CALLIGRAPHIC AND FORENSIC LINGUISTIC EXPERTISE IN ARABIC LANGUAGE
In this article, on the one hand, I am going to give some guidelines on the calligraphic expert analysis in Arabic alphabet from the practical point of view with examples for a first contact with the different calligraphies in samples of handwriting in non-Latin alphabet.
And in addition, another perspective of forensic analysis will be addressed that is not exclusive to calligraphic expertise but rather conclusive, if you know about the raw material, that is, if you have vast knowledge, on the one hand, of the discipline or linguistic science and on the other, of the language in particular, modern Arabic (fusha).
The expert analysis of this type of writings requires extensive knowledge about the characteristics of the Islamic language and culture, which unfortunately in the field of the expert in Spain, despite wanting to give the international image that they are the panacea, is flatly false.
As we have already explained previously, writing in the Arabic language does not have the same purpose as in our culture. The use of writing is not so much to communicate something as it is in the Latin alphabet, but how you communicate it, graphic beauty in its maximum expression, which is article: STUDY OF MANUSCRIPT CALLIGRAPHY IN THE ARABIC ALPHABET I
In other articles I have published the main calligraphic styles that arise due to the spread of Islam throughout the Muslim empire.
Currently, all these styles have been mixed and it is not possible to know how many there are, but it is estimated that there are hundreds that start from the 6 types classified in the 10th century Ibn Muqla: STUDY OF MANUSCRIPT CALLIGRAPHY IN THE ARABIC ALPHABET II
In the study that I have been working on for years, analyzing the Islamic calligraphy of hundreds of writings by different people, most of them Arabic speakers, in order to study the calligraphic characteristics of scribes: STUDY OF MANUSCRIPT CALLIGRAPHY IN THE ARABIC ALPHABET III
From right to left we find Kufic calligraphy, the next Nasj and the last Ruq’a.
This writing is a faithful example of the use of calligraphy in Muslim culture in general, the attempt to show the beauty in calligraphy prevails over the content that it can convey. And a sentence written by the same person is written in three calligraphic styles to demonstrate their knowledge in the field and this beauty facilitates communication with God.
In my study of this subject and with the knowledge that I have on calligraphic expertise, I have reached certain premises that concern when proceeding to make an expert analysis in writing in Arabic alphabet.
1.- Depending on the calligraphy that is analyzed, some parameters or others will be applied when it comes to analyzing certain aspects such as: agility and writing speed.
Since, the act of writing from right to left cannot be summarized in the change of the concept of regression and progression and that’s it. Why? You may wonder why the type of calligraphy also conditions the writing pattern and the horizontal line passes to the vertical one, forming a circle, semicircle, etc., among other changes.
2.-The simplification of the graphic gesture also changes and this affects not only legibility but also influences the scriptural box and the internal morphology of the sentence in addition to the inclination, etc.
Calligraphy in the Arabic alphabet and also in the Latin one evolves and is modified including gestures of other calligraphies due to the liberalization in the teaching of this subject in schools. If we compare the evolution of Arabic calligraphy with some other, it follows that it is similar since there are migratory movements and contacts with other cultures that facilitate it.
Nowadays, anyone who affirms that only and exclusively by analyzing someone’s handwriting could he or she know where they are from would be called crazy. Why is the same not done when speaking of Arabic? And with more when the calligraphy in this culture has a heavenly position.
If we analyze this writing from the calligraphic point of view; It is a Nastaliq or Taliq style writing, with Ruq’a calligraphic features and gestures. If a computer analyzes this calligraphy, it will probably come to the conclusion that it is from the Middle East or even from Asia (Persian), depending on the binomials that have been entered in the program. Naturally, that is the origin of these calligraphic styles and therefore they give that the individual who has made it is from that geographical area.
Fat error because the calligraphic style has expanded as the Muslim empire expanded in its beginnings, with which it is not possible to know where a person is from due to their external scriptural characteristics, and this writing is specifically from an Argentinean origin, a student of Arab. (far from being Persian or Saudi).
As I have commented at the beginning of this article, I am going to make an introduction to the topic of dialectology in Arab countries, it will be a first contact since it is a broad topic that has been developed and studied throughout history. , in order to draw conclusions about the linguistic use of these languages that coexist in the daily practice of these multilingual societies that help forensic science to study the idiolect of the scribe
The analytical empirical study that I am doing has its quantitative and qualitative variables, that is, I start from the general and objective characteristics of the linguistic fact: On the one hand, the linguistic variants and their characteristics (dialects) and on the other, the fusha language (modern Arabic), Thus, in an inductive way, it can be extrapolated from the general characteristics to the individual characteristics of the different linguistic communities in order to be able to construct the idiolect of the scribe.
