A Linguistic History of Arabic

  • 20 928 8
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up

A Linguistic History of Arabic


2,500 454 6MB

Pages 165 Page size 330 x 500 pts Year 2007

Report DMCA / Copyright


Recommend Papers

File loading please wait...
Citation preview

A Linguistic History of Arabic JONATHAN OWENS


S 135545



Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford, It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and educatIOn by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam ?xford is a r~stered ~rade mark of Oxford University Press the UK and m certam other countries


Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc" New York © Jonathan Owens 2006 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2006 All rights rese~ed, No part of this publication may be reproduced b ' stored m a retneval system, or transmitted in any form without the prior permission in writing oc'Oxf d U ' or, yany means, I'd b or mverslty Press, or as re expr~~ y rermltte y la."', or under terms agreed with the appropriate prorah iCS nghts orgamzatlOn, Enquiries concerning reproduction OutSI e t e scope of the above should be sent to the Rights D rt Oxford University Press, at the address above epa ment, You must not circulate this book in any other bind' and y t' th mg or cover ou mus Impose e same condition on any acquirer British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Typeset by SPI Publisher Services, Pondicherry I d' Pnnted m Great Britain ' n la 'Lynn on acid-free paper by Biddies Ltd " Kings ISBN 0-19-929082-2

978-0-19-9 29082-{i

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

;,.~.:;~:;.;~~:, ',t·

Acknowledgements and Dedication THE challenge of developing a critical, coherent interpretation of Arabic linguistic history first confronted me when I began teaching a three-semester course on the subject at Bayreuth University, a course which through the (I would like to imagine) enthusiastic participation of students constantly presented new issues and perspectives. A number of individuals contributed to the working and reworking of this book. Two anonymous readers provided stimulating criticism to the entire work, while Orin Gensler set out various challenging objections to Ch. 4, and for Ch. 6 Janet Watson gave helpful and pertinent criticisms and suggestions for new solutions. I would like especially to acknowledge the contribution of my colleague Pierre Larcher for the incisive critical insights he has provided in innumerable discussions, beginning many years ago in Benghazi. The research on Nigerian Arabic, cited frequently in this book, has been supported for many years through the generosity of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council). In Nigeria, Dr Jidda Hassan of Maiduguri University provided many native insights into his language, while the university administration has generously supported and encouraged my continuing work there. Not least I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support given me at Bayreuth University over many years by Klaus Wolf of the computer center as well as Dr Brigitte John for providing me with map templates. The correspondence with John Davey of OUP was prompt, invigorating, critical, and encouraging. Finally I would like to thank the publishers Harrassowitz Verlag for allowing me to reproduce portions of 'AI-Idghaam al-Kabiyr and the History of Arabic', which appeared in W. Arnold and Bobzin, H. (eds.) (2002). Sprich doch mit deinen Knechten Aramaisch, wir verstehen es. Festschrift for Otto Jastrow (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz), 503-20, the Oxford University Press for allowing reproduction oflarge portions of 'Case and Proto-Arabic', Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 61: 51-73 and 217-27, as well as John Benjamins for allowing reprint from Diachronica 22 of parts of the article 'Pre-Diaspora Arabic: Dialects, Statistics and Historical Reconstruction'. I dedicate the book to the memory of my brother Christopher.

Contents Abbreviations and Symbols Maps



1. Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets 1.1. Proto-Arabic, Basic Terms 1.2. The Early Sources 1.3. The Role of the Modern Dialects in Interpreting Arabic 1.4. 1.5. 1.6. 1.7. 2.

Language History Scope of Work Language Change and Language Transmission A Critical Look at Some Truisms in Arabic Historical Linguistics Summary of Chapters

2 5

8 13 15 20


Old Arabic, Neo-Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


2.1. A Method vs. a Logical Matrix




2-42.5. 2.6. 2.7·

Stages in Arabic Arabic and the Dialects Neo-Arabic and the Neo-German school The Past is the Present: A Modern Logical Matrix The Arabic Tradition Conclusion

3. Case and Proto-Arabic 3.1. Introduction 3.2. Case in the Afroasiatic Phylum

3-3. Classical Arabic 3.4. The Modern Dialects 3.5. Case and Caseless Arabic

4. Al-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings Sharli Tayyibat al-Nashr: A Fifteenth-Century Treatise on Koranic Variants 4.2. Linguistic Attributes of 'Major Assimilation' 4.3. Interpretive Summary

38 43 47 74 75

77 79 80 80

85 101

114 119


123 125 129




5. Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora: A Statistical Approach to Arabic Language History 5.1. Introduction 5.2. Dialects, Procedure, Initial Results 5.3. Statistical Results and their Meaning 5.4. Interpretations

5·5· The Interpretation of Arabic Linguistic History 5·6. Statistics, Reconstruction, Hypothesis Testing 5.7. Three Caveats 5·8. Problems in Coding 6. Nigerian Arabic and Reconstruction of the Imperfect Verb

6.1. The Basic Imperfect Verb 6.2. Historical Significance 6·3. Epenthesis 6·4· The Old Arabic Evidence 6·5· The Reconstructions and the Classical Arabic Verbal Mode Endings 7. Imala 7·1. Imala in Old Arabic 7·2. Imala in the Modern Dialects 7·3· Reconstruction 8. Suffix Pronouns and Reconstruction 8.1. Pausal and Context Forms and Case Endings 8.2. Suffix Pronouns and Case Endings 8·3·

~ron.ominal Suffixes, Case Endings and Epenthetic Vowels

III DIalects 8-4- Syllable Structure 8·5. A Data Survey

8.6. Unproblematic Cases, Some Easy Generalizations 8·7· More Difficult Cases 8.8. Case Traces? 8·9· Harris Birkeland and Old Arabic Object Pronoun

137 137 142 151 157

166 168 172 173 184 184 189 193 194 195 197 197 212 220

23 0 230

234 235 237

237 239 245 255

Reconstruction 259

9· Summary and Epilogue 9·1. Re~onstruction and Continuity with Old Arabic 9·2. Epilogue


Appendix 1. List and short summary of dialects included in study Appendix 2. List of features used in comparison, Chapter 5, with brief exemplification Appendix 3. Imala in Zamaxshari Appendix 4. Table of suffix pronouns used in reconstructions in ChapterS References Index

ix 271

283 285 301

Abbreviations and Symbols






Pre-diasporic reconstructed form Proto-Arabic form Word boundary Variant forms First person Second person Third person Absolutive Accusative Consonant Classical Arabic Christian Baghdadi Eastern Libyan Arabic Feminine Guttural consonant Genitive Short high vowel, [i] or [u] Intrusive 'in' suffix in participal constructions Indicative Jewish Baghdadi Masculine Muslim Baghdadi Noun Neo-Arabic Nominative Old Arabic Plural Qur?aan; Koranic citation Standard Arabic Singular Vowel Western Sudanic Arabic

Maps 1.

Sample points, Middle Eastern dialects



North African sample points


3. Western Sudanic Arabic


4. Reconstruction based on modern dialects of pre-diasporic ,. -in in participal forms


1 Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets Arabic has always been a puzzle to those who delve into its intricacies. A good number of medieval Arabic grammar studies include the word 'secret' or 'secrets' in their title, that of the twelfth-century grammarian Al-Anbari, for instance, ?Asraar aJ-liArabiyya, 'The Secrets of Arabic', or Ibn Jinni's (d. 1002), Sirr ~inadi.at al-?liraab, 'The Secret of the Craft of Grammar (or Inflection)'. Others unlock its secrets, such as Sakkaki's Miftaan al-IJrJluwm, 'The Key to the Sciences', and some, like the early tenth-century grammarian Ibn Al-Sarraj's AI-U~uwl fiy I-Nanw, 'The Foundations of Grammar' describe the core of the language. Secrets abound no less so today than 1,000 years ago when Ibn Al-Sarraj was active. Indeed, as the modem linguistic sciences expand, so too do the questions contemporary scholars ask of the language. It is a source of endless fascination, however, that many issues which press on us today were equally addressed by the founders and early practitioners of Arabic grammar as well. Through their genius arose a core of linguistic thinking which was, in its theoretical underpinnings, significant in its own right, but which also produced a descriptive corpus of great detail. This corpus entices with its own secrets, one of which I seek to look into in this book. One key in this instance comes from the nineteenth century in the form of the comparative method, the secret, the form of Arabic spoken during and before the Arabic-Islamic diaspora of the early Islamic era. To unravel it, it is not only the early sources of Arabic, or Old Arabic as I term the collective early sources, which are relevant, but also the vast fabric of contemporary spoken Arabic, the Arabic dialects which have a central role to play. Bringing the two sources together in a cooperative, rather than dichotomous, antagonistic fashion, as has been a tradition in Western Arabic studies, yields new insights into the history of Arabic.

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets



Proto-Arabic, Basic Terms

The study of Arabic language history in the Western scholarly tradition does not want for terminology. Old Arabic (Altarabisch), Neo- or New Arabic (N~uarabisch), proto-Neo-Arabic, proto-peripheral Arabic, poetic koine (Dlchtersprache), and Middle Arabic are but some of the terms encountered. To provid.e an initial orientation it is useful to outline my own basic vocabulary used III describing historical varieties of Arabic. Note that I characterize a number of the following terms in a way different from their current use in many Arabicist circles. 1.

Proto-~rabic. The fundamental object of any historical linguistics is the

reconstruct~on o~ a proto-language. This is a well-known and established concept whIch will be familiar to most readers, and which is not dependent ~s d~ ~~er or as a method of application on the circumstances of any III 1Vl U a~guage or language family. The initial goal of a historical treatment of ArabIc should b th . e e reconstructIOn of a proto-language Curiously among the many terms in th Wi t Ar b' ' . . , I . I l e e s ern a lCISt tradItion, proto-Arabic is one :~ ::~;:. rare Yencountered, though for present purposes it is the key object 2. Pre-diasporic Arabic Pre-dias . Ar b' I . work. It is derived r II . B' p~nc a IC pays an Important role in this as 10 ows. egInnmg with th Ar b' I I ' . the seventh centu Ar b d ' e a IC- s amlC expansIOn of Middle East andry~o~ s~c~ablC .spr~ad with great speed throughout the (Cairo) founded in 6 A . alrlndlCattve dates are, for instance, Fus!a! 43, swan eady reached b 6 Andal . ( .) entered in 711, and Uzbekistan b 0 . Y 41, uSia Spam a latitude stretching from th y 71 . ablc was suddenly spoken across e western tiP of Euro t th of China. Migrations int t h . pe 0 e western border . 0 ese regIons continued t dia . Illtensity in different reoion t d' a ' 0 llenng degrees of 00 s a Illerent periods up t b th century. With a large-scale Ar b'" ' 0 a out e seventeenth . a ICIZatton of the west Sah ( .. SIXteenth century) and large b t d' ern ara Mauntarua, ' u not Ommant influx fAr b . the western SUdanic rPO;on (6 th. es 0 a speakers mto • -00 Ourteen -sIXteenth c t ' ) d' .. . III south central Turkey (sevent th . en unes an mto Cilicla its current borders (see App ed~n ~ent~), thiS expansion roughly reached . en IX 1 lOr regIon b . . - y~regIon summaries). Comparmg the linguistic results of this e and the Arabic of the Lak Ch dxpanslOn , for mstance Uzbekistan Arabic e a area it stands t common to the two particul 1 r ' 0 reason that features ' ar y 1eatures which . unusu al , are explained not b ch . are III some sense rare or common origin. Given th Y ~ce Illdependent development but by be e great distance both· . tween the two exemplified areas th. . '. III tIme and geography , IS ongIn must be found at a time and


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


place when the ancestral populations were still together. This is pre-diasporic times, the Arabic associated with it, pre-diasporic Arabic. Pre-diasporic Arabic is chronologically situated. However, the exact limits of its extent are at this point approximate. As an endpoint, I propose 790. This in fact is a date well after the initial Arab-Islamic expansion. The significance of this date is that it is when Sibawaih (d. 177/793, Islamic/Christian calendar) was active as a linguist. To the extent that any results of reconstruction based on contemporary dialects are comparable to Old Arabic sources, Sibawaih is the best point of comparison, since he is the very earliest source (or, problematically, the variant Koranic reading tradition, which is a generation before Sibawaih). Thus, Sibawaih is taken as an eyewitness to the pre-diasporic varieties. This is, admittedly, a convenient fiction. Sibawaih himself, so far as is known, never traveled personally in the Arabian peninsula and therefore was never eyewitness to the pre-diasporic homeland of Arabic. He was a native Persian speaker active in Basra who knew about varieties of Arabic from individuals in the Basran diaspora. Nonetheless, nearly all tribal (e.g. Qays, Banu Waatil, Tamimi) and areal (e.g. Hijaz, Medina) designations found in Sibawaih are situated in the Arabian peninsula, which allows the fiction to be associated with pre-diasporic regions. For the starting date one can use the initial Arab-Islamic expansion, which began around 630. Kufa and Basra, for instance, were the first Islamic cities founded in southern Iraq, in 16/636 and 17/638 respectively. Of course, an Arab expansion into the lands bordering the Arabian peninsula had begun well before Islamic times (Retso 2003). However, as the summary in the previous paragraph makes clear, it is only in Islamic times that the expansion moved well outside of this area. I therefore propose the period 630-790 as the era of pre-diasporic Arabic. This is a terminus ad quem. A form reconstructed to this era in all likelihood existed before as well. Further reconstruction is thereby implied, as will be elaborated on below in this section. Eventually, moreover, it will be desirable to relate results of linguistic reconstructions such as undertaken here, more closely to population movements, as discussed at greater length in 1.4 below. Pre-diasporic Arabic is a variety based on the results of reconstruction of modern dialects. Not all such reconstruction of course leads to pre-diasporic Arabic. A great deal of historical linguistic development occurred locally in the post-diaspora era. What can be reconstructed as pre-diasporic can only be established on a case-by-case consideration of data. While pre-diasporic Arabic is a reconstructed variety, it is not necessarily a unitary variety. To the contrary, it will often lead to the postulation of multiple pre-diasporic forms. In Ch. 8, for instance, the 2MPL object suffix is reconstructed as .. - kum


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

'" *-kun '" *-ku in th

. penod. . " IS not unexpected Pred' . . e pre- d'Iasponc ThIs lasponc Ahrablc, re~onstructed to a period between 630 and 790 is roughly of th e same c ronologICal pe . d h " ' Old Ar b' r no as are t e multIfanous forms discussed in the reconst~~e~terat~~ (see.next terminological point and sect. 1.2 below). A tions found I'nPthr~- li~tasponc Arabic expands and complements the observaIS erature. Methodologically, pre-diasporic Ar b' d level between proto Ar b' d1 a IC oes, however, add an interpretive I h - a IC an ater va . f ne Ies. n t e model proposed here, proto-Arabic derives fr om reconstruction b d 01 . defined in the next' d ase on d ArabIC sources, as POInt, an a reconst t d d' . Arabic, as described here. ruc e pre- Iasponc In the current work the main focus is '. . . from the methodological' . on pre-dlasponc ArabIC. ThIS follows InCorporatIOn of co t '. language history This will bIb n emporary dIalects mto Arabic . e e a orated up . where. However at this . . on In sect. 1.3 below and elsePOInt In our resear hId " . , c 0 not thInk It pOSSIble to neatly differentiate pre-di' . fr asponc om prot Ar b' reconstructed pre-diasp . ti 0a IC on a priori grounds. A onc orm could t b well. urn out to e a proto-Arabic form as I would note here that some cha t er~ c~ncen~rate explicitly on a reconstruction of pre-diasporic Arabic Chs. 2 and 6 as well Ch t ' . 5 In ItS entIrety and for the most part Ar b' . ap er 7 offers a recon t . b s ructIon oth of pre-diasporic a IC, and the deeper lev 1 f 1 e 0 proto-Arab' d atter treats only Old Ar b' IC, as 0 Chs. 3 and 4, though the d" a IC Sources Ch t Iasponc and proto-Arab' . ap er 8 also presents both preIC reconstru t' the former. c Ions, though the weight there is on . . 3· Old Arabic. V.anous reasons for th . In the Western tradition will b e retIcence to develop a proto-Arabic mention just one: the early Ar:b~uggested in the next chapter. Here I would pre-empt a need to think in d liC SOurces are so rich and detailed that they apt 1 eve opmental t h' ro 0- anguage entails Ar b' erms, w ICh the reconstruction of s hi . . a IC emerg full . op stIcated Arabic tradition' th ~s Y eXistent at the hands of a ?f early written sources Old Ar b~ 1 e eIghth century. I term the complex In 12 b 1 a IC. Those til' d' . e ow. This tenninology . . u Ize In this work are described IS at vanance . h h . Wit t e reIgning Arabicist


I Anoth er application of the t e ' . ,. to the language in the few e' Old ArabiC IS found in M branch of North Arabian ~~Phlc traces in which it is attest da~onald (2000: 49 If.), where it refers e ~ontrasts Old Arabic with a sister related languages also a~est:en~ No~ Arabian (2000: 41),e whi North Arabian is that in th fi epigraphically. One featur d' . ch IS a group of diverse but closely Macdonald does not discus e OTnler the definite article is;/ Is~ns.uishing Old Arabic from Ancient hiIe m th.e latter it is h-. In this article, linguistic constructs, other s;here his 'Old Arabic' is to be si: an to note that it is distinct fr at~ relative to Classical Arabic or other om It (2000: 30).

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


tradition, which conceives of Old Arabic as a historical linguistic stage, as will be elaborated in Ch. 2. 4. Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic. From among these early sources emerged a most enigmatic of chimeras, Classical Arabic. Whereas a characterization, even a definition of Classical Arabic is normally a sine qua non of scholarship on Arabic language history, I consciously avoid giving it any explicit content, even if I refer to the entity at various places in this work. The reason for this is that, as Corriente (1971, 1973, 1975, 1976; also Rabin 1955) emphasized, Classical Arabic is the endpoint of a development within the complex of varieties of Old Arabic. An adequate consideration of the forces which brought Classical Arabic into existence belongs within a broader study of historical Arabic sociolinguistics and this in tum requires a far more detailed reading of the early sources, Sibawaih, Farrat, the Koranic reading tradition, the early compilations of Arabic poetry, and so on, than is possible or necessary here. It will be necessary for the sake of practical orientation to refer in places to a set, normative variety of Arabic. For this I generally use either the so-called 'Standard Arabic' (or 'Modem Standard Arabic'), a largely standardized form of the Classical language which is taught in universities in the West, and which is close to the language of contemporary journalism in the Arabic world. 5. Dialect. A final term I use with considerable hesitation and with a touch of misgiving, and this is 'dialect'. Problems accruing to the use of this term in Old Arabic will be elaborated on in sect. 1.3 below. As far as contemporary Arabic goes, I much prefer the designation, spoken Arabic. A modem dialect, after all, is nothing more than the Arabic mother tongue. However, the wellknown circumstance of diglossia renders a simple equation of mother tongue and dialect impossible. Contemporary spoken Arabic itself is a mixture of a native dialect and the Standard Arabic which is learned in schools and used in much of the Arabic media. T. F. Mitchell (1986) aptly termed this variety Educated Spoken Arabic. I argue that contemporary Arabic is an essential part of proto-Arabic reconstruction. However, for this purpose it is not any part of spoken Arabic which is relevant, but rather that part of it which is learned as the mother tongue. In keeping with the Arabicist tradition, I term this the dialect.



The Early Sources

Arabic is blessed by a relatively large quantity of early material, in terms of the history of Western scholarship, perhaps too much. The plenitude of early material I suspect detracted from the need to incorporate later


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

SOeUxtrcehs into a systematic history of Arabic, a point I elaborate on in the n c apter. Although direct, contemporary ·d .. early as the fi rth eVI ence pertaInIng to Old Arabic exists as until the I t oU·ghthcentury AD, the material is relatively rare and incomplete century Th r . a e el inscriptions found fr . e ve~ ear lest matenals are six epigraphic S·· om near Aleppo In north The earliest of these is the Ne . . . ern rna Into southern Jordan. Damascus in Syri (B 11 mara InSCnptIOn of 328, located southeast of a dence, the maten·al . e a~y 1985). While they are interesting pieces of evilS so eXIguous and h d t . said to constitute an i d d ar 0 Interpret that they can hardly be n epen ent source for th . t . (see sect. 1.6.2 below). e In erpretatIOn of early Arabic It is only in the Islamic era that earl Assuming standard int . y Sources of Arabic begin to abound. called muslial" there w erpret~tIOns of the history of the Koranic text, the so. o~, as a WrItten docum t b mc codex). However t h · . en y 652 at the latest (the Uthmawith no short vOWel~ m IS kcodnslstedd of only the barest consonantal skeleton ar e , an even no d· ··cal consonants. An initial '1' and ' , fi. Iacntl points to distinguish Moreover, extant Korans fr n ,. or 1O~tance, are formally indistinguishable. I om this penod do t . ear y ones (see Puin 1996 on earl . no eXIst, at best excerpts from It Was not until th . hth YKoranIc fragments). century th t I (Qi raaraat), with all e elg a comp ete Koranic renditions . th .. consonants and v I In e tradItIon of Koram· d owe s spelled out, became available ti d c rea ers Even th h ese, owever, are not fully systema ze and written down until th . d so it is not until this date tha; :':~~h ~entury by Ib? Mujahid (d. 324/93 6), In general accessible to u Ib M.'. omplete verSIOns of the Qurraan are version, but rather seve~· n h UJahI~, moreover, set out not one fixed (qaa·P I ' eac assoclat d .th rt , p. qurraa1) who flou . h d. e WI an eponymous reader ~hg· Jazari) compiled versions :~het 10 the eighth century. Other scholars . 4 for details). A further unc rt . en .and fourteen recognized readers {see alWays cl e amty In usin th Q. .. ear to What extent th Q. g e traaraatis that it is not tradItIon 0 ,. e traaraat are b d . . .. r on a philolo l7i cal' . . ase on an oral reCItatIOn catIon fro . 0InterpretatIOn b d . m a WrItten text (Larch ase on 10terpreting pronun1 regard th Qi . t hese open questions, . e raaraat as an . er 2005a: 253) . Desplte Arablc. Important earl . Th Y SOurce for mterpreting Old e establishment f fix d 0 e versions of the Q i .. half of the·gh sign.fi el th century was compl ur aan begInn10g in the second I cant devel emented by: d began d . opment, namely the difi . ' an part of, an even more co cation of Ar b· h· , an In a sense culmin history th I . ated, in one f th a IC grammar. T IS In nea:l e a -Kttaab ('The Book') of th 0 e gr~t landmarks of linguistic y e 1,000 densely written pages Ph gr~manan Sibawaih (d. 177/793). , onetIc nooks and syntactic crannies C)


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


are explored in minute detaiJ.2 Sibawaih's importance in an interpretation of language history will be apparent at many places in this book. A second great contribution to early Arabic linguistic thought was the work of the Koranic commentator Farra? (d. 207/822). In over 1,000 pages, Farra? commented on many linguistic aspects of the Qurraan in a work bearing the title 'The Meanings of the Qur?aan'. These two works set the stage for a spate of philological activity on grammar and lexicography by other linguists, a number of whom will be introduced in subsequent chapters. Since, quite obviously, these earliest grammarians had no preconceived model of a standard variety of Arabic, there is found especially in their work a great number of observations on various grammatical and phonological constructions and vocabulary. These earliest sources themselves at times report on such an early diversity that even in the Classical era the comparative method needs to be applied to reconstruct a plausible source (see e.g. Ch. 7 on imala). With an increasing standardization later grammarians, beginning around the early fourth/tenth centuries, had little new to offer as far as variational data goes, except for those with a penchant for gathering anecdotes and observations from earlier sources (e.g. the tireless fifteenth-century grammarian Suyu!i). I leave these later sources largely untouched, as by and large they repeat the variational observations of the earliest grammarians. 3 There are two further early sources with which I do not deal. One is so-called Middle Arabic, discussed in greater detail in the next chapter (sect. 2.3.3). MiddIe Arabic texts begin to be relatively numerous in the tenth century. As I, along with many other scholars today (see summary in Larcher 2001), view these as having a literary Arabic as their basis, with various dialectal intrusions, it is very difficult to integrate them casually into a consideration of Arabic language history. The time will probably come when use will be made

2 Contrary to popular belief among some Arabicists (e.g. Mol 2003: 15), Koranic Arabic was not the most important variety serving as a basis for Sibawaih's analysis. This follows alone from the fact that the linguistic form of the Qurlaan was itself during Sibawaih's lifetime still in the process of being fixed according to the various parameters of the Qiraalaat tradition. An adequate linguistic summary of what sources were used by Sibawaih is so inextricably tied to his linguistic methodology that it is an issue which, as an independent variable, needs to be treated in a separate work. To give one concrete indication of the relative unimportance of the Koranic text for Sibawaih's grammar, in the fifteen pages devoted to limaala (= imala), discussed in detail in Ch. 7 below (see particularly Table 7.1 ), the Qurlaan and the Koranic readers are hardly mentioned. 3 Correlating later with earlier works in this regard is a separate study in and of itself, see e.g. Ch. 7 n. 13. In App. 3 I give one indication for how my assumption is subs~tiat~ on the basis of a comparison between Sibawaih's treatment of imala and that of Zarnaxshan, who lived three and a half centuries after Sibawaih.


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

of them, but .before that happens the Middle Arabic texts th emseIves will need greater scrutmy and analysis.

T~de other is early Arabic poetry (pre-Islamic, early Islamic) There are conSI erable d· ffi ulf· . . (Bl h' 1 C Ies m gaugmg the authenticity and status of this reuvre 1 :c £ere ~80: ch: 2 is a good summary of issues, complemented by Zwettler 97 or. t ~ orality factor). Not least is the fact that the collection and systematIZatIOn of the pre-Islamic and early Islamic oet parcel of the same intellectual mill th p ry was part and .. eu at saw the systematization of grammar and the canonIZatIOn of K! . . centuries. In fact, most of ~~all1~ vanant.s, namely the eighth and ninth back to scholars Ii· . h day s coll.ectIons can be traced most directly m (d. 3/ 28) A late eVlllI·ghgth t e genfileratI?n after Sibawaih, such as Asma'ii .21.8 . -century ter 1 .. I . . InSIght into the more· s agam m p ace, whIch veils a dIrect anCIent eras Non th I fact, the language of th I . e e ess, or perhaps because of this e ear y poetry . . .£ referred to as a poetic k· 4 S IS qUIte um orm and is frequently ome. orne schola CI· the language of this poetry (B k 1m rs equate assIcal Arabic with roc e ann 1908· 23' F·· k may be said that the langua f . , uc 1950; Bellamy 1985). It coexisting with others of its e~:.~ poetry represents one register or variety 0

1·3· The Role of the Mod

. Language History

. . em Dialects m Interpreting Ar b' a Ie

The modem dialects have an indis ens . language history This £011 fr P able role m an account of Arabic d . ows om the 10· f h ~ eally the comparative method 'elds tw gIc.o t. e comparative method. Its daughters. The daught YI 0 baSIC umts, a proto-language and r .. ers are connected to th InguIStIC rules, sometimes call d ' 1 ' e proto-language by a set of 1 h e aws. An ade t h· . qua e Istoncal account of a .anguage s ould describe the rules b who Its daughter varieties. In Ar b' hY Ich a proto-language develops into v .f a IC, t e contem d' porary Ialects are daughter ane Ies. The question is whos d h , e aug ters are they? • For a contemporary lin . . .cui gUlsuc audien ( K . . ce see erswill2002) the te 'k' ,. partl arly happy one as th lion or filterin out / e ~oeuc kome does not demo st rm orne m this context is not a 180). It does h g 0 a1temauve variants (though this . n ftrably show characteristics of simplificaave a structural u . IS 0 en ass ed b ~Ity, though it is not dear th t thi om . y scholars, Blachere 1980: • The phrase 'others f' Brockelmann's implica Its era should be seen as much as a a s arose m a process of koinization. (1908· ? A ) ' caveat as a desc' . he terms 'tribal dialect'uon (Dial ..... , poouc texts are attested & .npuve statement. Against sprache) as if it were a~ested ~lcte der Stiimme). Brockehnarm d om.;:: earlier a ~eriod than are what .?m pre-Islannc times, info . escn the poetic language (Dichterlater period. This dich early texts Chronologi:rnu.:° n is Simply false, as Blach::: ~n what he terms 'dialects' from a r e.g. Gilliot 1990h999 Ri y ~ any precision is one which th y observes. The problem of dating runs roughout the Islarni' ( , ppm 19831i999 on Ko' raruc exegesis). c SCIences see



As I will argue throughout this book, there is little serious application of the comparative method in an account of the historical development of contemporary spoken Arabic. I think three reasons play a role in this failure, all of which have more to do with the sociopolitical status of the modern dialects and the history of their treatment in the West than with linguistic methodology. The first concerns the relationship between Classical Arabic and the modern dialects, in particular the fact that the modern dialects have no official legitimization in the Arabic world. To set the two on an equivalent basis, which is what a dispassionate comparativist account must do, could be interpreted as calling into question the asymmetric diglossic relationship (Ferguson 1959a) between the high Classical (or Modern Standard) variety and the low dialect. A second reason I believe is simply one of convenience. The Classical language offers a ready-made starting point for the summary of the history of Arabic. Fuck's prestigious Arabiya, discussed in the next chapter (sect. 2.3.2), offers a history of Arabic (subtitle, Untersuchungen zur arabischen Sprach- und Stil geschichte [my emphasis]) which starts with the literary language and makes little serious attempt to incorporate dialect material (however defined, see Spitaler's review of 1953). While the title speaks both oflanguage and stylistic history, it is in fact the latter which takes up the lion's share of the work. A third reason combines two perspectives. The oldest detailed accounts of Classical Arabic are undeniably older, by a range of some 1,000 years, than any detailed accounts of the modern dialects. Coupled with this is an assumed greater complexity of the Classical language relative to the dialects (see e.g. Ferguson 1959b: 1.6.6 for further details). Linking these two perspectives, it is a relatively easy step to interpret the modern dialects as the simplified or even bastardized offspring of an older, more perfect Classical variety (Mahdi 1984: 37).6 Taking these three perspectives in order critically and beginning with the first, while comparing the dialects with the Classical language on an equal footing would be relatively uncontroversial among many linguists, the comparison might be misunderstood for cultural reasons. It may well be assumed for instance that a declaration of linguistic equivalence (as it were) 6 Mahdi admonishes us to study the dialects in order that the negative influences (sicknesses, lamrtUUj) of the dialect on the standard language ~liaa) be eradicated. That is, one studies the dialects not to shed light on the Arabic language as a whole, but rather to purify the standard. Where Chejne's (1969) 'The Arabic Language' mentions the dialects it is often in a derogatory context (e.g. 84), though the discussion oflanguage policy in the final chapters is balanced.


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

~'altantamoduntht to a st~tement of cultural and political equality between the edClasslCallanguage. LOglC . ally, however, linguistic reconstructi1 ects " an d on IS I~ e~en ent of cultural and political considerations. '. Consldenng the seco d ' application of n n d pomt, convemence IS no substitute for consistent a we -teste methodology 7 J t rsenous · been mad t . us wh y lew attempts have e 0 reconstruct proto Ar b' . ul' historian of Arabic and Semi . -. a lc IS tlmately a question for the standable) preference amon tIC s~~d~es .. One reason, I suspect, is the (underg Arabic) over the spoken (dial ; ) ~gIS~S for ~e ~tten word (Classical Linguistically orientated e s'. at IS not wntten IS not fully legitimate. comparatIve studies of Ar b' d a IC, an more generally oriental and Islamic studi £ h fi tended to be dominated :s, ~~ \ e . rst half of the twentieth century have 8 1960, there has been a re~:rka~l;gI;ts. In. m~re rece~t years, since about and sociolinguistic aspects of Ar b ~ ~wth m mterest m modern dialectal IC Al-'iArabiyya). These ho h a b see e.g. part 2, 1987 of the journal , wever, ave een largel . d so-called theoreticalli " y restncte to descriptive and . ngwstIcs, to the exclusion f . TurnIng to the third point 't' I 0 comparatIve perspectives. ,1 IS Cear that the rel f . f reconstruction is what c . . a Ive tIme 0 diachronic · omparatIVlsts work with th h ,ra er t an the absolute tIme of the Gregorian cal d I · en ar. n terms of abs I t ' SIve sources of Classical Ar b' d 0 u e time the earliest, extenThese are far younger thanat~c atl~ from the seventh or eighth centuries. ab t e ear lest Sources fo Akk d' ou 2500 Be. No Semiticists h r a lan, dating from m tb ' owever, would argu th Akk . . us. e assumed to represent th li e at adlan therefore IS cnterial is the relative tim ale earh.est state of the Semitic languages What . e-sc e w Ich devel fr h . comparative method Here it . ops om t e application of the te ) Ar b' . emerges, Inter alia th t th rms a IC language contain ld' , a e younger (in absolute (e.g. a complete set of differenti:t': ~me~m:entory of phonological elements 198?: ~) than does the older Akkadi p atlc c~rrespondences, Moscati et al. lOgIcal Inventory one can say that Ar:~i ~el~tIve !o .the ur-Semitic phonopr~e~ed older traits) than is Akkadian c IS older (In the sense that it has rnnclple to any comparison betwe tho An analog~us argument applies in angua~e: a priori (i.e. prior to thee: ~ m?dern dIalects and the Classical and/or Internal reconstruction) dPPlicatIon of the comparative method one oes not kno h th . , ww e er a gIven trait in a One of the few Ii' • I think· ~xp CIt attempts is Cowan ( thiS prejudice is betra ed . 19(0) Who concentrat excl . . Akkadian is the oldest . d y, for mstance, in Brockelm ,es uSlvely on phonology. :n s (190811982: 6) contention that writing. There is how m ependent Semitic language It . opposed to an ~diff:er,. no way of proving that it is ~lder18 un eniably the oldest one attested in th gro.unds, Diakonoff (19:tIat~ proto-wes~ Semitic such as B~to-Arabic or proto-Ethiopic (as which .would give adequat~ :~es a ~alectal differentiation ofSemi~' assumes). On comparative Akkadian. e tor a differentiated tic as early as 400--5000 BC ancestor of Arab'IC to have arisen, parallel to'

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


dialect is 'older' (in relative terms), 'younger' or 'equivalent' to a comparable trait in the Classical language. Because it is so important, it is relevant here to consider three further aspects of the term 'Arabic dialect'. First, there is the issue of what constitutes information on an Arabic dialect. In the contemporary era, I believe it fairly uncontroversial that the dialect is simply the L1 of native speakers. These native varieties may be differentiated by classical dialectological methods, using bundles of isoglosses to define dialect areas. As may be gleaned from the previous discussion, it is far more difficult to agree on what constitutes a 'dialect' in the classical era. A basic problem in my view is that from the perspective of the on-site observers in the late eighth and early ninth centuries, linguists such as Sibawaih and Farra?, the dialect-Classical Arabic distinction did not exist as it came to be understood by later linguists, such as Sarraj (d. 316/928) in the early tenth or by modern (or fairly modern) observers such as Brockelmann or Fischer. Thus, a feature which by modern, or even by tenth-century standards such as the 2FSG object suffix - Ji, as in inna-Ji 'that-you.F' is clearly 'dialectal' was not conceived of as such by Sibawaih (II: 322; see sect. 8.7.4 below; Owens 2004). This point is a very large issue which can only be sketched here. The issue of Arabic historical sociolinguistics has yet to be dealt with systematically. Without having the space to argue the point in detail, the position taken here is that methodologically it is necessary to distinguish between linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of Arabic for purposes of interpreting Arabic linguistic history. Linguistically I put all linguistic material, whether that which became canonized in the classical language (the fu§liaa) , or that which may popularly be understood as dialectal, potentially9 on a par for purposes of reconstructing the language history. Sociolinguistically all varieties are not equal, as many recent studies have shown. Sociolinguistic prestige should not, however, imply precedence in interpreting language history. As a terminological point, for reasons given in the next paragraph, I use the term 'varieties' of Old Arabic, rather than 'dialect' of Old Arabic when speaking of variants attested in old sources. Secondly, it is not possible to put material from Old Arabic on a par with modern ones for basic descriptive reasons. As far as old varieties go, while tantalizing bits and pieces of odd material from a variety of sources exist (e.g. in Sibawaih, the Koranic reading tradition), there is nowhere near enough to construct an old dialectology in the sense of having a relatively complete • This caveat is important. A demonstrable innovation found in a modern dialect cannot be used to reconstruct proto-Arabic.


Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets

phonological and morphological account of discrete dialects. 1o This is one reason I prefer the term 'varieties' of Old Arabic. To illustrate this point an example from Rabin (1951) may be adduced. Rabin's is the most detailed attempt to describe an Old Arabic dialect, which he terms 'ancient West Arabian'. It is clear, however, that his description, admirable though it is, is not a comparative dialectology in a modem sense, nor can it be as the sources for such an undertaking are simply not available. What Rabin did was to sift through many Old Arabic sources, covering the region from Medina into Yemen, and identify local variants distinct from Classical Arabic. In Yemen, Medina, ?Azd, 8akr, and Qays there is information about the variant 'ianta for 'give' (30, CA ?a'itaa ), among Hudhail (east of Mecca) and Taghlib (Iraq) about the weakening of an initial hamza (glottal stop) to Iwl or Iyl (82), in the Hijaz about the disappearance of the glottal sto.p (I3~). There is not a single feature, however, which is systematic~y. descnbed III the old literature in the form of a modem isogloss. The cnhcal p~rspective here is the same as the general one for application of the comparative method: just as an historical linguistics requires at least the attempt ~o appl! t~e comparative method, so too does a dialectology require s!stemahc apph~a~IOn of dialectological sampling methods. I should emphaSIZ~ that the~e cnhcal remarks are not directed against the remarkable observatIOnal .achlevements of the Arabic grammarians but rather at the unstated ~ssum~tIon among some contemporary Arabicists that an old dialectology IS possible. By contrast, there is today fort t I I' '. . ' una e y, a re atlVe surfeIt of lllformation on mo dern dialects. This has imp rt t th d I . o an me 0 0 ogIcal consequences in the d' present study. I begin the comp f d k my ara Ive stu y With contemporary dialects an wo~ th way backwards, rather than going in the reverse direction because III e contemporary . t' , · vane Ies systematic sets of data can be compared all d omaIllS of grantmar. across Thirdly, as already noted the te 'd' al ' . countries often cam' '. . rm 1 ect III the Arabic tradition of Arabic es a pejorative conn t f d ition between 'dialect' vs 'Stand .0, a Ion ue to the modem opposc so far as official reco 't: . Ararbd,Arabl . Only the latter is the 'real' Arabic gm Ion III a lC countries d . il goes, an Slm arly to speak of Old Arabic 'dial t" ec s IS to suggest the sam d , e secon ary status of a variety opposed to the authenf 'Cl 'al lC asslC ArabiC' That' 'dial " th . not so much a spatial lin ' f d ' : IS, ect III ese terms IS guts lC eSlgnatIOn as a sociopolitical one, and a This POint is routinely ignored by Arabicists D' modern dialects which rOUghly correlate with ~ ol~m (19?8: ~38) for instance states that there are no dubiOUS ass~ption that We have a detailed eno ArabiC dialect. This claim, however, makes the Idea of findmg detailed correlations, ugh account of old Arabic dialectology to entertain the 10

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


negative one at that. This aspect of the term 'Arabic dialect' falls outside the scope of the present book. 1.4. Scope of Work

The book falls within the broad domain of historical linguistics. The essential element in historical linguistics is an application of the comparative method, without which historical linguistics as we know it would not exist. This is one of the great advances in the history oflanguage studies, in theory allowing one to trace a branching differentiation oflanguages or dialects back to a common ancestor. This is effected via reconstructing unitary proto-forms from differentiated daughter varieties, via rules of change. To take a simple example from the current work, all varieties of Arabic (aside from Creole and pidgin varieties) minimally mark the first person singular of the perfect verb with -t. (1) Cairene


Iraqi qultu Najdi Nigerian Arabic katab-tu kitab-t katab '" katab-t-x

Nigerian Arabic, and west Sudanic Arabic in general, has an unusual variation in this respect, The -t appears only before a suffix (to simplify matters). Even where the -t does not appear, however, its presence is felt by the stress attraction, explicable if it is assumed that -t is present in an underlying representation, hence the contrast, 'katab 'he wrote' vs. ka'tab 'I wrote', Clearly the 'loss' of the final - t in certain contexts in Nigerian Arabic is an innovation in Arabic. This is apparent in two ways: all other varieties maintai~ a -t: an~ a specific historical rule can be ascertained 'explaining' the lack of -tIll Nlgenan Arabic. Looking at the matter in a reverse order is unnecess~y complicated and unrealistic: if the Nigerian Arabic situation were t~e ongmal, on: ~ould have to explain how a - t came to appear in all contexts III all other vanetles of Arabic. On this basis a *-t (or *-tu) can be reconstructed for the ISG perfect suffix. This proto-form is carried forward in most dialects, but in Nigerian Arabic it splits according to morpho-phonological context.




Roughly and glossing over many details (see (1) i~ sect .. 5.2.4), the rule for the split is that -t --> 0 before # (see Ch. 6 n. 2 for diSCUSSion).

Introduction: A Language and Its Secrets


It can be seen that via the comparative method contemporary variation can

often be explained as arising from a more uniform proto-variety. Chapters 7 and parts of 8 in particular exemplify this perspective of the comparative method in greater detail. However, in recent. years limits to the application of the comparative method have been pomted out or re-emphasized.!l Some components of grammar probably do not lend themselves to an application of the method to any considerable time depth (Owens 1996), while effects of intensive language contact will often make an application of the method impossible (Durie ~nd Ross 1996). In the present data as well, phenomena will be highlighted both m ~ont~mporary dialects and in the Old Arabic sources which do not necesh' sarily YIeld unambiguous p t e f h' ro O-iorms, or w lCh clearly point to the existence ~ ab .Ig~ delgree of variation at the pre-diasporic level and perhaps at the protor~ lC .eve as well .. Chapters 2-6 and parts of 8 illustrate this perspective. ~vmg to the fringes of a linguistic treatment of Arabic, it is a truism that '" the IStOry of a Ian ~uage IS mtImately bound up with the history of the . 1 f . peopIes who speak It In so . . me clrc es 0 scholarship this truism yields an Important source of historical d t P . ul 1 . written d h . a a. artlc ar y m societies lacking long-term recor s, t e comparative th d l' d tions has b d me 0 app Ie to contemporary populaeen use as a tool t 0 reconstruct population movements. The relation between I important debate l~nnguBage an.d pop.ulation movement, for instance, was an 6 d I . antu hIStOry m th 1962; Greenberg 1972) Wh . e 19 os an ear y 1970S (see Guthne . ere wntten reco d . h r seXist, t e use of language as a mirror for certal'n h' t . al IS onc events h t d d certainly the case with Ar b' Th' . as en e to be neglected. This is tively speaking a wealth a IC.. IS IS also unfortunate. There is, compara, 0 f wntten sou d 'b' rces .esc.n mg the distribution and spread of Arabic tribes, be i ' . 2003 for summaries) and g ~g ~n p~e-Islamlc times (Blachere 1980: i; Retso contmumg mt th d' Already in the pre-Islam' 0 e Iaspora (e.g. Donner 1981). peninsula towards the north IC era ;.ovements from the southwest Arabian r~p~~ed. Arabs had also s:~;~ J~rd~n, Syria, and the Euphrates are dIVISion was between th h e Smal (de Jong 2000: 13). A major e sout and west Ar b' 'b mously identified as Qaht a Ian tn es, sometimes eponyCAd .aan, and the north a d A r b ' . "lI\ naan (also identified R b'yU n east a Ian groupmgs of shows, tribal affiliation in Iassl ~ I. and Muilayna bi.habihr/;aw~~~rrect form, as furakaai'u:a':-~;a:tion (p. 90) is found madaayin-ha Mada'in send us these ack fa-nannu nabi~uhaa 'ialaa wu' uh.::;::va I-madaai'in yab'iaO-uwna Note that Fiick leav p If tharumals and we sell them as they IJU , I our partners in Ahwaz and lahi;\ es 0 e case endin . . are. ' . gs m his transliteration ('" . . • '{ at least, no short vowels ~ c;nm(2),thoughmmyed.itionof reconstructs'th la k f a r e mdicated, so Jahi"" e c 0 case endin h 'I s mtent IS nnposs'bl gs ere according to his co . 1 e to gauge. Fiick thus not according to a lin . . gwstIcaIIy grounded methodology. nception of how this bad Arabic looked,

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


degree of linguistic competence in Arabic, far too great to present it as an instance of pidginization. In particular, the morphology is completely correct, allowing for Jariik-aat instead of JurakaaP, and complex. Besides their correct personal prefixes, the two weak verbs occur in their correct conjugation, and the noun Jariik has two suffixes, plural -aat followed by a pronominal suffix. A universal mark of pidginization is a lack of morphological structure, as indeed has been attested in Arabic itself (Thomason and EI-Gibali 1986; see Owens 1997: 132, on a short tenth- century text; Smart 1990 on Gulf Pidgin Arabic). Contrary to pidginization, it appears that one is dealing here with a relatively sophisticated L2 variety, though of course the data is presented to us through the filter of Jabig's stereotypes, not meticulously recorded texts. On the other hand, Flick identifies a class-based variety, non-native Arab lower and middle classes in the early Islamic empire striving assiduously to learn the Classical Arabic of the Arab upper class. They basically succeeded, failing only to learn the case endings. This caseless variety then became the basis for Arabic urban dialects. This presentation is rather confusing and as a linguistic explanation for the transition from Old to Neo-Arabic, unsatisfying. On the one hand in the course of the diaspora an abysmal pidgin developed, but at the same time a form of Arabic normal except for the loss of case endings. Given Flick's reliance on written sources, little better can be expected. Both summaries are correct in their own way, at least true to the sources, allowing for a better characterization of L2 varieties as indicated in the discussion around (2) above. Flick himself admits that 'the specifics of this development as a consequence of the lack of contemporary material are virtually unknown' (.195 0 : 5). Ultimately, as with Fleischer 100 years before him, Flick's historical I~nguistics rests on a logical matrix of Old vs. New, with only the barest of linguistic substance to justify the dichotomy. Before moving to the next model, it is worthwhile pausing to summarize the opinion of two linguists who, if indeed not directly influenced by Flick, developed ideas which are prominent in his work. The first is the well-known koine hypothesis of Ferguson (1959 b). Ferguson argued that in the early Islamic military camps a simplification or koinizat~on of Arabic occurred which heralded in the modem dialects. In Flick's verSIOn (1950: 5) the military camps and early Islamic cities such as Kufa and Fustat (Cairo) saw the development of a common bedouin variety, which served as the basis of what became known as Classical Arabic. Ferguson took this same S?cial milieu to be the breeding ground for a common variety of Arabic koine, SImplified according to fourteen different parameters. In a sense, Fergu~on's treatment is the first, and till today one of the few attempts to extensIvely


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

define the transition from Old to N . . meters. IS In this s F eo-ArabIc accordmg to linguistic paraense erguson's work fall t'd h . s OU SI e t e critical paradigm developed in this fi t rs sectIOn While I will t features in this work it b. no comment on his individual , may e noted that the b' h yare su Ject to t e same critical perspective as that de I d . ve ope In sect. 2.4 below The second is Versteegh's 'd'" '. ginization is held respo 'blPIc gInIzatIOn hypothesIs (19 84a), in which pidnSI e lor the s· I"fi . recent work (200 4) Ve t h Imp I cation of Arabic dialects. In a emphasiZing second la~guseeg I app:ars to have changed his ideas somewhat, age earmng rather th d' I 'd " . Source of the old to new shift. an ra Ica pI gmlzatIOn as the 2·3·3. Blau: Old to Middle to New

The progression Old to Middl t N pretation, in which Middle Ara~i 0 ew. was met above in Fleischer's interClassical'. Fleischer assu b c essentIally has the value of Fischer's 'Postmes, ut does n t d M1'ddIe Arabic to Neo-Ar b' 0 emonstrate the transition from . · a le. A very diff, ArabIC was offered by J h BI erent mterpretation of Middle os ua au (1966 8 and careful textual anal . BI ,19 1,1988,2002). Based on extensive YSIS, au show d th th personal and business letter f, • e at ere were many documents, S Arabic sources, written' h ' or Instance, and many Christian and Jewish b . all In W at he term d M'ddl . aSIC y Classical matrix th . . e 1 e ArabIC. While written in a dialects. The earliest I'S d' t ey I ArabIC ' d exhIbIted m any e ements of modern a e to th I e ate seventh century. They become numerous, however only' h ' I n t e tenth ce t t f ~ lon, Blau suggested that Middl .n ury. On the basis of his documentIon from Old to Neo-Ar b' e ~ablc was the missing link in the transia IC, emergtn . th ~ In e early Islamic era as the result of c?ntact between Arabic and VIew d non-ArabIc sp ak ( e as an empirical applicaf f e .ers 1981). Blau's thesis can be sens: .that given Old and Newlon 0 th~ 10gtcal matrix. It is logical in the empmcal in that his Middle is de~methIng must be Middle as well. It is . Subsequent work indicat d h ed by a corpus of texts. Interpretation other than aes t at ~lau's Middle Arabic could be oiven an very I equential hi . cr ear y documents and very I ,stoncal one. It emerged that both century t ) ate ones (e D ext , showed the sam .g. oss 1995, on a seventeenthe sort of d . . Esse f II . ~ la y, these deviations can b ' eVIatlOns from a standard norm. Intellerenc fr e Interpreted d' 'this M" e om the dialect in a learned ' accor mg to perspective, as . , In 1001 Nights, Mahdi 198. ) Standard Arabic (e.g. hada for halJa '" . See Kaye 1976 for an .. . 4· 75 ,or as learning errors of a type all who

kOUUZation featur... 1.. ___ ~ cntIClSm. Abboud-Haaa. , " ..., UeQ on Fe ...,....r 2003' 83- has lIUSgiVIngs (2005: 24), Behnst TgUson (1959b), Cohen (I . 4 a good summary of proposed approach in ddining a purpo~~and Woidich (2005: n-I:r:~ Versteegh (1984a). Despite implicit old/new COntrast. y reaffirmed the non-comparativist

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


have studied Standard Arabic as a second language will be familiar with; for instance, lam taquwliy-na 'you.F did not say', instead of taquwl-iy, with the suffix-na wrongly maintained in the jussive verbal form (Blau 1966: 269). In either case, Middle Arabic in these texts arises from a mixture of Standard Arabic and a spoken dialect and is adventitious upon these varieties (see Larcher 2001; Versteegh 2005 for summaries and overviews). Indeed, Blau himself has tended to move Middle Arabic from the historical to the stylistic realm (1982), no longer viewing Middle Arabic as a variety independent of Classical Arabic/Arabic dialects. 19 In his latest work (2002: 14) he writes that 'Middle Arabic is the language of mediaeval Arabic texts in which classical, post-classical, and often also Neo-Arabic and pseudo-correct elements alternate quite freely.' It is primarily a style, not a historical stage. 24 Neo-Arabic and the Neo-German school After well over a hundred years oflogical classification, an attempt was finally made to give linguistic content to the Old Arabic - New Arabic dichotomy. In ch. 3 of the Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte a number of phonological and morphological contrasts between the two are surnmarized. 20 This summary follows in the tradition of Ferguson (1959b, see sect. 2.3.1 above) and Cohen (1972), though the dialects rather than emerging in a sociolinguistic object, the koine, ostensibly have the status of a comparative linguistic end product, NeoArabic. I will devote the bulk of this chapter to a critical review of this summary, as the very idea of Old vs. Neo-Arabic stands or falls as a linguistic concept on the nature of the linguistic developments which are represented within it. In all, Fischer and Jastrow discuss about twenty features. Rather than review each in tum, I criticize the entire concept by grouping the features into four types. A detailed discussion of representatives of each type will serve to characterize the efficacy or lack thereof of the features. The features may be characterized by the following four parameters.

wr:' Holes (.1995: 31) writes, 'it is possible to discern a dear line ~f development from the ear~es~ tten ArabiC ephemera (C.AD 800) through medieval Middle ArabIC texts to the modern colloqUials, there is no detailed published work which ~as de~onstrated, such an ~umed e!opment; as noted here, the current consensus is rather to VIew Middle ArabiC as a styliStIc byproduct. Against what can be termed the linear view of Middle Arabic development, Versteegh (2005: 16) warns us not to '[ r 1egard them [Middle Arabic texts 1as true reflections of the vernacular speech of the Writers, but as "the tip of the iceberg" giving us a glimpse of what had taken place in the spo~en speech', There is in any case a general consensus that a great deal more analysis remains to be earned Out on Middle Arabic texts which will shed further light on the two positions. ,20 A shorter summary ofthe features is also found in Fischer's chapter 'Das Neuarabische und se~e ~ekte' in the Grundriss (1982C). The Handbuch remains a standard reference work for ArabiC dialectology.

!~my knowledge,

48 1. 2. 3· 4·

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics The contrast characterizes some, but not all modern dialects. . The contrast characterizes some, but not all varieties of Old ArabIc. The data are incomplete. The contrast is valid, so far as our information goes.

I begin with the first. The most common, and most difficult. pr~blem in ~y view is that what is presented as an Old Arabic - Neo-ArablC dIChotomy III fact pertains only to some of the modern Arabic dialects. Others are identical between Old Arabic and the modem dialects. In fact, it takes but one counterexample to disqualify a feature as an example for the holistic dichotomy Old Arabic-Neo-Arabic. A case in point is a very fundamental element of phonology, the structure of syllables. In Old Arabic syllables with short vowels are CV and CVC (or CVCC, which can be ignored here). According to Fischer and Jastrow (I98?: 40, sect. 3-3), 'In Neo-Arabic the relations are quite different: short vowels ~n open syllables are reduced to a large degree.' Here they contrast Old ArabIc katabat vs. Damascene katbet 'she wrote'. Damascene, along with many dialects in the Levant, reduce the unstressed vowel in an open syllable in the structure *'CVCVC-VC --+'CVCC-Vc. They go on to point out that short high vowels are even more susceptible to deletion than are low ones. Fischer and Jastrow, however, are not contrasting Old Arabic with Damascene Arabic or Levantine Arabic, but with Neo-Arabic, i.e. with all modem Arabic dialects. In these terms their generalization is false. The case of short [i I and [u I will be discussed in detail in the next section. Here it suffices to point out that descriptively one can range modern dialects along a long scale according to the behavior of short vowels or even short vowels in open syllables. I use the makeshift phonological parameters of open syllable in stressed, pre-stress, and post-stress position as classifying parameters. At the one extreme are dialects such as highland Yemeni (Behnstedt 19 5: 53-4; 8 Werbeck 2001: 59, 'firiliat 'she was happy', yi'l}ayyinu 'they look', yi'l}aaliguh 'he treats him'), and the Bahariyya oasis (Behnstedt and Woidich 19 5: 64-8, 2 8 1988: 3 5, 'libisit 'she wore', tinaam 'you sleep') where all short vowels are 'kept' in all contexts. Simplifying considerably (see Ch. 6 for detail), in western Sudanic Arabic (Chad, Cameroon, northeast Nigeria) nearly all vowels are kept in all contexts, post-stress high vowels in open syllables sometimes (depending, inter alia, on the consonantal context) being deleted (ri'jaal 'men', 'simi? 'he heard', simi?-o --+ 'sim?-o 'they heard', but 'fihimo 'they understood'). Within noun and verb stems, Najdi Arabic keeps all short vowels in stressed or pre-stress position, deleting only those in post-stress open syllables, ji'luus 'sitting', ri'jaal'men'. Vowels in post-stress open syllables

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


, . . 'h was robbed' vs 'sirig-aw --+ 'sirg-aw 'they.M are categorically deleted, smg e ) I .o~s northern qultu dialects of were robbed' (Ingham ~994~: 27, 33 1· van n syllables are always deleted, S · . d Anatoha hIgh vowe s III ope Iraq, an 1971" 92,on M ar d·III I . Anatolia) . I' yna,, (S l l , unless they follow CC-,1III . r'lee men asse . ,h ·te') The low vowe IS which case they are maintained .(~.,kt,,~-u~~e :erie:~: (~utaawi5) prefix of deleted only under certain COndltlo~s. .~. deleted tqaataOI 'fight with' < verbs stems V and VI, for examllPbe, 1. IS uns and adjectives la/may be T) I tress open sy a les III no 1. *taqaata . n pre-s . t ther positions a low vowe IS raised, m.,keetib 'office' karma 'he is honored' (II: 277.22) muntaliq-un -> muntalq-un 'leaving'

Interestingly, this applies to the passive verb as well, (16) 5u~ira -> 5~ra 'be pressed'.

In general, in his inimitable explanatory style, Sibawaih notes that the a-i/u or i/u-a sequence is avoided for articulatory ease, the reduction of [il or [ul serving to avoid having to move the tongue quickly from a low to high or high to low position. The u-i sequence (16) is considered by Sibawaih to be very marked, and he notes that the passive verb is the only sequence in the language where u-i is found within a lexeme (II: 278.6). There are two important points in this context. First, as in the modern dialect~, the open ~yllable is a position particularly conducive to vowel reduc~lOn. Second, I/u fall within a common class of 'short high vowels' both I~ general subject to deletion in open syllables. In this respect they are collectively opposed to the low vowel lal, which, although subject to deletion ~s well (see 20 », is so only when four or more open syllables in sequence are m pla~.. ThiS confirms the observation above that the primary short vowel oppos~tlOn runs along the lOW-high axis, a pattern that will be seen in the follo~ng ~s well. Contrastive [il-[ul on the other hand is of much weaker functIOnalIty.


. The weakly a~iculated contrast between [il and [ul is further in evidence m the .case endmgs-u 'nominative', -i 'genitive'. I will deal with case vowels extensively elsewhere in Ch d . K . s. 3 an 4, usmg both the grammatical and the oralllC traditions as the basis of my argumentation. What is relevant for present ~~rp~ses is that Sibawaih recognized a realization of nominative-u . and gemtJve-1 before an obJ' ct ffix' e su , I.e. not m pausal position in which the vowe I contrast was neutraliz d Th' ' . ' . . . . e. IS IS termed IXtilaas, and is characterized by a very rapid, mdIstmguishable Vocalic quality (yusri5uwn ai-iaN). (17) min ma?man-;,...ka

'from your haven' yatjrib-;,...haa 'he hits her' (II: 324.19) It is noteworthy that Sibawaih . vowel is still aUdible b £ goes out of hIS way to indicate that a short e ore the suffix (see further sect. 2.4.2 and n. 38).

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


This treatment of the nominative and genitive endings is also attested in the Koranic reading tradition, and in fact is associated with the tradition of the Basran, Abu 'lAmr ibn 'iAlaa? (= Abu Amr, Ibn Mujahid, 156; see sects. 4. 2, 4.3) where it is given the general designation of taxfi>1'making light'. Notably, Sibawaih also cites Abu Amr on this point (II: 324.18). From this discussion it is clear that Sibawaih described varieties of Arabic in which the phonemic functionality of [il and [ul was severely curtailed. Indeed, this extended to the two vowels in their prime morphological guise, where even their case marking function could be neutralized. In some cases Sibawaih identifies the variety with a dialect region, eastern Arabia, while in others, as in the discussion of ixtilaas, he appears to present the phenomena as widespread variants. In any case, the lack of a well-profiled contrastive function of short [il and [ul was very well established in Old Arabic. Comparable examples can be found in the second great early grammarian, Farra?, one of the eponymous founders of the so-called Kufan school. of linguistics. In his MaS'aaniy, for instance, he notes in various places free leXical alternation between [il and [uj, as in 5ijl rv 5ujl 'calf' (I: 382, also I: 227,3 28 , II: 122, 189, 23 6, etc.). Analogous to (16) above, he observes that Q 11: 28 has two alternatives: (18a) ?a nulzimu-kumuw-haa (18b) ?a nulzim-kumuw-haa 'Shall we compel you (to accept) it' In (18b) the indicative mode ending luI is simply 'deleted'. He offers the general observation that 'they find a [ul after an [il or a [il a~er a [ul or a [ul after a [ul or [il after a [il marked' (II: 12). It is clear from hIS examples th~t Farra? limits his observations to sequences of two short high vowels III sequences of two or more open syllables, offering as further exampl~s, rusul-un -> rusl-un 'prophets', yalizunuhum -+ yalizunhu~ '(the ,ten:or) will bring them (no) grief' (Q 21: 103), yuxabbirunaa -+ yuxabblr-naa he Illforms . m . a sequence CVCHCV, where H = a s h rt high vowel us., That IS, o ' the vowel may be 'deleted' (in Farra?'s terminology, see also his II: 137, 160).

3. Didactic manuals. Indirect evidence for the weakly established contrast' vs. [ul can be ascertamed . by th e eXis . ten.. ce of a book as . va Ive ue1 of [Il . such . of Qutrub's (d. 206/821) MuOallaOaat. This is a short treatJ~e .m w~ICh ~st~ 1 lexically contrastive examples are given, one each contammg [IJ, [u, a. Exam pIes (7, 8) above are taken from this. book. It'IS notable here ... that the . . f Is in wOrd-lllitJal CVCC maJonty of the examples, 44 out of 63, are 0 vowe


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

closed syllable position. The remainder are of initial CVCaa(C}a (as in (9) above). Here it may be noteworthy that twelve of these latter examples have a sonorant at C2.30 This short treatise falls into a ninth-century genre in which certain morphological and phonological patterns were summarized in single works, often in verse form. Sijistani is a longer work giving the contras t (or lack thereof ) between verbs in the falala and laflala forms,3l while Farra? deals extensiv ely with gender in his Muoakkar wa I-MuPanna8. This genre is also attested later; Farrukhi (Al-Farruxi), for instance, in a later work (sixth-twelfth century ), where minimal pairs of fj vs. qare illustrated. What is particu lar about these books is that they appear to be aimed at an audience which is not familiar with these contrasts. All three of these examples are of features which in the modern dialects are dialectially restricted or which have completely disappeared, for instance the contrast of fjvs. q(see sect. 2.4.5 below). Vollers (1906: 15), commenting on Koranic variation between qand lj, had already perceiv ed that this contrast was weakly established from its very first orthogr aphic appearance. A genre which explicitly dealt with language errors was the lalin allawaamm, common speech errors of the educated (see Pellat 1960119 86; Molan 1978; Larcher 2001: 593). The first work of this type was, reputed ly, very early, that of Kisan (d. 183/798 or 189/804; Brockelmann 1898; see Fuck 19~0: 50 for discussion of attribution). The title, in fact, is someth ing of a nusnomer, at least as far as Kisan's work goes. First, it is relatively rare that the actual error is pointed out. On p. 33, for instance, sets of correct forms are given with the pattern faluw~ habuw[ 'falling', §'lluwd 'rising', etc. One can ?nly s~ppo~e that spe~ers incorrectly use fu5uwl in these words. Many of the .errors are In fact of a highly literary or learned type. In the first two pages, for ~stance: th~ first twelve errors noted are all words from the Quran, harll§ta you deSIred (12: 103, not hari§ta?). For present purposes what is interest ing is ~at a great number of the errors, thirty-nine in all,32 concern the short vowels 1, ~, a. On p. 45, misklmusklmask, also cited in Qut rub, is given. Of these cases, thrrty-o~e deal with the contrast between a-i or a-u, which as seen above is phoneml~ally of far greater functional importance than i-u. Examples include mahlab seed of mahlab plant' vs. mihlab 'milk bucket' (38) and judud 30 i.e. a pattern reminiscent of the so-called 'buk ' . . sonorant (Sibawaih II' 3(9) Th ocali . UTa syndrome, which mserts a vowel before a 1I Shahin (200' '. . e. v c contrast IS not explained by this observation, however. between form I a:'d9~li:!~e runth- century titles in addition to Sijistani dea1ing with the difference )2 Included in these thirty nine e ·th above, or individual words, lIar~el er references to general patterns, such as fa5uwl noted


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics 'new.PL' vs. judad 'ancestors' (p. 41). Further, of the eight i-u contrasts, seven occur in closed syllables, e.g. fufr 'brass' vs. fifr 'nothingness' (43)· As with Sibawaih and Farra? (see sect., above), the important contrast is low [a) vs. high [i/u). Direct [i) vs. [u) contrasts are limited, both in number and in terms of positio n in a syllable. In both these short works the contrastive distribution of i/u in Old Arabic is seen to be limited and the inclusion of short vowels in this didactic genre points to an early or original lack of salience of the contrast. This last observation leaves unresolved the question whether Qutrub's Mu(}alla (}aat reflects the breakdo wn of a 3-vowel contrast, or the attempt by gramma rians to take one variety which had the contrast and impose it thro~ghout the language-speaking commu nity. The first perspective would ce~alnl! be the one favored by propon ents of the Old/New dichotomy. Here, dlda~lc boo~ would be needed to instruc t the rapidly expanding Arabic-speaking public about correct Arabic. Beyond the objection that it is impossible to answer the question of who the works were intende d for, more fundamentally the ~orks stem from the very period when Old Arabic is purported to be all-dom~ nant. There simply are no detailed descriptions of Arabic before the gen~rat IO~ of Kisan, so any assump tion about what previous generations spoke IS conJecture needing comparative linguistic support. h This basic chronological observation in my view serves to s~ppo~ ~ e second perspective that the didactic genre above all reflects the lffiposlt lon ' . of . . s t of a number available. In of a norm on the baSIS one or more vanetIe ou this variety, short i/u are phonemically contrastive in certain pos~tions. It can also be assumed, however, that there were other varieties where i/u w~re ~ot · aliy contras . . , ' " n In contemporary Nlgenan phonemlc tive, Similar to t eh SituatIO Arabic and various other modern dialects. . h 4· An example from the Lisaan al-ClArab. A nc source for lexical infonna C b . bon comes from the Arabic lexicograpers. Ib n Manour's Lisaan al-2Ara , . • II d 113 ts a wntten In the thirteen th century (Ibn ManVu r, . 711 11 } ' represen . .. . detailed culmin ation of this traditIO olumes includIng 80,000 n, ItS seen ¥ . root- based entries (Haywood 1965: 81). Alth ough Iate I'n chronologtcal tenns, . . th e IeXicogr as It aphical traditio n as embodi.ed by Ib n Manour was one where, 'd I · . were, IIttle got lost. Arabic leXicog rap hers 0fit a er generations asSIthuous Y . em. recorded and summa rized what their predecessors had done before .' th · . . The entries are encyclopedic In scope, b ut wanting in organaatIon, so ey . fr om make for difficult reading. Typically a longer entry. will c.o ntalll. quotes The relepoetry liadith th Q d detailed gramma tIcal diSCUSSIOn. . , , e uran, an h Vance of lexicography to the current discussion can be s own on the basiS of 0



Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics one entry, li b b (vol. I: 28M6).33 The entry is nearly eight pages long, small print and double columned, and by my count contains twenty-nine separate lemmas. However, it is not always easy to say where one lemma begins and another ends. Roughly it is divided into three parts. The first concerns the meaning 'love', or as it is defined at the beginning of the entry, liubb, naqiyq al-bu](q'love, the opposite of hate'. This meaning runs for approximately four pages, whereupon a second general meaning al-liabb: ai-zan §Q](iyran kaana Paw kabiyran, 'seed, large or small' begins. After two pages other isolated meanings continue the entry until its end. The problem for the present issue begins at the very beginning of the lemma, where as an alternative to liubb, a verbal noun which introduces the entry, liibb is given as a free variant. The [i] alternative appears to be the lesser-known one, since as soon as it is given, it is legitimitized as it were by a poetic quotation. In any case this is reminiscent of the ilu variation discussed in detail in sect. 2·4·1.1 for Nigerian Arabic. Furthermore, it is explicitly pointed out that the ver? liab~a is unusual (faaM) in that in form I its imperfect form only has a vana~t WIth the vowel [i], yaliibbu 'he loves', the only transitive doubled verb of thiS type. Here again short high vowel quality must be explicitly noted (see also Kisa?:i's Lalin, 33, for related remarks).34 By.the same token, within this entry [i] and [u] are clearly contrastive, at least III the apparently more common version of liubb 'love: which can be opposed, a page later, in a rather long discussion to liibb 'friend, companion', ~ word backed up by a number oftiadith references. One of six plurals of liibb III the sense of companion is liubb. This last is a fuCJul plural, < liubub, with the ~econd vowel assimilated between two identical consonants (e.g. as in the passive of doubled verbs). Wright (1896-811977: 202) notes that fuCJul plural ~orms .have an alternative fuCJI, rusul rv rusl 'prophets' (see (19) above), Illclu~lll~ CVCC forms like laoiyo, luM 'pleasant. PL'. . ThiS [I]/[u] vocalic contrast is ostensibly backed up by other entries, for Illstan~e on p. 295 al-liubb, 'a large pot', a word said to be derived from Persian (~aarsl) liunb. However, the further discussion of the meaning 'seed' (p. 293) ~ves cause for caution here. The first entry for 'seed' is liabb 'seeds' (collectIve), SG. liabba 'one seed'. Citing the lingw'stsll' h Azh' J h . an, aw an, and . . . " . eXlcograp ers ~sa?:i, lilbba IS Identified variously as a desert plant seed or an undomesticated plant seed op d li bb . . , pose to a , applied, according to Jawhan, " Ilbb (Arabic script, bbll) is in volume i beca th i.e. the entry comes under 'b'. use e sequence follows the order R(adicaIl3, Ib, R2, .. Transitive doubled verbs are said to expect lu].

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics


a predecessor of Ibn Mangur in lexicography (d. 398/1007, author of the §a1iaa/i), only for domesticated food plant seeds (e.g. wheat, barley). The singulative liabba is used for all meanings, both domesticated and wild plant seeds. However, one source, Abu Hanifa, is cited as using liibba for any plant, i.e. = liabb. Putting all these sources together, liibba and liabb, depending on which source one uses, are in free variation in the general sense of'seed'. Summarizing over many details, the discussion gives the following meanings. (19) liubb 'love; large pot; friends'

liibb 'love; friend' liabb 'seed, seed of a domestic food plant' liibba 'seed, seed of a wild plant' In some meanings the short vowels are contrastive, whereas in others they are not. This is if the entries are considered in their entirety. Based on the citations for Ibn Manour's sources the non-contrastive meanings are often variants from differen; sources: liibb 'love' comes from a line of poetry and liibb in the sense of 'friend' from a tiadith, liibba the 'seed' interpretation of Abu Hanifa. In both cases a lexical free variation effect is analogous to the i rv u variation in Nigerian Arabic; the variation is free when enough sources are considered. Looking at the matter from the other angle, a seemingly solid [i] vs. [u] minimal pair, for instance liubb 'large pot' vs. liibb 'friend' could ,arise s~m~ly thrOUgh the compilation efforts of the lexicographers. liubb large Jar a Persian loanword35 could derive from a different speech community from that of liibb 'friend', attested particularly in the tiadith literat~re. Fin~y, the contrast liibb 'friend' liubb 'friends' at the abstract morphological level IS no~­ contrastive (liibb vs. liubub). A similar point pertains to (8) above. In ?IS Koranic commentary to Q 24: 35 Farrar notes that while the gene:al read~ng (ijtamaCJ al-qurraal) is zujaaj 'glass', both zijaaj and zajaaj for th~s m~a~g are possible (qad yuqaal) (II: 25 2 ). In the Koranic context, 'glass' IS zUJaaJ rv " . rv zaJaaJ, ' . the short vowels III . non-contrastive . free vana. . tion In the.larger zlJaaJ 1eJO.cographlCai . . al c trastive meamngs. 36 context the three forms so lonn con . b" the extensive study of Asbaghi s Word is not included among Persian loanw~r~ m Ara ~c mnot bubb apparendy, Qafisheh 9 8). In Gulf Arabic, a large earthenware waterpot IS m fact bibb ( 35

(I 8


199~: 116, Holes ~001: 10?).

.. .. s. Ibn Manllur for the zVjMj form, The entry m the LlSaan for ZJ.~ (n: 285-8) creates new problem , " • ecked bottles' ZU;M' " , ecked bottl 'zaJMJ long-n ' , , ZlJMJ = 'arrowheads, old she camels, long-n es, , the modem Wehr or :ng-n~ bottles'. Zajaaj in Qutrub's sense of do~ does not appear" (or~. 267). For the latter, e MU./'hyt al-Muliin of the nineteenth-century lexIcographer Bustam 199,

. 'I



Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

~at ca,nnot be gauged is whether the contrastive meanings are associated With a smgle speech community, or whether they represent a pan-dialectal amalg~ whose contrastiveness derives from the lexicographers' compilation, Looking at a more or less arbitrary sample of ten roots from volume I usually a given root shows a single high vowel value for those positions wher~ theoretically a phonem'lC cont rast can occur. For mstance, " )UZp 'part' (45), ~ways has [u], never til, though theoretically an [i] could occur here. liizb group of people' (308), on the other hand, always has til. Of the ten roots, five have only [ul, (~ubb 'cluster', (695), kufP 'equal, similar' (138), rulib 'breadth' ~413): and CJu)b s.u~rise' (580) and three have only [i] (liizb as above, CJib? load (1l7), and slbb veil, screen, rope' (456). Two show variation J;rb"" 'arb f bed 'nki ' .• J' :" ur n ng (487) appear to be free variant forms of the verbal noun (as In Farra? II: 282) like liubb '" Ii 'bb b ' ' I a ove. X,'b b ' rottenness, rough sea' (342) IS like the total entry for Ii 'bb: c . , , , I • some lorms are m free vanatIon xabba "" xlbba "" xubba'd'rt th' hil ' , 1 pa , w e others are contrastive, xubb 'a rag' vs. xibb (as above, rough sea,' rottenness') . This b ne ' f survey wo uld mdICate . , , , that for the maJonty f o' I roots [11 "and [u] are lexically d etermme ' d, but phonemically non-contrastIve. n a m~onty, basically free variation between [u] and [i] reigns, with some mea~mgs shOwing contrast via the different high vowels :p~~:stmgd.~e problem from the perspective of the rich Arabic lexico1 ra Itlon, the phonemic st tu f ['] d a.. s 0 1 an [u] is again seen to be problematic. Even in th contr 0' th " o~e few pOSItIOns where the two are potentially as ve, ere IS mdeXIcal evid h' h the h ' ence w IC relativizes the importance of p onemlC contrast Overall th al dictionaries is h' e am gam of forms found in Arabic very muc analogous to th al fC from the modem dial h ' e am gam 0 lorms one can collect be found but th ects. P oneml~ contrasts (cf. eastern Libyan Arabic) can ey are rare' leXIcally 'fi d b , d( , speCI e ut phonemically noncontrastive roots ar C d d ., ' e 10un e.g. Shukriyy) a , an a egree of free vanatIon IS attested (cf. Nigerian Arabic).


