Arabic, Standard

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A language of Saudi Arabia

Alternate Names
Al-’Arabiyya, Al-Fusha, Literary Arabic
Population

206,000,000 L1 speakers of all Arabic varieties (Wiesenfeld 1999). 246,000,000 L2 speakers of all Arabic varieties (Wiesenfeld 1999).

Location

Widespread.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1992, Basic Law, Article 1).

Dialects

Classical Arabic (Koranic Arabic, Quranic Arabic), Modern Standard Arabic (Modern Literary Arabic). Preserves the ancient grammar. A member of macrolanguage Arabic [ara].

Typology

VSO.

Language Use

Not an L1. In most Arab countries only the well-educated have adequate proficiency in Standard Arabic, while over 100,500,000 do not. Education, official purposes, written materials, and formal speeches. Classical Arabic, with archaic vocabulary, is used for religion and ceremonial purposes.

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1865–2008.
Writing

Arabic script [Arab], primary usage. Braille script [Brai].

Other Comments

Modern Standard Arabic is modernized Classical Arabic.

Also spoken in:

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