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A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars)

A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars) by Karin C. Ryding

ISBN10: 052177151X
ISBN13: 978-0521771511
Author: Karin C. Ryding
Book title: A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 19, 2005)
Language: English
Category: Foreign Language Study & Reference
Size PDF: 1735 kb
Size ePub: 1530 kb
Size Fb2: 1461 kb
Rating: 4.6/5
Votes: 770
Pages: 734 pages

A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars) by Karin C. Ryding

Keeping technical terminology to a minimum, this comprehensive handbook provides a detailed yet accessible overview of Arabic wherein its phonology, morphology and syntax can be readily accessed. Accompanied by extensive examples, it will prove an invaluable practical guide for supporting students' textbooks, classroom work or self-study, and a useful resource for scholars and professionals.


This book has basically become my bible for Arabic Grammar! Seriously thank you so much Karin C. Ryding for writing this fabulous Arabic grammar reference, it is the best out there. If you plan on using MSA academically or for a career this book is really a must have. I can't tell you the amount of times I have used this reference guide for papers and projects, it was really a life saver. The book is organized very well and it is easy to find what you are looking for quickly. The explanations are very clear and I like that she uses a lot of high frequency vocabulary that is used in Arabic media. This is just an awesome book for anyone looking to seriously get into MSA grammar.

As someone who has taught languages in three different universities, I can truly say Ryding's grammar is by far the best Arabic grammar ever written. As someone who has certificates of thirteen different languages, I can say Ryding's book is the very best book on Arabic ever published. The author herself has been teaching Arabic for lots of years. Unlike too many university professors, she can be understood by anyone who loves the Arabic language. However, if you do not like the Arabic world, do not waste your time reading this or any book on Arabic, as no one can convince about such a thing. Unlike grammars on many languages, the author presents Arabic pronunciation in a very clear way. As for grammar, the author and I know presenting charts and boxes throughout helps explaining any language. Personally, I have only taught three easy languages (Spanish, German, and English). Therefore, I especially admire someone who can explain something extremely difficult in such an easy way.

elegant stranger
This reference book is very detailed and is not, just as other reviewers have mentioned, for beginners of Arabic. It requires at least intermediate/advanced knowledge to truly understand the topics being discussed and the examples given. One of things I really like about this book is that underneath the Arabic sentence examples that are given, there is a transliteration provided for each sentence. This leaves out any ambiguity the reader might encounter when attempting to read the unvoweled Arabic words. The book is, as the title suggests, primarily focused on Modern Standard Arabic which is closely related to Classical Arabic. If one is interested in learning how to interpret Arabic media texts, then this book will definitely come as a useful aid. However, if one is interested in learning Classical Arabic, then this not the book to use. The reason for this is simply because Classical Arabic, although closely related to Modern Standard Arabic, expresses itself in a different manner. Many of the words used in Classical Arabic may also have different meanings even though they also exist in Modern Arabic. Additionally, Classical Arabic relies heavily on a very complex voweling system the rules of which are loosely adhered to in Modern Arabic. Apart from that, this is one of the best reference books of Modern Arabic I have thus far encountered.

Ordered used paperback variant, I should mention that it has high-quality, pleasant to touch paper,
large enough font to read comfortably.
I expected that it would be very thick and heavy book with small font, but it is not.
Font is big and the book itself is not very heavy, I feel it like a "magazine"
Did not have time to read it carefully, skimmed it and got positive experience, boot is practical.
* clearly structured
* has good explanation of verbs
* solid, coverts subtleties of the language
* References list at the back, very useful if you want to look for additional material on Arabic grammar.
* Transliteration to English. Does not bother, but still would be better to have voweled Arabic with fatha, kasra, etc...
Overall, advantages outweigh, nice choice, in my opinion if you want to have handy book for referencing Arabic rules.

crazy mashine
What makes Arabic hard? This question is one of the fundamental and repeated queries of the Arabic student. Neophytes may think it's the alphabet, others may think it's the vocabulary, but I believe, and I think that many others would agree with me in saying that the most difficult part of Arabic is grammar. Since many grammar rules are never exposed in most verbal or written texts, it is possible for even advanced students of the language to maintain little more than an elementary proficiency in syntax and grammar. I even remember one Saudi student in Spokane telling me it was easier for him to write papers in English than it was for him to write them in Arabic.

So, it became inevitable that I should read a grammar book other than the isolated (although deftly composed) lessons in the Al-Kitaab series. Based on other reviews, I picked up A Reference Grammer of Modern Standard Arabic, by Karin C. Ryding, and I have not been disappointed. Perhaps contrary to the expectations of the author, I read the text straight through and was gratified to see it start from letters and continue on to words, with the most difficult part of verbs and conjugation coming at the end. The mast surprising thin about this book was its accessibility. I read it all in about 4 days, and while it will certainly take me more time to memorize and internalize all the new concepts and words I feel like I have a vastly improved knowledge of Arabic grammar than before I read this book. The most helpful tool for this is the fact that the majority of the 700 pages is devoted to phrase-level and sentence level examples, from form XII verbs to rules governing the seat of Hamza within words. While the book covers all the rules a student would practically want to know, references to other works are made throughout to more detailed analyses. Finally the nearly complete lack of linguistic terminology was a significant boon to my comprehension. In the rare instances that a linguistic term (English) was used, it was always clearly explained before being used by the author.

There were three drawbacks to the book, none of which were particularly troublesome . First Ryding has a troubling tendency to state when patterns can be used, not when they cannot. For example in her explanation on adverbs, she say the phase bi-shakal can be used in some cases, and in some cases the adjective in mansoob alone suffices. I still have no clear idea when I should use one over the other. Even explaining the use as idiomatic or that it is difficult to discern would have been more helpful. Also, many rules are repeated through different section of the book, without the addition of any real new information. Finally, the placement of Verbs at the end of the book and the organization of dividing based on pattern (I-XV) rather than verb type, such as hollow or weak, would have been extraordinarily confusing were I not already familiar with the rules via Al-Kitaab.

As a reference book or grammar study guide, this book is far more useful than Al-Kitaab, Arabic Grammar by W. Wright, or any of the paperback sized books that cover the main rules but do not give the depth of analysis or the myriad of examples given by a serious reference work like this.