The discussion of the functional . . , . Arabic offered in this cti h status of [1] vs. [u] m the ongmal Old as been detailed, though hardly exhaustive of the old sources To th se xton th . e e ent at the phonemic contrast existed, it is, as in 'glass' is indifferently za" '. 'glass' '. ~aaJ ~ zuJaaJ ~ zijaaj, C·

ly, only elli~cally, in a definition: za"aa' ~ous ,Ibn Man~hur mentions zujaaj in the sense of ~rm musk (7) IS not found in the LisDan,~elf~ manufacturer of glass (zujaa})" Similarly, Qutrub's :v.~d not find the form in any dictionary S~: o~ th~ MuBallaBaat Al-Zawi noting (26 n, 1) that so~e of the forms he collected were -tri: ed CItatIons possibly retricted to Qutrub suggests not unl.iIr.r their ~.. _ .~ ct to very small .. • m;-"",cu counterparts, had few ualms CO~~tIes, While ancient scholars, noted that 1983: 170) Outrubs late contemporary Ibn sugg ~utht maligrung their opponents, it may be . es at Qutrub falsified his data (Versteegh


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics the modem dialects, largely limited to closed syllables. There are ample examples of deletion of the short high vowels in open syllables, again a phenomenon attested in the modern dialects. Viewing the dialects in their entirety, it is hard to view the functionally restricted modern dialectal realization of short high vowels as qualitatively different from that attested in the oldest Arabic sources. 2,4.2. Old Arabic itself is not unitary

Returning to the list at the beginning of sect. 2.4, the second problem, the diverse character of Old Arabic, may be illustrated with an example taken from the syllable structure rules discussed above. Fischer and Jastrow (1980: 40 sect. 3-3) note that Old Arabic allowed extended sequences of short open syllables, as in li-liarakati-ka 'for your.M movement'. As noted above, there are modern dialects which also permit similar sequences, e.g. katabata'she wrote it.M' in Nigerian Arabic or 'bagarateh 'his cow' (Highland Yemen, Behnstedt 1985: 63). If four is the upper limit in the dialects, as opposed to five in Old Arabic it is because there are no morphological patterns in the dialects supporting more than a sequence of four open syllables. Ho~ever, even in Old Arabic long sequences of short open syllables were subject to reduction. Examples pertaining to short high vowels in open syllables have already been introduced in sect., above. In fact, sequences. o~ sh~rt vowels in general tended to be avoided. Discussing rules ~f asSImilatIOn (?id¥aam), Sibawaih notes that in Hijazi Arabic, at a word Juncture when five open syllables result from the juxtaposition of two words, then under various conditions the final vowel of the first word will be deleted. Example (20) illustrates a typical case. (20) jaCJala laka ____ ja'iallaka (II: 455)

Sibawaih states that sequences of five open syllables are 'heavy', as, I und.erstand the term, 'marked', requiring deletion of a vowel. In ~he. K~ra~lc rea~mg tradition, the so-called Pal-Pid¥aam al-kabiyr 'major assImilatIOn descnbes such 'deletion' (if indeed it was deletion, see Ch. 4) in detail. I Sibawaih notes that within words constraints on sequences of sh~rt vowe s ' . al 0' C rms of the object suffix can be equally severe. Dlscussmg the terna ve 10 al notes that the-C fin pronouns-kum "" -kumuw and-hum rv - humuw, he f . , k uld produce a sequence 0 Vanant IS preferable when the suffix - umuw wo , C (b) ·th the hyphen representIng lOur open syllables, thus (21a) rather than 21 , WI a syllable boundary. (21a) ru-su-lu-kum 'your.MPL prophets', = 3 open syllables


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

(21b) ru-su-lu-ku-muw = 4 open syllables Here Sibawaih invokes the generalization that 'obviously in their [Arabs'] speech there is no noun with four open syllables' ( ... ra laa taraa rannahu laysa fi kalaamihim ism 'ialaa rarba'iat ranruf mutanarrik, II: 319. 19). The problem here is not to formulate the situation such that processes attested in the modern dialects, in this case short vowel deletion in open syllables, were already adumbrated or anticipated in Old Arabic. This mode of reasoning is quite old. Noldeke, a great scholar ofliterary Arabic, for instance, notes examples of deletion of a case or mode vowel such as illustrated in sect. 2-4-1.2, above (1897: 10). His explanation, however, is to attribute such forms to Arabs who had settled outside the Arabian peninsula, or to note that they often occur in scatological verse. Neither observation carries comparative linguistic weight, however,37 Why scatological verse should be more prone to deletion of a case vowel is not elaborated upon. As far as the debased form of ex-peninsula varieties go, Noldeke's thinking is based on an a prioristic judgment. He nowhere offers sociolinguistic arguments for the proposition that they should be more apt to loose case endings than Arabic in the peninsula itself. Noldeke's assumption may be that Arabic in the Arabian peninsula was or is inherently more conservative than diaspora varieties. There is a simple counter-example to this assumption, however. Holes (1991) shows that affrication of /k! to [tIl or [ts] began in Central Arabia and spread outwards from there (see sect. 8.7.1). I would add here, with purposeful irony, that Noldeke had no misgivings using as one of his chief sour~es for Ol~ Arabic, Sibawaih, a man whose native language was not ArabiC, who himself was settled in Basra, one of the earliest Arab-Islamic diasporic cities, who never so far as we know set foot in the Arabian penins~a, and who was de~endent for his information on the very clientele who Noldeke sees as speaking caseless Arabic. As a general criticism, Noldeke's explanation begs the question of what the old language was. A similar problem of logic was already met above in sect. ~.2. Pre-classical Arabic was established using the same source as that for ClassICal Arabic, namely Sibawaih. But if the sources are the same, then other methods, e.g. the comparative method, have to be applied to determine what parts of Sibawaih are pre-, post-, or simply 'Classical'. Similarly here. " As seen in e.g. (18). Sibawaih's ixtilaas v . . d 'b anant must have been Widespread, as he offers a standard, constructed example yad 'b- -ka TI -~ka. ~e vowel-deletion variant is exemplified onl~ in poetry. thOUgh is treated 'i: th~ sam: is noted. In some sense th bel pter, Indeed In the very next sentence after the ixtilaas vanant It could be that complet eyd I t~ng to a common category in Sibawaih's pantheon of Arabic variants. N"ldek e e e Ion was not as unu al su as 0 e assumes; see in this respect Abu Arnr's Koranic recitation pram' . ce In sect. 4-3.


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics If avoidance of sequences of short open syllables is part of Old Ara~i~, and a similar avoidance is found in some of the modern dialects, th.en. thiS IS .not a feature that can be used to differentiate the two presumed vanet~es. It Simply characterizes both. Of course, it can be shown that vowel red~ct~on has gone much further in some modern dialects (see Table 2.1), but thl~ IS prop;rly a part of the history of those dialects which evince such behaVIOr, not NeoArabic' in general. . . h fu h At this point it may be useful to illustrate the diSCUSSIOn Wit ~t er "ll . IS developmental trees. In (22) vowel re d uctlOn 1 ustrated on the baSIS 0f the 3F.SG. verb form katabat 'she wrote'. (22)

Vowel reduction Pre diasporic Arabic

Modern dialects


CVCC -VC (katbat, Damascene etc.)

katabat NA etc.

. . the given pre-diasporic This shows that some modern dialects contmue d ' the unstressed .. h h . novated re ucmg . ArabIC verbal paradigm, while ot ers ave m . 'r . t' basis here for vowel in the open syllable. It is clear that there IS no. mgUls.lC ed in . no mnovatlOn occurr differentiating 'Old' from 'Neo- , Arab'lC, smce many modern dialects. . h N -Arabic in fact is A related strategy in this regard IS to observe t atI . eo · as an attribute '. . . Old Ar b' but to exp am th IS IdentICal to a certam feature m a I~,. d Jastrow (1980 : 44) of an Old Arabic dialect, not of Old ArablC. 38 Fischer an A th se who have worked

· 'd' al cts' is a vexed one. s o . As seen in sect. 1.3, the problem of Old Arab \C Ie. C 'd' al ct' in the older hterature, I e .IS perhaps ) there IS. no term on old 'dialects' have observed (e.g. Kofler 1940 : 64, I lorThe closest one has 38

h· h . '" . an appropn.ate w IC IS hardly surpnsmg smce there was no sys tematic dlalectoh ogy. H" "dialect' IS I . I " ura, and in some cases e.g. lurat al- Ii IJaaz et c. 'dialect of t e IJaz, . t' n (idiolect SOCiO ect,te ) c. , ' . , Wit . h out further assocla iO ' translation. lura can equally refer to a ,vanant . . however. . . like so many themes, a tOpiC ill The treatment of Old Arabic 'dialects' in the Western hteraturekls, d I'S significant-is a curious . h . t' e wor -an . I Itself. Kofler (1940-2) who is often cited as an aut onta IV t aticity is difficult to discern. n SUmmary of many different Arabic linguists and authors whose sYSS.ebm aih (II: 325, Derenbourg ed~.) h· . ) K0 fler notes that IS discussion of case, for instance (1942: 26-30, h I aw xpected case suffixes are Iacking . c an exa.mple) w ere ehere his reference d ' fr 0 rna Cites poetic license forms (see (6b) in Ch. 7 lor enves

altogether. He classifies this as dialectal. Strictly speaki~g, how~ve~ut Sibawaih's treatment of cas~. poetic citation. This is all Kofler has to say in his entire wor ~ fler's remark on Sibawaih's poetIC However, in the same chapter (506) and o~ the very page be!~r~:as/tam!iY! (see ~ect. 8.1) as case hcense (II: 324), Sibawaih has his diSCUSSion of i'lfbaa'i a 'd mmetlt on thiS at all. Perhaps eaIizalions, . bo Kofler dl t h not' sconothing in Sibawal . 'h's Ianguage r as summarized around e.g. (18) ave. Kofl . not consider the latter forms as dialectal . However, ere Ihat Sibawaih d'IScusses 0 n II'. 324 er did ..... , allows one to distinguish an evaluatIve . diflierence between w 'Yllich


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

observe that modern dialects generally have i as the preformative vowel of the imperfect verb (23) t-i-ktib, n-i-ktib 'you write, we write', etc. This is not to be understood as an innovation, but as a continuation of an old dialectal form which deviated from Classical Arabic (see Versteegh 1997: 42; Larcher 200 4; Larcher and Gilliot forthcoming, citing Farrar). For what it is worth the observation is valid. However, if the modern dialects continue old forms, wherever they are to be situated in Old Arabic (see below), there is no basis for introducing them into a discussion which purports to differentiate Old from Neo-Arabic. Lacking further comparative analysis, they simply can be said to characterize both. This is illustrated in (24}.39 (24) Old Arabic






Jastrow's summary basically left off the entire Sudanic dialect region (inter alia, Carbou 1913; Lethem 1920; Trimingham 1946; Kaye 1976 being available), a consideration of which adds to my category three criticisms. I think a point will soon be reached where no 'new' old features are found, though the general tendency resulting from empirical research since 1980 has been ~o reduce further the set of features Fischer and Jastrow used to set Old ArabiC off from Neo-Arabic. 2·4.4· Valid differences

This leads to point 4 in the list in 2.4, which is crucial for those wishing to see the dichotomy of Old Arabic/Neo-Arabic as a linguistically grounded o~e. In fact there are a few instances in Fischer and Jastrow's list which SUrvIve the cdticisms of points 1-3. I can identify four, represented as historical developments. a. F. nominal suffix



. " . " 'IJiO' 41, ",,3,4.2)

b. dual of V etc.

(l9llO, 46, S f) (1 f) 'b '} UMJar green an a. m one or the word maa for 'what?' for instan~e. Even so Fisch;r and 0



from II: 325· lifbaa5 for instance is im Ii .tl . . practitioners 'as for' those wh ' CI Y recognized as a variant, when Sibawaih identifies Its complete «loss" of the case suffix° uS~b warn' . ~ (~ ~I!iyn yuJbi'iuwna ... ). Regarding the the ISSue as, 'an d ·It·IS POSSI·ble that th ey «deIt" a nominative or genitive in poetry', (I a dIdentIfies . ee I-li'ir ... , II: 324- 21-325 I) In fact .~a qa yaJuwz?an yusakkituw I-barf aI-marfuw'i wa I-majruwr fiy son, being identified ~th· ,I w~uld appear that the first case is closer to a 'Iectal' form of some other hand is more m· than untnam fgrouP of people. The complete loss of a case vowel, on the . ( . , e na ure 0 a stylisti characterization of Kofler as having 'classified' old c V~~t qad yaJuwz). Holes's (1995: 41 n. 15) for a systematic classification. In an case the . ~IC ~ale~ assumes very rudimentary standards the exegetical problems involved· discussIOn In this footnote is but a small indication of . In Interpretmg the many Ian . . ed In terms of simple 'modem' categories. guage vanants CIt in the old literature


r '.

}9 Similarty Fischer and lastrow's feature 3 2 ( So. ) same person inflections as do weak final erb ·7· 19 . 45 . In modem dialects doubled verbs have the Old Arabic, doubled verbs have a norm; infls, r"!'d-~ or radd-eet'l returned', like ban-eet'l built'. In b I ectIon, WIth vowel epenthesis, radtul-tu 'I returned'. The texts require considerable discuss· would suggest that th . . (c.g. SI·bawarn II: 442, Farra? II· 1)lon, ut . fact e atations ~-tu --+ taqassay-tu .. are, m , an Old Arabic reflex of -ayt. ••• ••





c. case/mode suffix -u, -a, -i, 0

Dialect0 /

d. Imperfect plural -uun/-uu (1980: 42,Sect. 3.4.4)




Before discussing these in greater deta, il the general question may . be raised b d t for definmg so roa h wether four quite heterogeneous features are adequa e b. IC. and allegedly fundamental a difference as that between Old and Neo-Ara . d ail ·n d· nly one of these m et . Tummg to the features themselves, I WI ISCUSS 0 d, d elopmental type, an (25 b). In my analysis (25b, c) are of a common ev . (b) nly C h I th erefore dISCUSS 25d· 0 the. therelore consideration of one serves for bot. . A fuller consideration of (25 a ) reqUIres conSI·derable backgroun m . . d this in tum reqUIreS analYSIS of final vowels and pausal phenomena, an . cts detailed . discussion (and criticism) of the work 0 fB·Irkeland ..I discuss . aspe f h · work in Ch. 8 below. Example (2Sd) I 1eave WI·thout dISCUSSIon. OtIS d d·al cts em 1 e ExampIe (25b) represents the loss of the d ual. Nearly all mo h morphocontinue a dual form in nouns. Classical Arabic, however,. as a I . . d relatIve pronouns as ogIcai dual in verbs, pronouns, demonstratIves, an. . F· cher and weII, and these are not attested in the dialects. On this pomt, IS


Jastrow's own exposition is illuminating (1980: 46). They note that among Semitic languages, Arabic is unique in having a fully 'developed' system of d~al marking, encompassing all nominal and verbal categories. They expliCItly argue that (2sb) is not a simplification in the modern dialects, but (it appears) a retention of the original proto-Semitic situation where the dual if indeed it is reconstructible to proto-Semitic (see Retso 19;5), is restricted 'to the noun. !his point is an important one for my interpretation of Arabic language hIStOry. It shows that even if consistent differences between Old Arabic, however defined, and the dialects are discernible-and it has been seen here that there are in fact very few important ones-it does not auto~aticall: follow that the reflexes borne by the modern dialects are necessarily I~no~at~ons. The modern dialect dual could in fact be 'older' in comparative hngUlshc terms ~ha~ is the dual in Old Arabic, whose spread to verbal an~ other categones IS to be seen as innovative. The situation can be sketched as III (26). (26)

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

(26) nominal dual (proto-Arabic)

(modem dialects) nominal dual

pronominal dual, verbal dual etc. (Classical Arabic)

In terms of our tree deVelop t ' tho . . men s, ill IS case the comparative method returnths an IllterpretatlOn 'upside down' as it were from chronology. I would note at I argue (see Chs b I ) th . 3, 4 e ow at the same interpretation applies to (2SC ). The 'caseless, modem d'al . £ . . . f, I ects ill act contillue an older Semitic and Afroaslahc eature Note acc d' h . 'a b' or illg to t ese two illterpretations the number of d luerences . ' etween Neo-Ar b' d reduced by a IC an a reconstructible proto-Arabic are so per cent. Aside from interpretive probl th f, a grammaticall coh ems, ~ our fe~tures in (25) do not represent they come so:ewh ~r~nt ~eVelopment ill the direction of the dialects, in that a thermore the cit ti ap aza:dly from different domains of grammar. Furn from SO-~alled Neao_Ar° bO~ addlfference which consistently distinguishes Old a lC oes not autom f all ak . in a comparative sense d. a I~ y m e Neo-ArabIC younger h , as argue ill the prevIOUS paragrap . In a later work (199S) Fischer att empted to work out the relations between Old Arabic and NeO-Ar' b" than derive the mode~ ~: a ~re systematic and principled way. Rather ects rectly from Old Arabic, as in the 1980


model, Fischer establishes an intermediate category which he terms protoNeo-Arabic, and exemplifies the construct with the independent pronoun series, perfect verb suffixes, and various question words. Here he uses categories reminiscent of Brockelmann. Brockelmann (1908: 24) distinguished between a poetic koine (Dichtersprache) , in which he saw the origins of Classical Arabic, and tribal dialects in the northern Arabian region, from which it appears he derives the modern dialects. As mentioned above, Brockelmann does not treat his Old/New dichotomy in a comparative linguistic manner, so one can only interpret how he saw the precise development. Brockelmann does regret the fact that there are hardly examples of Arabic dialects (Vulgararabisch) from the Middle Ages, so one can suspect that he saw a development: Old Arabic dialects --4 Arabic dialects in Middle Ages --4 modern dialects, though this is speculation. 40 In any case, Old Arabic had dialects on the one hand and a classical Arabic on the other, which were two quite different entities for him. Fischer, however, develops a linguistically more sophisticated system than the earlier work, as he is committed to recognizing explicit developmental states from Old Arabic to the modern dialects. Moreover, the protoNeo-Arabic stage is given a degree of ambiguous leeway, in recognition of the fact that various 'typical' modern dialectal forms in fact would .ap~ear to have an old heritage. The third person F singular suffix, for instance IS gIven ~s either -at or -it. In (27) I give Fischer's (1995: 81) paradigms for OA (hIS terminology) and proto-Neo-Arabic perfect verb paradigm, to serve as the basis of discussion. (27) OA

Proto Neo-Arabic

SG katab-tu M katab-ta F katab-ti 3 M kataba F katab-at



katab-tu, katab-t katab-t katab-tii katab katab-at, katab-it

PL 1 2

.. Co

katab- naa M katab-tum

katab-naa katab-tum, katab-tuu

. . dialects only from Suyu!i, a gram. nveUlently, Brockelmann finds evidence for Old ArabIC ' I ' cally formed developlI1arian who also is late (d. 1505). It may be suggested mat Brocke~:.s o~m using Sibawaih's ~di~alntaJ matrices (Old-(Middle?)-New) conveniently prevent ~ aromar which would . (or other, e.g. the readmg ." ). h' comparaUve gr , ha ectaJ' matenal traditIOn m IS Ve complicated his data considerably.


Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics F katab-tunna katab-tin 3 M katab-uu katab-uu F katab-na katab-an

What is above all striking is how similar OA and proto-Neo-Arabic are. In fact, the differences are even exaggerated. Looking at more Arabic dialects, for instance, 2MSG -ta (or in Yemen -ka in some highland regions), as noted by Fischer, is attested in about fifteen locations in north and central Yemen, an~ T. Prochazka (1988: 27) leaves open the possibility that it is attested in Sau~1 Arabian Tihama as well. Similarly -nah 3FPL and -tunnah 2FPL is attested III Ghaamid, (southern Hijaz, T. Prochazka 1988: 27). In the 3MSG. the 'pr?t?Neo-Arabic' form in fact is identical to the pausal form of Old Arabic. ThiS IS, as I have noted above, an issue requiring separate treatment, but in this context it does reduce on a prima facie basis the difference between Old and proto-Neo-Arabic. Looking at the Old Arabic sources, it will be seen in sect. 8.9 that the 3FPL suffixes -tunna and -na are problematic representations in Old Arabic, given standard interpretations of the notion of pausal position. It will be suggested there, that Fischer's proto-Neo-Arabic -an or -in is also plausible as a prediasporic form, which takes the form into the Old Arabic era. Even without considering the points raised in the previous two paragraphs, on the basis of (27) alone there is no linguistic ground for differentiating Old Arabic and proto-Neo-Arabic, as the two are largely identical. The linguist's Occam's razor does not allow a distinction between Old Arabic and protoNeo-Arabic to be made. The critical conclusion here melds with that reached above: were the concepts Old Arabic and Neo-Arabic not inherited baggage from the nineteenth century, they would not be recognized as independent entities in contemporary Arabic linguistics. 2·5· The Past is the Present: A Modern

Logical Matrix

The Old-New dichotomy is not the only model in which Arabic language history is understood via interpertations other than those provided by the comparative method. A further approach to reading the formative years of Arabic language history, the eighth and ninth centuries, is to project the present-day Arabic realities back onto this early period. This approach was encountered in a different context among the truisms in Ch. 1 (sect. 1.6.2). If today Arabic is marked by a digIossic, high-low, Standard Arabic-dialect dichotomy, the SallIe difference is discerned in the past as well. In this interpretation, Sibawaih's task for instance is seen as deSCribing a 'high form of


" h was, app arently, aware of.th 'a colloquial Arabic' (Al-Nassir 1993: 116). Sibawal h h' h ' b fundamentally concerned only WI t e Ig form of the language, ut d e ' g the difficult question of h obviates the nee lor POSIll Th· variety. IS approac . . f S'bawaih's and other early . h d' I ents constItutive 0 I defimng t e Iverse e e m . . I .n available ruIes to a . d fi . , thinking' Sibawalh task IS seen as app yt g grammanans. I . al r n trices 41 Like other OgIC a , however, It e nes I predefined anguage corpus.. ic Ian ua e history by ignoring three away the problem of understandmg Arab gig. f Arabl'c in Sibawaih's . f c comp eXlty 0 . I' key elements. First, the relatIve mgUls I. . . h'ch Sibawaili was . r stIc context III w I h day is ignored. Second, t e SOCIO mgUl c d ' Arabic countries today. b . alent to that loun m ak working is t en to e eqUlv . h' . al relation between modern Thirdly, it is silent about the comparative Istonc native varieties of Arabic and older ones.

2.6. The Arabic Tradition . . fl the . .nk .t a ropriate to mentIOn bne y Before moving to the conclusIOn I thl I ~p. hich a good part of '. . f al traditIOn, upon w analytic baSIS of the ArabiC gramma IC . . 'ssing in it. The term IS ml . Arabic morpho· . al perspectIve this chapter draws. In general a h Istonc ., • C ' h' ch IS Important III tll§l'source, root, underlymg lorm, w I I ' al source, akin to deep logical theory (Owens 2000) usually refers to a TOhgIC the verb qaala 'he said', structure in earlier forms 0 f generaf Ive grammar. I usd rived via general ruIe is said to have the (asl qawala, with the form qaa ~ e qawala is histor• converting an a WV sequence to aa. There is no claIm that ica1Iy anterior to qaala, however. . f change. However, 'nl of the notIOn 0 The grammarians were certal y aware I ' al matrix rather than by a lc gh a discussion by the the issue was treated within the framework of.a °dgth . b mphfie systematic methodology. ThiS may e exe . rou h I'S a synoptic attempt I f's al-Iqttraa . the ) S ate grammarian Suyuti (d. 15 04. UYU.I 't had developed III . • . I' . f theory as I .. to distill principles of ArabIC mgUls IC . I ant to cite Suyutt III . 9) It Isre ev previous seven centuries (see SuIelman 199 '. ther nearly all threads th b he bnngs toge IS context, despite his late date, ecause . the origin of language of previous Arabic theory in one work. Disc~ssmg like layna 'where' 1 (3 -S), Suyuti adduces the example 0 f non- declined b' nouns ually are inflected as • many'. Nouns m . Stand ard Ara IC us and kam 'how o

. . g sentences. Hoffiz • tl di atched in a few summ.anzm bic Language has Early Arabic language history IS frequen y re-Islamic times, the Ara.. rojection IS) for instance, states as a matter of fact that smc:rdialects of Arabic'. That is a p written, extsted in two forms, Literary Arabic ... and the t There is, strictly speaking, literature later circumstances onto pre-Islamic times IS . nly interpretations of the 0 liter.,." I . riod Itself, 0 :-1 ~e attested from the pre-Is amlc pe th . th century. which, as seen in Ch.l, sect. 1.2, derives largely from e nUl 41



s~ ~olloqui ap~aren



Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics

nomin~ti"le, accusative, and genitive, theoretically kam-un kam-an kam-in respectIve y kam howeve h . fl . " I Ar b' . , . r, as no m ectIOn, being invariably kam. .n adIC grammatIcal theory eac h word c1ass h as certain unmarked propert Ies, an one of those of no . . fl . lack thO uns IS case m ectIOn. Should a subclass of nouns rna' t ~s bPalrope~, a reason for this lack needs to be found, in order to m am ance m the system (Ver t h ) . k s eeg 1977· One of the reasons for the lack of infl t' ec Ion m am was said t b b . al-istilJmaal) Th' 0 e ecause of Its frequent use (ka(}rat . ISt wasI a general explanato ry d ' app l'Ied il l to certain freq . eVIce e sewhere as we uen y-occurnng word form h' h C il d k (. s W IC la e to show an expected property (e g I . . am ya u It was not' for lam y k ) I h fk th a un. n t e case 0 am e discussion went b d h' did not imply th e~okn t. IS :xplan.at.ion to speculation whether (frequent use' a am m lact ongmally h d full' fl . Frequent use then d d' a a m ectIOn, kam-un, etc. re uce It Suyuti allo thO ation he prefers h e l l ' . WS IS as a possibility. The explanf h . , owever, 10 owmg the 1 t' marian ?Axfi h' h ' so u Ion 0 t e nmth-century gramas , IS t at at ItS very " A ongm, rabs had realized that kam and other such words w Id b fr ou e equently d d h the case endings on th d use ,an t ey therefore did away with The 100'i al ' . ese ~or s even before they could be used. o--C matrIX IS eVIdent her . . e m two ways. First, the very supposition that kam had case d' h b en mgs IS derived fr om teo servation that in the unmarked instance no h . ' uns ave case endi h IS a noun, therefore ka b ngs: nouns ave case endings, kam . m can e assumed t h . .' eVIdence supporting th . once 0 ave had case. No lIngUIstIC . . e assumptIOn of a [, adduced, however. Second S " ormer case endmg presence IS deduction: the Ar b . 'hu~!I ~ preferred solution equally rests on logical a s m t elr wlsdo (Irk knowing they would hay b m I rna) suppressed case endings The clOrmulation is rathee . ecome th c redundant und er t h e fr equent use clause. r m e 10rm o f , . word classes, in certam' gr . a grammatIcal constraint: certalll b ammahcal .. . " POSItIons will lack case endings. From oth perspectives there is no li tive, that a change kam-un (ngmstIc sense, from a contemporary perspecaccount (see Bohas and G etc.)--+kam can b countenanced in Suyutl.,s ill e . ) u aume 19 4' L h 8 SlOn . ' arc er 200sb, for further discus0


At the risk of sounding polemical 't' ... to say that a histOrical lin . . ,1 IS no cntlclsm of the Arabic tradition A din gulstIc perspect' I Ccor g to the definition f h' . Ive was acking in their theory. lin " . 0 Istoncal r " gulstICS eXists only when th . mguIShcs adopted here, historical and th· h e comparatIve m th d . . e 0 IS systematically applied, . IS met od did not exist until ArabIC tradition lay elsewh . the lllneteenth century. The genius of the (Owens 88) ere, m the realm f c . 19 ,and probably with . 0 lOrmal synchronic grammar out h . a highly developed theoretical interest I ~ink it inconceivable that whIch'IS trea ted here, could suc h abench source of data, only a small part of ave en gathered and systematized. Indeed,


I think the descriptive and theoretical achievement of the Arabic grammarians is enhanced when compared to the inconsistent and unsystematic attempts of modern Western scholars to develop a coherent account of Arabic language history against the backdrop of a badly applied comparative linguistics.

2.7. Conclusion The conclusion is a sobering one. Put simply, after over one hundred and fifty years of Western research on the language, there is no meaningful comparative linguistic history of Arabic. The distinction Old Arabic-Neo-Arabic was postulated on the basis of a logical matrix, not one grounded in comparative linguistic theory. The Western Arabicist tradition has either accepted the distinction as the working basis for Arabic language history without reflection (e.g. Brockelmann) or has allowed often incisive and pointed comparative linguistic observations (as frequently in Fischer and Jastrow 1980 ; Fischer 1995) to be pressed into the Old Arabic-Neo-Arabic mold in which it does not fit. 42 Clearly the problem today does not lie in the lack of data. The last forty years have given us a wealth of dialectal data, which, as seen above, can be correlated with data from the Old Arabic era, and also can be used to expand upon our knowledge of proto-Arabic. It is clear that in the present exposition modem Arabic dialects are given a much more important role in the interpretation of Arabic linguistic hist?ry than is usually the case. In part, this is simply a rectification of p~st ~r~ctICe. As seen, Arabic dialects have largely been excluded from this sub ~Isclpl~e by fiat. Arabic linguistic history, however, is no more coterminous WIth a ~IStOr: of Arabic dialects than it is with a history of the Classical language. Flelsc.her s goal of a holistic Arabic is as cogent today as it was 150 years ago. It will be reached, however, only with the basis ofa grounded linguistic methodology, and this involves inter alia a principled exposition of relations between modern , , . d b d sources and whatever old ones that are available. In the broad scenano escn e here, Arabic is better conceptualized not as a simple linear dichotomous 42 Th ' d' " II (9 6) was essentially shouted ." d ere are of course dissenting voices in thiS para Igm. vO ers 1 0 doWn fir b .. d' t V. llers's account m hIS mtro uc, st y the then contemporary Arab traditIOn (accor mg 0 0 II tio f th ' ) d I t by his German co eagues e presentation of his thesis in AlgIers, 1906: 3 ,an a er ' t h ncient n 0 (e,g. Noldeke 1910). Rabin states sinIply that 'The modem colloquial here [Yemen] contmues lifi~a . dial ' ( 'ked b concrete exemp catIOn, eel 196011986: 564). Unfommately, this statement is not hac up Ymore, ' dial cts, and if and 't ' , t i n u e his ancient e "fi rk f I IS not dear whether Rabin considers other dialects not to con they d ' ' T h is also the sIgIll cant wo 0 B' on t, what criteria are set to distinguish the different cases. ere, ' the Old/New paradigIfi ttkeland (1940) on pausal forms which unusually for someone working ~, d appli " .. . ssed ' ter detail m sects, 8.1 an 8.9. es pnnclples of comparative linguistics. This IS discu m grea

Old Arabic and Comparative Linguistics development the Old vs N r b h' eo sp It, ut rather as a multiply-branching bush whose stem ' represents t e language ' tain a structure barel d" . h 1,300 years ago. Parts of the bush mainy IstmgUls able from its . r .. parts in which an Old-New dicho . . . source-m mgUlstlC terms of the bush are marked b iki tO~lZatlOn IS w?olly irrelevant. Other parts them as much fr h Ystr ng differences, differences which distinguish fr om ot er parts of the appe d complex organism whl'ch" n ages as om the stem. It is a resists a simple des . t' . ous structure. cnp IOn m terms of a dichotomIn the following six cha t h and modem d'al p ers t rough case studies based both on Old Arabic I ect sources I furth Ii New dichotomy for d . er exemp fy the irrelevance of the Oldun erstandmg Arab' r " . same time the need t lC mgUlstlC history and at the . 0 approach the sub)' ct fr . . ., perspective. e om a comparative lInguistIC

3 Case and Proto-Arabic It is a fundamental precept of comparative and historical linguistics that genealogical affiliation can only be established on the basis of concrete linguistic features, the more central the feature the more important for classificatory purposes. While there is no absolute consensus about how a central linguistic feature can be identified, it can be taken as axiomatic that long-term reconstruction and classification rests most fundamentally on phonological and morphological criteria. Of these two, Hetzron (1976b) has argued that it is the morphological which is the most important because morphology represents the level of grammar that is both more complex and more arbitrary in the sense that the sound-meaning dyad has no natural basis. Precisely this arbitrariness ensures that morphological correspondences are relatively unlikely to be due to chance . . Though Hetzron's principles of genetic classification were surely colored by ~IS experience in comparative Semitic and Afroasiatic, where there are strikIng morphological correspondences to be found between languages widely separated both geographically and diachronically (see example (14) in sect. 1.6.9 above), his principle of morphological precedence, as it can be dubbed, may be taken as a general working hypothesis. Unquestionably, morphological case belongs potentially to the basic morphological elements of a language. ~ether morphological case belongs to the basic elements of a language family IS, of course, a question requiring the application of the comparative method. Iniger-Congo, N' for example, case apparently does not belong to the protolanguage, 1 whereas in Indo-European it is a key element of the proto-language ~Antilla 1972: 366). In Afroasiatic, to which Arabic belongs, the status of case In the proto-language is, as yet, undecided. NonetlIeless, tlIe assumption of ~ case system within at least some branches of tlIe language family, Semitic In particular (Moscati et al. 1980), has had consequences both for the ~ an overview of Niger-Congo languages edited by Bendor-Samud of the ten or so Niger-Congo Ba

es, only the Ijoid languages appear to have some case marking (1990:.115). My

co~eagues at

yr~~, Gudrun Miehe and Carl Hoffman, both with long experience in NIger-Congo, mform me

_1:1. that It IS very ••U.1111"ely that case belongs to the proto-language.


Case and Proto-Arabic

conceptualization of relations within Semitic and for the reconstruction of the proto-language for the entire family. Given the as yet uncertain status of morphological case at the phylum level, I believe a critical appraisal of its st~tus at all genealogical levels to be appropriate. Within this perspective in this chapter, I seek to elucidate the interplay between case conceptualization and the reconstruction of one proto-variety, namely Arabic. Given the importanc: of Arabic within Semitic, conclusions reached regarding this language Will have consequences for the subfamily and beyond, as I will attempt to show. . The ch~pter consists of five parts. In sect. 3.2, I briefly review the status of case In the vanous branches of Afroasiatic. Here it will be seen that a case system is not s~lf-evide~tl~ a property of the entire phylum. In sect. 3.3, I turn to case in Classical Arabic, Inter alia considering the descriptive work ofSibawaih, who as h~s bee~ seen, was instrumental in defining the nature of Classical Arabic. Fmally, III sects. 3·4 and 3.5, I consider the evidence for case in the modem Arabic dialects, addressing in particular the question of whether the dialects should be seen as being the offspring ofa case-bearing variety and if not whether caseless varieties are inn t' b k ' .. ova lve or go ac to a caseless form of proto-SemitIC.

3·1. Introduction Probably the most . . d fi' promInent difference between Old Arabic however t: nd~ffid III t~e 'past literature, and modern dialects, the one at the head of e I erenhatmg list (Flick 195 Bl 0: 2, see sect. 2.3.2 above; Fischer 1982a: 83; 988)' Id :'12 IS the case and mode inflectional system. It is thus time to tum , au to a etal ed c 'd . relati h' b onsl eratlOn of this phenomenon in the debate about the Ar b ons Ip etween Old Arab' IC, proto- a ic, and the modern dialects. I 'll WI concentrate exclusively on th al fi . short-voweI nomm . al'mflectlOn. . e centr eature of Arabic case marking, 3·2.

Case in the Afroasiatic Phylum

The phylic unity of Afroasiatic r . . . branches of the ph I . h' ests on striking correspondences found III all y urn Wit In the v bal d ' al markers (in pron d er an pronommal systems. Person , (SG ouns an lor verbs) f i · · and PL), -nV'IPL' ( . . ' or mstance, m -k 'second person ' a second and tholrd fr Chadlc) ' s,...., J'th·Ifd person, person plural form dmill (nasal lacking in Ched' )om the consonantal person marker + u + (nasal) a IC are found in all b h . entiated according to fixi ranc es. Verb conjugations dIffer' ) th b ng and suffixing cIasses (.m various distrib uhons are found in three f pre o e ranches, Semitic, Cushitic, and Berber, while the

Case and Proto-Arabic


other two, Egyptian (suffix only) and Chadic (prefix only) have conjugatio.ns with clear correspondences to one or the other (see e.g. Rossler 1950; VOigt 1987; Diakonoff 1988). It is therefore equally striking that only two of the five 2 branches, Semitic and Cushitic, have languages with morphological case systems. Even within these two branches there is a good deal ?f variat~o.n among individual languages, and the question of the extent to. whICh CUShl:IC case corresponds to Semitic is far from clear. In sect. 3.2.1, I bnefly summanze the situation for Cushitic, and in sect. 3.2.2, that for Semitic. 3-2.1.

