Ingham of Arabia: A Collection of Articles Presented as a Tribute to the Career of Bruce Ingham 9004256199, 9789004256194

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Ingham of Arabia: A Collection of Articles Presented as a Tribute to the Career of Bruce Ingham
 9004256199, 9789004256194

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Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics Editorial board

Aaron D. Rubin and C.H.M. Versteegh


The titles published in this series are listed at

Ingham of Arabia A Collection of Articles Presented as a Tribute to the Career of Bruce Ingham Edited by

Clive Holes and Rudolf de Jong

Leiden • boston 2013

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Ingham of Arabia : a collection of articles presented as a tribute to the career of Bruce Ingham / edited by Clive Holes and Rudolf de Jong.   pages cm. — (Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics ; 69)  Includes bibliographical references.  ISBN 978-90-04-25617-0 (hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-90-04-25619-4 (e-book) 1. Arabic language—Dialects. 2. Sociolinguistics—Arab countries. I. Holes, Clive, 1948– editor of compilation. II. Jong, Rudolf de editor of compilation. III. Ingham, Bruce honouree. PJ6709.I54 2013 492.7’7—dc23 


This publication has been typeset in the multilingual “Brill” typeface. With over 5,100 characters covering Latin, IPA, Greek, and Cyrillic, this typeface is especially suitable for use in the humanities. For more information, please see ISSN 0081-8461 ISBN 978-90-04-25617-0 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-25619-4 (e-book) Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers and Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper.

contents Preface .................................................................................................................


Bibliography Bruce Ingham ..........................................................................


About Bedouin Tents and other Tents, or “Tent Terminology as an Example of Semantic Shift” .......................................................... Peter Behnstedt and Manfred Woidich


Tense and Aspect in Semitic: A Case Study Based on the Arabic of the Omani Šarqiyya and the Mehri of Dhofar .............................. Domenyk Eades and Janet C.E. Watson


From Phonological Variation to Grammatical Change: Depalatalisation of /č/ in Salti ................................................................ Bruno Herin and Enam Al-Wer


Representation of Women’s Language in Negev Bedouin Men’s Texts ................................................................................................... Roni Henkin


An Arabic Text from Ṣūr, Oman ................................................................. Clive Holes


Grammaticalizations Based on the Verb kāna in Arabic Dialects ............................................................................................. 109 Otto Jastrow Texts in Sinai Bedouin Dialects ................................................................... 119 Rudolf de Jong Lexical Notes on the Dialect of Mayadin (Eastern Syria) in the Late 1970s, with Jean Cantineau’s Fieldnotes of 1935 ......... 151 Jérôme Lentin



Chapter 504 and Modern Arabic Dialectology: What are Kaškaša and Kaskasa, Really? .................................................................................. 173 Jonathan Owens Interesting Facts on Ancient Mounds—Three Texts in the Bedouin Arabic Dialect of the Harran-Urfa Region (Southeastern Turkey) ............................................................................... 203 Stephan Procházka Antigemination as Morphosemantic Integrity in Arabic Dialects ............................................................................................. 215 Kirsty Rowan Index .................................................................................................................... 233

PREFACE Ingham of Arabia brings together contributions from many researchers in the world of Arabic dialectology and sociolinguistics who wish to celebrate the career of our dear colleague and friend Bruce Ingham on the occasion of his retirement from full-time academic life. Like Premiership footballers who spend their careers at one club, Bruce is a rarity: he spent his entire academic life at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. A Londoner by birth, he was admitted to SOAS in 1961 as an undergraduate to read for a degree in Arabic and Persian, and then became successively a Lecturer (whilst still a doctoral research student), and finally a full Professor—all in that same leafy corner of Bloomsbury near the British Museum. For many years now, he has been a dominant figure in British and European Arabic dialectology, and a worthy successor to his late, and much-lamented teacher Tom Johnstone, one of the pioneers of modern Arabian dialectology and the study of the Modern South Arabian languages. Bruce began his research career with a series of articles in the ‘house journal’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Two of these, published in 1973 and 1976, were on the Arabic dialects of southern Iraq and Khuzistan, based on the PhD field-work he had done there. At this point, southern Iraq was still largely terra incognita to Arabic dialectology. Bruce’s presentation and linguistic terminology (e.g. ‘verbal piece’) immediately marked him as a product of the Firthian ‘London School of Linguistics’, which also produced such luminaries as Michael Halliday. But these two articles were much more than a young research student’s mechanical application of someone else’s method: they were among the first pieces of dialectological research in Arabic to build life-style factors fully into the description, with the differentiation of ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ dialect types, foreshadowing much of his later (and others’) work on Arabia and the Gulf. These early articles were followed by studies of the dialect of the Mutayr tribe of Kuwait (1979) and a sketch of Najdi Arabic in Fischer and Jastrow’s Arabic dialectology reader (1980), which pointed to the direction in which Bruce’s research would go geographically—Central Arabia. His first full-length book was North-East Arabian Dialects, published by KPI in 1982. This beautifully written early study, a model of concision,



clarity, and economy of statement, interweaves the threads which would mark Bruce’s later work—a deep understanding of the cycles of Arabian tribal population movements over time; an ability to record dialect usage with meticulous accuracy, but at the same time see beyond the fine details of synchronic language data to the diachronic dynamics of sociolinguistic change which underlay them; and an ethnographer’s love of oral culture, which in Arabia is such a rich repository of local history, tribal lore and verbal art. It is one of those books which when you put it down (but then return to again and again) you say to yourself ‘I wish I’d written that’. A string of substantial articles followed throughout the 1980s and 90s: on the dialect of the Dhafir of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (1982); the dialect of the Al Murra of southern Najd and Qatar (1986); Bedouin camel terminology (1990); Khuzistani Arabic (1991); subordinate clauses in Bedouin dialects (1991); the sālfa as a narrative genre (1993); Afghanistan Arabic (1994); the dialect of the Rwala of northern Arabia (1995); and a series of articles on Bedouin dress. In 1997, Ithaca published in book form a useful, edited collection of some of these articles under the title Arabian Diversions. There were also, in this period, two substantial books. The first, Bedouin of Northern Arabia: traditions of the Dhafir (1986), included much tribal history and dialect poetry of this major north Arabian tribe, and it was later translated into Arabic and published in Kuwait; the second was a short but magisterial study on the dialects of central Arabia, Najdi Arabic (1994). This latter work bears witness to Bruce’s deep understanding of how Najdi Arabic works as a language system at all levels of analysis. And lest we are persuaded by the seemingly endless studies of easily accessible modern urban dialects like Cairene into thinking that all Arabic dialects are developing like European languages, Najdi Arabic lays bare the structures of a variety of Arabic that has developed, particularly in its treatment of tense, aspect and Aktionsart, in a direction different from the Arabic vernaculars of the eastern Mediterranean. It can be seen from this (abbreviated) list that by the mid-90s Bruce’s interests had begun to range widely over material culture, ethnography, and poetry as well as his first love, language. But his next move was in a totally unexpected direction: the Indian languages of North America! Beginning in the mid-1990s, Bruce published half-a-dozen academic papers on the Lakota language of North and South Dakota in the USA, estimated to be spoken by 20,000 Sioux Indians. In 2001, he published an EnglishLakota dictionary of 285 pages and 12,000 entries. The book was launched at the American embassy in London. Bruce was also presented with a star blanket (a traditional Plains Indian honouring gift) at the annual powwow



and cultural festival at the University of Vermillion, South Dakota in the same year. The aim of this book was to preserve Indian culture and illustrate the use of words in context, especially syntactic words, whose usage cannot be captured purely by giving an English equivalent. The data-base for the dictionary was books written in Lakota, recorded Lakota texts in archives, textbooks on the language, previous dictionaries, ethnographic and anthropological studies which include Lakota texts, sound recordings which Bruce acquired, and occasional short field-trips he made to the area. An introduction describes the phonetics, the grammar and the history of Lakota. Bruce explained this departure from Arabic dialectology in terms of ‘needing a break’ from Arabia, but at the same time it enabled him to pursue his anthropological interest in documenting the structure of a language (‘beautifully intricate’ is his description) and the customs of a culture whose ‘take’ on the world has been frozen in time, in a period when even the more remote corners of Arabia were moving apace into the paraphernalia of information technology and the globalised world. To the relief of those in the field of Arabic dialectology, however, Bruce’s excursion into North American Indian languages has not meant that he has bid farewell to Arabia, and, as the list of his recent publications below shows, he is still as productive as ever in this field in retirement. Bruce has always been a gregarious and popular figure at academic gatherings, and has always given freely of his time to his students. He has not a trace of conceit or vanity in his make-up. Typical is a story he told me against himself when I hardly knew him, of a trip he had made to Cambridge when a member of London University’s boxing team, in which he was, as he put it, ‘flattened and outclassed’ by his opponent. Bruce’s stories about his time in Arabia are legion. One is that, after a long absence, he finally came back on a visit to a tribe he used to travel around with. In honour of his visit, they organised a festive meal and slaughtered a sheep. But when everyone moved into the tent, Bruce noticed that the places next to the sheep’s tail remained empty, whereas he remembered that before these were the places taken first, because the tail was considered the best part of the animal. When he asked why this was, they answered him ‘kulistirool’. Bruce could be mischievous. One story (apocryphal, possibly, but if it didn’t happen it should have) has Bruce on the search for dialect poetry, and being directed by tribesmen to someone who they said knew a lot about it. After the formal introductions, Bruce recited to the tribal poet a few lines of one of the most famous of the pre-Islamic odes of Classical Arabic, and asked for an explanation of what they meant. Without missing a beat, the illiterate poet, who had



clearly never heard these lines before, explained their meaning perfectly, noting only that there were a couple of words which were unfamiliar to him but that was probably because they were in the dialect of ahl iš-šimāl ‘the folks from up north’—that is, of Najd. This is a standard throw-away line to excuse ignorance, a bit like saying in English: ‘Ah, yes, that’s what them lot over there say’. But this anecdote is proof, if it were needed, of the extraordinary degree of continuity in Bedouin oral culture. Bruce Ingham has spent his career being fascinated by, and recording, ordinary people and their lives, whether Bedouin Arabs or North American Indians, believing that these at first sight marginalised groups in fact have a great deal to tell us about the human condition and human language. All his colleagues fervently wish that, despite the sudden and devastating loss of his beloved Shokooh, he will continue to be driven by this simple working philosophy for many more years to come. Allāh yiḥfaḏ̣k, yā inghām lǝ-bduwī! November 2012 Oxford Cairo

Clive Holes Rudolf de Jong

BIBLIOGRAPHY BRUCE INGHAM 1971 1973 1974 1976 1977

1979 1980a 1980b 1980c 1982a 1982b 1982c 1983a 1985

‘Some characteristics of Meccan speech’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, xxxiv, 2, pp. 273–297. ‘Urban and rural Arabic in Khuzistan’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, xxxvi, pp. 533–553. ‘Arabic speech audiometry’ (with H.A. Alusi, R. Hinchliffe, J.J. Knight and C. North). In: Audiology, (Basel), xiii, pp. 212–230. ‘Regional and social factors in the dialect geography of Southern Iraq and Khuzistan’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, xxxix, 1, pp. 62–82. ‘Comparison of the verbal system in child and adult speech in Persian’, N. Waterson and C.E. Snow [eds] The Development of Communication Social and Pragmatic Factors in Language Acquisition, Wiley, pp. 333–346. ‘Notes on the dialect of the Mutair of Eastern Arabia’, Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 2, pp. 23–35. ‘Najdi Arabic Text’. In: W. Fischer and O. Jastrow [eds] Handbuch der Arabischen Dialekte. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz, pp. 130–139. ‘Languages of the Persian Gulf ’. In: A.J. Cottrell [ed] The Persian Gulf States: A General Survey. Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 314–33. ‘al-zaman wa al-wujhah fi al-lughah al-‘arabiyyah wa al-lughah al-injiliziyyah’. In: Proc 1st Int. Symposium on Teaching Arabic to non-Arabic Speakers, i, Riyadh, pp. 136–448. Arabic Phrase Book (with Z. Inoughi and E. Swinglehurst). London. Hamlyn. North East Arabian Dialects. London. Kegan Paul International. ‘Notes on the dialect of the Dhafir of north-eastern Arabia’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies xlv, 3, pp. 245–259. ‘Arabic linguistics in the United Kingdom’. In: M.H. Bakalla, Arabic Linguistics an Introduction and Bibliography. London. Mansell, pp. xii–xv. ‘Kuwaiti Arabic dialect’. In: John Whelan [ed] Kuwait a MEED Practical Guide. London. Middle East Economic Digest, pp. 67–69. 4


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1986a ‘Notes on the dialect of the Al Murrah of Eastern and Southern Arabia’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, xlix, 2, pp. 271–291. 1986b Bedouin of Northern Arabia: traditions of the Al Dhafir. London. Kegan Paul International. 1988 ‘The Pool of Oaths: a comparative study of a bedouin historical poem’. In: A.K. Irvine, R.B. Serjeant G. Rex Smith [eds], A Miscellany of Middle Eastern Articles: In Memoriam Thomas Muir Johnstone 1924–83, London. Longman, pp. 40–54. 1990 ‘Camel terminology among the Al Murrah bedouins’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 22, pp. 67–78. 1991a ‘Subordinate clauses of time and condition in Bedouin dialects’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, liv, 1, pp. 42–62. 1991b ‘Men’s dress in the Arabian peninsula’. In: BRISMES Proceedings of the 1991 International Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, London, pp. 51–56. 1991c ‘Sentence structure in Khuzistani Arabic’. In: Alan S. Kaye [ed] Semitic Studies in Honour of Wolf Leslau on the Occasion of his Eighty Fifth Birthday November 14th, 1991, vol i, UCLA, pp. 714– 728. 1993a ‘Mutayr’. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden. Brill, pp. 782–783. 1993b ‘The Salfah as a narrative genre’. Asian Folklore Studies. lii, 1. Nagoya, pp. 5–32. 1993c ‘Number and gender concord in Najdi Arabic’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics vol 3, pp. 219–227. 1994a Najdi Arabic: Central Arabian. John Benjamins. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. LOALL Series. 1994b ‘The Arabic language in Iran’. In: Kees Versteegh [ed] Arabic Outside the Arab World Special Issue of Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics IJOAL 20, no. 1 and 2 pp. 103–116. ISSN 0379 0037 1994c ‘The language situation in Afghanistan’. In: R.E. Asher [ed] The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 1, pp. 46–47. Pergamon Press. New York. Seoul. Tokyo 1994 ( Jan). 1994d ‘The language situation in Iran’. In: R.E. Asher [ed] The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 4, pp. 1773–1774. Pergamon Press. New York. Seoul. Tokyo.

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1994e ‘The Language situation in Qatar’. In: R.E. Asher [ed] The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 6, p. 3415. Pergamon Press. New York. Seoul. Tokyo. 1994f ‘Ethnolinguistic links between southern Iraq and Khuzistan’. In: K.S. McLachlan [ed] The Boundaries of Modern Iran. pp. 93–100. London University College Press. 1994g ‘The effect of language contact on the Arabic dialect of Afghanistan’. In: Jordi Aguade, Federico Corriente y Marina Marugan [eds] Actas del Congreso Internacional sobre Interferencias Linguisticas Arabo-Romances y Paralelos Extra-Iberos, pp. 105–117. Zaragoza. 1994h ‘Modality in the Arabic dialect of Najd’. In: Dominique Caubet and Martine Vanhove [eds] Actes des premières journées internationales de dialectologie arabe de Paris pp. 185–200. Paris. Publications Langues ’O. 1995a ‘Texts in the dialect of the Rwalah of Northern Arabia’. In: Tapani Harviainen and Harry Halen [eds], Dialectologia Arabica—A Collection of Articles in Honour of the Sixtieth Birthday of Professor Heikki Palva. Studia Orientalia, pp. 121–140. 1995b Translation of 1986b above Bedouin of Northern Arabia: Traditions of the Al Dhafir Kegan Paul International 1986 into Arabic as Qabilat Al Dhafir Dirasa Lughawiyyah muqarinah by ‘Atiyyah bin Kuraim al-Dhafiri published in Kuwait. 1995c Introduction to Simple Etiquette in Arabia and the Gulf States Global Books Ltd. Folkestone. ISBN 1-86034-005-9. 1996 ‘Demonstrative stems in Lakota’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics vol 6, pp. 385–410. 5 1997a Arabian Diversions: Studies in the Dialects of Arabia. Ithaca Press. 1997b Languages of Dress in the Middle East [ed] with Nancy Lindisfarne Tapper. Curzon Press. Richmond Surrey. 1997c ‘Approaches to the study of dress in the Middle East’ (with Nancy Lindisfarne Tapper). In: Ingham and Nancy Lindisfarne Tapper [eds] Languages of Dress in the Middle East. Curzon Press. Richmond Surrey, pp. 1–39. 1997d ‘Men’s dress in the Arabian Peninsula: historical and present perspectives’. In: Ingham and Nancy Lindisfarne Tapper [eds] Languages of dress in the Middle East. Curzon Press. Richmond Surrey, pp. 40–54. 1997e ‘Archery texts from the Lakota Sioux’. In: Journal of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries 6, pp. 59–61.


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1998a ‘Demonstrative stems in Lakhota’. In: International Journal of American Linguistics 64 ii, pp. 105–140. 1998b ‘Nominal or verbal status in Lakhota: a lexicographical study’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics vol 8, pp. 385–410. 1999 ‘The dialect of the “Marsh Arabs” of Southern Mesopotamia’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics vol 9, pp. 417–424. 2000a ‘The dialect of the Miʿdan or ‘Marsh Arabs’. In: Manwel Mifsud [ed] Proceedings of the Third International Conference of AIDA, Malta 1988. Malta. Salesian Press, pp. 125–130. 2000b ‘‘Utub’. In: Encyclopaedia of Islam vol 10. Leiden. Brill, pp. 955–957. 2000c ‘An investigation of the occurrence of the emphatic suffixes -hca, -hce and -hci in Lakota’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics vol 10, pp. 193–201. 2001a English-Lakota Dictionary. Curzon Press. Richmond. 2001b ‘The Bedouins of Qatar in the light of cultural interaction’. In: Aram vol 11–12 (1999–2000), pp. 181–188. 2001c ‘Function of the post nominal element ki/k’un in Lakota’. In: SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics vol 11, pp. 249–257. 2001d ‘Nominal and Verbal status in Lakhota: a lexicographical study’. In: International Journal of American Linguistics 67 ii, pp. 167–192. 2002a ‘Technicalities and terminology of raiding and warfare as revealed by Bedouin oral narratives’. In: Proceedings of an International Conference on Middle Eastern Popular Culture, Magdalen College, Oxford, pp. 66–76. 2002b ‘Semantic fields in Bedouin dialects’. In: Werner Arnold and Hartmut Bobzin [eds] “Sprich doch mit deinen Knechten aramäisch, wir verstehen es!” 60 Beiträge zur Semitistik. Festschrift für Otto Jastrow zum 60. Geburtstag, Wiesbaden. Otto Harrassowitz, pp. 299–309. 2003a Lakota: Languages of the World materials 426. München. Lincom Europa. ISBN 3895868442. 2003b ‘The function of the post-nominal element ki~k’un in Lakota’. In: Transactions of the Philological Society vol 101 iii, pp. 371–410. ISSN 0079 1636. 2004a [appeared in 2003 expanded version of 2002a above] ‘Technicalities and terminology of raiding and warfare as revealed by Bedouin oral narratives’. In: Martine Haak, Rudolf de Jong and Kees Versteegh [eds] Approaches to Arabic Dialects: a Collection of Articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden, Boston. Brill, pp. 117–132. ISSN 0081-8461.

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2004b ‘Language survival in isolation: the Arabic dialect of Afghanistan’. In: Ignacio Ferrando and Juan Jose Sanchez Sandoval [eds] AIDA 5th Conference Proceedings Cádiz September 2002. Cádiz. Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Cádiz, pp. 21–37. ISBN 84-7786777-1. 6 2004c ‘The role of Orientalists in the interpretation of Arabic texts’. In: Sami A. Khasawnih [ed] Conference on Orientalism: Dialogue of Cultures. Amman: University of Jordan, pp. 183–192. 2005a [appeared in 2004] ‘Persian and Turkish Loans in the Arabic Dialects of North Eastern Arabia’. In: Éva Ágnes Csató, Bo Isaksson and Carina Jahani [eds] Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion: Case Studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic. London & New York. RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 173–180. ISBN 0-415-30804-6. 2005b [ed] Review of the Anizah Tribe by Gerald de Gaury, Beirut. Kutub. ISBN 9953-417-97-0. 2006a ‘Language and Identity: the perpetuation of dialects’. In: Dawn Chatty [ed] Nomadic Societies in the Middle East and North Africa: Entering the 21st Century. Leiden, Boston. Brill, pp. 523–538. ISSN 0169-9423, ISBN 90 04 14792 6. 2006b ‘Afghanistan: language situation’. In: Keith Brown [ed] Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics vol 1. Amsterdam. Elsevier, pp. 89–90. ISBN 0-08-044299-4 (set). 2006c ‘Iran: language situation’. In: Keith Brown [ed] Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics vol 6. Amsterdam. Elsevier, pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-08-044299-4 (set). 2006d ‘Lakota’. In: Keith Brown [ed] Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics vol 6. Amsterdam. Elsevier, pp. 305–306. ISBN 0-08044299-4 (set). 2006e ‘Qatar: language situation’. In: Keith Brown [ed] Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics vol 10. Amsterdam. Elsevier, p. 298. ISBN 0-08-044299-4 (set). 2006f ‘Saudi Arabia: language situation’. In: Keith Brown [ed] Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics vol 10. Amsterdam. Elsevier, pp. 753–754. ISBN 0-08-044299-4 (set). 2006g ‘Afghanistan Arabic’. In: Kees Versteegh [gen ed] Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics vol 1. Leiden. Brill, pp. 28–35. ISBN 90-04-14976-2 (set).


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2006h ‘Khuzestan Arabic’. In: Kees Versteegh [gen ed] Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics vol 2. Leiden. Brill, pp. 571–578. ISBN 90-04-14973-2 (set). 2007 ‘The function of the independent personal pronouns in Lakota’. In: Transactions of the Philological Society vol 105 i, pp. 22–41. ISSN 0079 1636. 2008 ‘Najdi Arabic’. In: Kees Versteegh [gen ed] Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics vol 3. Leiden. Brill, pp. 326–578. ISBN 978-90-04-14973 1 (set). ISBN 978-90-04-14475-0. 2009a ‘Saudi Arabia’. In: Kees Versteegh [gen ed] Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics vol 4. Leiden. Brill, pp. 123–130. ISBN 978-90-04-14973-1 (set). ISBN 978-90-04-14476-7. 2009b Five Lakota Oral Discourses Transcribed and Translated: How an American Indian Nation Explains its Philosophy of Life. Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-77344767-7. 2009c ‘The dialect of the Euphrates Bedouin, a fringe Mesopotamian dialect’. In: Enam Al-Wer and Rudolf de Jong (eds) Arabic Dialectology: in Honour of Clive Holes on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden. Brill, pp. 99–108. ISBN 978-90-04-172128. 2009d [ed with Badr El-Hage] Journal of Excursion in Syria and Palestine 1860 by Joseph Dalton Hooker. Beirut. Kutub. ISBN 978-9953554-05-1. 2010 ‘Information structure in the Najdi dialects’. In: Jonathan Owens and Alaa Elgibali [eds] Information Structure in Spoken Arabic. London, New York. Routledge, pp. 75–92. ISBN 10: 0-41577844-1.

About bedouin tents and other tents or “tent terminology as an example of semantic shift” Peter Behnstedt and Manfred Woidich When we thought over a subject for the Festschrift for our dear friend Bruce Ingham, our first idea was to write something dealing with aspects of one of his favourite fields, namely “Arabic Bedouin Dialects”. One idea was to publish data we had collected more than 30 years ago in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt in a hamlet named Duhūs inhabited by Rašāyda Bedouin who had made their way from Saudi Arabia across Sudan to Egypt and who at that time still spoke their original dialect perfectly, but this would have been nothing new to Bruce Ingham. Despite that, the ‘Arabellion’ thwarted our plans for renewed research on the spot. So we had to look for something else. Since we have been dealing with lexical questions for quite a while when preparing the “Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte” (WAD), other subjects in this field came to our minds and seemed quite promising to us at first glance, e.g., a cross dialectal comparison of “camel terminology”, thus making a link to the article “Camel terminology among the Āl Murrah bedouins”, Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 22 (1990), pp. 67–78 penned by our jubilarian. But it seems that the respective classical vocabulary has been maintained rather uniformly through time and space, and more research in this field would not have given too many new insights.1 So we dropped this idea and chose another one: the terms denoting the “bedouin tent”. It both coincides with the interests of the jubilarian, and refers at the same time to a lecture given by him earlier,2 and, in addition, fullfills our announcement given in WAD 2 of a more detailed future discussion of the term giṭūn/gayṭūn. This discussion will be the “pièce de

1 As an example for a term which apparently is known to all bedouin, we may adduce here the baww “stuffed skin of the slaughtered calf given to its mother to smell and sniff at so that she continues to yield milk” KUR, and in the same meaning as far away as in Mauritania cf. AB-2:82, for Egypt see BW-1, for Tunisia see BOR. 2 In fact, we derive the subtitle of our contribution from this lecture “Tent terminology as an example of semantic shift” by Bruce Ingham dealing with the components of the tent. We are grateful to Rudolf de Jong for providing us with a copy of the handout of this lecture.


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich

résistance” of this contribution and follows as part B of this paper, after part A that contains some general remarks on the terms used for the “tent as a portable home”. Part C deals with terms for some other types of tents, such as ‘wedding tents’, part D gives some additions to the commentary on map 197 “Zelt” in WAD 2, part E, inspired by Bruce’s paper, deals with some semantic developments in this context.3 The Tent as a Portable Home From a technical and ethnographical point of view the subject has been dealt with exhaustively by Feilberg (FEI) and Rackow (RAC-2), the latter with many illustrations, detailed Arabic terminology and a list of Eastern tent terminology pp. 182–184. Cf. also EI sv. k͟ h͟ ayma. So what remains are some philological remarks to be made. The MSA equivalent of “tent” is xayma. In CA xayma means “A bayt [here meaning booth, or the like,] . . . of any kind . . . such as is built, or constructed . . . by the Arabs . . . of the branches of trees . . . but others hold that it is [a tent; i.e,] made with pieces of cloth and tent-ropes . . . it is applied by the Arabs only to a construction of four poles roofed over with ṯumām [or panic grass]; and is not of cloths” (LANE). This suggests that, originally, a xayma was rather a booth and not a tent.4 Reflexes of xayma in the sense of “tent made with pieces of cloth” are ubiquitous. Normally they designate all kinds of tents such as “military tents”, “camping tents”, “tents for refugees”, etc. Egyptian Bedouin call their tent beit or beit shaʿr, “never k͟ h͟ eima which means a canvas tent of European pattern” (MUR 80). In the dialect of the Rwala xeyme is “a white tent” (MUS-1:269). However, in the bedouin dialect of Mauritania, the Western Sahara, of Mali, i.e. the Ḥassāniyya dialect, xeyme refers to the traditional bedouin tent made of camel wool or cotton (xaīme CRE 341). TAI-1 s.v. does not give information for the cloth used, but metonymic or metaphoric uses of xayme like “family”: mən xayme kbīre “de bonne famille, de haut lignage”, xaymət lə-mṛa (litt. ‘la tente de la femme’) “vagina”. In Morocco xēma, xayma is “tente (des bédouins), noire, en tissu épais de

3 For terms one may miss here, we refer to the commentary in WAD 2:59–61. 4 But xayyama “he pitched his tent”. For a discussion of the etymoloy of xayma see LES 269 s.v. xaymat “tent, tabernacle”, also EI 1147. Meanings like “cabin”, “tent”, “enclosure” are quoted there. Cf. also VOL 631 “ursprünglich primitivste Behausung” [originally most primitive housing]. For parallels with ʿarīša see below.

about bedouin tents and other tents


laine et poil de chèvre, parfois de chameau)” (DEP).5 The bedouin tents visited (P. Behnstedt) in the Duwwār əl-Maʿābda in Northern Morocco near the Algerian border and in other places there were of canvas, and the side walls (rakkīla, pl. rkākīl, in LIST drawing p. 75 nr. 54, names p. 85 s.v. “Seitenband”, ruffa in Rackow’s list p. 182) of plastic strips. In Nigeria “xeema apparently is used as a makeshift shelter, made of rags, usually not very big (p.c. J. Owens). In the dialect of the Northwest-Moroccan Jbala tribes (nowadays villagers or townspeople) a term such as xīmti “my house” still hints at tents formerly used as a dwelling.6 Cf. also for the Ḫlóṭ-Jbala bît “house”, pl. byût ~ xayma, pl. xyå̄m “in Erinnerung an vergangene Nomadenwohnart,” as Rackow puts it (RAC-1:41b). The statement in EI 1146 “Today, among many rural people and even town dwellers, the memory of a former nomadic way of life is preserved by their actually using k͟ h͟ ayma/k͟ h͟ ēma to denote a house, and it has totally replaced bayt/bēt” (Ch. Pellat) is certainly exaggerated and does not apply to countries like Syria, Egypt and other regions where terms for “house” were elicited during field work. *bayt has not been replaced, reflexes of it in the Maghreb usually denote a “room”, and “house” normally is dār, or ḥōš in some areas. As for Algeria the main forms used in older sources are xayma and bēt aš-šaʿar (FEI 23) for the bedouin tent, and a smaller tent of pastoralists is called ʿazaba (FEI 33). This form is related to “ ʿazaba bihā, referring to sheep or goats, “He went to a distance, or far off, with them” (LANE) and Yemeni Arabic ʿazzab “to keep the sheep outside the village for a longer period and live in a hut or tent [herdsman]” ( JG). Cf. as well ʿizbih in the Negev “a temporary camp set up by shepherds or cultivators for the seasons when they move away from the main camp to find better pasture or to cultivate distant plots,” and biyʿazzbuw “[they] go to their ʿizbih” (HEN 257 fn.6); Naǧdi ʿizbih “temporary one night camp” (ING-N 190), Nigeria ezīb “nomadic camp” (OWE-G 192,-5), and the Cyrenaican expression imʿazba said of a herd that does not return to the main tent at night, “i.e., it is accompanied by a herder, a donkey, and possibly a small tent” (BEHN 59).7

5 For the identical Berber tent see LAO 20 ff. He doubts (p. 21) an Arabic origin xīma of Berber axxam, taxxamt. In LAO-C 291a we find axam ‘tente’, and in LAO-H 156, however, axxam is derived from Arabic xayma. More details there. 6 Also in some Berber dialects axxām “tent” > “house” (DES s.v. “tente”), Ghomara axeyyam “the house” (HANN 93), Kabylie, Chenoua, Rif (LAO 21). 7 For further semantic extensions of the root see WAD 1 map 25 “Gastgeber, host”.


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– As for the traditional bedouin bayt šaʿ(a)r “a tent of goats’ hair” (LANE), “tente arabe en poil de chèvre et laine” Algeria (BEAU); and reflexes of it, see WAD 2. There is no need to further discuss the word. Often only the forms bayt, bēt, bīt without the attribute šaʿr are used, see for instance in the Negev bēt, buyūt “a bedouin tent” (BAI 431), nazzal al-bīt ubanawh “[he] unloaded the tent and they put it up” (HEN 226,6), further bīt hal-faṛḥ “wedding tent” (HEN 372,-2), Cyrenaica bait “main tent” (BEHN 60), əl-bēt ʿalé sətta “(c’est) une tente à six poteaux” (NAT 165 proverb 727).8 The Case of qayṭūn In Chapter VI FEI (132 ff.) deals with “Types de tentes de la culture citadine dans le domaine de la tente noire”, in sub-chapter I with “modern” tents like “pavillion tents” and “ridge tents”, also called “military tents” and in sub-chapter II with “Tentes de foire”.9 Only for Morocco he quotes a designation, namely kaïtûn or gaïtûn “une petite tente où deux ou trois personnes peuvent être étendues et qui est utilisée exclusivement en voyage par les marchands forains, les saltimbanques, etc.”. The Moroccan gēṭōn, gayṭōn, pl. gyāṭən is derived by DEP from Greek κοιτών and explained as “1. tente sommaire, en coton blanc, servant de boutique à certains marchands forains . . . fréquentant les souks ruraux. 2. tente légère des soldats en bivouac, des caravaniers à la halte”. As a denominal derivation DEP mentions gēṭən “installer un campement sommaire pour les labours ou le pâturage; séjourner longtemps à un même campement” (from LOU). Other sources for Morocco give it as “caidal tent”, “state tent” for receptions and the like.10 In north-eastern Morocco gēṭōn, pl. gyāṭən or gyāṭīn may also refer to a ridge tent of pastoralists made of canvas. 8 For tents of the Libyan Awlād ʿAli in Egypt made of sacking both xeyše and beyt are used. Cf. BW-2:258–260. 9 The adjective “modern” is somewhat misleading since it suggests that he deals with tents introduced by Europeans. Cf. also other sources infra. In his resumé p. 135, however, he hints at Persian miniatures of pavilion tents and the fact that the construction of the black tent had undergone influences from “urban” tents. Cf. also RAC-2:181 who states that the Arabs during the conquest of Africa first used their traditional black tents but then took over Byzantine and Persian tents as military and state tents. 10 Thus J. Aguadé (p.c.) gīṭūn or xayma. A picture of a “caidal tent”: “tente de réception du caïd Si Salah Aouragh” see in LAO following p. 22, above a traditional Berber tent, also in RAC-1 “Tafeln” (not numerated). A historical picture of market tents in the Jbala area (Souq el-Jomoʿa in the Jebel Sidi Masʿoud, LEV next to p. 6) show quite elaborated decorated tents like the caidal tent and not simple awnings like in other rural markets.

about bedouin tents and other tents


DEP does not furnish the Greek meaning of κοιτών, nor does LOU 534 for the Zaër: gayṭūn, gyāṭn “petite tente en coton blanc des marchands ambulants pour les souqs (grec κοιτών)”. It is to be found in DO II 440 as qayṭana “formé de qayṭūn” with reference to qṭn and Pedro de Alcalá “tabernaculum”, p. 386 qayṭūn “petite chambre dans le dialecte de l’Egypte, est κοιτών ‘chambre à coucher’”, with reference to H. Fleischer and “Au Maghrib, tente”, again with reference to Pedro de Alcalá, and mentioning an Egyptian bāb al-qayṭūn as “porte qui s’ouvre sur la mer, ou une rivière, comme les portes qui ouvrent sur le canal au Caire, 1001 N.” Also a wrong translation of Berber El-Kîtoun “tente” instead of “le camp” is mentioned. For Andalusian Arabic qayṭūn COR-1 gives “tent, pavilion or room annexed to a building” and derives it from κοιτών via Syriac qayṭūnā, in COS “bedroom”.11 As for Egyptian Arabic VOL 303 quotes the same Greek etymology and the meanings of unvocalised qyṭwn “Zimmer, Zelt, Cisterne (altes Alexandrien), Kloake (Kairo)”. SPI qaṭūn “private quay or verandah on a canal”, similarly TAY-1:143 f. In LANE 2991a Suppl. “A closet; syn. muxdaʿun, i.e. a [small] chamber within a [large] chamber”, and in the LI al-qayṭūnu: al-muxdaʿu, aʿǧamīyun wa-qīla: bi-luġati miṣra wa barbara . . . baytun fī baytin . . . and the verse qubbatun min marāǧilin ḍarabathā ʿinda bardi š-šitāʾi fī qayṭūni. Further evidence in TAY-2:297 f. s.v. ṣīwān and ZA 279. KAZ has “cellier, garde-manger”, COR-2 quotes it as “cámara” and “tienda de campaña”, WA as “Schlafkammer (κοιτών), Speisekammer, Gewölbe, Keller”. The last two “vault”, “cellar” may have led to “cistern” in Alexandria and the meaning “vault” possibly is due to a contamination with the Arabic √qṭn as in al-qaṭanu . . . mā bayna l-warikayni ʾilā ʿaǧbi ḏ-ḏanabi = “the croup (of a horse)”, in KAZ ʾaqṭanu “courbé, voûté”. Reflexes of the Greek κοιτών “bedroom” are, indeed, restricted to Northern Africa; west of Egypt it occurs in the sense of “tent”, but rarely referring to the traditional bedouin tent, the bayt aš-šaʿr.12 It has been adapted to Berber/Kabylic as aqiḍun “tente de soldat, de forain” (DALL), aqeydun Morocco/Rif Berber (TIL 89) “tenda”, Tamazight aqīdūn ~ agīṭūn 11 Mentioned in FRAE on p. 20 only as a separate part of the house without further explanation. Since al-Ğawharī ascribes it to the Egyptians “al-muxdaʿ bi-luġat ʾahl Miṣr ” (Siḥāḥ Vol. VI p. 2183b), Fraenkel does not exclude a direct loan from Greek κοιτών. muxdaʿ is “A closet, or small chamber, in which a thing is kept, or preserved; i.q. xizāna [. . .] by which is meant a small chamber within a large chamber” (LANE). 12 Map 197 in WAD 2 does not contain this term for the Ḥassāniyya dialect, but only xayma. agayṭūn was not furnished in the questionnaires, nor is to be found in TAI-2 and in TAI-1 s.v. qṭn. HEA does not mention it for Mali Ḥassāniyya.


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= al-xibāʾu ṣ-ṣaġīru min qumāš (SHAF 151), agīṯụ̄ n, aqīḍūn, aqīḏūn (DES), agiṭun “tente de marchand”, taxyämt “tente de nomade”, axxam “tente” (LAO 3). Vycichl, in his chapter “Lateinische und griechische Lehnwörter”, cites agiṭun “Zelt” (von Soldaten, Marktleuten), pl. igwitan (Shilḥa); aqiḏ̣un “Zelt” (von Soldaten, Marktleuten), pl. iqiḏ̣unen (VYC 24) and considers it a loan from Arabic. An internet Berber source from Zouara/Libya offers aqīdūn. aqiḍun in Berber (Morocco) is also defined as a smaller tent of nomadic pastoralists” (LAO-H 154).13 It has been borrowed from Maghrebi Arabic to French as gitoune “tente de toile (de coton)”.14 In Mauritania berberized ägäyṭūn refers to a small temporary tent in the oases for date harvesters or vacationers, and on the coast for seasonal workers helping in fishery. This seasonal work is called gēṭna (p.c. Ahmad-Salem Ould Mohamed Baba, in his lecture in AIDA Pescara “une tente légère où habitent les gens qui viennent à la gēṭna”). In an internet source for the Western Sahara Ḥassāniyya dialect, however, aqyṭwn is defined as “a bedouin tent not made of woven camels’ hair” and it is stated that the xayma is being replaced by the aqīṭūn, be it for its weight or the fact that it has become nearly impossible to weave it”. It is also defined as “the womens’ room of the tent” or “the sleeping place in the tent separated by curtains from the other parts of it; “a small tent (bnyh)15 within a house in the reception room for better air condition and as a protection against mosquitoes”.16 Another Western-Sahara website explains that the xayma is being abandoned because of its weight and replaced by a qayṭūn, nevertheless its interior looks like that of the traditional xayma: naẓaran li ṯuql wazn al-xayma ʾaṣbaḥa baʿḍ an-nās yaštarūna al-xiyām al-maṣnūʿa min al-qumāš wa tusammā qayṭūn ʾilla ʾannahu tuǧahhaz min ad-dāxil binafs ṭarīqat al-xayma at-taqlīdīya.17 It stands to reason that the white tents mentioned in PUI 152, CRE 342 and CRE-MT 82 belong to this aqīṭūn13 “Le transhumant, en effet, possède une ou plusieurs autres tentes de dimensions plus réduites, et plus portatives encore. Elles servent dʾabri aux bergers, ou aux gens, iʿazzaben, attachés à la garde des troupeaux parqués à lʿazib, ou à la surveillance des cultures. On les nomme aqiḍun (A. -Ndhir) ou ṯaʿešuṯ  . . . (Izayan), forme berbérisée de l’arabe ʿušša. Cf. infra ʿišša and ʿazaba. 14 See the French Wikipedia s.v. guitoune: “En argot militaire, une guitoune (Maghr.: gayton, arabe: qayṭūn “tente” ou bien aussi xaima = grand velum plein de mâts et de toile) désigne une tente ou un abri de fortune. Le terme “gayton” est utilisé au Maroc pour désigner une sorte de tissu ou de toile; abri de tranchée (1914) synonyme de cagna.” 15 See benye/bennīe below. 16 17

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type, for which no particular term is given in these sources. According to Puigaudeau, these “tentes de coton blanc” were in 1960 as numerous in Tagānt as the brown ones, and showed the same dimensions and same interior as those (PUI 152, CRE-MT 83 with photo). The cotton cloth, žīf, is produced by “tisserands soudanais” and brought to the market in Tagānt by caravans (PUI 153). In Algeria gyṭwn (not vocalised, but with /g/) is “tente, surtout en toile” (BEAU), gīṭūn “tente de campagne, en toile” (BELK), gīṭōn “tente en toile, faite et conçue par les Européens” (MAL), Dellys gīṭūn “used for leisure camping, post-earthquake accomodation”, in Bou Saada for “small tents” giwatīn (MAR-1:48). In internet sources the pavilions of the Algiers book fair of 2011 are called qayṭūn. In Tunisia gīṭūn “Zelt aus Zeltleinwand” (SIN 534), gitūn in TAL 24 only “tent”, Marāzīg gāṭūn “tente européenne” (BOR), Takroûna (MAR-2:3247) giṭūn “tente en toile blanche (tente ronde des soldats, des agents, et ouvriers des travaux publics; tente échoppe des marchands forains)”. For the Jews of Tripoli qiṭun, qwaṭən “tent” is attested (YODA 228, 336) without further explanations. In Libya/Fezzan giṭūn “tente, bâche” (LEQ). In an internet source for the Jabal Nafousa/ Libya berberized agīṭūn or agīdūn is mentioned with pictures showing a traditional bedouin tent made of animals’ hair; another Libyan internet source equates qayṭūn with xayma and qayṭūn faraḥ with xaymat ʿurs. So far, everything seems to be clear. A possible semantic filiation from “bedroom” à “sleeping compartment of the tent” à “tent” is tempting, but the ʾisnād is ḍaʿīf. aqyṭwn “sleeping compartment of the tent” is only attested in an internet source for the Ḥassāniyya dialect of the Western Sahara and is not confirmed for the Ḥassāniyya of Mauritania (agayṭūn) by Ahmad-Salem Ould Mohamed Baba (p.c.). The translation of baytun fī baytin (LI 3684-r) as “room in a bayt ” in EI 1149 (Ch. Pellat) is ambiguous. Does it mean “room in a house”, “room in a tent” or “tent in a tent”? LANE 2991a Suppl. “A closet; syn. muxdaʿun, i.e. a [small] chamber within a [large] chamber” is a quotation of the LI al-muxdaʿu and baytun fī baytin. baytun fī baytin could also be translated by “tent in a tent” and this would match with “sleeping compartment in a tent”. If it is “tent in a tent” or “room in a tent,” then the further semantic evolution to “small tent, etc.” is corroborated by the benye of the Ḥassāniyya dialect, which is an “inner tent (in the xayma)”, “small tent for travelling”. Cf. infra chapter D sub benye. As for “verandah” (thus in Egyptian Arabic) it is defined in dictionaries as a “porch”, or “portico”, “sometimes partly enclosed, extending along the


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich

outside of a building”. This matches with the definition in COR-1 “room annexed to a building”. A portico normally is supported by columns or pillars (as is a tent by poles) and a porch might be defined, too, as a “canopy sheltering”, “a protective rooflike covering, often of canvas, mounted on a frame over a walkway or a door”. In Eastern Syria in summer people sleep outside the house on mattresses on a kind of verandah, a wooden framework with four poles being covered by a mosquito net. Since the Egyptian qayṭūn is “a verandah on a canal”, this might be used as a “drain” (“Kloake” above), too. Translations of gēṭōn (gīṭūn, etc.) like “European style tent” suggest that tents of canvas or cotton were introduced by the French during their occupation of the Maghreb. This may be true for a certain type of military tent, but tents of cotton existed before. Traditional Mauritanian tents normally consist of camel wool or of several layers of cotton cloth,18 and the xeyše of the Libyan Awlād ʿAli in Western Egypt of canvas is a traditional bedouin tent certainly not brought to them by the French. There existed several types of tents: the bayt aš-šaʿr or the xayma, the gēṭōn, the ʿazaba, the ʿišša19 and due to identical cloth gēṭōn was simply applied to a newly introduced French tent. Verbal and other forms are derived from gēṭōn such as the above mentioned gēṭən in Moroccan, niqayṭan “we pitch a tent” in Andalusian Arabic, in Algeria gēṭən “planter sa tente chez, camper” (BEAU), Saïda geiṭan “séjourner, établir sa tente” (geṭôn) in MAR-1:107; gayṭna “campement de longue durée pendant les labours” (LOU). This explanation seems quite stringent and the only possible one, were there not an Arabic root qṭn: qaṭana bi l-makāni: ʾaqāma bihi wa-tawaṭṭana (LI), qṭən Morocco “y habiter, se fixer (pour assez longtemps, dans un pays qui n’est pa le sien, au cours d’un voyage)”, qāṭən “sédentaire” (DEP), unvocalised qṭn “se domicilier, habiter en un lieu, y demeurer, y être établi” 18 See text in AB-1:185–187 “jaimas de tela o de lana”. 19 Designating in Tunisia and Algeria “a poor bedouin tent”, see WAD 2:60. In Fezzan ʿošša is “un abri de sacs grossiers et d’étoffe qu’on coud ensemble” and is used as a dwelling during the hot period (MARP-2:20/21).—A bedouin necessarily must not live in a bayt šaʿr. Cf. DOS 45–47, 139–140 for southern bedouins who may live in caverns, under a rocky cliff, a sun shelter, just rugs thrown over a tree, see the dayma in WAD 2:60. See also WEB 478 “In the absence of tents, the Āl Wahība make use of a variety of natural and man-made forms of shelter. . . . Any such shade giving structure is termed xēma, usually glossed as ‘tent’ ”.

about bedouin tents and other tents


Algeria (BEAU), qâṭon “résident, domicilié” Takroûna/Tunisia (MAR-2),20 with similar meaning as in Moroccan in Saudi Arabia/Dōsiri giṭan, yigṭin: al-ʿarab gṭanaw “the Bedouins camp for a longer period at the well (generally in summer)”, giṭīn “the camp” (KUR); yagiṭnūnuh Šammar “Šammar were camped there” (SOW 176/177 verse 569, not in the glossary). Cf. also in DOU II:119 “most of the geyatîn (sing. gatûny, indigent Beduin squatters at Kheybar): they made themselves booths of their palm matting”; in the glossary in unvocalised Arabic qyāṭīn. Cf. above the plurals gyāṭīn ~ gyāṭən. It is quite possible to derive *gayṭan (> gēṭən) from giṭan21 or giṭīn, cf. Syrian Arabic ṭaylaʿ “to take, get out”, Yemeni Arabic ṣayġar “to make small”, ṭayfar “to spoil”, tfayqah “to pretend to be a faqīh”, tgaybal “to pretend to be a gabīlī ”, tkaysal “to be lazy”, timayzaǧ “to be mixed” and others (JG), formed either from triliteral verbs or from a nominal structure of the type CaCīC(a). Such derivations are particularly frequent in Maghrebi Arabic (many details for Saïda in MAR-1 loc. cit., Djidjelli MARP-1:205, COH 144). The unvocalised gyṭāna “Arabes de la tente, nomades” in Algerian Arabic (BEAU) may be derived either from gēṭən “planter sa tente chez, camper” or from the gēṭōn-tent of the pastoralists. One has to suppose that the Greek κοιτών “bedroom” originally was adopted in an urban environment, with a shift then to “small room, annexed room, pantry, cellar, vault, cistern, verandah, porch, pavilion, tent”, then adopted by bedouins and rural people and associated with the Arabic root qṭn “to dwell, camp”22 as a product of folk etymology and exclusively used for a “tent” different from the traditional bayt aš-šaʿr. The fact that in the Maghreb it is actually used with /g/23 in urban dialects leads to the conclusion that gīṭūn ~ gēṭōn is a “Rückwanderer” there. A check in the dialect dictionaries and glossaries of Egyptian, Levantine, Anatolian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Gulf, Omani Arabic which were at our disposal has shown that the root qṭn in the meaning “to dwell, camp” is not attested there. It seems that it is only used (attested) in Saudi 20 A verbal form not being used anymore. Cf. KUR 270 gāṭin “one who camps near the well for a considerable time” (with reference to Musil). 21 The translations of gēṭən “séjourner longtemps à un même campement” (LOU 534) and giṭan “camp for a longer period” are in substance identical. 22 Possibly also with quṭn “cotton”. See above also √qṭn as in aqṭanu “vaulted” which might have led to the meaning “vault, cellar” in Eastern sources. 23 Tangiers, however, qayṭūn, also in Jbala dialects qāyṭūn “tienda pequeña para acampar” (VIC 246), as well as gayṭūn “jaima” in Chaouen (MOS 45).


