of structure and descent.
     
  43. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I don't think there was a significant Semitic speaking population in North Africa. There was a Jewish community and maybe "leftovers" of the Punic empire, but not a significant part of the population. And, as Wadi Hanifa pointed out, the relationship between Semitic and other Afro-Asiatic languages is much too distant to have played any role. Coptic and Arabic are maybe as close as Norwegian and Romani ćhib (the Gypsy language).
     
  44. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    I believe the cities were mostly Greek and Latin speaking, whereas the hinterland was Punic or Punic-descent speaking in some places and Berber in other. Punic was definitely a Central Semitic language, and would easily be absorbed by Arabic. In the Levant, Aramaic was the lingua franca, and although Coptic and Semitic are only distant relatives, the more cosmopolitan Egypt, must have been a melting pot for various cultures - Semitic cultures in particular.
    Edward Lipinski (ling.)(Uni of Leuven, Belgium) says: Punic remained in use [in Carthage] for considerably longer than Phoenician did in Phoenicia itself, arguably surviving into Augustine's time. It even survived the Arabic conquest of North Africa, as the geographer al-Bakri describes a people speaking a language not Berber, Latin or Coptic in the city of Sirte in northern Libya, a region where spoken Punic survived well past written use. It is likely that Arabization of the Punics was facilitated by their language belonging to the same group, thus having many grammatical and lexical similarities
     
  45. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    If there were some Punic-speaking patches here and there can hardly be relevant for this discussion. In Egypt and Cyrenaica, the biggest part of North-Africa in terms of population, Punic never played any role. Sirte is in Tripolitania, old Punic territory.
     
  46. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Berndf - in that case we have to agree to limit the scope! North Africa - which is mentioned several times in this thread - does indeed include Tripolitania and modern-day Tunisia and Algeria as well. Those locations are absolutely relevant for a discussion on the spread of Arabic in North Africa.
     
  47. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Of course, but just because within the smaller part of North-Africa there were patches of Punic left you can't argue that the whole of North-Africa changed to Arabic because they already spoke Semitic. That is just absurd.
     
  48. NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    Norwegian
    Which I do not! I cannot see where I am "arguing" such in my posts! I am simply saying that (and the strongest expression I use is "contributing factor") in the Levant and North Africa, the already existing Semitic languages facilitated the takeover of Arabic. We have to admit that we do not know a whole lot about the linguistic situation in North Africa in the Early Middle Ages (especially not in the countryside) other than Berber, Latin, Coptic, Greek and Punic were spoken to some extent.
     
  49. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Ok, but this statement now is so lukewarm it says almost nothing unless we find some evidence for a Semitic-speaking population of substantial size.
     
  50. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Most "language replacements" in history occurred between languages that are unrelated anyway (e.g. Spanish in Mexico, Bolivia or Paraguay, where most people are of native stock), so even if it was a factor, I think its effect would have been at best marginal.
     

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