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The book is a complete course in Ṣanʿānī Arabic, the dialect spoken in the Yemeni capital, and can reasonably be used either for self study or in the classroom. It comprises twenty lessons. Each lesson consists of three major sections: dialogues and vocabulary, grammar and exercises. All the dialogues are based on or taken directly from transcriptions of tape recordings of authentic Ṣanʿānī speech. The dialogues are largely organized according to cultural themes, for example: food in the Yemen, houses in Yemen, the old city, marriage and childbirth, wedding parties, death and mourning in Yemen, gāt cultivation and gāt chewing. The grammar section is followed by exercises which are designed to practice the grammar and the vocabulary of the lesson at hand, and to revise aspects of the grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons. A glossary draws together 1400 items of vocabulary.
This first language course ever published on Ṣanʿānī Arabic will be welcomed not only bye students and scholars of Yemeni Arabic, but also by Arabists and Arabic dialectologists.