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich

Arabia and the Maghreb in this sense. This means that a prerequisite for a fusion of the two etyma in the Maghreb is given. On the other hand, in a non-bedouin environment, namely in Egypt, the semantic evolution has taken another direction. Tents for Special Occasions Beside the tent that serves as a home to live in, there are tents or tentlike constructions erected for special occasions, such as weddings. The bridal tent, for instance, serves as a first stay for the newly married couple. Such a tent is called burza ~ birza in Syria24 for details see WAD 2:60c; berza (WETZ 108 fn.44).25 In the Negev it may simply be referred to by bīt hal-faṛḥ “wedding tent” (HEN 372,-2). Iraqi ḥōfa ~ ḥôwfa is according to LAN-D 519 the same as the Syrian burza: wi nṣubaw lḥôwfa “[sie] schlugen das Hochzeitsgemach auf” (WEI 5,6), Širqāṭ: gabəl ʿiddna el-ḥōfe, ġurfat al-ʿäres, nsämmīha l-ḥōfe, yudxul er-ʿarīs (sic!) we-l-ʿarūs bi-l-ḥōfe. (33) mū ġurfa, ḥaṣīr, dāxil xēma, xāriǧ el-byēt “formerly we had the ḥōfe, a wedding room, we call it ḥōfe. (33) It is not a room, (it) is a mat, inside a tent, outside the house” (SAL 25,9–12). The habit of preparing a tent for a newly married couple is also common with the Rwala; it is called ḥeǧra “a small round tent . . . pitched by the women near by” (MUS-1:228), see ḥaǧīra below. In the Daṯīna “hutte ou tente qu’on fait pour le mariage = Béd. Nord burza vhv. Stace sub booth et wedding booth” (LAN-D 567); maxdara belongs to xidr mentioned below. In Palestine ʿarīše “tente de mariage” (DAL VI:26,17); it is described as a “kleines Zelt” in the courtyard of a farmer’s house (MUS-2:134). For Mādabā/ Jordan Jaussen describes the ʿarīše as following: “Durant les chaleurs, il n’est guère possible de dormir dans la maison; on construit alors une hutte ou petite tente, sur la terrasse: quelques piquets de bois, fortement attachés ensemble par des cordes, et recouverts d’étoffe. C’est la ʿarīšeh, assez large pour abriter deux personnes” ( JAU 74). The photo fig. 4 in the appendix shows indeed something like the structure of a simple tent

24 Perhaps by metathesis from zirb “reed mat” used to build the wedding hut (WETZ 153). The same tent is called xarbūš by the Arabs of the Trachonitis and Balqāʾ, which means any miserable tent in the dialect of the ʿAneza (WETZ 108 fn. 44). 25 Further literature in DJ 162 fn.265 and 479 fn.53; a detailed decription can be found in MUR 181–182.

about bedouin tents and other tents


with a tip and with cloth on it. It is widely attested in the sense of “palm-branch hut” or (Bahrain) ʿarīš HOL-1:345b, Abu Ḏ̣abi ʿirīš “Strohhütte” RAW 246b, Ḏ̣ufār ʿarīš “Rohrhütte” RHO 39b, ABU 360b explains ʿarīše as xayma (sic!) min xašab tuttaxaḏu li d-dawālī, i.e. the common trellis (for grapevines) (WEHR); the Sāhel-Bedouin in Oman call their stone huts ʿaršah ( JANZ 92). For a “temporary pavilion of appliquéed or patterned cloth set up for funeral receptions and other large gatherings” (HB) or simply “large tent” (SPI-2) the term ṣiwān is used in Egypt, ṣīwān in Syria “very large tent” (STO), in Palestine ṣīwān “großes vierseitiges Zelt” (BAU), in Lebanon ṣaywān “tente” (CSM), in Sudan ṣīwān “large tent erected at feasts” (HIL-1), in Morocco ṣēwān ~ sīwān “grande tente d’apparat du sultan, avec velum devant la porte, qui était la salle de réception quand il était en expedition . . . ou en voyage”, ext. “toute tente somptueuse”, “petite tente, pavillon (du Sultan) pour recevoir”, “tout abri contre le soleil” (DEP). It harks back to Ottoman-Turkish/Persian sāybān “Zelt, Sonnendach” ( JUA), presumably from its vulgar Ottoman form saywān “Schattendach, Sonnenschirm, offenes Zelt” as noted in ZEN, a compound noun from sāye “shadow” and wān ~ bān “guardian”.26 Upper Egyptian wuṭāg, -āt “Zelt” (BW-1) harks back to Ottoman-Turkish otak ~ otaǧ “großes Zelt, Zelt des Fürsten” (ZEN), and Pers. otāgh, otāq “a large tent, pavillion” (STG). In Morocco there is a type of “military tent” called xzä̅ na, described in DEP s.v. xzn as “grande tente d’apparat pour un dignitaire en déplacement (dite tente caïdale) . . . le velum est de forte toile blanche”. Feilberg gives ‘chosâna’ and writes: “. . . est utilisé uniquement par les soldats. Conique ou cylindro-conique. Elle est supporté par un seul poteau au milieu, qui porte sur son extrémité supérieure une plaque de bois circulaire.” (FEI 133). A simpler construction used on the ground seems to be the ẓalla or ẓulla listed for the Indian ocean in Grosset-Grange under the entry “tente” with reference to the glossary of Kuwaiti nautical terms by Johnstone and Muir. These give “awning” as an English equivalent (JOH-MU 315). It is clearly derived from the root ẓll meaning “shadow”.

26 Cf. sāyeh bān “(den Schatten behütend) Sonnenschirm” SAL-SH 92.


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich Additions and Terms not Mentioned in the Commentary in WAD 59–61

– šrāʿ “tent” is mentioned for Saudi Arabia/Ḥiǧāz/Ḥarb (MOZ 76), Dawāsir idem “sail; tent” (KUR). To be added: “In Najd, xēma means only a canvas tent, but the more usual term for this, in Najd and in Oman, is šrāʿ ” (WEB 478 fn. 6); cf. also JOH 254 śéraʿ “to make a tent, sail”. Also used in Persian (STG, JUA). In CA only the meaning “sail” and others, but not “tent” are attested. The technical term for the roof-cloth of the tent is Latin “velum” = “sail”. The poles with a fork (“Gabelstangen”) of the entrance curtain of the Algerian tent are called šrāʿ wusṭāni, šrāʿ ṭarfāni (RAC-2:161).27 A link between the roots šrʿ and ʿrš by metathesis could be considered. – dār quoted in WAD 2 Negev for “tent; household” in a poetical context (BAI 437), seems to be used in this sense outside this context as well, cf. wanbasáṭow fī dāṛhum “And they were happy in their tent” HEN 226,4. – A smaller tent, used as a travelling tent, as an inner tent for the xēma, or as a separately erected tent for women, is called benye in the Ḥassāniyya dialect, see (TAI-1) “tente de forme carrée en tissu, tente en bandes de coton (blanche)” and bennīe/bennia “Innenzelt aus weißem Baumwollstoff, auch als leichtes Reisezelt oder als Zweitzelt bzw. als separat aufgebautes Frauenzelt” (CRE 342, CRE-MT 82 with photo). The term benye itself seems to be limited to this inner tent in a xayma. As to etymology, it could be related to the binyah “dividing curtain” mentioned by B. Ingham. – For the ʿazaba in Algerian Arabic and elsewhere see above. – ḥaǧīra “small, lightweight tent used during the rainy season when tents must be moved often” Sudan/Rašāyda (YOU 142). Cf. héjra “a small summer or ‘flitting tent’” in DOU I:257 (in the glossary in Arabic ḥuǧra). In Tunisia ḥažīr refers to the fire place in front of the womens’ compartment of the tent surrounded by brushwood (RAC-2:165). Cf. LANE ḥaǧǧara “He made a bound, or enclosure around his land” and ḥeǧra “wedding tent” above. – xidr “Zelt, Zelt aus Häuten” Yemen ( JG) is mentioned in RAC-2:178 according to Hess as a tent with six poles, synonym fāze. In LANE xidr “A curtain . . . that is extended for a girl in a part of a house, or chamber, or

27 The poles of the gēṭōn in North-eastern Morocco have a fork for the ridgepole called tfōṛka < Berber < Romance forca “fork”. Another romance loan is tînda “Zeltplane” SIN 521.

about bedouin tents and other tents


tent . . . any chamber, or house, or tent, or the like, that conceals a person”. Still used as xidra, xudra in the sense of “dividing curtain of the tent” by semi-nomads of upper Mesopotamia, Kurds and arabicised Turkomans of the Biqāʿ (RAC-2:184 fn. 3), loc. cit. also xadr as “women’s compartment of the tent” in Palestine, xidr “shelter, women’s quarters of a tent, small tent for a woman” (KUR) in Wādī d-Dawāsir/Saudi Arabia. For its semantic relation with xadr, xudr “trou, maisonnette en briques cuites au soleil” see LAN-Ḥ 265f and below chapter E. – Reflexes of CA xibāʾ “one of the buyūt [or kinds of tents] of the Arabs . . . peculiarly of wool . . . or of camels’ fur, or of wool . . . or of [goats’] hair . . . smaller than the miḏ̣alla . . . upon two poles, or three; what is above this kind being termed baytun” (LANE)28 are to be found in Mauritania xbe, pl. xbāyāt “petite tente en mauvais état” (TAI-1, III:512), there also according to another source for Timbouctou as “tente blanche faite d’étroites bandes de coton cousues ensemble”, in Algerian Arabic xbāʾ “tente en toile” (BEAU, unvocalised), Tunisian Arabic/Marāzīg exbé, pl. xbāwāt “ ‘tente en grosse toile importée’ (jamais en šaʿár)” (BOR). – dila “leather tent of ox skins sewn together” in Chad, the same with sheep skins is nato (LET 455); both words are according to LET of unknown origin. But since dila originally is “skin” in Nigerian Arabic (p.c. J. Owens), an Arabic origin for the latter seems possible, see POM “peau tannée, cuir, assemblage de peaux, couverture en peaux, cuir de vache ou de mouton” with reference to √dlw.29 – diglaaba or iliyye. As to Nigerian Arabic, J. Owens informs us that there a modern tent, like a military tent, would be diglaaba or iliyye. These two terms designate any structure built to shade one from the sun. Most villages and many houses have a permanent diglaaba where people gather to escape the afternoon sun. Diglaaba is also used in the sense of ‘polling booth’, and probably has other analogous uses. This resembles more a kind of awning or hut and, indeed, KAY gives diglāba, pl. dagālīb “marked place hut (occasionally lived in)”, digilāba, pl. dagālīb “porch”, and ilīye, pl. alāli “small grass hut, stall, small shop”. diglāba shows up in Chad and Sudan with metathesis lugdābe ~ ligdābe “petit hangar, abri, auvent, appentis, abris contre le soleil” (POM), digilāba, ligdāba (LET s.v. ‘porch’), and for the Rubaṭāb in Sudan lugdāba = rākūba wa qad tustaʿmal ka-maṭbax, 28 Cf. EI 1147a with a discussion of the relation of bayt vs. xibāʾ. 29 Probably because a dalw is made of leather. A photo of a Twareg leather tent (ehen) can be seen in CRE-MT 89.


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich

nowadays more like a veranda or ṣāla (QAS), further illiye, pl. alāli “abri, auvent, appentis, hangar” (POM), ʾilliye, pl. ʾelāli “mirador; véranda, abri” (ZT 129) in Chad (Ulâd Eli). – mygra, pl. medzä̅ rī Saudi Arabia (Šammar, ʿUtaybah, Gḥatān) for a tent with two rows of poles (RAC-2:178) belongs to dzä̅ ri elbēt “Erhöhung des Zeltdaches über der Mittelstange des mešʿūb-Zeltes und des Großnomadenzeltes”, i.e., furnished with “an elevation of the roof above the medial pole of the tent” (RAC-2:183 fn. 3). As Rackow, loc. cit. suggests, qä̅ ri corresponds to class. qarīya “bâton; poutre dans laquelle on emboîte les piliers qui supporte la maison; vergue” (KAZ, LI), xašabāt fīhā furaḍun yuǧʿalu fīhā ra⁠ʾs ʿamūd al-bayt (ĞAW VI:2491), which in its turn is to be derived from class. qarā “back, strong back” (LI), Rwala gara “back” (MUS-1:273), “ridge of a hill” (MUS-1:680). – mašʿūb refers to a tent with three rows of poles but lacking the middle pole of the last row (RAC-2:178). – magrūn in Saudi Arabia according to an internet source refers to a small tent of goats’ hair for sheep and goats as a shelter from the sun. Cf. RAC2:177 bēt garnēn with two middle poles or mgawran. This form (mgauran) also in Ingham for a “two-poled tent”, whereas MUS-1:72 gives bejt qarnēn or midawbal for the Rwala; DAL VI:13 as Rackow.30 – RAC-2:180 (according to MUS-1:72) mentions an improvised small tent with one or two poles for short stops during long time migrations named ṭuzz. – The latter calls to mind the ‘tousluc’ mentioned in FEI 133: “Tamisier (1840; I p. 166.) décrit des tentes avec lesquelles il voyagea en Arabie. Elles sont de toile de coton et se composent d’un cylindre, que les Arabes appellent ‘tousluc’ (Tamisier), surmonté d’un cône ou ‘koubbé’ (Tamisier), qui est supporté au milieu par une colonne de bois de 12 pieds de hauteur, assemblée de deux pièces. Tamisier voyageait avec l’armée de Mohammed Ali.” Turkish tuzluk is defined in TAY-1:314/5 as māniʿu t-turāb, as “gaiter” and a kind of protection wall around the tent ( yuṭlaq . . . ʿalā sātir min al-xayma yūḍaʿ ka-s-sūr walā yuġaṭṭā; mā yudār ḥawla l-xayma min šuqaq bilā saqf ). – marbūʿ Saudi Arabia (Internet) is a tent with four poles, bigger than the bayt aš-šaʿar. There are other terms with regard to the number of poles such as maṯlūṯ, maxmūs, masdūs, etc., or meṯawleṯ, mrawbaʿ, mxawmas accordingly for the Rwala (MUS-1:72); mṯanleṯ (sic!), mrawbaʿ, mxawmas, 30 Cf. EI 1148 “called fāza by the Tiyāha, and mgauren by the Sbāʿ ”.

about bedouin tents and other tents


msawtet, msawbaʿ, mṯawmen, mtawsaʿ in DAL VI:13. ʿišrīni in Fezzan, however, refers to the length of the big tent, i.e. 20 yards/ells (“coudées”, MARP-2:27). – magʿad Negev “the guest section of a tent,” and by extension “the guesttent of an encampment” (BAI 450). Some General Observations on Tent Terminology B. Ingham in his lecture distinguishes between the following “general observations” as for tent terminology: a) anthropomorphic usages, b) cer­tain terms used generally and of special use within the tent context, c) house vocabulary used within the tent context. Ad a) B. Ingham mentions amongst others riǧl “leg” for a “back corner pole”. This is documented, too, for the tent of the Libyan Awlād ʿAli in Egypt as réžel in RAC-2:169, another meaning of riǧl is “guy-rope of the front part” (RAC-2:183) for North Arabian bedouins and Arabia Petraea. The anthropomorphic view may vary from tribe to tribe, the Maʿāza in Egypt, for instance, use rigl “foot” for both front and back poles, whereas in Sinai yad “hand” is the term for the front poles, rigl for the back poles (MUR 81). Other anthropomorphic uses are ẓahar el bêt “back of the tent” for the velum (RAC-2:184), šārib, pl. šwārib “lip” for the front and back strips (“Vordergurt”, “Hintergurt”, RAC-2:165, 167), gfa “back of the head” for the back curtain (loc.cit.); ʿamūd yad al-bayt for the “front pole” (EI 1148). One could add here zoomorphic usages like ḥomāṛ “donkey” for the “ridge shoe” in Oran (RAC-2:163, “Firstholz”), idem Mauritania (RAC2:165), ḥummāṛ in North-eastern Morocco,31 or ʿaṣfūrak for a wooden hook for fixing the guy-ropes (“Saumhölzchen [an Gurten und Laschen]”), for which RAC-2:184 fn. 1 supposes ʿaṣfūr + Iranian (Kurdish?) diminutive ending -ak. ʿaṣfūr “small bird, sparrow” is used for all kinds of pegs in many Arabic dialects, see, e.g., BW-1 s.v. A more common form for this hook is

31 In Duwwār əl-Maʿābda. FEI 159 quotes a Berber form aḥammar (according to Laoust). TAI-1 464 ḥəmmāṛ “pièce de bois qui sert à fixer les montants d’une tente . . .”. Forms with /m/ and /mm/ (ḥmāṛ, ḥammāṛ) for all kinds of props, pegs are also used in Egyptian Arabic. For the “ridge shoe”, B. Ingham mentions gunṭās from Greek κοντός, idem RAC-2:157, more examples in EI 1149 (ḳerṭās, gorṭās, genṭās).


peter behnstedt and manfred woidich

ǧāzil (Arabia, Iraq, Awlād ʿAli = ziəzil in BW). Egyptian Bedouin say deil el-beit “the tent’s tail” for the back-wall of the tent MUR 80. Ad c) sāḥah “part of the house in which there is no roof” is quoted as “(dividing) wall curtain”. Idem in RAC-2:184. In central Algeria sāḥa refers to the outer district of the bedouin camp, accordingly the back part of the tent is called stä̅ r es-sāḥa (RAC-2:161).32 See as well for Syrian bedouin sāḥa “Scheidewand [partition]” between muḥarram and magʿad (WETZ 100 fn.31). Conversely, tent terminology may be transferred to the brickhouse, as already stated above with xayma in chapter A. As cases in point Rackow adduces for Northwest-Morocco (Ḫlóṭ) among others mrāḥ “courtyard”, rkīza, pl. rkāiz (sic!) “wooden posts of the projecting roof of the house” (RAC-1:41b). As for the geographical dispersion and change of tent terminology, B. Ingham states that there is a high degree of uniformity but that in “certain outlying areas particular local usages have grown up presumably as a result of isolation”. As an example he quotes rakīza “pole” or “prop” in Western Morocco instead of the more common ʿamūd. rkīza, pl. rkāyəz in Oran (RAC-2:162) and Duwwār əl-Maʿābda (near the Algerian border) refer(s) only to the central pole(s),33 ʿ(a)mūd to the outer poles of the front and back part of the tents. Also in Mauritania rkāyəz for the two main poles, ʿmūd, pl. ʿməd for the lateral ones (TAI-1:464, 1494), rekīztēn for the two main poles in Fezzan/Libya (MARP-2:20). As for the tent of the Libyan Awlād ʿAli in Egypt RAC-2:169 states that the terminology is quite divergent from the rest of the Maghreb. The forms for poles are žāber, pl. žóbber (žibbir in BW) for the main pole, xommāsa for the front corner pole,34 režel for the back corner pole (RAC-2:169). The semantic link of žāber to √ǧbr is that of “straightening” (originally a broken bone) to “erect the tent”. Finally B. Ingham discusses mechanisms of semantic change like metaphor, metonomy (extension, contiguity, generalisation, particularisation, ellipsis) and popular etymology. A case in point is the above mentioned xidr “curtain that is extended for a girl in a part of the tent” for which an extension to “women’s compartment of the tent” by metonymy seems

32 stār ət-tāli in Duwwār əl-Maʿābda, stār l-uwwəl for the front part. 33 “A single vertical pole” supporting the ridge-pole in EI 1149. 34 xamāmīs in BW 1, however, “seitliche Spannschnüre beim Zelt” = lateral guy-ropes.

about bedouin tents and other tents


quite reasonable, were it not that its cognate in Biblical Hebrew ‫ֶח ֶדר‬ already means “room, chamber, usually private, as bedroom” (BDB). Similar meanings of this root in other Semitic languages, cf. South Arabian xdr “chamber”, m-xdr “residence”, Phoenecian ḥdr “(burial) chamber”, Ugaritic ḥdr “room” (LES 258), suggest that this is the older meaning. So the converse, i.e., particularisation “apartment” to “curtain (to make an apartment)” would be possible, if not more probable. Moreover, this could more easily explain the fact that in Yemen xidr shows up as “tent with six poles”, “tent, tent made of animals’ skin”, “Haus” ( JG). For a detailed discussion see LAN-Ḥ 265. The meaning “tent” of bēt and bēt šaʿar, i.e. the whole construction including stakes, pegs, ropes, and other appertaining paraphernalia, harks back to a semantic extension of the original meaning “tent cloth”. For Arabia Petraea, MUS-2:126 points out that “die Zeltdecke heißt κατ᾽ ἐξοχὴν el-Bejt”, and for Palestine Dalman explains: “Die Zeltdecke (bēt šaʿr) . . . ist die Veranlassung, daß die Beduinen ihr Zelt bēt šaʿr nennen” (DAL VI:12, passim). In Duwwār əl-Maʿābda the velum of canvas is either called sqaf (see point c) or ḥṣēra “mat”. The latter applies also to the canvas velum of the gēṭōn. This suggests a former use of mats as roof-cloth.35 References AB-1

Ahmad-Salem Ould Mohamed Baba. 1998. ‘Äṣḷ el-Biḏ̣ān: textos De Məḏ̣ḏ̣ärəḏ̣rä (Mauritania)’. Estudios de dialectología norteafricana y andalusí 3, 163–201. AB-2 Ahmad-Salem Ould Mohamed Baba. 2008. Refranero y fraseología ḥassānī. Recopilación, explicación, estudio gramatical y glosario. Zaragoza. ABU Aḥmad Abū Saʿd. 1987. Qā­­mūs al-muṣṭalaḥāt wa t-taʿābīr aš-šaʿbīya. Beirut. BAI Clinton Bailey. 1991. Bedouin Poetry From Sinai and the Negev. Oxford. Oxford University Press. BAU L. Bauer. 1957. Deutsch—Arabisches Wörterbuch der Umgangssprache in Palästina und im Libanon. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. BDB Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs. 1906. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Cambridge. BEAU Marcelin Beaussier, Mohamed Ben Cheneb et Albert Lentin. 2006. Dictionnaire Pratique Arabe–Français. (Arabe Maghrébin). Paris. Ibis Press. BEHN Roy H. Behnke. 1980. The Herders of Cyrenaica. Ecology. Economy, and Kinship among the Bedouin of Eastern Libya. Urbana etc. University of Illinois Press. BELK Belkassem Ben Sedira. 1886. Dictionnaire Français—Arabe. Algiers. Reprint Genève (2001). Slatkine.

35 Which elsewhere are used for the side walls (RAC-2:164).


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BOR Gilbert Boris. 1958. Lexique du parler arabe des Marazig. Paris. Imprimerie nationale. BW-1 Peter Behnstedt, Manfred Woidich. 1994. Die ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte. Band 4. Glossar Arabisch-Deutsch. Wiesbaden. Reichert. BW-2 Peter Behnstedt, Manfred Woidich. 1987. Die ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte. Band 3. Texte. I. Delta-Dialekte. Wiesbaden. Reichert. COH David Cohen. 1963. Le Dialecte Arabe Ḥassānīya de Mauritanie (parler de la Gəbla). (Etudes Arabes Et Islamiques. Etudes Et Documents V). Paris. Klincksieck. COR-1 Federico Corriente. 1997. A Dictionary of Andalusi Arabic. Leiden, New York, Köln. Brill. COR-2 Federico Corriente. 2005. Diccionario avanzado árabe. Tomo I árabe—español. 2nd revised ed. Barcelona. Herder. COS Lucien Costaz, S.J. 2002. Dictionnaire Syriaque–Français, Syriac—English Dictionary, Qāmūs siryānī ʿarabī. 3. Aufl. Beirut. Lebanese Books Inc. CRE Wolfgang Creyaufmüller. 1983. Nomadenkultur in der Westsahara. Die materielle Kultur der Mauren, ihre handwerklichen Techniken und ornamentalen Grundstrukturen. Hallein (Austria). Burgfried-Verlag. CRE-MT Wolfgang Creyaufmüller. 1979. Völker der Sahara—Mauren und Twareg. Stutt­ gart. Linden-Museum. CSM Jinane Chaker Sultani & Jean-Pierre Milelli. 2010. Dictionnaire français–libanais, libanais–français. Crespières. Éditions Milelli. DAL VI Gustaf Dalman. 1939. Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina. VI. Zeltleben, Vieh- und Milchwirtschaft, Jagd, Fischfang. Gütersloh. Reprint Hildesheim (1987). Olms. DALL Jean-Marie Dallet. 1985. Dictionnaire Français–Kabyle. Parler des At Mangellat Algérie (Etudes Ethno-Linguistiques Maghreb-Sahara II). Paris. Société d’ Études Linguistiques et Anthropologiques de France. DEP Alfred-Louis de Premare. 1993–1999. Dictionnaire Arabe—Français. I–XII. Paris. L’Harmattan. DES Edmond Destaing. 2007. Dictionnaire Français-Berbère. Dialecte de Beni-Snous. Réédition Paris. L’Harmattan. DJ Rudolf de Jong. 2000. A Grammar of the Bedouin Dialects of the Northern Sinai Littoral, Bridging the Linguistic Gap between the Eastern and Western Arab World. Leiden. Brill. DO R. Dozy. 1967. Supplément aux Dictionnaires Arabes. I, II. Leiden. Brill. DOS Walter Dostal. 1967. Die Beduinen in Südarabien. Eine ethnologische Studie zur Enwicklung der Kamelhirtenkultur in Arabien (Wiener Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte und Linguistik. Band XVI). Wien. DOU Charles M. Doughty. 1979. Travels in Arabia Deserta. I., II. Reprint New York. Dover Publications. EI Clifford E. Bosworth e.a. (eds.). 1986. Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition, Volume V. Leiden. Brill. FEI C.G. Feilberg. 1944. La tente noire. Nationalmuseets Skrifter. Etnografisk Roeke, II. Copenhagen. FRAE Siegmund Fraenkel. 1886. Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im Arabischen. Leiden. Brill. ĞAW Ismāʿīl b. Ḥammād al-Ğawharī. 1979. aṣ-Ṣiḥāḥ. Tāǧ al-luġa wa ṣiḥāḥ al-ʿarabīya. Taḥqīq Aḥmad ʿAbd al-Ġafūr. al-ǧuzʾ as-sādis. aṭ-ṭabʿa aṯ-ṯāliṯa Beirut: Dār ʿIlm li l-Malāyīn. GRO Henri Grosset-Grange. 1991. Glossaire nautique arabe ancien et moderne de l’océan indien. Texte établi par Alain Rouaud. Paris. C.T.H.S. HANN Jamal El Hannouche. 2008. Ghomara Berber. A Brief Grammatical Survey. Dissertation, University of Leiden. HB M. Hinds and S. Badawi. 1986. A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic. Arabic–English. Beirut. Librairie du Liban.

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Jeffrey Heath. 2004. Hassaniya Arabic (Mali)—English–French Dictionary. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. HEN Roni Henkin. 2010. Negev Arabic. Dialectal, Sociolinguistic, and Stylistic Variation. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. HIL S. Hillelson. 1925. Sudan Arabic English–Arabic Vocabulary. London. Sudan Government. HOL C. Holes. 2001. Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia. I. Glossary. Leiden. Brill. ING-N Bruce Ingham. 1994. Najdi Arabic. Central Arabian. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. John Benjamins. JAU A. Jaussen. 1948. Coutumes des Arabes au pays de Moab. Paris. Gabalda. JG Peter Behnstedt. 1992–2007. Die nordjemenitischen Dialekte. Teil 2: Glossar Alif—Dāl, Ḏāl—ʿAyn, Fāʾ—Yāʾ. Wiesbaden. Reichert. JANZ Jörg Janzen. 1980. Die Nomaden Dhofars/Sultanat Oman. Traditionelle Lebensformen im Wandel. Bamberg. JUA Heinrich F.J. Junker u. Bozorg Alavi. 2002. Persisch–Deutsch. Wörterbuch. 9. Aufl. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. JOH T.M. Johnstone. 1981. Jibbāli Lexicon. Oxford. Oxford University Press. JOH-MU T.M. Johnstone and J. Muir. 1964. ‘Some nautical terms in the Kuwaiti dialect of Arabic.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 27, 299–332. KAY Alan S. Kaye. 1986. Nigerian Arabic—English Dictionary. Malibu. Undena Publications. KAZ Albert de Biberstein-Kazimirski. 1875. Dictionnaire arabe—français. Le Caire. KNA Gabriele Knappe. 2004. Greyhounds Are Not Grey: On Folk-etymological Change and Its Role in the History of English. Chr. Bode, S. Domsch, H. Sauer (eds.), Anglistentag 2003 München, Proceedings, 491–505. Trier. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. KUR P. Marcel Kurpershoek. 2005. Oral Poetry & Narratives from Central Arabia. Voices from the Desert. Vol. 5. Glossary, Indices & List of Recordings. Leiden. Brill. LAN-D Carlo de Landberg. Glossaire daṯînois. VOL. I–III. Études sur les dialectes de l’Arabie Méridionale. Deuxième volume. Leiden. Brill. LAN-Ḥ Carlo de Landberg. 1901. Études sur les dialectes de l’Arabie méridionale. I. Ḥaḍramoût. Leiden. Brill. LANE Edward William Lane. 1863. An Arabic–English Lexicon. 8 Vols. London. Reprint Beirut (1968). Librairie du Liban. LAO Émile Laoust. 1920. Mots et choses berbères. Rabat. LAO-C Émile Laoust. 1939. Cours de Berbère marocain, Dialecte du Maroc Central. Paris. Geuthner. LAO-H Émile Laoust. 1930. ‘L’Habitation chez les transhumants du Maroc central.’ Hespéris X, Fasc. II.11–253. LEQ Jean-Loïc Le Quellec. 2003. Yalla! Méthode d’arabe libyen (Tripolitaine et Fezzān). Paris. L’Harmattan. LES Wolf Leslau. 1987. Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez. Geʿez–English, English–Geʿez. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. LET G.J. Lethem. 1920. Colloquial Arabic. Shuwa Dialect of Bornu, Nigeria and the Region of Lake Chad. London. LEV Évariste Lévi-Provençal. 1922. Textes arabes de l’Ouargha. Dialecte des Jbala (Maroc Septentrional). Paris. E. Leroux. LI Muḥammad Ibn Mukarram Ibn Manẓūr. 1300–08. Lisān al-ʿarab. Būlāq. LIST Harald List. 1987. ‘Notizen zu den Bezeichnungen von Zelt, Kleidung und Kochgeschirr bei nahöstlichen Beduinen’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 17, 69–90. HEA

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Victorien Loubignac. 1952. Textes arabes des Zaër. Transcription, traduction, notes et lexique. Paris. Librarie orientale et américaine. MAL Jihane Madouni-La Peyre. 2003. Dictionnaire Arabe Algérien—Français. Algérie de l’ouest. Paris. L’Asiathèque. MAR-1 William Marçais. 1908. Le dialecte arabe des U̅lä̅ d Brāhîm de Saïda (Département d’Oran). Paris. Mémoires de la Société de Linguistique de Paris. MAR-2 William Marçais and A. Guiga. 1958–196. Textes, trancriptions, et traductions annotées. II. Glossaire. Paris. MARP-1 Philippe Marçais. 1956. Le parler arabe de Djidjelli (Nord constantinois, Algérie). Paris. Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient. MARP-2 Philippe Marçais. 2001. Parlers arabes du Fezzān. Textes, traductions et élément rassemblés et présentés par Dominique CAUBET, Aubert MARTIN et Laurence DENOOZ. Genève. Librairie Droz. MOS F. Moscoso García. 2003. El dialecto árabe de Chauen. Cádiz. Universidad de Cádiz. MOZ Hamza Q. al-Mozainy. 1981. Vowel Alternations in a Bedouin Hijazi Arabic Dialect: Abstractness and Stress. The University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. MUR G.W. Murray. 1935. Sons of Ishmael. A Study of the Egyptian Bedouin. London. Routledge & Sons. MUS-1 Alois Musil. 1928. The Manners and the Customs of the Rwala Bedouins. New York. American Geographical Society. MUS-2 Alois Musil. 1908. Arabia Petraea. III. Ethnologischer Reisebericht. Wien. Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften. NAT Gilda Nataf and Barbara Graille. 2002. Proverbes libyens, recueillis par Roger Chambard. Paris. Gellas-Karthala. OWE-G Jonathan Owens. 1993. A Grammar of Nigerian Arabic. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. POM Patrice Jullien de Pommerol. 1999. Dictionnaire arabe tchadien–français. Paris. Karthala. PUI Odette de Puigaudeau. 1967. ‘Arts et coutumes des Maures.’ Hespéris-Tamuda VIII, 111–198. QAS ʿAwn al-Šarīf Qāsim. 2002. Qāmūs al-lahǧa al-ʿāmmīya fī al-Sūdān. al-ṭabʿa al-ṯāliṯa muzayyada wa munaqqaʿa. al-Xurṭūm. RAC-1 Ernst Rackow. 1958. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der materiellen Kultur NordwestMarokkos. Wohnraum, Hausrat, Kostüm. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. RAC-2 Ernst Rackow and Werner Caskell. 1938. ‘Das Beduinenzelt: Nordafrikanische und arabische Zelttypen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des zentralalgerischen Zeltes. Teil I.’ Baessler-Archiv XXI, 151–184. Berlin. RAW R.-F.B. Al-Rawi. 1990. Studien zum Arabischen Dialekt von Abū Ḏ̣aby. Nominalbildung und -lexik, Texte. Heidelberg. J. Groos. RHO N. Rhodokanakis. 1911. Der vulgärarabische Dialekt im Ḏ̣ofâr (Ẓfâr). II. Einleitung, Glossar und Grammatik. Wien. Alfred Hölder. SAL Erkki Salonen. 1980. On the Arabic spoken in Širqāṭ (Assur). Helsinki. Suomalainen tiedeakatemia. SAL-SH Carl Salemann & Valentin Shukovski. 1925. Persische Grammatik. Berlin. Reuther & Reichard. SHAF Muḥammad Šafīq. 1999. ad-dāriǧa l-maġribīya maǧāl tawārud bayn al-amāziġīya wa l-ʿarabīya (maṭbūʿāt akādīmīya al-mamlakat al-maġribīya. Silisilat “almaʿāǧim”). Ar-Ribāṭ. SIN Hans-Rudolf Singer. 1984. Grammatik der arabischen Mundart von Tunis. Berlin. De Gruyter. SOW Saad A. Sowayan. 1992. The Arabian Oral Historical Narrative. An Ethnographic and Linguistic Analysis. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. SPI Socrates Spiro. 1895. An Arabic–English Dictionary of the Colloquial Arabic of Egypt. Cairo. STG Francis J. Steingass. 1892. A Comprehensive Persian–English Dictionary. London. Repr. 1930. Routledge & K. Paul.


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Karl Stowasser and Moukhtar Ani. 1964. A Dictionary of Syrian Arabic: English Arabic. Washington. Georgetown University Press. TAI-1 Catherine Taine-Cheikh. 1988–1990. Dictionnaire Ḥassāniyya–Français. Dialecte Arabe de Mauritanie. Paris. Geuthner. TAI-2 Catherine Taine-Cheikh. 1990. Lexique Français–Ḥassāniyya. Dialecte arabe de Mauritanie. Paris. Geuthner. TAL F. Talmoudi. 1980. The Arabic Dialect of Sūsa (Tunisia). Orientalia Gothoburgensa 4. Göteborg. TAY-1 Aḥmad Taymūr. 2001. Muʿǧam Taymūr al-kabīr fī al-alfāẓ al-ʿāmmīya. Iʿdād wa taḥqīq D. Ḥusayn Naṣṣār. al-ǧuzʾ al-xāmis. al-Qāhira. TAY-2 Aḥmad Taymūr. 2001. Muʿǧam Taymūr al-kabīr fī al-alfāẓ al-ʿāmmīya. Iʿdād wa taḥqīq D. Ḥusayn Naṣṣār. al-ǧuzʾ al-rābiʿ. al-Qāhira. TIL M. Tilmatine, A.El Molghy, C. Castellanos, H. Banhakeia. 1998. La llengua rifenya Tutlayt tarifit. 1. Gramàtica Rifenya. Tajeṛṛumt n Trifit. 2. Lèxic bàsic AmazighCatalà-Francès Tamawalt Tamazight-Takatalant-Tafransist. Departament de Traducció i d’Interpretació 2a. edició revisada, corregida i ampliada. Unversitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Servei de Publicacions. Bellaterra. VIC A. Vicente. 2000. El dialecto arabe de Anjra (Norte de Marruecos). Estudio lingüístico y textos. Zaragoza. Universidad de Zaragoza. VOL Karl Vollers. 1896. ‘Beiträge zur Kenntnis der lebenden arabischen Sprache in Aegypten. II. Über Lehnwörter, Fremdes und Eigenes.’ Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 50, 607–657 and 1897. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 51, 291–364. VYC Werner Vycichl. 2005. Berberstudien & A sketch of Siwi Berber. Köln. WA Adolf Wahrmund. 1898. Handwörterbuch der neuarabischen und deutschen Sprache. I, II. Nachdruck Beirut (1985). Librairie du Liban. WAD 1 Peter Behnstedt and Manfred Woidich. 2011. Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte. Band I: Mensch, Natur, Fauna und Flora. Leiden. Brill. WAD 2 Peter Behnstedt and Manfred Woidich. 2011. Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte. Band II: Materielle Kultur. Leiden. Brill. WEB Roger Webster. 1991. ‘Notes on the dialect and way of life of the Āl Wahība Bedouin of Oman.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies LIV,3, 473–485. WEHR H. Wehr. 1985. Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart. Arabisch–Deutsch. 5. Aufl. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. WEI F.H. Weißbach. 1908. Beiträge zur Kunde des Irak-Arabischen. Part 1. Leipzig; 2. Leipzig 1930. (= Leipziger Semitistische Studien 4). Part 2 = 1924. ZS 3, 89–115 and 256–295; 1926. ZS 4, 42–60 and 227–255; 1927. ZS 5, 135–169. WETZ Johann G. Wetzstein. 1868. ‘Sprachliches aus den Zeltlagern der syrischen Wüste.’ Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft XXII, 69–194. YODA Sumikazu Yoda. 2005. The Arabic Dialect of the Jews of Tripoli (Libya). Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. YOU William C. Young. 1996. The Rashaayda Bedouin. Arab Pastoralists of Eastern Sudan. Fort Worth. Harcourt Brace College Publishers. ZA Liesbeth Zack. 2009. Egyptian Arabic in the seventeenth century. A study and edition of Yūsuf al-Maġribī’s Dafʿ al-iṣr ʿan kalām ahl Miṣr. Utrecht. LOT. ZEN Julius Th. Zenker. 1866. Türkisch–Arabisch–Persisches Handwörterbuch. I/II. Leipzig. Reprint (1994). Hildesheim. Olms. ZT Jean-Claude Zeltner u. Henry Tourneux. 1986. L’arabe dans le bassin du Tchad. Le parler des Ulâd Eli. Paris. Karthala.

