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  • Arabic is a name for what are traditionally considered the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century. This includes both the literary language and varieties of Arabic spoken in a wide arc of territory, stretching across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family. The literary language is called Modern Standard Arabic or Literary Arabic, which is a pluricentric, fusional language. It is currently the only official form of Arabic, used in most written documents as well as in formal spoken occasions, such as lectures and news broadcasts. However, this varies from one country to the other. Moroccan Arabic was official in Morocco for some time, before the latter nation joined the Arab League. Arabic languages are Central Semitic languages, most closely related to Aramaic, Hebrew, Ugaritic and Phoenician. The standardized written Arabic is distinct from and more conservative than all of the spoken varieties, and the two exist in a state known as diglossia, used side-by-side for different societal functions.

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