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Arabic 'sura' (?)-- a question

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Thursday, December 20, 2001, 17:19
IIRC, a _sura_ (possibly not the correct transcription) is a chapter in the
What is the actual form/meaning of the word?  Does it have anything to do
with "writing"?  Is there any morphological process in Arabic that would
suffix a /-t/ or t-like sound to the word?

I ask because a question has arisen about Malay surat 'to write' and its
cognates. It's reconstructed as original Proto Austronesian (and could well
be, if it originally meant something else, like 'decorate'), though to my
knowledge it's not attested in Oceania, but only in the western languages
which have been in contact with Arab/Islamized Indian traders for a very
long time.  The western AN word for 'read' is borrowed < Indic; it seems
likely to me that 'write' could also be a loan.


William Annis <annis@...>