Journal of Arabic and Islamic studies. 2017, 17, 313-321
The idea for this little dossier spécial emerged from a workshop, held in Berlin in December 2016 to discuss the possibilities of fundraising for projects related to the study of the etymology of Arabic. The workshop came as a follow-up of two others: one larger, held in Oslo in June 2013, with the aim (as expressed in the title) of Breaking the Grounds for an Etymological Dictionary of Arabic (EtymArab), and another, smaller one, arranged in Erlangen in December 2015 and designed for a younger generation (“jīl ǧadīd”) of researchers interested in Arabic etymology. All three events were motivated by the fact that, strangely enough, there is to this day no full-scale etymological dictionary of Arabic, although this language is among the most widely spoken languages of the world, can count as the most important living Semitic language, has a long and fascinating history and a rich literary heritage, is the language of one of the “hot spots” of contemporary global politics and, aside from all that, even enjoys the status of one of the official languages at the United Nations.