Tense and Aspect in Semitic: A case study based on the Arabic of the Omani Šarqiyya and the Mehri of Dhofar Domenyk Eades and Janet C.E. Watson This chapter examines the verbal systems of two Semitic languages spoken in Oman. According to Holes (2004), the Classical Arabic verbal system is primarily aspectual in nature, although in many modern Arabic dialects this has evolved into absolute tense systems. In many conservative Bedouin varieties of Arabic such as the Najdi dialect described by Ingham (1994), the aspectual system has largely been preserved. In this paper, we examine new data from two Semitic languages spoken in Oman: the Arabic dialect of the Šarqiyya region and the Modern South Arabian language, Mehri. It is shown that while the verbal systems differ in some respects, both systems are adequately described as aspectual, with tense implications determined by either context or the use of tense particles. 1. Introduction This study is a contribution towards understanding Semitic verbal systems by presenting an analysis of new data from conservative varieties of two Semitic languages spoken in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. Our study discusses the verbal system of the Arabic dialect of the Šarqiyya region of Oman, a conservative Bedouin dialect similar in type to the dialects of inner Arabia,1 and the verbal system of the Modern South Arabian language, Mehri. The Modern South Arabian languages (MSAL) are arguably the most conservative extant Semitic languages, since they preserve several features known to have existed in ancient Semitic languages that are lacking in other extant Semitic languages. These include: preservation in most varieties of dual number in pronouns, mood marking in the

1 Within this particular dialect group some phonological and morphological variation can be found. For example, the 3rd person plural verbal inflection is realised as either -u or -ūn. These formal contrasts are not relevant to the issue discussed in this chapter.


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p-stem, distinction between three plain sibilants /s/, /š/ and /ś/ (corresponding to ancient s1, s2 and s3) of which /ś/ is a lateral fricative, and a distinction in all varieties between the cognate of Arabic ḍād and ḏ̣āʾ. In this chapter, we begin by discussing the issue of tense and aspect in relation to Classical Arabic and the modern Arabic dialects. We consider the form, and then the function, of the different verbal inflections; finally, we examine the expression of tense and aspect in Šarqiyya Arabic and Mehri through the use of affixes and particles. 2. Tense and Aspect in Arabic 2.1 Defining Tense and Aspect Tense, (modality) and aspect are distinct conceptual categories that are “sometimes difficult to tease apart” (Payne 1997: 234). According to Comrie (1985: 9), tense is “a grammaticalised location in time”, where a state or event is viewed in relation to a specific time frame. Two different types of tense can be distinguished depending on whether the time frame coincides with the utterance time (absolute tense) or a contextuallydetermined time frame that may or may not coincide with the utterance time (relative tense). English and other European languages feature absolute tense systems, where verbal inflections indicate past, present and future in relation to the utterance time. In contrast, relative tense systems are not sensitive to utterance time. Comrie (1985: 56) defines relative tense systems as those “where the reference point for location of a situation is some point in time given by the context, not necessarily the present moment.” Relative tense involves the marking of either anteriority (i.e. preceding or following) with respect to the time frame, or simultaneity with the time frame. Comrie (1985: 56) remarks that: . . . for relative tenses all that is required is the identification of a reference point, the range of potential reference points being in principle all those compatible with the given context. Thus, the present moment is, unless barred by context, always available as a reference point for relative tenses.

Aspect defines the internal event structure or stative semantics described by a predicate. Comrie (1976: 3) states that the two most basic aspectual distinctions—perfective and imperfective—constitute “different ways of viewing the internal temporal constituency of a situation.” He distinguishes these categories as follows:

tense and aspect in semitic


perfectivity indicates the view of a situation as a single whole, without distinction of the various separate phases that make up that situation, while the imperfective pays essential attention to the internal structure of the situation (Comrie 1976: 16).

The basic paradigms to be examined in this study are illustrated below with examples from Classical Arabic. Henceforth relevant elements are highlighted in bold in the data examples and, where appropriate in the gloss, in italics: s-stem a. ‫( رضب زيد الرجل‬ḍaraba zayd ar-rajul) ‘Zaid hit/has hit the man’ p-stem b. ‫ زيد يرضب الرجل‬zayd yaḍrib ar-rajul ‘Zaid hits/is hitting/will hit the man’

Temporal meaning is also conveyed in Arabic and other Semitic languages to varying degrees of productivity by means of the Active Participle (AP). This is a deverbal nominalisation that conveys a range of inferred aspectual meanings in both Classical Arabic and modern Arabic dialects: Active participle ً ‫ضارب‬ ٌ b. ‫رجال‬ ‫ زيد‬zayd ḍārib rajul ‘Zaid hits/ is hitting/ will hit a man’

The function of the verbal system has been a major theme in Arabic linguistics as well as in the broader context of Semitic linguistics. The verbal systems of Arabic varieties have been characterised alternatively as marking aspect, tense, or a combination of both tense and aspect. Western grammars of Arabic have traditionally defined the verbal system of Classical Arabic in aspectual terms, referring to the basic inflectional paradigms as Perfective versus Imperfective (Wright 1898; Eisele 1999: 4ff ). Eisele (1999) argues that such aspectual analyses are problematic, arguing for a combined tense and aspect analysis. Comrie remarks that Classical Arabic “incorporates both aspect and (relative) tense” (1976: 80). He also states in this regard: I will assume that the usual interpretation of the opposition, in the absence of contextual factors to the contrary, is that the Perfect encodes [relative] past tense and perfective aspect, while the Imperfect encodes [relative] present (or more generally non-past) tense and imperfective aspect (Comrie 1989: 7)


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An alternative analysis is provided by Dahlgren (2008), who argues that in Arabic (and Hebrew), the primary function of the verbal system is to mark relative tense. In the light of the diversity of analyses of the Arabic verbal system, some recent studies have referred to the verbal alternations as suffix stem (s-stem) versus prefix stem (p-stem) (cf. Holes 2004; Horesh 2009). These terms are employed henceforth in this article. According to Holes (2004: 232), the Arabic verbal system was historically aspectual in nature, but in different modern dialects this system has evolved to varying degrees into tense systems. This tendency, he remarks, is more pronounced in the more innovative urban varieties in which absolute tense systems have developed. According to Holes (2004) and Ingham (1994), the conservative Bedouin dialects of the Arabian Peninsula retain the aspectual/relative tense system of Classical Arabic. While in many dialects the s-stem generally coincides with verbs specifying states of affairs anterior to the utterance time, Holes specifies a number of common ways in which the s-stem is used in non-past contexts in more conservative Arabic varieties, thereby demonstrating that “pastness” is not central to the meaning of the s-stem” (2004: 218ff; cf. also Horesh 2009: 456): (a) In all conditional clauses, even those of the “open” type (e.g., ‘If he goes’ in ‘If he goes, I’ll go too’), the action/state in the main clause is envisaged as dependent on the prior occurrence of another action/state [. . .] For this reason, an s-stem verb is used to express the condition even though the action to which it refers is in the future, relative to the time of the utterance [. . .] (b) The s-stem of verbs of emotion and cognition is often used with little or no implication of pastness [. . .] Compare the schoolboy’s dialectal reply to his teacher fihimt! (s-stem, dynamic value) with English present tense ‘(Now) I understand!’[. . .] (c) Performative verbs like wāfaqa ‘to agree’ and qabila ‘to accept’ are also commonly used in the s-stem [. . .] (d) Optatives involving exhortations to God exist in great variety and profusion for every conceivable kind of social occasion, situation, and phatic need.

This view concords with Comrie (1985: 64), who notes that: The extent to which aspect or tense is predominant seems to have changed over the course of the development of Arabic . . . In modern written Arabic, overt tense markers . . . are usual, even in the presence of temporal adverbs (1976: 80, f.1, cited in Ingham 1994: 88).

tense and aspect in semitic


The more conservative nature of the Bedouin dialects is supported by Ingham’s (1994: 87) analysis of the verbal system of the Najdi Arabic dialect of Saudi Arabia: Arabic can be regarded as a language of the type showing Aspect with tense implications . . . The Najdi dialects still preserve that original Aspectcentred system of Classical Arabic, although it can be shown that structures showing a new tense-based system can occasionally be found within the macrostructure.

3. The Study 3.1 The Data The data for this study is drawn from two separate databases representing the two languages. The databases include natural speech, elicited, and partially elicited data. The first was collected by Domenyk Eades and represents the Arabic dialects of mainly Bedouin communities of the Šarqiyya region of northern Oman. These could be considered a single dialect, although there is some, mainly phonological, variation across the dialects. Material from this database is henceforth referred to here as Šarqiyya Arabic, and data examples are followed by the abbreviation (ŠA). The Arabic dialects of Oman have been noted for their grammatical conservatism in contrast with other dialects of peninsular Arabic (Eades 2009; Holes 1998, 2004), and are typologically similar to the Arabic variety spoken in the Najd (cf. Ingham 1994). The Šarqiyya Arabic data was collected from 2007 to 2011, and is represented by around 25 hours of transcribed texts. The other database was collected by Janet Watson, and represents the Modern South Arabian language, Mehri.2 There are three principal dialect groups of Mehri: western Yemeni Mehri, initially described by the Viennese Expedition in the early twentieth century; Mahriyōt, spoken in and around Ḥawf, the far east of Yemen; and Mehreyyet, spoken in Dhofar in southern Oman. Of these, Mehreyyet is shown by Watson (2012) to be the most conservative variety in all aspects of grammar. As shown in Watson

2 The additional transcription symbols employed for Mehri are: /ḳ/ velar ejective plosive /ś/ voiceless lateral fricative /ṣ́/ pharyngealised voiceless lateral fricative /ṣ̌/ pharyngealised voiceless alveopalatal fricative/affricate


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(2012), the dialects differ in terms of phonology, syntactic and morphological structure and in terms of lexis. They differ minimally in the expression of tense and aspect. We focus here on the conservative southern Omani dialect, Mehreyyet, with data from Watson’s fieldwork conducted between 2009 and 2011. Where relevant, comparative data from Mahriyōt is taken from Sima (2009) and from Watson’s fieldwork conducted in al-Ghaydha, Yemen in 2008. Data from Sima (2009) has the abbreviation Sima followed by text and line number provided in footnotes. Watson’s Mahriyōt fieldwork data is followed by the abbreviation (Mo), and Mehreyyet fieldwork data by the abbreviation (M).3 3.2 Method The verbal systems of the varieties investigated comprise three grammatical forms: s-stem, p‑stem and Active Participle (AP). The AP is more productively used in Šarqiyya Arabic than in Mehri. In Šarqiyya Arabic, the AP is used to form deverbal nominals with implied temporal meanings. In both languages, other tense, modal and aspectual meanings are conveyed by means of affixes and particles. These are discussed separately in section 8. The discussion considers the various factors contributing to differences in the meanings of each form. One factor which is tied to the meaning of a given form concerns the Aktionsart (i.e. inherent lexical aspectual) value of the stem. The meaning conveyed by a given inflectional paradigm may vary according to whether the lexical stem is dynamic/stative or telic/atelic. Also considered in our analysis is the illocutionary force of the clause in which the inflected verb occurs. Verbs employed in optative, cohortative, and other types of clauses associated with semantically restricted stems are generally associated with a given stem type. Significant in our analysis is the use of s-stem verbs based on stative stems due to the fact that in many cases they do not refer to past states of affairs but rather to present states. This phenomenon is particularly common in Semitic languages (Horesh 2009: 256). Finally, we examine the syntactic context in which the inflected verb is employed.

3 These two dialects differ in the realisation of *j and *ʕ. *j is realised as a voiced alveopalatal affricate in Mahriyōt, but as a voiced velar plosive in Mehreyyet. *ʕ is realised as a voiced pharyngeal approximant in all lexemes in Mahriyōt. In Mehreyyet, *ʕ has no realisation in some lexemes; in a few lexemes, it is realised with salient pharyngeal constriction; in other lexemes, it is realised as creaky voice or a glottal stop.

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4. Form of the s-stem 4.1 Šarqiyya Arabic The dialects of Oman have been noted for their retention of conservative grammatical features that have disappeared from dialects spoken in many other parts of the Arab world, such as the retention of gender distinction in the 2nd and 3rd person plural inflections. The examples in the tables in this section show paradigms of the basic verbal form of the root x-d-m, which was chosen here due to its occurrence in both languages under investigation: Table 1. Šarqiyya Arabic, xdam ‘to serve’, s-stem 1 2m 2f 3m 3f



xdamt xdamt xdamti xdam xdamat

xdamna xdamtu xdamtǝn xdamaw xdaman

4.2 Omani Mehri (Mehreyyet) Mehreyyet, in common with Mahriyōt, but in contrast to western Yemeni Mehri, maintains dual number in pronouns and verbal inflection. Most inflections in the s-stem involve suffixation, including, in the case of 3rd masculine singular and 3rd feminine plural, null suffixation. Verbs that take stem-final -VVC, however, in the 3rd masculine singular/3rd feminine plural form, are inflected for 3rd masculine plural through ablaut of the stem-final long vowel: thus, xdawm ‘they m. worked’ contrasts with xdūm ‘he/they f. worked’. Table 2. Omani Mehri, xdūm—‘to work’, s-stem sing 1 2m 2f 3m 3f

xdamk xdamk xdamš xdūm xadamūt

dual xdamkī xdamōh xdamtōh

plural xdūman xdamkam xdamkan xdawm xdūm


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson 5. Form of the p-stem 5.1 Šarqiyya Arabic

The p-stem in Šarqiyya Arabic is typical of modern Arabic dialects, in that mood inflections are not exhibited. However, in contrast with many dialects of urban regions throughout the Arab world, plural and feminine inflections of p-stem verbs retain final /n/. Finally, Šarqiyya Arabic has no progressive/continuous/indicative marker such as the b- prefix that occurs in dialects of Egypt, the Levant, and some dialects of Yemen. The only verbal marker in the dialect is the irrealis modal marker b-, which indicates futurity, condition, and irrealis, and thus has a different function from Egyptian/Levantive bi-. Table 3. Šarqiyya Arabic, xdam—‘to serve’, s-stem 1 2m 2f 3m 3f



axdam txadam txadmīn yxadam txadam

nxadam txadmūn txadmǝn yxadmūn yxadmǝn

5.2 Omani Mehri The MSAL maintain morphologically expressed mood distinctions in the p-stem. Mehreyyet exhibits three moods: indicative, subjunctive and conditional, of which only the indicative and subjunctive are maintained in the Mehri of both eastern and western Yemen. The conditional occurs in some optative phrases and in the apodosis of counterfactual conditional sentences, where it may increasingly be replaced by the AP (most commonly referred to as the future participle, cf. Lonnet 1994; Watson, 2012). The p-stem is generally inflected by suffixes and/or prefixes, as in Arabic; however, in contrast to Arabic, 2nd feminine singular and masculine plural inflections may involve internal vowel ablaut: in the indicative of ridd ‘to return’, 3rd masculine plural is realised as ya-rdawd as opposed to 3rd masculine singular ya-rdūd, and 2nd masculine plural ta-rdawd contrasts with 2nd masculine singular ta-rdūd; in the indicative of xdūm, 2nd feminine singular t-xaydam contrasts with 2nd masculine singular t-xōdam.

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Table 4. xdūm—‘to work’, p-stem, indicative 1 2m 2f 3m 3f




axōdam txōdam txaydam yixōdam txōdam

axadmōh txadmōh

nxōdam txadmam txadman yixadmam txadman

yixadmōh txadmōh

Table 5. xdūm—‘to work’, p-stem, subjunctive 1 2m 2f 3m 3f




laxdēm taxdēm taxdēmī yaxdēm taxdēm

laxdamōh taxdamōh

naxdēm taxdēmam taxdēman yaxdēmam taxdēman

yaxdamōh taxdamōh

Table 6. xdūm—‘to work’, p-stem, conditional 1 2m 2f 3m 3f




(l)axdēman taxdēman taxdēman yixdēman taxdēman

laxdamayan taxdamayan

naxdēman taxdēman taxdēman yaxdēman taxdēman

yaxdamayan taxdamayan

In the discussion of tense and aspect in the sections that follow, we begin by considering meanings associated with the s-stem and p-stem, and then we discuss inflectional means by which tense and aspect are marked. 6. Meanings Associated with the s-stem The s-stem most commonly refers to actions or states that have experienced a beginning, middle and end, and thus exhibit perfective aspect (cf. Comrie 1976). In certain contexts and with verbs with specific semantic values, the s-stem conveys ingressive aspect, and is associated with the cohortative and optative moods. In the following sections, the meanings conveyed in the different examples are described with respect to the aspectual value conveyed and the utterance time.


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson 6.1 Dynamic s-stem Verbs: Complete Action

Based on dynamic stems, s-stem inflections can specify a complete action, whether in the past, present or future in relation to the utterance time. 6.1.1 Past By virtue of the fact that the s-stem verb in both languages refer to a state or action that has experienced a beginning, middle and an end, it is interpreted in both languages as referring to past time. In unmarked clauses, a complete action is interpreted as having occurred at some time in the past with respect to the moment of speech. The following examples of Šarqiyya Arabic are all taken from narratives referring to events in the past in relation to the utterance time: ṭallaʕaw bitrōl min al-arḏ̣ ‘They got petrol out of the ground.’ (ŠA) wa-l-ḥīn tyassarǝt il-umūr akṯar ‘Now things have become easier.’ (ŠA) yaddēnāh yaddēnāh baʕdiən daxxalnāh fi l‑ḥīra əṣ-ṣəḥḥ ‘We picked them [i.e. dates]; we picked them. After that, we put them in a room, the dates.’ (ŠA)

Complete action in the case of dynamic verbs is also conveyed by the s-stem in Mehri: l-hīs ʕmärk ‘as I said.’4 (Mo) wzumk ḳarawš ‘I gave money.’ (M) aḥmēd śītam xaymah bɛ̄ r ‘Ahmed bought five camels.’ (M)

6.1.2 Present State Resulting from a Prior Action (Present Perfect Meaning) The s-stem can be used in both languages with adverbials to indicate lengths of time since the completion of the event specified by the s-stem verb: min snīn min snīn rawwaḥat ‘For years, for years [tribal wars] have ended [lit. have left].’ (ŠA) man hīs ḥkūm ḳābūs ḥābū l-ād latġam lā ‘Since Qaboos came to power, people have not killed each other.’ (M) man snēt sabʕīn aḥḥarb man bīn aḳbōyal nathī ‘Since 1970 wars between the tribes have ended.’ (M)

4 Sima 12:44.

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6.1.3 Completed Action in the Future (Future Perfect Meaning) The s-stem verb is not associated by default with a state of affairs that occurred prior to the utterance time. The s-stem in both languages may specify actions or states that will have taken place prior to a specified time in the future. No specialised construction is required to convey this meaning as the future meaning is understood purely through context: baʕdmā waṣalt bākir, ani zahhabt al-mazraʕa ‘When you arrive tomorrow, I will have tidied up the garden.’ (ŠA) ba-tšūf-hǝm baʕdēn kalaw kǝllǝh ‘You will see then that they have/will have eaten everything.’ (ŠA)

This meaning may also be conveyed by the use of the s-stem with auxiliary elements. In Šarqiyya Arabic, a verb in the s-stem preceded by the existential verb marked by the future prefix b-, i.e. ba-ykūn ‘will be’ has a future perfect interpretation, as in: an-nāga ba-tkūn wṣalat ‘The she-camel will have arrived (s-stem).’ (ŠA)

More commonly, however, the AP form is used to convey this meaning, as highlighted in the following: an-nāga ba-tkūn wāṣla ‘The she-camel will have arrived (AP).’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, following a future (active) participle, the s-stem of dynamic verbs preceded by the aspectual particle bār5 expresses the expected completion of an event at some point in the future. kasyēya tēk bār ghamk ‘[They] will (m.) find you (m.s.) have already gone.’ (M)

Following the AP of wīḳa (from wīḳaʕ ‘to become’), the s-stem preceded by bār can express the expected completion of an event at the present time or at a future point in time. Thus, depending on the wider context, wḳayta bār wuṣulūt can be interpreted as ‘At the present moment in time, she has (probably) arrived.’ or ‘At some point in the future, she will have arrived.’, and wḳōna bār sōfar as ‘At the present moment in time, he has (probably) set off.’ or ‘At some point in the future, he will have travelled.’

5 Transcribed as bər in Johnstone (1987, etc.) and Simeone-Senelle (1997, etc.), but is always realised with a full vowel and frequently with a long vowel. In poetry and songs, it counts as metrically long (Liebhaber 2010) and therefore must be analysed as bār rather than bər or bar.


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6.1.4 Distant Past (Past Perfect Meaning) When an s-stem verb in a complementary clause refers to an event or state that obtained in the past relative to the time referred to by an s-stem verb in the main clause, the time relative to the present moment is pluperfect or distant past. In both languages, the s-stem verb takes no verbal particle. In the following examples, the main clause is separated from the subordinate clause by a forward slash: gāl ḥamad fi l-bāriḥa / ṣallaḥ al-ʕǝzba ‘Hamad said yesterday that he had [already] fixed the camel enclosure.’ (ŠA)

In the following example from Omani Mehri, the event ṭād ḳlūb ‘Someone turned [their car] over’ had experienced a beginning, middle and an end at the time that the ‘saying’ had taken place: fulān āmūr / ṭād ḳlūb ‘Someone said someone had turned [their car] over.’ M.NS

6.2 Stative s-stem Verbs: Ingressive Aspect With stative stems, the s-stem inflection in Šarqiyya Arabic and Mehri can specify ingressive meaning. Ingressive is an aspectual category that involves entry into a physical or mental state that continues to obtain at the moment of speech (cf. Cuvulay-Haak 1997: 135–136 for Standard Arabic and other dialects of Arabic). According to Comrie (1976: 19), in many languages, the perfective forms of verbs are often associated with ingressive meaning, particularly those based on stative stems. Ingressive meaning is conveyed by the s-stem in both languages, although this is considerably more frequent and less lexically specific in Mehri than in Šarqiyya Arabic. 6.2.1 Šarqiyya Arabic In Šarqiyya Arabic, s-stem inflections can specify entry into the physical state specified by the stem. The s-stem is with some stems used to refer to the physical state resulting from that ingressive event, although generally such meanings are conveyed by other means. kbart ‘You have grown older/ you are older!’ (ŠA) taʕibt ‘I got tired; I [ just] got tired.’ (ŠA) miriḏ̣t, tmarraḏ̣t ‘I got sick; I [ just] got sick.’ (ŠA) yiʕt /ʕaṭašt ‘I got/am hungry/thirsty.’ (ŠA)

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The s-stem is marked when the state is still ongoing at the time of reference. In such cases, adjectives or p-stem verbs are more commonly employed. These refer to states and ongoing activities respectively, as shown in the following examples: ani taʕbān/ marīḏ̣/ ʕatšān ‘I am sick/ tired/ thirsty’ (ŠA) rāsi yʕawwarni ‘My head hurts’ [lit. my head is hurting me] (ŠA)

In Šarqiyya Arabic, continuing states resulting from entry into a mental state are more commonly expressed by the s-stem than states resulting from entry into a physical state. Examples of such s-stem forms include the following: ʕalimt ṣāliḥ ba-ttazaway min wahībiyya ‘I found out/know that Salih will marry a Wahibi woman.’ (ŠA) kariht āḏi l-akal ‘I don’t like this food!’ (ŠA) ḥabbētǝk ‘I like/love you.’ (ŠA) fariḥt ‘I am happy.’ (ŠA)

The s-stem is used specifically to refer to the dynamic element of ingressive verbs denoting mental states. Where a durative sense is intended, either an adjective, as in the first example below, or a p-stem verb is employed: ani farḥān ‘I am happy.’ (ŠA) tʕarif al-bisǝr ‘Do you know biser [boiled mabseli dates]?’ (ŠA) ǝḥibbǝk ‘I like/love you.’ (ŠA) mā aʕrif hǝm ṯǝlāṯīn rayāl walla arbaʕīn ‘I don’t know if they were thirty men or forty [in number].’ (ŠA)

6.2.2 Mehri In Mehri, s-stem verbs specify both ingressive meaning and the state resulting from that ingressive act. This function is much more frequent in Mehri than in Šarqiyya Arabic. This greater productivity is evident by the fact that s-stem verbs can undergo subtle aspectual modifications by means of pre-verbal particles (Rubin 2010: 147–149). The verb in such cases is commonly prefixed by the prefix ḏa- (ibid), which indicates continuous aspect (cf. Simeone-Senelle 2003: 248–249). Examples of continuing states resulting from entry into a physical state include the following. ḏa-gāyak ‘I am hungry’ (M). īmōh ḏa-ḳaṭʾak wīyan ‘Today I am very tired’ (M). ḏa-handaš ‘You (f.s.) are sleepy/tired’ (M).


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Note that in contrast with Šarqiyya Arabic, no possible adjectival paraphrase can be made of these sentences. As such, the ingressive function of the s-stem in Mehri is significantly more productive than in Šarqiyya Arabic. Adjectives in Mehri are employed only when specifying intrinsic or (semi-)permanent states. Thus, hōh mrayṣ́ ‘I am ill’ implies both that the speaker has been sick for a longer period of time than hōh ḏa-gilwak ‘I am ill’, and that the time of becoming sick is not determined. Verbs specifying continuing mental states resulting from entry into that state are expressed in Mehri by s-stem verbs, as in Šarqiyya Arabic. Examples include: hēt ǟr ḏa-ġräbk ‘Do you (m.s.) know?’6 (M) ḏ-ʕamläk / tīhäm ynäkʕam bīhäm ǟr män lä-kwayt ‘I think they (m.) import them (m.) just from Kuwait.’7 (M) ḏa-ʕamk / tēk al-hēt ḏa-ḳyisk tšɛ̄ man lā ‘I don’t think you (m.s.) will agree.’ (M)

One common instance of the s-stem to express entry into a mental state is (ḏa-)ḳīs, which occurs in both Mahriyōt and Mehreyyet, but not in western Yemeni Mehri. This construction is generally described in the literature as taking a following verb in the subjunctive to express intentional or imminent future. More accurately, it expresses entry into the mental state of intention, with the intended action or state provided in the subordinate p-stem verb. Such uses of the s-stem do not occur in Šarqiyya Arabic. Examples include: ḏa-ḳīsōt tankaʕ ‘She will/intends to come.’ (Mo) ḏa-ḳīsēt twōgah hbɛ̄ r wa-mġōran ta-rdēd ‘She will/intends to take the camels out and then come back.’ (M) aḳisk la-ġbarš bi-ṯamarīt ‘I will meet you (f.s.) in Thamarit.’ (M)

In a few verbs and verbal inflections of particularly high frequency, the s-stem verb indicating the ingressive is not preceded by the continuous aspect prefix ḏa-. These include wīda ‘to know’ in the 1st and 2nd person, and verbs relating to physical states at particular times of day, most commonly used in greeting routines:8

6 Sima 1:37. 7 Sima 59:114. 8 Cf. San’ani Arabic ka-msaytū ‘How are you ( [in the evening]?’.

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wadak lā ‘I don’t know.’ (M) hībōh watxafk ‘How are you (m.s.) [in the evening]?’ (M) watxafk bi-xayr ‘I am well [in the evening].’ (M) hībōh haṣbaḥš ‘How are you (f.s.) [in the morning]?’ (M) haṣbaḥk bi-xayr ‘I am well [in the morning].’ (M)

In the case of other verbs which occur with relatively high frequency to express entry into either physical or mental states,9 ḏa- is optional: (ḏa-)ḳaṭʾak ‘I am in pain.’ (M) (ḏa-)śatūḳak līkam ‘I miss you (’ (M) hībōh (aḏ-)śinšə tay ‘What do you (f.s.) think of me?’ (M)

The s-stem of normally dynamic verbs in Mehri can also indicate entry into a state of being in a particular activity. Verbs in such instances are always preceded by the aspectual particle ḏa‑. Thus, Mehreyyet asafrak būḏ̣abī ‘I/you (m.s.) travelled to Abu Dhabi’ (M) where the subject has completed the activity of travelling contrasts with hōh ḏ-asafrak ‘I am [in a state of] travelling’, where entry into the activity has been completed, but the activity itself is ongoing. Preceded by a future participle, the s-stem in Mehri may refer to a state that will have begun to obtain in the future: mahabṭāta lā ār bār ġribš tēs kallas ‘You (f.s.) won’t take long until you know it (f.) all’ (M) nkayta wa-hēt ḏa-hanśarš ‘You (f.s.) will come [in a state of being] refreshed’ (M)

6.3 Cohortatives Cohortative sentences are 1st person plural imperatives (indirect commands). This meaning is expressed with the s-stem, and may be used for religious invocations, movements, or other actions such as sitting. The use of the s-stem to express imperative and cohortative meanings has been noted in Yemeni dialects of Arabic (Watson 1993: 66, 1994: 245). Cohortatives may be expressed by the s-stem in both languages under investigation, although in Mehri the subjunctive of the p-stem is more frequently used to express the cohortative. In these contexts, the completed act expressed by the s-stem is understood as something hoped or wished for. mšēna ‘Let’s go!’ (ŠA) al-lēl tʕaššēna ‘It’s night time. Let’s have dinner!’ (ŠA)

9 Including (ḏa-)ḳīs discussed above.


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These are often introduced by the particle hayyi, as shown below: hayyi rawwaḥna ‘Let’s go!’ (ŠA) hayyi tġaddēna ‘Let’s have lunch!’ (ŠA)

Examples of the use of the s-stem for cohortatives in Mehri include: awtakūlan l-abɛ̄ lī ‘Let’s put our trust in God!’ [said before travelling] (M) šūgūśan ‘Let’s go [in the afternoon]!’ (M)

6.4 Optatives The optative is a modal category involving the expression of a wish or hope. This may be expressed in Šarqiyya Arabic by the s‑stem in the case of verb-initial clauses, particularly in the case of greetings and expressions invoking the name of God. These are generally fixed expressions from Classical Arabic, as the following examples show.10 ḥayyāk allāh ‘May God keep you alive!’ (ŠA) ṭawwal allāh ʕǝmrǝk ‘May God lengthen your life!’ (ŠA) bārak allāh fīk ‘May God bless you!’ (ŠA) ḥayy allāh min yā ‘May God keep alive he who comes!’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, the optative is invariably expressed by the p-stem in the subjunctive mood. In Šarqiyya Arabic, the optative may also be expressed by the p-stem where the verb is preceded by the subject (cf. 7.2). 6.5 Performatives Performative utterances, referred to in the German literature as Koinzidenzfall (e.g. Wagner 1953: 41), typically describe an action that is accomplished during the speech act itself. The performative is described by Waltke & O’Connor (1990) as the ‘instantaneous perfect’ which “represents a situation occurring at the very instant the expression is being uttered”. Performative verbs include verbs referring to acts of marrying, divorcing, swearing and placing trust. The performative is commonly expressed through the s-stem in western Semitic languages (Waltke & O’Connor 1990), as it is in the languages under discussion.

10 As in other dialects of Arabic and other Western Semitic languages such as the Hebrew, e.g. ḥay Yhwh ‘Long live Yahwe!’ (Lipiński 2001: 525).

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tawakkalt ʕala allāh ‘I put my trust in God!’ (ŠA) ṭallaqtik ‘I divorce you (f.s.).’ (ŠA) wakkalt māli lak ‘I put my property in your trust.’ (ŠA) xalyak tēš ‘I divorce you (f.s.).’ (M) hārask bayš ‘I marry you (f.s.).’ (M) bār gzimk lūk twōgah hibɛ̄ r ‘I swear you (m.s.) [must] take the camels out in the early morning’ (M) hwaś ̣k tēk l-abɛ̄ lī ‘I put you (m.s.) in God’s trust.’ (M)

6.6 Conditionals The s-stem occurs in specific syntactic contexts in conditional clauses in both languages. 6.6.1 Conditionals in Šarqiyya Arabic In Šarqiyya Arabic, the verb in both the protasis and the apodosis of conditional sentences may be in the s-stem depending on the factuality of the statement. In the protasis, the verb must be in the s-stem form when preceded by the conditional particles iḏā, in or lō. In the examples in this section, the s-stem verb in the protasis is highlighted in bold, and the protasis separated from the apodasis by a forward slash. In sentences referring to conditions in the past, both the protasis and apodosis are in the s-stem: iḏa ḥǝssōh yiba yġīb/ aḏḏanū ‘When(ever) they felt that [the sun] was about to set, they gave/would give the call to prayer.’ (ŠA) iḏā kān al-tamar yāf / yibbis kəḏi yibbis fə-l-šəms ‘If the dates were dry, [it was because] they were dried out (passive) like this, dried out in the sun.’11 (ŠA)

Counterfactual conditional clauses employ the conditional particles lō or in. In these sentences, the apodosis may be either in the s-stem or the p-stem marked by the irrealis/future b- prefix (see section 7.5.1): lō šǝft ams ʕabdallah / sāʕadtǝh ‘If I had seen Abdullah yesterday, I would have helped him.’ (ŠA) in kint ba-trawwaḥ sūg, b-arrawwǝḥ ʕindǝk ‘If you were going to the market, I would have gone with you.’ (ŠA)

11 Tasāwīr.


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6.6.2 Conditionals in Mehri In Mehri, the verb in the protasis of all types of conditional sentence is most commonly in the s-stem, although even where introduced by a conditional particle the protasis may be a non-verbal clause or the verb may be in the p-stem or be an AP. Verbs in the s-stem never occur in the apodosis. Factual conditional clauses: [kisš āṭar / taw] [wa-l-kisš āṭar lā / šukalāṭa] ‘If you (f.s.) find perfume, [that’s] okay. If you don’t find perfume, [then give] chocolate.’ (M) hām śīnī tēṯ ḏa-haḳbalūt / yʾōmar ḏīmah sēh ḥāmay ‘If he sees a woman approach, he says that is her, my mother.’ (M) hǟm sēh ḳbīṣōt ḥarmǟt, / yärʕayb līs ġyūj ‘If she has been bitten, a woman, men carry out raʕbūt12 on her.’13 (Mo)

Counterfactual conditional clauses: lū wadaš / taḳāʾan faxrā lāʾ ‘If you (f.s.) knew, you wouldn’t be together.’ (M) hēt wlī drask lā / yḳāʕan hēt wṭōmah lā ‘If you (m.s.) hadn’t studied, you wouldn’t have turned out like that.’ (Mo)

Conditional-concessive clauses min hāl wuṣlam / yišxabīr ‘Wherever they m. arrived, they asked.’ (M) wa-mayt ḏa-nakaš / yā ḥ‎ayya bayš ‘And whenever you (f.s.) come, welcome!’ (M) amērī hēh / hān śinšə tah axayr ‘Tell (f.s.) him whatever you think is better’ (M)

7. Meanings Associated with p-stem Inflections In Arabic, the p-stem is employed to specify the “noncompletedness of an action or state” (Holes 2004: 219), and exhibits imperfect aspect. In the languages under discussion, the p-stem may also be used to express optative and cohortative moods, past time in lexically specific instances, and occurs in certain conditional sentences.

12 Traditional folk treatment for snake bites and other puncture wounds (Lonnet & Simeone-Senelle 1987). 13 Sima 1:49.

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7.1 Incomplete Actions and States 7.1.1 General Truths In contexts lacking any additional linguistic or extra-linguistic information, the p-stem is interpreted in both languages as referring to events or states that occur at the present time or in the future. These may be general, timeless truths, or habits and other non-punctual processes: yḥibbūn yilʕabūn kurat aṭ-ṭāyira ‘They like playing volleyball.’ (ŠA) yʕallamni ʕilm inglīz ‘He teaches me Western [lit. English] knowledge.’ (ŠA) yrūḥū yinūb mikān ysǝmmūh il-yāzir ‘They go south to a place they call al‑Yāzir.’ (ŠA) hēm yāgīb bi-ṭādīdayham ‘They (m.) like each other.’ (M) axōdam bi-maskūt ‘I work in Muscat.’ (M) yiġōrab kāśīyan ‘He knows everything.’ (M)

In both languages, verbs of saying occur in the p-stem when a speaker announces they are about to share some new information. This can roughly be translated as ‘I tell you . . . ’ or ‘You know . . . ’: axǝbbrǝk ʕan awwǝl ‘I [will] tell you about long ago . . . ’ (ŠA) agūl lak, mā yimkin nrūḥ bi-s-sayyāra ‘You know [lit. I say to you], we won’t be able to go by car.’ (ŠA) aʕōmar hūk nsēr bi-ssiyaryat ‘I tell you (m.s.), we are going by car.’ (M)

7.1.2 Habits and Other Iterative Processes The p-stem verb can refer to habitual actions in the present or past. In both Šarqiyya Arabic and Mehri, an adverbial element specifying either past or future time is sufficient to place the entire predication in the past, present or future. In the following examples, the adverbial is bracketed off: [awwal ] yširbū min al-widyān wǝlla baḥiṣa ‘In the past, they would drink from the wadis or surface water.’ (ŠA) mā kān šē [awwəl ] šāhi. bas əl-ḥəlīb, bas ḥalīb. yširbūn ḥalīb, wə-yākəlōn al-laḥm, wə-yḏibḥūn əl-yamal as-samīn bih laḥm. yḏibḥūn-hən, wə-yāklūn əl-laḥm mən-hən. ‘Long ago there was no tea; just milk, just milk. They would drink milk and eat meat, and slaughter fat camels which had meat. They would slaughter them and eat the meat from them.’ (ŠA) [baʕdēn] ntʕaššē rbāʕa ‘Later we will have dinner together.’ (ŠA) ḥābū [kall snīnan] yiġarbam śī lyōmah ḏa-nṣrōmah lā ‘People in the past didn’t know these [things] of now.’ (Mo) [kanhūr] yisaknam tah ḥābū ‘People used to live there.’ (M)

[ gihma] tkūn axayr ‘Tomorrow you (m.s.) will be better.’ (M)


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson

7.1.3 Duratives Past meaning may also be conveyed by context. In the following example, the speaker is talking about things that they would do in the past with the s-stem. Once the context is established, he uses p-stem verbs to convey habitual meaning: ḥərəṯnā-hē da’ēnā-hē məḥrūṯə, nəyīb bəḏr, nəslaḥah fīhā wə-səgēnāhā. ‘We ploughed [the ground]; we left it ploughed up. [Then] we would get seeds and put them in it. Then we watered it.’ (ŠA)

Thus, a main verb in the perfect conveying past time will ensure that a verb in the imperfect in the complement clause refers to an incomplete event in the past relative to the utterance time. u lǝbǝs-hā ʕala l‑ḥzām u-ṭalaʕ yirʕā l-bōs ‘He put it on his belt and [then] went out to graze/and grazed the camels.’ (ŠA) mǝšēne nyīb rǝkāb ‘We went out to get/and got the camels.’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, the past progressive is frequently indicated by p-stem prefixed by ḏa-, with past meaning conveyed by context or a preceding s-stem verb (cf. Rubin 2010: 145). In the example below, the indicative verbs at-tarʕāyan14 wa-t-taʕmōlan15 refer to events that were ongoing at the time that the act of ‘finding’ had taken place: ksūh baʕltī ḥārawn at-tarʕāyan wa-t-taʕmōlan jalʕaym ‘He met shepherdesses grazing [goats] and making [a bean dish called] jalʕaym.’ (Mo)

Prefixed by ḏa-, the p-stem preceded by the AP of wīḳaʕ (wīḳa) ‘to become’ expresses the expected continuation of an action at the present time or at a future time: wḳayta ṣarōmah at-tātaśyan16 ‘She will be/is probably having supper now.’ (M) wḳayta at-tafayś m-ḏ̣ār swānōt ‘She will be having lunch in a short while.’ (M)

14 < *ḏa-tarʕāyan. 15 < *ḏa-taʕmōlan. 16 < *ḏa-tātaśyan.

tense and aspect in semitic


7.2 Optatives The optative is invariably realised by one of the moods of the p-stem in Mehri. The conditional mood of the p-stem expresses the optative in independent phrases, as in the examples below: akīnan tēk hnīn ‘I wish you (m.s.) were here.’ (M) afrīḥan bih ‘I would be glad of it (m.).’ (M) tkīnan lyōmah ḥbinša ‘Do you (f.s.) wish those were your children?’ (M)

In Mehri, the p-stem expresses the optative in greetings and invocations in which God is the subject irrespective of whether the subject, abɛ̄ lī ‘God’, precedes the verb, as in the first two examples below, or not: abɛ̄ lī yiṭwīl bi-ʕumrak ‘May God give you (m.s.) a long life!’ (M) abɛ̄ lī yisāmak ‘May God bless you (m.s.)!’ (M) taxf lūk āfyat ‘May health and well-being come to you (m.s.) in the evening!’ (M) wa-lūk taxf  ‘And may [health and well-being] come to you (m.s.) in the evening!’ (M) tajhamk āfyat ‘May health and well-being come to you (m.s.) in the morning!’ (M)

In Šarqiyya Arabic, the optative occurs only with greetings and phrases invoking the name of God where the subject precedes the p-stem verb: allāh ysallmak ‘May God protect you’ (ŠA) allāh ybārak fīk ‘May God bless you’ (ŠA)

7.3 Cohortatives While the cohortative is typically expressed with the s-stem in Šarqiyya Arabic (5.2), it may also be expressed by p-stem verbs: natlāgē bākir ‘Let’s meet tomorrow!’ (ŠA) nṣallī ‘Let’s pray!’ (ŠA)

As with the s-stem, cohortatives in the p-stem (5.2) can be introduced by the particle hayyi: hayyi nimši ‘Let’s go!’ (ŠA) hayyi nṣallī ‘Let’s pray!’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, cohortatives may be expressed by the s-stem (see 5.2). However, they are more commonly expressed by the p-stem in the subjunctive:


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson naġtībar ḏ̣ār raḥmēt ‘Let us meet on a rainy day!’ (M) naśnēk ḳrayb ‘Let us see you (m.s.) soon!’ (M)

7.4 Past Time In Mehri, certain verbs only occur in the p-stem, irrespective of the time expressed. In Mehri, yḥōm ‘to want, intend’ (cf. Wagner 1953: 44 for western Yemeni Mehri) is invariably in the imperfect, with only the wider context informing whether clauses such as the following refer to past or present time: yiḥōm yisēr yiġlēḳ man ḥaybith ‘He wants/wanted to go to look for his camel.’ (M) aḥōm latṣal bīkam ‘I am/was about to phone you’ (M)

More interestingly, the p-stem of the verb ykōb ‘to think’ refers invariably to a past state of mind:17 akōb bay zakk ‘I thought I had a cold.’ (M) akabš aḥād hnayš lā ‘I thought no one was with you (f.s.)’ (M)

In Šarqiyya Arabic, the verb of volition, yiba ‘he wants/intends’, almost always occurs in the p-stem regardless of its time reference, as in: iḏā yibayu yitnaqqalū, in kān baʕīd wāyid, ʕala bōš wella ʕala ḥmīr ‘If they wanted to move, if it was very far, [they did so] on camels or donkeys.’ (ŠA)

yiba may only occur in the 1st and 2nd person in the s-stem, and only two tokens of the s-stem form baġēt ‘I/you wanted’ occur in the corpus. 7.5 Conditionals 7.5.1 Šarqiyya Arabic In Šarqiyya Arabic, the verb in the apodosis of conditional sentences may be in the p-stem in certain syntactic environments. The verb may be in the p-stem in the protasis if it is not preceded by iḏā. These p-stem verbs are always marked by the irrealis/future prefix b-.