I put an example: 1.- In order for a high level of Fusha (modern Arabic) to be obtained, it is intimately related to the individual’s academic cultural degree, with which you would already have a premise: The culture of the scribe is qualitatively related to the knowledge of the language official.
Dialect evolution takes place with ups and downs due to the importance that the languages of European colonization (economic and political) have acquired on the one hand and, on the other, to cultural movements such as Nahda at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. the recent Arab Spring that have given great relevance to classical Arabic (Koran) and Fusha (modern Arabic) against foreign, regional languages or dialects.
Before addressing the issue, the situation of diglossia must be taken into account: a term created by Charles Ferguson (1959) to define this sociolinguistic phenomenon that occurs when two or more languages coexist in a community with others that have no socio-relevance or prestige. political (dialects).
This phenomenon of apparent bilingualism or trilingual is not equitable in the entire community of speakers, but is reciprocally proportional to the cultural level of the individual speaking; the more studies, the higher their linguistic level will be, so to assess that level, a study of the literacy situation in each of the Arabic-speaking countries would be necessary (which to date is still very high…).
Arabic (classical) is a complex language due to its grammar with declensions like Latin that requires extensive knowledge to achieve a medium-high level. But the Fusha or modern Arabic language reduces the complication of declensions and maintains the complexity of its semantics due to the large number of roots or words that are registered and its polysemy (12 million voices compared to Spanish, which has 93,000 and 19,000 are Americanisms).
Duetothisdifferentiationorappreciation,theuseoftheselanguages (classical language, standard language or Fusha), is directed to writing in general and to literature in particular, to official or institutional writings, etc.
While the dialect is limited its use to the colloquial register with which the different speech registers are proportionally related to the cultural level of the speaker. Since the 20th century, this linguistic variant has been introduced into the literature, not without many retractors and is usually used when they want to refer to the folkloric literature of the Arab world in general and Egypt in particular (Egyptian soap operas).
After the European colonization (1747-1948) the European languages (Spanish, English and French) are included that fight for the power of their prevalence in the colonized countries. Thus, in Algeria, Arabic is more of an exotic than an official language, while French is still in political-economic life, etc. …
Naturally, the development of this linguistic situation has evolved throughout history and has obviously influenced the idiosyncrasy of each of the areas involved, with which they have had their own evolution.
If the development of this linguistic phenomenon in Lebanon is studied, for example, it differs and greatly from that carried out by Algeria or its neighboring Morocco, despite having had the same French influence, in Lebanon bilingualism is more generalized and also speakers in cities have a high record.
Today and throughout its history, Arabs have emigrated to other countries, especially to Europe, although America also has a large community. This situation has produced two phenomena due to the linguistic contact of Arabic with the language known as code mixing or code switching and bilingualism.
Returning to the study method there would be another premise:
2.- If the use of this code switching is typical of young people, you can now shorten the age of the clerk in the event that it appears or also in its absence.
In order to carry out a study of the current situation of Arabic dialects, Arabic-speaking immigrants would have to include a study of the development of these dialects in countries where they have settled.
In this work, the socio-linguistic analysis must be included, it is necessary to analyze the difference that occurs in the use of the language or dialect in men or women, since this differentiation occurs in the countries of origin and the language has probably been transferred. The same phenomenon in the countries to which they have emigrated, (for example; In Spain, in the city of Ceuta, specifically the difference between men and women of a certain age who use speech with rural features is appreciated, through which men prefer urban).
Thus, for example, these mixtures of linguistic codes are given: -The rain, sûfta men d –dar
«I have seen the rain from home»
All this linguistic information has a lot of relevance for forensic studies, not so much in calligraphic expertise, which could help, but especially from forensic linguistics since the use of various linguistic registers provides professionals with a lot of data regarding the idiolect of the scribe as limit its geographical radius of origin.
Although it is true that when they write they try to make Fusha or modern Arabic the means of written communication, it tends to escape in people with a cultured register, colloquialisms typical of their dialect, especially in informal written and oral conversation, and also in cultured registers., due to their limited or restricted knowledge of the «cultured language» as a means of expression.
I hope and sincerely hope that I have been able to help you in this great undertaking that is calligraphic expertise and forensic linguistics in Arabic and that I have been able to convey that everything that is complicated is supplemented by its beauty.
Annex: The most difficult language in the world whose charm lies in the importance given to how it is said and the effect it causes on the listener, reader through their senses (oral-scriptural expression) than on the information or content that transmits. For this reason, and I conclude, it adds to its complexity, one more, which is still the most arduous: its idiosyncrasy.
The Arabs do not even agree to agree“: ”يوافق العرب علىعدم الاتفاق“