Contemporary Modern Standard Arabic has a good illustration of linguistic change in progress. The glottal stop in the word ʾism 'name, noun' has shifted to a hamzat al-qaṭʿ (cf. Classical Arabic ʾism, the glottal stop of which is a hamzat al-waṣl) both in allugha al-wusṭa, or Educated Standard Spoken Arabic, and in Modern Written Arabic. The main reason for this linguistic change is Systemzwang.
The regular serial publication of the Society, issued quarterly, is the Journal of the American Oriental Society. The first volume, published in 1843-49, set the tone for all time in the broad scope of subject matter and the solidity of its scholarship. It included studies of Arab music, of Persian cuneiform, and of Buddhism in India, and brought to a wide audience the then novel theories of Pierre E. Du Ponceau, assailing the doctrine of the "ideographic" character of the Chinese script. From that year to the present day, the Journal has brought to the world of scholarship the results of the advanced researches of the most distinguished American Orientalists, specialists in the literatures and civilizations of the Near East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Inner Asia, the Far East and the Islamic World. The pages of the Journal are always open to original and interesting contributions from scholars. To assure competent and impartial appraisal of the scholarly level of the material submitted for publication, the editorial staff is composed of recognized scholars in each of the major areas served by the Society. Membership in the AOS includes an annual subscription to the Journal.
The American Oriental Society is the oldest learned society in the United States devoted to a particular field of scholarship. The Society was founded in 1842, preceded only by such distinguished organizations of general scope as the American Philosophical Society (1743), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1780), and the American Antiquarian Society (1812). From the beginning its aims have been humanistic. The encouragement of basic research in the languages and literatures of Asia has always been central in its tradition. This tradition has come to include such subjects as philology, literary criticism, textual criticism, paleography, epigraphy, linguistics, biography, archaeology, and the history of the intellectual and imaginative aspects of Oriental civilizations, especially of philosophy, religion, folklore and art. The scope of the Society's purpose is not limited by temporal boundaries: All sincere students of man and his works in Asia, at whatever period of history are welcomed to membership.
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