Case in Cushitic

While many of the Cushitic languages have case systems, it is by no means clear that they derive from a proto-Cushitic case system. Such a proposal ~as been put forward by Sasse (1984) where a proto-Cushitic case system With nominative opposed to accusative is postulated. 3 Against this Tosco (1993, in the spirit of Castellino 1978: 40) has argued that the origin of many Cushitic nominative markers lies in a focus morpheme. Tosco's argument is based on both universal and fonnal considerations, the main features of which are as follows. h First of all he notes (as have a number of scholars before hi~~ t.hat t e . ) d'lstmc . t'IOn III . Cushltlc IS typonominative-absolutive (roughly = accusative logically odd since it is the nominative which is the marked fonn by a n~ber of criteria. It is the nominative noun, for example, which is morphologically marked (see (1) VS. (2»,4 e.g. Oromo. 2 • II h t th re are hclassificatory questions I assume a very traditional Afroasiatic family tree, we aware t a . e t treatment of at all levels. I do not think, at this point, that such questions bear crucially on t e presen case, however. h Is . rth h did not mark s ort vowe , Berber and Chadic do not have case. Since Egyptian 0 ograp Y 'f Callender's (1975) wh eth er or not ancIent ' EgyplIan . had a case system IS . d'fficult to know. Even .I f bal forms is I . . 0 f the functional.behaVIOr 0 ver ' usative -a) is attempt to reconstruct ancient Egyptian cases on the b aslS g nommatlve -u,talace . on the nght track, his attribution of fonnal VaIues to them (e.. . text with short uI . at best, at worst no more than the filli ng m . f an Egyptian consonan spec alIve O t ct a case system Vocalic values taken over from Classical Arabic. Petracek (1988: 40) does not recons ru

for ancient Egyptian. . t ctible. Diakonoff (1988: 60) 3 Sasse leaves open the possibility that other cases mIght be r~,;; ru all apparently, by its ",ve 'gh how this system proposes an 'abstract' proto-Afroasiatic case system, c~aractenze aho abst .. b tw n I ~ U vs -a ~ IU, t hou ractness. Fonnally there was an opposItion e ee '. d ail D'akonoff's reconstrucWorked functionally at the proto-Afroasiatic stage is not spelled out ~ et . t I all the criticisms of f Ion rests largely on data from Semitic and Cush'ItlC, . and hence . IS open rth 0 his entire reconpo tul . . ed' th· sectIOn Fu ennore, 'on 'that the proto-language was an s .atmg a proto-Cushitic case system contam. m IS stru~lOn of Afroasiatic case is based on the dubl?~ assumptl his claims for Beja, Sidamo, and ergaltve one. His claim (1988: 59) that Oromo (and slmilru:ly, I sus~) . terious (see Owens 1985). Ometo) is an ergative language (or has traces of an ergatIve system. IS ffiYS b)'ect of the intransitive • Greenberg (1978: 95, universal)8) notes that ifthere IS . a case system, the su verb Will be marked by the least marked case (also Croft 1990: 104).


Case and Proto-Arabic

(I) namicc-i

ni-dufe man-NOM pre v-came 'The man came'.

(2) namicca

arke man (ABS) saw 'He saw the man'.

The unmarked absolutive serv th b . r fu .. .. (ka) 'n" es as e aSls lor rther mflectIOns, cf. gerutlve . namlcc-aa of the man'. Furthermore, the nominative has a more restncted distribution lim't d nl h . leo y to t e subject, and is far less frequent in . ' texts. In these POInts th C h" '. . . e us Ihc nommatIVe has close affinities to grammatICahzed topics. Reviewing the literatu C h'· . re on us Ihc languages, Tosco further shows that a su ffix -I throughout the bran h H'ghl .. . , . ., c , e.g. I and East Cushlhc (e.g. Sidamo mm-I 'h ouse-I, Central Cu h'f (A . , ~ I ~c wngl -kl), is found which marks not only subiect b th J s ut 0 er tOPlcalized co t't f al' d ' ns I uents as well. Where -i has been gramrna IC Ize as a subject mark th k ' I I . er 0 part ICU ar y common In th' fu er. mar ers develop as topicalizers. An - n is Oromo. IS nctlOn, as perhaps exhibited in the Harar

(3) namicca-n arke man-topic saw 'I saw the man'. Relating the Cushitic data to S .. . . reconstructio '. er~l1hc, It IS furthermore noteworthy that Sasse's n, nommatIVe ,. 1/ u ab 1 t· ,. d tl correspond to the th al - -, so u Ive -a oes not self-eviden y ree-v ued S 'ti only widespread no' . l' eml c system. In fact, as Tosco shows, the mInatIVe- ike (Tosco' t 'cali ) . is _i.5 It is true that' .. s Opl zer mflection on full nouns d th h .. h a nommatIVe' u is f, part of the article 0 d . oun roug out Cushlt1c, thoug as 'thiS-NOM' vs ka r 'the~onstrahve, not as a nominal affix (e.g. Oromo kuni , . na Is-ABS') 6 M .. . Semitic, overwhehn' gl (C . oreover, Cushlt1c case marking is, unlike In y entral C h'· Oromo are exceptional) h us Ihc Awngi (Hetzron 1976a: 37) and rase Pall final. In Somali, for instance, where the nominative subJ'ect is gener y shown b I . has in absolutive case " , Y owenng a tone from H to L, one , nm man ~ NOM nin, but NOM nin-ku 'the man', 'Inan be . urn r of HighIand East Cushif I onn IS phonologically determined relati IC tan:ages (Hudson 1976: 253 If.) the nominative (or topic) or -a It IS - i, if in -0 it is _u. ve 0 e absolute form: if the absolute ends in a front vowd • Paradoxically the Sem' . most f th ' Itlc articleldemonstra . 1 . 0 e Semitic languages (includin Class' live ~em is neither particularly unified, nor do 969. 47) show case differentiation in it (~o I~ ArabIC and most stages of Akkadian, Von Soden scali et aI. 1980: 110). f,

Case and Proto-Arabic where the determiner assumes the low tone, allowing nin to re-assume its unmarked absolutive form with high tone (Saeed 1987: 133). Any attempt to link this Cushitic data to Semitic case would have to account for significant structural mismatches. To these problems can be added that of the Cushitic genitive, which neither Sasse nor Tosco integrate into their models, both cognizant of the special problems accompanying the task. To summarize this section, while it is certainly correct, paraphrasing and changing Sasse's (1984: 111) formulation slightly, to speak of certain Cushitic endings as bearing 'a striking resemblance to certain formatives ... in other Afroasiatic branches', it does not appear possible, at this point at least, to link these directly to Semitic case markers. Even assuming a link to be possible, it would not automatically follow that it would be made in terms of case. Indeed, given that it is only the Semitic branch (following Tosco for Cushitic) which unequivocally has a proto-case system, it would not be surprising if such a system developed at the proto-stage Semitic out of markers of another type. 3·2.2. Semitic case

It is not my purpose here to review the literature on case in Semitic. The situation in Arabic will be reviewed in detail anyway in the next two sections. For present purposes two basic points need to be made. First, although a three-valued case system (nominative -u, accusative -a, genitive -i) can be reconstructed for proto-Semitic, only a minority of wellattested Semitic languages have it. Moreover, assuming Moscati et al:s tripartite classification of Semitic into Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest subbranches, caseless languages (or dialects) are attested in each sub-branch. The earlier stages of Akkadian (Northeast) had it, though after 1000 BC the c~e system showed clear signs of breaking down. 7 ~ost ofth~ Northwest Se~I~I~ languages did not have case (Hebrew, AramaiC, Phoneclan), only UgantlC 7

The outside observer may be slightly disquieted by Von Soden's observation (1969: 80) that even

in Old Assyrian and Old Babyloman . ' He, exceptIOns to the expected case-marking system f occur. h' . '(~) attrib utes these to orthographic errors or to "bad pronuncIation ., A closer study 0 suc errors would be interesting 8 Even Semiticists' are not unified about which Semitic languages demonstrably have case systems. ' (1969: 161) in a minority opinion, cautIons . case Rab m that t h ere 'IS not enough data to reconstruct " Se"' " "" g the attested case-beanng IDltlC synt ax m Ugaritic and hence does not include Ugantlc amon "' ) b t I 'i ( posed to Wemnger s 1993 one, u anguages. He has a two-valued case system for G:I :lZ as op . th Akkadi b W uld ' " . 'etymoloaicaIly WIth e So an od a soo apparently rather identify the G:I'i:lZ 0 nommatIve 0" lutive (i.e. lack of morpholoaical case) than with Classical Arabic -u (1969: ~96). me m "ern Ethi " 0" daril d eloped an object case, sometlmes ?~Ian Semitic languages (e.g. Amharic -n) have secon "y ev had case is based sens~tlve to definiteness features. Barth's (1898: 594) assumptIon that p~oto-He~e1 caseless variety, cruCIally on the assumption that proto-Semitic had case and only case (l.e. no p uld e J"ustI"fy "artIcle, " no mo~ see sect. 3.5). Reading between the lines of his however,lY IS clear that one co

Case and Proto-Arabic and " It. T h e situation . with Ugaritic in this respect . Eblaitic (probably) " possessmg IS not very satIsfymg as th I d' . eon y Irect eVIdence for case endings comes from the word-fi I b lfi' na sym 0 or the glottal stop I G d '( 6 . to barely ten n I fr . n or on s 19 5) leXicon, these amount . oun exemes om h' h th structed It is t h h . W IC e entire case system must be con. no ewort y t at neither R b' ( 6 (1988' 39) list U .. a m 19 9, see n. 8 above) nor Petnicek . gantIc among the ca b . S " Cl' se- eanng emltIc languages. Among the Southwest Semitic I logical terms atteste~ns~~:es 0--asslcal Arabic ~as it, though G;:)'i;:)z (in chronoin a way which self- 'd 135 500 years earher) probably did not, at least not eVI ent ycorrespond 'th h h system. The modern Ethio i s ' . s WI t e tree-valued proto-Semitic the modern Arabl'c d' I P TChemltIclanguagesdo not have it (seen. 8),nordo la ects. e mode S h A b' it, while the situatio fi . . rn out ra Ian languages do not have r From a distrib t~ °al eplgraph~c South Arabic is unclear due to the script. u IOn perspective ways. First it can b d one can approach the problem in two , e assume that th . . varieties where not att t d Th' e cases are ongmal and lost in those es e. IS of cou . h I' rse, IS t e approach taken by most Semiticists (e g Mos t' '. . . ca I et a. 1980' 94) d Id . mdlrectly at least by th' . .' , an cou be said to be supported h e SituatIOn m Akk d' d a Ian were the breakdown of a case system is diachronicall y atteste . A seco d h . caseless situation as 0 " I h n approac would be to view the . ngma, t e Akk d' d . mnovative. This is probl " . a Ian an ClassICal Arabic system as ematIc m VIew of th f: h .. of the languages in ab I e act t at Akkadian IS the oldest h so ute terms and th , a t t e case system in the two Ianguages is in general t . erms comparable It· nlik m the same way indep d tl . IS U ely that the two innovated d 'f . . . en en y of each oth b k' er, an I they did not, a common ongm pushes the case syst ., . em ac mto the th at the proto-language h d proto-stage. A thud solutIOn IS a two systems (tw d' I ' . case, one without. I will b d . 0 la ects as It were), one WIth e eVelopmg this p " thi ch apter. For the moment't ffi erspectlve m the rest of s ,I su ces to not th . at t he proto-Semitic stage' e at postulatmg a caseless variety IS supported by f: il . am y-mternal distributional facts, namely the broad range ofS " I anguag h' h (to tum the argument I'nt demlt\c d. es w IC do not have case systems ro uce m th . e prevIOus point on its head) and the arguments of the previou' AfroaslatlC, " s section, is probabl ' . where it was seen t hat Semitic case' within y mnovatIve. '

Case and Proto-Arabic Second, it can be noted that in the Semitic languages with a case system there are contexts where, in synchronic terms, the system is neutralized. In the Akkadian genitive relation, the possessed noun does not bear case (or appears in the so-called absolute form) before a nominal possessor, and before a pronominal possessor generally only when the possessed noun ends in a vowel (Von Soden 1969: 82 ff., 189 ff.).

(4) beel-0 biit-i-m master-0 house GEN-M 'master (0 = "absolute" case) of the house' affas-su wife-his In Classical Arabic the neutralization, at least in traditional accounts (see sects. 1.6.3,, occurs in pausal position. Besides raising questions of the functional centrality of case in Semitic (see sects. 3.3.1), the presence of these caseless contexts suggests that even those Semitic languages with morphological case systems possessed traces of the caseless variety. I will touch on further caserelated comparative aspects of Semitic below (sects. 3·3·3, 3-4. 2, 3.5)· Brief though the remarks in the present section are, they are consistent enough to underscore Petnicek's conclusion (1988: 41, see also Rabin 19 69: 191), based on comparative Afroasiatic data, that 'the robustly structured case system of Semitic can be regarded as a Semitic innovation' (,Die pragnant gebildete Struktur des Kasussytems im Semitischen (-u, -i, -a) durfen wir als eine semitische Innovation ansehen.'). If this point is accepted, however, there emerges a further Semitic-internal issue, namely at what point Semitic itself deVeloped a case system, and whether this development represented the ancestor of all Semitic languages or only some of them. In the re~t of this chapter I will attempt to show that a detailed consideration of the Issue for proto-Arabic will provide one important component in answering the question. 3·3· Classical Arabic

the reconstruction of a case s system from the ystem from intemal Biblical H ebrew sources than one can an Arabic case assumed pr t Semodem ArabIC dialects. There are o 0- mltle case no attempts t len for example I'S system disappeared so c I 0 my owledge to explain how the •. not so mu h omp etely th gh to determine th I e an attempt to justify the . rou out the family. Moscati (195 8), e Semitic languages/en~of the assumed endings G~ssumthPtIO? of a family-wide proto-case system as . Iven e slgnificant counter-evidence that some disappearen f vanetles never had a case system ' ee 0 case from these varieties be' ' 11 ~ay minimally be expected that the assumed gIven a unified explanation.

It should by now be becoming clear that the assumption that there is a clear distinction between those Semitic languages with case systems and those Without, the latter possessing, in this respect, an older trait than the former~ is perhaps not so unproblematic as represented in the textbooks (e.g. Mosc~tl et al. 1980; Fischer 19 82a ). In this section I examine the status of case. III Classical Arabic in greater detail using two sources. In sect. 3.3.1, I summanze , . ' Old the work of Corriente, not adequately mtegrated Illto the debate about


Case and Proto-Arabic

~abic, p~rhaps because his views about case in Old Arabic are somewhat ~~onoclastIc and perh~ps because Corriente himself did not follow his own eas .to a further logICal conclusion. In sect. 3.2, I turn to the grammarian Whlo, .If not li~~ founder of Classical Arabic, doubtlessly played a more pivotal roemexp ctl dfi' . C . hth lye m~g Its lOrm than any other individual, namely the elg -century grammanan S'b . a more precise insight lawaI'h' ,m order to gam . th ~n~~ ethnature of t~e Classical Arabic which he defined. This account will mltIate e companson between th e Classical language and the modem 'al dI ects, a necessary st . h d' . d d'al ep m t e Iscusslon of Blau's theory deriving the mo ern I ects from the Classical language A work which took a philolo . al .. Diem's ( ) d gIC perspectIve a diachronic step deeper is 1973 stu y of case endin . th A b' inscriptions of the Arabs of Nab gs m. e ra IC words found in the Aramaic 100 Be 9 Diem h h . ataea m southern Jordan, dating from about . sows t at ArabIC perso al C • • ., • not show traces f I' . n names lOund m the mscnptlons dId o a Ivmg case system If D' ,. . . correct it would h . lem s mterpretatIOn of the data IS , mean t at the old t ' t 'd ized by a linguistic t .t th I k es ~I ten eVl ence of Arabic is charactersaid to be a chara t r~1 '. e ac of functIOnal case endings, which is otherwise U Arab1c . (see sect. 3.2.2). c enstIC par excellence 0f l'1eO3·3·1. Corriente

In a series of articles (1971, 1 1 . Arabic stood at the d f d973 , 975, 1976), Cornente argued that Classical en 0 a eVelopment d th· ... or less fixed form w d . 1 ' an at Its crystallzatlon m a more as ue marge part t th fii ians. Many of the . h o e e orts of the Arabic grammarpomts e makes 1 t th evidence of two main s rt l' . .re.a e to e case system. These include . . 0 s, mgUlstlc mternal . t . matIon of the philol 'cal m erpretatlOns, and an exanIogI record. The first perspective is promin . . showed that the funct' al . 1 ent m hIS 1971 article where Corriente Ion yte d of Cl 'cal Ar . contexts where a diffie f . assl ablc cases-roughly those rence 0 meamng b fii alone-is vanishingly I Whil can e e ected by a change of case ow. e one rna ·th case ~ystems generally have a hi de yagree WI Blau (1988: 268) that ArabIC case is functionall ghd gree of redundancy, the point stands that C y not eeply integrated mto . lOrms, furthermore . the grammar. The case , are not well mtegr t d . They are marked by a lack of allomo a e mto ~e morphology (1971: 47)· end of the word, with little rphy, exceptlOnlessly tacked on to the morpho-phonological interaction with either • The Nabataean Arabs used . zeigen versueht CC£ galb-ha -+ galb-~-ha 'her heart ria do not affect the present

Morocco and Alge, d I ment one . many dialects The significant exceptions, like C of _.-.;nt is either a secondary eve oPI I ormany disc2.liSSlOn, · smce . .m them the liftin·g of the *CC co...,,_· as discussed furth· er m Ch. 6 be ow. n ern

which must also be included in the proto-languag~ d . the same epenthetic effect, e.g. East dialects a final pause, #, has the same status as a C, m ucmg

Libya leab/# -+ Iea"!./#.


Case and Proto-Arabic

Case and Proto-Arabic

It should be noted here that in a few d'al .. sequence ofWC C d ' 1 ects, e.g. NaJdI (Ingham 1994a: 17) a - wor mternally induces th h . hum --. beeti-hum 'th . h ' . e same epent eSlS effect, beetI elr ouse, I.e. CCC rv VVCC --. C/VVC~ n very general terms-here and els h I ' " . ~w ere am summanzmg the vanants in broad strokes-th ( ) I ' elsa so utlOn IS found . t al' . Arabic 30 rural Iraqi H ( , m er la, m eastern Libyan , , oran northern Jordan) E' . of Asyut, and the east Nil ' most gyphan dIalects south the Shukr' d'al ern e delta (Behnsted and Woidich 1985: s6) and in Iyya 1 ect of the Sudan (Reich th 8 ' mu 19 3: 70). The (ISb) solution is employed in most Egypt" d'al Ian 1 ects north of As t Ch d' d v " yu , a Ian an Nigerian Arabic, Najdi Arabic d . ' an most Lemem dIalects. The epenthehc vowel is usuall a h' h Y Ig vowel whose precise value, front, back or mid is determ' d b , me Yconsonantal c t xt I C ing WSA and Cairene th al f h on e . n a lew dialects, includ, e v ue 0 t e epenthet" I' d . nature of the follow' lC vowe IS etermmed by the mg consonant formed by th . three epenthetic vowel v a l ' e pronommal suffix. There are occurs before -ha and thues'JI'~, a]. [u] OCcurs before a suffix with [u], [aJ o efWIse [1] occurs.31 (16) WSA and Cairene galb-u-hum 'their M heart' (C . galb-u-ku' alrene has ?, ?albuhum, etc. here)

galb-a-ha galb-i-hin galb-i-ki galb-i-na In addition, it can be noted in sequences of three consonants. passing, there are dialects which allow (17) galb-kum (Najdi, also Ros nh



. ouse 1984: 72 m certain conditions in

A second type f th·· I . 0 epen eSlS IS dependent th . ess Widespread than the first typ h on. e.quality of consonants. This is Arabic-speaking world 'f .e, tough IS still found in most parts of the fi . . wo mam subtypes b d' . can e Istmguished here. The rst IS what Blanc termed th ' h e ga awa syndrome,' t h e eponymous gahawa I think it like! th all "" Y at modem North Afri . An Identical rul .h can dialects empl 30

. ch. 40 9). Discussi e WIt a part the epenthetic insertion oy a.vanant of this solution. Sibawaih notes th:~ ~he Im~r~tive of doubled verbs which h:~ntexts. IS attested in Sibawaih (II: 163, with that of th on-HI/ali speakers add a vowel betw e a third person singular object suffix, That the vowe~ i~r:nominal suffix, so that one has rudd_a_hee~ verb a~d ~tem. The vowel is harmonic aa Hi/'azi """"'entat" pe(nthenc, not functional is clear fr th return 1t.F and rudd-u-hu 'return it.M'. --"'.. Ion essentiaIIy (14 ~~:f;t ,the fi~st position (i.e. rnabniy lalaa ~a?ayta. did you see' (II: 461. 23) 13 ~ go to (461: 6) or hal raPayta ---> har Imperative singular verb + ant~les therefore are typically either accounted f, b ( b ' or Particle + NN.• Such examples are o or y 8 ), Without the ne d £

For Sibawaih, then (8a) applies within words, and between words only when the two consonants are identical; (8b) applies across word boundaries, with an input in which two consonants abut on one another. In Sibawaili, while (8a) and (8b) are needed as independent rules, there is no evidence that they should be construed in a feeding relation, with the output of (8a) feeding into the input of (Sb). This being so, a rule of the type 8a ---> sb would, in Classical Arabic phonology, be unique to the one Abu Amr reading 6 tradition. The situation can be summarized as a scala, as in (12).1

ne exception, involving V-final e or (Sa). so~~ts on either side of the word bwords, pertains to cases where the conasslIDilation is allowed , as in oundary are th e Sante. Here cross-word

(l2b) C1a -Vh#C2a ---> C2a C2a (Abu Amr)

£ II .0


(9) jalala #la-ka ---> jaflallak '

. a he made for you' (II 2 Sibawaili sets prefere h : 455. 1). th nces ere, however . . '. In particular allowing this only when e consonants are identical and C breaks up I . ' 1aVOrmg it h a ong senes of open syllabI . ~ en the deletion of the vowel es, III this case fi ( " It is relevant I th ve see sect. 2-40 2 (21) ). 0 nOle at Sibawaih' Ii Whil e Jazari, for example, allows ' . s .st of assimiIation " .. . assimilation of 1+ r (e.g. (~:~ties ~ers in detail from Jazari's. ), S,bawaih does not (II: 461. 6).

(12a) Cr Vh#C 1 ---> C1C1 (Sibawaili) (l2c) C # C ---> C C (?)

'4 As an alternative to assimilation, there is also always the possibility of keeping the consonants separate with a murmur vowel (ixfaa1l. '.5 !he change from yaqtatil to yaqtitil would appear to be interpreted by Sibawaih in terms of vowel assImilation. The vowel li/between the q and tt is an epenthetic one. The third stage is not stated explicitly by Sibawaih, though may be assumed (Orin Gensler, p.c.). '." I can dispense with one argument in favor of postulating (12a) (= (Sa)) as prior to (ub) (= (Sb)). Th,s would run along the line ofNoldeke's explanation for the lack of tanwiyn in Arabic script, namely tha~ the basis of the writing tradition are pausal forms. One could conceivably suggest that the basis of maJOr assimilation as well is pausal forms, those without final short vowels. However, while this would acc~unt for the lack of the short vowels, it hardly could simultaneously account for the assimilation, which, logically, requires lack of pause.


AI-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings

AI-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings

Example (l2a) is described by Sibawaih' (12b)' I' () . Abu Am t d" . " Imp ymg l2a as well IS the lyingly p:e:e~tlt~%~~erpreted as in Ibn Mujahid with a final vowel ~nder­ in no contexts 'Exam I er steP.w.0uld .be (l2c), with final high vowels present underlying fo.:.u (12C~ IS IdentICal to (8b), except that it is taken as the (i e (8a» Whil ,(no) . epen ent on the deletion of a final short high vowel . . . e 12C IS not described al' as I know it is a pos't' fi as a gener case m the literature, so far , I Ion open or reconstruct' I will While proving t h e ' lOn, as outline presently. non-eXistence of 8a --> 8b' I . all' 'bl plausible alternative is readil available IS OgIC Y Impossl e, a final vowels which mu t b yd I . Rather than assume the presence of s variety there are no sh rt e . eheted, a counter-assumption is that in this o h Ig vowels pr t' h . esen m t e first place. This is represented in (l2c) abo Th' fi ve. IS ormulatlOn" I'" of major assimilation a th h IS Imp ICit m the very existence ' s e p enomenon itself' t . h fi h ensible as assimilation fCC IS S ralg t orwardly compreation has the importan~ effi se~u~n~es.under close juncture. This interpretSibawaih's own descripti efct 0 nngmg the phenomenon into line with 'd on 0 cross-word assimil t' ·th h ih all a IOn: WI t e exception of I entical consonants Sib , awa ows such . il . word ends in a consonant' th fi asslm atIon only where the first . m erst place A . C fi al b aSlC input allows the al-?" J.. .' ssummg - n words as the lux aam al-kablyr t b . ..' stream medieval ArabI'c h i ' 0 e mterpreted WIthm malll'. p ono ogIcal d . Three potential problems relatin t escnptlOns. g 0 the current analysis may be mentIoned. First, my interpret f assimilation OCCurs but al a Ion assu~es a C-final input not only when h sowenass il' below) Y I am aware' that'd . lffi atlOn does not occur (see (14b) eVi ence agamst thi .. h b u Amr tradition F teA s POSItion can be found even in Amr would 'imalize' (a'a or ~xample, Ibn Mujahid (p. 149) notes that Abu . . --> Ie, see Ch ). gemtlve ending (e.g. oaat" . . , ' 7 m the context aar-i, where -i is a d' f I qarzer-m affording , Q rea Ing 0 the Abu Amr traditiO rest, 23: 50). Using a literal . il . on, one could r 't h . aSSIm atlOn to those describ d b ( lffil t e Instances of inter-word Against a literalist read' elY 8a, b) (= (12a, b» below). . mg, Would ar h .. gue t at the status of many grammatIcal elements in the Q'? tr tm Iraa aat tradItion still . ea ent, and that in some'mst awaIts detailed comparative which are not attested d' ctl a~ces reconstructed forms may be necessary Ire yma 'gl , relevant to note that a general t d ny ~In e variant. In this regard, it is neutralization of short high vowenl ency m the Abu Amr tradition is for the e s, apparently' all In contexts, not only those


17 The two positions I have ou which are deleted. Or th t11~ed either assume the und . position between th tw elr non-exJstence. Other interp eta ° erlying presence of the short vowels. r bons are b e 0 would begi fr C n om the assum bO ImagIna Ie. For instance. a t hem in contexts wh P on of their ere #C sequen ces would not be prohibit ° non-presence. introducing (l2c). ed, I.e. the set of contexts defined by 0




discussed here under the rubric of major assimilation. For instance, he was said to use ?ifmaam (see sects. 7.1.3 below and 1.6.3), apparently even word internally. I represent ?ifmaam here as an epenthetic vowel, as in S'an lasliliat;,kum 'of your arms' (Q4: 102) and in yu'iallim;,hum (,instruct them' Q2: 129, see discussion at sect., Old Arabic sources). In general, as seen at the end of sect. 4.2, Ibn Mujahid (157) reports that the Abu Amr tradition is known for the 'weakening' (taxfiyf) of various elements (especially short vowels and the glottal stop). How far this generalization goes is a matter of interpretation, one logical endpoint, weakening in all contexts, being outlined in this chapter. Second, it may be asked, if the al-?ithaam al-kabiyrtradition had as its base forms words without short vowels, why there should exist a distinction between major and minor assimilation. Minor assimilation, after all, explicitly has as base form C-final words. There are three considerations here. First, it appears that minor assimilation was common to all variants, so it would have been confusing to assimilate a tradition practiced by only some of the readers, the al-?ithaam al-kabiyr, to the al-lithaam al-§ll¥iyr. In other words, even if the phonological phenomena were identical, the fact that the al-?ithaam al-kabiyr marked two traditions, assured it of a conceptually distinct status. Second, it may be assumed that V-final forms would have been taken as the standard, if only on a formal basis. Major assimilation lacks vowels present elsewhere in the reading tradition outside Abu Amr (and perhaps, Kisati), hence the need for a special designation of this phenomenon. Third, the possibility may be held open that there were, in fact, vowels appearing word finally in the Abu Amr tradition. This is the case in those instances where assimilation (8b) occurs. After his description of the contexts where assimilation is allowed, Jazari (61) notes that as an alternative to complete assimilation, one may instead pronounce a vowel-like element, either rawm 'labialization' or ?ifmaam 'rounding and fronting' (see sect. 1.6.3). An alternative to (3), for instance, would be something like (13) qaala rabb-u-kum


qaarW rabbukum. 18

rawm neutralizes morphological marking (in both Sibawaih and Abu Amr). In what way lifmaam does is an issue beyond the confines of tlIis chapter. Evaluating the status of these vowel-like qualities within both the rea~­ ing and grammatical traditions, what I suggest is that they are epenthetlC

18 As noted above (end of sect. ,pl. rawm and PiJmaam are favored by the post-classi~ generation (al-mutalaxxariyn), which introduces a further, diachronic variable into the mterpretatlon of assimilation.

AI-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings


insertions in the C#C context, not weakenings of erstwhile case or lexical vowels. I would furthermore suggest that such insertions might occur in any C#C context, not only those where they alternate paradigmatically with assimilation. This would align the al-?id;yaam al-kabiyr tradition with the observati?ns of Qu!rub, summarized below, and it would imply that even in the al?,d;yaam al-kabiyr tradition the status of word-final consonants would have been different from the al-?id;yaam al-§tl;Yiyr, where no epenthesis occurred. Note that formally this suggestion is compatible with (sb) above. In the in~erpretation advocated here, for inter-word vowel deletion (8a) does not e~st so far as the variety used by Abu Arnr goes,19 hence (8b) can operate dIr~ctly. Such vowels as do OCcur word finally (other than those morpholOgICally determined, like vocalized pronominal suffixes) are added by rule and thus, not having underlying status do not need to be deleted. Rather than (8) a~ove, I would suggest instead that (14) describes the status of final vowels and mter-word assimilation in the al-?id;yaam al-kabiyr tradition. (14a)

Cla#~2. -+ C2 C2 (= old (8b), with assimilation under appropriate condItions)

(14b) ~a#C2


~ ;) # C2 (;) = vowel-like element)20

A third obJ·ection is that apart fr h h . d . th om t e s ort vowels, case IS also represente m. e two long-vowel suffix forms, -uwna NOM and -iyna ACC/GEN, as well as m the dual suffixes (se ct c· . e se . 2·4.4 lOr dISCUSSion of these). These are also Pd~rt Of. the .Abu Arnr tradition. At this point the inference from the current ISCUssion IS that the Abu Arn d· . r tra ltion has a case-marking system thus: (15) Short vowels -a accusative/adverbial vs. 0 or ;) Long vowels

-uwna nominative vs -iyna accusative/genitive. Nouns fall into d I . · ec enslOns, only one of which has the traditional Classical ArabIe case contrast. Of course, even in the Q p, (Q d instance f aliza . ur aan 20.63 ) there is one generally accepte hon of the .. . o neutr fi nommahve/accusative contrast. Moreover, III Koran· h Ie r yme a nal-uwna can b . al ) Taking a leaf from Kahle 1 e eqUlv ent to a final-iyna (Bell 1958: 69· ( 948) and Wansbrough (1977), one might see in the Beca

th use ere are no final vowels to d I the two consonants are identical e ete. Example (8a) operates for Sibawaih, but only when ~ I . Would assume that in the Abu Amr .. . . aI·liaqqu lea-man in reality I'S a c d'· ~adition, the stricture on maintenance of the high vowelm on Inon msertin th . g an epen etJc vowel in a CC #C sequence. 19

AI-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings


Abu Arnr tradition the remnants of a once more widespread tradition, whose bare traces are still visible, but whose substance was superseded by a different interpretation of Arabic grammar. Scholarly inquiry along these lines leads to the heart of Arabic historical sociolinguistics. I would argue that nearly one hundred years after the publication of Vollers's work, his suggestion that al-?id;yaam al-kabiyr tradition within Koranic variants has as its basis a caseless variety of Arabic is indeed a plausible approach to understanding this tradition. Indeed, against Vollers, I place this variety among the canonical variants themselves. The Koranic variants thus encompassed both varieties. Taken alone, students of the history of the Arabic language, to the extent that it is accepted at all, may not be particularly impressed by this conclusion. However, when it is linked to further, related phenomena, its significance is enhanced considerably. First, it can be recalled that the early ninth-century linguist Qu!rub had suggested that the final short vowels were non-functional. Versteegh (1983) devotes a well-researched article to Qutrub's position, which was opposed to that oflinguists such as Sibawaili. Verst;egh seeks to explain Qu!rub's views in philosophical terms. A simpler explanation is readily accessible, however. When Qutrub spoke of the morphological inconsistency of short vowels, he was simpl~ referring (in contemporary terminology) to their phonologically determined nature. He observed varieties of Arabic where the final short vowels had, as with the major assimilation tradition, no morphological value, but rather were phonologically determined. 21 Second, there are various indications in the works of the earliest grammarians, Sibawaih and Farra?, that case did not playa role in varieties of Old Arabic in certain functionally restricted domains (see previous two cha~ter~). Third as seen in the previous chapter, approaching modern ArabiC dIalectolo~ as comparative historical grammar leads to the r~constructi?n a caseless variety of proto-Arabic. In other words, reconstructIOn doveta~s With the attestation of a caseless variety of Old Arabic, as evidenced m the al-?id;yaam al-kabiyr tradition. In this instance, philology recapitulates historical reconstruction based on comparative dialectology. Before moving on to my concluding remarks, I ~o~d emph~ize that the interpretation advocated here, while situated WIthm a tradItIOn first


21 I am indebted to Ignacio Ferrando for calling my attention to this. The ~te~retation of QU!ru~ runs up against severe difficulties due to the fact that on this issue we have hiS Ideas at second h:e only, from Zajjaji (Iydaa1i: 7lr-l). In favor ofVersteegh's account is the fact that Qutrub appears to f m ., 0 f the case (;.c-aab) on case-marked forms. • the systemanaty his arguments against I,. ds In hafavor 0 Iy ve a pure y interpretation is Qutrub's overaII conclusion that the vowels at the end of wor phonological character.


Al-Idgham al-Kabiyr and Case Endings

elaborated by Vollers dra . d'ff, implications both £, 'th .ws qUIte . I erent conclusions and has different Qiraa?aat traditiono~ ;;~erpretatlOn of the history of Arabic and for the Arab' . . or 0 ers the coexistence of case and caseless forms of lC was mterpreted as primaril tyr' d' vs.low vernacular ( 1) Y a ~ IStIC dference, high, literary (case) , case ess , secondarily as a dial tal (. vs. west (Hijaz - easel ) Vi 11 ec one, east NaJd = case) historically p . ( ess) . ~ ers .was quite content to see the case variety as nmary 169 HIS major and that the Q 1', • , most controversial conclusion was ur aan was remodeled so that M h d' (Hijazi) revelatory styl c h' 0 amme s original caseless e was relas loned in the f l' on a case-based (east ) . name 0 Iterary correctness ern vanety.22 My purposes are strictly linguistic d b comparative method W'th Vi 11 ~n. are ased on the methodology of the coexisted in the eighth I 0 ers, It IS ar~ed that case and caseless forms linguistic evidence to centuryh' but agamst Vollers, there is no decisive assume t at the case fo h" even if the argument for a r ' . . .rms are Istoncally primary, this that there is no co t d~ ~stIg.e dhlfferentIalls compelling. It follows from n ra lCtIon m aving c " which no conclusion b d oeXlstmg Koranic variants, about scan e rawn as to h' t . I assuming that the read' t d" IS onca anteriority. Indeed, matical model becam mg rala ltIon~ developed before a standardizing gram1 e prevent 23 It is q 't traditions should devel . ul' UI e natura to expect that reading op slm taneously ar d . . . t he community. oun any vanetIes prevalent III Taken together with the previous cha 'd pter, the current interpretation of the .d th I Ion proVI es furth was a weakly established cat . er eVI ence at Old Arabic case ry whether it is a proto-catego eg° · ThIS allow~ the question to be raised ry at all . My answer IS that it is not. al-?idraam al-kabiyrtrad't'

22 Though I believe it more fruitful t Gensler (p.c.), while seeing the Plausibility° Pfursue the. idea that the caseless variety is oriuinal. Orin 0 postulatmg case " .,. into the proto-Ianguage, wo uld' still see the case' . . and caseIess vanetJes of Arabic . that ofAkkad' vanety as inhented fro m proto-s · . '''ven . the correspondence of the Arab'IC system WIth emItlc, work. on the baSls . 0 f an mtermediate . " He also pomts . ' out " that one might numbe f Ian and . UgantIC. certamly a furth Ii f. r 0 cases m a prot t . 23 " er ne 0 mvestigation worth coli' o-s age, a vs. ,/u for instance which is versteegh' d' " OWIng , . s stu les (1993b, 1999) have thus far . r~atICal works or schools. I would in any revealed no elaborate, sophisticated pre-Sibwaihian en century (Owens 1990). ' case, speak of a unified normative tradition only in the


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora: A Statistical Approach to Arabic Language History 5.1. Introduction The importance of the modern dialects for an understanding of the Arabic language was stressed in the introductory chapter and incorporated in various ways into historical linguistic interpretations in Chs. 2 and 3. Not to incorporate this information systematically into an account of Arabic linguistic history is to write half a history of the Arabic language. In this chapter I more explicitly develop the construct 'pre-diasporic Arabic', as explained in 1.1, an idea which relies on an examination of post-diasporic varieties. Before proceeding, the role of dialectology in historical linguistics may be briefly commented upon. Dialectology as a linguistic tradition can be viewed as a counterfoil to historical linguistics. Dialectology requires a synchronic spatial or socio-spatial starting point. Wedding dialectology and historical linguistics is of course possible, though here intrudes a problem of what may be termed 'reification'. Tracing the development of a dialect, it might be assumed that a dialect is a complete, discrete entity, comparable say to a building, which moves relatively changeless through time. Under this assumption there is a temptation to start with whatever set of features one has used to define the dialect in question, and to assume that the same set of features will cohere through time, each changing in consonance with the others. This may not be the case, however. Indeed, from a historical perspective one has to begin with the assumption that each component of language and each feature has its own history: lexis changes at a different rate from phonology, verbal morphology differently from nominal, and so on. The recognition of this is what lies behind Thomason and Kaufman's (1988 ) attempt at typologies of potential rates of change in different components of grammar.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


The fact that dialects do not change in a coherent, uniform fashion leads to a methodological and practical quandary. To do justice to the historical linguistic reality of a single dialect, one needs first to trace the dev~lop~ent of each feature which may potentially be included in a given dialect: m a gIven period of time, some features will change a little, others a lot, others not at all. It is, however, practically not possible to reconstruct the large numbers of individual features which are customarily used in defining a dialect, unless one has a great deal of time at one's disposal. Historical dialectology is not simply the history of a dialect. Fortunately, there are two factors which allow one to circumvent practical constraints, to a certain degree at least. The first is the advent of the computer, which allows the average linguist to create relatively large data bases with which complex data can be analyzed into manageable units quickly. T~e second is the reality of contemporary dialects for certain languages, ArabIC in particular, and the historical inferences which may be drawn from them. Arabic is spoken as a native language by about 250 million in an unbroken land area stretching from Lake Chad to northern Iraq, from Mauritania to Yemen. Sprachinsels outside this area also are found. Its variety is legion.! The diaspora to these regions began in earnest with the first Islamic conquests, around 630. Once populations had moved in opposite directions, say into northern Iraq, southern Egypt, or Chad, contact between them was largely or wholly lost. These two factors can be used in historical interpretation. Turning then to the present data, a relatively large number of linguistic features are coded in a statistics program. I use forty-nine, twenty-five phonolOgical and twenty-four morpholOgical. These features are chosen from dialects at opposing ends of the Arabic-speaking world, under the premiss that retentions in particular will be due to a common inheritance dating back to the diaspora. Since this large-scale diaspora began about 630, an InsIght mto the Arabic of this early era can be achieved. In a nutshell, this IS the program followed in this chapter.