17 Contrasting with the s-stem ʕamlak ~ amk ‘I think’ which invariably refers to present state of mind.

tense and aspect in semitic


Protasis iḏā nṭǝh ba-tāxiḍ ḥǝrmǝh ba-tʕarris / hāḏǝ yiqūm ḥaflǝ ‘If you take a woman [and] you marry, a party is held.’ (ŠA)

Apodosis lō kān ḏīb / ba‑yākil yākil min bʕīd ‘If there was a wolf, it would eat, eat far away.’ (ŠA) iḏā rǝḥt hnāk bi s-sayyara / ba-tġarraz fi r-ramal ‘If you go there by car, you’ll get stuck in sand.’ (ŠA)

7.5.2 Mehri In Mehri, the verb in the protasis in both factual and counterfactual conditional sentences is most commonly in the s-stem (cf. 5.5.2). In factual conditional clauses, it may be in the p-stem prefixed by ḏa- (cf. 7.2), particularly when the condition described is likely to obtain. hām at-taġawlaḳ18 ār la-hāl amōl ḏa-ḥābū / txawlas manh ‘If you (m.s.) are just looking at other people’s livestock, you’ll lose out [i.e. they are not yours].’ (M) hām ḏa-nkōtab ṣarōmah / nḥōm aḥād yirbāšan lā ‘If we write now, we don’t want anyone to disturb us.’ (M)

In clauses of concession introduced by tawlū (< *tā wa-lū) ‘even if ’, the verb in the protasis may be in either the s-stem (cf. 5.5.2) or the p-stem: nḳawdar nūṣōl / tawlū‎hiddam līn ḥōram ‘We’ll be able to arrive, even if they m. have blocked the road off from us.’ (M) āmūr gihmōna laġlēḳ mans / tawlū amūt ‘He said, “I’m going to look for her, even if I die.” ’ (M)

A p-stem verb occurs in the apodosis of conditional clauses and clauses of concession most commonly where an event or state may result from a regular or habitual condition: w-hǟn bǟr źīyätk [. . .] / attäbʕak ‘And when it (f.) smells you (m.s.), [. . .] it will follow you.’19 (Mo) hǟn jätfiyōt sänbūḳ, / tḳōdar līs waḥśūk lǟ täjfäys ‘If the boat capsizes, you (m.s.) won’t be able to refloat it f. on your own.’20 (Mo)

18 < *ḏa-taġawlaḳ. 19 Sima 2:37. 20 Sima 46:14.


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson hām tḥōm tahmā lā / (t)šṣanyan ‘If she doesn’t want to hear, she pretends to be deaf.’ (M) hām śīnī tēṯ ḏa-haḳbalūt / yʾōmar ḏīmah sēh ḥāmay ‘If he sees a woman approach, he says that is her, my mother.’ (M) tawlū aś ̣āhar ḳṣayr / yiś ̣rūr lā ‘and the back part, even if the back part is short it doesn’t matter’ (M).

The verb of volition occurs in the p-stem in both the protasis, as in the first two examples below, or the apodasis: yaḷḷah, sǟʕah xamsah, / hǟm tḥīm tsēr ‘Come on, it’s five o’clock if you want to go!’21 (Mo) wōḏam lūk tanśūz śahay ḏōmah / tawlū al-tḥōm ‘You have to drink that tea, even if you don’t want to.’ (M) hām hēt ḏa-matwiyaš / aḥamš šay ‘If you (f.s.) can, I would like you with me.’ (M) hām ḳaś ̣yēya tay bi-ḥaybaytī lā / aḥōm lada⁠ʾ ‘If you/they m. don’t compensate me for my camel, I want to know.’ (M)

In the apodasis of counterfactual conditional sentences, the verb is most commonly in the conditional mood of the p-stem in Omani Mehri (but not in Yemeni Mehri): lū nakaš nifrīḥan ‘If you (f.s.) had come, we would have been glad.’ (M) w-lū amnādam yiwōda⁠ʾ la-hān wḳōna lih taksāyan tah l-ād yitayw wa-l-ād yiś ̣ḥōk ‘If man knew what was coming to him, you (m.s.) would find him no longer eating and no longer laughing’ (M)

In eastern Yemeni Mahriyōt, yḳāʕan, a frozen form of the conditional mood of wīḳaʕ ‘to become’ often occurs in the apodasis of a counterconditional conditional clause: hēt wlī drask lā yḳāʕan hēt wṭōmah lā ‘If you (m.s.) hadn’t studied, you wouldn’t have turned out like that’ (Mo)

8. Analytic Marking of Tense and Aspect Both Šarqiyya Arabic and Mehri have developed various affixes, particles and auxiliaries to express a number of aspectual and tense meanings. These are described in turn in the following sections.

21 Sima 61:70.

tense and aspect in semitic


8.1 Aspect Markers 8.1.1 Perfect Aspect The prefix ka- in Arabic and the particle bār in Mehri function similarly to colloquial Arabic reflexes of qad (cf. Ingham 1994: 104ff; Watson 1993: 39), which in its most general sense is used to emphasise perfect aspect. In Šarqiyya Arabic, the prefix ka-, which in Oman is unique to the spoken Arabic of the Šarqiyya region, marks s-stem verbs to emphasise the completion of an event. ka- is most likely a grammaticalisation of the copular verb kān (cf. 8.2.1): ka-mašēt ṣōb as‑sūg wəllə la ‘Have you already been to the market or not?’

The use of ka- signals a strong emphasis on present relevance. As such, the prefix cannot occur in a clause in conjunction with a temporal adverbial expression. Consider the following examples: a.*ka-mašēt ṣōb as‑sūg grēb sāʕa sabʕ (ŠA) b. mašēt ṣōb as‑sūg grēb sāʕa sabʕ. ‘I went to the market at about seven o’clock.’ (ŠA)

ka- can also emphasise past in the past or past perfect meaning. The prefix marks verbs specifying events that had already taken place prior to an event referred to in a narrative set in the past. In the following example, the speaker recalls when a group of men initiated a skirmish with a different clan in order to steal some camels: yōm yāt al-wāḥiya, lagaw ḏāk ar-rāl ka‑ṭāḥ; rbīʕǝh ka-gtǝlǝh . . . ṯāraw min bēnhǝm. wa-l-ʕarab ka-dzabbanaw . . . ‘When help came, they found that the man had died; their companions had killed him. They had had an argument with each other. The men had sought protection [from the other tribe].’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, a similar meaning is conveyed by bār (cf. Simeone-Senelle 1997; Rubin 2010, etc.). In verbal clauses, bār marks perfect aspect before an s-stem verb: bār ḳathawak ‘I’ve already had coffee.’ (M) sēlam bār sōfar ‘Sēlam has just gone.’ (M) bār awōḏan ‘Has the call to prayer been made?’ (M)

bār functions as an epistemic particle indicating possibility before a p-stem verb in the indicative mood. In contrast to qad+indicative in Arabic (cf. Watson 1993: 69 for Ṣanʕāni Arabic), bār in its epistemic function most commonly heads contrasting clauses:


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson bǟr ykäys xawr / wa-bǟr ykäys mǟkän ‘He might find a little or he might find a lot.’ (Mo)22 bār tʾōmar ṯrōh / wa-bār tʾōmar ṯrannēhī ‘You (m.s.) could say ṯrōh [two] or you could say ṯrannēhī.’ (M)

8.1.2 Continuous Aspect In Šarqiyya Arabic, continuous aspect can be inferred from the bare p-stem. However, as has been noted for other Arabic dialects (Watson 2011: 866), the verb gaʕad (lit. ‘to sit’) is employed as a marker of continuous aspect. Nevertheless, instances of this use of gaʕad were rare in the Šarqiyya data: gaʕadaw yitfākarūn ǝ‑mḥērib ‘The Mhayrib men discussed it [for some time].’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, as we saw above (6.2.2), the particle ḏa- prefixed to the s-stem expresses continuation of a physical or mental state that has been entered into. Similarly, prefixation of ḏa- to the p-stem in the indicative mood denotes continuous aspect (also described as present progressive, Rubin 2010: 143). In contrast with the Šarqiyya Arabic continuous marker gaʕad, the continuous aspect marker in Mehri can mark both events, as in the first two examples, and states, as in the third example below: sōbar sōbar wa-hēt / at-takītab23 ‘You (f.s.) are always writing!’ (Mo) mōn ḏakmah / ḏī-būḳaś ̣ ‘Who is that who is running?’ (M) hōh ḏ-afakran ‘I am thinking.’ (M)

That ḏa- indicates continuous aspect in prefixation to both s-stem and p-stem verbs is underlined by the fact that ḏa-prefixed s-stem and p-stem verbs may be coordinated, as in: wa-l-hēh ḏa-rīkab lā / wa-l-hēh ḏ-isyūr lā ‘and he was neither [in a state of being] mounted nor was he walking.’ (M)

22 Sima 20:7. 23 *ḏa-tkītab.

tense and aspect in semitic


8.2 Tense Markers 8.2.1 Past Past tense is conveyed in Šarqiyya Arabic by means of a compound construction involving the copula kān/ykūn ‘to be’ followed by an inflected verb. The copula may be inflected, as in the first example below, in most cases it is not, as in the second example. The development of kān as a tense marker has been noted in previous studies for other Arabic dialects (cf. Holes 2004: 232; Watson 1993: 86ff) zaman awwal, kēf al-ʕarab kānat taštaġal ‘Long ago, how did the people work?’ (ŠA) fī sɑnǝt alf u- tisʕamiǝh u-ṯmɑnīn kān ysāfrū fi l-bōš min ʕumān ilɑ ḥadd is-saʕūdiyya ‘In 1980, they travelled on camels from Oman to the Saudi border.’ (ŠA)

The past habitual is expressed in Šarqiyya Arabic by the bare p-stem of a verb in conjunction with a past adverbial: awwal aha kǝll ḥadd yṣīdǝh ‘Long ago, yes, everyone would catch them [oryx].’ (ŠA)

Past habitual may also be conveyed through use of kān: kān yhāyirū ʕala sintēn, sana, yištǝġlu ‘They used to migrate every two years, [every] year; they would work [there].’ (ŠA)

This meaning can also be expressed by kān followed by a p-stem verb. In most cases, kān occurs uninflected, suggesting grammaticalisation of the copula to become a marker of past tense: kān zmān nǝḥǝn nsǝmmīh ‘al-wasm ibǝr’ ‘In the olden days we called it ‘needle branding’.’ (ŠA) kān yhāyiru ʕalɑ sintēn sana yištaġlu yʕɑmlū fi il-kwēt ‘They would migrate for two years, a year, and work, work in Kuwait.’ (ŠA) wǝ kān lǝmma yyū hum hnīh xāṣṣǝh lǝmma yyū hum iḏ̣-ḏ̣ēf hnīh mā ysawwū iḏ-ḏībīḥǝh illā ḥagg iḏ-ḏēf ‘When they used to come here, especially when guests came here, they would slaughter a goat just for the guest.’ (ŠA)

The function of kān contrasts in many ways with verbal elements due to the fact that they may modify an entire stretch of discourse rather than a single verb. This use of kān as a “presentential element” was noted by Ingham (1994: 95) for Najdi Arabic. The following example illustrates this in Šarqiyya Arabic:


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson u-kān yaʕnī lǝmma iš-šǝxṣ illi fīh ad-dūd az-zaidǝh tinfiyir fīh xalaṣ tgūlū hāḏak flan, yaʕnī aš-šaxṣ hāḏa fīh, ar-rēyāl āḏīh fīh mǝġṣ māt māt mi l‑mǝġṣ (ŠA) ‘When the appendix of someone flares up and he dies, you’d say “so-and-so, I mean the person who suffered that, that man had colic, he died from colic”.’ (ŠA)

In Mehri, the particle fōna, etymologically related to Soqoṭri fεne ‘face’ (Simeone-Senelle & Lonnet 1985–1986: 273) functions as a tense particle that places a locative, nominal or verbal clause in the past: lōb fōna ġayg arḥaym hāśan wīḳa bih ‘He used to be a really nice man, what happened to him?’ (M) wa-hīh fōna bawmah hinay ‘and he used to be here with me’ (M) fōna ḏ-aḥōjas bīs ‘I was thinking about it (f.)’ (Mo)

Before an s-stem verb which refers to past time, fōna places the time referred to by the predication one stage further back in the past, to express pluperfect: hēt fōna ʾamark haynī inkāy man ḏ̣ār maġrāb ‘You (m.s.) had told me to come after sunset.’ (M)

The past habitual in eastern Yemeni Mehri, Mahriyōt, is expressed by the s-stem of the auxiliary verb wīḳaʕ followed by a verb in the p-stem in the indicative mood or by a locative clause:24 wīḳaʕ yḳōfaʕ ‘He used to weave’ (Mo) wīḳaʕ šūk drēham ‘You (m.s.) used to have money’ (Mo)

The past habitual in Omani Mehri, Mehreyyet, is expressed by the particle āś ̣am with a pronominal suffix following by the verb in the p-stem or by a locative or nominal clause. The pronominal suffix is co-referential with the following verbal subject: āś ̣amī aṣṭawṭ āḏ̣amaytī ‘My back used to hurt’ (M) āś ̣amī šay farahayn ‘I used to have a horse’ (M) āś ̣amaš ṣalḥayt ‘You (f.s.) used to be fat’ (M)

8.2.2 Future While not primarily a marker of tense, the prefix b- is used in Šarqiyya Arabic to mark a p-stem verb that refers to a future time:

24 Cf. Wagner (1953: 31) for western Yemeni Mehri.

tense and aspect in semitic


ba-yimši al-ʕars ‘He’s going to the wedding.’ (ŠA) illi ba-yiṭlaʕ min-hǝm ba-ngǝtlǝh ‘Those of them who come [outside], we will kill them.’ (ŠA)

Nevertheless, this prefix also frequently used in non-future contexts, marking verbs specifying conditional, habitual and irrealis meanings. As such the meaning of b- is not primarily a marker of tense, but rather a generalised marker of irrealis mood (cf. Persson 2008). Consider the following example, in which the prefix marks a verb that refers to a habitual action, and does not convey a sense of futurity: wǝ-l-amākin illi hīh zēna l-ḥamd illāh ba‑yintiġlu lhā ‘and the places which were good, thank God, they would move to them.’ (ŠA)

Future time in Mehri is expressed either by the AP or, in Mahriyōt, by madpronoun followed by a p-stem verb in the subjunctive. The only form of the verb in Mehri which encodes tense morphologically is the AP (Rubin 2007, 2010: 134ff), also described due to its tense function as the future participle (e.g. Lonnet 1994; Watson 2012). With few exceptions, including Mehreyyet mhaḳbal ‘coming’ in phrases such as: awarx amhaḳbal ‘next month’, and mhafgāʾ in śī mēkan mhafgāʾ ‘many frightening things’, the AP does not function adjectivally (cf. Wagner 1953: 49). The AP in Mehri has two main functions: it may express future time, which in subordinate clauses is relative to the time expressed in the main clause; and it may occur in the apodasis of factual, less commonly counterfactual, conditional sentences. Since the AP lacks the morphological category person, person is inferred from the wider linguistic or extra-linguistic context. Future time in main clause: īmoh sīrawtī hō w-hēt bark ḥawōdī ‘Today me (f.) and you (f.) will go to the wadi’ (M) aḥsūs ḥanōfī mōh gihmīt arḥabēt ‘I (f.) can feel myself going to the town today.’ (‘I feel I will go to the town today.’) (M) man ḏ̣ār swānōt sīrōna ḏ̣ār saykal ‘In a few minutes, [I] (m.s.) will go on the bike.’ (M)

Relative future time in subordinate clause: akōb tēṯ śabbīta śḥayr ‘I thought the woman was going to the mountains.’ (M)


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson

Result of condition: The result of a factual condition is most often expressed by the AP in Mehri. hām śīnam tēk / ḥabyēsa tēk ‘If they m. see you (m.s.), [they] (m.) will arrest you.’ (M) hām ahandak wa-šūkafk ṣarōmah / mšukfēta lā bi-ḥallay ‘If I’m tired and go to sleep now, [I] (f.) won’t sleep at night.’ (M) hām nakaš / ġabrōna tēš ‘If you (f.s.) come, [I] (m.) meet you.’ (M)

The result of a counterfactual condition in Mehreyyet may be expressed by the future participle as an alternative to a p-stem verb in the conditional mood (cf. 6.5.2): lū nakak / ġabrōna tēk ‘If you (m.s.) had come, I would have met you.’ (M)

In Mahriyōt, mad-pronoun followed by a p-stem verb in the subjunctive mood expresses future time:25 madš tinkaʕ šīn ‘Will you (f.s.) come with us?’ (Mo) madš taktēb ‘You (f.s.) will write.’ (Mo)

In the case of 3ms and 3mpl, the pronoun suffix can be omitted from mad: ḏäkm ḏ-mäd yaġōräm lē ‘The one who wants to slaughter a cow’ (Mo)26

9. Conclusion This contribution has provided an overview of the verbal systems of conservative varieties of two Semitic languages spoken in southern Arabia. These hitherto under-researched varieties, Šarqiyya Arabic and Mehri, exhibit some differences in the verbal systems. These include differing constraints in the use of the s-stem or p-stem within conditional sentences, and, in Mehri, the almost invariable use of the p-stem to express the optative, and the productive use of the s-stem to express ingressive meaning and resultant continuous state. This use of the s-stem occurs to a limited extent in Šarqiyya Arabic, although resultant continuous states are most commonly expressed by other structures. Despite the differences, it is the inter-variety similarities that demonstrate the value of this study. 25 As in Hobyōt (Simeone-Senelle 2011: 320). 26 Sima 11:4.

tense and aspect in semitic


While the s-stem is used in many contexts to refer to past states of affairs, reference to past time appears to be secondary to the perfective aspect conveyed by the stem. There are also many cases in which the s-stem is used in non-past contexts. Similarly, the p-stem does not in itself encode tense: while it frequently refers to states of affairs concurrent with the utterance time, the time it refers to is generally determined by context or by the use of explicit tense particles or affixes. Finally, both the s-stem and the p-stem occur in constructions where no tense is implied, such as conditionals, optatives and performatives. We therefore conclude that no inherent time frame is exhibited morphologically in the verbal systems of the varieties of Arabic and Mehri examined here. References Comrie, Bernard. 1976. Aspect. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. ——. 1989. ‘The importance of Arabic for linguistic theory’. In: Mushira Eid and Bernard Comrie. Perspectives on Arabic linguistics. Volume III. Amsterdam. John Benjamins, 3–30. Cuvalay-Haak, Martine. 1997. The Verb in Literary and Colloquial Arabic. Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter. Dahlgren, Sven-Olof. 2008. ‘The relevance of tense and aspect in Semitic languages: The case of Hebrew and Arabic’. In: Folke Josephson and Ingmar Söhrman (eds.) Interdependence of Diachronic and Synchronic Analyses. Amsterdam. John Benjamins, 221–247. Eades, Domenyk. 2009. ‘Retention of the passive verb in a Bedouin dialect of Northern Oman’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 51(1), 5–21. Eisele, John C. 1999. Arabic Verbs in Time: Tense and aspect in Cairene Arabic. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Hofstede, Antje Ida. 1998. Syntax of Jibbāli. PhD thesis, University of Manchester. Holes, Clive. 1998. ‘Retention and loss of the passive verb in the Arabic dialects of northern Oman and eastern Arabia’. Journal of Semitic Studies 43, 347–362. ——. 2004. Modern Arabic: structures, functions and varieties (revised edition). Washington. Georgetown University Press. Horesh, Uri. 2009. ‘Tense’. In: Kees Versteegh (ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (IV). Leiden. Brill, 454–458. Ingham, Bruce. 1994. Najdi Arabic: Central Arabian. Amsterdam. John Benjamins. Johnstone, Thomas Muir. 1975. ‘The Modern South Arabian Languages’. Afroasiatic Linguistics 1,5, 93–121. ——. 1987. Mehri Lexicon and English–Mehri Word-List. London. Routledge. Liebhaber, Samuel J. 2010. ‘Rhythm and beat: Re-evaluating Arabic prosody in the light of Mahri oral poetry’. Journal of Semitic Studies 55, 163–182. Lonnet, Antoine. 1994. ‘Le verbe sudarabique moderne: hypothèses sur des tendances’. Matériaux arabes et sudarabiques 6, 213–255. Lonnet, Antoine & Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle. 1987. Rābūt: ‘Trance and incantation in Mehri folk medicine’. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 17, 107–115. Persson, Maria. 2008. ‘The Role of the b-prefix in Gulf Arabic Dialects as a Marker of Future, Intent and/or Irrealis’. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 8. University of Lancaster, UK, 26–52.


domenyk eades and janet c.e. watson

Rubin, Aaron. 2007. ‘The Mehri participle: Form, function, and evolution’. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 17, 381–388. ——. 2010. The Mehri Language of Oman. Leiden. Brill. Sima, Alexander. 2009. Mehri-Texte aus der jemenitischen Sharqīyah: Transkribiert unter Mitwirkung von Askari Sa’d Hugayrān. Edited, annotated and introduced by Janet C.E. Watson and Werner Arnold. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude. 1997. ‘The Modern South Arabian Languages’. In: Robert Hetzron (ed.), The Semitic Languages. New York. Routledge, 378–423. ——. 2003. ‘De quelques fonctions de ḏ- dans les langues sudarabiques modernes’. In: S. Robert (ed.), Perspectives synchroniques sur la grammaticalisation: Polysémie, transcatégorialité et échelles syntaxiques. Louvain & Paris. Peeters, 239–252. ——. 2011. ‘Mehri and Hobyot spoken in south Oman and East of Yemen’. al-Nadwah al-Duwalīyah: al-Tabādul al-Ḥaḏ̣ārī al-ʕUmānī al-Yamanī: 7–8 February 2010. Buḥūṯ alNadwah. Muscat. Sultan Qaboos University, 301–326. Wagner, Ewald. 1953. Syntax der Mehri-Sprache unter Berücksichtigung auch der anderen Neusüdarabischen Sprachen. Berlin. Akademie-Verlag. Waltke, Bruce K. & Michael Patrick O’Connor. 1990. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, Indiana. Eisenbrauns. Watson, Janet C.E. 1993. A Syntax of Sanʿāni Arabic. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. ——. 1994. ‘On the definition of dialect with reference to Yemeni dialects of Arabic’. In: Yasir Suleiman (ed.), Arabic Sociolinguistics: Issues & Perspectives. Richmond. Curzon Press, 237–250. ——. 2011. ‘Arabic dialects’ (general article). In: Stefan Weninger, Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, and Janet C.E. Watson. The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook. Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter, 851–896. ——. 2012. The Structure of Mehri. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz.

From phonological variation to grammatical change: depalatalisation of /č/ in Salti Bruno Herin and Enam Al-Wer In this article we look at the process of depalatalisation of /č/ in the dialect of the city of Salt in Jordan. In particular, the discussion focuses on the morphological and syntactic consequences of the loss of this feature. The analysis is based on approximately fifty hours of recorded interviews with a broad mix of native speakers of the dialect.1 We begin with background information about Jordanian dialects and the dialect of Salt. The Dialects of Jordan The varieties of Arabic spoken in Jordan are amongst the less documented dialects of the Levant. Until the completion of Herin (2010), no Jordanian dialect had been fully described. Indeed, much of the descriptive work on Jordanian varieties was the labour of a single scholar, Heikki Palva who published descriptions of various Jordanian dialects. Jordan does not have indigenous non-Arabic-speaking groups; the minority languages spoken in its territory were introduced relatively recently.2 The dialects spoken in Jordan were first classified by Cleveland (1963) in terms of biʾūl, bikūl, bigūl and yigūl dialects—reflecting the realisation of the 3rd person singular of the imperfective of the verb gāl “say” in different dialects. According to this classification, the biʾūl dialects represent the urban varieties in which etymological *q is realised as [ʔ], bikūl designates the central rural Palestinian dialects in which *q is realised as [k], and bigūl refers to dialects in which the reflex of *q is [g]. The term yigūl refers to the dialects of the nomadic and semi-nomadic populations, which

1 All of the interviews were conducted in Salt itself. Part of these data formed the basis of the analyses presented in Al-Wer 1991, Herin 2010 and Al-Wer & Herin 2011. 2 One exception to this may be Domari, the Indo-Aryan language of the Middle Eastern Dōm. The date of their arrival to Jordan is not documented. Other languages spoken in Jordan are Turkish, Armenian, Chechen, and Circassian.


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lack the indicative marker b- and whose main reflex of *q is [g]. A slight modification to this classification was introduced by Palva (1984). In particular Palva added the group biqūl to include the northern Palestinian dialects in which the reflex of *q is [q]. It is obvious from Cleveland’s and Palva’s taxonomies that what they meant by ‘Jordan’ was actually the two banks of the Jordan River, that is Palestine and Transjordan.3 Strictly speaking, and keeping to the terms of reference we use in this article (see ft. 3) only the bigūl and yigūl groups are native to Jordan. The bikūl varieties were introduced in Jordan by Palestinians from central and northern West Bank towns and villages after they were expelled from their homeland in historical Palestine. Speakers of biʾūl varieties are originally from Palestinian cities (e.g. Jaffa and Haifa as well as Nablus, Jerusalem, Hebron, etc). Smaller groups of speakers of biʾūl dialects in Jordan are originally from Damascus and various other cities in the region. The dialect of Amman, which is now almost an autonomous variety with native speakers of its own, is the outcome of contact between central Jordanian varieties, whose main representative is the dialect of Salt, and urban Palestinian.4 The sedentary varieties of Jordan are closely related to those spoken in Ḥōrān, a region located between Syria and Jordan and one of the oldest settlements of agrarian communities in the Levant. The Ḥōrāni dialects were described by Jean Cantineau (1940 and 1946). Data about Jordanian varieties proper first appeared in the linguistic atlas of Bergsträsser (1915), but these are very scarce. Most of the descriptive work was done by Palva and appeared in several articles from the late sixties onward, covering both sedentary and nomadic varieties.5 Another angle from which Jordanian dialects have been studied is sociolinguistics. Indeed, modern Jordan is a very interesting case study for issues related to dialect contact, most notably between varieties of the west and the east banks of the Jordan River.6 It is sometimes convenient to distinguish between the native Jordanian dialects in terms of ‘sedentary’ and ‘Bedouin’. The main differences 3 The West Bank was officially part of the Kingdom of Jordan during 1950–1988. In this article ‘Jordanian’ refers to the dialects of Jordan proper only, i.e. East Bank dialects. 4 For an account of the formation of the dialect of Amman, see Al-Wer (2002, 2003, 2007 and 2007a). 5 For sedentary dialects, see Palva (1969a, 1970, 1989, 1992, 1994, 2004a, 2007 and 2008). For nomadic varieties, see Palva (1969, 1976, 1978, 1980, 2004). 6 See in this regard Al-Wer (1991, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2007a).

from phonological variation to grammatical change


between them are morphological, including the indicative prefix b-, the trademark of Levantine dialects, which is found in sedentary varieties but absent from Bedouin dialects. The Bedouin dialects are not uniform and important differences exist between southern and northern/eastern dialects. For the south, data are available for the Ḥwēṭāt (Palva 1984a, 2004) and what appears to be a sub-branch of the Ḥwēṭāt, the Zawaida (Sakarna 2002). The dialect of the Bduul of Petra was sketched in Owens & Bani-Yasin (1984). In the north, data about a semi-nomadic dialect of central Jordan can be found in Palva (1976, 1978) and the Bani Ṣaxar grands nomades in Palva (1980). As far as sedentary dialects are concerned, data from Karak are presented in (Palva (1989). The first comprehensive description of a central sedentary variety of Jordan, based on the traditional dialect of Salt (as spoken in the city itself and the nearby town of Fḥēṣ), can be found in Herin (2010). The Dialect of Salt Salt is now a medium-size city in the immediate vicinity of the capital Amman (20 km to the northwest). It was until recently the main urban centre not only in central Jordan but also in the whole of Transjordan (Palva 2007). To all intents and purposes, the traditional dialect of Salt can be considered a representative of the sedentary varieties of central Jordan. Central Jordanian dialects belong to the dialects of Ḥōrān (see Herin, forthcoming). Geographically the Horan Plateau stretches from Damascus to the outskirts of Mu’ab (Kerak) in Jordan, and thus includes the Balqa region in which Salt is located. The dialect of Salt (henceforth Salti) is conservative in the sense that it does not share many of the common innovations found in the urban dialects of the Levant. As far as phonology is concerned, traditional Salti has /g/ for *q, interdentals /ḏ/, /ṯ/ and /ḏ̣/ and the affricated reflex /ǧ/ for *j. Etymological *k has two realisations in Salti: /k/ and /č/ (see below). The vocalic system is the same as in most southern Levantine dialects. The three inherited short vowels were kept, and so are the three inherited long vowels; /ay/ and /aw/ monophtongise to /ē/ and /ō/, respectively. Vowel length is maintained in unstressed position: ṭarābī́š (< ṭarbūš “fez”). Morphologically, one of the most striking features of Salti is the maintenance of gender distinction in the plural (see below). Traditional Salti is also conservative as far as verbal morphosyntax is concerned: although it shares the common Levantine innovation b- to


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mark indicative mood, it lacks most of the preverbal particles found elsewhere such as ʿam (progressive aspect) and raḥ (future reference).7 The Affricate /č/ and Lexical Material An affricated realisation of /k/ ([ʧ ]) is a salient feature of traditional Salti, although nowadays it appears mainly in the speech of older speakers. It occurs mostly in the vicinity of front vowels,8 as illustrated in the items below: /i/: činne “daughter-in-law” /ī/: bičīd “it vexes” /e/: birče “pool” /ē/: čēl “weight unit” /a/: azča “tastier” /ā/: mačān “place”

The affrication of *k in front vowel contexts is widely documented for numerous—mostly nomadic—eastern Arabian dialects. Since Salt is on the fringe of two dialect areas, Levantine and Arabian, the affrication of *k is in no way an oddity.9 Although similarly to other dialects in which conditional affrication occurs mainly in front vowel environments, in Salti, affrication also appears in the vicinity of high back vowels, as in the following items: dyūč (plural of dīč “cock”) člūb (family name) ḥarračū-na “they moved us” ma ḥačū-š “they didn’t talk”

The affricate may have made its way into Salti primarily through the 2fs bound pronoun -ič. In most Levantine dialects, gender distinction in the 2nd person singular is signalled through a vocalic contrast between /a/ 7 Extremely marginally, future reference may be expressed using rāyiḥ as an auxiliary: ana rāyiḥ āǧi “I’ll come”. 8 The general perception that affrication is a salient feature of Salti may be a reflection of the fact that it is becoming obsolete. It is also noticeable that those members of the Salt community who no longer use the affricate variant in ordinary speech use it consciously as a symbol of solidarity in the appropriate contexts. In has acquired ‘an iconic status’, perhaps similarly to the status of [g] as a marker of Jordanian identity. 9 One explanation for the presence of affrication in the Horani dialects as a whole is contact with and settlement of nomadic tribes in the region. This issue however merits careful examination and is beyond the concerns of the present article.

from phonological variation to grammatical change


and /i/; thus, ahl-ak “your (m) family” versus ahl-ik “your (f ) family”. In North Arabian dialects that have (conditional) affrication,10 the gender distinction is maintained through the contrast between /k/ and /č/, while the quality of the vowel is neutralised (towards [ə]); thus ahl-ək “your (m) family” vs. ahl-əč “your (f ) family”. In Salti there is double marking of the gender distinction: vocalic alteration (as in Levantine) and affrication (as in North Arabian), e.g. ahl-ak “your (m) family” vs. ahl-ič “your (f) family”. The maintenance of the vocalic contrast alongside affrication in Salti suggests that the presence of affrication in Salti may have been a ‘borrowing’ (possibly from neighbouring Bedouin dialects) rather than an internal development. In other words, Salti acquired the affricate without levelling out the (Levantine) vocalic contrast. It may be suggested further that in Salti the affrication of *k in front contexts never became a phonetic rule; rather, the affricate realisation was introduced through borrowing affricated lexical items, and subsequently the affricate realisation was generalised to the derivations and inflections of the borrowed affricated items. This scenario would explain the reason that Salti has dīč ‘cock’, pl. dyūč “cocks” whereas neighbouring north-Arabian dialects have dīč pl. dyūk. This also accounts for the fact that the number of roots in which the affricate appears remains rather marginal in Salti compared to the nomadic varieties which have this type of affrication. It must be added however that the affricate did not systematically diffuse to all the derivations and inflections of certain roots. For instance, in the case of r-k-b “ride”—the verbal inflections exhibit the affricate (ričib “he rode”) but the affricate is not used in the verbal noun and the passive participle: rkūb (not *rčūb) and markūb (not *marčūb). Also, in ḥ-r-k “move” /č/ surfaces in the verb ḥarrač “he moved” but /k/ is maintained in the verbal noun ḥaraka “motion”. A theory of ‘transfer of lexical items’ (rather than ‘systematic sound change’) would also explain the observation that /k/ and /č/ behave like independent phonemes in a few cases: rākib “passenger” versus rāčib “riding”, kēf “pleasure” versus čēf “how”, kān “he was” versus čān “if ”, kibir “he grew” versus čibər (the traditional men’s garment); and less satisfying ʾakkad “ensure” vs. waččad “remember”. In other words, the affricated items may have been borrowed in this shape and added to the native system (and thus creating minimal pairs instead of potential homophones). In sum, what may have happened is that exposure to and contact with dialects that have affrication triggered off the transfer 10 See Younes and Herin (forthcoming).


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of individual lexical items (rather than the transfer of a phonetic rule), which introduced the affricate realisation in various roots, albeit inconsistently. As mentioned earlier, the affricate /č/ mostly appears in the speech of the oldest, least mobile speakers. Other speakers replace it with /k/. Even in the speech of the former, the two variants may alternate in the same utterance. In (1) below, a very broad speaker of the dialect firstly realised the verb kammal “he finished” with the occlusive (1a) but with the affricate in the very next sentence (1b).11 1 a. xālid kammal əǧ-ǧāmʿa Khalid finish.PFV.3MS DEF-university “Khalid finished university”

b. mart



wife Mustafa


“Mustafa’s wife finished university”



At the level of surface structure, the loss of the contrast between /k/ and /č/, as in the minimal pairs cited earlier, appears to lead to ambiguity but in actual fact the items belong to different lexical categories, leaving syntactical ambiguity impossible. This point can be demonstrated in examples 2a & 2b below. 2 a. kān




















“If you do not hear anything from them until June” b. abu kāyid Abu Kayid







“How will Abu Kayid prepare the lunch?”



In (2a), kān can only be interpreted as the conjunction “if ” and not the verbal form kān “he was”. In (2b), the interpretation of kēf as the noun “pleasure” simply makes no sense, leaving the interrogative “how” as the only possible option. It is thus clear that the loss of the affricate

11 Abbreviations used here are: DAT—Dative; DEF—Definite marker; DEM— Demonstrative; IMPFV—Imperfective; NEG—Negation; PFV—Perfective; SUBJ—Subjunctive; VOC—Vocative.

from phonological variation to grammatical change


and its replacement by /k/, at least in these examples, has no impact on the lexicon. The Affricate /č/ and Grammatical Material There is, however, one area of the grammar where the loss of the affricate may have an impact. It was noted above that the functional load of /č/ also extended to differentiate the masculine from the feminine of the 2nd singular bound pronouns: -ak vs -ič. When this suffix attaches to items ending in a vowel, it triggers lengthening of the final vowel, leaving the consonantal contrast alone as the only feature that carries the gender information, as illustrated in the following example: ahla u sahla bī-k “welcome to you (m)” vs. ahla u sahla bī-č “welcome to you (f )”

In other Levantine dialects, gender distinction in this environment (after a vowel) is maintained by way of the allomorphs -k in the masculine and -ki in the feminine. In the dialect of Amman you get:12 ahla u sahla fī-k vs. ahla u sahla fī-ki. When a speaker wants to avoid the use of the affricate variant in the feminine, gender distinction in Salti is maintained through the recruitment of the common Levantine allomorph -ki: bawarrī-ki “I show you (f )” (show.IMPFV.1SG-2FS).13 A further context in which gender distinction is maintained through the contrast between /k/ and /č/ is when the 2nd person singular bound pronouns are attached to the negation marker -š. In 3a the masculine allomorph is -kī- and in 3b the feminine is -čī-. 3 a. hassaʿ



duxxān u-gāʿid

with-2MS-NEG smoke


and-sitting in-meeting

zayy hēk



“Now (if ) you don’t have cigarettes and you are sitting in a gathering like this”

b. inti





“We don’t know you my dear”



12 In the dialect of Amman, the preposition b- “in, with” cannot be augmented with bound pronouns, in which case fi will be used. In the traditional dialect of Salt, such a restriction does not exist. The reason is simply that Salti originally only has bi. 13 The allomorph -ki is made available to Salti speakers through contact with the dialect of Amman which has it.


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In other Levantine dialects in which the negation marker -š is available, the allomorph -kī- is usually restricted to the feminine. In the masculine, the pronoun remains the same or becomes -kā-, as in many dialects of northern Palestine: bidd-ak-š ~ bidd-kā-š “you (m) don’t want” vs biddik-š ~ bidd-kī-š) “you (f ) don’t want”. The traditional Salti pattern is quite uncommon cross-dialectally, as very few dialects show the same configuration: Palestinian varieties display the pattern shown above (bidd-ak-š ~ bidd-kā-š/bidd-kī-š ~ biddik-š) and north-Arabian nomadic dialects lack the negation marker -š. Interestingly, the Salti speakers who do not use the affricate /č/ or those who want to avoid it for pragmatic or sociolinguistic reasons simply replace /č/ by /k/, thus neutralising gender distinction. A sequence such as bidd-kī-š “you don’t want” is unmarked for gender and can be used both when addressing a man or a woman.14 The loss of the affricate therefore does lead to the loss of grammatical information in this case, and this is indeed the pattern generally found in the speech of Ammanis who (or whose parents) originally come from Salt (see ft. 12). To summarise so far, the loss of the affricate has little (or no) impact on the lexicon, as doublets belong to different lexical categories, leaving ambiguity impossible or extremely limited. At the level of morphology the loss of the affricate can lead to the loss of gender information. In such cases, the speakers either resort to alternative strategies to maintain gender distinction in the 2nd person singular, e.g. by borrowing allomorphs found in other varieties, or they simply neutralise gender (when the negation marker -š is suffixed). The loss of the affricate /č/ however has further structural impact at the level of syntax as will be explained presently. Gender as an Inflectional Category Table (1) below displays the bound plural pronouns found in the dialects of Salt, Amman (Al-Wer 2007) and Beirut (Naïm 2006).

14 This is the form that is also normally used in Amman by those who are of Jordanian descent (as opposed to Palestinian descent). The Palestinian forms can however also be found in the speech of young Ammanis generally. This feature of the Amman dialect is currently under investigation by Enam al-Wer.

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Table 1. Bound plural pronouns in Levantine dialects Salt



-ku -čin -hum




-na -kum




As can be seen, of the three dialects only the dialect of Salt maintains gender distinction in the 2pl and 3pl. The Salti forms are illustrated in examples (4a)–(4d) below. 4 a. intu





“You should bring me one hundred (of these)” marriage-3MP







“Their marriage was not right”

d. abū-hin


“You are all nice”

c. ǧīzitt-(h)um



b. badd-čin






above DEF-air

“Their father is very rich”

Gender distinction in the plural is an inflectional category and as such its use extends to other classes such as free pronouns, verbs, nouns and adjectives, as illustrated in Table (2). Table 2. Gender as an inflectional category in the plural Gender

Masculine Feminine


2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd

Free pronouns intu hummu intin hinne

Verbs Imperfective


t- . . . -u y- . . . -u t- . . . -in y- . . . -in

-tu -u -tin -in

NounsAdjectives -īn -āt


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The Salti pattern as displayed above is shared by all the indigenous dialects of Jordan. It is also commonly found in the conservative rural varieties of Palestine (in different phonetic forms). The bound plural pronouns in Salti (three stages, see below) and Ammani are displayed in Table (3). A difference can be readily noticed between Salti and Ammani in the 2MP form, which has a final /m/ in Ammani -kum, but not in Salti -ku.15 The traditional Salti system (Salt I) is currently only used by the older and largely immobile speakers in Salt.16 Assuming that the Salti system is changing in the direction of the system found in the dialect of Amman, the leap, so to speak, from traditional Salti to Ammani does not happen at once. Our analysis shows that there are two intermediate sub-systems, Salt II and Salt III (Table 3). Table 3. Bound plural pronouns in Salt and Amman Traditional Salt (I) 2MP 2FP 3MP 3FP

-ku -čin -hum -hin

Intermediate Salt (II)

Koineised Salt (III)





-hum -hin



As maintained above, Salt (I) represents the system used by the broadest speakers who maintain gender distinction in all cases. These are for the most part the oldest and least mobile speakers. Other speakers use the system represented by Salt (II), in which gender distinction is neutralised in the 2nd plural, but maintained in the 3rd plural. The intermediate system (Salt II) can be illustrated by example (5a) below. Addressing two women (Randa and Rana), the informant in this extract asks them if they wanted to join him and his family for dinner with another guest (5a). 5 a. randa Randa







“Randa and Rana, won’t you come and have dinner with him?”



