Article published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVII: Papers from the Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics, Bloomington, Indiana, 2013
Edited by Stuart Davis and Usama Soltan
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 3] 2016
► pp. 171–185
Arabic ȷ̌ and the class of Sun Letters
A historical and dialectological perspective
This article examines the interaction between Arabic definite article assimilation to coronals and the realization of ȷ� across dialects. Three contrasting grammatical patterns were identified: (1) ȷ� does not trigger assimilation, (2) coronal ȷ� triggers assimilation, and (3) velar g < ȷ� optionally triggers assimilation. Historical evidence indicates that velar, palatal, and prepalatal variants of ȷ� have coexisted since Old Arabic, while (3) arose from (2) in urban Egyptian Arabic from late generalization of the velar variant. I further propose that an underlyingly palatal, rather than velar, variant underlies the peninsular Arabian dialects with pattern (1), and that pattern (2) emerged in Old Arabic from phonological reanalysis of fronted ȷ� as coronal.
Keywords: consonant place, definite article, dialectology, jiim, phonology
Published online: 26 July 2016
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