The methodology used here has a number of ramifications, however, two of

whi~h can ~e made explicit in order to give a more comprehensive account ?f the ISsues mvolved. First, the comparison between two dialect regions will throw into re~ef what is understood by the very term 'Arabic dialect'. I ha:e selected two Widely separated dialect areas for detailed scrutiny, MesopotamIa (Map 1) and the western SUdanic area in Africa (Map 3). The populations of

~oreover: ~e Arab1~

I in past forty years spoken Arabic has increasingly come into contact with Standard resultIng In what Mitchell (1986) terms educated spoken Arabic (see Owens 200la for SOCIOlIngUIstIc summary).

/"-... MAP 1. Sample pomts, M!'ddle Eastern dialects

f mi ration and would have remained these two regions took separate paths. 0 g however dIat the two areas . h h It will emerge, , I .L' d'alect coherency, at east as out of contact With eac ot er. . terms of weIr 1 . If differ rather dramatically m d th.s coherency difference Itse measured by the feature.s chosen ~er~, ~ be :uggested that the large-scale calls for historical reflectIon. Secon ,.It . t have to oive way to the recon. d oes at a certam pom 0. statistical comparIson way of reconstructmg p re. .. Ii . t"c features as a ." ct fi greater scrutiny m dIIS respe , struction of mdividual nguis 1 " I sm "gle out two features "f h or "th a close readmg 0 dIe philodiasporic ArabIC. . "cal approac WI complementing the statistt " " "inform this chapter. One IS dlaleclogical evidence. Initially, therefore, two separate Issues tI"ve It may in fact appear dIat " "cal and compara tological, the other hlston "dIat .the concept of 'd"al 1" ect' conI have contradicted myself, above ~rgu~alg t hI"storicallinguistic mterpret"" tidIetIC 0 "n ceived of as a coherent umt IS an"al al mOts are legitimate elements 1 " dIat di ect tradiction, u however, will d"Isappear " ation, but here suggesttng historical linguistics. This ap~arent cOd~al ctal units internally differentiated " . treatment 0Olves dIe 1 e once the statIstIcal


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Sample points underlined: MilIa Cultural-historical regions in italics: Bomu ~amanrasset




_II 0\7 0 Algeria


MAP 2.

North African sample points

character. Ultimately it will verges with reconstru'ct· em:rge that contemporary dialectology conlOn to YIeld d fi ·b about the nature of pre d· . a e enSI Ie historical interpretation - lasponc Arabic Befiore movin g on, I would note that th . treatment. First, it keeps the h ere are two advantages in a statistical . . researc er hon tId . h. h. es . 0 not thmk it possible on an a pnon basis to determl·n e w lC hngui f . problem of reconstructio D.al . s lC vanables are relevant to the fi n. 1 ectologIsts fAr b· 0 a lC often choose a few salient eatures to define very lar d.al Afri . ge 1 ect areas T d·· ca IS said to be marked b th . ra Itlonally, for instance, North verb, n- -u, as in n-ukutb- ~ e p~es~nce of the feature for the 1PL imperfect .'. u we wnte v · . wnte. Even If such a char ct. . : s. n- m eastern dIalects, n-uktub 'we ti . d a enzatlon IS u ful fi . on, It oes not follow that thO se or a dlalectological classifica. . . for defining the spread ofArab·lC mto North Afri ( IS one . feature· . IS cntenal ca see dISCUSSIon . t. . se IS a remmder that many lin . . . m sect. 1.6·7). A relatively large data Second , as mdicated . . abov Igmstlc vanabl . es potentlally are in play. e, arger dIalect a th hom Ih o eterogeneous. Labels h reas emselves are more or less Sudanic Arabic are abstractio suThc as Mesopotamian Arabic and western ns. e Use of st . . atlstlcs allows these abstractions


3. Western Sudanic Arabic

to be identified by their component parts. These component parts consist of (1) the different individual dialects and (2) the different variables chosen for comparison. A set of linguistic data coded for numerical analysis is fraught with methodological and interpretive problems, including choice of linguistic variables, choice of dialects, interpretation of allo-variants, consideration of sociolinguistic variables, and assignment of numerical codes to individual cases. In the final analysis each linguistic variable has to be coded one way or another, and there may be no optimal formula for doing this. Therefore, I have attempted to elucidate the reasons behind my coding system, and to indicate some of the many interpretive problems in it. The chapter is divided into eight parts. Section 5.2 introduces the data and dialects used; sect. 5.3 presents the basic statistics and initial interpretive results. Here it will be seen that the statistics help orientate a historical interpretation, but that a more precise interpretation requires the introduc-


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

furth~r types .of data. This is done in sect. 5-4, where two specific ~eatures ar~ dIscussed ~n ?reat.er detail and general conclusions relating to the

tion of

mterpreta~lOn of ArabIC ImgUIstic history are drawn on the basis of the overall data. SectIOn ~.5 sums up the main points of the chapter. The rest of the chapter e~se~tIally has the status of an appendix in which the linguistic basis of th~ s~atIstIcs are elucidated. In sect. 5.6 further applications of the data bank pertammg to questions of language contact an d ch ange are presented m . a . senes of seven short hypotheses. In sects. 5.7 and 5.8 problems of methodology and d· d· d cho mg ~re Iscussed. In Appendix 2 can be found a list of the variables an t e coding of each is briefly illustrated.

5·2. Dialects, Procedure, Initial Results The realization of forty· r .. . -mne IngUIstIC vanables, all from phonology and morphology, have been comp d b · . are etween two dIalect areas MesopotamIa an d th e western Sudanic a d · d·· ' Shukr· b· rea, an In a ditIon as a control, to Uzbekistan with Iyya Ara IC (see sect. 5.2.2 and Maps 1, 3). 5·2.1.

Linguistic variables

The variables are all bas· I . of tor q th ali . IC e ements In the gralllmar of the dialects, the realization sect 2 4 '1) there ali~tIO~ (or lack thereof) of short vowels in open syllables (see . . . , e re zatIOn of th SG tion of the (M)PL suffix in e 1. person suffix in perfect verbs, the realizarudimentary dial ct the Imperfect verb, and so on. Even the most e grammar des ·be h I that they m b d. cn s t ese e ements. Their centrality ensures ay e use In a compari f·d I used are listed in A dix . son 0 WI e Yseparated dialects. The features en th2,;th ~n example of the realization of each value in a case. There are m: choice of these v .Ybmle 0 ologIcal and theoretical issues connected with the ana es, and their· di ·d al .. dialects At a numbe f I In VI u realIzatIOns in the different . r 0 paces vari f h sects. 5.7 and 5.8 are devoted entirel ous 0 ~ ~se problems are addressed, and material one way and t h Y to explammg how and why I have coded the no anot er I do t d th· no preten that the choices made here are the only ones poss·bl I e or at they are th . all. . each case. By explicitly all din e optIm y perspIcacious ones m others, who may Want t ~ ~ to the problems, I open the discussion up to o VIew e material in a different way. 5·2.2.

The dialects

Turning to the choice of dialect area .. noted above I compar tw s, four conSIderatIOns are in play. First, as , e 0 modern dial Course of the Arabic d· th ect areas which were settled in the Iaspora at accompanied the spread of Islam. Second,

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


the areas lie in different directions, so that it is unlikely that there has been significant movement between these regions after the initial migrations out of Arabia. In general, common features should be due to common inheritance from the era of original expansion, or before. Third, areas are compared which, very roughly, are matched in size: these are Mesopotamia and the western Sudanic area. The Mesopotamian area is here limited to Iraq and the bordering area of southern Turkey (Anatolia). Iraq has an area of 169,235 square miles, while the Arabic-speaking areas of Anatolia cover only a small area. The native Arabic-speaking population in these two areas is about 11,500,000 in Iraq and 400,000 in Turkey (Ethnologue 2003). By the western Sudanic area, I understand the western extension of the Arabic-speaking belt beginning in Kordofan and stretching into Nigeria (Owens 1993a). I restrict the sample to Chad, Cameroon, and Nigeria. The total area of Chad is 499,755 square miles; Arabic is spoken as a native language only in, approximately, the southern third of the country. Pommerol (1997: 9) estimates that only 12 per cent of the population are native Arabic speakers, which would give a population of about 700,000 native speakers. It is further represented as a native language in the small finger of Cameroon separating Chad and Nigeria, and in Nigeria in about half of Bornu (69.436 square miles). Estimates for the number of native Arabic speakers in these areas vary wildly, though it is probably not more than 500,000 speakers. Arab nomads have now moved south into Adamawa State, though their extension there is not documented. In all, very approximately, the area where Arabic is spoken as a native language in WSA is perhaps 250,000 square miles and the total number of speakers just over 1,000,000. Fourth, a minimal constraint on the choice of dialects was the availability of material covering all of the linguistic variables. Beyond this, the comparison was limited to the same number of dialect samples in each area. To have overweighted one area or the other would vitiate some of the arguments advanced in sect. 5.3. Practically these two considerations mean that relative to the number of descriptions available, the Mesopotamian area is underrepresented while the WSA is overrepresented. I have used nine sample points for Mesopotamia (see sect. and ~~ne for WSA (see sect. This allows for a direct statistical comparabilI.ty. Alternatively one could attempt to construct proportionally representatIve samples based on any number of parameters, such as geographic.al size ?f ~he two regions or total population. These would constitute alternatIve statIstIcal approaches which I will not attempt to develop here. I have s;rategically added two further dialects, Uzbekistan Arabic ~nd Shukriyya Arabic (eastern Sudan on the Atbara River). These two functIOn


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

~sta contro! both in terms of defining dialect areas, and in terms of a historical m erpret.ahon of the data. For historical linguistics Uzbekistan Arabic as will emerge, IS of particular import . b ' A b· aki ance, as It ecame cut off from the rest of the ra Ic-spe ng world at a very early date. 5·2.2.1. Mesopotamian area The M . () esopotamian area was defined as a dialect area by Haim Bl d·al . anc 19 64. He distinguish d tw I e 0 arge I ect groupmgs, dubbing them the It giZitmeans 'I s";d' q;)d u group (here qultu) and the g;)l;)t (here giZit). Qultul and eleven have 3. Of the sixteen multi-valued variables, as far as WSA goes, ten have the same value (hence an SD of 1).

Uzbekistan Shukriyya

Closer to Mesopotamia 22 20

3 ties 3 ties


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

TABLE. 5-5. Identical means, WSA and Mesopotamia compared to Uzbekistan, Shukriyya

Uzbekistan Shukriyya



19 22

13 14

dialect areas have exactly th . .. e same Score (same mean value implying same ImgUIstIC value) as Uzbekist d Shukri is subJ·e t t t h . al . an an yya. The mean score used in Table 5.4 c 0 ec mc mterpret" bl d· . lems which ..... b l . lYe pro ems Iscussed m sect. 5.8, prob~a e 5·5 CIrcumvents si 1 b· . identical F . . mp y y countmg only values whICh are . or mstance, vanable 12 b / . ' a sence presence of word-internal imala (WSA -_ 1.00, MesopotamIa - 1 6 U b ki counted as be· ·d . al - . 3, z e stan = 1.00, Shukriyya = 1.00) is mg 1 entIc for WSA' Uzbeki stan and Shukriyya Th ese two tables show that 1 ki b ' . borders for Ion I . 00 ng eyond the WSA and Mesopotamian h· al .. ger-range re atlYes ge antees structural . il . ' . o~ap IC proXImIty by no means guarsim anty. Uzbekistan 1 . ul· . . n partIc ar IS qUIte close to WSA, In terms of the I·d t· al en IC means meas ('I bl ) criterion Shukri d ure a e 5 . In terms of the similar means , yya an Meso t . Uzbekistan and M . po amla are as close to each other as are esopotamla. 1 The final table of statistics di component parts Th· .fi . smant es the Mesopotamian dialects into . . e JUSti catIon f, thO . h or IS IS t at, as seen above, the area IS quite diverse It t d . S an s to reason th t tho d· . . IS Iverslty would reduce In its constituent grou Th a in Mesopotamian Xi~ecto~osu~groups ~sed here follow traditional ones B~~dad qultu dialects (N:r~ Anatolian qultu di~ects (N = 3), nongllrt dialects (N _ 2) Th ), Baghdad qultu dIalects (N = 2), and - . e present classifi t" . b logical classification Th d·al . ca IOn IS ased on reigning dialecto. . elects or dIalect· . . groupmgs are arranged m order o f mcreasing means G . . roups WIth onl Y one member have no standard deVIation. Table 5·6 has surprises of a numb perspective, WSA remaI·n tiki. er of types. From a purely statistical a st ngly c0 herent d·Ialect area (has a low SD), even though it has m s th ore an thre t" group on this list and c e Imes as many members as any other . overs a much .d WI er geographical area. It has, for mstance, a lower SD tha th h n etreeAntr A more important pOI·nt f, a 0 Ian qultu dialects. or present pu . areas as represented by th nki rposes IS the coherency of the dialect . are split in two tamla .em ~~m eans. The qultu dialects of Mesopo' as It by th ·1· . by Shukriyya and Uzbeki were'not . e gl It dIalects of Mesopotamia but stan ArabIC. The Anato1·Ian qultu dialects are closer



5-6. Mesopotamian subdialects

Dialect or subdialect area Non-Baghdad qultu (N Baghdad qultu (N = 2) Shukriyya Uzbekistan Gilit (N = 2) Anatolia qultu (N = 3) WSA (N = 9)

= 2)

Mean 1.31 1.38 1.38 1.46 1.51 1.61 1.68

Mean ofSDs (where applicable) .12 .06


.21 .15

to WSA than they are to the other Mesopotamian subdialects. Uzbekistan Arabic falls close to the middle of the entire range of mean values. The main 'problem' which emerges from this statistical summary presented in Tables 5.1-5. 6 resides in the Mesopotamian dialects. They are extremely splintered, and are, under the premisses set out in this study, often as or more similar to dialects geographically far removed as they are to each other. Why should this be so? As a linguistic problem the answer will reside in a complex of causes: change through language contact, lack of change due to linguistic isolation and other causes, independent innovation, and, as a post-Islamic era diasporic variety, characteristics of the founding dialects. It is this last, historical component which I will concentrate on in greatest detail. I touch on other questions in summary fashion in sect. 5.6 below. At this point it is relevant to suggest an initial historical hypothesis centered on the two dialects which are geographically most removed from each other, Uzbekistan and the western Sudanic area. Because of the immense distance, both spatial and diachronic, separating the two areas, focusing the issue on these two dialects brings to the foreground the importance of historical explanations in accounting for similarities, should they be significant. The statistical similarities between Uzbekistan Arabic and WSA Arabic are due to a common pre-diasporic ancestor, located probably on the Arabian pensinsula. This hypothesis can be met with scepticism, as it has been stated wi.th.o~t detailed discussion of the linguistic variables themselves. There are two Imtlal answers to this. First, the logic of the method does indeed depend on num~rs for developing hypotheses and the numbers are only as reliable as the codl.ng system and statistical test used. As far as the coding system goes, the last thIrd of this chapter is devoted to explication of the system I used. The statistics in

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora fact are quite basic; I eschew the use of more advanced techniques until the basic approach is tested and the data base is expanded, however. Given these caveats, the hypothesis is commensurate with what little is known about the social and linguistic identity of the expanding Arabic groups. It is historically plausible in that populations of Arabs are known to have moved into both Uzbekistan and Egypt, in some cases both via the Syrian desert. In the early eighth century, for instance 'Qaysites' are reported to have been settled in Upper Egypt by the Umayyad rulers (Lewis 1970: 176). Qays is also a tribe reported among the soldiers of Qutayba ibn Muslim, the conqueror of Transoxiana (Agha 1999: 217). Of course, the Egyptian migration is, for the WSA area, a preliminary stopping point.l l It is not provable from the written sources at our disposal whether it was the same populations which split, one moving in one direction, one moving in the other. However, it is precisely a strength of comparative linguistics that language can be used to elucidate earlier migrations. Unless the high degree of similarity is due to chance independent development, it has to be assumed that the similar contemporary populations must at some time have shared a common ancestor.

As a second answer, I would argue that the use of statistics provides a necessary antidote to the prevailing tendency over the last sixty years for Arabic historical linguistics have worked wiili very general categories such as 'Neo-Arabic' or 'Mesopotamian Arabic'. The advantage of using statistics is that indices consist ultimately of individual cases and variables. While what comes out in the end is a single number, the number itself is dependent on individual, well-defined component parts. When the statistics quantitatively suggest a relation between two units, it is a relation defined across a range of variables. At ilie same time, while ilie statistics may be suggestive of significant groupings, the ultimate linguistic test for measuring historical relationship is the comparative method and reconstruction of proto-forms. The nature of the comparative historical method, however, demands a relatively painstaking . II It is extremely difficult tracing the exact tribal migrations out of the Arabian peninsula, down the Nile, and mto. the It is, clear that elements who are usually reckoned to be part of Oays, at least m EgyptJan genealogIes, were part of these migrations. MacMichael (19 7: 183-4) for mstanc.e, states that. the Mameluke army which made a major incursion into Dongola6 in northern Sudan m 1286 contamed, mter alia, Banu Hilal, Banu Kanz and Rabi'ia. Garcin (1976: 75) has identified Oaysites who had settled in Upper Egypt. There are other tribes these .three groups as bemg mentJoned by name spreadmg m different directions. Juhayna, for instance, is eponymous for a large groupmg .of tnbes found throUghout the Sudanic region. The same tribe is mentioned spreading eastward mto Iraq (Kufa) at the beginning of the Islamic conquests (Donner 1981: 228)" Kufa (and Basra) served as stagIng areas for the subsequent conquest of Iran and Uzbekistan"




Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora I£


rec~nstruchtio~Nof mArdlVlabl.cu,abu~:~er individual linguisticd.features, which are I entity suc as eo.

.. d

One does not reconstruct a dialect or an

£ . I g r units such as la ects. subsequently interprete~ as ormmg ar. e I con~ider two linguistic variables It is in this spirit iliat m the next sectIOn . . discussed in this in detail which bear on the relati?ns :etween ~h~e~:~:~e~rabic and that of section, in particular on the relatIon etween z the oilier regions. 5.4. Interpretations


. . when the comparatively detaIled The statistics become more mterestI~g d s a basis of comcoverage of the WSA and MesopotamIan areas are use a parison for other dialects.

5·4·1. Uzbekistan Arabic

"b d. t d towards " f attentIOn has een lrec e In recent years a certam amount o. d"al t I gl"cal and historical status" s of Its 1 ec 0 0 . b h" t Uzbekistan ArabIC, ot m erm d" d "n terms of its relations to " h all been lscusse 1 " Whereas thIS status as usu y )" car as to claim it has ItS " b" B h t dt (2000· 145 gomg so I; " MesopotamIan Ara IC, e ns e " h" all long-range associations, m origins there, I have emphasized geograp IC y " " " Ar b"c (Owens 1998a: 72 ). particular With Nlgenan a 1 uld rt both associations. HowThe statistics in Tables 5·4 and 5·5 wo h sNu~po" connection in favor of a d" "al ft e 1genan ever, Behnstedt's peremptory IsmlSS old. th face of them: Uzbekistan " t be uphe m e " d MesopotamIan one canno f WSA than to MesopotamIa, an Arabic has more variables close to val"ues ObI I r to Mesopotamia than to h gl bally consldera y c ose h its mean values, t oug 0 " " h a single Mesopotamian subgroup WSA (Tables 5.1 and 5.3), do not align Wit (Table 5.6). t t tl"Stl"Cal comparison does not " . th t ilie presen s a k i An initial conclUSIOn IS a "h" b tween WSA and Uzbe _ " f cOal relatIOns lp e contradict my suggestIOn 0 a spe 1 d re numbers is neutral as to " "al mmary rea as pu stan. However, the statIstIC su"" d d"er nces may be due to common " S" il ntIes an were " " Given that the current set historical interpretatIOn. 1m a d" gent mnovatIOns. h d inheritance or to share or lver "al d orphological features, t ey does comprise fun~amental ph~nolo~~ ;SA~rea is testimony to this." Its do give a broad baSIS of companson. ed " rt at least to its histoncal . I "bly be relate m pa "b. relative uniformIty can p aUSI h £; ct that the WSA area does exhl It a roots (see above). By ilie same token, tki~ a ncourages a closer look at the " ilantles ." to Uzbe stan e good number of Slm two varieties.