15 According to Al-Wer’s (2003) analysis of this feature, Ammani final /m/ in -kum is a contact-induced innovation, which may have come about in part through a process of analogy with the 3MP bound pronoun -hum. 16 According to Al-Wer (2003) the Salti speakers who live in Amman increasingly adopt the Ammani forms.

from phonological variation to grammatical change


Had the traditional Salti pattern been respected in (5a) btiǧū-š titġaddu would have been rendered btiǧinn-əš titġaddin “won’t you (fp) come and have dinner”. The same speaker has otherwise kept gender distinction in the 3rd person, as demonstrated in (5b). 5 b. ṭabʿan


naturally DEF-women





“Of course, it is the women who do the cooking (not the men)”

The most innovative speakers have Salt (III), where gender distinction is neutralised everywhere. The only thing that sets it apart from Amman is the absence of final /m/ in the 2nd person. The younger and more mobile speakers in Salt are in regular contact with speakers of the Amman dialect and many of them are daily commuters to the capital city. It is therefore possible that contact with the Ammani dialect is what triggered the change attested in the traditional Salti forms. That features of the dialect of Amman represent target linguistic features for the younger speakers can be evidenced by the fact that other traditional Salti features may also be changing in the direction of Ammani features, e.g. interdental to stop, [g] to [ʔ] and [ʤ] to [ʒ].17 It is therefore not at all unlikely for the loss of gender distinction in the 2nd and 3rd plural pronouns to have been precipitated or accelerated through contact with the Ammani dialect. In addition to the external influence, in the form of frequent contact with speakers of the Amman dialect, there are internal factors which motivate the loss of gender distinction in the case of the 2nd pl pronouns. The first factor pertains to the form of the 2fp bound pronoun -čin. It was noted above that the affricate /č/ is no longer used by the vast majority of the younger speakers in Salt, and instead it is replaced by /k/. Interestingly however, the change from /č/ to /k/ affects the pronoun -čin differently in that the data contain no instances of a de-palatalised -kin form. In other words, the loss of the affricate realisation of /k/ seems to have triggered the loss of the pronoun -čin altogether. The second factor concerns the relative low frequency of occurrence of the 2fp pronoun compared with the frequency of occurrence of the 2mp. The 2fp can only be used when addressing a group of women, whereas the 2mp is used when addressing

17 For details concerning these variables in Salt and Amman see Al-Wer (1991) and AlWer & Herin (2011).


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a mixed group, in addition to addressing a group of men. Frequency of occurrence may influence the survival or disappearance of these forms in two ways: (i) over time children will be exposed to the feminine form less frequently, which naturally privileges the masculine form; (ii) pragmatically, the cost of losing the 2fp is relatively marginal since it is obligatorily used only in one of the three possible settings, namely an all-female group.18 We suggest that a combination of all of these factors (the external sociolinguistic pressure or motivation and the internal factors) provide a plausible explanation of the loss of gender distinction in the 2nd plural pronouns. As can be seen in Table 3, the gender distinction in the 2nd plural pronouns is lost in stage II, but the loss of gender distinction in the 3rd plural pronouns does not happen until stage III. We propose that this difference in the behaviour of the 2nd and 3rd plural pronouns is connected with the role of the 3rd plural feminine as an inflectional category in the system of agreement in Salti, as will be explained in the final section. Agreement in Salti There is a wealth of literature on agreement in Arabic that deals for the most part with the standard variety and tries to account for the two main agreement patterns in standard Arabic: (i) singular agreement on verbs in verb-initial clauses with plural subjects; and (ii) feminine singular agreement with non-human plural subjects. Spoken Arabic displays a different pattern. The most recent and in-depth treatment of agreement in spoken Arabic is Brustad (2000) where agreement patterns in four Arabic dialects are investigated: Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian and Kuwaiti. In short, Brustad (2000) concludes that cross-dialectally agreement is sensitive to ‘individuation’. Individuation is used as a cover term which signifies notions of ‘agency’, ‘definiteness’, ‘specificity’, ‘textual and physical prominence’, ‘qualification’ and ‘quantification’ (Brustad 2000: 24). Brustad’s main thesis is that the more an item is individuated, the more likely it is to trigger plural agreement. Items scoring low on the individuation scale will most typically trigger singular feminine agreement. One commonality

18 We are aware of the conceptual problems associated with the Functionalist explanations of language change as argued by Lass (1980, ch. 3). Here we are strictly talking about ‘frequency of occurrence’ rather than ‘functional load’ as defined for instance by King (1967).

from phonological variation to grammatical change


shared by the dialects investigated is that none of them exhibits gender distinction in the plural. There are thus two possible agreements: feminine singular and (unmarked for gender) plural. How do dialects such as Salti that have at their disposal an additional possibility—feminine plural— behave? The data we have from Salti reveal that the individuation tool works best with nouns denoting human groups. A striking example is the noun nās “people” that can trigger masculine singular (6a), feminine singular (6b) and masculine plural (6c) agreements. 6 a. miš








“He can’t find anyone to stay in it”

b. ḥawāla



around DEF-village DEF-people

“People would hunt around the village”

c. yitġaddu


have.lunch.SUBJ.3PL DEM-DEF-people







“These people would have lunch and then leave”

Feminine singular and plural agreements on nouns denoting human groups are attested in many varieties of Arabic. In Brustad’s terms, in (6b) feminine agreement is triggered because in the speaker’s mind the entity is low on the individuation scale as he pictures “the people” as an uncountable mass. In (6c), the noun nās triggers plural agreement because it refers to an entity that has already been introduced into the discourse, giving it a higher textual prominence. What is peculiar to Salti though is the masculine singular agreement exhibited in (6a) in which nās is the subject of yugʿud, 3rd person masculine singular of gaʿad “he sat”. Such an agreement is extremely frequent in traditional Salti and surfaces only when nās is indefinite.19 Examples (6b) and (6c) fit pretty well into Brustad’s theory of individuation, but examples such as (6a) seem to suggest that in Salti there is an even lower category on the individuation scale and this category triggers masculine singular agreement: MS < FS < PL. 19 In this case, it is best interpreted as a functional equivalent of the common Levantine indefinite pronoun ḥada “someone” or “anyone”. The term ḥada can be heard in Salt but its occurrence seems to be confined to the speech of the younger and more innovative speakers. Our corpus contains no instances of ḥada in the speech of the oldest and most conservative speakers. The data from the broad speakers however does contain tokens of maḥada “no one” in subject position and nās in other syntactic positions. These speakers also have mā nās and mā wāḥad.


bruno herin and enam al-wer

As far as agreement with non-human entities is concerned, the data from Salt exhibit a wide range of possibilities. With count nouns, agreement in the feminine plural is always selected (nouns marked for dual always trigger plural agreement). This is exemplified in (8a), where a broad speaker of the dialect uses the bound pronoun -hin, i.e. feminine plural agreement to refer to the two dishes ‘falafel’ and ‘hummus’. In 8(a) the speaker is protesting that ‘falafel’ and ‘hummus’ are replacing traditional Jordanian snacks. The mere sight of ‘falafel’ and ‘hummus’ disgusts her, she proclaims.20 8 a. bī




ha-l-falāfil DEM-DEF-falafel










min šōf-hin



“There is these falafel and hummus, people rush to buy them. To be honest the sight of them (falafel and hummus) disgusts me”

Nouns denoting animals also trigger feminine plural agreement, as illustrated in (8b). 8 b. əl-ḥayāya



min ḥamm əl-ʾarḏ̣

DEF-snakes in-DEF-day leave.IMPFV.3FP-NEG from heat DEF-earth

“Snakes don’t come out during daylight because of the heat of the earth”

Finally, the feminine plural agreement is also used in the contexts predicted by the individuation theory (low on the individuation scale). In (8c) the noun ḏ̣rūf, plural of ḏ̣arf “circumstance” triggers the use of the feminine plural morpheme -āt on ḥākim, the active participle of the verb ḥakam “he judged”. 8 c. əḏ̣-ḏ̣rūf ḥākm-ātt-(h)a21 DEF-circumstances


“Circumstances rule her life”

20 ‘Falafel’ and ‘hummus’ are locally associated with the Egyptian cuisine. In the Jordanian cuisine traditional snacks consist of vegetable, cheese or meat pies. 21 The underlying form is hākim-āt-ha, in which /i/ drops in unstressed position, and /h/ assimilates to the preceding /t/. The surface form becomes then ḥākmātta.

from phonological variation to grammatical change


ḏ̣rūf in 8(c) scores very low on the individuation scale because it is used here to refer to unspecified general circumstances. The examples cited above show that in the traditional dialect of Salt the feminine plural has multiple usages. It is selected with all kinds of nouns, whether highly individuated or not. There are signs however that the system found in the traditional dialect is not adhered to totally by the younger and innovative speakers. In some cases, the speakers abandon the traditional pattern altogether and instead use the feminine singular (rather than the plural) to refer to non-human nouns (9a) and to human entities (9b), whether specified or not. 9 a. ʿarabiyyāt




pull.IMPFV.3FS-3FS DEF-horses

“Wagons pulled by horses”

b. bagīt


rest DEF-clans



“The other clans would make food for him”

ʾakəl food

In other cases a mixture of the traditional pattern (with plural feminine) and an innovative pattern (with singular feminine) are used within the same sentence. An interesting example comes from the speech of a 40-year old man from Salt who works as a lawyer in Amman. In this example, he describes the traditional farmhouse in Salt, which usually consists of one or more rooms built of stone and mud.22 One way of referring to the farmhouse in Salti is əd-dūr əl-fallāḥiyyāt “rural houses”, where dūr, plural of dār “house”, triggers feminine plural agreement -āt (suffixed to the adjective fallāḥi “rural”). In the speech of younger speakers this phrase may be attested as əd-dūr əl-fallāḥiyye with the feminine singular agreement -e. In the case of this particular informant, the phrase əd-dūr əl-fallāḥiyyāt, thus complying with traditional Salti, was used a number of times. However, within the same discourse and to describe this type of houses he used the adjective gadīme “old” (with feminine singular -e): əd-dūr əl-fallāḥiyyāt əl-gadīme “the old rural houses”; and the participle mabniyyāt (with feminine plural -āt). The linear arrangement thus appeared as follows (10):

22 An older term to refer to the simple house constructed on vineyards where Salt people normally spent summer months especially during harvest times is gaṣǝr palace.


bruno herin and enam al-wer

10 əd-dūr


əl-gadīme . . .

DEF-houses DEF-rural.FP DEF-old.FS

mabniyyāt build.FP


“The old rural houses (were) built with mud and stone”



from DEF-clay


Example (10) suggests that in modern Salti two systems are operative: (i) the traditional system which selects feminine plural agreement with items low on the individuation scale; and (ii) an innovative system which selects the singular feminine in the case of such items (similarly to many other dialects in the region). Another innovation found in our data is the replacement of the feminine plural by the masculine plural. This is marginal in the Salti corpus but it shows that some speakers are slipping from Salt (II) to Salt (III). In (11a), the speaker selected the masculine plural bound pronoun -hum to cross-reference xēl “horses”, whereas it was shown above that conservative speakers favour feminine plural marking with nouns denoting animals (see (8b). The same thing was recorded in (11b), where the speaker chose masculine plural on the verb yuẓbuṭu, instead of feminine plural yuẓbuṭin. 11 a. yiṭʿamu


feed.SUBJ.3MP DEF-horses


“They used to feed the horses and let them sleep”

b. ṯalāṯ




standards NEG



“Three standards that wouldn’t fit together”





Similar observations with respect to the mixing of two systems (plural feminine and singular feminine with non-human nouns) were noted in Owens & Bani-Yasin (1987) in their investigation of a northern Jordanian dialect. They maintain that in the dialect they investigated, plural nouns denoting non-human entities may trigger two agreements: feminine singular and feminine plural. They maintain that in this dialect, the plural feminine agreement represents the older traditional pattern, and they attribute the introduction of the singular feminine agreement to the influence of standard Arabic. According to Owens & Bani-Yasin, when speakers resort to the use of standard items they borrow the feminine singular agreement rule with the borrowed lexemes. This explains why the use of the feminine singular agreement in their data was limited to plural nouns that did not belong to the spoken variety. In essence, the obser-

from phonological variation to grammatical change


vations made by Owens & Bani-Yasin are valid for Salti: plural feminine agreement represents the old, native pattern and the appearance of the singular feminine singular is an innovation. As noted by Brustad (2000) the singular feminine agreement is widely attested in different dialects of Arabic and its selection is triggered by semantic-pragmatic factors such as individuation. In the case of Salti, the source of the variation attested in our data is likely to be the dialect of Amman which, similarly to the dialects covered by Brustad, lacks the plural feminine as an inflectional category, selects the unmarked plural with highly individuated items and the singular feminine with items low on the individuation scale. Innovative speakers from Salt resort to the use of two grammars: the traditional Salt grammar (plural feminine agreement with all plural nouns), and the Ammani grammar in which the singular feminine is favoured with nouns scoring low on the individuation scale, and (unmarked) plural with highly individuated nouns. It therefore appears that while the loss of the 2fp has a limited impact on the grammar of Salti (as explained in previous sections) the loss of the 3fp on the other hand provokes a restructuring of core grammatical areas such as agreement, which may explain the delay in the loss of the 3fp in Salti. Summary and Conclusion This article investigated the impact of phonological change on grammar. It was shown that the loss of a phoneme, affricate /č/, and its replacement by another, velar /k/, had little impact on the lexicon because the minimal pairs involved belong for the most part to different word classes, rendering ambiguity almost impossible. The alternation between /k/ and /č/ also functions as a morphological contrast between the 2ms and 2fs bound pronouns; to maintain this contrast morphologically it was shown that speakers resort to borrowing of allomorphs from other varieties. This strategy, however, has its limits and does not prevent the morphological contrast from disappearing in specific contexts. The loss of /č/ however has a deeper grammatical impact in that it seems to have led to the modification of agreement patterns. The general direction of change in Salti is towards Ammani, the primary contact variety of the dialect of Salt. Since Ammani lacks feminine plural, it is expected that Salti will lose this feature. This is indeed what is happening, as evidenced by the speech of the most innovative speakers. Convergence to the Ammani pattern however


bruno herin and enam al-wer

does not happen at once and there are intermediary stages. These stages are motivated internally by the existence of strong constraints preventing the collapse of the feminine plural altogether. The first development is represented by the fall of the 2nd person feminine plural. Such a loss does not provoke a deep change in the grammar and is limited to morphological markers of the 2fp. The loss of the 3rd person feminine plural is provisionally prevented because of its relatively high functional load in the traditional dialect (compared with the 2fp). As noted, the feminine plural agreement is used with animate feminine nouns as well as inanimate nouns (masculine and feminine). The system found in Salti faces competition from the pattern found in the Amman dialect (as well as many other Arabic dialects). In Ammani, the singular feminine agreement is selected with nouns low in individuation, whereas the plural is selected with nouns scoring high on the individuation scale. The Ammani system is making its way into Salti and coexists in the speech of innovative speakers with the old pattern. The total adoption of the Ammani system will lead to the loss of the plural feminine as an inflectional category altogether. This is how the loss of a marginal phoneme may contribute to the restructuring of a core grammatical area. References Al-Wer, Enam. 1991. Phonological variation in the speech of women from three urban areas in Jordan. PhD thesis, University of Essex. ——. 1999. ‘Why do different variables behave differently? Data from Arabic’. In: Yasir Suleiman (ed.), Language and Society in the Middle East and North Africa, Studies in Variation and Identity. Surrey. Curzon Press, 38–58. ——. 2002. ‘Jordanian and Palestinian dialects in contact: vowel raising in Amman’. In: Mari Jones & Edith Esch (eds.), Language Change. The interplay of internal, external and Extra-linguistic factors. Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter, 63–79. ——. 2003. ‘New dialect formation: The focusing of -kum in Amman’. In: David Britain and Jenny Cheshire (eds.), Social Dialectology in Honour of Peter Trudgill. Amsterdam. John Benjamins, 59–67. ——. 2007. ‘Jordanian Arabic (Amman)’. Kees Versteegh (ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics II. Leiden. Brill, 505–517. ——. 2007a. ‘The formation of the dialect of Amman’. In: Catherine Miller, Enam Al-Wer, Dominique Caubet & Janet C.E. Watson (eds.), Arabic in the City. Issues in dialect contact and language variation. Routledge, 55–76. Brustad, Kristen. 2000. The Syntax of Spoken Arabic. Georgetown. Georgetown University Press. Bergsträsser, Gotthelf. 1915. ‘Sprachatlas von Syrien und Palästina’. Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 38, 169–222. Cantineau, Jean. 1940. Les parlers arabes du Ḥōrān. Atlas. Paris. Klincksieck. ——. 1946. Les parlers arabes du Ḥōrān. Notions générales, grammaire. Paris. Klincksieck.

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Cleveland, Ray. 1963. ‘A classification of the Arabic dialects of Jordan’. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 171, 56–63. Herin, Bruno. 2010. Le parler arabe de Salt ( Jordanie). Phonologie, morphologie et éléments de syntaxe. Ph.D. thesis, Université Libre de Bruxelles. ——. forthcoming. ‘Do Jordanians really speak like Palestinians? Remarks about the Classification of the Dialect of Salt (Jordan)’. Proceedings of the 8th AIDA conference, Essex Research Report in Linguistics, University of Essex. King, Robert D. 1967. ‘Functional load and sound change’. Language 43, 831–852. Lass, Roger. 1980. On explaining language change. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. Naïm, Samia (2006). ‘Beirut Arabic’. Kees Versteegh (ed.) Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics II. Leiden. Brill, 274–285. Owens, Jonathan and Bani-Yasin, Raslan. 1984. ‘The Bduul dialect of Jordan’. Anthropological linguistics 26 (2), 202–232. ——. 1987. ‘The lexical basis of variation in Jordanian Arabic’. Linguistics 25, 705–738. Palva, Heikki. 1969. ‘Balgāwi Arabic 2. Texts in the Dialect of the Yigūl-Group’. Studia Orientalia 40 (2). ——. 1969a. ‘Balgāwi Arabic 1. Texts from Mādabā’. Studia Orientalia 40 (1). ——. 1970. ‘Balgāwi Arabic 3. Texts from Ṣafūṭ’. Studia Orientalia 43 (1). ——. 1976. Studies in the Arabic Dialect of the Semi-Nomadic əl-ʿAǧārma Tribe (al-balqā⁠ʾ district, Jordan). Göteborg. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis. ——. 1978. Narratives and Poems from Ḥesbān. Göteborg. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis. ——. 1980. ‘Characteristics of the Arabic Dialect of the Bani Ṣaxar Tribe’. Orientalia Suecana 29, 112–138. ——. 1984. ‘A general classification for the Arabic dialects spoken in Palestine and Transjordan’. Studia Orientalia 55 (18), 359–376. ——. 1984a. ‘Characteristics of the Dialect of the Ḥwēṭāt tribe’. Orientalia Suecana 33–35, 295–312. ——. 1989. ‘Linguistic sketch of the Arabic dialect of El-Karak’. In: Paul Wexler, Alexander Borg and Sasson Somekh (eds.), Studia Linguistica et Orientalia Memoriae Haim Blanc Dedicata. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz, 225–251. ——. 1992. ‘Typological Problems in the classification of Jordanian dialects. Bedouin or sedentary?’. In: Bo Utas and Knut S. Vikor (eds.), The Middle East Viewed from the North. Papers from the first Nordic conference of Middle Eastern Studies, Uppsala 26–27 January 1989. Bergen. Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies, 53–62. ——. 1994. ‘Bedouin and Sedentary Elements in the Dialect of es-Salṭ. Diachronic notes on the sociolinguistic development’. In: Dominique Caubet and Martine Vanhove (eds.), Actes des premières journées internationales de dialectologie arabe de Paris. Paris. Inalco, 459–469. ——. 2004. ‘Remarks on the Arabic dialect of the Ḥwēṭāt tribe’. Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 29, 195–209. ——. 2004a. ‘Negations in the dialect of es-Salṭ, Jordan’. In: Martine Haak, Rudolf de Jong and Kees Versteegh (eds.), Approaches to Arabic Dialects, A Collection of Articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden. Brill, 221–236. ——. 2007. ‘Arabic texts in the dialect of es-Salṭ, Jordan’. Acta Orientalia 68, 161–205. ——. 2008. ‘Sedentary and Bedouin Dialects in Contact: Remarks On Karaki and Salti Dialects (Jordan)’. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 8, 53–70. Sakarna, Ahmad Khalaf (2002). ‘The Bedouin dialect of Al-Zawaida tribe, Southern Jordan’. Al-Arabiyya, 61–86. Younes, Igor and Herin, Bruno. ‘Un parler bédouin du Liban, Note sur le dialecte des ʿAtīǧ (Wādī Xālid)’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik (forthcoming).

Representation of Women’s Language in Negev Bedouin Men’s Texts Roni Henkin Folk Belief and Academic Reference to Women’s Language Folk belief across diverse cultures maintains that women talk more than men, as noted in sayings as old as Mishnaic Hebrew ‘Ten measures of speech came down to the world; nine were taken by women and one by the remainder of the world’ (Qidushin 49) and western ‘Foxes are all tail and women are all tongue’, ‘Ou femme y a, silence n’y a’ (Coates 1986: 16). Qualitative evaluation of women’s speech in intellectual, academic writing is often pejorative: in Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary ‘frightful’ is noted as ‘women’s cant’; Jespersen (1922 Ch. 13) claims that women are linguistically less creative than men; their lexicon more limited, their syntax simpler and more paratactic than men’s, their sentences more often unfinished, as they do not think the sentence out before beginning to speak. Exclamations typical of women include ‘O dear!’ ‘Dear me!’ ‘Goodness gracious me!’ for the more masculine ‘Great Scott!’ ( Jespersen 1922: 247). Some of these features are repeated in R. Lakoff’s (1975) monograph on women’s language. She also attributes excessive hedging, tag questions, politeness, euphemisms, and a general lack of assertiveness to women’s language, as well as the hyperbolic adverb ‘so’ and empty adjectives, such as ‘divine’, ‘charming’, ‘sweet’, ‘adorable’, ‘cute’. Research on women’s language in Arabic includes Rosenhouse 1995, 1998; Bedouin women’s narrative styles have been studied by Henkin (2000, 2001, 2002, 2010 Ch. 9.2) and Bettini 2006. The present article tackles women’s speech from a different angle, namely as perceived by men. It is based on my Negev Arabic corpus of over 200 recorded texts of diverse genres. I focus here on oral narrative and personal stories. 1. Negev Bedouin Women’s Language Most of the Negev Bedouin women above the age of 45 are illiterate (NBSDB: 169). This accounts for several phenomena in the discourse of


roni henkin

elderly women, including folk neologisms and meta-analysis of literary formulas, such as Aḷḷāh wakbaṛ literally ‘God and greatest’ for the normative Aḷḷāhu akbaṛ ‘God is greatest’ and Aḷḷāhu mṣalliy ʿala sayyidna Mḥaṃṃad ‘God has prayed for our Lord Muḥammad’ for the normative form Aḷḷāhumma1 ṣalliy ʿala sayyidna Mḥaṃṃad ‘God pray for our Lord Muḥammad’ (Henkin 2010 9.2.4). This feature of women’s language is typical of the older generation. Nowadays, it is less common, since literacy is the norm, although the drop out rate from school is still twice as high as the national rate (NBSDB: 152). A prominent characteristic of Negev Arabic women’s speech styles is emotionality. This is expressed by a predominance of several linguistic traits. (i) diminutives:2 ṯwēb ( č > ts g > g > ğ ([dž]) > dz B1 > B2 > B3 > B4

B1 is the original situation. On the basis of present-day distributions and what we know of historical events (e.g. the spread of Arabic groups from central Saudi Arabia to the Gulf in the eighteenth century), Holes suggests a chronology for these changes. B4 is the contemporary situation in central Arabia today, B3 was in place at least by the 18th century, perhaps earlier, and is the situation in the Gulf dialects, B2 was in place by the 13th century and is the situation in Baghdadi Arabic and elsewhere. I will return to the issue of the chronology of these changes in section 7. 4. Sibawaih At this point it is time to return to an interpretation of the variants as described by Sibawaih in (1), noting that disagreement with Sibawaih, a master linguist, is not to be undertaken without careful argumentation. Nonetheless, I think that Johnstone’s interpretation of (5b/c) as continuing (1b/c) is correct, i.e. that Sibawaih ‘meant’ -č and perhaps -ts. Before beginning, it can be noted that contemporary (5a) and (5d) are unproblematic from a comparative perspective. Each continues forms which were observed to be present during Sibawaih’s time (see Owens 2009: 251). I will discuss the reflexes in (5b, c) under five headings: coincidence of forms (4.1), issues of Sibawaih’s phonetics and phonology (4.2), social status of the variants (5.1), and issues related to morphology and orthography (5.2) and to pausal position (5.3). 4.1 Coincidence First of all, it is striking that Sibawaih happens to mention two variants of the 2FSG whose final segments, -kiš and kis, correspond exactly to the final segment of the two contemporary variants, [-tš] and [-ts]. Moreover, it is odd that if -kiš and -kis were indeed the variants, they have disappeared with no trace in contemporary Arabic, quite in contrast to -ki and -ši. Still, coincidence alone is hardly a sufficient justification.


jonathan owens 4.2 Sibawaih’s Phonology and Phonetics

Sibawaih’s introductory chapter on al-idγaam “assimilation” (chapter 565, II: 452–5) is essential reading regarding his phonetics and phonology. For Sibawaih, phonetics was a functional phonology, hence his most important observations on phonetics and phonemic inventory come at the beginning of the chapter in which he begins to outline the rich phonemics and morphophonology of Arabic. Sibawaih defines 29 standard phonemes or ḥuruwf for Arabic. I term these sounds “basic phonemes” and conventionally represent them in phonological slashes “/ . . ./”. In addition, there are two sets of what can be called an extended variant list. As will become clear in the subsequent discussion, these two sets are crucial to an interpretation of the sounds/morphophonemes under discussion here, because they contain no less than four variants which belong to what can be called the jiym/shiyn complex. To date, there is no systematic integration of all of these sounds into an interpretation of Sibawaih’s phonetic and phonological thinking, though a number of linguists (see below) have cited different variants in one place or another. The first set consists of six further phonological variants, which are sanctioned for Quranic recitation and poetry. These can be listed without further comment. The variants for the forms immediately relevant to this paper are listed in brackets and will be justified in the following. I will conventionally represent these in phonetic brackets, “[. . .]”. Sanctioned variants: (7) the medial hamza (bayna bayna) (8) imalized alif (see 5.1 below) (9) the light /n/ (10) the shiyn like a jiym, (= [ž]) (11) the ṣaad like a zaa‌ʾ (= [ẓ]) (12) the emphatic alif.

Most members of the set of sanctioned variants are mentioned elsewhere as well, either in the Kitaab (e.g. II: 279 ff. for imala, II: 168 ff. for medial hamza), and/or in other linguistic traditions (e.g. Ibn Mujahid 105 for the ṣaad like a zaa‌ʾ). Except for the shiyn like a jiym (see (24) below), all of these are readily interpretable as allophonic variants of one of the 29 core phonemes. A classic case relates to the complex conditioning of the imala, a vowel-harmonic palatalization of [aa] (Owens 2009: chapter 7), but others are equally susceptible to a conditioned allophonic reading,

chapter 504 and modern arabic dialectology


for instance, the ṣaad like a zaa‌ʾ is a voiced ṣaad in the environment of another voiced consonant. Beyond these, Sibawaih also notes a second set of eight further pronunciations which he does not sanction for the Qur’an and poetry, which are not considered good, and which he proscribes as not frequent among those who use good Arabic. Proscribed variants: (13) The jiym like a kaaf (= [č] or [c] or [ts]) (14) The jiym like a shiyn (= [č]) (15) The weak ḍaad (16) The ṣaad like a siyn (17) The ṭaa‌ʾ like a taa‌ʾ (18) The ḏ! aa‌ʾ like a θaa‌ʾ (19) The baa‌ʾ like a faa‌ʾ (= [p]) (20) The kaaf that is between the jiym and kaaf (= [?]).

In addition in Chapter 525 Sibawaih identifies a: (21) sound (ḥarf ) that is between a kaaf and a jiym (= [g])

A number of different values have been suggested for various of these sounds. For (13) Cantineau, (1960: 58, following Bravmann) as well as Bakalla (1984), suggest the value [g]. For (14) Bakalla suggests [c] whereas Schaade (1911: 69, n. 33) speaks of a palatalized [z] (“palatisiertes z”), which he represents as [ź] (= [ž] ?). In addition, Cantineau, usually an expert interpreter of Arabic phonetics, introduces a “kaf comme jim” (1960: 65), citing his own example of ǧaafir for kaafir. Following Howell, he corrects this to čaafir.6 Leaving aside Cantineau’s interpretation, all of these representations of Sibawaih’s proscribed sounds have two attributes in common: (1) they are all, taken individually, plausible, and (2) all lack systematicity in that Sibawaih’s sounds are interpreted on an ad hoc case by case basis, not in terms of a common formula. It can be suggested here that the key to interpreting (10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 21) begins with a different chapter than that in which the sounds are

6 Cantineau’s “kaf comme jim” is also picked up by Holes (1991: 670, n. 64) and Watson (1992: 76, see n. 24 below).


jonathan owens

described phonetically, namely chapter 525 (II: 375). This is the chapter in which he treats the adaptation of Persian sounds, including consonants, into Arabic. Two of the sounds are (19) and (21). Speaking of (21) Sibawaih writes, “They [Arabs, j.o.] convert the [Persian j.o.] sound that is between the kaaf and the jiym into a jiym . . .” aljurbuz “imposter” < gurbuz, al-jawrab “sock” < gawrab.7 Sibawaih more briefly notes that the sound between the faa‌ʾ and baa‌ʾ either is changed to either [f ] or [b]. (22) Sibawaih’s designation baa‌ʾ like a faa‌ʾ

firind/birind “decorative garment, decorated sword handle” < parand = [p] (Lane 1980, 6: 2389).8

(23) Sibawaih’s designation jurbuz < gurbuz = [g] sound between kaaf and jiym

These two cases are instructive for postulating a systematicity behind Sibawaih’s designation. Sibawaih the phonetician would have thought in his phonetic classificatory terms. As in contemporary articulatory phonetics, Sibawaih classified sounds according to their place of articulation (muxraj or maxraj, pl. maxaarij), whether they are voiced (majhuwr) or voiceless (mahmuws), and their manner, which roughly in Sibawaih is expressed by how the sound (ṣawt) flows through the vocal tract, e.g. whether it is stopped = šadiyd, fricative = rixwa, and so on. In addition he describes the secondary articulation of emphasis (ʾiṭbaaq) which is irrelevant for current purposes. It can be assumed that in describing the extended variants, Sibawaih was thinking in these phonetic categories, even if he did not describe the extended sounds individually. The question is, what parameters he used to operationalize them. A first place to start looking for general phonetic parameters is in the two parts of the description itself. Sibawaih uses two formulations, either “sound X ka- sound Y”, “sound X like sound Y”, or “a sound between sound X and sound Y. There is either a likeness or a betweenness. 7 Sibawaih (II: 375.21) observes that alternatively the in-between kaaf could be realized as [q]. I would like to thank Corey Miller of the University of Maryland, CASL (p.c’s. April 2011) for discussion and interpretation of these correspondences. 8 Ibn Man!ḏur gives both firind and birind, as loanwords (from *parand), with the meaning of “a decorative sword” (3: 89, 334), i.e. either /f/ or /b/ as reflex of Persian *p.

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Previous analyses, as noted already, have made suggestions for individual sounds, e.g. (13), a jiym like a kaaf is a [g]. What they haven’t attempted is to break X and Y into phonetic categories, generalizable to a common model. Clearly the extended sounds are a single sound. A “jiym like a kaaf  ”, whatever is meant, is certainly a single sound. Single sounds in Sibawaih’s phonetic theory can only consist of the discrete place, manner and voicing parameters which he defined. It can be suggested that Sibawaih used the “like” relation and the “between” relation to define these composite sounds, and if this is the case, he would have needed a system to make compound sounds regularly. The two relatively certain examples allow a phonetic model to be extracted, which describes such a system. Taking (19) for exemplification, repeated here, (24) The baa‌ʾ like a faa‌ʾ (= [p])

knowing that the outcome is a voiced velar plosive, one need only look in the phonetic attributes of baa‌ʾ and faa‌ʾ to find which phonetic parameters Sibawaih took from each sound. These are marked in boldface in the following: baa‌ʾ= voiced (majhuwr), stop (šadiyd), bilabial (al-šafataan) faa‌ʾ = voiceless (mahmuws), fricative (rixwa), labio-dental The Persian [p] takes the following attributes: [p] = voiceless (mahmuws), stop (šadiyd), bilabial (al-šafataan)

What Sibawaih has done is to take the voicing parameter of the second sound, Y, and the manner and place parameter from the first, X. The boldfaced attributes are taken from each sound and reassembled in the extended phoneme. A general formula can be postulated: (25) X = place/manner; ka/bayna Y = voicing

This description serves as an hypothesis; Sibawaih used the X ka/bayna Y as a general model, whereby X = manner and place, Y = voicing. Sibawaih’s extended sounds are, in most cases, not as it were sounds at all, but rather instructions on how to combine the phonetic features of each constituent sound to interpret a composite extended sound.


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The model can be tested against (10, 11, 13, 14, 21). (26) Sibawaih’s designation ḥarf between kaaf and jiym

composite features place/manner of /k/+ voicing of /j/

phonetic interpretation [g]

(27) Sibawaih’s designation ṣaad like a zaa‌ʾ

composite features alveolar/fricative + vd

phonetic interpretation [ẓ]

(28) Sibawaih’s designation shiyn like a jiym

composite features alveopalatal/ fricative + vd

phonetic interpretation [ž]

(29) Sibawaih’s designation jiym like kaaf

composite features place/manner of /j/ + voicing of /k/

phonetic interpretation [č], [c] or [ts]

(30) Sibawaih’s designation jiym like shiyn

composite features place/manner of /j/, voicing of /š/

phonetic interpretation [č]

In all cases the formula gives a plausible result. Regarding (26) on the basis of the loanword chapter cited above, the phonetic value, based on the Middle Persian original, is [g], i.e. the voiced counterpart of [k] (Saleman 1930: 13, Boyce 1975: 169). It is therefore unlikely that the “betweenness” resides in physical distance (place of articulation) since in Persian, there is no physical distance between [k] and [g]. Rather, “betweenness” should be interpreted in classificatory phonetic terms. [g] has the place and manner of articulation of a [k], but the voicing of a jiym, i.e. lies between two articulatorily-defined coordinates. All of the remaining sounds as interpreted in (26–30) are attested either in variants of Old Arabic, and/or in the modern dialects. (27), [ẓ], is found inter alia in the Qiraa‌ʾaat, (Ibn Mujahid 106–7), ṣiraaṭ “road, path”, the reading of Ḥamza, as well as one interpretation of Abu ʿAmr ibn ʾAʿlaa’s pronunciation being a sound “between a zaa‌ʾ and a ṣaad”, i.e. ẓiraaṭ.10 9 Post-vocalic [g] could also be realized as [γ] in Middle Persian. Sibawaih does not discuss this variant, and his examples are all word-initial occurrences. I would like to thank Fabrizio Pennacchietti for the Middle Persian references. 10 One sees an interesting link between Sibawaih’s sanctioned variants, e.g. the ʾimaala and the “the ṣaad like a zaa‌ʾ”, and the later ‘standardized’ Qiraa‌ʾaat.

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(28) is the widespread pronunciation of jiym found today in most of North Africa and in the Levant. (29) and (30) are “palatalalized k’s”, which as seen in (5) are widespread inter alia in the Arabian peninsula. There is an interpretive problem here, in that both (29) and (30), in the current formula, allow a [č] reading. Such a result runs against an expected precision in Sibawaih’s description. That the jiym is crucially implicated in the current issue is indicated on a prima facie basis by the basic observation that it is mentioned no less than five times in the description of the extended variants, i.e. in over a third of the phonetic descriptions. Here a closer look at basic jiym itself is necessary to elucidate the problem. Uncontroversially, the basic jiym is a stop (šadiyd) and voiced (majhuwr) sound. As is well known, in the case of jiym Sibawaih did not specify a contrast between an affricated and plain stop. It is simply “šadiyd”. As far as place of articulation goes (muxraj), it is placed after the kaaf (moving back to front), “in the middle of the tongue and . . . middle of the hard palate (al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa)” (Kitaab II: 453) in a class consisting of three phonemes, yaa‌ʾ, shiyn and jiym. Further to the front of these three sounds comes [ḷ], an emphatic lateral fricative. A literal reading of this place of articulation would give the phonetic values to these three sounds of [y], [ç] (vl. palatal fricative) and [ j] (vd. palatal stop), and in fact the latter two values have been suggested by various scholars.11 However, this literal interpretation runs afoul both of phonetic and Sibawaih-specific considerations.

11  For jiym in Sibawaih, Cantineau would seem to recognize a [ j], “occlusive palataledorsale” (1960: 57), though his formulation is not entirely clear (Pierre Larcher p.c. May 2011). For shiyn Watson 1992: 74 suggests [ç] or [ɬ]. Daniels (2010) has a good summary of the debate over the last 50 years. Determining the phonetic value of shiyn is an issue in and of itself. Arguments have been made for its voiceless lateral status, [ɬ] (Rabin 1951: 33, Cantineau 1960: 62, Beeston 1962). Beeston (1984: 9) takes Sibawaih’s al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa to be limited to the hard palate, and hence would endorse the [y], [ç], [ j] interpretation of the sounds. While Sibawaih’s description of ḍaad as a voiced emphatic lateral is fairly unambiguous, that of shiyn allows a lateral interpretation only inferentially (e.g. it is pronounced over an extended area of the mouth, which however, is compatible with the properties of alveopalatal [š] as well, see Sibawaih II: 467). The major problem with interpreting the sound as a lateral is that Sibawaih, an expert phonetician, does not describe it as a lateral, and does not pair it with the explicit lateral [ɬ̣]. Moreover, the lateral interpretation is difficult to relate to the extended sanctioned and non-sanctioned variants of shiyn (e.g. jiym like a shiyn).


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Beginning with general phonetics, phonetically, assuming that /j/ is, or is only [ j], the palatal region has to accommodate not one, but three different [ j] sounds (the basic one plus (13, 14)), as well as serve as a partial analogy for two other’s, (10, 20) above. However, the palatal region is typologically a somewhat underused region, probably for acoustic and perceptual reasons. It is implausible that such a logjam of sounds would cluster in the palatal region, particularly if this interpretation entails leaving the alveolar and alveopalatal region to the front empty of š-, č- and dž-like sounds. This general phonetic point can be underscored with a brief look at statistics readily available in the UPSID, the UCLA Phonological Segment Inventory Database, as available at the University of Frankfurt. This contains the segmental phonetic inventories of 450 languages. Searches can be defined by standard phonetic parameters, place, manner, voicing, various secondary articulations, etc. For the purposes of this paper two places of articulation were contrasted, the palatal vs. the alveopalatal. The expectation is that the alveopalatal region will show a greater degree of diversity than the palatal. This is measured by a simple statistic. Language tokens were classified as either having one segment at the palatal or alveopalatal position, or more than one (e.g. [š] and [dž], or only [š]). Segments with secondary articulations (e.g. labialized, laryngealized, nasalized, pre-nasalized), and special phonation types (breathiness, aspiration) were excluded from the count. The 2 × 2 Table 1 shows that there is a high degree of difference between the two places of articulation, with the palatal position having a far higher number of languages with only a single segment (usually [y]) than the alveopalatal. Table 1. Palatal vs. alveopalatal, single qqqqvs. more than one segment, UPSID sample single segment > 1 segment



237 167

65 223

p = .000, df = 1, chi sq = 89

In a very basic way this confirms the observation that differentiation in the palatal region is considerably restricted.

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Moreover, in the 450 language sample, only 105 have three or more palatal segments, and the suggested combination of Arabic palatal values, [ç, y, j] (see above) occurs in only two languages in the entire sample.12 No language has as palatal value only [ç, y, j] ], the values of a “literal” reading of Sibawaih’s phonetic description. Looking further at the UPSID sample, no languages or ancestors of languages with which Arabic can be assumed to have been in close proximity in the late second/eighth century, Sibawaih’s era, have more than two palatal sounds and most have only [y]. On the other hand, alveopalatal sounds are common: Amharic: Tigre: Modern Persian: Kurdish: Neo-Aramaic (Iranian Azerbaijan): Soqotri:

[š, ž, tš, dž, tš’] [š, ž, tš, dž, tš’] [š, ž, tš, dž] [š, ž, tš, dž] [š, ž, tš, dž] [š, ž, š’]

Expanding the survey slightly, Neo-eastern Aramaic in general has [š, ž, tš, dž], while Western Neo-Aramaic has [š, tš] + either [dž] or [ž] on a dialectal basis ( Jastrow 1997: 334, 348). Similarly Middle Persian has [š, tš, dž], with allophonic alternation (post-vocalic) of [dž ~ ž] (Boyce 1975: 16). In the UPSID data base, of the languages ancestrally linked to the Arabic of the eighth century, only Modern Greek lacks alveopalatals (but also palatals). Both from a typological perspective and on the basis of an areal survey, it would therefore be unusual for Arabic to have three distinctive sounds at the palatal region in the combination which has been suggested. On the other hand, two alveopalatal sounds (e.g. [š], [dž] ~ [ž]) is not unusual, and alveopalatal sounds with values which can be interpreted from Sibawaih’s own description of Classical Arabic are common in languages (or their ancestors) Arabic is either closely related to genetically and/or in contact with. In Sibawaih-specific terms, it is noteworthy that after the hard palate (and as ever following Sibawaih’s progression of place, moving from the 12 Komi, a Finno-Ugric language with 9 palatal segments in all, and Kwakiutl (North American Pacific coast) with 4. Tera (West Chadic) with 7 palatal segments has [y], [ç] and an implosive [>j]. Note that the palatal sound [y] is the most common palatal sound overall in the UPSID sample, with over 80% of all languages having it, so its presence in general is the rule rather than the exception.


jonathan owens

back towards the front of the mouth), Sibawaih hardly uses parts of the key passive articulator, the upper part of the mouth, to define further sounds. Instead, from the ḍaad onwards, the basic parameter defining the upper articulator is the upper teeth. For instance, the sound which comes “after” the jiym, the ḍaad, is described as being pronounced with the edge (ḥaafa, “blade, front”?) of the tongue in the area adjacent (maa yaliyhi) to the molars (ʾaḍraas). There is no mention of constriction against the upper part of the mouth. On this point Sibawaih’s description lacks precision, as in articulatory terms the varying degrees of closure formed by the active articulator, the tongue, are generally defined against the upper mouth, not the upper teeth.13 These two considerations suggest that the area of the al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa covered a much wider articulatory range than simply the hard palate, as is usually assumed by interpreters of Sibawaih (e.g. Cantineau 1960, Beeston 1962: 224, Watson 2002: 269). That is, al-ḥanak al ʾaʿlaa was conceived by Sibawaih as extending from after the velar region (occupied by [k]) at least all the way to the alveopalatal region, if not beyond (see n. 14). This interpretation is compatible with the categorization of /y/, /š/ and /j/ as constituting a class. This interpretation is supported by Sibawaih’s designation of the laam as also being in the al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa area, very unlikely a lateral palatal [λ], a value which, to my knowledge, no one has interpreted for it.14 Thus, against a number of previous interpretations (e.g. Schaade 1911: 19, Cantineau 1960: 57), it is plausible to assign more than one place articulatory interpretation to the basic jiym. It could have been palatal (in the sense of universal articulatory phonetics), but could well have been alveopalatal as well, or post-palatal. All fit within the extended interpretation of al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa. Indeed, it could have had more than one value.

13 Alternatively, if the al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa describes the top of the mouth from the hard palate all the way to the alveolar ridge, Sibawaih would have needed to differentiate the lingual sounds in another fashion, hence locating them relative to the teeth. 14 Much later in the thirteenth century, Sakkaki (p. 13) draws a representation of the mouth and where sounds are produced in it, in which the /l/ is placed much to the front of the /y, š, j/ class. His description (p. 12) is taken nearly verbatim from Sibawaih, so that one would conclude that the al-ḥanak al-ʾaʿlaa accommodates an area all the way to where the stricture for the /l/ is made. The inference that the passive articulator of the jiym might have extended over a large area of the palate and alveopalatal region is also supported indirectly by Sibawaih’s description of the upper articulatory region of shiyn as extending all the way to where ṭ is pronounced (II: 462, 467, 473, see Schaade 1911: 74 n. 4). As noted, shiyn is of the same place category as the jiym.

