Documentary Arabic Private and Business Letters on Papyrus: Form and Function, Content and Context
Arabic letters on papyrus challenge the modern reader. There are few to no diacritical dots to distinguish homographs, no systematic spacing between single words, and in the majority of cases a low degree of graphical structuring. However, contemporary readers usually read and understood these documents easily probably because the recipient of a letter knew what to expect. The letters are formulaic, and their information packaging follows an algorithm typical for their time and content. Here formulaic letter writing means not only the reuse of the same formulae or topoi but expressing thoughts in a predictable linguistic way and order, both as a matter of readability and as one of adequacy and politeness. The main concern of this work is to discover these unwritten rules and norms behind Arabic letter writing on papyrus."
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1 Numbers materials and distribution over time
5 Script and layout
10th century Abū Hurayra abusive ligatures acazzaka akramaka alinea annaka Arabic letters Arabic papyri Arabic private archive P.Marchands ballig baseline Basmala bi-rahmatihi bi-smi bihi business letters cabdi chapter Chrest.Khoury Classical Arabic Closure conventional CPR XVI cursive dakarta ddlika Diem dinar dirham discourse spans documentary editions Egypt epistolary Examples of letters final blessings Further examples graphemes graphical marking greetings Grohmann honour ilayka Illustration indention internal address introductory formula Judaeo-Arabic katabtu Khan lahu laka letter writing letters on papyrus linea dilatans linguistic llâhu lldhu maca mercy Middle Arabic onset opistographs P.Berl.Arab P.Cair.Arab P.GrohmannWirtsch P.Hamb.Arab P.Heid.Arab P.Jahn P.Khalili P.Marchands II P.Marchands V/l P.RagibLettres P.Ryl.Arab P.World paper documents papyrology papyrus letters papyrus sheet parenthetical elements politeness prescript private and business private letters recipient recto reference religious formulae s-salàma script angle sender slide-in-blessings structure topic-comment verb verso Vind.inv wa-'anâ wa-qad waggahtu wasala well-being writing line written yawma