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Turning to this question, Behnstedt says that Uzbekistan Arabic has its ~rigi~s ~n Mesopotamian Arabic. To this point I have not treated historical lIngUIstIC questions systematically, so in a sense, what I have presented and what Behnstedt asserts have no direct connection with each other. However, Behnstedt himself does not show how Uzbekistan Arabic arose from Mesopotamian: so h.is as~umption of direct genetic affiliation is unsupported. In making hIS claIm, Behnstedt refers to Jastrow's work (without a specific reference, however). In fact, Jastrow (1998) does treat the relation between Uzb~kistan Arabic and Mesopotamian Arabic in historical linguistic terms, and In a m d 'ffi . d d or~ I erentlate an detailed way than does Behnstedt. Jastrow . begInS by notIng that in looking for relationships between Mesopotamian Arabic and dialects outsI'd th h . . . e e area, one s ouId not consIder MesopotamIan ArabIC globall~. ~~ther, he divides it into the familiar qultu and gilit dialects, a~d proceeds, InItIally at least, in the same way that data has been organized in thIs chapter. He draws h'st . al . C • . . . lone Inlerences on the baSIS of contemporary ~IstnbutIOns of variables, though with considerably fewer than in the current ata set. In Table 5.!, Jastrow's data (1998: 177) is reproduced in the first three Uzbekistan Arabic, qultu dialects (Q), and gilit dialects : n addItI~n, I have added my own data from Nigerian Arabic. 12 The vanables used In the c o m ' . . panson are CopIed from Jastrow. The ones identIcal

~~~u~ns, re~~esentIng


5-7. Uzbekistan Arabic C d . . ompare to other dIalects: 7 vanables

Imperfect endings-iin, uun CAp 2.2.52): M vs. F plural CAp 2.2.30) Linker-in" 2FSG-ki CAp 2.2.62) internal passive" ISG perfect-tu CAp 2.2.44) qaaf CAp 2.1.1) Shared traits: Uz - Q: 417 Uz - G: 2/7 Uz- Nig: 5/7




yes yes yes yes no no yes

yes no no yes no yes yes

yes no no no yes no no

Nig no yes yes yes no no no

• See sect. 3·4·1 for diSCUSSion of linker . Th . ln 'he wrote') in the Mesopot.~:__ dial'ects • e mternal (e.g. iktib 'it was written' vs. kitab -,_. gJ'j't , m fact . passive . . Baghdad IS qwte vanable. Many dialects e.g. Muslim and some southern Iraq'1, d 0 not h ave It. .

12 Except for the feminine plural whi h . . WSA . C IS not uruversaj' th m e WSA area, I could equally have used mstead of Nigerian Arabic.


to those used in my statistics are identified by the variable number in my data (see sect. 5.7). I have added one variable to Jastrow's list, namely the realization of 'qaaf', as this is, traditionally, one of the constitutive variables distinguishing the qultu and gilit dialects. Below the table I have counted how many features of similarity there are between Uzbekistan Arabic and the other varieties. Even more strikingly than in my own data, this abbreviated list confirms that a prima facie case can be made for linking Nigerian Arabic with Uzbekistan. It furthermore confirms the heterogeneous nature of the Mesopotamian area; the gilit dialects in this reckoning have only two features in common with Uzbekistan Arabic. At this point it is time to move beyond tabular listings. Methodological clarification is needed, however. For Jastrow, Table 5.7 is not so much a taxonomic listing as a statement about historical relation. He ~ays that. his list is based on 'old characteristics' Caltertumliche Merkmale). The Idea appears to be that the variables listed in the comparison represent features going back to Old Arabic or proto-Arabic (see below), or at le~st, t~ a stage of Arabic before certain innovations occurred in the MesopotamIan dIalect area. As it stands, however, Table 5.7 is no more a statement of historical relations than are the forty-nine variables in my data. Lacking an explicit demonstration of which features on the list are old or proto-forms there runs the danger of claiming or assuming one feature to be older than another in a compara.tive linguistic sense, while in fact there is no linguistic basis for the ~umptIOn. A case in point pertains to a further element in Jastrow's presentatIOn. 5·4·2. What is not attested in writing is not necessarily non-existent

As I noted the statistics in sect. 5.3 are useful as general direction markers. Shared fea;ures which are relatively rare are a valuable diagnostic for establishing historical relationship. Thus, the fact that (1) above is shared among all WSA dialects is significant not only for its limitation to the WSA area, but also · . , fieat ure. Such unusual in its status as a morphologically unusual IIngUIStIC events are unlikely to be produced more than once. . Interesting in the present context is a feature shared between Uzbekistan Arabic and some WSA dialects (the Bagirmi dialects) whose chance of independent origin is quite small. 13 . Roughly speaking, in Arabic dialects there are three f~rms of an actIve . '. . al 0 b'Ject su ffixes. The three dIfferent forms are WIth pronorrun partICIple . nussmg ., in the " The feature was not included in the sample as for a number of the dialects data IS SOurces used.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

contrastive in the FSG. In all varieties the non-suffixal feminine takes the

regula~ FSG adject~~al s~ffix -a or -e, the vowel quality depending on harmony rules, If any, prevailing m the local dialect. !urning to the. ob!ect suffix forms, in one widespread alternative (e.g.

Cau~~e, non-Baguml WSA dialects) the object suffix is suffixed to the F.

partICIple form marked by -ee, or -aa, which otherwise is the FSG adjectival

mar~~r (see (¥». In a second, when a pronominal object suffix is added to a

fe~mm~ form th~ femini~e participle takes the morpho-phonological alter-

nat~ve -It, o~efWIse used m a genitive construction (see (4b». This is found

for ms~ance m eastern Libyan Arabic and in many Arabian peninsula dialects. The thIrd alternative is to add an mtruslve . . suffix· . . -m- or -mnon eIther the MSG or FSG form whenev . al b· . . (4C), . .. er a pronomm 0 Ject suffix IS added, as m usmg Baglrml Arabic forms as examples in column (4c). (4) MSG FSG

abc kaatib-ha kaatl·b-ha kaatb -in-he 'he has written it.F' kaatb-ee- ha k b· aat -It-ta kaatb-in-he 'she has written it.F'

The third alternative (4C)· b e t h . . I IS Y tar e least common It is found only In reIatlve y small isolated c . H d '. areas, so tar reported only in Oman and western ) th a ramaut, Bahram (among Sh· B h 9) U b ki 21 , z e stan, Khorasan (S la a arna, e Emirates (Holes 1990: 48, 58, WSA Th eeger 2002: 635), and Bagirmi Arabic in the area. ere are differences betw . £; I Uzbekist Ar b· th een ItS orm and use in these areas. n part. . I an ~ lC e first person pronominal object suffix added to an active lClp e mar t h e subject of the sentence, as in (5) (see sect. 8.7.5). (sa) zorb-in-naa-kum hit-IN-we-you.MPL 'we have hit you'. In all other areas only one r . .. obJ·ect In 0 th· . P onommal object IS allowed, and it marks the . man e mtruslve . . ffix d the participle, -m IS su e to the gender/number markers of (5b) ljaarb-it-n-if hit-F-IN-you.FSG 'she has hit you.F' ljaarb-aat-inn-if hit -FPL-IN -you.FSG 'they.F have hit you F' ( . . . . etc., Remhardt 1972 (1894): 139). In BagIrml the intrusive -in is s ffix . thereby neutralizing d u ed directly to the participle stem, gen er and number contrasts, (hI) tJaarb-in-he '(she)

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


has hit her', identical to masculine, hu tjaarb-in-he '(he) has hit her'. Apparently with first and second person subjects, number and gender differences of the participle stem are neutralized in Uzbekistan Arabic as well (cf. (sa) above, where the plural suffix -iin would be expected), and in Dathina northeast of Aden, de Landberg (1909: 723) reports that a feminine subject is usually used with the masculine participle, not with the feminine form when an -in + object is added. In Bahrain Shia -in is added only to a singular participle (either to the M or F form). It may also be noted that in many Sudanic dialects outside of the Bagirmi area, an intrusive -in is added to the active participle feminine plural form, as in Shukriyya tjaarb-aat-ann-u 'they.F have hit him' or Kirenawa tjaarb-aat-inn-a (same meaning). I assume a common (as yet, unexplained) origin for this latter feature. What is important for present purposes is the observation that it is unlikely that so unusual and specific a feature as the intrusive -in could have originated independently in four or five geographically separated areas. Formally it is similar or identical in these areas, and in some of them gender/number differences are neutralized through its insertion. It is plausible to think in terms of common place of origin, with the present-day geographical distributions being accounted for by migration out of this place of origin. Following Retso (1988: 88, see Barth 191011972): 1-18 for original discussion), a common origin, however, could only be somewhere on the Arabian peninsula, so far as the present-day evidence allows us to deduce, on the eastern and northeastern littoral, and it would have had to have been pre-diasporic. Prediasporic Arabic, however, is contemporary with what I have termed Old Arabic. To my knowledge, the intrusive -in is mentioned nowhere in Old Arabic, either by a grammarian or in a Koranic reading tradition. It does not exist as a written, attested form. Nor can it be derived via grammatical rule from an Old Arabic form or forms, as Retso (1988) against various suggestions demonstrates. Yet simple principles of reconstruction, as briefly described here, require its presence as a proto-form in the seventh or eighth century. It is a contemporary of all varieties mentioned in early written sources. Clearly then, Old Arabic as described in old sources does not exhaustively describe the forms of Arabic which were spoken during this era. The comparative method based inter alia on a consideration of modern dialects, forces us to reconstruct further forms into the era. I4 This is illustrated on Map 4> where the modern attestations of the intrusive -in on the participle, force the reconstruction in pre-diasporic Arabic, probably on the Arabian peninsula. 14 Note that the same argument was applied in sect. 3.4.1 in the interpretation that the linker -n of modern dialects does not derive from the Old Arabic indefinite tanwiyn.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

MAP 4· Reconstruction based on mod


.' em dialects of pre-diasporic .. _in in participal

. On the map, the year of most re cent attestatIOn for each dialect is noted, as well as the dates of settl . ement and and/or fi rs t'IDtrusIO n of Arabic speakers to the areas where the _. £, lO orms are attested.

5·4·3· New is not new until proven new Jastrow seeks to demonstrate that the Mesopotamian qultu dialects have collectively undergone rt" . . ce alO lOnovations . Th'IS expIaIDS · why MesopotamIan quI tu dialects differ ' . respects fr Ub . ID certalO . om z ekistan Arabic: whereas Uzbekistan Arabic has et' d . th t fe archaic r alOe . a ures, e qultu dialects in thetr post-diasporic phase innovated . A case in point' the ph enomen on f' la IS 0 'ma ~Ap 2.1.12). Imala will be Ch detail. treated in much greater is a type of vowel harmony or ass~ .' 7, so here I will be very brief. Imala n ee 'ghb .ano , where a long aa changes to ie or in the presence of an i in onn~ syllable. Though rare by the standards of contemporary Arabi ~.nalel c 1 ectology It was apparently at an earlier era a highly sali ent phenomenon. '

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Imala is one of the features Jastrow cites as representing a post-diasporic this innovation characteristic of the Mesopotamian qultu dialects. He uses of either in ate particip not did Arabic stan observation to argue that 'Uzbeki the displays it litl; qultulgi i.e. , [dialects the waves of innovation of the two innovations of neither the qultu nor the gilit dialects'. Imala, however, is not a post-diasporic innovation and therefore the qultu two dialects cannot be said to have innovated the feature. This can be seen on source detailed counts. First, imala is described in great detail in the oldest in the which exists for Classical Arabic, Sibawaih's Kitaab (II: 279-94) . Imala than Old Arabic classical tradition is, moreover, at least a generation older in find we ) (146-52 d Mujahi Ibn of re literatu at Sibawaih. In the QiraaPa 'iAlaa? Ibn 'iAmr Abu and porary) contem particular that Kisan (Sibawaih's Ibn (d. 154/770, see Ch. 4) were two readers who used imala regularly.15 the readers, seven of s Mujahid summarizes the Qur?aan recitation practice eighth the of half first earliest of whom Ibn 'iAamir (d. 118/736) lived in the rather century. It may be assumed that imala was not innovative with them, but in a that they used a phonological trait whose origin is older, as yet undated comparative linguistic sense. Arabs began settling in Uzbekistan (Transoxiana) a date after 710. In terms of chronological time, therefore, imala is attested at reasons r whateve For tan. Uzbekis of ent contemporary with the Arabic settlem that Uzbekistan Arabic does not have imala, one can be excluded, namely . It country the of ent settlem imala did not exist at the time of the original Arab in ed ensconc tably is not the case that it is only after Arabs were comfor . emerged imala Transoxiana that elsewhere in the Arabic-speaking world that qultu the This is the first reason imala cannot be regarded as innovative in of dialects. The second argument relates to the contemporary distribution the imala in Arabic dialects. As will be seen in Ch. 7, imala is found in was and , Maltese and Arabic, Libyan eastern Mesopotamian qultu dialects, enon well attested in Andalusian Arabic. The distribution of the same phenom The origin. of point n commo in such widely separated areas points to a single in ed originat dialects simplest explanation is that imala of the present-day This ns. directio t pre-diasporic Arabia, and spread from there in differen later indicates a pre-diasporic origin, i.e. one which can be reconstructed no than the seventh century. the The comparative dating of imala impinges on the present discussion in sense some in is Arabic tan Uzbekis that argued following way. Jastrow has frequently are menIbn Kathiyr, Naafi'i, Hamza, Ibn 'iAamir, and 'iAa§im on the other hand e.g. p. 151 of the occasion, on it use may all though ima/a, use tioned as those who do not generally death' (53: 44), stronger Kufan reader Harnza is said to use imala in i'amaata (i'amieta) 'who granted wa Naafi'i). even than that of Naafi'i and Abu 'iAmr (faradd min i'imaalat i'abiy 'iAmr 15


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the D'taspora

older ~an the ?ultu and gilit dialects of I ' . . found In Uzbekistan. Looki I I raq In that It has Innovations not ter' d h ng c ose y at how thO (. Ize , owever, shows that i I ' . IS one Innovation' is characa ls establish the relative age of Umba ki. a vanable which in fact cannot be used to imala can be reconstructed into z e restan.vs. Meso . qultu Arabic, since . po t ~mlan methodological one Wh J p dlasponc ArabIc. The crucial point is a f h' . ereas astrow' t I~ erprets the list in Table 5.7 in terms o Istorical change with t the h ' ou an uneqUIvocal t d d c ange, no historical linguistic i .s an. ar by which to measure To conclude this s f nterpretatIOn IS possible. d'al . ec lOn, the fact th t ' h a. In t e present sample the gi/it . I ects, Uzbekistan and WSA h Indication of very old affil" / abve no tmala would constitute one small geograp h'ICal distance . la IOn th etween the se vanetles, " separati despite the great Arabic stands no closer to the ~~rt ;~. Note that in this respect Uzbekistan t I ects than it does to WSA. 5-4-4. Innovations and retent' . The detailed case stud. fr IOns. western Sudanic Arabic? broad . les om the previous tw . c er Interpretation of Arab· I' " 0 sectIOns serve as models for a IOrms prevent al . peninsular AIC b'IngUIstIc h'IS t ory. Both of them point to In . to a relafIveIy profound dialect d'ra IC In 'pre d· .. . - Iasponc tImes, and both point cc and '. non-irna Ia ctorms were clearl luerentIatIOn pr coe . esent at t h at early era. Imala Y partICIples, marking linkage betw Xlstent, as were various ways of marking so on Th b een noun and d· fi Arabi· d' e roader implication is that d' ~o I er (see sect. 3-4- 1), and I .c Ialects can mirror diversity al dIversity found today among the t IS .clear, of course, that ther h rea Y ~resent in pre-diasporic times. ones, SInce thrAab dlaspora . e ave . he of the s been h Inn ovatIOns, sometimes striking th em, owever' bl event and eighth I k ' IS pro ematic It is b centuries. Pinpointing 00 at each of th C th h e torty-nine• featu eyond the scope 0 f t h e present chapter to oug eventuall h res treated he re on a case-by-case basis, that onI h y s~c a detailed treatme. in weste~ Se foll~wIng elements are Self-e~i~~ necessary. ~eing brief, I believe seen 't h udamc Arabic. I will not tr M ntly post-dlasporic innovations .cc . Arabic here, for as I as a more d luerentiated his eat esopotamlan (6) Apparent inno ' . tory than does WSA. vatIons In WSA Ph onology (£ t . ea ures Ap 2 1 I I ~~terpretive problems) ··3 4 7/8/91I0; see 5·7 for discussion of > h, '1> fI, () > dId . , 9> tis, ()• > d. 't.(,) . 16 > cf, •• The question . h' mark pertaInS to th . .uwr, W Ich is arguabl d ' . e VOice element of area IS certainly innovativ:anCSCdnptive of a voiced sound thIe proto-form. In Sibawaih, t is classed as may be d ue to Contact 'th . n any case' the tmplosiveness . • of the WSA WI FulfuIde.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


Morphology (features Ap 2.2-44/53/54/7 2 ) Loss of -t 112M perfect verb suffix in certain contexts (as in (1) above), n- '1', n- ... -u 'we' in imperfect verb, 3FSG form of weak imperfect verb As suggested in sect. 5.2.4, a number of phonological features are harder to interpret as to the shared vs. independent innovation parameter, than are most of the morphological. Except for the ! > if shift, all the phonological changes involve an element of simplification via loss of a marked characteristic (loss of emphasis, pharyngealization, interdental fricatives less common than dental or alveolar stops). Universal tendencies certainly playa role here. That said, however, all other features included in this data set, I would argue, are candidates for pre-diasporic ArabicY Note that I include in this latter set forms which at some point would disappear into deeper protoArabic forms. Feature Ap 2.1.6 for instance is the reflex of Standard Arabic Y. In WSA this has various reflexes, though the most common is q attested in six of nine sample points. In the present sample the reflex q is also attested in Shukriyya (especially in final position) and in southern Mesopotamia. Outside these areas it is found in the former North Yemen (five sample points in Behnstedt 1985: 44), in Syria in a long, continuous area on the Euphrates River, stretching to the Turkish border, and westward to Aleppo (Behnstedt 1997: 16), among the Arab of Bahrain (Holes 1987: 36), and in Mauritanian Arabic. Assuming this reflex did not innovate spontaneously over and over again, the broad distribution of the variant speaks for a single, pre-diasporic origin. At an older pre-diasporic level the innovation Y > q occurred among some groups of speakers. Populations with both variants then moved outside the peninsula. The important point, however, is that the broad distribution of q s is widespread both in Bagirmi Arabic in the WSA area and in Uzbekistan Arabic. Of course, this could also be due to cornmon inheritance.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

5·5· The interpretation of Arabic linguistic history

The discussion in the previous tw b . ing the u f th ... 0 su sectIOns may be seen as complementse 0 e statIstIcs In the foil· Th. . . were a blunt· t OWIng way. e statIstICS proVIde, as it , InS rument for suggest" h .. raw data th d . Ing were sIgmficant relationships lie. As , ey 0 not automatIcally re al h d·al different wheth b f ve w y 1 ect areas are similar or , er ecause 0 chance h borrOwing inn t· d . convergence, c ange due to contact and , ova Ion ue to sImplific t· I . common . h . a IOn or ana OgICal formation or to In entance. They can how h I ·d . ' .' ever, e p 1 entlfy where it might be interesting to look C fu h lor rt er eVIden h· h h i · are at play Th b . ce w IC e ps dIsentangle what elements . us, y one statIstical f . . . (Tables 5 4 55) U b ki measure 0 sImIlanty and difference . , . , z e stan Arabic turn b to Mesopotamian Ar b· Th . s out to e as similar to WSA as it is a IC. ese SImilarities . ' moreover, are most lIkely not due to independent . . InnovatIOn (see sect ) Lo ki fu shared by these tw ... . 5·4·3· 0 ng rther to features o vanetIes, It turns out th t b h h . participial constructio h . . a ot ave a hIghly contingent sharedness of this feat n, w ose ongIn goes back to pre-diasporic Arabic. The diasporic population u~tehcanth. o~y be e~lained in terms of an original preWI IS leature In th· I I.. elf anguage moving out of the Arabian peninsula th , en sp !ttIng 0 extremity of the Arab· aki' ne eventually settling in the eastern IC-spe ng wo Id th end. In this case statI·st· d r , e other at an extreme western ICS an reconstru f f th , .. CIon 0 e participial forms complernent each other in h The .. a rat er VIVId way. . statistIcs, furthermore .d h . lInguistically powerful h ProVI e t e basIS for other, interesting, if not Arabic only as a contr I ypo eses. I h~ve, for instance, included Shukriyya 0 Uzbekistan Arabic Th tgr~u~ t~ prOVIde a counterfoil for the emphasis on . e s atIstlCS In Table 5 h has no noteworthy affi·ty .h ·4, owever, suggest that Shukriyya m WIt WSA Ar b· .. a IC as compared to Mesopotamian Arabic. I do not think th·· IS IS statIstIcal triv· R h . o f present-day Arabic dial ( Ia. at er, It suggests that the form . ects as of c ' ourse, measured in the current fortymne Variables) is as 0 r even more depend . geographical prOximity I d·al . ent on Inheritance than it is on ·d . n 1 ectolo l71 cal t h eVI ence here for a 'Sud . Ar b.' 0' erms, t ere is, in fact, no strong Mesopotamian 19 The h~tIC . ala IC (as I term it) contrasting as a whole with . IS onc lingu· t· h h were, historically did th d.ffi IS IS C allenged here on two fronts: ' e 1 erences co fr t .. co emtonal contact hind me om and to what extent does er or abet dialect d·ffi . Lurking behind the d · . 1 erentIation (see sect. 5.6)? st t· . ISCUSSIOn of the . d· ·d In IVI ual variables used in the a IStICS and reconstr t· uc Ion of specific linguistic forms is the more


19 Even less so Behns ed ' . Arabia). t t s (2000: 145) facile cat o. . eg nzatlon of Sudanic Arabic as Hijazi (Saudi

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora fundamental issue of how, generally, Arabic linguistic history is to be conceptualized. Essentially there are two interpretive approaches, which were contrasted at length in Ch. 2. To recapitulate, one, developed mainly in Germany in the nineteenth century, is to regard Classical Arabic, conventionally termed Old Arabic (Altarabisch) as the ur-ancestor of the contemporary dialects, also known as Neo-Arabic (Neuarabisch, e.g. Brockelmann 1908; Blau 1988,2002: 16; Fischer 1995). Jastrow's model follows this tradition. He assumes (rather than demonstrates) a division between old and new or innovative structures, and on this basis works out a historical linguistics. Thus, imala is assumed to be innovative or newer than non-imala varieties, and so Uzbekistan Arabic, which lacks imala, can be considered an older variety, relative to Old Arabic, than are the qultu dialects of Iraq, which have the innovative imala. The problem with this approach is not in its basic logic. In some respects Jastrow's interpretations are certainly correct. The change of r --+Y, characteristic of a few Iraqi qultu dialects (see Ap 2.1.13) is undoubtedly innovative for those dialects which have it. The problem lies in the assumption of what the ancestral variety is. A second approach is to assume no predefined ancestral version, and to develop one according to customary principles of comparative linguistics. I have suggested that the second position is little developed among Arabicists,20 and so what I have presented here represents only basic spadework. It leads to a reconstruction of pre-diasporic Arabic which is considerably more complex than traditionally assumed. The complexity in part, as seen in the discussion in the previous three chapters is already attested in some detail in the oldest texts, and in part it follows from a simple reconstruction of forms based on the distribution of post-diasporic elements, such as the intrusive -in treated in sect. 5.4- 2 • It can also lead to the postulation of forms which may even contradict aspects of Classical Arabic as described by the Arabic grammarians, for instance the postulation of caseless variety as the proto-ancestor of a case-based variety (Chs. 3, 4). As will be evident from the preceding discussion, the position argued for here by no means leads to the reconstruction of a unitary proto-Arabic 20 The two general, opposing positions which I define here are, in the contemporary state of Arabic linguistics, relatively poorly profiled. In fact, only the first has much curren~. ~ is unfortunate, as I believe it may be associated with a highly scholarly, but at the same tmte highly orth~ox and restrictive interpretation of Arabic linguistic history. Among its best-known reprc:sentatlves are Brockelmann Noldeke and Fiick. What today is little appreciated is that contemporanes of Brockelman and Noldeke such' as Vollers, de Landberg. and later Kahle argued for a broader reading of what the ruabiyya was. Even if! would not agree in all detailed interpretations with this latter group, I would see my position as reviving their perspectives.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

located ~me,:here in the Arabian peninsula or in a neighboring area. By the same to e~, It does not preclude it either. It does argue for a stepwise reconstructIOn process workin fi b k . g rst ac to the pre-dlasporic varieties of Arab· M . b ' h I~ ;ng. ackwards beyond these varieties is a task left unaddressed ere, ou ObvIOusly.is a desideratum for further research. The problem treated m this ch t . over a th d ap er IS not new. Indeed, it was summarized ) .. ousan years ago by Ibn al N d· (d of Arabic orth h· - a 1m . 954 wntmg about the origin linguistic varie~:~· ~; h.is Fi~rist: 7· 'and each [pre-Islamic] tribe had its wh· h IC Istmgulshed it and by which it was recognized all of IC are a part of the original (?a§l) variety'. ' In a recent compendious surve f h ' , y 0 t e term 'iarab and its congeners in classical sources R t .. , e so suggests that the Cl . all . assIC anguage ItSelf, as embodied in pre-Islamic poet h d d· d 1 form but rather as~' a 1:1 out before Islam, and that it existed not in one (2003: 595). severa anguages of the Arabs' in pre-Islamic Arabia' The thrust of this chapter is s h· suggest that old div .ty . ft ~pat etIc to these two perspectives. It is to ersl IS 0 en dIrectly refl t d . and that con temp ora d. . ec e m contemporary diversity, ry IverSIty can be used b th . . .. 0 to reconstruct old dIversIty, and to explain co t n emporary dIVerSIty th h h ul· .. . .. roug t e tlmately sImphfying procedure of the comp t· Ii ara Ive ngUIstIc meth d Th· ak . the absence of confinn t· . 1 o. IS can t e place even m F. . a Ion mod classical sources. rom thIS vantage pomt, modern scholarship ha a fu h ' rt With this section ensd h er tool t~ discern what the ?a§l of Arabic is. s t e general dIS . f h statistical summary of CUSSlOn 0 t e relation between a contemporary Arab· d·al d the interpretation of th h· IC 1 ects, reconstruction, an · e IStOry of Arab· I h . I d ISCUSS individual probl . . IC. n t e next three sectIOns . ems m the mterpr t f f h · . . o f whIch there are man d. e a Ion 0 t e hngUIstIC features, data can be put Those i Y' an do~tIine further uses to which a comparative . n t ereste m the m· th d t he conceptualization f . am rea of argument in this book, o proto-ArabIC sections later. ' may want to come back to these

5.6. Statistics, Reconstruction H th. . Wh ' ypo eSlS Testing ereas I have thus far concentrated 0 . and specific issues of hist . al n the relatIOn between the statistics £; onc reconstruct· h or many issues which· . lon, t e statistics can be invoked on the h· t f . Impmge fun ctIOns is that of bro dl . . IS ory 0 the language. One of their ·d a Y onentating proVl e, for example an o . contemporary dialectology. They ,vefVIew of what· h · t no Ions of what should 0 h uld IS out t ere, shorn of preconceived . rs 0 not fit t h remams a primary funct· f . oget er. In this respect and this IOn 0 the statistic·. ' s, It provIdes a general classificatory

framework for understanding the diversity and unity of Arabic dialects in their contemporary form. The further interpretation of the statistics belongs to a different conceptual order. One of the most important is to relate them to a historical interpretation of the development of Arabic. The statistics provide prima facie evidence for a significant relationship between, inter alia, Uzbekistan Arabic and WSA. This provides one lead in looking for other connections between the two areas. In fact, as seen in sect. 5.4.2, other, non-trivial links can be found. Still, without a precise, feature-by-feature reconstruction of the different linguistic variables, the citation of quantitatively based groupings alone does not prove anything as far as historical relationship goes. Even if the statistics do not provide proof of relationship, coupled with reconstruction they are helpful in formulating hypotheses about how Arabic spread. A global interpretation, based on the foregoing discussion, is that the pre-diasporic Arabic was quite heterogeneous, and that as Arabic-speaking groups migrated outside the Arabian peninsula beginning in the seventh century, different varieties became dominant in different regions. The Arabs who settled Uzbekistan and those who made their way down the Nile and ultimately migrated into the western Sudanic area may well have derived from the same pre-diasporic group. Beyond this general perspective, the statistics give insight into many aspects of developments in Arabic linguistic history. I mention seven of these cursorily in the form of open-ended hypotheses. These points are common issues in discussion of language spread, contact, and change, though they are only rarely stated explicitly in the Arabic dialectological tradition. These seven hypotheses are neither exhaustive, nor are they mutually exclusive. Unless otherwise stated the brief exemplifications relate to the observations in Tables 5.1-5.6 that the WSA area is, statistically a more homogeneous area than is the Mesopotamian. HI The homogeneity of a dialect area is a direct reflection of its age of settlement. Newly settled areas are more homogeneous than older ones. WSA is more homogeneous than the Mesopotamian because it was settled considerably later. H2 Low percentage fonns are innovations more likely than relics. If they only are found in neighboring dialects, they are probably innovations.

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora Jastrow's example of * r --> y fits here I . . sample, contiguous on J .h . t IS found m only two dialects in the es, eWlS and Christian B hd d· Th· ti certainly an innovation. ag a 1. IS eature is H3 The homogeneity of d· al . of its inhabita t a l ect area IS a function of the life style n s. . Because Arabic culture in the WS .. mfluenced by a nomad1· d . A area has h1stoncally been strongly c an semI-nomad· rti I . facilitated (relative to th M . 1C 1 esty e, mtercommunication is d tho ·1· . e esopotarruan are) a , an IS m1 1tates agamst the deVelopment of mark d d·al. elect dIfferences. H4 The homogeneity of a d·al . raphy. It should be recalled hI ect ar~a. IS a function of its geogere twentieth century th t d that It IS only in the course of the a mo ern comm . . etc. have tended to 1 1 umcatIOn, roads, bridges, eve natural geographical boundaries. Most of the WSA area is flat Geo ra . g ph1cal boundaries have generally not been a hindrance to P l . · . th opu atIOn moveme t A· ·fi m e Baginni dialect h . n. slgm cant exception is found area, were dunng th . months a year villag ffi. e ramy season, for four or five B .. ' es are e ectlVely t ff fr ag1nn1 area in fact is ave d.. .cu 0 om the outer world. The Mesopotamia at least m ry .1stm,: dIalect area within WSA. In northem .. . , ountams hmde regIOn where the greatest d· .. r commumcatIOn, and it is in this 1verSlty IS found. H5 The homogeneity of a diale . status of the dialect ak ct .area IS a function of the social . spe ers. ThIS hyp th . . . 0 eSls IS a comphcated one, wh1ch can be exte d d . I · . . n e m various one way for the ways. will do thIS m only current data I Id speakers will tend to m· . .. wou suggest that minority amtam d1ffere h h were there is a relat d 1. nces, w ereas speakers living . . e mgua fran . kom1zation and loss of· h. ca vanety will tend towards ented t he k· ome, unless it hmuld b feat ures wh en these differ from .. ,so eadddh sanctIOmng a dialectal d·gl. e , t ere are social factors OSsla (Owens 2001a: 442 n. 28).21 1 Th. h . IS ypothes1s would a wh~re minority traits such ppear to ~e substantiated by the qultu dialects, panng Anato1·Ian qultu vs as q and .. h Imala a re mamtamed. Moreover com. nort em Ira· ' q1 qu1tu dialects would appear to 21 This h th· }'po eslS, as well as th . 52). He suggests, albeit on .e prevIOUS one substantiate· . factors favoring Ian ~e ~IS of modeled rates of lin . ~ a certain manner way Nettle (1998: 46, StiC groups, and SOcial s~:~ dl~ers~cation are lack of popr change, not actual data, that two key stratification in the:m catIon m the population. As de~~ ~hange between originally unitary m H5 and H6, geography and social pared population do appear b dly roa to correlate with diversity.

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


~rther substantiate it: Iraqi qultu dialects are influenced by gilit traits (e.g.

k > c, q> g) to a far greater degree than are the Anatolian (see 5.8-4 below). This hypothesis was a major object of my investigation of spoken Arabic in Maiduguri (1998a, also quantitatively based), in which it was suggested that the lack of a city-wide koine (and inversely, maintenance of ancestral traits) is a direct reflection of the minority status of Arabic in the city. H6 The homogeneity of a dialect area is dependent upon its peripherality or centrality. Peripheral areas will maintain inherited categories longer than central areas. So far as the current data base goes, WSA and Uzbekistan show significant similarities. This hypothesis, however, is closely related to the previous H5. One might prefer to say that it is not peripherality as such which is the effective feature, but rather the minority status of the speakers which favors maintenance. Moreover, the hypothesis is contradicted in one respect: Uzbekistan Arabic shows greater similarity to the more central Shukriyya dialect than to WSA. Furthermore, non-circular definitions of central and peripheral are difficult to deVelop. Is Yemen more central than Nigeria? If yes, what does it mean when Yemen maintains the 2FSG suffix -iJ, already attested in Sibawaih, whereas Nigerian Arabic has -k~ identical to Standard Arabic -ki? What non-circular arguments are there that -iJ is innovative? Peripherality and centrality are, I believe, designations taken over from the social sciences (e.g. Political Science) which can be applied in linguistics only with considerable circumspection. H7 Phonology is more variable than morphology or, phrased as a historical proposition, phonology is more liable to variation and change than is morphology. I think one of the more intriguing statistics is found in Table 5·3, where the means and standard deviations of the phonology and morphology are compared. For both WSA and Mesopotamia, the SD of the phonological variables is considerably higher than that of the morphological. Note that this observation would tend to support Hetzron's point that morphology is a better index of ancient sharedness than is phonology. It also justifies the remarks of a reader for Oxford University Press that some of the common features could be independent innovations, even if it directs this tendency towards phonology.


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

5·7· Three Caveats Three structural problems can b e noted m . the mterpretation . of the statistics. 5·7·1. Innovations

The statistics are a representation of . want to have similar st t· t· fr contemporary ArabIC. Ideally one would a IS ICS om var· f fA b· . so on. Obviously lack f Ie Ies 0 ra IC m 1800, 1500, 1200, and , 0 sources for sp k A b· accounting. In general ·t b 0 en ra IC precludes such detailed more dissimilar with It· may de assumed that Arabic dialects are becoming .. . . Ime an that the . present statistICS mclude many mnovations An b· . 0 VIOUS case m point . bl . are vana es 3 and 4· These describe the reflex of *n and *'1 h· h . , w IC m WSA IS mostl h d ? ( these are innovations in WSA. h Y an see Ap 2.1·3, 4)· That Ja'har 'month' vs le'h ' ~s s own by the contrast in Bagirmi Arabic of . em meat In thes f, *"in WSA h. However th . d. .. e orms 11 and *h have fallen together h , e m ICatIon of a f, the different vowel qual·ty L . ormer p aryngeal Jj is left behind in I after *n. Ancestral BagI·r : Aowb~ remamed low after *h, but was raised to e mi ra IC must h h d *"The statistics however b th . ave a 11 at some point. , , y elr very 1017i will· h· contrast with most oth .. O"'c, m t IS respect show WSA to er vanetIes of t con emporary Arabic, which of course have retained *n. . Thi~ point underscores the necessi . . hlstoncal interpretation onl . h ty of usmg the statistics as a tool of struction. If, as suggested Js~ t ~ contex~ of a plausible attempt at reconical affinity, the data cit~d h an Uzbekistan Arabic have a special histor. ere would allow t . . separatmg the two cont one 0 remove one statIstIC emporary refle 1 xes, name y presence (Uzbekistan) vs. absence (WSA) of ha statistics help indica~e ryntgenlals. Mor~over, looked at in these terms the no 0 y what I . contemporary dialect b nnovatlOns have occurred in a given area, ut also the d egree to which innovations have spread. The WSA area ha h h samean (186) f, h· . t e c ange is close to com 1 . . or t IS vanable which indicates that pete m the region (2 = uniform hiP). 5·7.2. Minority forms

A temptation should be avoided of valo . . . . other, relevant material d . nZlng the statistICS to the detriment of i I· an vanant for Th .. . ncomp ete. I illustrated this in tw ms. e statistics will always be In sect. 5.4.2 it was seen that th c 0 separate places, so I will be brief here. ·d e 10rm ofth . pro.VI es an interesting historical 1. e actIve participle + suffix pronoun ~ between Uzbekistan Arabic and one vanety of WSA. This has not b een mcluded· . as a vanable, however, since III

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora


many dialect descriptions no information is given on the form. It would be a major mistake to ignore it, however. In sect. 5.8.5 below are mentioned forms which are attested sporadically in my WSA data, always in texts, but which, so far as my experience in explicit elicitation of data goes, does not occur regularly. Unfortunately, even the bestresearched dialect areas have gaps. Precisely in regard to the question of the spread of a given form, and its status as to retention or innovation, such minority forms may have an important interpretive role to play. The sporadic presence of a final imala form in verb, rna]e 'he went', suggests a link to Tripolitanian m]e, the Daaxila oasis in Egypt (Behnstedt and Woidich 1985: 281) and to various Persian Gulf dialects (T. Prochazka 19 81 : 37)· 5·7.3. What features are criteria I?

A final caveat is not to lose sight of the fact that the statistics as I have deVeloped them here are non-weighted. Each feature is of equal status as far as numerical calculations go. It is above all this aspect of statistics which perhaps will make philologically orientated Arabicists wary. One could add a feature, for instance, for the realization of *s. This is one of the most stable of all phonemes in Arabic (discounting assimilation for voicing, emphasis, and other regular allophonic effects). Were it added, it would have the same numerical weight as the realization of the 1SG perfect verb suffix as - tu or- t, a variable of greater significance than is *s. Why, however, is the ISG suffix more significant? Dialectologists would simply intuitively regard it as such. Even statistically one could work out a justification for according it greater significance. Each value of a variable could be given a variation index, for instance, ranging between 0 and 100. The index is formed by dividing the number of cases by the number of different realizations of a variable and multiplying by the percentage of each variety in the sample. So far as the present data goes, were *s entered as a variable it would have a value of 100, indicating that *s is realized as Islin all varieties. The 1SG perfect suffix, on the other hand, has a value of -tu = 33 per cent, _t = 67 per cent (8.2.40 ). For purposes of dialect comparison it is the more heterogeneous variables which are the more interesting.

5.8. Problems in Coding In this section I would like to discuss a number of problems which, in a sense, have no solution, but which, at the same time, in all probability do not materially affect the main results of the present analysis. I add the proviso


Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

'in all probability' because, since they are problems, their significance cannot be accurately gauged until they have been solved, or at least, worked on to a greater extent than what I have done. Furthermore, there are problems whose solution is fairly obvious, but which, for lack of more detailed data, are impossible to implement at the present time.

Pre-Diasporic Arabic in the Diaspora

are three outcomes in the current dat\as i~us:a:ed ~ s~l~~; ~~:e:::~ ~~~ epenthetic vowel is inserted between elt er t e rs an third consonants. (7a) C;}C-C, akl-na (7b) CC;}-C,

5·8.1. Coding values


(7C) CC-C


ak;;,l-na 'our food'

akl;;,-na aklna

(WSA) have mainly (7b), and one e dialects have (7 ) in Some dialects (e.g. JB) have only (7a ),some . . a t h e (7C) In add ItIOn som . .. c . has (7a) when C2 is a (Uzbekistan) appears 0 av Mardm lor mstance, ( ) . th .' . k Ib-ki 'your.F dog'. I code some contexts, 7C m 0 ers. . h I otherwIse (7C), as m a sonorant, as m t e examp e, . der for this to work, however, these 'both/and' dialects with a half pomt..In or .n this instance (7a) has b . ally contiguous, so I c (7a) and (7 ) need to e n~~enc b) h alue '3'. In this reckoning Mardin the value '1', (7C) the value 2, and (7 t e v