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Sibawaih classifies the jiym as a stop (shadiyd), but is not more specific than this, for instance giving no intimation as to whether it should be interpreted as a simple stop ([ j]),15 or an affricate ([dž]). In fact, there is already strong evidence for jiym variation in Sibawaih’s description. Whatever the basic phonetic value of jiym was, (10) says that there was also a sanctioned variant that was [ž] (see (28)). If the basic jiym itself had the variants [dž], [j], two values of jiym widely attested among the dialects today16 would already have been in place in Sibawaih’s time and classified by Sibawaih as permissible pronunciations. Assuming this perspective in turn would potentially elucidate the variants (29) and (30) above. Both are correct, but reflect different dialectal variants.17 Assuming that Sibawaih would not have detected two [č] sounds, in (29) the most likely interpretation of the sound is probably [c], as this is the variant closest to /k/. In this case, both (29) and (30) use the “ka l-Y” to define a voiceless value. (29) additionally nuances a more backed variant, via the comparison to “kaaf ” rather than “shiyn”. This would be the voiceless palatal stop corresponding to the voiced variant [ j]. Still, it cannot be ruled out that (29) represents the second variant attested today, namely [ts]. To conclude this reading of Sibawaih, it is argued that among Sibawaih’s proscribed sounds (13–21) was a voiceless alveopalatal and/or palatal stop. Allowing that his description is vague in respect to the articulatory extent of the ‘palatal’ sounds, it is not implausible to assume that already in Sibawaih’s day the dialectal differentiation existed which is found today in the jiym. The basic jiym sound could have been /dž/ or /j/, it had a sanctioned variant [ž] (28), while the proscribed variant of the first would have been [č]. This model, moreover, resolves the ostensible incompatibility of (10) and (14), which appear to refer to a single value. In the formulation

15 That the palatal value would have been [ j], and not [g] (as e.g. in Cairene today) is strongly suggested by Sibawaih’s chapter 525 in which he explicitly notes that the Persian “kaaf between kaaf and jiym” is realized as an Arabic jiym, because the Persian “kaaf between kaaf and jiym” is not among the sounds of the Bedouins, i.e. they had to shift the Persian [g] to something else, probably [ j]. 16 [ j] in various regions of Sudanic Arabic, while [dž] is generally the most widespread of the contemporary jiym variants. 17 For instance, if jiym had the values [dž], and [ j], (28) and (29) would have had the respective voiceless values [č] and [c]. Inversely, if this is correct, the proscribed variants of jiym argue for variable sources of the basic jiym.


jonathan owens

developed here, the relation is not symmetrical, “X like Y” does not imply “Y like X”, so there is no contradiction in Sibawaih’s formulation of the variants. Before returning to the question of kaškaša/kaskasa, a fundamental point needs to be dealt with, namely the extent to which Sibawaih’s phonetic description are tied to specific lexica, or are independent phonetic descriptions applicable to any word. This is a question which is pertinent in particular to the extended variants. In fact, both perspectives are applicable, depending on what variant is at issue. The imala ([ʾimaala]), for instance, is at one and the same time an allophonic variant, and a variant which is always tied to particular words, namely those with an “alif ” in the appropriate position for undergoing imala. A slightly different case pertains to the de-emphasized variants (17– 19). Whereas the imala represents a conditioned split, the de-emphasized variants represent a merger. As Sibawaih represents them, however, these maintain their lexical integrity. Thus, whereas phonologically and phonetically, a “ṣaad like a siyn” is simply an [s], Sibawaih’s description continues to keep them lexically apart. Presumably [seef] in the sense of “summer” (as e.g. in Tlemcen, Dekkak 1979: 105), would be a “ṣiyn like a siyn”, whereas [sif] or [seef] in the sense of “sword” would simply be a “siyn”.18 In the case of (17–19), Sibawaih’s designations are etymo-phonetic. A different case, on the other hand, is represented by (21). Given the interpretation in this paper, by definition, the “sound between the kaaf and jiym” is a purely phonetic designation, at least as far as the only exemplification of the phenomenon in Sibawaih goes (chapter 525), since this is used for a non-Arabic sound. There is no Arabic etymological source to relate it to. A similar interpretation applies to (19/26). In this case, Sibawaih (II: 376) notes that Persian /p/ (baa‌ʾ like a faa‌ʾ) is realized in loanwords as /f/. A key question in this context is what perspective is intended in (13/29, 14/30). Clearly the analysis developed here requires the purely phonetic interpretation. It would be highly unusual, for instance, to interpret (13/22), as a [k] etymologically related to [dž], e.g. *kabal for jabal “mountain”. Indeed, this point is perhaps what led Cantineau (1960: 65) to introduce the spurious “kaaf like a jiym”. A “jiym like a kaaf ” he would 18 As for the taa‌ʾ like a ṭaa‌ʾ, one could, with Nassir (1993: 20), envisage a voiceless emphatic ṭaa‌ʾ, since this in Sibawaih is voiced (majhuwr). This would follow the “like a = voicing” parameter. However, this interpretation makes little or no sense for the other two emphatic sounds. The only consistent reading is for lack of emphasis.

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appear to suggest, is a rather absurd correspondence on etymological grounds, Cantineau adducing the nonsensical example *[džaafir] for [kaafir] (Cantineau’s, not Sibawaih’s example). Cantineau instead substituted the, for him, more reasonable “kaaf like a jiym” with a value [č]. In fact, (26–30) all require a purely phonetic interpretation. In any case, the crucial step in the current interpretation is the recognition that Sibawaih thought both in etymological terms, and in purely phonological ones. The phonological perspective, in turn, allows Sibawaih’s extended variants to be interpreted in terms of phonological features, in particular the segment of his description “ka-l-Y” being shorthand for the voicing feature. From this perspective, the relevant (13, 14, 19, 21) are based on phonological parameters only. Before leaving this section commentary is necessary on (20), the kaaf that is between the jiym and kaaf. This is one sound which in the model in (25) would simply reproduce sounds already defined. Given the two potential original pronunciations of jiym, one can propose either of the following. (31) kaaf = alveopalatal/palatal, stop, voiceless = [č],[c]

Alternatively, there is yet another palatal sound hidden here (e.g. [ç] or [ts]), but as the discussion above on the density of palatal sounds points out, this is unlikely. One could also think of the value [ts]. However, this formulation strictly speaking lies outside the model developed in (25), since the ‘kaaf ’ is repeated twice, once as the name of the sound, and once as a point of orientation, in this case interpreted as a voicing parameter. One possibility is that (20) is in fact the same as (21). Sibawaih was inconsistent in his use of bayna “between”, and in chapter 525 the kaaf was placed first, in chapter 565 the jiym. However, given that there are only two sounds with the ‘bayna’ relation, (20) and (21), it may be that this question will remain forever open. 5. Why not kačkača? It is now time to turn to the original question, the status of kaškaša and kaskasa. In this section I assume the correctness of the argument that Sibawaih included at least [č] among the eight proscribed variants, and possibly [ts] as well. Nothing of principle stands on the second assumption,


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however. If this is correct, however, a crucial question is why this wasn’t so formulated in chapter 504, why isn’t the 2FSG object variant designated as the “the jiym like a shiyn”. 5.1 Social Status It can be suggested that the major reason has simply to do with the fact that [č] was among Sibawaih’s proscribed variants. Given this, Sibawaih would have had no interest in investigating its functionality in the language.19 Note that being a variant outside the basic 29 sounds does not automatically disqualify it from Sibawaih’s detailed attention. In fact, the imala, which is a highly legitimate variant of the non-imala alif and included among the six sanctioned variants, is the subject of the most detailed phonological observations in the entire Kitaab.20 In contrast to [č], however, it is a sanctioned variant. The allomorphemic -č, on the one hand, the kashkasha and kaskasa variants, would have posed a problem. They must have been common enough in speech that Sibawaih took note of them (see 5.3 below). On the other hand, he could not have taken note of and expounded upon proscribed variants. Sibawaih’s solution, in this case, is to see (or hear) not [č], but rather [kiš], hence giving recognition to the variant, while keeping within the terms of both of his phonological precepts, and avoiding the domain of proscribed sounds. One indirect confirmation of this ‘avoidance’ interpretation can be found in what for Sibawaih is the sanctioned imala variant of long [aa]. Referring to today’s distribution of imala, all of them are purely [k] dialects. None of them underwent the split discussed in (32) below. What this suggests is that the language milieu Sibawaih worked in had as one dominant (leaving this term undefined) group of speakers who would not

19  In describing Persian loanwords, the proscribed “in-between kaaf ” describes a Persian, not an Arabic sound, and similarly the ‘baa‌ʾ like a faa‌ʾ’. 20 Indeed, it is an interesting issue in the history of Arabic sociolinguistics to ascertain why the imala pronunciation of alif didn’t become standardized, given its centrality in Sibawaih, the original arbiter of Arabic grammar. In any case, the subsequent history of imala saw it spread out and/or survive in four geographical loci: in a northerly and easterly direction in northern Mesopotamia, including southern Turkey, and northern Syria, among the so-called qultu dialects as well as in Lebanon. Proceeding further west, it became established in eastern Libya and Maltese, it is well attested in Andalusia, and it has been recorded in a small pocket of Tiyaaha speakers (Shawarbah 2007) in the northern Negev. Today all of these regions are, broadly speaking, relic areas, and indeed, Andalusian Arabic died out some four centuries ago.

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have had affrication and hence would not have been associated with the proscribed [č]. Following through on this reasoning, for Sibawaih it is not enough for a sound simply to be attested that it be taken up in his phonemic inventory of legitimate sounds. It must be attested among the right group of people. The imalized alif was used by the right group, while the “devoiced jiym” was not. Related to the last point, two speculations regarding why the proscribed variants were proscribed can be made. It is noteworthy that of the eight proscribed variants, six are either obviously L2 variants, or explicitly other language sounds. (16–19) are all deemphasized variants, which can plausibly be attributed to L2 speakers (see. e.g Jaahiḏ! , I: 40–2). (19) and (21) (and perhaps (20)) are explicitly Persian sounds, as Sibawaih describes in chapter 525. This leaves only the two sounds interpreted in this paper as [č] and probably, [c] or [ts], as in (13, 14). Generalizing across the entire class, it could be concluded that Sibawaih saw in all of the proscribed sounds something foreign or non-native. That is, as a first explanation, one basis of proscription could have been that Sibawaih judged the sounds according to the groups he heard uttering them. For whatever reason, speakers of [č] were, in his mind, something less than fully-fledged speakers of Arabic, whereas those who used imala were. Turning to a second alternative, referring only to (15) and (20), derived from Persian [g] and [p] respectively, it appears that Sibawaih proscribed clearly Persian variants from acceptable Arabic. [č], identified here as the ‘jiym like a shiyn’, was another Middle Persian sound.21 Sibawaih could thus have identified the [č] of the 2FSG -či with a Persian sound. However, to avoid having to allow ‘Persian’ sounds within his class of sanctioned variants, he interpreted -kiš/-kis instead, as argued above. 5.2 Phonology and Orthography Besides the basic social factor, other potentially problematic factors relating to the recognition of a 2FSG -či suffix can be noted in this and the following section. As far as phonology goes, three potential problems are to be noted. First, given the morphological context in which Sibawaih discusses these

21 [č], with the optional variant [z] post-vocalically (Boyce 1975: 16). Note that the inclusion of the “jiym like a shiyn” with the sound explicitly identified as Persian constitutes a further argument that it is indeed a [č], i.e. another of the Persian sounds.


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morphemes, a purely morphophonemic variant which would be necessary to represent the variant could not be countenanced. Sibawaih gives no phonological conditions for the 2FSG variants, even if he does suggest certain communicatively-based constraints as to why speakers chose the forms they did on the basis of pausal position. It appears that Sibawaih conceptualizes speakers as picking their morphological variants from a pre-defined set of phonemes. This allows k + š or k + s, but not -ts or tš (= [č]), since these do not exist as members of a sanctioned set of phonemes, while choosing -t as a possible representation of the variants in this context is unlikely (t + š or t + s), since -t, in contrast to -k, is not appropriate as a morphemic value in this context. Alternatively, establishing a special morphophoneme for this context alone would be unprecedented in Sibawaih. Secondly, a broader approach to the variants would have involved dealing with allophonic conditioning. As noted above (see discussion around (5, 6)), the -č variant is phonologically conditioned, so one would need to ascertain the nature of the conditioned allophonic split. The basic rule is as follows. (32)  k > ts/č before a front vowel Otherwise, k kabiir or kibiir > čibiir/tsibiir “big”

There is, to be sure, one instance where Sibawaih does describe a largescale, regularly conditioned allophonic split, and that is the imala referred to above. In the word-internal imala which Sibawaih gives the greatest attention to, a long [aa] becomes [ia] in the context of an [i]. There are various conditions on this shift, but generally what Sibawaih describes is: (33) Imala in Sibawaih aa > ia / in context of [i] Otherwise [aa] (Kitaab II: 179)

Formally this is identical to the conditioned “split” (allophony) of [k]. The question can be posed, if Sibawaih was aware of conditioned allophony, why wouldn’t he have heard -ts, -č in the present case? This leads to the third point.

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From a phonological and orthographic perspective the consonant split has a different status from the vocalic imala. Sibawaih was working in an era when the final orthographic inventory was still in the making. In the Kitaab are found a number of innovative orthographic signs, for instance those developed to describe pausal phenomena (II: 307–8). The imala itself was indicated by a special dagger alif written beneath the consonant (i.e. in the position of kasra) before the alif. What the orthographic reforms concentrated on were vowels and suprasegmental and contextual phenomena, not consonantal values. It is striking that Sibawaih himself, although he gave rather detailed information about consonantal variation both via assimilation and unconditioned variation, did not propose distinctive orthographic signs for them. Rather, he used the composite formulations described in 4.2 above. It would appear that in Sibawaih’s day there was a barrier to expanding the consonantal orthography. Thus, there was a consensus built around the 29 consonantal signs. Indeed, we see perhaps in Sibawaih’s treatment of the -kis and -kiš variants this predilection to think segmentally, with the already established -s and -š appended at the end of the morpheme. As Johnstone (1963) suggests, a comprehensive treatment of -ts, -č, dz/dž could have implied identifying new consonantal values, new phonemes. While this did eventually occur, it was not until after Sibawaih’s time that, for instance, Persian ‫چ‬ was introduced. Phonologically the allophonic k > k/č split is of a type whose conditioning Sibawaih did not deal with, namely a vowel causing a shift in consonantal value.22 The values which Sibawaih would have had to have dealt with are problematic from the perspective of Arabic phonology. All of the component parts of the affricates exist independently in Arabic (breaking down the č into its component parts, t + š, for ease of reference): (34) ts = t + s tš = t + š dz = d + z dž = d + ž

22 Consonants influencing vowels, on the other hand, are attested in the imala (e.g. emphatics prevent imala) and the influence of gutturals on the low vowel fatḥa.


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However, none of these could be recognized as sequences of two consonants, e.g. (35) bayt-u-tši = baytu-t-ši

since this would violate basic syllable structure rules. (35), for instance, in pause gives, using a hyphen to separate phonemes, the following: (36) bayt-u-t-š#

This, however, yields a disallowed CC# sequence. Word-initially the change could be not be represented, since the words would begin with two consonants. (37) *d-ziddaam *t-šibiir etc.

While the phonological context of (37) would require an alif al-waṣl, the phonetics does not support such. Clearly then, the affrication change does require the recognition of new consonantal phonemes, which as seen above, was not the direction which orthographic reform was taking. Over and above the issue of prestige, here would be a case where Sibawaih’s theoretical conceptualization of the issue would have led him away from perceiving forms which his model could not account for. 5.3 Why the Pausal 2FSG? It can be asked why, if the supposed -č variant was general in the Arabic of Sibawaih’s day, he only singled out variants in pausal position, and only those in the 2FSG. These are two separate questions. Beginning with the second factor, it is clear that Sibawaih would have been drawn to the 2FSG in general by the striking variant -ši (1a). Having considered this form in detail, he would have been sensitized to other allomorphs of the 2FSG. Beyond this structural, paradigmatic factor, it can be assumed that the 2FSG is a form of extremely high frequency in speech. Of all of the “k” and “k-like” sounds,

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the “k” of the 2SG is probably its most frequent realization. To lend at least prima facie support to this supposition, I counted in a spoken HijaziArabic text of about 6,000 words, a conversation between two Saudi women (one of the textual bases of Owens et al. 2009) all tokens of wordfinal /k/, including -ik, the 2FSG form in this dialect (-ki after a vowel). As can be seen, it is not any /k/ which constitutes the vast majority of wordfinal /k/’s in this sample, but rather the /k/ of the 2FSG -ik. (38) -ik: 91 = 63% Other -k: 5423 = 37% Total: 145

Conversation is the most typical ‘genre’ of language, so, even without claiming a scientific representativeness for this example, the statistics do give unequivocal support for the inference that Sibawaih’s interest in the 2FSG would have been reinforced by its high frequency in actual speech. Regarding Sibawaih’s concentration on the pausal forms, two alternatives can be considered. On the one hand, it could be that whatever variation was observed, even -č was indeed restricted to this morpheme. This would mean that the change from *k > č began in this morpheme.24 There is no way, of course, to confirm this, and this conclusion goes against the observations in 4.2 and 5.1 above, which argue that -č was a general variant, but a proscribed one. Alternatively, it can be observed that it is striking that Sibawaih in general was meticulously careful in documenting pausal phenomena (waqf ) as opposed to context (waṣl) forms. A classic example of this, for instance, pertains to the realization of final vowels in pausal position (see II: 307–8). While this could simply be because there is more variation in 23 23 of the non-2FSG k-final words were in one word token hinaak “there”. 24 As indeed Watson (1992: 77) argues in an analogous treatment. As already noted, she makes the interesting suggestion that kaškaša was -kç, as in certain North Yemeni dialects today. In this view, morphemic -kç subsequently spread to other phonological contexts, and to other geographical areas, where it eventually became the [č] variant as summarized in (5) above. As it stands this suggestion requires a great deal more justification. Leaving aside the observation that [kç] does not automatically entail or lead to [č], it is problematic that [-kç] is attested today only in this morphemic context, and that there are no dialects where a conditioned *k > kç is attested. This suggestion therefore entails, -kç > *kç > č, (morphophonemic [-kç], phonologically conditioned [kç], phonologically conditioned [č]) though the medial step is unattested both in the literature and among today’s dialects. It is simply a reconstructed medial step based on the assumption that conditioned [č] derives from -kç.


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pausal position, another aspect of the observation is that pausal position is also more susceptible to physical observation, particularly in the pre-electronic recorder era. Picking up allophonic variation in connected speech is more difficult.25 Furthermore, if indeed Sibawaih’s theoretical apparatus would have stopped him from picking up consonantal allomorphy, as suggested in 5.1, one distinguishing aspect of the 2FSG in all varieties where it is -č or -ts, is that it has this form, regardless of following vowel. That is, whereas elsewhere the allophonic split in (32) is operative,26 morphemic -tš/ts is invariable, even after back vowels: (39) abuu-č/abuu-ts ( Johnstone 1963: 223) “your.F father”

Thus, even if Sibawaih missed the general allophonic variation, he wouldn’t necessarily have missed the morphophonemic variants of the 2FSG. In short, the prominence of the 2FSG because of its frequency in speech, as well as the ability to observe pre-pausal forms more carefully than those in connected speech account for Sibawaih’s singling out the 2FSG in pausal position. 6. Sibawaih’s Linguistic Thinking Before moving to a reinterpretation of the history of the affricates, it can be noted that if the interpretation given here is correct, it further underlines the variegated theoretical complexity of Sibawaih’s thinking. Sibawaih has been described as a descriptivist, rather than a prescriptivist (Carter 1973). This is certainly correct if one should oppose Sibawaih’s linguistic practice to that of later grammarians, who, unlike Sibawaih, were working with a closed set of linguistic data. Sibawaih’s descriptivism, however, was not that of a living individual who blindly recorded all speech forms which he observed, a walking tape recorder as it were. Instead, all of his observations are filtered through and legitimized by an underlying theoretical justification. This involves in the first instance linguistic theory internal

25 Consider, for instance, the classic sociolinguistic research instruments of recording forms in wordlist format, i.e. each word bounded by pause, pausal forms. 26 Johnstone (1963: 211) points out that in lexically isolated cases, the affricated form can generalize, as in diič, dyuuč “cock, cocks” in Kuwaiti Arabic.

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reasoning, but it can also involve, as suggested here, social evaluation based on groups of users. Note that from this perspective, Sibawaih’s theoretical constructs could, in certain instances, prevent him from analyzing phenomena which can be postulated to have existed in his lifetime, which he observed, but interpreted away, as it were, if they did not conform to his linguistic model.27 From an inverse perspective, the analysis of Sibawaih’s composite designation of sanctioned and proscribed sounds shows that western observers can be misled by interpreting his observations through their own lenses. In this case, scholars have, quite understandably it may be said, interpreted a [g] as Sibawaih’s (13), “the jiym like a kaaf  ”. This interpretation makes sense. However, the evidence from Persian loanwords, however, speaks decisively against postulating this value, as the [g] is explicitly described as in (21). On the other hand, as soon as the composite forms are recognized as being built of a formula in which the likened-to phoneme is seen as a shorthand for defining the voicing parameter (see (25)), not only [č] and [č-like] sounds emerge from his description, but others as well which plausibly fit into Arabic variant forms. That is, as Carter (1972) first emphasized, understanding Sibawaih entails understanding the sometimes inimitable theoretical constructs and methodologies he built his grammar upon. 7. The History of the *k > č/c Split Revisited: Sibawaih and Historical Linguistic Reconstruction The arguments given here obviously speak for a far earlier development of -č and perhaps -ts than in Holes’ (6 above) summary. Looking at a wider range of evidence from contemporary sources than has been done thus far reinforces this conclusion. Besides the palatalization summarized in (5) above, Seeger (2002) notes that conditioned [č], including the 2FSG -ič, occurs in Khorasan Arabic in eastern Iran, and Behnstedt and Woidich document the conditioned [č] “in non-/u/ contexts” (nicht -/u/- haltiger Umgebung”, 1984: 17 and p.c. May 2011) in the eastern part of the Sharqiyya (Egyptian Delta). Furthermore, Cantineau (1960: 66) writes that /č/ is found as an unconditioned reflex of /*k/ among Jewish speakers of Tlemcen, among Arabs in the Kabylie and in the area of Jijel (Djidjelli), 27 From a linguistic perspective, I consider this interpretation of Sibawaih yet another indication of the high degree of consistency in his linguistic thought. Theories elucidate, but they can also filter away objective reality.


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fluuča < fluuka “boat”, and /ç/ in the mountains north of Tlemcen. Both Heath (2002: 139) and Vicente (2007: 131) note the [č] reflex of *k in northern Morocco ( Jebli dialects).28 Cantineau considers the basis of these palatalized variants to be old, i.e. he relates them to the kashkasha and kaskasa of the Arabic grammars, without giving a detailed history of each variant. In various Levantine dialects (in particular, those referred to as the bəkuul group) as well as Sukhne in Syria (Cantineau 1960: 66), *k unconditionally has changed to č (Grotzfeld 1980: 174, Behnstedt 1997: 30). Between the conditioned and unconditioned reflexes, the historical development was undoubtedly, *k > conditioned *č, and thereafter, conditioned *č > č (unconditioned). The Arabs of Khorasan probably go back to the earliest Arabic incursions (late seventh/early eighth century) outside of the original Arabic homeland, while the [č] in the Sharqiyya can equally be interpreted as an old relic. As far as North Africa goes, it is plausible that the earliest wave of Arabic speakers in the seventh and eighth centuries brought the forms to Algeria and Morocco, the complete merger having already occurred in the Levant. The evidence from contemporary dialectology alone then allows a revision of Holes (1991) as well as of Owens (2009: 245). In the latter work two stages of reconstruction are postulated, one termed “pre-diasporic Arabic” which is broadly contemporary with Sibawaih’s grammar and marked with a single reconstruction star “*” the second a reconstructed proto-form which antedates the pre-diasporic form by a to-be-determined period, and designated with a double star “**”. The evidence that both the conditioned k > č and the unconditioned change are found both within the Arabic pre-diasporic homeland, as well as outside of it, is a classic argument that the change occurred once, within the homeland, then spread outside of it. The k—č split thus already existed in pre-diasporic Arabic. When the origin of the proto split is to be situated is an open question. In any case, in the formulation of Owens (2009), one would have: (35) Arabic kaaf Proto Arabic: **k

28 Though Vicente (2005: 117) follows Heath (2002) in interpreting the palatalized kaf as a secondary development (see n. 29 for criticism of this interpretation).

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Pre-diasporic Arabic: *k ~ č (both conditioned and unconditioned; more precisely, *k > *č in conditioned context (27), thereafter *k ~ *č > č). The evidence from Sibawaih presented in this paper is compatible with the evidence of this reconstruction, with [č] already existing by Sibawaih’s times, and perhaps -ts as well.29 Reconstruction based on the comparative method using the rich source of Arabic dialectology, and Sibawaih’s description, here, as in many other cases, mutually reinforce and enhance our interpretation of Arabic language history. This paper addresses a further issue which has yet to be given independent prominence, namely the sociolinguistic status of the many variants which Sibawaih discusses in the course of his Kitaab, and how his evaluation of them might be crucial in his own interpretation of the ʿArabiyya. It is argued here that his own interpretation of the [č] as a proscribed variant led to his reinterpretation of the 2FSG object suffix as a -kiš (or -kis) rather than what it was, a -č. References Bakalla, M. 1984. Arabic culture, through its language and literature. London. Kegan Paul International. Barth, Johan. 1911. ‘Das arabische š-Suffix 2.P.Sg. fem.’. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 25, 281–289. Beeston, Frederick. 1962. ‘Arabian sibilants’. Journal of Semitic Studies 7, 222–233. ——. 1984. Sabaic Grammar. Journal of Semitic Studies. University of Manchester. Behnstedt, Peter. 1997. Sprachatlas von Syrien. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Behnstedt, Peter and Manfred Woidich. 1985. Die ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte. Wiesbaden. Reichert. Boyce, Mary. 1975. A Reader in manichaean Middle Persian and Parthian. Leiden. Brill. Cantineau, Jean. 1960. Études de linguistique Arabes. Paris. Klincksieck. Carter, Michael. 1972. ‘Twenty dirhams in the Kitaab of Sibawaih’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 35, 485–496. ——. 1973. ‘An Arab grammarian of the eighth century A.D.’. Journal of the American Oriental Society 93, 146–167. Daniels, Peter. 2010. ‘Arabian sibilants again’. Paper presented at Meeting of American Oriental Society. Dekkak, M. 1979. Sex dialect in Tlemcen. PhD diss., London University. Fischer, Wolfdietrich. 1956. ‘k → š in den südlichen semitischen Sprachen (kaškaša)’. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 8, 25–38.

29 The results of this study, as well as others of its kind, argue very strongly against the approach of many linguists and Arabicists who assume a homogeneous and idealized Classical Arabic as the source of all later forms of Arabic. Heath (2002: 139) for instance says that /č/ did not exist in Classical Arabic. The evidence discussed here shows that such a formulation begs the question of what Classical Arabic can be assumed to be or have been.


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Grotzfeld, Heinz. 1980. ‘Das syrisch-palästinensische Raum’. Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte. W. Fischer and O. Jastrow (eds.). Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz, 174–191. Heath, Jeffrey. 2002. Jewish and Muslim dialects of Moroccan Arabic. London. Routledge. Hetzron, Robert. 1997. The Semitic languages. London. Kegan Paul. Holes, Clive. 1991. ‘Kashkasha and the fronting and affricization of the velar stops revisited: a contribution to the historical phonology of the peninsular Arabic dialects’. In: Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau. Alan Kaye (ed.). Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz, 652–678. Ibn Man!ḏur, Abu Fadl. Lisaan al-ʿArab. Beirut. Dar Al-Fikr. Ibn Mujahid. Kitaab al-sabʿa fiy al-Qiraa‌ʾaat. Shawqi Dayf (ed.). Cairo. Dar al-Ma’arif. Ingham, Bruce. 1994. Najdi Arabic, Central Arabian. Amsterdam. John Benjamins. Al-Jaahi!ḏ, Abu ‘Uthman. Al-Bayaan wa l-tabyiyn. Beirut. Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya. Jastrow, Otto. 1997. ‘The Neo-Aramaic languages’. In: Robert Hetzron (ed.), 334–377. Johnstone Thomas. M. 1963. ‘The Affrication of ‘kaaf  ’ and ‘gaaf  ’ in the Arabic dialects of the Arabian peninsula’. Journal of Semitic Studies 8, 210–226. Kaye, Alan. 1972. ‘Arabic /žiim/: a synchronic and diachronic study’. Linguistics 79, 31–72. Lane, Edward. 1980 (1877). Arabic-English lexicon. Beirut. Librairie de Liban. Nassir, Abdulmunim. 1993. Sibawayh the phonologist. London. Kegan Paul. Owens, Jonathan. 2009. A Linguistic history of Arabic. Oxford. Oxford University Press. Owens, Jonathan, Robin Dodsworth, Trent Rockwood. 2009. ‘Subject-verb order in spoken Arabic: Morpholexical and event-based factors’. Language Variation and Change 21, 39–67. Rabin, Chaim. 1951. Ancient West Arabian. London. Taylor’s Foreign Press. Al-Sakkaaki, Muḥammad. 1984. Miftaaḥ al-ʿuluwm. Na’i Zarzur (ed.). Beirut. Dar al-Kutub al-ʿAlamiyya. Salemann, C. 1930. A Middle Persian grammar. Bombay. British India Press. Sara, Solomon. 2013. ‘The Classical Arabic lexicographical tradition’. The Oxford handbook of Arabic Linguistics, J. Owens (ed.). Oxford. Oxford University Press. Schaade, A. 1911. Sibawaihi’s Lautlehre. Leiden. Brill. Seeger, Ulrich. 2002. ‘Zwei Texte im Dialekt der Araber von Chorasan’.“Sprich doch mit deinen Knechten Aramäisch, wir verstehen es! ” (Festschrift for Otto Jastrow), Hartmut Bobzin and Werner Arnold (eds.), 629–646. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Shawarbah, Musa. 2007. The Dialect of the Tiyaaha. PhD thesis, Hebrew University. Sibawaih, Uthman. 1970. Al-Kitaab. H. Derenbourg (ed.). Hildesheim. Olms. Al-Suyuwṭiy, Jalaal al-Diyn. Al-Muzhir fiy ʿuluwm al-luɣa wa ʾanwaaʿuhaa. (see webpage: Vicente, Angeles. 2005. Ceuta: une ville entre deux langues. Paris. L’Harmattan. ——. 2007. ‘Two cases of Moroccan Arabic in the diaspora’. In: Arabic in the City, C. Miller, E. Al-Wer, D. Caubet and J. Watson (eds.). London. Routledge, 123–144. Watson, Janet. 1992. ‘Kashkasha with reference to modern Yemeni dialects’. Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 24, 60–81. ——. 2002. The phonology and morphology of Arabic. Oxford. Oxford University Press. Woidich, Manfred, and Liesbeth Zack. 2009. ‘The g/ǧ-question in Egyptian Arabic revisited’. In: Arabic Dialectology. In honour of Clive Holes on the occasion of his sixtieth Birthday, Enam Al-Wer and Rudolf de Jong (eds.), 41–60. Leiden. Brill. Website (UPSID).

Interesting Facts on Ancient Mounds—Three Texts in the Bedouin Arabic Dialect of the Harran-Urfa Region (Southeastern Turkey) Stephan Procházka The article deals with an Arabic Bedouin dialect which is spoken in the plain of Harran situated south of the city of Urfa, Turkey. The dialect of the local Arab minority, which has been settled in that region for centuries, belongs to the so-called Šāwi vernaculars that are widespread among the goat and sheep breeding nomads of Syria and Iraq. Besides linguistic remarks on some outstanding phonological, morphological, and lexical features, the paper contains three original texts in transcription with English translation. The texts were recorded in three different villages and all deal with stories connected to the numerous ancient mounds in the region. Introduction Recently Bruce Ingham published an article on the speech of the Euphrates Bedouin, which he called a “fringe Mesopotamian dialect” (Ingham 2009). The present paper deals with a Bedouin dialect that is spoken on the opposite fringe of the Šāwi dialectal continuum. The Arabic dialects spoken in the vast Plain of Harran (called dīrit Ḥarrān in the local dialect) arguably constitute the northernmost variety of the Arabian Bedouin dialects, which for many decades have been the main focus of Bruce Ingham’s fruitful research. Many Arabs of the region investigated here live in the southern neighbourhoods of the provincial capital Şanlıurfa and in a few small towns between Urfa and the Syrian border, among them Harran and Tall Abyaḍ (Turkish Akçakale). Besides these urban settlements there are numerous tiny villages scattered in the fertile plain and often situated next to or around a ruin-mound. These tells are witnesses to the long history of the region, which boasts many remains of ancient civilizations. As they are the most conspicuous landmarks in the otherwise flat landscape, it is no wonder that the people relate many stories about the tells rising behind their villages. Three such stories, told by three men from three different villages, will be presented here.


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Although the nomadic way of life has completely disappeared from the region in question, its Arabic speaking population is well aware of their background and very proud to have a pedigree which distinguishes them from the Turks around them (though not from the Kurds, who are also a tribal society). This provides them with a certain sense of superiority which plays an important role in the people’s attitude towards their local dialect. In contrast to many other Arabic speaking minority groups in Turkey, the Arabs of the Harran-Urfa area take pride in their language and therefore actively transmit it to the next generation. There is also a certain interest in old narratives and oral poetry—that is, in those traditions which are, according to Bruce Ingham, “an important component of bedouin cultural distinctiveness” (Ingham 2006: 528). Ingham also stated that on the Arabian Peninsula another major factor in the preservation of this cultural distinctiveness and oral tradition are Bedouin cultural programmes in the media. Although Turkish media do not provide such possibilities for the community described here, one can notice increasing activities on more informal levels, particularly on internet sites and (non-professional) local radio and TV stations. They interview older people who talk about former times and record oral poems or narratives such as sīrat Bani Hilāl, which are sold as CDs in the market in Urfa and other towns. Strange to say, in the view of the local Arabs the term “Bedouin” does not designate a real Arab. On the contrary, I often heard it said al-badu muhum ʿarab ‘The Bedouins are not Arabs’, and my acquaintances vigorously protested when I told them that they speak a Bedouin-type dialect. Linguistic Remarks1 The most conspicuous phonological features are the shift from ġ to q, the affrication of k (> č) and g (> ǧ) in the vicinity of front vowels, and the socalled gahawa-syndrome. Syntactically one notes an almost routine usage of tanwīn as a link between an indefinite noun and elements which qualify it. These elements can be adjectives as in bētin aswad ‘a black tent’ (Text C.4 below), but also whole phrases (with or without a verb) as in the proverb šahrin mālak bī xubuz lā tʿidd ʾiyyāmu ‘Do not count the days in which you had no bread (to eat)!’—in other words ‘Forget bad times!’ Thus in

1 For a short sketch of this dialect see Procházka 2003. For a discussion of its position among the Arabic dialects spoken in Turkey see Procházka 2006–07.

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use of noun + tanwīn, Harran-Urfa Arabic almost completely conforms to the northeastern Arabian dialects described by Ingham 1982: 54–55. Lexical Pecularities Most parts of the lexicon of Harran-Urfa Arabic are rather conservative and share many features with Eastern Bedouin Arabic in general and other Šāwi dialects in particular.2 Due to the dominant position of Turkish in daily life, numerous Turkish words are used in any kind of conversation. Such words not only include modern terms but also everyday vocabulary—as, for example, in Text C.3 ärqäq (< erkek) ‘man’, qadǝn (< kadın) ‘woman’. Multiple word code-switching is relatively infrequent, so one rarely hears whole Turkish phrases or sentences embedded in Arabic conversation. But an example is gözü doldur! “Delight your eyes!” in Text C.8. Among the typically Šāwi and Iraqi gilit-dialect vocabulary the texts below use the verbs ʾanṭa—yinṭi ‘to give’ (Text C.3),3 darrab—ydarrib ‘to send’ (Text C.11; derived from the noun darib ‘way, path’),4 and ḥawwal— yḥawwil ‘to descend, to dismount’ (Text C.4).5 Other Šāwi and gilit-dialect words used in the texts are the preposition ǧawwa ‘under’ (Text A.7)6 and the particle zād ‘also’ (Texts A.6, B.1).7 Several prepositions and conjunctions seem especially characteristic of the local dialect.8 Among these is b-sāgt- ‘(together) with’, which is used instead of the preposition wiyya (typically Iraqi) respectively maʿ (in most other dialects). An example is found in Text C.6: hāt zād ṛubābtak ǝb-sāgtak! ‘And take the rebab with you!’ Another example is ti-trūḥ ǝb-sāgithe? ‘Will you go with her?’ The only etymological explanation I can offer is that the main word of this originally compound preposition goes back to the (feminine) noun sāq ‘shank, thigh’ and expresses the idea that what is at one’s thigh one has together with oneself.9 In contrast to most other 2 For further details cf. Procházka (forthcoming). 3 Behnstedt 1997: map 363: inṭa, Woodhead/Beene 1967: 462 niṭa. 4 Woodhead/Beene 1967: 155. 5 Behnstedt 1997: map 146. 6 Woodhead/Beene 1967: 81. 7 Behnstedt 1997: map 308 zād/zōd. 8 Such assertions must be made with caution as the lexicon of Šāwi Arabic is yet insufficiently studied. 9 Cf. the similar development of the noun qafā ‘nape of the neck’ into a preposition meaning ‘behind’: e.g. Šukriyya (Sudan) bē-gafā (Reichmuth 1983: 210) and Šammar göfāk ‘behind you’ (Cantineau 1937: 209).


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related dialects, where we find the word yamm to express the concept of proximity, Harran-Urfa Arabic uses the preposition suwāt ‘next to’—as in Text A.7 kull täll . . . suwātu ǧärye ‘next to every tell there is a village’ and bētna suwāt al-ǧāmiʿ ‘our house is next to the mosque’. The word is most likely derived from the root s-w-y ‘to be equal to’. (Cf. for Aleppo Barthélemy 1935–1954: 369 bǝswīt ‘au niveau de’.) A construction analogous to forms like dāyir ma dāyir, dāyir ma dār ‘around’10 is encountered in the ḥawāl-ma ḥawalē of Text A.7. Reflexes of ʾillā ‘except’ showing the vowel a in the first syllable (see alli in Text C.10) are uncommon in Šāwi dialects, but alla is cited for northeast Arabia in Ingham 1982: 54 mā yḥāćīna alla bnafsin šēn “he only talks to us with an unpleasant expression”. As in the dialects of Arabia (cf. Ingham 1991: 54–57), conjunctions based on the element yōm are most frequent for introducing clauses expressing exact time (in both past and present),11 e.g., yōmin ṣāyir fē$ḏ ‘when there was a flood’ (Text A.1) and yōminnu gāḷha ‘when he played it’ (Text C.10). As has already been noted in Procházka 2003: 85, šī expresses existence and māmin (or māmiš) non-existence. An example of šī is in Text C.6, and examples of māmin and māmiš are in Texts A.7, C.4 and B.4. Three verbs used in our texts merit special mention. The first is mā ndall ‘we don’t know’ in Text B.1. Verbs of this root usually mean ‘to show, to lead’, but a use similar to ours here is attested in a Šammari dialect: cf. Sowayan 1992: 265 dall ‘to know the way’. Not attested for other dialects but for Old Arabic is damm—ydumm ‘to bury’ (Text B passim) which certainly is a reflex of damma: see Lane 1863–93: 910a: damma l-ʾarḍa ‘he made the earth, or ground, even’ and damamtu ʿalayhi l-qabra ‘I covered the grave over him’. Finally, the verb riga/yirga ‘to ascend, to climb’, not attested for the Iraqi gilit dialects,12 clearly reflects Old Arabic raqiya, which hast the same meaning (cf. Wehr-Cowan s.v. r-q-y). A notable noun is lyās ‘(the act of ) plastering (of a wall)’ which is connected to the verb layyas ‘to plaster’. There is evidence of the latter in Syrian Arabic (Barthélemy 1935–1954: 771 layyas ‘crépir à la chaux’) but also in Classical texts (WKAS II, 1969 layyasa ‘to coat a thing with clay, to plaster’). The word wuruč ‘hip’ is used in Text C.7 in the sense of ‘slope, foot (of a mound)’. As cognates in Standard Arabic and other dialects mean also 10 Cf. Procházka 1993: 218. 11  Time clauses with regard to the present are only briefly discussed in Ingham 1991: 61f. 12 In Eastern Arabia the verb means ‘to go afloat, to put to sea’ (Holes 2001: 210).

interesting facts on ancient mounds


‘thigh, leg’,13 one can assume a similar development here to the English expression ‘at the foot of a hill’. The Turkish loanword čōl < çöl ‘steppe’, which in many Arabic dialects means ‘steppe, desert’ (cf. e.g. Ingham 2009:101 čōl ‘desert’), has undergone semantic extension in Harran-Urfa Arabic and now also means ‘countryside’ (ač-čōl, Text A.5). Further remarks on specific vocabulary are given in the footnotes of the three texts. Texts in Harran-Urfa Arabic14 The three texts which follow will be presented in transcription with English translation. They were recorded from three different informants and all deal with facts or myths which the people of the Plain of Harran relate about the ruin mounds near their villages. The transcription is basically phonemic with a few exceptions: the allophones ä and -e# of the phoneme /a/ were written in cases where they are very clearly audible; and in some words the central vowel ǝ was written as an allophone of /i/. The latter is also the case for final -i#, which is frequently pronounced -ī y#. Text A: The Origin of the Tells This text was recorded in the village of az-Ziyāra (official Turkish name Yalnızca) on 9th May 2010. The main speaker is Brāhīm, a farmer who has lived in the village since his birth in 1974. He belongs to the Bani Yūsif tribe. 1

haḏanne, at-täll hāḏa ǧaʿ 15 ygūlūn alǝkbāṛ yaʿni, ygūlūn haḏanne min—fēḏ $ Nūḥ—fē$ḏ Nūḥ ṣāyir. ʾawwali yōmin ṣāyir fēḏ$ al-maṭāriḥ ḏīye kullhin ṣāyrīn mayye.

2 m-al-fēḏ$ haḏāk—ṣuwāṛa16 ṣāyre— ṣuwāṛa ṣāyre—w-ṣāyir al-fē$ḏ hāḏe w-at-trāb hāḏe.

These . . . this tell, so the old ones use to say, these (tells) are (remains) of the Flood, they originate from the Noah’s Flood. Once, during a flood, all these places were covered with water. This flood caused eddies, eddies emerged, and they separated the water from the soil.

