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From the preface to the eighth edition:
The text excerpts are accompanied by grammatical and lexical commentaries, supplemented, where necessary, by notes pointing to historical, cultural, and religious background information. The notes are conceived as a pedagogical tool for students in their third semester of Arabic or above. Elements of native Arabic grammatical theory and issues in comparative Semitic linguistics are introduced, where appropriate. Throughout the chrestomathy, students will find copious references to Wolfdietrich Fischer’s Grammatik des Klassischen Arabisch (viz. Jonathan Rodgers’ English translation) and William Wright’s A Grammar of the Arabic Language. Following a suggestion by August Fischer, three lexicographical and three geographical textual specimens have been added to the text corpus. The glossary is modernised in both content and style. The principal editions of the text excerpts are indicated and interesting textual variants are noted. Important annotated translations, where available, are mentioned as well.