The statistical summary relies on a numerical coding practice whose basis is, to a broad degree, arbitrary. It is hoped that this very arbitrariness, however, guards against skewing the results in one direction or another. Statistics distinguishes between ordinal, interval, and nominal coding scales. Interval are those which measure the extent to which a case has a certain fixed property; ordinal define the relative order a set of cases have of a certain property, and nominal are those in which cases are defined to have a certain property in an arbitrary, though explicit way. The present statistics, like much found in language phenomena, are of a nominal order: they measure no fixed property, and the assignment of a number to one exponent or another is arbitrary. I have, however, followed certain guidelines in assigning values to the different cases: '1' is a form close to or identical with Standard Arabic; thus, between the two 2FSG object pronoun forms -ki and -ik, I have coded -ki with '1', -ik with '2'. I should emphasize that in according Standard Arabic the value '1' I am not making a statement of historical origin. This is simply an arbitrary starting point, which provides an orientation for any dialect. Note furthermore that I use Standard Arabic and not a presumed Classical Arabic as the hinge. Classical Arabic as seen in sect. 1.1 above is an interpretive problem. Thus I codify the form CaCvv, as in kabiir with '1', as this is the same as Standard Arabic. It is also broadly identical to Classical Arabic. However, if taking Sibawaih as a SOurce for the language, Classical Arabic also has the adjective form fi'iiyl e.g. si'iiyd 'happy' (Kitaab II: 274), so that, barring an extensive justification of what one understands by Classical Arabic, many variables in this data base would be ambiguous in this respect. Standard Arabic as an artificial, conventionalized model is in this context a convenient starting point.

tradictions arise. . .f s to one extent or another. Beyond these three points I use my own ~~Ul 10~ d.Vl.dual values in most It ·n dUlerent m I , . uld While different codings wo resu I . F . stance take the variable t, I final analysIs. or m , cases they woul d not a ter my .. (te arguably different from . . , ,. h St dard pronunCiatIon t no . , ,Dth ariant 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > I (more sonorant) In the sequence C,C" an epenthetic vowel is inserted if C, is less sonorant than C,. The epenthetic vowel is la/after a guttural, otherwise a high vowel (front or back, [i/u] depending on harmonic factors discussed in sect.· I would note that this rule replicates what Clements (1990: 287, following Murray and Vennemann) terms the syllable contact law, which states that in a CC cluster, the first consonant tends to be more sonorant than the second. To elucidate how the system works, 'minimal pairs' can be summarized from the list, where the presence or absence of an epenthetic vowel follows from the sonority relationship of the consonants. The first column sanctions epenthesis while the second does not.

2 -t is in the second lowest sonority group. which means that an epenthetic vowel will relatively rarely be inserted before it. This observation may be part of the explanation for the deletion of the, and 2MSG subject suffixes in Nigerian and western Sudanic Arabic. when they are not thentselves suffixed, 'fif-t -> fif'I saw' (see (2) in sect. 1.4). The lack of epenthesis leaves the suffix unsyUab,fied and renders it non-salient. making it a more prominent target for deletion. I would note that there are not enough examples of Ijlin my sample to be sure at this time where exactly it belongs. It is no higher than level 4> however. . 3 Adapting observations from lun (2004: 65), one line of explanation for the propensity of the alveolars and dentals (coronals) to support epenthesis might be in terms of speed ofhngual gest~re. Coronals have a fast gesture, velars. by comparison. are slow. The CC dllference between bigcfa he cuts' vs. buduguj'he crashes into' is thus one between a slow-fast and a fast-slow gesture. Furthermore, the 'slow' consonant (lglin this case) extends its influence on the formant transitions on the precedIng vowel. even when it is in the C, position. In a hypothetical *budguf, the Iglhas. ~n effect. on the transitional formants of the lui. thereby interfering with the typical formant translttons ~hlch help identify the following Id!. With an epenthetic vowel between Id!and Ig!. this interference LS aVOided.


The Imperfect Verb

The Imperfect Verb

(14) bu§ufun vs. bu!§ul: ~-f epenthicizes, but not f-s buduguJ vs. bugcfuf d-g but not g-d budubuz vs. bubdan d-b but not b-d budubuz vs. bubzur d-b but not b-z bukubsan vs. busubug k-b but not b-g 0

The examples from column (nb) can be understood in the same rule complex, except that here a further variable is added, namely that the stem vowel (the :o~el before the final -C) occurs in an open syllable. Using a very descnptlve format, a further rule can be stated: delete the stem vowel in an open s!llable, u~less this leads to a violation of the sonority hierarchy. For mstance, m

(15) 'bu§ufun,


the singular form inserts because lsi is lower than IfI. When a V-initial suffix is a~ded placing the final stem in an open syllable, the stem lui is not deleted, smce Iflis less sonorant than Inion the hierarchy. By contrast, in

(16) 'bukubus, bu'kubsan t~e stem vowel lui does delete in the plural, since Ibl is above lsi on the .smce .Ik! 'IS lower hIerarchy. The epenthefIC vowe1 b etween Ik!and Ib/remams, than fbi. In

(17) buktub, buktub-an there is no insertion anywh ere, smce . . more sonorant than Itl. In the I k! IS . 1ural the lui IS not deleted . 1 1" p Ibl and h . m an open sy able, smce It I IS less sonorant than '· .ence reqUIres a vowel separator. In (n), sets i. and iii. have no de1etlOn, smce C is less so no t th C .. does have deletion, SInce . C2 . 3 ran an 2' Set n. IS more sonorant than C3 • Sonority makes itself [,eIt'm fu rth er phonological alternations. In the ' ..c' [,011owmg peuect-Imperfe t . were h c paIrs, the perfect verb has k -s as the first two consonants, converting tho h . Ik/ IS to t e 'Imperfect would theoretically involve p1acmg · next1 to lsi . Ik!'IS b e1ow lsi on the sonority hierarchy, so an epenthet IC vowe would b ' th II 1 ) e Inserted . Instead, sequences of k-s (and others of esc ass metathesize in the imperlect, result'mgm: .

(18) kasar 'he broke' kaJa or kaJah 'he opened'

biskar, biskar-an (instead of *bikasar) biJki, biJk-an.

A similar explanation lies behind (19) waagif'standing', waafg-e'standing.. F'

Here the open syllable deletion rule applies, but on the metathesized f-g sequence. It can be seen how the interplay of epenthesis as defined by the sonority hierarchy along with the deletion of a short vowel in an open syllable, as in (16), produces the effect which was described in (1)-(3) above. 6.2. Historical Significance

To introduce this section, it can be noted that there is a degree of variation attested in certain forms. A detailed quantitative treatment of the alternation, burgud 'he lies down', burgud-an rv burugd-an is found in Owens (1998a: 29). While burugdan is not expected from the sonority hierarchy, in fact its tokens in an extensive text count outnumber the unepentheticized burgudan. Also, I have noted that while buskutan 'they.F are quiet' is the normal form, conforming to the sonority hierarchy, in one village busuktan (etc.) was regularly observed. In both these cases the exception moves in the same direction, namely that the epentheticized form becomes categorical, regardless of sonority context. Epenthesis occurs where a sequence of three consonants, CCC, arises. I will ignore these two 'exceptions' for present purposes, because so far as the Nigerian Arabic data goes they represent isolated cases. Nonetheless, they serve as an introduction to the main theme of this section, namely the historical development of epentheticized forms. The basic argument is that already in some pre-diasporic varieties sonorant-determined epenthesis gave way to what I term linearly determined epenthesis. As in the examples cited in the previous paragraph, sonority gives way to consonantal sequence, as the determinant of epenthesis. The starting point of this discussion is an article by Kiparsky (2003) in which he offers a tripartite division of Arabic dialects into - VC, C-, and -CVdialects.4 His treatment covers many types of syllabification phenomena, not only those exhibited in the imperfect verb, to which this chapter is limited. I will summarize it only to the extent that it impinges on the current historical problem. Neither C-nor - VC dialects allow a short high vowel in an open syllable, hence *CV is prohibited. As far as the verb goes, in synchronic terms this constraint produces alternations such as the following (as in (4) above):

(20) yiktib (a) yiktib-u (b) yiktb-u (c) yikitb-u. • See Watson (ms.) for criticisms of many of the linkages suggested in Kiparsky's article.

The Imperfect Verb


The Imperfect Verb

As with Nigerian Arabic, the in ut is a v . initial suffix is added d' all P erb with a va stem. When a vowel, a IS owed CV syll bl ( . ) . vowel deletes (20b) Th' I d a e tl- IS produced (20a). The . IS ea s to another bl . CCC, ktb, syllable To alle . t h' unaccepta e situation, namely a VIa e t IS problem h . . between the first tw an epent etIc vowel is introduced . 0 consonants (20C) A al d . . s rea y noted, m many Arabic dialects this rule is catego . al h C-dialects as Ki ky nc w en the stem vowel is high. , pars notes, are simila t VC· . (20). After high vowel d I ' h r 0 dialects, m that they have e etIOn, owever th I. ' e resu tmg CCC sequence is all owed. Kiparsky includes h b h · ere ot most North Afr'ICan d'al I ects, and certain ArabIan peninsular dial t . ec s, particularly south H'" em IJazl (see (21) below). As will be seen below this syn h ' different developm~nts. c romc class of C-dialects collapses historically CV-d'al I ects, finally, essentially mainta' In a stem vowel in all positions. Examples are many Yeme . d'al ' . m I ects and Bah 2, Table 2.1. anyya In Egypt, as described in . Ch . ~at I would like to suggest here is th h . at t e contemporary Nigerian Arabic situatIOn is the key to d . Table 6.1. un erstandmg a d eveIopment whICh . may be described as III There are four tiers in Table 6 1 I t ' . 'b " will be easiest to begin with the bottom one (level d) as it d B " ' escn es the relaf h egmmng on the left th d'ffj Ive c ronology of actual varieties. , ree I erent " reconstructed into p d' " vanetIes are identified. All of them are CI . re- lasponc tImes Th fi .. asSICal Arabic and by th . erst pOSItIon is represented by ' e ancestor of v . anous modem varieties. These have no rul es at all which affect th . epenthesis. e Imperfect stem, neither rules of deletion nor of ?he ancestor of various southern H"' . . atIOn. Here a short high I. IJaZl dIalects represents a second situvowe IS deleted in an open syllable. There is, however, no epenthesis, as CCC seque d i ' contrasts such nces. are tolerate. d Th'IS produces imperfect verb ara gmatlc ( P as m 21) wh I open synables, high vowels deleted. ' ere ow vowels are maintained in

TABLE 6.1.

a N .


B . . aSIC Imperfect stem: relative chronology of stem change

on- mearly determined

b. Stem constraint c. No epentheSIS . or epenth . b eSIS y sonority d. *Proto-NA> *Proto-Southem H" . CA * IJazi , proto-Yemeni etc.


Linearly detemIined No stem constraint Regular epenthesis ELA etc. > (?) North African

(21) tuktub tafrab


tuktb-iin 'you.F write' (T. Prochazka 1988: 32, 35) tafrab-iin 'you.F drink'

~ ~hird situation is sonorant epenthesis, with Nigerian Arabic an approximate IlVlng reflex. It will be argued below that sonorant epenthesis began with the most sonorant consonants, essentially as in (6) above, and became generalized from there to the situation which is currently attested in Nigerian Arabic. The sonorant hierarchy of Nigerian Arabic thus derives directly from an earlier proto-variety, but is not an exact relic of the original situation itself. Up to Nigerian Arabic all the varieties share one basic feature: either they undergo no phonological perturbation to their basic form or if they do, as with Nigerian Arabic, it is not stems but rather consonant sequences which are the domain of epenthesis. With ELA, on the other hand, there emerges a phonological rule which is generalized to all high-vowel stems: CCVC-V changes to CVCC-V. Unlike Nigerian Arabic, consonant quality plays no role in the process. I therefore call it linearly determined epenthesis, since it depends solely on linear sequences of consonants. Tiers a and c in Table 6.1 divide the dialects and protovarieties according to whether or not the imperfect verb has linearly based epenthesis. I would propose that the ELA-type epenthesis grew directly out of a Nigerian-type. It is clear from the list in (n) that the sonorant hierarchy introduces a large number of epenthetic vowels, and at the same time sanctions a large number of vowel deletions when a-V initial suffix is added. Speakers generalized the insertion/deletion alternations from ones being governed by specific consonantal constraints, to ones governed by the global sequence of consonants and vowels. From the diverse inputs, for the forms without a vowel-initial suffix, a pattern of the type in (n a iii) became the norm, and in those with a vowel-initial suffix, the pattern in (11 b ii) did. That a process of generalization in favor of linearly determined epenthesis could have become dominant is supported by the evidence cited in the first paragraph of this section, that on a variational basis in Nigerian Arabic such a

'shift' is observable. s Since the sonority hierarchy in (12) is attested in this form only in Nigerian and other western Sudanic dialects, it is to be seen as the endpoint of a continuous development which began in pre-diasporic times. It may be further suggested that the input for expanding the hierarchy began at the 5 This is not to suggest that the shift will ever go to completion to reach a system such as in eastern Libyan Arabic. As seen in the discussion of short high vowel quality in Nigerian Arabic in sect. 2.4-1.1,

there appear to be strong social factors supporting a non-directed variation.


The Imperfect Verb

extremes of the hierarchy, step 1 and step 6. Note that these two contexts have already been introduced as general phenomena in Arabic dialects (sect. 3-4- 2 , e.g. (17), (18». Step 1, insertion of an epenthetic vowel before a liquid or nasal, a~ will. be reiterated in sect. 6.4 below, is a process already described by Slbawalh. Step 6, so far as I know, is not attested in the Old Arabic literature. I~ the modem dialectological literature, it represents a phenomenon so wI~espread that it has a fixed designation, namely the 'gahawa' syndrome. ThIS refers to the Ihlin the word for 'coffee', a letter which is eponymous for a~y guttural consonant (as in (12». After a guttural consonant, in many dIalects an [aJ is inserted (e.g. Najdi, southern Jordanian and the Sinaitic li~toral, most dialects of the entire Sudanic region, Iraqi gilit dialects, eastern LIbya, s.ee sec~. 1.6.6). From this wide distribution it may be surmised that it is a pre-dlasponc event. There is thus very strong evidence that steps 1 and 6 in (12) were found in a fairly large number of pre-diasporic varieties. I would su~est t~at these two contexts represented initial models for sonorant epentheSIS whICh generalized in some varieties to other contexts, resulting in the contempor 't t' . N' . ary SI ua Ion In 1genan Arabic (and western Sudanic in general). I should note that from a comparative historical basis I am not saying that eastern Libyan Arabic th rul f . . fr · . ' or e e 0 epentheSIS m ELA, developed om Nlgenan Arabic. Rather, the generalized linearly determined epenthesis develop~d out of a sonority-based epenthesis. It could be that the ancestral variety of hn~arly ?ased epenthesis developed from a more impoverished version of a so~onty hler~rchy than in (12), thOUgh at this point such thinking is speculatIVe. What IS argued is that th N" b'" . e Igenan Ara IC SItuatIon today IS closer to the ancestral variety of th ELA h ' . . '" th · . e t an IS ELA Itself, and It IS m thIS sense at . h . d Nlgenan Arabic is the key t . t . 0 m erpretmg t e development of a Imearly base epenthesIs.

The Imperfect Verb


ELA-type epenthesis. However, since the high-low vowel contrast was lost in most North African varieties, it affects all stems. Note that in this respect it contrasts with southern Hijazi, where the low-vowel stems are stable (see (21». Otherwise, both southern Hijazi and North African allow CCC-V stems. 6 Whether there is a residual southern Hijazi element in the North African data is an issue requiring separate study. Given the current reconstructions, the southern Hijazi type is pre-diasporic, and therefore could have served as a pool for the North African forms. 6.3. Epenthesis

In all varieties of Arabic situations may arise where a rule oflinear epenthesis is needed. This does not pertain to the imperfect stem. It does, however, apply to the perfect verb, in the configuration: (22) Stem-t-OBJ, t = 1, 2 MSG subject suffix where object is -C initial.

Given: (23) fif-t 'I saw'

if a C-initial suffix is added, a CCC sequence will result. (24) fif-t-ha 'I saw her'

In southern Hijazi, which as seen allows CCC sequences, no further action need be taken (e.g. oarabthum 'I hit them.M', T. Prochazka 1988 : 185). In both b'c on the other hand, the sequence needs to be . AraI, NaJ'd'1 and N'1genan d broken up, *CCC being disallowed. A vowel is inserted between the secon and third consonants, giving, 0

. From the relative dating of th rul e l l ' · e es to ows the pre-dlasponc provenance o f t he forms In (12) Epenth . b d . · . eSlS ase on sononty preceded linearly determIned epenthesis Linearly d t . d h' . .' . . . e ermIne epent eSIs IS found today, mter alIa, III eastern Libyan Arabic d' h d'al d an In t e l ects of southern Jordan the Negev an ' the northern Sinai litt al ( d or see e Jong 2000: 190, 229, 516). De Jong notes that · ". t he SInaltIc dIalects can b d t d . . . e a e to pre-IslamIc tImes. Assuming the anCIent ahnd ~resent -day populations to be related linguistically, it would follow that t e hnearly determined ep th· al . . · . en eSlS was ready In place in pre-diasporic tunes. SInce In the argument r d I . . . a Ion eve oped m thIS chapter this logically assumes t he sononty-determined th· h' ' , epen eSlS, t IS form of epenthesis as well must be pre- d lasponc.

. rt ed between the first . two ' . con-f In principle the vowel could have been Inse h' Mill't ting against thIS pOSItIOn 0 . . f sonants. This is not the msertlOn 0 c Olce. a . .Insertion are the followmg. . Thi' . , typically found With the suffix -to s msertlOn IS . b £ . In the Nigerian sonority system, It! is low on the list, hence insertIOn e ~r~ It would be disfavored but insertion after it favored. Furthermore, t~e res.u tIn g . . al d' f to the syllabIficatIOn 0 f CV-syllable (ta) produces only mmrrn lSrup Ion . This is the basic stem. The evc stem (fi!) is not affected by the epenthesIs.

d' . . The exact status of North Afri no t CruCl'al My guess (h th can . lalects m this historical typology IS . ence e questIOn mark) is that they derive from an

. h thetie vowel will appear in a • Though it is often reported in the literature that a very s ort epen C"CC-V sequence.

(25) fift-!!.ha 'I saw her' (see (15) in Ch. 3)·



The Imperfect Verb

represented in tier b in Table 6.1. U to N·· . . . constraint which d II P Igenan ArabIc there IS effectIvely a th·· oes not a ow generalized ancestral varieties of Y i . . epen eSlS In a verb stem. In CA, emem etc and In south H··· occurs or is allowed in t h ' ern IJazi no epenthesis at all e stem. In Nigerian Ar b· h . . refers to consonantal ali a IC, epent eSlS occurs, but It qu not rough isomorphy b tw ty'h an abstract notion of stem. There is thus a e een t e morphol . I structure and the m h i . oglCa stem and the stem syllable , orp 0 ogIcal suffix and th ffix II bl stem is represented in a II bl e su sy a e structure: a A syllabification of th sy a e ~nd the suffixes by their syllables. Jifinto two syllables J.~fitypce Jifitha, on the other hand, breaks up the stem . ' I t, V-CVC Her d· th tIOn of the imperfect verb (see (20) ~ e, an In e ELA-type syllabificaphonological so no con t · b d (26), (27) below), the rules are purely ' system s nfi raInts ased on the construct ' stem' are relevant. ELA at the Th . co rms the purely h i · al can be seen in its solution to h p ?no ogIC nature of epentheSIS t e current predICament: (26) Jif-it-ha. Here the epenthesis between the fi epenthesis in rst two consonants parallels the

The Imperfect Verb


as an alternative to bakr-'Bakr-NOM', bakur, with the case vowel inserted before the final stem consonant. It can be inferred from the few examples which Sibawaih supplies, that the epenthesis occurs in the context CCliquid/nasaI. Liquids and nasals in the Nigerian Arabic rule (12) are also the most sonorant consonants of the set, and as pointed out in sect. 3.3. 2 .1, the epenthesis before a liquid or nasal, the so-called bukura syndrome (bukura, the word for 'tomorrow'), is fairly widespread in Arabic dialects generally. It can thus be said with a high degree of certainty that the three reconstructed forms are also adumbrated in the Old Arabic literature, or, if they are not, comparative evidence argues strongly for postulating them. Of course, high vowel deletion and even more, sonorant epenthesis have a much more circumscribed role in the Old Arabic accounts than they do in the current reconstructions. This is ancillary to the current argument, however. As often emphasized in this work, reconstruction can be practiced by definition on whatever data source allows it, and the results therefrom have an internal validity independent of other linguistic sources. In my judgment what is striking is that reconstruction and attestation in Sibawaih complement each other at all in issues of rather small detail.

(27) yikitb-u

'they write'

w~ich as seen above, is based urel thiS system epenthesis as in Ni p . y on c?nsonantal sequence. Of course, in out, since the insertion uldgenan ArabIc or northern Najdi Arabic is ruled wo create an ope II bl (28) *Jifti-ha n sy a e. 6.4- The Old Arabic E¥I'dence I have propos d th d. e ree reconstructed fi ate mto the pre-diaspori orms of the imperfect verb which all reflexes In . th e Old Arab· lic era. Each of th em fi nds identical or analogouS Table 6 .1, no deletion ICno terature' though to d·Iffering degrees As noted in ~eletion of a high vo~el lea~nthesis is characteristic of Clas~ical Arabic. In the Old Arabic literature H g to a CCC sequence is not attested as such v I· . Owever . owe In an open syllable simil ' as seen In Ch. 2, deletion of a short high that the southern Hijaz/ form ar to (21), is well attested. It may be suggested where deletion of a high vow Is. are directly related to Old Arabic varieties ~()florant epenthesis also . e In an ~pen syllable was widespread. ThIS was s . IS attested In Old Ar b · · . ummanzed in sect. wh . a IC, partlculary in Sibawaih. , ere It was seen that Sibawaih describes

6.5. The Reconstructions and the Classical Arabic Verbal Mode

Endings As a final issue in this chapter, it is relevant to consider the historical status of the mode endings on the imperfect verb. The Classical Arabic verb parallels the noun in having a set of inflectional endings marked by short vowels. (29) yaktub-u 'he writes-IND'

yaktub-a 'he writes-SUBJUNCTIVE' yaktub 'he writes-JUSSIVE'

The indicative verb is marked by-u, the subjunctive by -a, and the jussive by 0. As with the case system, the system of short vowel markings on the verb plays no role in understanding the genesis of the forms in the con~empora~ dialects (see (n) in Ch. 8 for parallel situation in nominal para~grn). ThIS follows from the following considerations. The addition of a vowell.n both the southern Hijazi and the Nigerian Arabic-type systems triggers, or ~n the case of Nigerian Arabic, potentially triggers the deletion of a sho.rt hIgh ~owel. There are no Old Arabic sources which mention the mode endmgs as tnggering such a process. So far as the old sources go at least, the reconstructed


The Imperfect Verb

southern Hijazi and Nigerian Arab' independent of a variety w'th ballC types hav~ to be seen as parallel to and As £ ' I ver mode endmgs or the no deletion, no epenthesis' h' . m Classical Arabic ca t b I . type, t e presence of mode endings nno e re ated II " all . ngUlstlC y to the absence of mode endings in the modern typ I . al short high vowel is rna' t .0 °dg~C theqUlvalent (equivalent in the sense that a .. . m ame m estern d all relation because there I'S I . al un er conditions). There is no no OglC causal c '. h . al' onnectlOn. t e mode endmgs could once have existed on th e ancestr vanety b t th . h' . . trace allowing such . C , u ere IS no Istoncallinguistic an mlerence to be made.7 The,Present chapter skirts around further . ra~dtu I returned', and requires a complet tepentheuc phenomena, such as the CA rule, radd-tu --> e reatment of stress. 7


Imala In the final two chapters, I draw on data from both modern dialects and Old Arabic sources. In each chapter, I begin with the Old Arabic sources. Arguably, the most complicated treatment of a subject in Sibawaih in relation to variational properties is that of the ?imaala (imala, as I term it). The term is Sibawaih's and like much terminology from the Arabic tradition has been taken over in the modern Arabistic literature. ?imaala means 'inclining, bending to'. Essentially imala involves the change of a long aa to an ee-like value in the context of an fif in a preceding or following syllable. As will be seen, the examples Sibawaih gives are often identical forms found in the modern dialects which have imala, e.g.: (1) kilieb'dogs' (II: 279.21) masiejid'mosques' (II: 279. 11 ).

Imala involves a long faa!, medial or final, and it can, in Sibawaih's terminology, be applied to short fa! as well, though this is much more restricted. Imala of final faaf and faf treated in comparative perspective involves a prohibitively large data set. In this chapter, the comparative goals of the work are served by a concentration on the medial imala of long faa!, with one exception in sect. 7.1.3 where I treat short faf imala. In describing Sibawaih's summary of imala, I do, however, occasionally describe imala of final long -aa, as it allows elucidation of Sibawaih's systematic linguistic thinking. 7.1. Imala in

Old Arabic

Phonetics and phonology Before summarizing the various, sometimes contradictory rules pertaining to where imala occurs, I will first attempt to ascertain its phonetic form. Sibawaih describes imala as a type of assimilation (?idraam), comparing it to assimilation of one consonant to another in terms of emphasis or voicing. The long aa is assimilated by a following or preceding i. He describes imala as an inclination of the tongue in which the phonetic configuration of faa! is




made to resemble and approach that of Iii (II: 279.16). Most Western scholars (e.g. Jastrow 1978; Levin 1998) who have worked on imala-dialects have not interpret~d Si~awaih's description of the sound phonetically. They merely refer to It ~s Imala. As phonetics is an important aspect of any linguistic reconstructIOn, however, some attention needs to be given to this issue. ~chaade (1911: 23) represents it with the German umlaut [a], which would Impl! a front [a]. He does not explain his orthography, however. Similarly, alNassir (1993: 92) suggesting only that the value of imala lies somewhere betwee~ [eel. and [EE], conventionally uses the symbol [eel. He does not ~ecogmze a dIphthongal value for it. Fleisch's interpretation is treated briefly m sect. 7.3.4 below. GrUnert (1875), although an early treatment among Western Arabicists, is a good one. Unlike .some contemporary Arabicists (see sect. 7.3.4), he recognizes t~e close connectIOn between classical imala and all the then-known modem .eVidence . 'm 0 ld dIalectal varieties (AndalUSI'a, Lebanon, S· . .. yna, Malta, even notmg SICilian sources , 1875'. 453) .1 Agam . m . contrast to most contemporary sources (see ~bove), Grunert attempts a very specific phonetic interpretation for classical Ima~ Unfortun~t:ly he bases his interpretation on post-Sibawahian texts only, and m t~e traditIOn of his compatriots (see Ch. 2), does not apply the comparative . . . ' . method to th e contemporary dIalectal sources. 2 The descnptIOn of Imala m. later texts is qUI'etumtary. ' Zamaxshan. serves as an example. ~a~~shan says (Muja§§aI335) that 'you incline an [aa] towards a [y]' (tumiyl -calIf nabw al-yaa?) Crucially G " . . · hh . , runert recogmzes in this formulatIOn a d Ip t ongal value. However th . h' ' " . , ere IS not mg III It whICh speCIfies an

::s .

I Griinert (1875: 453) speCifically relat th . la . dialects, citing the fOmIS bi"b dr" e .Ima of the Arabic grammarians to North African l lslln change of [aa] > [ii] In & ct an 'd (- lSII.n If at ali correct). This would imply the imala-induced . la, OUtSI e the Special case f Mal . ' ed . detail in sect. 7.2, North Afri Ar b' s0 tese and eastern Libyan ArabiC treat m not reflex for "[aa] Marc.; ( can ) . a Ie does. ' accord'mg to contemporary descriptions, have this . ,....s 1977 IS an extensive revi f N rth " . I th b . ew 0 0 African dialects and m all examp es where imala is expected (i e [aa]. e.g. kaan ('he was' " on e ,asls of :omparison with other imala-dialects), his examples have p. 71, lsaan tongue p 119 8m ' 'gh , . . be . h r . th Ar b' . , aanya el t p. 174). Slmtiarly, Cau t m e edilIon of Mar~is's studies diphthongal reflex for these :O~ds ~M a ~c of Fezzan (Southwest Libya) gives a low vowel, nonar~ls 2001: 162, 221-2, 255). North Africa d h th oes ave e change "[ay] > [ .. ] . .., . greater detail in sect I" u , as m bllt house' < bay!, but as will be discussed m . 7.2·5, re atmg this chan t S'b ., . problematic. Marc'is does st t th . la' ge 0 I awath s classical description of imala is qUite ra e at Ima IS found' Ce al . '. . examples so it cannot be J'udg d h m ntr TUnISian dialects, though gives no e w at are to be underst od I . . la . this case (I thank Catherine 'Ii' Ch ikh 0 as encal and phonetic reflexes of Ima m 2 In fact, Griinert (1875: 453a;:OW; a '::.; Januar: 2005, fo~ discussion of this point). . as a result of spread of Arab' d & .pp 0 explam the vanous manifestations of modem Ima/a langu . developments, as argued forICinanthisIOretgn ch ~ge ~ontact, rather than as a reflex of pre-diasponc ~pter; He JustIfies his view through a prioristic assumptions rather than by case-by-case argumentallon ( what occur t I di . which undergo vowel modification' 'wi das " 5 0 every anguage under similar con tIons, Fall ist, der Vocalismus imme h' odifie. .bel Jeder Sprache unter denselben Vorbedingungen der r me r m CIert').


on-glide [ia] or an off-glide [ail. Grunert, without discussion, opts for the latter (1875: 465). To be fair, reading Zamaxshari and other later descriptions linearly, this is probably the most neutral reading. Zamaxshari begins with the [aa] which you incline towards a [y]. Logically, however, the reverse could also be intended, with the [y] value in the beginning. Note that if the on-glide interpretation developed in detail below is correct, this would already indicate that Zamaxshari's reading is based purely on a philological reading of the imala value (or based on those who developed such), not on actual aural phonetic interpretation. Zamaxshari's imala description is treated in more detail in Appendix 3. By comparison, Sibawaih, probably not by chance, used a passive formulation, 'the faa] is inclined (imalized) if there is a consonant after it with Ii]' (fa-al-?alif tumaal ri()aa kaan ba'idahaa barf maksuwr ... ). This betrays no bias for on-glide or off-glide value. To decide between the two further text~al material may be adduced, along with an application of the comparative method. In this section, I first suggest a phonetic interpretation of the imala of long laal then summarize basic distributional properties. The phonetic realization of imala can be interpreted as a high falling diphthong: the tongue begins in the position of [i] and m~ves tow~rds [~] under the influence of an til in a neighboring syllable. ThIS same Imala IS attested even earlier than Sibawaih in the Koranic reading tradition (see Ch. 4). In fact, it is associated above all with the Kufan readers Abu 'lAmr ibn 'iAlaa?, the main protagonist of Ch. 4 whom Sibawaih sometimes took as an authority on Arabic (Talmon 2003: 43-7) and al-Kisa?i, w~o h~ ~so bee~ met above (see sect. 2.4.1 . 2, Didactic manuals). In Ibn Mu}aahid Imala .IS represented as the orthographic mark of a kasra placed before ~n ~f, as I~ 'one who envies'.l.t.II~ this token attributed to Abu Amr (Ibn MU}ah1d, 7?3). In Sibawaih imala -is signaled by a straight line (a type of kasra) wntte.n . ., I d belore e t he alif, kilaab A direct phonetIC beneath the lme, SImilarly pace . . . ' th ktllaab. Further . ' readmg of these phonetIC SIgnS gIves e d'Iphth 0 ngs liiaaslli,. in the reading tradition, Dani (49) describes Ab~ ~r.and Kisa?i's readmg o~ the imala of the -aa in kaafiriyn ( = kiefiriyn) as 1malizmg ... the [a] o~ the [k ]' (wa ?amaala Abu 'iAmr wa al-Kisaariy ?aygan fiy riwaayat ~- Duwny fatbat al-kaaf min 'al-kaafiriyn' '). On a componential reading of thIS statement, t~e -aa = alif is stable, whereas the short vowel Ia/(fatba) whic~ c?mes before t e ' sal'd to 1m 'I'malize' as an i-like pronunCiatiOn (see below), . alize. 'T'_I.:_ alif IS li1JU11g I

'bed b G·'

Similarly in the hand-written manuscripts descn placed before the alif. l

y rune


• •

rt (1875' .QQ) a kasra is usually . .,.,., ,


Imala Imala

'. this gives the form kiafiriyn. This fallin d' shape assumed here for S'b 'h" g Iphthong IS basICally the phonetic lawaI s ,mala value.4 Furthermore, as will be seen em h . are imala inhibitors Th [; , P atI~ and guttural consonants such as Iql . ey avor the mamtenance of laal as laa/. (2) qaa7.id'standing'

In the Arabic terminolo im la . whereas the lack of im a c IS often referred to as a kasra = Iii quality, a a IS reI erred to as a b I I ali . lenown, gutturals also ha l' na~ = a qu ty. 5 As IS well ve a owenng effect . r£ rule verbs with a guttural ( 7. on lffipe ect verbs, so that as a rather than Iii or luI a tx,;y, q, ,h, 1) at C 2 or C3 will tend to have laI, . s s em vowel (Sibawa'h II Ch mstances the gutturals tend t e l : 270, . 470). In both . 0 lavor a low [a] q al' . h . The Important point for h " ' - U Ity m t e followmg vowe1. 6 p onettc mterpretati . th c . consonant can be seen . hib' . . on IS at lor ,mala the guttural ning of the vowel i e bas m ~tmg t~e hIgh-falling diphthong at the begin. . ' '. ecause 'mala IS a high fall' di h mg p thong, the tongue ralsmg is prevented in the t al gu tur context .An alternative interpretation would h '. . . . ave ,mala as a low nsmg dIphthong, [aI]. The main problem 'th th.. 'd . WI . t h at this gives a value 1 enttcal with the al d ' IS mterpreta f Ion IS Sibawaih nowhere dr::s aYtteX1S~ent diphthong [ay] , as in bayt 'house: and 'r th entlOn to any si il . b 10 e contrary, he m anty etween the two sounds. . I appears to emphasize th . e umque phonetic character of ,ma a. Furthermore in a h discusses the case;f rt ~ apter after the discussion of imala Sibawaih ce am Arabs (he n ' h . ames some Qays and Lafazaara) w 0 change a final Ion I a! g a to layl m pausal position (3) hublaa ---> hUblay . 'pregnant' (II: 314. 8) This is a clear change of a Ion la .. not include it in the categ g f~ to a nsmg diphthong, but Sibawaih does ory 0 'mala We th . . re e 'mala similar to lay/, one . • The imala alone recalls h' . m a chain shift Ion v a c am-shifted variant, as described by ~bov. Labov (1994: 116) notes that change (aa -. . ) ~ ~wels tend to rise. Given the diphth dose to what ~e . n act, the North Frisian phonetic h ongal value, Imala falls within this category of c general no ch ~s ~r~posed here as the origm'aI imala ~ge [3%]-. [ia] (ibid. 126, 135) is, alone, very am IS mvolved' . la; . vanant of I aa/ I t h · . In Ima It is a conditioned' . n e ArabIC case, however, m for instance ay -. ee, sunun . d' Vanant. The th . ed operate indepe d tI anze m various sectio' re are 0 er vowel shifts attest , this chapt n en y of imala. A detailed diSCUss' ns m 7·3 below, though this appears largely to er. IOn would tak . 5 This term' I e one outsIde the inunediate subject of mo ogy recalls th e early use of nasb purel as Versteegh 1993b: 12 II • Though tho 5 . on the early exegetical tradi''tt' ) y a phonetic designation for [a] (see e.g. . " e status of [Ii] a n d ' on . . inhibitors. There are dial ['i] IS problematic. In Siba " ects, however, e.g. Maltese wh '['i]~.they are not among the Imala , ere IS an Imala inhibitor.


might have expected here mention of similarity. In fact, in this case there is a minimal contrast with the alternative (4) hublaa ---> hublie (287. 18).

Example (4) is an alternative imala realization of the final -aa of hublaa, and is discussed among the various issues in the chapters on imala. There are, therefore, two realizations for the final -aa, practiced, it appears, by different groups. The crucial point is that the imala realization has to be distinguished from a different realization, a difference which can be interpreted as lie] (imala) vs. lay] (Qaysi realization). In this regard, as will be seen below in sect. 7.2, dialects with imala tend to preserve the diphthong ay. This supports the contention that the direction of tongue movement in the two cases is quite different, different articulatory movements being involved. Where modem dialects do not have a monophthongal reflex of imala, the realization is always a high falling diphthong. In eastern Libyan Arabic (ELA), for instance the phonetic value of imala is lie] and in Maltese variously lie], [ee], etc., always higher to lower. I take the ELA value to be close to the interpretation ofSibawaih's description, a point which will be expanded upon in sect. 7.2.2 below, and therefore use lie] as the canonical imala value. As a final phonetic remark, in the Koranic reading tradition (though not in Sibawaih) certain readers or certain readings of imala are sometimes referred to as 'in between' (bayna bayna).7 This is said to be a value between [a] and [i] (Ibn Mujahid, 145), though unfortunately it is not specified more closely. I return to this terminology in sect. 7.3.3 below. Turning now to distributional matters, while I concentrate in the rest of this section on issues of phonological distribution, it is ultimately impossible to separate the linguistic treatment from dialectological and sociolectal variation, as will be seen. In Sibawaih imala is basically an allomorph of aa. Imala does not affect a long aa when Ia! or lui rather than Iii occurs in the context, hence not in taabal 'coriander' or in ?aajur 'baked brick'. It is also usually prevented from occurring in the context of the so-called 'raised' consonants (huruwf musta liliya), which include the emphatics and gutturals, q, x, ;Y, ~, 4, t, or ~. (II: Ch. 4 80). In addition, /rl may act as a imala-inhibitor as well (II: Ch. 481), a context which I return to in sect. 7.1.3 below. Another way of looking at the phenomenon is to say that laa! imalizes unless prevented from doing so by one of the inhibiting consonants (Cantineau 19 60 : 96-7, Corriente 1977: 22) . 7

The reading tradition also bas degrees of imala where some imala is stronger than others (see Ch.

5 n. 16).



Levin (1998: 77-80) summarizes the context of Sibawaih's imala in three main categories (C = category). C1. In the context of an [il, as in (1). This may be termed allophonic imala. C2. Lexically conditioned: when a weak medial verb has an til in the paradigm. In these verbs imala can occur even in the context of an inhibiting consonant, as in xief'he feared' (cf. xif-tu 'I feared: for the til in the paradigm). Other verbs cited here include t aab 'be good' and haab 'fear' (II: 281. 13). C3. Weak medial nouns, so long as no inhibiting consonant occurs, as in bieb 'door', nies 'people'. (C3), it should be noted, is Levin's observation, correct I should add. Sibawaih 28 (II: 5) views these as exceptional (Jaaoo), a point taken up in sect. 7.3.3 below. It should also be born in mind that (C1) and (C3) serve as reference to types of imala that are also found in modern dialects, discussed in sect. 7. 2 . In fact, the situation is more complicated than represented in (C1)-(C3), both linguistically and dialectally/idiolectally. First, individual sounds have idiosyncratic effects, in particular Ir/. Sibawaih devotes an entire chapter (481, 3 1/2 pages in all) to describing the effect of Irion imala. As always, there is a great deal of detail, which will be pared down to the essentials, as relevant to a later comparison with eastern Libyan Arabic (sect. 7.2.2). Sibawaih's basic observation is that an Irl before laal is an imala inhibitor, whereas an Irl after laal tends to favor it.s As usual, there must be an lilin the environment to induce imala.



The laal need not immediately precede the Irl, as in (8) kiefir 'unbeliever'.


must comesome Imd h owever, the Irl generally . d With an initial guttural soun, mediately after the laal, though even here imala IS atteste among speakers. ()

aadir 'able' more often than qiedir (II: 291. 12)

'b 'h . al'lzat'Ion , and leaving off further details, SI awal In terms of frequency 0 f 1m gives the following hierarchy of imala in the context of Ir/. 9


(10) Given an imala-inducing environment:

raa, ier > Gier > GaaCir G = guttural consonant

d occur before it, can occur even after a Imala does not occur after Irl, oes after a guttural if the /rl is guttural consonant, an d ge nerally does not occur not adjacent to laa/. d fi I' I SI'bawaih notes that there d 'b' gwor - na Imaa, Besides (C2) above, escn In. 'fth tern has no Iii or Iyl in it, as . d fi fi al laal to imallZe even I e s IS a ten ency or a n f'. 'h dim-sightedness' < 'iafaw. He . c· 'h all d' < da'iawa and 'ia Ie s ow In da~le e c e d b dergo imala because the vast notes that such Iwl final nouns an v~ s t : Iwl (II' 280 10) and because majority of weak final verbs have Iyl raht er an Iwl _fi~al v~rbs have a Iyl in d h . of verbs were even there are forms, t e passive F rther complications are discusse the paradigm (du'i ira 'he was calle . u


(5) himier-i-k 'donkey-GEN-your.M' (II: 290. 5)

vs. (6) firaaJ-i 'bedding.GEN' raaJid'directing' (II: 289. 20)

In regard to himier-i-ka it is interesting that Sibawaih considers this to be equivalent to fa'iaalil plural noun, i.e. with the suffixes -i-k conceived of as part of the stem. I return to this point in sect. 7.2.2 below. Though less common than (6), the imala-abetting effect of pre-r laa! can even induce imala after a guttural sound. (7) qierib 'nearing' tierid 'chasing' (II: 290. 6) • Post-aa Irl as imala abettor is also treated in the Qiraaraattradition (Ibn Mujahid, 147, 149-50)'

below. . .d t' fied by Levin are not necessarily Furthermore, the three categones I elin I . Sibawaih's discussion of the Th' an be exemp fied In h . IS c ) I h uld be emphasized that t e mutually exclUSive. d'al uns (II' 282. t s 0 all f imala of weak-me I no .. f mber of different cases, 0 following discussion is representative 0 . a .nu d al of internal vanatlOn. . ( ) which display a great e . ali laa lin Iii contexts, as In 11. .. h t me speakers lffi ze . fl h Sibawalh notes t a so . ' . elevant to introduce bne y t e .. . . the followmg It IS r . Th . .h e of the imala vanants. e AntICipatIng sect. 7.1.2, In 'b ih associated Wit som h . t I h S'bawaih says use t e vanan groups whom SI awa the peop e w 0 I designation 'group"d I ent'fies I in question. (n) bi-l-miel-i

with-the-wealth-GEN 'fi d eople) said' (II: 282. group: qaaluw 'they (unspeci e p




This practice would seem to corres ond pausal variant (12): p to (I) above, as he gives the non(12) bi-I-maal

'with the wealth' group: minhum man yad'i 0 alik imala form because f ~~ a a fi I-waqf'ialaa naalihi [i.e. in o gemtIve context] . h . th wa mm urn man yan~Ibu fiy I-waqf (II: 282 n) , . , among em are tho h I se w 0 eave the form in pausal position as it is in c t on ext, and those who I . I . circumstances' (see (13) below) eave It as aal m all where lacking the conditionin f; . non-imala state. gorce of hI, the laa! of maal remains in its However, Sibawaih goes on to not th see above) who imal· e at there are also those (minhum man, Ize even when the co d ·n· . n 1 onmg genitive suffix does not Occur, in the context of pause. (13) bi-I-miel