13 Wehr-Cowan s.v. w-r-k: wark, wirk, warik ‘hip, thigh’, Holes 2001: 556 warč ‘thigh, leg’. 14 The only text hitherto published is on truffles and found in Procházka 2010. 15 This is a shortened variant of ǧaʿad (which corresponds to the ǧāʿid of other Šāwi dialects) used as a modifier of the present tense. Hence in the Harran-Urfa region the modifier ǧaʿad and the full verb gaʿad “he sat” are real doublets. 16 The word ṣuwāṛa was explained to me as ‘turning water’; it is probably connected to the word for ‘bracelet’, cf. Iraqi Arabic swār (Woodhead/Beene 1967: 229) and Syrian Arabic ṣwār (Barthélemy 1935–1954: 449).


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3 ha-n-nōba hāḏa t-trāb hāḏa šunhu fargu ʿinne? at-trāb min hāḏa l-gāʿ 17 w-at-tall ǝtrābu mū wāḥad.18

Well, what makes this soil different? The soil of this field and the soil of the tell are not the same.

4 at-trāb haḏāk hāḏe ysawwūnu lubun awwali. haḏāk ysawwūnu miššān allyās yṣīr zēn.

In former times they used to make mud bricks out of this soil. They did like that because the plaster comes out well.

5 ylayysūn ad-dār, al b-ač-čōl, ad-dār In the countryside they (still) plaster ylayysūnha b-haḏe19 miṯil ṣuwā20 miṯil the houses with it. It becomes (hard) čimenṭo, trābha farqli21 qēr šäkil, like (modern) plaster, like cement, because of its different structure. 6 yrūḥūn yǧībūn šī masa . . . al-ʿIlle zād šī, ngul-lu trāb al-ʿIlle. ǝǧǧību tlayyis ad-dār yqadi miṯil čimenṭo, dūz,22 miṯil alči.23

They bring it also from al-ʿIlle:24 we even say “mud from al-ʿIlle”. You bring it and plaster your house with it and it becomes like cement, smooth like gypsum mortar.

7 fargu min hāḏe, ǧawwāhin māmin šī hāḏe. al-mille ište ḥawāl-ma ḥawalē mʿammrīn bēt hināk w-ṣāyre ǧärye. kull täll yōw suwātu ǧärye yaʿni kull täll ǧawwāh ǧärye.

This is the only difference: there is nothing under them (i.e. no remains of old cultures). The people have built houses around them and so villages have emerged. Beside every tell is a village; at the foot of every tell is a village.

Text B: Burying Children at the Foot of a Tell This text was recorded in the village of az-Ziyāra on the same day as Text A. Its main speaker is Ismāʿīl, born in 1968, whose family belongs to the Bani Yūsif and who is actually from the village of Qōran (official Turkish name Uzunyol). He lives in one of the Arab neighbourhoods in the town of Urfa.

17 The noun gāʿ ‘soil, earth’ is usually feminine, e.g., gāʿ sōda ‘black soil’. 18 The pattern CāCaC is typical for the numeral ‘one’ in Palestinian and Jordanian dialects (cf. Mörth 1997: 10–11). 19 For b-hāḏe. 20   From Turkish sıva ‘plaster’. 21  Turkish farklı ‘different’. 22 From Turkish düz ‘smooth’. 23 Turkish alçı ‘gypsum (mortar)’. 24 Al-ʿIlle (Turkish Öncül) is a small village situated only a few metres from the Syrian border. Its famous mud production stopped a few years ago but the pits can still be seen.

interesting facts on ancient mounds


To properly understand the text, it must be known that the deceased of many Arab villages around Harran are usually buried in the cemetery next to the sanctuary of Sheikh Ḥayāt al-Ḥarrānī.25 1 at-tlūl iḥna baʿǝ$ḏ garāye zād, ää . . . ysawwūhin26 zād la-ʿǝǧyān27 ǝẓġāṛ miǧanne. ydummūn ʿǝǧyān ǝẓġāṛ bīhin. yaʿni iḥna ta-ngūl 28 Qōran bälči aǧ-ǧärye hāḏi mā ndall, mā šifit.

The tells, we . . .some villages also, aa.. they use them also as cemeteries. They bury small children there. Well, we speak about Qōran: maybe this village [here is different], we don’t know, I have not seen (it).

2 ʾakṯar garāye, yōm-in ymūt ʿaǧīy-in ẓaġīr ʿǝmru šahar šahrēn, ʾarbaʿ tišhur, sine sintēn . . . la-sintēn ǝb-ʿagli hemen hemen, la-sintēn. mis-sintēn w-ʾasfal al-ʿǝǧyān aẓ-ẓġāṛ yōm-in ymūtūn b-aǧǧärye, min hēne mā yāxḏu l-Ḥarrān ta-ydummu, ydummūnu b-at-tall— b-at-tall.

In most of the villages . . . when a small child whose age is a month or two, four months, a year or two—almost up to the age of two, as far as I know . . . Small children, two years and younger, when they die in the village, they don’t take them from here to Harran to bury them, they bury them in the tell.—In the tell.

3 ʾī, yaʿni miǧanntin ẓġīre l-al-ʿǝǧyān aẓ-ẓġāṛ, miǧann . . . miǧannt aẓ-ẓġāṛ. yḥafrū-lu gabir ydummūnu b-at-tall. ʾakṯar al-garāye yaʿni miǧanne zād olarag ysawwūnu qullanma.29

Yes, it is a small cemetery for the small children, the cemetery of the small. They dig a grave for him and then they bury him in the tell. Most villages use it (the tell) also as a cemetery.

4 halḥīn zād ʿayne dawām ǝb-ʿagli, mū hīčiḏ, Brāhīm?—ē.—yaʿni ydummūn ʿǝǧyān ǝẓġāṛ zād b-at-tall. al . . . mū alǝkbāṛ mā ydummūnhum, bass aẓ-ẓġāṛ ydummūnhum ǝb-ǧaryithum ta-mā yrūḥ ba . . . bʿīd awwali ta-ngūl bälči wāsṭāt māmiš

They still do it nowadays, don’t they, Brahim?—Yes!—Well, they bury small children in the tell: not the older ones, they don’t bury them here, only the small ones. They bury them in their village in order not to go so far (to visit their graves)—perhaps, because in former times there was no transportation,

25 A good description of the sanctuary as well as biographical information about Ḥayāt al-Ḥarrānī is provided by Rice 1955. 26 He refers to the plural tlūl ‘tells’ by using the feminine plural pronoun suffix. 27 Sg. ʿaǧīy ‘child’. The word is typical for the Syrian Šāwi dialects; cf. Behnstedt/Woidich 2011: map 18b which offers also an etymology for this word. 28 Most likely a calque of the frequently used Turkish discourse marker diyelim ‘let’s say!’ 29 The syntax of the last part is strongly influenced by Turkish. Moreover olarak means ‘as’, and sawwa qullanma is a compound verb consisting of the Arabic element sawwa ‘to make’ and the Turkish loan qullanma ‘usage’. Such constructions are rare in Harran-Urfa Arabic but frequently found in Cilician Arabic (cf. Procházka 2002: 197f.).


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5 wayya ta-mā yxarab al ymūt b-sāʿ yirwiḥ, ydummūnhum hemen b-at-tall, mā yāxḏūnhum ʿa-l-garāye. at-tall hāḏa ysawwūnu bī, maxsati30 tatʿarifhe.

or in order that (the dead) should not be rotten. The one who dies begins to smell immediately. So they bury them immediately in the tell and don’t take them to the villages. This is what they do at the tell. My aim is (~I told this to you) that you should know this.

Text C: How Tall Nāṣir Got its Name The speaker of this text is al-Ḥāǧǧ Mamdūḥ al-Badir, the current chief of the local Siyāla tribe. He was born around 1925 and is a well-known person in the whole region, highly esteemed for his knowledge of history and his poems.31 The text was recorded on 12th May 2010 during a visit to his home in the village of Tall Nāṣir (official Turkish name Sorallı). 1 Tall Xarma—SP ʾisim awwali Tall Xarma?—Tall Qarma, zimān alʿUsmalli, ʾā, baʿdēn ǧiddina hēn nāzil. huwwa w-rayyis al-ʿašāyir as-Sūrīye ṣār ḥarb. ma-bēn ʿašāyirna w-Sūrīye ṣār ḥarb čiṯīr.

Tell Xarma—[SP] Its former name was Tell Xarma?—Tell Qarma, in the era of the Ottomans. Then our grandfather settled down here. A war broke out between him and the chief of the Syrian tribes. Between our tribes and the Syrians there was a lot of war.

2 rayyis al-ʿašāyir haḏāk gāyil la-š-šāʿir, šāʿir ʾē, tʿarif šāʿir?—ʾē!—gāḷ: rūḥ! ʿa-rayyis ʿašāyir Ǧēs w-lē32 ṣār b-alghawa al-maǧlis ṣār tamām. ʾinte b-aṛ-ṛǝbāb, gūl: mǝn fōg diǧilha, mǝn fōg diǧilha33 kull al-ʿaǧādīy yassarat wa-Čill ḥabbalha.

The chief of those tribes said to a certain poet—a poet, yes, you know what a poet is?—Yes!—He said, “Go to the chief of the tribes of Qays! And when he is sitting in the coffee house, in the majlis, then it is the right (moment) to recite (to him) by playing the rebab:34

30 From Turkish maksat < Arabic maqṣid ‘goal, aim’. 31  Two of his poems can be heard on youtube (— “Siyeli aşireti reisi Hac Memduh el-Bedir”, access 5/1/2012). 32 Syntactically this should be a conjunction for a conditional; however, that is usually čādin and inčādin (or yēlōn for the irrealis). There is evidence of w-lē in Ingham 1982: 93 (w-lē ḏa) which is, however, a presentative particle. 33 The exact meaning of this verb was not known to my informants and even the speaker of the story (pretended?) not to know it. They explained this line to me as ‘he was beating them from above (~ while riding on his she-camel)’. However, the verb daǧala is cited in Lisān al-ʿArab in the meaning “to have sexual intercourse” (Ibn Manẓūr 1968: 237, s.r. d-ǧ-l: daǧala r-raǧulu l-marʾata wa-daǧāhā ʾiḏā ǧāmaʿahā) which perfectly fits the sense of the poem and also explains the harsh reaction of the sheikh. 34 I would like to thank Professor Clive Holes, Oxford, for his valuable comments on the translation of this poem.

interesting facts on ancient mounds


3 yaʿni huwwa ärqäq hāḏi kullha qadǝn.35 sen böyle söyle: mǝn fōg diǧilha, mǝn fōg diǧilha, kull alʿaǧādīy yassarat, wa-Čill ḥabbalha. gūl hīčiḏ w-ʾāni ʾanṭīk čiṯīr maṣāri. hāḏi zād xarǧiliq36 hāḏa ʾalbīs37 w-rūḥ!

That means he was a real man and those others were all (like) women. Say this: ‘He had sex with her up there All men were taken captives And Čill made her pregnant.’ Say like this and I’ll give you a lot of money. Here you have also some cash! Here you have clothes! And (now) go!

4 hā, ǧī ʿala ǧiddina hēne ḏāk az-zimān qara čādir, byūt al-ʿarab. garāye flān māmin, kullu qara čādir, bētin aswad, bēt šaʿir. ʾāā, hāḏa zād ǧīy rāčib ʿa-ǧǧaḥaš, ḥawwal w-fāt w-gaʿad w-flān w-qahwa w-kēf ʾifil.

Hey, he came here to our grandfather and in that time there still were black tents, the tents of the Arabs. There were no villages here, only the black tent, the tent made of hair. This one came riding on a donkey. He got off, came in and sat down. There was coffee and good cheer.

5 ʿugub gāḷ-lu: yā . . . yā ḏ$ ēfna halla ʿindak ṛubāba, halla sawwī-nna teselli! gi$ḏab aṛ-ṛubāba, gāḷ nōbtēn ṯalāṯ šarqī,38 qēr šarqī, gāḷ ha-k-kilma hāḏi zād, gāḷ mǝn fōg diǧilha, mǝn fōg diǧilha, kull al-ʿaǧādīy yassarat, waČill ḥabbalha.

Later he said to him, “O our guest, since you have a rebab with you, please, comfort us!” He took the rebab and played two or three songs, other songs (than the one he was told in Syria). But then he also said these words: ‘He had sex with her up there All men were taken captives And Čill made her pregnant.’

6 maḥḥad imtabbʿ-ilhe hāḏi ʾama aš-šēx, xaššat qāftu, neyse hāḏi ǧat al-ǝqnīm39 ʿa-l-ḥalīb a$ḏ-$ḏuhur kullman rāḥ ʿala bētu $ḏaḷḷ ar-rayyis hēne š-šēx, w-aš-šāʿir. gāḷ-ḷu: yā šāʿir! gāḷ: hā! gāḷ-ḷu: ʾimiš ta-nirga fōg at-tall hāḏa w-daḥḥiǧ ʿala ʿurbān Ǧēs! šgadd ʿurbān šī? šgadd qanam šī? šgadd baʿar šī? šgadd ḥarīm šī? šgadd yaʿni xēl? šūf al-ǝblād! hāt zād ṛubābtak ǝbsāgtak!

Nobody understood; but the sheikh caught on to it.40 When the sheep came for the noon milking, everybody went home; only the chief stayed, the sheikh and the poet. He said to him, “O poet!” He said, “Yes!” He said, “Come on, let’s climb this hill and have a look at the Arabs of Qays! How many Arabs are there? How many sheep? How many camels? How many women and how many horses? Have a look at this country and bring your rebab with you!

35 Turkish erkek ‘man’, kadın ‘woman’. 36 From Turkish harçlık ‘pocket-money, allowance’. 37 From Turkish elbise < Arabic ʾalbisa. 38 From Turkish şarkı ‘song’. 39 The plural qnīm, which also occurs in section 8 below, is remarkable. 40 Literally: it entered the sheikh’s head (qāftu ‘his head, without suffix qāfa < Turkish kafa ‘head’).


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7 hāḏa zād ʾǝstǝdār ʿala ʿiyālu, ǝlbis al-qilīč,41 ǝlbis al-ʿabā fōgu w-rǝga ʿa-t-tall. at-tall hāḏa min fōg min qādi ʿāli. min hēne hīčiḏ, ʾā, hīčiḏ ǝngūl, min qād ʿāli, min al-wurč aš-šimāli.

He (the sheikh) returned to his family too. He put on his sword, covered it with the cloak and climbed the hill. This hill is steep on the other side. On this side here it is like this; but on the other side it is steep, on the northern slope.

8 gaʿadu hināk. gāḷ: daḥḥiǧ! gözü doldur—ʾimil ʿēnak! ši-tšūf? gāḷ: ʾašūf ǝbyūt, čiṯīr. ʾuxra ši-tšūf? gāḷ: ʾašūf ǝqnīm. ʾuxra? gāḷ: baʿar čiṯīr. ʾuxra? gāḷ: ʾawādim čiṯīr, xēl čiṯīr, ʾAlla yhannīk bīhum! ʾAlla yhannīk bīhum!

They sat down there and he said, “Look! Delight your eyes! What do you see?” He said, “I see tents, many indeed.” “What else do you see?” He said, “I see sheep.” “What else?” He said, “Many camels.” “What else?” He said, “Many men, many horses. May God grant you happiness through them!”

9 gāḷ: zēn šifit? zēn daḥḥiǧha! gāḷ: zēn, milēt ʿēni, yūūūūū . . . gāl: tisḥab-inne ṛ-ṛubāba wannisne ta-šūf! saḥab aṛṛubāba, gāḷ-ḷu gaṣīdtēn ṯalāṯ. gāḷ: mū hāḏi! al gulithe a$ḏ-$ḏaḥa. gāḷ qērhe, gāḷ: mū hāḏi, alli gulitha b-al-ǝghawa.

He said, “Did you look well (at them)? Take a hard look at them!” He said, “I have delighted my eyes, yoo-hoo!” He said, “Take the rebab and divert me!” He took the rebab and recited two or three poems for him. He said, “Not this one, the one you played before noon!” He played another one. So he said, “Not this one, the one you played in the coffeehouse!”

10 mā ʿād yʿarif ši-yrīd yigūl. mā $ḏallat firṣa yōx42 ʾalli tgūlhe. gāḷ: yōminnu maǧbūr ʾalli-gūl. yōminnu gāḷha lissaʿ mā gāḷ tamām, hāḏa b-as-sēf gāḷ bī hīčiḏ wa-ṛāsu yidriǧ w-ytammim assālfe.

He (the poet) no longer knew what he could play. (The sheikh) said, “There is nothing left but to play it.” He said, “If it is really necessary I’ll play it.” He played it again. But before he could finish it [the sheikh] said, the sword (in his hand), “It’s like that!”—And so he finished the poem while his head was rolling down (the hill).

11 ʾismu Nāṣir, aš-šāʿir ʾismu Nāṣir. ʾawwali čān at-tall hāḏa Tall Xarma, b-zimān al-ʿUsmalli, w-min inḏíbaḥ bī az-zlime hāḏa ṣār Tall Nāṣir, ʾinḏíbaḥ bī w-indífan fōgu. hā hīčiḏ ǧiddina ḏbuḥu,43 wa-Čill darrabu min Sūrīye hīčiḏ.

His name was Nāṣir; the poet’s name was Nāṣir. Before that the tell’s name was Tall Xarma, in the time of the Ottomans. But when this man was slaughtered there, it became Tall Nāṣir. He was slaughtered and buried on it. Our grandfather killed him like this; and Čill had sent him from Syria.

41   From Turkish kılıç. 42 From Turkish yok ‘there is not’, which is pronounced yox in the local dialect. 43 For this phonological change, which is typical of the Šāwi dialects, cf. $ḏṛöbo ‘il l’a frappé’ (Cantineau 1936: 94).

interesting facts on ancient mounds


References Barthélemy, Adrien. 1935–1954. Dictionnaire Arabe-Français: Dialectes de Syrie: Alep, Damas, Liban, Jérusalem. Paris. Geuthner. Behnstedt, Peter. 1997. Sprachatlas von Syrien. I: Kartenband. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. ——. 2000. Sprachatlas von Syrien. II: Volkskundliche Texte. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Behnstedt, Peter and Manfred Woidich. 2011. Wortatlas der arabischen Dialekte. I: Mensch, Natur, Fauna, Flora. Leiden. Brill. Cantineau, Jean. 1936. ‘Études sur quelques parlers de nomades arabes d’Orient’. Annales de l’Institut d’Études Orientales 2, 1–118. ——. 1937. ‘Études sur quelques parlers de nomades arabes d’Orient’. Annales de l’Institut d’Études Orientales 3, 119–237. Holes, Clive. 2001. Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia. I: Glossary. Leiden. Brill. Ibn Manẓūr. 1968. Lisān al-ʿArab. Bayrūt. Dār Ṣādir, vol. xi. Ingham, Bruce. 1982. North east Arabian dialects. London-Boston. Kegan Paul. ——. 1991. ‘Subordinate clauses of time and condition in Bedouin dialects.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 54, 42–62. ——. 2006. ‘Language and identity: The perpetuation of dialects.’ In: Dawn Chatty (ed.). Nomadic Societies in the Middle East and North Africa. Leiden-Boston. Brill, 522–538. ——. 2009. ‘The dialect of the Euphrates Bedouin—A fringe Mesopotamian dialect.’ In: Enam Al-Wer and Rudolf de Jong (eds.). Arabic Dialectology. In Honour of Clive Holes on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday. Leiden-Boston. Brill, 99–108. Kurpershoek, P. Marcel. 2005. Oral Poetry and Narratives from Central Arabia. Vol. V: Voices from the Desert. Glossary, Indices, and List of Recordings. Leiden. Brill. Lane, Edward William. 1863–1893. Maddu-k-Kamoos. An Arabic-English Lexicon. London. Mörth, Karlheinz. 1997. Die Kardinalzahlwörter von Eins bis Zehn in den neuarabischen Dialekten. Vienna. Wiener Universitätsverlag. Procházka, Stephan. 1993. Die Präpositionen in den neuarabischen Dialekten. Vienna. Verband der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaften Österreichs (VWGÖ). ——. 2002. Die arabischen Dialekte der Çukurova (Südtürkei). Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. ——. 2003. ‘The Bedouin Arabic Dialects of Urfa’. In: I. Ferrando and J.J. Sanchez Sandoval (eds.): AIDA: 5th Conference Proceedings, Cádiz, 75–88. ——. 2006–07. ‘Does geographical periphery imply linguistic periphery?—The examples of the Arabic dialects of Cilicia and Urfa in Southern Turkey’. Romano-Arabica 6–7, 109–132. ——. 2010. ‘Genüsse aus der Steppe: Kulturgeschichtliches und Etymologisches zur Wüstentrüffel nebst einem Text im arabischen Dialekt von Urfa (Südost-Türkei)’. Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 100, 119–135. ——. (forthcoming). ‘Lexical features of the Arabic dialect spoken in the HarranUrfa-Region (South-eastern Turkey): A comparison with the Bedouin dialects of Syria, Iraq, and Arabia. In: A. Langone and G. Mion (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th AIDA conference, Pescara, Italy. Rice, D.S. 1955. ‘A Muslim shrine at Ḥarrān.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 17, 436–448. Rosenhouse, Judith. 1984. The Bedouin Arabic Dialects: General problems and a close analysis of the North Israel Bedouin Dialects. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Sowayan, Saad. 1992. The Arabian Historical Narrative. An Ethnographic and Linguistic Analysis. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. Wehr, Hans. 1979. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic—English). J. Milton Cowan (ed.). 4th edition. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz. WKAS—Wörterbuch der klassischen arabischen Sprache. Manfred Ullmann et al. (eds.) 2 vols. Wiesbaden. Harrassowitz, 1970–2009. Woodhead, D.R. and Wayne Beene. 1967. A Dictionary of Iraqi Arabic: Arabic–English. Washington, DC. Georgetown University Press.

Antigemination as Morphosemantic Integrity in Arabic Dialects Kirsty Rowan Resistance to syncope in certain data from Arabic dialects motivated the proposal for antigemination as a function of the Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP). More recent revisions to the OCP as being operative in this phonological process have claimed that the non-application of syncope is due to homophony avoidance or resistance to paradigm collapse. The present analysis considers the importance of the morphosemantic properties of the forms which block syncope. The approach seeks to unify the targets of resistance to syncope (Forms II and III) in the discussion of gemination as encoding plurality. The cross-linguistic implications for the claims made here is that phonological processes will be prohibited from applying if their application results in morphosemantic information being jeopardised. This study investigates the problem of antigemination in certain Arabic dialects. I put forward the view that any proposal for the occurrence of antigemination should not be purely formally driven within an isolated phonological framework, but should also address a systematic study into the morphosemantic properties of the particular forms. This is dependent on acknowledging that there is a morphosemantic association between the verbal forms II and III, with particular reference to the reduplicative structure exhibited by geminate consonants and lengthened vowels. While this paper is not meant to be an exhaustive account of the morphosemantic or morphosyntactic properties of the Arabic verbs, I try to highlight the issue that considerations on these properties are dependent for an explanation of antigemination. Arabic Morphosemantic Forms The fundamental feature of Arabic derivational morphology is that the verbal root exhibits ‘morphosemantic’ patterns (Holes 2004: 100).1 Vernet

1 The issues relating to the debate on the Semitic root are not discussed here, for an overview of the main arguments see Olmo Lete (2008) and Goldenberg (1994).


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defines the Semitic verbal root as a “radical morpheme whose constituent elements cannot be combined arbitrarily but are subject to specific combinatory sequences” (2011: 2). The patterns which are of specific interest to this discussion are forms I, II and III. The format of these patterns is: ‘regular’ ‘doubled’  (i) Form I CVCVC CVCiCi (ii) Form II CVCiCiVCj CVCiCiVCi (iii) Form III CVVCVC CVVCiVCi

Form I is understood as being the ‘basic’ form whereby the ‘doubled’ pattern has identical second and third consonants (radicals). The ‘regular’ form II pattern has a geminated medial radical with a non-identical third radical, which is in contrast to its ‘doubled’ pattern whereby the final radical is identical to the geminated medial. Finally, form III shows that its pattern is a lengthened vowel between the first and second radical. The two final radicals in the ‘doubled’ form are identical.2 The patterns are widely understood to be augmented forms of the ‘basic’ form I pattern. Form II is considered to modify the form I pattern giving the following semantic ranges (examples from Holes 2004: 101–2): (1) Form I verbs Form II verbs JM‘ ‘collect’ JMM‘ ‘amass, pile up’ intensive/extensive NBŠ ‘unearth, dig up’ NBBŠ ‘ransac intensive/extensive QDM ‘precede, go before’ QDDM ‘put forward’ causative KBR ‘be great’ KBBR ‘praise’ estimative/ascriptive ‘QM ‘sterile, barren’ ‘QQM ‘sterilise’ denominative

Danks summarises further semantic ranges, with references cited therein (2011: 66–67) such as iterative, frequentative, and delocutive. The manner in which the verb is related to the noun phrases in its clauses is also identified as being combined in the patterns. Form II verbs are often found to be causative of transitive form I verbs, with intransitive form I patterns having a transitive meaning in their augmented form II (Ryding 2005: 491). Holes brings to our attention a study (conducted by Uth 1997 as reported by Blohm 1990) which found that 61% of commonly used form II verbs are causative in MSA, with 11% as intensive and 3% are causative-intensive,

2 As is well-known, form II is associated with form V as is form III with form VI both in the pattern and semantic relationship. Although for clarity of the discussion given in this paper, I focus specifically on the forms II and III.

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with the remaining 25% not being able to be assigned to any of these ranges (2004: 142, fn. 4).3 Turning to the pattern of form III, it is commonly considered to have the meaning of associative i.e. involving another person in the action. Ryding (2005: 503) also states that the “related semantic modifications conveyed by this inflectional class include reciprocal action, repeated action and attempted action.” For Holes (2004: 102), the basic meaning of this pattern is conative which indicates the effort of the agent in performing the activity of the verb, whereas Danks (2011: 137) defines its role as mainly mutual. The following examples are taken from Holes (2004: 102). The first verb in the form III examples giving a conative meaning with the last three forms indicating the involvement of a patient or of a participant in the action other than the subject often implied: (2) Form I verbs QTL ‘kill’ KTB ‘write’ ‘ML ‘do’ QBL ‘move forward’

Form III verbs Qv:TL ‘try to kill’ Kv:TB ‘correspond with’ ‘v:ML ‘treat’ Qv:BL ‘meet’

Establishing the precise semantic identity of the verbal patterns has ranged from proposals which generalise greatly to detailed specification. A summary of grammarian proposals for the patterns and their semantic representation is given in Danks (2011). This summary and his discussion detail the drawbacks from the ‘explicit specification’ (reference grammars) and the ‘reductionist’ approaches (learner’s grammars such as Badawi, Carter and Gully 2004). Whilst acknowledging that the differences in approaches are appropriate given the intended readership, Danks (2011: 73) is clear that both approaches are needed. This is to ensure that there is no predictability assumed in the verbal semantics of the patterns (‘explicit specification’), while at the same time realising that there are generalised commonalities (‘reductionist’). The contribution of linguists to the investigation of the semantic properties of the forms, both from an historical and synchronic perspective, is critiqued by Danks (2011).4 He is concerned 3 A frequency analysis is also conducted in Danks (2011) on the aspectual categorisation. 4 Gafos (2003: 346) refers to the significant impact that the descriptive grammars have had on generative phonology, particularly in their determinism of the canonical patterns of Arabic verbs. The analysis presented in Gafos emphasises that there should be a shift of focus from these patterns to the actual stems and their ‘context of occurrence within paradigms.’ He argues that this would make it possible to detect genuine phonology across


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that comprehensive studies are lacking and that by exploring only the components of the system of Arabic leads to little significant progress especially within the semantics of the Semitic verbal system. The ‘reductionist’ approach comes in for criticism in Kouwenberg (1997), specifically in regards to the copious generalised proposals made on the functions of the forms based on only a few adduced examples. These considerations should be all-important in the reflection that phonologists should take when approaching Arabic data. In particular, I maintain that assuming the templatic pattern of the forms have a ‘generalised’ aspectual meaning is a major mistake for an investigation into a process which I propose adheres to specific morphosemantic categories. I now turn to this process which is receiving renewed attention within phonology, namely antigemination as it specifically relates to forms II and III.5 I then return to the morphosemantic properties of these patterns in light of recent research. The OCP and Antigemination The identification of consonantal incompatibility with similar/identical segments in Arabic verbal roots (Greenberg 1950) was formalised in phonological theory with the proposal of the OCP (Obligatory Contour Principle) as applying to Semitic root consonants in general (McCarthy 1981).6 The OCP stipulates that adjacent identical elements (segments, tones, features etc.) are prohibited. The proposal for the OCP being operative in Semitic languages gave rise to a number of investigations into its functioning (Rose 2000a, Pierrehumbert 1993, Yip 1988). Although the OCP has been challenged by others (Kenstowicz 1982), the most critical appraisal (Odden 1988), has not damaged its place within Semitic linguistics nor in formal linguistic theory. The term ‘antigemination’ originates from McCarthy’s (1986) investigation into OCP effects. Antigemination can be defined as a blocking of phonological processes such as regular vowel syncope from applying if its application would result in direct OCP. the different forms of the Arabic verb. His proposal details that ‘doubled’ form I and IX with final duplication of the consonants are the ‘phonologically determined surface variants of their geminate-final stems.’ 5 Based on this proposal, it leads me to exclude the discussion on ‘doubled’ form I verbs which do display gemination. 6 For a detailed examination of root compatibility using a statistical analysis, see Bachra (2001).

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Regular vowel syncope is found throughout the inflectional paradigms (forms) in the majority of the Arabic dialects.7 The environment in which syncope takes place is the position between identical final consonants. The syncope process is not dependent on the identity of the suffix i.e. regardless of whether the suffix is vowel or consonant initial. The following examples show the syncope in the doubled forms: (3)

Form I ‘regular’ Form I ‘doubled’ Form IV ‘regular’ Form IV ‘doubled’

kitab sadd Ɂanjaz Ɂaṣarr

‘he wrote’ ‘he closed’ *sadad ‘he accomplished’ ‘he insisted’ *Ɂaṣarar

Various proposals have been put forth to account for the occurrence/nonoccurrence of antigemination in Iraqi Arabic and other Arabic dialects along with further languages of the world. While I do not discuss the theoryinternal proposals for the occurrence of antigemination, in particular McCarthy’s (1986) assessment, there are explicit general properties of the process that I highlight from previous analyses and discussions. Moreover, current investigations have reassessed the applicability of the OCP and have yielded alternative proposals. It is these proposals that are discussed herein. Initiating the formal treatment of antigemination in phonology, McCarthy agrees with Erwin’s (1963) claim in his reference grammar of Iraqi Arabic, that the facts for antigemination in this dialect are ‘puzzling’ (1986). It is not that the language disallows geminates as they occur in a multitude of hetero- and tautomorphemic forms, leading McCarthy to propose the formal device of tier conflation to account for the contradiction in the process. In their study into gemination and antigemination in Iraqi Arabic, Majdi and Winston outline that “rules of epenthesis and syncope do not apply in a systematic way to all triconsonantal roots. These rules seem to be restricted when applied to roots which contain geminated or adjacent identical consonants” (1993: 165–66). The argument that Majdi and Winston put forward to account for the non-systematic process is based on the interaction between the syllable structure and stress which will not be further discussed here. An overview of the antigemination process in Iraqi Arabic is that the ‘regular’ form II verbs of the pattern CVCiCiVCj will exhibit optional syncope

7 This is also evident with the further forms VII, VIII and X.


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of the ultimate vowel once morphological suffixation has applied (along with degemination): baddal+at → baddlat → [badlat] ‘she changed.’8 This is in contrast to ‘doubled’ form II verbs whereby the final consonant is also identical to the medial: CVCiCiVCi baddad+at → baddadat → [baddidat]9 *[badddat]/*[baddat] ‘she wasted.’ Within form II roots, syncope applies feeding degemination, if the form has a non-identical final consonant to the medial geminate (regular) whereas if this final consonant is identical (doubled), then antigemination is enforced. Antigemination is also evidenced in the ‘doubled’ form III roots of the structure CVVCiVCi e.g. ħaajaj → ħaajij+at → [ħaajijat] *[ħaajjat] ‘she argued with.’ This is in contrast to the form III roots which do not have identical final consonants i.e. the ‘regular’ form III verbs CVVCiVCj e.g. xaabar → xaabar+at → [xaabrat] *[xaabarat] ‘she telephoned.’10 Antigemination as Homophony Avoidance Rose (2000a) rejects the antigemination process as an instantiation of the OCP and argues that it is avoidance of the creation of geminate consonants. Geminate creation avoidance is detailed to occur in specific contexts for Iraqi Arabic, which Rose (2000b) proposes occurs in two separate instances of verbal forms: (i) when the preceding syllable is CVV or (ii) if syncope leading to geminate creation results in homophony

The forms which relate to (i) are those from the ‘doubled’ form III verbs. The forms that would result in homophony (ii) are the ‘doubled’ verbs of form II i.e. CVCiCiVCi baddad ‘waste’. In the 3FS structure, if syncope were to apply, the resulting form would be *baddat (baddad+at → badddat then degemination to baddat ‘she wasted’). The *baddat form now has the appearance of a ‘doubled’ form I verb with 3FS suffix e.g. CVCiCi+at. Majdi and Winston (1993: 176) observe this in a footnote but do not define it as homophony avoidance. They use examples where the resulting forms

8 The process can be optional for ‘regular’ form II verbs in Iraqi Arabic which either displays antigemination leading to degemination or not e.g. [sajjal] ‘he registered’, [sajlat]/ [sajjilat] ‘she registered’ (Rose 2000b). 9 Iraqi Arabic displays vowel raising of the penultimate vowel in certain forms. 10 In Modern Standard Arabic, syncope does sometimes apply in instances of form III ‘doubled’ verbs e.g. [ħaajja] ~ [ħaajaja] ‘he argued.’ Moore (1990: 84) terms these instances as ‘exceptional.’

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would be identical such as the form II ‘doubled’ verb with 3FS qarrar+at → [qarrirat] ‘she decided’, if geminate creation is not resisted in this form and syncope applies then the resulting form would be *[qarrat] which is identical to the form I ‘doubled’ verb qarr+at → qarrat ‘she admitted’ and would therefore be homophonous. There has been renewed interest in explaining certain irregularities within morphology and phonology as homophony avoidance. Phonologists, mainly working within an Optimality Theory framework, have analysed various ‘irregular’ cross-linguistic phonological processes and explained their ‘exceptionality’ as homophony avoidance (Yip 1998, Crosswhite 1999, Kenstowicz 2005, Rebrus and Törkenczy 2005). For the ‘irregularity’ of the antigemination process and also working in an OT framework, Rose (2000b) considers that avoiding geminate creation if it would lead to homophony in Arabic is better captured by the constraint of ‘Morphemic Disjointedness’ (McCarthy & Prince 1995). The details of the OT analysis are not discussed here although Rose’s argument for homophony avoidance is considered. Rose (2000b:12) defines homophony avoidance in Arabic as pertaining to the avoidance of identical templatic shapes. It is argued here that it cannot be the case that homophony avoidance actualised as resistance to geminate creation is to block different forms of the verbs from having the same templatic pattern. An issue with positing homophony avoidance as a motivating factor is the optional syncope in ‘regular’ form II verbs with a medial geminate in Iraqi Arabic i.e. CVCiCiVCj. In forms such as sajjal with affixation of the 3FS show that syncope can apply, feeding degemination sajjal+at → sajjlat → sajlat [sajlat] (~[sajjilat]) ‘she registered’. As already discussed, with syncope applying the ‘regular’ form II verb now has the identical templatic shape of a ‘regular’ form I verb for 3FS: kitab+at →[kitbat] ‘she wrote’, Ɂakal+at → [Ɂaklat] ‘she ate’. In her discussion of this issue, Rose (2000b: 12) uses the example that when syncope applies in a ‘regular’ form II verb darras+at → darrsat → darsat ‘she taught’ it then has the same templatic pattern as a form I ‘regular’ verb diras+at → dirsat ‘she studied.’ The problem of homophony is not considered to apply in these cases as Rose maintains that it is because the initial vowel is always high [i] or [u], with a few exceptions (2000b). Not only would this mean that the identity of the initial vowel has to be considered along with the template pattern in order to check for homophony, but there is a conflict in that syncope applies in some instances and causes homophonous forms and syncope is resisted in others in order not to create homophonous forms.


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It is difficult to determine how this disparity in syncope processes that instigate homophony and those which avoid it (namely antigemination) can be formulated into the synchronic grammar of Arabic or indeed any other language. As Blevins (2005: 207) states, ‘even within the same language families that provide evidence for antigemination, one finds syncope of vowels between identical consonants.’ Another issue is how this conflict can be addressed in considering the role of learnability. If it is accepted that antigemination is due to homophony avoidance then the complexity of when to syncopate a vowel and when not leads to a burden on the learner’s decision making.11 Kenstowicz (2005) investigates the non-occurrence of expected phonological processes in Arabic dialects such as irregularities in stress and explains ‘quirky stress’ as homophony avoidance. His OT analysis proposes the ‘Paradigmatic Contrast Constraint’ which maintains that two phonologically distinct members of a paradigm must maintain phonetic distinctiveness. Kenstowicz’s account does not investigate antigemination, which is the concern of this paper although he raises a pertinent point in his conclusion which is highly relevant to the proposal put forth here (2005: 165): Generative grammar has focused on the study of individual words and sentences isolated from the rest of the lexicon and the phonetic and semantic/ pragmatic modules. This idealization has been tremendously productive. But there is growing evidence that it is also too severe. Aspects of grammatical form are sensitive to contextual factors.12

Antigemination as Resistance to Paradigm Collapse Within an Evolutionary Phonology approach, Blevins (2005) does consider cross-linguistic synchronic occurrences of antigemination. She argues against antigemination effects being a consequence of the OCP and that the process is better explained as a case of resistance to ‘paradigm collapse’ or due to ‘paradigm-internal anti-homophony constraints.’ In an

11 The issue of learnability is also raised in Bat-El’s (2003) investigation into the Semitic root and his discussion of learners’ difficulties, which prompts him to reject the consonantal root. This is also the view of Bohas (2006) although he argues against the root from a different stance. Cf. the psycholinguistic study conducted by Prunet, Béland & Idrissi (2000). 12 Gafos (2003) also calls for a non-isolating approach in phonological and morphological analysis in his stem-paradigm investigation of Arabic.

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attempt to unify cross-linguistic antigemination processes, Blevins highlights an important observation “antigemination is attested in languages with pre-existing geminate-singleton contrasts and in languages with degemination, but not elsewhere” (2005: 207). This phonological contrast is assumed to have arisen as a formal extension in order to make words more expressive or intensive in Semitic (Kouwenberg 1997). In her examination of antigemination in certain Arabic dialects (Iraqi, Damascene and Tunisian), Blevins reconsiders McCarthy’s (1986) suggestion that Tunisian Arabic has regular antigemination effects, and asserts that these are only found in forms in the verbal paradigm of the ‘doubled’ form II.13 Antigemination is triggered when these verbs take a vowel initial suffix as in the Iraqi Arabic examples, xaffif → [xaffifu] ‘they alleviated’ *[xaffu]. The ‘reductionist’ reason for this antigemination according to Blevins is that “many of the CVCiCiVCi verbs in question are causative forms of CVCiCi stems. Given this, the consequence of syncope + degemination is to essentially undo the templatic morphology associated with causative formation” (2005: 212). This broad anti-homophony proposal in Arabic would be in need of a systematic and definitive investigation as consideration is needed on how these structures would thus be repaired through pragmatics. Applying the anti-homophony proposal specifically to Iraqi Arabic, Blevins over-generalises the antigemination data when she states that “syncope is consistently blocked in inflected verbs, whether they are associated with CVCCVC (class II) or CVVCVC (class III) templates” (2005: 213). As previously discussed, antigemination only applies to the ‘doubled’ forms of these verbs (CVCiCiVCi and CVVCiVCi). An issue arising from Blevins’ use of this data of the II and III forms is that no reflection is then given on how the anti-homophony proposal applies to form III verbs. For example, if syncope applied, resulting in gemination of ‘doubled’ form III verbs we would have the following occurrence: ħaajaj → ħaajaj+at → *[ħaajjat]14 ([ħaajijat]) ‘she argued.’ If this resulting form occurred there would not be any case of homophony with another templatic form i.e. the structure CVVCiCi is not a member of any of the augmented verbal patterns of Arabic. 13 Blevins tidies up McCarthy’s account of Tunisian Arabic as she points out that syncope regularly applies whether geminates would be created or not in nouns, adjectives and participles (2005: 211), thus antigemination singularly affects the verbal category. 14 Or possibly *[ħaajat] depending on whether syncope specifically always feeds degemination.


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I maintain that it cannot be the case that antigemination as homophony avoidance to prohibit paradigm collapse would apply to form II ‘doubled’ verbs but not to form III ‘doubled’ verbs. Surely this inconsistency poses a threat to the possibility of homophony avoidance being the motivating reason in the Iraqi Arabic antigemination process. The discussion given here concerning Arabic dialects contributes to rejecting homophony avoidance as a language-specific constraint, let alone a universal principle. Therefore, as with the OCP, homophony avoidance as an explanation for antigemination cannot be valid.15 The striking absence in these formal accounts is that the role or nature of gemination itself is not considered. In the next section, I discuss the semantic relevance that is encoded by geminate consonants and also by lengthened vowels in Arabic. The relevance of geminate (or lengthened segments) in antigemination processes is also seen cross-linguistically. Gemination as Reduplication Considerations on the role of gemination in Arabic come from varied positions. A morphological account is given in El Zarka’s (2005) study which is concerned with whether gemination can be identified as an instance of reduplication. She assumes that syllable reduplication is more natural than the doubling of ‘bare segments’ (2005: 373) and that gemination in Arabic verbs should be viewed as reduplication. Importantly, she highlights that formal generative phonological treatments of gemination in Semitic languages have failed to consider the semantic association that geminates encode. The major formal phonological accounts have proposed that geminates are an instance of one-to-many association (McCarthy 1981), which can also result in ‘long-distance’ geminates (McCarthy 1986). Further phonological theoretical accounts in Gafos (1998) and Rose (2000a) argue against the representation of ‘long-distance’ identical segments as geminates and propose for theory internal reasons that they should be analysed as instances of reduplication instead, although this representation is not proposed through considerations on the role of reduplication

15 See Odden (1988) for the arguments against the OCP. The issue of a universal applicability of homophony avoidance is debated in Baerman (2011). He discusses the possibility that homophony avoidance may play a role in irregularities (lexical and paradigmatic) but that it cannot be generalised.

antigemination as morphosemantic integrity


morphologically. McCarthy’s (1986) account of the OCP being operative and the one-to-many association to explain gemination also ignores considering the semantic component that is exhibited by geminates. By segregating different morphemes onto different tiers to explain that “phonological rules of a particular sort cannot apply to sequences of identical elements within a morpheme,” perhaps the crucial role that semantics plays in this irregularity has been missed (1986: 218). If the phonological irregularity of antigemination that is particular to forms II and III cannot be explained by homophony avoidance, then another proposal needs consideration in combining them. I put forward that what unites these forms is that they instance plurality and as such are iconic. Firstly, I briefly summarise the proposals for plurality. This leads to considerations on their development and why they display antigemination. Reduplication and Plurality Greenberg (1991) presents a major insight into the Arabic form II verbs in that they indicate plurality.16 Contributing to previous studies which identified that number is encoded in the verb in distinct language families, and not a property which is exclusively encoded in nominal forms; Greenberg asserts that the form II has typical characteristics of verbal plurality. In this seminal paper, Greenberg is clear in stating that two typical characteristics of verbal plurality are partial reduplication and repetitive meaning. Partial reduplication is associated to the gemination of the medial radical in form II verbs and a parallel is drawn between repetitive and the intensive meaning of these forms. The following forms from Iraqi Arabic are cited in Greenberg as evidencing plurality: form I nigab ‘bore a hole,’ form II naggab ‘bore many holes’; form I ʿafar ‘dig,’ form II ʿaffar ‘dig here and there’ (1991: 581). From his discussion, Greenberg assumes that reduplication of the medial geminate which is “by no means the only method, but a particularly prominent one in the expression of distributive plurality in the verb, has as its original sound symbolic meaning ‘temporal repetition’ ” (1991: 584). Form III is identified as evidencing plurality in the explicit phonological proposal of Benmamoun (2003) and in the morphosyntactic account of Fassi Fehri (2003). Drawing a parallel between Arabic broken plurals 16 Kouwenberg (1997: 44) refers to several Semitic scholars who express this idea, although without conclusive argumentation, in work that predates Greenberg’s paper.


