Phillip Stokes received his B.A. in Biblical Languages from Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City, TN), his M.A. in Teaching Arabic to non-Native Speakers from the University of Jordan, and his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of Texas at Austin. Phillip teaches all levels of Arabic language, and hopes to teach courses on pre-modern Arabic, the linguistic history of the Middle East, and Semitic linguistics in the near future.
Phillip's work is concerned with understanding how Arabic developed historically, how it relates to the other Semitic languages, and how it has intersected with various social and communal identities throughout its history. He is currently working on two major projects:
- a book manuscript, based on his dissertation, which details the history of nominal case marking in Arabic. Case has occupied a prominent place in discussions of the historical development, and historical typology, of Arabic. This book integrates all available sources of data, including recently identified inscriptions from the pre-Islamic period, as well as other non-standard literature often referred to as 'Middle' Arabic, with modern Arabic dialect data into the discussion. The primary argument advanced is that, contrary to virtually all previously proposed arguments, case developed along a number of trajectories in Arabic, but with certain patterns that suggest historical relationships not heretofore identified.
- An edition of pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions written in a non-Arabic script called Safaitic. These inscriptions, found in NE Jordan, add new data to the growing corpus of pre-Islamic Arabic, and allow scholars to reconstruct the features of Arabic in this region based on primary data, rather than subsequent speculation and assumption.