Dmitry Bondarev, Alessandro Gori, and Lameen Souag (fr/en) (eds)

Creating Standards.
Interactions with Arabic script in 12 manuscript cultures

Manuscript cultures based on Arabic script feature various tendencies in standardisation of orthography, script types and layout. Unlike previous studies, this book steps outside disciplinary and regional boundaries and provides a typological cross-cultural comparison of standardisation processes in twelve Arabic-influenced writing traditions where different cultures, languages and scripts interact. A wide range of case studies give insights into the factors behind uniformity and variation in Judeo-Arabic in Hebrew script, South Palestinian Christian Arabic, New Persian, Aljamiado of the Spanish Moriscos, Ottoman Turkish, a single multilingual Ottoman manuscript, Sino-Arabic in northwest China, Malay Jawi in the Moluccas, Kanuri and Hausa in Nigeria, Kabyle in Algeria, and Ethiopian Fidäl script as used to transliterate Arabic. One of the findings of this volume is that different domains of manuscript cultures have distinct paths of standardisation, so that orthography tends to develop its own standardisation principles irrespective of norms applied to layout and script types. This book will appeal to readers interested in manuscript studies, sociolinguistics, literacy studies, and history of writing.


  • Introduction: Orthographic Polyphony in Arabic Script Bondarev, Dmitry ( 1-38)
  • Persian Language in Arabic Script: The Formation of the Orthographic Standard and the Different Graphic Traditions of Iran in the First Centuries of the Islamic Era Orsatti, Paola (39-72)
  • Writing Judaeo-Arabic Wagner, Esther-Miriam (73-92)
  • Cross Palaeographic Traditions. Some Examples from Old Christian Arabic Sources La Spisa, Paolo (93-110)
  • Uses and Written Practices in Aljamiado Manuscripts Castilla, Nuria de (111-130)
  • How to write Turkish? The Vagaries of the Arabo-Persian Script in Ottoman-Turkish Texts Schmidt, Jan (131-146)
  • Developing Consistency in the Absence of Standards – A Manuscript as a Melting- Pot of Languages, Religions and Writing Systems Ivušić, Branka (147-176)
  • Standardisation in Manuscripts written in Sino-Arabic Scripts and xiaojing Sobieroj, Florian (177-216)
  • A Collection of Unstandardised Consistencies? The Use of Jawi Script in a Few Early Malay Manuscripts from the Moluccas Putten, Jan van der (217-236)
  • Standardisation Tendencies in Kanuri and Hausa Ajami Writings Bondarev, Dmitry / Dobronravin, Nikolay (237-270)
  • Kabyle in Arabic Script: A History without Standardisation Souag, Lameen (273-296)
  • Beyond ‘aǧamī in Ethiopia: a short Note on an Arabic-Islamic Collection of Texts written in Ethiopian Script (fidälGori, Alessandro (297-312)

BONDAREV, Dmitry, GORI, Alessandro, and SOUAG, Lameen (eds), Creating Standards: Interactions with Arabic Script in 12 Manuscript Cultures, Berlin: De Gruyter, 326 p.

Paru fin avril 2019