Academic Programs 

Introduction to Arabic Morphology and Syntax   (LG-581)
Winter/Spring 2010

Vernacular Arabic will be the focus of this course, with an accent on all four linguistic areas of language learning: oral, aural, reading, and listening. Basic sentence and phrase structures will be highlighted while a vocabulary of several hundred words will be built. Assumes a prior knowledge of the Arabic phonology and script. Prerequisite: LG-580, or permission of the instructor

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., beginning Jan. 25

Steven Blackburn
Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9560


Course Syllabus

Al-Kitaab fi ta`allum al-`arabiyya by Brustad et al.

Dictionary (recommended, but not required):
A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Wehr), edited by J M. Cowan

In this course students will continue their foray into the world of two modes of Arabic: the “Standard” language based on the Classical Arabic of the Qur’an, and a spoken version “colloquial” from the educated classes of Egypt.

No one can be said to “know” Arabic unless both types, “standard” and “colloquial”, have been mastered. This semester continues the lengthy process of doing just that.

Your work will be weighted as follows for your final grade:

Homework assignments - 25%
Vocabulary quizzes - 25%
Attendance and class participation -25%
Final Exam - 25%

While ANY syllabus is tentative, every effort will be made to adhere to the following schedule:

Monday, January 25 Review of Grammar, and of Lesson 2
Wednesday, January 27 Complete Review of Lesson 2

Monday, February 1 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 3
Wednesday, February 3 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 3

Monday, February 8 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 3, page 46
Wednesday, February 10 Complete Lesson 3

Monday, February 15 PRESIDENTS’ DAY – Seminary Closed
Wednesday, February 17 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 4

Monday, February 22 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 4
Wednesday, February 24 The Prophet’s Family Tree, Lesson 4

Monday, March 1 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 5
Wednesday, March 3 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 5

Monday, March 8 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 5, pages 78, 79, 81
Wednesday, March 10 Complete Lesson 5

Monday, March 15 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 6
Wednesday, March 17 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 6

Monday, March 22 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 6, page 89
Wednesday, March 24 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 6, page 97

Wednesday, March 31 READING WEEK – NO CLASSES

Monday, April 5 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 7
Wednesday, April 7 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 7

Monday, April 12 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 7, page 116
Wednesday, April 14 Complete Lesson 7

Monday, April 19 Vocabulary QUIZ, Lesson 8
Wednesday, April 21 Grammar and Exercises, Lesson 8

Monday, April 26 Complete Lesson 8
Wednesday, April 28 Review

Monday, May 3 EXAM

NB: When learning a language, it is (infinitely?) better to work a little each day than to cram on weekends or over large chunks of time. In other words, an hour each day of review and preparation during the week is to be preferred over spending the entirety of a Saturday or Sunday trying to catch-up.

Also, in learning a language, it is better to use your out-of-class time to work on material that has already been presented in class, rather than to “work ahead”. Working ahead risks internalizing faulty linguistic input: This is NOT a “teach yourself” course!

“I’m not here to hand out bad grades” is one of my mottos. Every effort will be made to keep you all up to speed, that being one of the luxuries of having a small class.

Most importantly: HAVE FUN! Even though Arabic is NOT an easy language, it CAN be enjoyable. I’ll try to make it that way; if you work, there is that much more chance of making it that way for yourself



Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500