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which are indicated for plurality by the lengthening of the vowel (dars ‘lesson,’ duruus ‘lessons,’ kalb ‘dog,’ kilaab ‘dogs’ etc.) and the lengthened vowel in form III verbs, Benmamoun proposes that these verbs are marked for plurality. The reciprocal meaning related to form III verbs is interpreted by Benmamoun as not always implying reciprocity but possibly the sharing of an action.17 His account seeks to unify the analysis of nominal and verbal forms i.e. broken plurals and form III plural formation and that the basis for deriving the form III verbs is the imperfective verb or template. Thus he argues for the word as a basis of derivation as opposed to the root (2003). This same proposal is explicitly stated by Fassi Fehri, “nominal vowel gemination has a verbal counterpart in FIII” (2003: 160). Semantic plurality in these forms is supported by Danks (2011: 141) who finds the morphosyntactic case made in Fassi Fehri (2003) more convincing. In Fassi Fehri’s paper he is concerned with how verbal plurality is related to transitivity, and although I do not detail the further claims made, there are some specific issues which are of note. The verbal forms II and III are aligned by showing that form II encodes plurality by geminating the consonant of the second syllable whereas in form III it is encoded by geminating the vowel in the first syllable (2003: 161). Further, Fassi Fehri hypothesises that if forms II and III (including IV) are morphosyntactically related then form III is ‘derived’ from form II. The historical relatedness of forms II and III is considered by Lipiński (1997), although his proposal is that there was a singular form whereby it ‘split’ into forms II and III resulting from a ‘specialisation of functions’ (1997: 386) and contra to Fassi Fehri, not that form III is derived from form II. This is explained by his considerations of the non-occurrence of a verbal class with gemination in Cushitic and Modern South Arabian where their intensives have a lengthened vowel and so indicate that there was a phonological equivalence of the structures VVC and VCiCi.18 This leads Lipiński to hypothesise that VVC and VCiCi were originally alternants of a ‘phonotactic free variation’ for indicating the intensive (1997: 38). As the forms II and III are also identified by Lipiński as implying repetition (with a secondary meaning of conative or reciprocal), he speculates that this led to a semantic opposition between the verbs with lengthened vowels (form 17 Fassi Fehri (2003: 160) remarks that this expresses the meaning of participation (mušaarakah) in traditional grammars. 18 The intensive aspect in Tigre is identified as being formed by the ‘infixation’ of the long vowel [a:] (Rose 2003).

antigemination as morphosemantic integrity


III VVC) and geminate consonants (form II VCiCi) in certain Arabic (and Ethiopic) verbs. Thereby the early Arab grammarians determined form III as a distinct derived stem based on their contrastive use in a number of verbs (1997: 387). Unifying the ‘reduplication’ of the vowel in form III and the consonants in form II as indicating plurality is reflected in proposals for iconicity in language.19 Reduplication is considered as one of the most iconic occurrences in language. A detailed discussion of the iconic status of gemination in Akkadian and Semitic is given in Kouwenberg (1997), who also extends the discussion to vowel lengthening as expressing iconicity albeit in the most weakened state. In this discussion, Kouwenberg distinguishes between two types of words which show reduplication: (i) those which exhibit sound symbolic (‘phonetic iconicity’) associations20 and (ii) those which exhibit ‘iconic extensions’ through the reduplication of one or two radicals. These iconic extensions make the verb (or noun) more expressive or intensive. This view that the reduplication of segments, such as gemination in Arabic is an instantiation of morphological reduplication is agreed with in El Zarka (2005). Kouwenberg also proposes that Semitic gemination and reduplication have a common origin and puts forward the possibility that the historical development of gemination leads to grammaticalisation whereas reduplication maintains its iconic character. This development is rejected in El Zarka (2005) who details instances in Modern Standard Arabic whereby reduplication is shown in later stages of the language. Both authors address gemination as reduplication in view to discuss grammaticalisation which is outside the scope of this present study. What is highlighted from these discussions is that if the lengthening or doubling of segments is a form of reduplication in Arabic, then

19 The traditional view of iconicity in language has been one which has considered the semantic association of phonemes and/or their combination. Multiple terms are used to define the association between sound and meaning: Sound Symbolism ( Jakobson and Waugh 1979), Phonoestheme, Phonosymbolism (Ryding 1995) mimophony (Bohas 2006) etc. Cross-language investigations have usually centred upon onomatopoeia, ideophones and vocalic associations of magnitude (Hinton, Nichols and Ohala 1994). However, phonemic iconicity is a contentious issue when argued within a generative ‘universalist’ approach (Bauer 1996). Studies examining phonemic iconicity in Arabic have proposed that it is highly developed and extends to magical and metaphysical levels (Ryding 1995). The current interpretation of iconicity is not restricted to sound-symbolism (Van Langendonck 2007), but also pertains to the elements in language whose form and structure mirrors that of its referents (Kouwenberg 1997). 20 A detailed examination of the semantic range of reduplicated forms in Arabic is given in Procházka (1995).


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antigemination indicates that there is a prohibition against the erosion of this morphological information.21 It follows that identifying the forms II and III as semantically unified in specifying plurality by the ‘reduplication’ of segments albeit consonant or vowels, then we are some way perhaps towards explaining antigemination effects which are evidenced with these forms. More specifically, the antigemination process is seen when these forms have a ‘reduplicated’ consonant in the ultimate and penultimate consonantal position i.e. the ‘doubled’ forms with affixation: CVCiCiVCi xaffif → [xaffifu] ‘they alleviated’ *[xaffu]; CVVCiVCi ħaajaj → [ħaajijat] ‘she argued’ *[ħaajjat]. Adjectival Antigemination If the proposal that antigemination is evidenced due to maintaining the iconic status of ‘reduplicated’ segments (i.e. reduplication as an indicator of plurality) then it is expected that other lexical categories which are marked for plurality will also exhibit antigemination effects. This is indeed found in the adjectival forms which have identical final consonants (data from Majdi and Winston 1993): (4) mitkarrir+a → [mitkarrira] *[mitkarra]/*[mitkara] ‘being repeated’ mitsammim+a → [mitsammima] *[mitsamma]/*[mitsama] ‘being poisoned’ mitfaakik+a → [mitfaakika] *[mitfaakka]/*[mitfaaka] ‘being untied’ mitlaaziz+a → [mitlaaziza] *[mitlaazza]/*[mitlaaza] ‘being touched’

It is seen that the Iraqi Arabic adjectival forms in (4) display antigemination effects. I extend the illicit forms of Majdi and Winston to also show forms not instanced whereby syncope would perhaps feed degemination. Crucially, the morphosemantic properties of these adjectival forms have to be investigated to see if they are involved in whether a form will exhibit antigemination or not. Again, the explanation cannot be found in homophony avoidance or in resistance to paradigm collapse when this same process is evident in adjectival forms. Even within the category of adjectives, there is a disparity as Blevins (2005: 213) notes. She cites Erwin 21 The investigation into grammaticalisation is of importance when addressing the dialectal variation in antigemination. Specifically, the prediction of the strong grammaticalisation hypothesis, full reduplication > partial reduplication (syllable reduplication > (syncope) gemination) is not evidenced in Arabic as geminated forms are argued to be older than other reduplicated forms (El Zarka 2005).

antigemination as morphosemantic integrity


(1963) who attests that certain inflected adjectives whose final consonants are identical do exhibit syncope, but also that the syncope is optional: mitraaSiSa ~ mitraaSSa ‘crowded together (f.).’22 It is therefore possible that phonologists have been detailing a problem which is explicitly difficult to unify within any given theoretical framework without considering that morphosemantic categorisation is at work. Extending the issue of inconsistent antigemination outside of Arabic is also similarly revealing if the morphosemantic properties are considered. This is clearly shown in the Tonkawa data initially proposed by McCarthy (1986) as displaying OCP effects i.e. antigemination, and re-analysed by Blevins (2005) as resistance to paradigm collapse. The morphological status of the reduplicated segments which display antigemination are remarked on by Blevins, in that the reduplication in Tonkawa is “used to productively mark repetitive aspect as well as plural subject or object” (2005: 216). I claim that it is not the paradigm or the integrity of the morphosyntactic identity which is being protected but the morphosemantic. Fundamentally, this calls for a review of antigemination as isolated from the ‘semantic/pragmatic modules’ to echo Kenstowicz’s insight. Reviewing forms II and III, where antigemination occurs, it is clear to see the reduplication being protected by the absence of syncope (data from Blevins 2005: 213): (5) jaddad ħaajaj

‘he renewed’ ‘he argued’

jaddidaw ħaajijaw

‘they renewed’ (*jaddaw) ‘they argued’ (*ħaajjaw)

This discussion has shown that the process of antigemination has not been unified previously; in the case of form II is it considered to be resistance to homophony or paradigm collapse whereas for form III it is believed to be dependent on the phonological structure. It is difficult to reconcile the antigemination process as having two different environments. Unless the similar morphosemantic identity of these verbal forms which is encoded by reduplication is considered, I believe we will be no nearer to understanding the irregularities in the application of antigemination. This leads me to revise Odden’s (1988: 469) statement that “it is also possible that the explanation (if not the formal representation) for antigemination [. . .] lies in phonetics” to the explanation being found in the morphosemantics instead.

22 Commenting briefly on this adjectival form, McCarthy (1986: 241) states that it is “difficult to know what to make of this variation.”


kirsty rowan References

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Index Abu Ḏ̣abi, 11 Active Participle (AP), 25, 28, 30, 33, 40, 51, 52 adhortatives, 130n67 adjectives, 36, 63, 75, 90, 204, 228–29 ʿAdle, 152 affixes, 24, 28, 46, 53 affricate/affrication, 59, 62, 94, 193, 196. See also variants k / č / g / ǧ, 58, 60, 71, 93–94, 157, 204 -tš and -ts, 173 agreement. See feminine form/agreement; masculine form/agreement agriculture, 95, 155–56 Aḥaywāt, 134, 136 Akkadian, 227 Aktionsart, 28 alʿArīš (al-Arish), 119–20, 133, 134, 145 Al-ʿAyn/Buraimi, 93 Āl Bū Shāmis, 89, 95 Algeria, 3, 7, 8, 8n19, 9, 16, 200 alif, 180, 190, 192–193 dagger, 195 al-waṣl, 196 allomorphs, 71, 196, 198 -č, 192 -k and -ki, 61, 62 allophones, 158, 180, 187, 190, 194–95, 198, 207 alveolar, 186 alveopalatal region, 186, 188, 191 sounds, 187, 189 Āl Wahība. See Wahība / Āl Wahība Amharic, 178, 187 Amman, 56, 57, 63, 71 dialect of, 61, 62, 64–65, 72 Anatolia, 113–15 Andalusia, 192n20 animals, 68, 70, 156 antigemination, 215, 218–25, 228–29 apodosis, 30, 39–40, 44–46, 51 ʿAqabah, 135n82 ʿAqabah, Gulf of, 119 aqīṭūn / aqyṭwn, 6 Arabia, 58 central, 179 northeast, 206 south, 89

Arabian Peninsula, 23, 26, 120, 154, 174, 175, 177, 185, 204 Arabia Petraea, 15, 17 Arabic, 26, 66, 70, 179, 199, 201, 218. See also dialects agreement patterns of, 66–68, 71 Algerian, 9, 12, 13 Anatolian, 9, 110, 116 Andalusian, 5, 8 Egyptian, 7–9 Upper, 11 Gulf, 9 Hijazi, 197 Iraqi, 9, 10, 110, 219, 220, 221, 224, 225, 228 Baghdadi/gilit, 178–79 (See also gilit) Levantine, 9 Maghrebi, 6, 9 Mesopotamian, 113 Moroccan, 9, 113 Jebli dialects, 200 urban, 109, 112, 114 Najdi, 49 Negev, 75, 81–82 Nigerian, 13 Omani, 9 (See also Mahriyōt; Mehreyyet; Mehri) pre-diasporic, 200–201 Šarqiyya Arabic (ŠA), 23, 24, 27–30, 32–36, 38, 39, 41, 43, 44, 46–50, 52 Sinai, 119–22, 124n25, 130n67, 140n87, 143n103 -speaking minority groups, 204 Sudanic, 189n16 Syrian, 9, 206 Tunisian, 13 Yemeni, 3, 9 Aramaic, 110. See also Syriac Ma’lula, 178 Neo-, 187 Arbīl, 115 Armenian, 55n2 Arnold, Werner, 153 articulation, 186. See also pharyngealization; velarization of emphasis (ʾiṭbaaq), 182 maxraj / muxraj, 182, 185 Asad (tribes), 175 aspect, 23–28, 31, 46–47



continuous, 35, 36, 48 ingressive, 34–36 assimilation, 180 auxiliaries, 46 Awlād ʿAli, 4n8, 8, 15, 16 ʿazaba, 3, 8, 12 ʿAzāzmih (tribe), 77 Āzǝx, 110–11 az-Ziyāra (Tk. Yalnızca), 207, 208 baa⁠ʾ (bāʾ) / faa⁠ʾ (fāʾ), 181–83, 190, 192n19 Baerman, Matthew, 224n15 Baggāṛa (of Jabal ʿAbd al-ʿAziz), 153 Baghdadi (Arabic), 179. See also dialects (Arabic) Baḥārna (of Bahrain, eastern Saudi Arabia), 87–89, 94n9 Bahrain, 87, 88, 94n9, 106 Bakalla, 181 Balqa region, 57 Bani Ṣaxar, 57 Bani-Yasin, Raslan, 57, 70–71 Bardawīl Lagoon, 119 Barth, Johan, 173, 177 Basra, 105 Bat-El, Outi, 222n11 Bāṭina, 88, 105 bayna (between), 180, 183, 191 bayt, 2–3, 7 aš-šaʿar, 4, 14 aš-šaʿr, 5, 8, 9 bēt, bīt, 4 Bayyāḏ̣iyyah, 120 Bduul (of Petra), 57 Bedouin, 9, 56, 87, 119, 135, 189n15, 204 Egyptian, 2, 16 Euphrates, 203 North Arabian, 15 in Sinai, 123 Syrian, 16 Beene, Wayne, 154 Beeston, Frederick, 185n11 Behnstedt, Peter, 152, 153, 155, 156n21, 199 Beirut, 62–63 Benmamoun, Elabbas, 225, 226 Berber, 5–6 Bergsträsser, Gotthelf, 56 bēt / bēt šaʿar, 3, 17. See also bayt Bettini, Lidia, 75, 153, 154 bilabial (al-šafataan), 183 Biqāʿ, 13 Blanc, Haim, 119, 154 Blevins, Juliette, 222–23, 228, 229 Bohas, Georges, 222n11

Brockett, Adrian, 88 Brustad, Kristen, 66, 67, 71 č, 55, 57, 58–62, 65, 71, 89, 93–94, 156n23, 157–58, 173–74, 177–79, 181, 184–86, 189, 191–201, 204. See also tš *č, 174, 178, 200–201. See also tš Cantineau, Jean, 56, 151, 152, 154, 155–57, 177–78, 181, 185n11, 190–91, 199 Carter, Michael, 199 Chad, 13–14 Chechen, 55n2 Circassian, 55n2 Classical Arabic (CA), 12, 13, 23, 24–27, 92, 93, 94, 187, 201n29 Cleveland, Ray, 55, 56 code-switching, 205 Codrai, Ronald, 105 Cohen, Marcel, 152 cohortatives, 28, 31, 37–38, 40, 43. See also adhortative Comrie, Bernard, 24, 25, 26, 34 conatives, 217, 226 concord. See feminine form/agreement; masculine form/agreement conditionals, 26, 30–31, 39, 40, 43, 44–46, 51–52, 53 ʾin kāna, 116 conjunctions, 116, 205–6 consonants, 158, 176–77, 181, 182, 195–96, 215–16, 218–19, 220, 222, 224, 227, 228–29 context (waṣl), 176, 197 continuous marker, 30, 48, 114 state, 52 creaky voice, 28n3 Cushitic, 226 Cyrenaica, 4 *d, 196 *d, 157 *ḍ, 140n87, 157 *ḏ̣, 140n87, 157 ḏ̣āʾ, 24 ḍaad (ḍād), 24, 181, 185n11, 188 Dahlgren, Sven-Olof, 26 Dakhla Oasis, Egypt, 1 Dalman, Gustaf, 17 Damascus, 56, 57 Daniels, Peter, 185n11 Danks, Warwick, 216, 217, 226 dār, 3, 12 Dawāġrah, 119, 120 de Alcalá, Pedro, 5


degemination, 220, 223. See also gemination de Jong, Rudolf, 119, 121, 154 depalatalisation, 55 Dēr ez-Zōr / Dēr iz-Zōr, 151, 152, 155n14, 156–57 Dhofar, 27 dialects (Arabic), 15, 23, 48, 49, 67, 71, 81, 92, 151, 154n11, 157n27, 192, 206–7, 215, 219, 222–24. See also Arabic of ʿAqra, 115 of Arabia central, 90, 91 eastern, 58 north, 59, 62 northeastern, 205 northwest, 119–20 Baḥārna (of Bahrain, eastern Saudi Arabia), 87–89, 94n9 Bedouin, 1, 2, 23, 26, 27, 57, 59, 87, 88, 93, 106, 119, 120, 152, 154, 156, 157, 203, 204 Eastern, 205 Gulf, 95 Omani, 93–95 Syrian, 153 Berber, 3n6 Egyptian, 30, 66 Gulf, 66, 87, 89, 90, 91, 93, 106, 179 Ḥassāniyya, 2, 5n12, 6, 7, 12 Ḥōrāni, 56 Iraqi, 111–12, 154n11 Jordanian, 55–57, 64, 70 of Amman, 61 Salti, 67, 69, 71, 72 of Kinderib (Anatolia), 112 Levantine, 55, 57, 59, 61–63, 200 Mḥallami, 115–16 mixed, 88, 105 modern, 24, 25, 26, 30, 87, 109, 113–14, 116, 173–74, 177, 184, 189 Moroccan, 66 Najdi / Nağdi, 23, 27, 119–20, 154n11, 177 Negev Bedouin, 121 Negev Tiyāha confederation, 83 non-native, 82 North African, 109n1 Northwest Bedouin type (Sinai), 119–21 Omani, 28, 29, 87–92, 98n27 sedentary, 93–95, 106 Palestinian, 55–56, 62, 64 rural, 64, 178 Rwala, 2 Šāwi (of the Šawāya), 152–57, 203, 205–6, 209n27 sedentary, 57, 87, 94, 119, 157


Sinai Bedouin, 119–22, 124n25, 130n67, 140n87, 143n103 Sudanese, 121 Ṣūr, 88–89, 95, 106 Syrian, 66 Sukhne, 200 Taṛābīn / Tuṛbāniy, 122, 127n38, 132–34 of Nwēbiʿ (Nuweiba), 119, 121, 122n16, 124, 125n31, 128n44, 129n51, 130n67 of Ṛās Ṣadr, 122n16, 124, 125n31, 127n41, 128n47, 129n50, 129n51, 130n62, 130n67 urban, 9, 55–56, 57, 119 Yemeni, 30, 37, 197n24 dialogue, 78 Diem, Werner, 110 diminutives, 76–78, 81, 84 discourse, 69, 75–77, 78–79, 82, 83–84, 197 Doha, 105 doubled pattern, 216, 219–21, 223–24, 228 Dubai, 105–6 Duhūs, 1 Durūʿ (Omani tribe), 87, 95 Duwwār əl-Maʿābda, 3, 16, 17 dz, 178–79, 195. See also *g dž, 178–79, 186–87, 189–90, 195. See also *c; *č; *g *dž, 178. See also *č Eades, Domenyk, 27 East Africa, 95, 105 Egypt, 1, 3, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 133 Delta, 199 dialects of, 30 Eastern Desert, 120 Sinai, 120 Western, 8 Eisele, John, 25 elegizing, 79 El Zarka, Dina, 224 emotionality (in language), 76–79, 83 English, 24 epenthesis. See vowels Erwin, Wallace, 219, 228 Ethiopian Semitic, 178 etymology, 5, 9, 12, 16, 109–10, 112, 190–91, 205 European languages, 24 Evolutionary Phonology (approach), 222 exclamations (of grief), 76–80, 83 faa⁠ʾ (fāʾ) / baa⁠ʾ (bāʾ), 181–83, 190, 192n19 Fassi Fehri, Abdelkader, 225, 226 Feilberg, C.G., 2, 11



feminine form/agreement, 30, 61–62, 66–68, 69–72, 109 Fezzan, 7, 15, 16 Fleischer, H., 5 Fraenkel, Siegmund, 5n11 French, 6 fricative, 24, 184–85 rixwa, 182, 183 future, 33, 36, 41, 50–51 b- prefix, 33, 39, 44 tə- prefix, 116 g, 7, 9, 55–56, 57, 58n8, 65, 93–94, 96n20, 120, 125n32, 156n23, 157–58, 174n1, 179, 181–84, 189n15, 199, 204. See also -q; *q ǧ (ǧīm), 157. See also *j *g, 178 ġ, 120n2, 204 *ġ, 157. See also g Gafos, Andamantios, 217n4, 222n12 Gafos, Diamandis, 224 gahawa-syndrome, 157, 204 gayṭan / gayṭūn / gyāṭn. See gēṭōn geminate consonants, 215, 227 creation, 221 gemination, 224, 227 gender distinction, 29, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64–65, 66, 67 gēṭōn / gīṭūn / gayṭōn, 1, 4, 5, 7–9 al-Ghaydha, Yemen, 28 gilit (dialects), 153–54, 177. See also dialects Iraqi, 154, 205–6 ǧīm. See *j; jiym (jīm) glottalisation, 126n33 glottal stop, 28n3, 81n5, 99n36 grammar, 27, 61, 71, 174, 192n20, 199, 200 Arabic grammars, 25, 217 generative, 222 of Iraqi Arabic, 219 grammarians, 198, 227 grammaticalization, 47, 49, 109, 113, 227, 228n21 Greek, 5, 187 Greenberg, Joseph, 225 greetings, 38, 43 Gulf Co-Operation Council, 106 Gurage, 178 habitual, 41, 45, 49–51, 112 meanings, 42 ḥaḍar (‘sedentary’), 87 ḥaǧīra / ḥeǧra, 10, 12 Haifa, 56

Harari, 178 Ḥarb, 12 ḥarf, 181, 184 Harran, 203–4, 209 Harran, Plain of, 207 Harran-Urfa Arabic, 205–7, 209n29 Harrell, Richard, 112 Ḥassāniyya (dialect), 2, 5n12, 6, 7, 12 Ḥawf, 27 Heath, Jeffrey, 200, 201n29 Hebrew, 17, 26 Hebron, 56 Henkin, Roni, 75, 77 Herin, Bruno, 55, 57 Ḥiǧāz, 12, 120 Hît, 156 Holes, Clive, 23, 26, 154, 178–79, 199–200, 216–17 homophony avoidance, 215, 220–22, 224–25, 228–29 Ḥōrān, 56 dialects of, 57, 155 hortative. See adhortatives; cohortatives human/animate (groups), 67, 69, 72, 116 ḥurūf. See ḥuruwf ḥuruwf, 176, 180 Ḥwēṭāt, 57 iconicity, 227 imala, 180, 190, 192–94 imperatives, 37, 83, 122, 130n67, 142n98, 143n102 imperfective, 24–25, 42, 44, 55, 63, 226 indicative, 30–31, 47–48, 50, 58 marker b-, 56–57 individuation, 66, 67, 68–69, 70–72 inflections/inflectional, 24, 29, 30–31, 32, 34, 36, 40, 59 category/forms, 25, 28, 62–63, 66, 71, 72, 217, 219 prefix, 111 Ingham, Bruce, 1, 12, 14, 15–16, 23, 26, 27, 49, 117, 154, 175n2, 203, 204, 205, 206 ingressive aspect/meaning, 31, 34–35, 52 interdentals, 57, 65, 94, 127n38, 157 invocations, 38, 43 Iran, 199 Iraq, 110, 154, 203 Central and Southern, 113 Northern, 113, 114, 115 irrealis, 30, 39, 44, 51, 116. See also conditionals; future isoglosses, 1, 120 iterative/iterativity, 41, 79, 81, 216


j, 184–85, 188 j, 185n11, 186–87, 189. See also k *j, 28n3, 57. See also jiym (jīm) Jabal Nafousa, 7 Jabal Shams, 94 Jaffa, 56 Jaʿlān, 88 Jastrow, Otto, 110, 115, 152, 157 Jaussen, A., 10 Jbala tribes (Morocco), 3 Jerusalem, 56 Jews, of Tripoli, 7 Jijel (Djidjelli), 199 jiym (jīm), 180–82, 184–85, 188–89, 191, 193. See also g; *g; ǧ; *ġ and kaaf, 174n1, 181, 183–84, 190–91, 199 and shiyn, 180–81, 184–85, 192, 193 Johnstone, T. M., 11, 33n5, 154, 173, 178, 179, 195 Jordan, 56, 57, 120, 177 dialects of, 64, 178 Jordan River, 56 k, 55, 57–62, 65, 71, 93–94, 110–11, 156–58, 175–76, 179, 184, 188–90, 192, 194–97, 200, 204. See also kaaf (kāf) *k, 57, 58–59, 174, 178–79, 197, 199–201 kaaf (kāf), 181, 185, 189, 191, 200. See also k and jiym (jīm, ǧ / ǧīm), 181–84, 189n15, 190–91, 199 Kabylic, 5 Kabylie, Arabs in, 199 kaïtûn / gaïtûn. See gēṭōn Karak, 57 kaškaša and kaskasa, 178, 197n24. See also variants Kbwêse, 156 Kenstowicz, Michael, 222, 229 Khābūra, 88 Khawētna, 154 Khorasan, 174, 200 Arabic, 199 Khuzestan, 154 Kinderib (Anatolia), 112, 114–15 kinship vocatives, 82 Kouwenberg, N.J.C., 218, 227 Kurdish, 187 Kurds, 13, 204 Kurpershoek, P. Marcel, 154 Kuwait, 87, 105, 154 laam (lām), 188 labio-dental, 183 Lakoff, R., 75


Landberg, Carlo de, 89, 154 language(s) of Arabic-speaking minorities, 203, 204 history, Arabic, 177, 201 minority, 55 l-Bu Kmāl / El-bu Kemâl, 151, 155n14, 156–57 learnability, 222 Lebanon, 11, 192n20 ʿLēgāt, 119, 121, 140 ʿLēgiy text, 122 Levant, 30, 56, 58–59, 174, 185, 200 dialects, 55, 57 Libya, 4n8, 7, 15, 16, 192n20 Ligrayye, 152 linguistics, 174, 176, 198, 199 theory, 173, 198, 218 Lipiński, Edward, 226 literacy, 76 loanwords, 182n8, 184, 190, 192n19, 199, 207 Maʿāza, 15 Mādabā, Jordan, 10 Maghreb, 3, 8–10, 16, 116–17 mahmuws, 176, 182–83 Mahriyōt, 27–29, 28, 36, 46, 50–52. See also Mehri Majdi, Basim, 219, 220, 228 majhuwr, 182–83, 185, 190n18 Mali, 2 Maltese, 192n20 Manama, 105 Marāzīg, 7, 13 Mardin, 114 masculine form/agreement, 29, 30, 61–62, 63, 66, 67, 70, 84 Mauritania, 2, 6, 7, 13, 15, 16 Mayādīn / Mayadin (l-Miyāḏīn), 151–53, 156–57 dialect of, 151, 155, 157 McCarthy, John, 218, 219, 223, 225, 229 media, 204 Mehreyyet, 27–30, 36, 50–52 Mehri, 23–24, 27–29, 32–38, 40–48, 50–52 Omani, 29–30, 34, 46, 50 Yemeni, 27, 29–30, 36, 44, 46, 50 men’s speech/language, 76, 79 conversational discourse, 82, 84 of Negev Bedouin texts, 78 Mesopotamia, 13, 117, 153, 192n20. See also dialects; gilit Arabic dialect area, 110, 203 metaphor, 16 metonomy, 16 Middle Euphrates valley, 152, 156



Middle Persian, 184, 187, 193 Modern South Arabian language (MSAL), 23, 27, 30, 226 Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), 2, 125n30, 141n91, 206, 216, 220n10, 227 Mombasa, 95 mood(s), 23, 30, 31, 38, 40, 43, 46, 47–48, 50–52, 58 Moore, John, 220n10 Morocco, 4, 11, 113, 200 North-eastern, 15 Northern, 3 Northwest, 16 Rif Berber, 5 Western, 16 morphemes, 109, 112, 177, 194, 195, 197, 216, 225 morphology, 62, 120, 122, 156, 157, 179, 215, 221 structure of, 28 morphophonemes, 194, 198 morphophonology, 94, 180 morphosemantic (categories), 218, 228–29 morpho-syntactic (peculiarities), 89, 91, 226, 229 Mosul, 113 Mu’ab (Kerak), Jordan, 57 Muir, J., 11 Müller-Kessler, Christa, 110 Musandam peninsula, 96n20 Muscat, 88 Mzēnih, 119, 121–22 Nablus, 56 Najd / Nağd, 27, 90, 120 narrative text/discourse, 32, 47, 75, 77, 78, 83–84, 204 Negev, 3, 4, 10, 12, 15, 120, 192n20 Arabic, 75, 81–82 men, 80, 83 ʿNēz Aḅuw Sālim Swēlim alʿUrḏ̣iy, 121, 133n78, 136 Nigeria, 3 Nile Delta (Sharqiyya), 174 Nixl, 135, 137 nomadic (populations), 55, 56 non-Arabic speaking groups, 55 non-human / inanimate (plurals), 66, 68–70, 72, 117 non-native (Arabic speakers), 82, 193 North Africa, 5, 174, 185, 200 NWA (Northwestern Arabic), 119–121 Nwēbiʿ, 133n75. See also Taṛābīn

Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP), 215, 218, 220, 222, 224–25 O’Connor, Michael Patrick, 38 Odden, David, 224n15, 229 Old Arabic (OA), 109–10, 112–14, 116, 184, 206 Oman, 11, 12, 23, 47, 88–90, 92, 95, 105, 106, 177n3, 178 dialects of, 29, 88, 91, 92, 98n27 (See also Mehri) northern, 27, 87 tribes, Durūʿ, 87 optatives, 26, 38, 40, 43, 52–53 Optimality Theory framework, 221 oral narrative, 75, 78, 83 Oran, 15, 16 orthography, 179, 195–96 Ottoman-Turkish, 11 Owens, Jonathan, 13, 57, 70, 71, 200 *p, 182n8. See also baa⁠ʾ (bāʾ) / faa⁠ʾ (fāʾ) palatalisation, 94, 180, 199 palatal region, 186–89 sound, 191 Palestine, 10, 11, 13, 17, 56 northern, dialects of, 62 rural dialects, 64, 177, 178 Palva, Heikki, 55, 56, 57, 119, 154 Paradigmatic Contrast Constraint, 222 particles, 24, 28, 46, 53, 58, 78, 81, 83, 91 aku, ak-, k or lyk (‘there is’), 110 āśạm, 50 bār, 33, 46, 47 conditional, 39–40, 116 ḏa-, 37, 48 -ə, 89 fōna, 50 hayyi, 38, 43 iḏā, in, lō, 39 kāyǝn (‘there isʼ), 109 ṣā-, 91 zād (‘also’), 205 passive, 59, 90 pause (waqf), 176, 197 perfective, 24–25, 31, 34, 42, 53, 63 past, 114–15 performative(s), 38, 53, 83–84 Persian, 11, 12, 183, 187, 189n15, 190, 192n19, 195, 199 sounds, 182, 193 Persian Gulf, 105, 106, 154, 174, 177, 178, 179 pharyngealization, 28n3, 176. See also articulation; velarization


Phoenecian, 17 phonemes, 71, 158, 174, 180, 185, 194, 196, 199, 207, 227n19 phonetics, 156, 178–87, 190–91, 229 phonology, 28, 157, 179, 180, 191–93, 195, 217n4, 218–19, 221, 229 Piamenta, Moshe, 154 pluperfect, 34, 50 plurality, 225–28 poetry, 90, 180–81, 204 prefixes b-, 33, 50, 57 ḏa-, 35, 36, 42, 45 ka-, 47, 114 kū- / kūt- / kāt, 115 p-stem (= prefix stem), 28, 30–31, 35–36, 38, 41–42, 44–46, 48–52 qa- or da-, 113 tə-, 116 prepositions, 61n12, 111, 121, 124n24, 127n37, 129n50, 205–6 bi- and fī (‘in’), 111 present (time), 24, 25, 26, 28, 32–34, 41–42, 44, 206 tense marker, 110, 112, 115, 207n15 bi-, 113 kā- and kū-, 47, 111–13, 114n5 Procházka, Stephan, 153, 206 pronouns, 62, 65–66, 71, 89, 90, 94, 173, 175 -ak vs. -ič, 58, 61 bound plural, 62–64 bu (as relative pronoun), 91 -čin vs. -kin, 65 dual number, 23, 29 ḥada, 67n19 -hin, 68 -hum, 64n15, 70 -(h)un, 63 interrogative, 116–17 -ku, 63–64 -kum, 63–64 -kun, 63 mad-, 51–52 protasis, 39–40, 44–46. See also conditionals p-stem (= prefix stem). See prefixes Puigaudeau, Odette de, 7 q (qāf), 56, 93, 156–58, 182n7, 204. See also g; k *q, 55–56, 57, 120, 125n32, 157, 178n5. See also g; k Qalhāt, 88, 106


Qatar, 87 qayṭūn, 8. See also gēṭōn qəltu (dialect), 110, 154, 156n21, 157n27, 192n20. See also dialects; gilit Qōran (official Turkish name Uzunyol), 208 Qur’an (recitation), 180–81 Quṣayr—Qufṭ (line), 121 Rackow, Ernst, 2, 14, 16 Al-Raḥba, 151, 155 Rašāyda Bedouin, 1, 12 Ṛās Ṣadr, 121, 122n15, 124, 125n31, 127n41, 128n47, 129n50, 129n51, 130n62. See also Taṛābīn reciprocity, 226 Red Sea, 120 reduplication, 215, 224–25, 227–29 reflexes, 140n87, 141n91, 174n1, 177–79, 182n8, 206 č / k, 89, 174, 199–200 ǧ, 57, 94 ʾillā (‘except’), 206 q, 55–56, 93, 120 qad, 47 yakūn, 111 repetition, 76, 82, 226 resistance (to paradigm collapse), 215, 228–29 reversed kin terms, 81, 82 rhymes, 80 roots, 59–60, 158, 206, 215–16, 218–20, 226 Rose, Sharon, 220, 221, 224 Rosenhouse, J., 75, 154 Rubaṭāb (in Sudan), 13 Rumâdi, 156 Rwala, 2, 10, 14 Ryding, Karin, 217 *š, 158. See also shiyn (šīn) ṣaad (ṣād) like siyn, 181, 190 like zaa⁠ʾ, 180–81, 184 šadiyd / shadiyd (shadīd), 182, 183, 185, 189 Sāhel-Bedouin (in Oman), 11 Salt, Jordan, 55, 57, 62 dialect of, 55–56, 63, 66–67, 69–71 Šammari dialect, 206 Şanlıurfa, 203 Sarābīṭ alXādim, 119, 121, 140 Šarqiyya Arabic (ŠA), 23, 24, 27–30, 32–36, 38, 39, 41, 43, 44, 46–50, 52 saturated environments, 76, 79, 83



Saudi Arabia, 1, 9–10, 12, 13, 14, 27, 179 eastern, 89 Sawārkah, 120, 134 Šāwi (Bedouin), 153 dialects (of the Šawāya), 152–57, 203, 205–6, 209n27 Schaade, A., 177, 181 sedentary, 56–57, 156. See also ḥaḍar Seeger, Ulrich, 199 semantics, 24, 217–18, 225 Semitic, 227 languages, 17, 25, 28, 38, 52, 178, 218, 223 root(s), 216, 222n11 verbal system of, 23, 218 Sharqiyya (of Egyptian Delta), 199–200 Shīʿa, 88 shiyn (šīn), 180, 185, 188n14, 189 and jiym, 180–81, 184–85, 188, 192–93 Sibawaih, 178–80, 182–88, 190–91, 194, 196–98, 200–201 and proscribed sounds, 173–74, 181, 189, 192–93, 199 sibilants, 24 Siirt, 114–15 Sima, Alexander, 28 Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude, 33n5 Sinai, 15, 119–21, 123 siyn (sīn), 181, 190 sociolinguistics, 56, 174, 192n20, 201 Soqoṭri, 50 sound(s), 180–81, 184–86, 188–89, 191, 192–93, 196 ḥarf, 181 palatal, 187, 189, 191 Persian, 182, 193 proscribed, 173–74, 181, 189, 192–93, 199 ṣawt, 182 voiced (majhuwr), 182–83, 185, 190n18 voiceless (mahmuws), 176, 182–83 South Arabian languages, 178 speech, 27, 32, 34, 38, 58, 60, 62, 67n19, 69, 71–72, 78, 79–80, 94, 106, 121, 130n67, 192, 196–98. See also women s-stem (= suffix stem). See suffixes stop (šadiyd / shadiyd), 182, 183, 185, 189 subjunctive, 30–31, 36–38, 43, 51–52 Sudan, 1, 11, 13 Suez, Gulf of, 119, 121 suffixes, 30, 50, 52, 61, 82, 89, 122, 173, 177, 219, 220, 223 -a(h), 94 -či, 193 k, č, 176, 197

-(i)š, 89 -ši, -kiš, -kis, -ki, 174–75, 201 s-stem (=suffix stem), 25–26, 28–29, 31–40, 42–45, 47–48, 50, 52–53 -u (-ū) or -o (-ō), 95 Ṣuḥār, 105 Ṣūr, 105 dialect, 88–89, 95, 106 Swērkiy (Sawārkah tribe), 134–35 syncope, 215, 220–21, 223, 228–29 syntactic context, 28, 39, 44, 90 functions, 109, 117 Syria, 3, 10, 11, 152, 154, 177, 192n20, 203 central, 178 Eastern, 8 Greater, 113 Northeastern, 117 Syriac, 5. See also Aramaic *t, 141n91, 157 *tā, 45, 196 taa⁠ʾ (tāʾ), 30, 92, 113, 181, 190n18 ṭaa⁠ʾ (ṭāʾ), 92, 181, 190n18 Takroûna, 7 Talay, 154 Tall Abyaḍ (Tk. Akçakale), 203 Tall alʿAbd, 152 Tall Nāṣir (Tk. Sorallı), 210 Tamazight, 5 Tamimi (tribes), 175 tanwīn, 90, 204–5 Taṛābīn / Tuṛbāniy (dialects), 122, 127n38, 132–34 of Nwēbiʿ (Nuweiba), 119, 121, 122n16, 124, 125n31, 128n44, 129n51, 130n67 of Ṛās Ṣadr, 122n16, 124, 125n31, 127n41, 128n47, 129n50, 129n51, 130n62, 130n67 Ṭawara, 134 Tayāha, 136 tense, 24, 25, 27, 28, 31, 46, 51, 53 markers, 26, 49, 111–13, 115 tent (terminology), 2, 8, 10, 12, 15–17 bedouin, 3–7, 8n19 Berber, 3n5 Tīh Plateau, 119, 120, 135n82 Timbouctou, 13 Tlemcen, 199–200 topography, 88 transcription, 119, 122, 157–58, 203, 207 transitivity, 226 Transjordan, 56, 57

ts, 173–74, 178–79, 181, 184, 189, 191, 193, 194–95, 198, 199, 201 tš, 173, 179, 187, 194–95, 198. See also č Tunisia, 7, 8n19, 12 Tuṛbāniy. See Taṛābīn Turkey, 192n20, 204 southeastern, 153 Turkish, 14, 55n2, 205, 207 Turkomans, 13 UAE, 88, 89–91, 178 UCLA Phonological Segment Inventory Database (UPSID), 186 Ugaritic, 17 Urfa, Turkey, 153, 203, 204, 208 variants -č, 173, 174, 189, 194, 196 ǧ allophone of g, 158 kashkasha (kaškaša) and kaskasa, 176, 177, 190, 191, 200 -ki and -ši, 179 -kis and -kiš, 173–177, 179, 193, 195, 201 proscribed, 174, 191–93, 201 -tš and -ts, 173, 179, 189 -ž, -dž, -j, 189 velar k, 71, 93–94 plosives, 27n2, 28n3, 183 region, 188 velarization, 122, 124, 126n35, 130n65. See also articulation; pharyngealization velarized, 78n4, 120n2, 124, 129n54 verbal system, 23, 25–27, 28, 52–53, 218 verb(s), 32, 33, 37, 92, 206, 215–17, 226–27 of emotion and cognition, 26 gemination in, 224 kān / kāna / yakūnu (to be), 47, 49, 60, 109, 111, 112–14, 115, 116, 117 k- in kīkū, 111 reduplication in, 215, 224–25, 227–29 of vocal production, 79 of volition, 44, 46 verbum existentiae, 109, 111, 113 Vernet, Eulàlia, 215



Vicente, Ángeles, 200 vocabulary, 1, 15, 205, 207 vocatives, 78, 81, 82–83 vowels, 57, 195 anaptyctic, 122, 125n32. See also epenthesis elision, 125n32 epenthesis, 219. See also anaptyctic lengthened, in verbs, 216, 226–27 length/lengthening, 57, 61, 109n1, 122, 129n53, 140n88, 157, 175, 215–16, 224, 226–27 long, 29, 57, 157, 175 reduplication of, 215, 224–25, 227–29 short, 57, 158, 176 syncope, 218–19 Vycichl, Werner, 6 Wādī d-Dawāsir, 13 Wahība / Āl Wahība, 89, 93, 94n8, 95 Waltke, Bruce, 38 waqf (pause), 176, 197 waṣl (context), 176, 197 Watson, Janet, 27, 28, 177, 185n11, 197n24 West Bank, 56 Western Sahara, 2, 6, 7 Winston, Millicent, 219, 220, 228 Woidich, Manfred, 199 women Bedouin, narrative styles, 75–76 speech/language of, 75–76, 78–79, 81–84 Woodhead, D.R., 154 xayma / xeyme / xeema / xēma, 2, 3, 6–8, 12, 16 xidr / xidra / xudra, 12–13, 17 yaa⁠ʾ (yāʾ), 185 Yemen, 12, 17, 27, 30, 110, 177, 178 dialects of, 30, 37 south, 88, 89–90, 95, 105 Zanzibar, 95 Zawaida, 57 Zouara, Libya, 6