group: as in (12) Sibawaih, wh 0 always searched for all par els to help understand a given observation (see Owe ) h . . ns 200S suggests th Imalizing force He ·t at t e deleted -i suffix still has ... CI es as a precedent t h · . . fi nal partICIples, such as e actIve partICIple variant of weak(14) miefiy rv mief rv maaf



active participle has in addition t . , vanant without the final _. ( 0 Its usual' variant miefiyor maafiya attested, even though the Iy ds.e~ e~rter 1990) and here an imala variant is con Inonmg . . d I In this set of exampl ·t -,y IS e eted. es 1 appears th t S·b .. same group of speakers tho gh h. ~ 1 awaIh IS basically talking about the th h ' u t IS IS not Ii·tl en t ere are among these speak h exp CI y spelled out. If this is so, who have the usage (e2) and (e ;rs t ose who conform to (el), i.e. speakers conform to (el), and to yet 3 , and those, Who, in Sibawaih's description, ano th er categoTV I (e ) . -" namey4 Imala in a non-im 1 . . ( a a context on the b . f . ' aSIS 0 a leXlcalized genitive, as m 13). However, even this s ummary does not co all (II· h . ver cases. In a later chapter . c . 479, 28S) he notes the furth er vanant:



haaoaa mielun 'This is wealth' (II: 28S. 11) group: wa qaala naas yuweaq bi-'iarabiyyatihim 'people whose Arabic is reliable' This is an unconditioned imaIa, as indeed Sibawaih notes, since maal comes from the stem mwI, with Iwl rather than Iyl as medial consonant, and the context does not have an-i suffix. Sibawaih explains this case as he does da'iie discussed above: Iyl tends to predominate over Iwl as a stem consonant, and forms associated with Iyl stems spread analogically to other classes. In Levin's classification this is a case of (e3). The interpretive problem, however, is whether (n), (13), and (14) are in fact separate cases. While (IS) is treated in a separate chapter from (13), the groups using the variants are identified so vaguely that one cannot say with certainty how many sociolinguistic groups one is dealing with. This problem is discussed in greater detail below. Linguistically, one can represent the three cases on a cline of values, moving from most imaia to least imala: (16) a. haaoaa mielun (imaia in all cases) b. bi-I-miel-~ bi-I-miel, maal-un (imala in non-pausal and pausal genitive context, not with nominative suffix) c. bi-I-miel-i vs. bi-I-maal (imala before surface -i, otherwise laa!). d. bi-I-maal-i (never imaIa) (16) looks very like a change-in-progress type hierarchy, with imala generalizing from a conditioned (16c) to a non-conditioned (I6a) variant of an original laa/. Unfortunately, one can do no more than speculate that this was the situation Sibawaih was observing, as precise data is lacking. While one can extrapolate a very neat hierarchy out of Sibawaih's various descriptions, one should not lose sight of the fact that Sibawaih's goal was to make order out of chaos, and one can construct a case for Sibawaih idealizing his grammatical rules at the expense of ignoring alternative explanations. I would like to follow up this point with two further examples. First, Sibawaih notes that some Arabs imalize miet < maata 'he died'. Ordinarily, according to (e2) above this lexeme should not imalize, since maata has a lexical Iwl as its medial consonant (cf. mawt, 'death'). Sibawaih rationalizes this by noting that those Arabs who do imalize miet also say mit-tu 'I died' in the perfect, i.e. do have an IiI in the overall paradigm (wa hum allaaiyna yaquwluwna 'mittu'). While there are modem dialects with Iii as the perfect vowel (Nigerian Arabic mit), most have lui (muttu) and this is the usual form



in Classical Arabic. 9 Of course, Sibawaih's linkage (see below), i.e. all who imalize actually have IiI as the perfect vowel, may be correct. On the other hand, given the variation described below, it is equally plausible that Sibawaih is idealizing his grammatical rule to the case of a verb which in fact should not have imala, i.e. some Arabs do indeed say miet, but these could be those who say mut-tu. Given the information at our disposal, it could equally be that the imalization of miet is of the same category of the unconditioned imala of bieb, discussed below. Sibawaih interprets the matter in another way, however, since he, like any good linguist, is above all concerned to explain as many variants as possible according to a general rule. A similar point pertains to Sibawaih's observation that maal is sensitive to the influence of an IiI in a preceding word. He notes that those who use maal in pausal context (= (13) above) (17) bi-l-maal

can imalize when an IiI Occurs in a preceding word, (18) li-zayd-in miel

to-Zayd-GEN wealth 'Zayd has money'. Again, this may be the actual situation. But it is equally possible that Sibawaih has observed a speaker who always uses imala in this word (as in (15)). Sibawaili, however, ascribes to him the conditioned imala since this is explicable by phonological rule. ' :he cautionary note I am introdUcing here is that while Sibawaih's obser:atI.o?s were. certainly cogent as far as they pertained to the usage of certain I~dl~duals, In a few cases groups of individuals, Sibawaih, unlike present-day lInguists, did not have at his disposal models for describing language variation as a general or group-based phenomenon, nor did he deVelop them.lo There is no way of controlling in his descriptions who uses which variants to what extent, iliough i~ is dear iliat the use of imala cuts across all segments of the speech commuruty (see sect. 7.1.2 below). For this reason (16) is an interesting ~ummary of what forms did occur, but cannot be used to draw detailed mferences about how the language was developing in the late eighth century. What one can say is that' l · .ha Ima a was a very Widespread phenomenon Wit plethora of conditioning factors. • In the Lisaan al-'iArab (2' 91) th . . I . .' e Vartant mtllu is given, based on Sibawaih. t th Qi . I t n contrast, III a certam man made an exhausti Ii ti f . ner, 0 e raaraat, the Koranic reading tradition whIch at eas ve s ng 0 vanants ordered against various readers and chains of transmission. 10



7.1.2. Imala: a variationist's dream How confusing the situation was is attested directly by Sibawaih. Know that not everyone who imalizes the /aa/ agrees with others of the Arabs who do so. Rather, each one of the two groups might differ from the other, in that one might use /aa/ [in a word?] where his neighbor imalizes, while he will imalize where his neighbor uses /aa/. Similarly, someone who [basically?] has /aa/ will differ from another who [basically?] has /aa/, in a way similar to those who [basically?] use imala. So if you should encounter an Arab with such forms, don't assume that he is simply mixing up forms. Rather, that is how the matter stands. (II: 284. 1)11

Sibawaih's style is obscure in certain respects here (as often. ~lsewhere) and I have edited in words (marked with a question mark) to faclhtate an understanding of the text. In any case, his observation is fully co~sistent with the data as it is presented. To give some quick examples here, rega~dIng (CI), he sa~s that many Tamim and others do not use it at all (281. 4). PrevIOusly ~e had said ~~a~ none of the Hijaz use it, so it may be surmised that (CI) IS a non-HI}azl application, though variable. (C2) on the other hand, is used ~! '~ome of the Hijaz' (281. l2). biyyiel 'seller' may be imalized, but many. HI}a~l, as well as many Arabs do not apply the imala to it (281. 21). In general Sibawalh ~o~es that nies'people' and miel'wealth' (see (13) above) mayimalize, but that thiS IS to be regarded as exceptional and most Arabs do not imalize these w~rds (ch ..479). What characterizes this topic, more than perhaps any other In the ~Itaab, however is the extent to which Sibawaili points to linkages between dlffer.ent groups. 'Th'IS was met I'n the discussion of miet rv mit above. A typICal . formulation is to observe that those speakers who say form x, al~o use y;. In the above example, those who use Ii/in the perfect also use imala In the third person form of the weak medial verb. All in all, the discussion of imala is marked by Sibawaili's frequent reference . d'IVl'd Ual experts to various groups of speakers, or to In ,. 'These , . can be termed . t't' 'What one traditionally terms dialects, ,SOCI'al'd I en lies. . as illustrated h In a . fact represent 0 nly a small minonty of all suc groupprevious paragraph, In . based references. Individual grammarians figure hardly at all, and the Kora?lc readers are not weII represen t ed .12 By far the largest groups are ilie bedOUInS . h A' h himself cites Fleisch's statement is incomprehensible: In the light of this passa~e: whlC el:. ed' /a, there exists an unconditioned imala which 'In the writer's opinion, in additIOn to a. con ilIon tma gnized as such and have forced into the is widely used, which Arab grammanans have not~eco eans to discriminate precisely between the framework of the first, with~ut, however. leaVIng ~ S~b:waih's category of 'JaaM', (exceptional) to two' (Fleisch 1961: 1162). BesIdes the passage .quot , . Iy of the situation Fleisch summarizes. f" I ' takes coanmmce prectse . · . descnbe the Imala 0 ntes peep e "'-'din t ditl'on Sibawaih does note that the KoranIC also 6 d in the rea g ra . 12 Examples of (C2) are ~un. erbs where the medial consonant is Iyl, as in xaat(I1: 281, readers (unnamed 'iaamrna) use lmala III v 11


Imala Imala

('iArab), and the gramm' al counted fifty £, ar-Intern groups marked by linkages. In all I have re erences to groups of s ak h independent noun pe ers w 0 are referred to with an verb forms al orhPronoun. The figures are presented in Table 7.1. Plural one, suc as qaal-uw 'th .d' ft . not counted With th bl . ey Sal ,0 en refernng to bedouins, are . e ta e I Include an i d f, d f identities divided b th . n ex, orme 0 the total social y e pages per toplC. By way of comparison I al d chapters on noun modifi;rs w~~ counte references to social identities in the bi rajulin muxaalitin lala h' d ch th;mselves govern a complement (marartu see Carter 1972) °Th' . Y I a~run I. passed a man afflicted with an illness: . IS IS a tOpIC whIch co I roughly comparable in I h vers twe ve pages and hence is There are two striki e~~ to the fifteen pages in which imala is discussed. 1 two topics one quant~tg t. erehnces between the social identities found in the , I a Ive, t e othe al' . first is the more import h r qu Itahve. For present purposes the ant, tough I will first b . The section on noun d'fi d . comment nefly on the second. . mo 1 ers eals WIth s t ' . . . yn actlC matters, whIch III Slbawalh are often subJ'ect t a l ' o an OglCal reaso' I h . nIng. n t ese partIcular chapters he TABLE 7·1. Social identities in the h . c apters on Imala, Sibawaih II: 279-94 Entities Observations ? Ahl al-hijaz Tamim 3 ? Asad 2 Qays Al-'iaamma - ( Xalil - consensus) of Koranic readers 2

Abu? Ishaaq* Bedouins, (al-'iArab) !hose of reliable Arabic al those who say x '( '" man qa a x1all if Many people (naas kaOiyr) a lyna qaaluw x) People (qawm) Some of them (ba'iduhum) These (ha?uiaa?) • The two groups Total: 15 Index • A Basran Koranic 'become' (!Glaab II:



3 14 4

4 2

50 3·3

28,;.ea er, d. 129/746 (or 1171735). He is reported to have heard Xle. fa 'fe' aT as


TABLE 7.2. Social identities, noun modifiers (Sibawaih I: 195-20 7) Entities Bedouins

Xalil Yunus Grammarians (nahwiyyuwn) 'iIysaa Common language (kalaam al-naas) Those who say x (linkages) Total: 7 Index

Observations 11

7 3 2

3 28 4

takes issue with a number of other opinions on various constructions, and therefore almost half the social identities cited are grammarians (see Talmon 200 3: 48, 57). There appears to be a lower need to cite native speakers, since here matters of correctness are decided by grammatical rules. Clearly, it is a question of general import beyond the scope of this chapter, what the relation is between social identities and individual grammatical topics. In the discussion of imala, on the other hand, Sibawaih is confronted with various usages by native speakers, which he appears to record faithfully, even if, as suggested above, he probably idealizes the homogeneity of the forms in regards to individual speakers or groups of speakers. As far as the realization of phonological forms goes, he cannot reject them on the basis of false grammatical reasoning. At best, and this is to his enduring empirical credit, he can note them as exceptional (JaaoiJ). As far as the actual count goes, there are both a larger number of social identities and observations for imala, overproportional to the number of pages in the two topics (fifteen for imala, twelve for modifiers). The lower index for imala indicates that Sibawaih was noting linguistic variation on a finer scale for imala than for the nominal modifiers in that he invoked a larger number of entities to account for a larger number of observations. The high number of linkages indicates a complex web of phonological dependency, at least in Sibawaih's way of thinking, and it is probably this phonological complexity which underlines Sibawaih's invocation of many grouping categories.



see n. 9). Dani (48) reports th t th than the number Sib . a. e reader Harnza (one of th . medial conso awaih attnbutes to the read All e seven) used Imala in ten verbs, more nant must be Iy/. ers. these follow Sibawaih's rule whereby the

7-1·3. Imala of short /a/ Before leaving Sibawaih and turning to the situation in the modern dialects, it is necessary to consider the last chapter of the section on imala, which deals, inter alia, with imala of short fa! (II: 293, ch. 482). The general theme of the




~hapter concerns the imala of an laal or lal before an Irl An Irl h . ar Ing effect on a precedin laal .' as an 1m IZ" g or la/. Rather than min matar-in for instance h as matter-In The d'Iph tong, h h owever, IS . not indicated 0as'10ng. 13 , oneAm h ong t e· forms cIted are xieyr < xayr 'better ' apd 'iteyr . < 'iayr'insult' As will beseen In sect 32bl h h" . 't . '1' e ow, t e p onetIc Interpretation of this form is important , so I IS re evant to look t S'b 'h' d . He adds i I' a lawaI s escnption in greater detail. n re atlOn to these two examples: O

(Q2) 'and you don't sniff them b .. Iy/[ f ). . ' ecause otherWIse It would disappear in the o xayr, Just as an hI does' (£ I J" yaa? k ? a- am tu mlm lI?annahaa taxfaa ma'ialamaa anna al-kasra fiy I-yaa? ?axfaa). This phonetic description is so h . terms. Pafamma 'oi th h me.w at difficult for the use of two technical o·ve e p onetlC c I ' I' used in form IV, with th bal o.onng to, It. smell, sniff', is generally each is necessary. ever noun Ptfmaam. Paxfaa is 'hide'. Discussion of f P' Wehr (1974: 485) gives as a transl f sound with a trace of [i) Th" a Ion 0 . iJmaam the pronunciation of a distinct usages of Pi! . IS IS ~my a partial translation. In Sibawaih, two . maam are dlscernibl I h fi . . . PiJmaam along WJ'th th e. n t erst, Sibawalh discusses o er pausal ph . enomena In chapter 494 (II: 30 7). In all there are four dI'ffi erent ways to ffi . e ect a pausal form. One of these IS termed PiJmaam As t d' . . no e In sect I 6 . . . ' as a vOIcelessness of a final . : ' ·3, It appears that PiJmaam IS realized 'bawaih . notes that p'! nomInatIve luI . This can b e seen In . two paces. I P'Irst, I S . t maam occurs omy' th " .. accusatIve (II: 309 1) Th' rul In e nomInative, not gemtlve or . . IS es out . an Interpretation of PiJmaam in this context as lip roundin I I . . would make an g. u .IS already a roun d vowe,I and the case endIng . th wh Ich . . 0 erWIse unrounded I. . gemtIve. This however h' vowe Into a rounded vowel IS the . ' , cannot ave PiJm " explams that when one ~. aam. Second, Sibawalh very carefully uses riJma " audible one; if you were t d PJ am, It IS omy a visible feature, not an recognize it. 0 0 t maam before a blind person he would not '. . In ?ther contexts PiJmaam is used to £,. descnbe IIp rounding. This occurs In the dISCussion of passivizaf lOn, or Instance in the exam Ie(19)

~urzuya < Purziya

p .

It was attacked' , 447. 6 (also II: 280.


II: 398. 4)

13 One hundred and thi simply . ala rty years after Sibawaih S . of short Ial (Jatliat al-i'imaala acra) (III: 169) summarizes this Iype of imala conditi as. 1m ment o~::lac?ntext. I~ general later glanIm~ w al-lcas~a, as title), without specifying the Irl matized nCISe ~bion, but added nothin this on the bas~ ~d summarized Sibawaih's treatcompanson between Sibawaih' g as far as Its workings go. In App. 3, I show s treatment of imala and that of Zamaxshari.



~here Siba~aih

suggests that the lip rounding of the vowel before Iyl, which In the paSSIve model should be [i), is due to the fact that the stem Ifazaa/ yalfzuw is originally a Iwl final verb. This has to be seen as a different usage from the first, as the vowel is in non-pausal position. In .passing it can be noted that PiJmaam is also used elsewhere in the larger ArabIC grammatical tradition. In Ibn Mujahid (105), for instance, the quality of the the I~I in ~iraa! 'way' (Q 1.5) is discussed in which four variants are noted, [~, s, z, PiJmaam). The first three are values represented in the normal Arabic script. The last is said to be a value between sand z. The term PiJmaam is used to designate a medial v;lue, this usage derivable from its original etymology. A sound has the scent of something else, without being that. Turning to the second term, Sibawaih uses the stem Paxfaa 'be hidden' in various forms, adjectival xafiyy 'hidden', xafaaP 'hiddenness', Paxfaa 'more hidden', etc. (see Troupeau 1976: 84). It has a complex of meanings, in a phonological sense related to the idea that some sounds are inherently less perceptible or less salient than others. These are in particular laal, /iyl, luwl, Ihl, and In/. Additionally, Paxfaa describes a process whereby a sound may (1) not appear, as when an underlying IiI does not appear between two ys, as in Paniyya < Panyiya 'she camel's private parts' (pI. of nayyaaP, II: 431. 9, Lisaan 14: 219), (2) have a moric value, but not necessarily a vocalic realizatio n,14 as in t;}tanaajaw 'you speak together secretly' (II: 457· 10), an alternative to ttanaajaw, and (3) assimilate to another, as when an Inl is said to assimilate to oral consonants (II: 464. 24). In the last case, it appears that xafaaP is an al ternative to Pidlfaam 'assimilation' when the assimilated consonant has the property of xafaa? Having briefly considered Sibawaih's technical terminology, I return to the interpretation of bi-xieyr in (Q 2) above. The term PiJmaam remains problematic. It could be that Sibawaih is saying that the imalized short laI, here given the phonetic interpretation lie), does not have a rounded vowel (lam yuImam), i.e. not bi-xueyr. What would remain unexplained, however, is why PiJmaam in the sense of lip rounding would be mentioned in this context at all, since PiJmaam in this sense usually occurs omy when an [u) or a Iwl is somewhere in the paradigm, to induce the rounding, as in (19). In any case, should an PiJmaam quality be contemplated here, it cannot occur because the



14 In this context, the property of taxfiyya is qualified with 'with the weight of a short vowd' (bizinat I-mutaliarrik), i.e. a vowel is 'bidden', but it still has metrical weight.



til value e Ima Ia'IS so close to the Iy/ that no Pifmaam is 'bl which arises from th' POSSI e. I would note in passing th at I'f t h'IS mterpretation . is plausible it would be anoth er argument for th [.] al' . ' ~ Ie qu Ity of Imala as opposed to [ail or rei]. The latter would . gIVe a gemmate y xai h" .. nowhere hints at. , y r - xayyr, w Ich IS a value Sibawalh

7.2. Imala in the Modern Dialects

In this section, I summarize th fl . . e re exes of Imala m the modern dialects. Today there are .L Ulree separate areas .th fl eastern Libya Malt d h WI re exes of word-internal imala, addition ima'la w a, alln t e qultu dialects of Mesopotamian Arabic. In , as we attested' th Ar b' this will also be incl d d' h' In e a IC of Spain (Andalusia), and southern Iraq will I u be m t IS sum mary. 0 ne fu rther related reflex from a so e summanze . d'm t h'IS sectIOn . Whil h . . e t e reflexes of imala in all ti always differ on points of d il ~ur 10catlO~s are broadly similar, they of occurrence and ti h eta.. Imala IS summanzed according to conditions . or p onetlc reflex. . Before begmning, some ener I d" applied in the descri f gf a IstmctlOns can be noted which have been I I P IOn 0 modern-day imala rna a can be lexical or allo ho . . .. . logical origin when e . d~ llIC. While leXIcal Imala often has a phonoxamme m a hi t . al . a comparable context . . s onc perspectIve, it is irregular in that . m a paradIgm f all Imala. Allophonic im I a IC y related word will not display aa, on the other h d h . b etween imala and " 1 I an sows a regular alternatIOn . rna a- ess forms (e) . . mdeed will be met ·.L b I . 1 IS a classIC example of this, and WIut e ow Allo h . . . P OllIC Imala has often been termed productive imala (e BI .g. anc 1964' 4 ) H of productivity. As will b . 7. owever, there are various degrees largely restricted to th all ehsee~, Mesopotamian imala, for instance, is .. e op OllIc co d'f . -lin. ELA imala, on the th h . n I IOnmg element of the plural suffix . d ucmg . imala. 0 er and,ISrun m e st' nctedly allophonic, any suffix -I. The. word-internal imala of faaf w . . sometImes termed i- . I '. hlch I restnct myself to here is also I Ima a, as It IS ind d b prefer not to use tltis t . I Uce y an underlying or overt (iJ. 'd ' ermmo ogy as 't . l' ogs (ELA) is somehow d'" 1 Imp Ies that the imala of, say, klieb Th'IS mayor may not hay Con d'1ftierent1y from that of nies 'people.' b ItIoned h e een t e case h' t . all b IS onc y ((eI) vs. (e3) above, see sect. 7.3.2). However, the two un! ess an 1'nh'Ibiting fact can e subsumed und er a common rule (imal'lze h or Occurs) and h p enomenon, sometlting.L ,. . ence can be conceptualized as a single Ute l-lmaIa' ti ormul' atlOn prohibits.



Andalusia For Spain, eorriente (1977: 22) simply formulates imala in the converse way from Sibawaih (type (el». Sibawaih takes the non-imala form as the input, and specifies conditions where it occurs. eorriente says that in Andalusia the unmarked case is for imala to occur, 'whenever this tendency (imala) was not checked by inhibiting factors'. As seen above, Sibawaih was describing a speech community where imala and non-imala varieties existed side by side. In eorriente's Andalusian data, apparently, the imala variant had become so widespread that it was easier to note exceptions than to give rules for imala. For the inhibiting factors eorriente refers the reader to eantineau's summary of imala, which are basically those of (el) above. It thus appears that Andalusian Arabic and the classical description are similar. In Spanish Arabic the value of imala is generally feel, though liil also occurs. Both varieties are attested throughout the existence of Arabic in Spain, though it appears that the liil variant became more common in later sources.


(20) yibede 'worship' « iiibaada)

moneeda (almonedaJ 'auction' niis 'people' (Ferrando, p.c., citing Pedro de Alcala, early fifteenth century, < naas) kiin 'he was' (Corriente 1977: 24 n. 6, < kaan) eorriente (1977: 23 n. 3) also notes examples of imala occasionally occurring in inhibiting contexts.

< ribaa[a maqeem 'holy place' < maqaam

(21) ribeete'strip'

As far as the diphthong ay goes, it is generally maintained as ay in Spanish Arabic (eorriente 1977: 29)· (22) al-qa§r-ayn

'the two castles'

Eastern Libyan Arabic In eastern Libyan Arabic conditions for imala are very like ~hose in (eI) above. Emphatic consonants and an lalenvironment prevent lmala. Otherwise a long laal is realized as [ieJ.ls


15 In Owens (1984) ima/a in Benghazi Arabic is described as a palatalization of the preceding consonant, followed by a low front vowel, ilii1'aa 'near him'.





(23) iCaa or aaCi ....... ie

Mitchell (1975: 52-7) offers a d il d d· . eta: ISCUSSIon of sometimes singular conditions for' I b b Ima a, ut y and large t b ·d . 1 can e sal that inhibiting contexts are emphatics Ix! d I I d , an Y an followmg la/. (24) No change a. taali'i 'leaving' b.

(28) daar-i 'my house'

Summarizing these contexts:

?imaala mieJi 'going' misieJid 'mosques'

atfaal-hin their.F. children baal-kam 'look out.MPL.' biel-ik 'look out.FSG' (Mitchell 1975: 56) saamali 'he forgave' siemili 'forgive!' mooz-aat 'banana-Pi' mooz-iet-ik 'your.F bananas' (Owens 1980: 42) Th"IS Imala IS . allophonic in that th . suffixation of an I'mal . d ' e occurrence of Imala is conditioned by the a-m ucmg front I . (1975: 52) notes that the allo hon' vo,:~ , as m (24d) and (24f). Mitchell tially inhibitin p y IS senSItIve to the status both of a poteng consonant, and to th hi' front vowel. Emphat" d e morp 0 OgiCal status of the following cs The behavior of Irl/ . anELAgu~t~rals always inhibit (24c). IS mterest" b . m . ~ng, ecause It allows a direct comparison with Sibawaih's d il d ling over a long discus. ettha e c descn~tlOn of Irl in imala (see (10». DistilSlOn, e lOur mam d' . . . con Iuons m Mitchell regarding Irl and imala in ELA rna be Iii is in the same ste~ as :~~manzed ~h~s: I~I does not inhibit if a following Before laa!a Irl i . 1 ~a/,. ~ut If It IS m a suffix it does. 16 s an Ima a InhIbItor. (25) raami 'having thrown' c. d. e. f.

[mala does not work across morpheme boundaries, so that given (26), if a suffix such as -i 'my' is added, no imala is induced, in contrast to (24d, 0.

An laa! before Irl allows imal . . . provided the Iii is with· h a (m Sibawalh's terms, is an imala abettor), m t e word stem. (26) dieri'take care of!'. « daan.)

A word-final post-aa Irl is an imala inhibitor. (27) ulimaar'donkey' daar 'house'

(29) raa, aar#, ieri

What is noteworthy is that broadly speaking two of the three contexts are comparable to Sibawaih's observations on Irl imala summarized in (10) above. An laal in post Irl position does not imalize while an laal before Irl does. The main difference is that an laal before Irl does not imalize in ELA across morpheme boundaries, which it does in Sibawaih's description. However, even here it was noted that Sibawaih conceived of liimierik as a single stem. This is a somewhat mysterious classification. Perhaps Sibawaih expected imala not to occur across a morpheme boundary here, as in ELA, and therefore assumed that a type of post-morphemic phonological realignment was needed to explain the imala of aar. In these terms, the difference between ELA and Sibawaih's description in this third respect would be that in Sibawaih's variety aar-i realigns to aari allowing ....... ieri, whereas in ELA no realignment occurs, so aar-i remains aar-i. In ELA imala occurs only in stressed syllables, so alternations such as the following are found. (30) ki'tab-na 'we wrote'

kitab-'nie-hin 'we wrote them.F' sa'amili-li 'forgive me' 'siemili 'forgive'

Lacking inhibiting consonants, imala will occur in monosyllabic nouns (( C3) above). (31) nies 'people'

bieb'door' The diphthong ay is either maintained, particularly after a guttural consonant, or, and this is more common in Benghazi, monophthongized to ee. (32) 'iayn 'eye'

beet 'house' '6 Mitch II . final syl!ab e. glVes the ~rther example siemih-ih 'h . , This raisedl;~~he ~erb IS raised to fii in an open ;o~fave hIm < saamali + -ih, where the fa/of the imala ma be en Induces imala in the long faa!. Th: e, by regular phonological rule in the diaI:ct. some peo~l :mpared. t~ a form such as 'iimied-" effects of a phonological rule in tum inducwg suffix (28 e,) ere the tnltial Ii! induces imala of: S~pr~.ACC' < 'iimaad-aa, cited as a variant of 2. 14 . e 0 OWIng faa!, and this in tum of the accusative

7.2.3. Malta

In general Maltese imala is similar to that of ELA: exce~t t~at,. having lo.st emphatic consonants, imala-induced *aa has a WIder dlstnbutlOn tha~. m ELA. Maltese is dialectally diverse, so I begin with standard Maltese (Aquihna 1973: 53-6) and then briefly consider dialect differences_




Imala is realized as [i;)], represented as 'ie' in Maltese orthography. (33) *baab> bieb'door'


Nonetheless, imala may still occur in etymologically inhibiting contexts,

(37) tielal 'going up' < faalil rieled 'sleeping' < raaqid siel 'leg' < saaq (cf. above) liet'staying' < qaalid

()alaa()a > tlieta 'three' banaat> (?binaat) > bniet 'girls' xaddaam > haddiem 'workman' kaan > kien 'he was' As in ELA, the diphthongal realizatio . [.] n occurs only m stressed syllables. When unstressed the vowel short ens to I or Ie], (34) bniedem . . ,men' . , .'man' , ' but bnedm-lln

blVanh nk-t I blessed'' 'b'I~k-u 'they blessed, n-'bi~ek 'I bless' ( ove 1993: 28).

When final faf is unstressed it does . . not Imallze. If a suffix is added, lengthening the faaf, it does. (35) ktib-na, 'we wrote', kt'b I -me hum' 0

sewa 'he did' 0 I '0 we wrote them' , SWle- -a It cost her' < sewaa-I-ha (Aquilina 1973: 56) Mal tese has lost the classic inhibit" trace of a former emph to mg contexts of imala. Nonetheless, one . h o a lC context ¥ 0 IS pertains to r,17 etym I al' r x IS t e lack of imala in the vowel. Th , ooglC e h ' Imala inhibition appears . ul mp abc consonants, ¥, and x and also 1. context preceded *aa 18 UPnlarbc arly strong when the former inhibiting . ess otherwi t d were culled from Borg and Az se sate , the following examples zopardl-Alexander 1997 (36) dyaar 'houses' < di aa laai" , 0, y r (AquilIna 1973: 22 43) I e~enslVe < ¥aali (ibid. 22 ) , rhaam marble' < ' 43 01:' rxaam (Ambros 1998' 6 ) s,aar-u they got yell ' . 2 ,34 am 'he swam' < C ow < ~farr (Vanhove 1993: 29) o wam (gham) II-names 'the fifth' < I01-xaamls 0, smaj ,16' < sittaaj ndafa cleanliness' < n 11 rfi l'h uaa a sa e drove' < saaq saaq In addition the suffix -an < *aan d oes not undergo imala. dalltook -an ' laughing'

In recent textbooks describing Standard Maltese (Borg and Azzopardi-Alexander 1997: 305; Ambros 1998: 24) the dominant realization of imala is stated as Iii]. Ambros notes that Ii;)] is heard in slow, careful speech, while Borg and Azzopardi-Alexander give this realization in open, phrase-final contextso However, Vanhove (1993) notes the usual realization as [i;)). Turning to Maltese dialectology, the Standard Maltese situation appears to reflect closely the dialect of the eastern end of the main island, Malta, as described in Schabert (1976). Aquilina and Isserlin (1981) describe the dialectology of the second island, Gozo. The contexts of occurrence of imala are identical as for Standard Maltese. In their description of individual lexical reflexes, imala is realized either as a diphthong along the lines of Ii;)], or as a pure vowel, as they describe it, in the region of cardinal VOWell Ii], 2 Ie] or 3 IE]. In the following are given words with various phonetic realizations in different Gozo dialects.


(38) wi~ 'valley', weet, WEEt (81)

< waadi lsiin 'tongue', lseen (87) < lisaan tliett! 'three', tliitt!, tleett!, tleEm (93) < ()alaa()a




Commenting on the diphthong ie, Aquilina and Isserlin state (104): 'Maltese spelling frequently features ie, but a corresponding realisation in the range of lie] is rarely found in Gozitan pronunciation (though it is found in Standard Maltese).' They go on to note that the common realizations are variously Iii], lee], [eEl, or IiI]. The diphthong ay is generally maintained in Maltese.




.7 Presumabl '" .8 Sch be Y.'0see Schabert 1976: 510 a rt (1976 46) Ii 0

i'aa'iid, even in th 0 exp C1t1y observes that 0 ~ologIcal/aa/before Ii imalize5, ?i oell 0' e Context ofetymologI°cal emphatics "_-" t 51°ttm°g'< , : .....am > ham 'taste, 0

Northern Mesopotamia, Cyprus Imala is found in a wide band of dialects stretching from northern Iraq across the isolated Anatolian Arabic dialects, northern Syria as far as Damascus and Lebanon, central southern Turkey including Hatay province, and ending in the isolated dialect of Cyprus. It is usually associated with the so-called qultu dialects of the area, though there are some dialects with Iq) as reflex of classical 'qaaf' in the region which do not have imala (e.g. Hiit, Khan 1997). As Levin (1998: 84) points out, tlte imala contexts in this area in general are like those described in Sibawaih, though tlte original conditioning





e~~o:~nt may have been subsequently lost. In kleeb'dogs', for instance the ~ 0 h £I~ v~wel has been elided, but presumably after it had induced i~ala m t/ ~ ~ howmg vowel, kilaab > kileeb > kleeb. The realization of the imalized / aa IS 1 eIt frer /ee/ 0 ~ ("/ A representative . set of examples is as follows taking 11. ~::~t:~ia o;:.I:WIsh and. ~~ristian Baghdad (= JB, CB respectively), ~ardin K iki' . (B( e 1971), CillCla (S. Prochazka 2002), and the Cypriot dialect of orm tI org 1985) as examples. (39)

kilaab 'dogs' miizaan'scale' naas 'people' Bamaaniya 'eight' BalaaBa 'three'





kliib miziin

kleeb mizeen nees tmeeni tlaati



niis Bmiini tlaaBi

nees uLlmeen've / BaBe


klep mi'zan nees nes tmeem. xmenye tlaati tlaxe

In general, imala inhibitors are th al . /Y/ /q/ and /r/ H h e usu emphatIC consonants, as well as lxi,

" . owever, t ere are rna . d' 'd al " . . d' 'd ny m IVI u vanatIOns accordmg to dialect worthy of iVI patte~s of variat' an. m h ual study. It will suffice here to note some IOn m t e realizatio f . individualleXl'cal " n or not 0 lmala, as well as to note vanatIOn. On the whole, Cypriot Arab' d' 1 and allophonic imala (Bor 1 1; . ISP ays a robust system of historical lexical tions. Class 3 verbs £ . g 9 5· 54-63). However, there are regular excep, or mstance do not ha . I ' h' . d 'he helps' (96) Th al'. ve lma a m t e Imperfect, pl-sa'ie . ere are so uregula . CaaCiC has members b th . h r exceptIOns. The participial pattern O non-imala variants g b kWIt and without imala. In some instances the o ac to old' h'b' . which have been lost' th dial m 1 Ihng consonants, e.g. emphatics, , r ',r h m e ect e g r t ' J a er smart < J aat . In ot er cases, however, historical inhibitin < qaati'i (58) Similarly' M d' g actors may play no role, qet'ie 'passing' . 0.' m ar m and other An r . all lmala-mhibitor contexts all' ato Ian qultu dIalects usu Y Jastrow 1978: 66) In Cili' ~aYAr o~ Imala, qee'iid'standing' (Sasse 1971: 218; . Clan abIC S P h ka ( . class 3 verbs weak final b ' . roc az 2002: 47, 88) notes that III . ver s never unde . I m other class 3 verbs h. rgo lma a, ydaawi 'he heals', and that some ave lmala· th . perfect and imperfect and h . m e Imperfect only, some in the related' vs. ysaalili/sa:lali 'hot ers ~ none, yqeerib/qeerib 'he is related/was ° e reconciles/recon il d'19 S' il l' cation of imala is found i n ' c e. 1m ar irregular app 1d esplte . the /x! vs minfaa' nommal patterns e . I" , ·th· , . ' .g. mmxee SIeve WI Irna Ia . r saw Without. In JB and CB, Blanc (44) notes that

f. "


Th·IS SItuation, . in fact replicat th S . l e s e overall ·tua· hynan anguage ~tlas (1997: U3): some dialects ha SI ~on for form III verbs described in Behnstedt's ave Imala only m the inIperfect, ~/"'" liII ~he no lmala, saafarlysaafir 'he traveledltravds', others • ,=_e e reconciled', 0 thers only imala, ~e/a1llneelili. • 19


neither variety has imala in class 3 verbs, asaameli 'I forgive'. All in all a broad tendency is for imala to occur in what are historically imala (non-inhibiting) contexts, and for imala to intrude into inhibiting contexts on an irregular basis (see Jastrow 1978: 63-70 for more examples). The example ofthe word '3' in (39) underscores the lexical irregularity of the imala process in this region. In Maltese '3' undergoes imala as expected, tlieta'three' (Borg and AzzopardiAlexander 1997: 356). At the same time, it is a consistent exception in the Mesopotamian region. 20 Another source of irregularity is the realization of imala as leel or lii/. In most Mesopotamian dialects it is lee/. In a few, for instance JB, its usual reflex is lii/, but in the active participle of form I verbs has ee, weeqef 'standing'. Looking at the region as a whole, allophonic imala as found in Maltese and ELA does not occur, where imala and non-imala forms co-vary on a fully automatic basis. The exemplification of class 3 verbs above illustrates this point. In CB and JB no imala occurs in form 3 imperfect verbs, though this is a classical conditioning context, in other dialects imala may extend to the perfect, though this is not an imala context, and in others imala may occur, according to the standard rule as it were, in the imperfect only. Apparently in the dialects in this region the only inflectional suffix which regularly induces imala is the plural suffix -iin (e.g. n;1jjaar, n;1jjeer-in 'carpenters', Sasse 1971: 99, cf. sect. 7. 2 •2 for ELA, with object suffixes inducing imala).21 The diphthong ay is usually maintained in the more northerly qultu dialects. (40) bayt'house' (Jastrow 1978: 78, for Aazex)

rm-ayt'I threw' (Mardin, Sasse 1971: 165, Cypriot, Borg 1985: 89)

In the more southerly ones it may be realized as ee (Blanc 19 64: 50; Jastrow 1978: 79). (41) CB beet, rmeet

7.2.5. Southern Mesopotamia and other areas In southern Mesopotamia an imala-like form is found as the reflex of the

diphthong *ay. (4 2 ) biet < *bayt, 'house', mifiet 'I went'

< mafayt

20 In Behnstedt's Syrian atlas (1997: 585) there are only about twenty individual S e h ' later borrowing or subet c a~gde, It is probably best to regard the latter as a s rate-m uced shift . t d'al More work needs to b d m 0 a 1 ect originally with ay. e one to confirm this. (43) *bayt> bayt> klieb>

beet (M r kleeb us 1m Baghdad, borrowing influence)

" Note that in ELA, while ay > . from imala, which ha th flee IS ~preadmg m the dialect, it remains distinct sere ex [Ie] As far as the monophth . . . phonetic observations of :ngilI~tIOn process to [ii] or [eel goes, the detailed d'Ip hth ongal variants ha qu h'mah et al' for Maltese are InstructIVe. . . All their . . ve a Ig to low t vanants the movement' r h ongue movement, but in some S indicates that monoPhtlh s Ig . t, e:g. mid-high to mid-open [eE]. This perhaps fr onglZatIOn pro d d . om a saliently-differentiated di h cee .e m stages, reducing gradually finally to [eel. p thong [Ie] as in ELA, to [eEl and then * .It may be necessary to put in anoth '" [Ie] and the various S'b ih er step m hlstoncal derivation between [;oIIowed by (2) an uncond'f 1 awa -erad refl exes, namely (1) a conditioned imala, would be the original r fl Ie10llne one. Conditioned or allophonic imala . ( e ex,lO 'h" owed by a spread to unconditioned contexts (as m C3) above). By Sib lived side by side. awal s tIme, conditioned and unconditioned dearly . aspect of th . The most pr0blematlc . . m southern Mesopotam' ( . e reconstructIOn IS the [ie] reflex of *ay la e.g. b,et 'ho ')" as a reflex of Sibawaih's h . use . very tentatively, this can be seen mentioned above I s ~rt lalzmala discussed in sect 7 13 above As , assume It is not " . .. . a comCldence that this is the reconstructed and attested' I h'IStonc . al relation to imal lma a value . The pro blem is how to account for its The southern M a. esopotamian d' al . reflexes. Its relation to imal b I ect (otherwise) does not have imala m ' imala [ie] in [ie] acan .easse . er~edWith . ssed'm two ways. First, aywould have m Sibawal'h'IS an alloph . ' as In Xleyr.' discussed m . sect. 7.1.3 above. [mala t hnon-lmala e' [aa] in OlliC th . process (Cl) . ' so speakers would always have had merged . elrcould repertOire . aYWIt. h lmala in [ie] b' That group of speakers who had with those who did not have' I su sequently have come into close contact allophones into non-alloph ~ma[ a. They would have converted their imala OlliC aa] , while mamtammg . " the imala variant of

aa (kaatib)


ay (xarr)

r----:---- I



(xier, kietib)


aa (kaatib)

ie (xier)


ay. These are the speakers of the southern Mesopotamian dialect described by Ingham. This can be sketched as follows: . While this accounts for the present-day facts, as it were, there is no mdependent evidence for it, and it involves the merger of ay and imala, followed by their demerger. Such an explanation would probably be ruled out on a priori grounds, lexical demerger being an unlikely process (Labov 1994: 33-5), but for the fact that imala is allophonic, not lexical. While there are no variational studies on the matter, it has been observed that imala and non-imala usages can reside in the same speaker (sect. 7·1.2). I observed (1980 ) that Mitchell (1975) described an imala operative in more contexts than I described for Benghazi Arabic. Thus, de-imalization alone is not only plausible, but in fragmented ways, actually attested. Since the imala of xieyr would not have been allophonic, there being no imala-non-imala alternation associated with these forms, they could have survived an allophonically based general de-imalization of the dialect. 22 Looking to analogies elsewhere in the history of Arabic dialects, contemporary variational studies attest to a part of the demerger process, at least in local contexts. As is well known, many Arabic dialects throughout eastern Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Israel have undergone the change k> c in front contexts, kammal> cammal in Jordanian (see sect. 8.7.1). Abdel-Jawad (1981 ) observes in urban areas a tendency for c to re-merge with k, essentially under the influence of what Abdel-Jawad sees as a dominant prestige variant l!k. This can be compared to the suggested remerger of ie > aa. It would become a complete parallel if the remerger would go to completion, except for a residue in a certain morphological pattern, or a certain morpheme, e.g. the 2.F.SG. suffix -ic. This of course is not yet attested, though is at least in principle conceivable. 22 Labov treats apparent mergers with subsequent demergers as actual near mergers, with subsequent differentiation (1994= 371-90). There is not adequate phonetic detail either in the historical record or in the contemporary dialects (e.g. southern Mesopotamia, eastern Libya) to foUow up this

possibility at this time.



Note that this account feeds in the diphthong to ii (see above) It uld to the further development of deve1opthe in be that [Ie] was a stage b': co ment of North Afr' . . Ican lit etc., the de di Ph th onglzat . ' parallel to the de-d' hthonglzatlOn of'- I 23 S h lOn of mit running Ip . uc an analysis would Ima a. Imply that imala was an h where it is found in ancestor of mo re d'al an t ects I present-day Arabic.

7·3·3. The reconstruction and Sibawaih By and large the reconstruction of i mala based on application of the comparative method to att t d post-Old . Arab' es e . IC vanants reproduces the same d' S'b p henomenon as that describ elnla . of identity are as .pomts waih .The mam cll 10 ows. I;' ~aa/ : .realized as fie] or a related value . . rna IS conditioned by a 1"1' ring syllable. III. This value is inh'b' d .n I III a neighbo lite III the context 0 f emphatic consonants and . gutturals lxi, l'lfl Iql d '. an Sometimes Ir/. IV. The h p enomenon IS not com letel y regular: many lexical and morphop logical pattern except'Ions occur . . In addition , there are POlllts '. . of diffi di erence which dlstmguish Sibawaih's imala from one or more of the C . I' lOur alects wh ere Irna a IS attested today. V. The class of inh 'b . I Itors may differ. '. VI Th . e realizatIOn may be [ee J r 'J . ). vanous other values (as in Maltese VII. According to Sibaw ih' d ' I~,?r . . a s escnptIon ' th ere are types of Imala ' for which there IS no direct d' al correspondence i thelect . instance for (e2) s, n . In this section I expand V-VII pomts upon . ard' Re . t' g Illg V, III Maltese *c"1. I'nh'b' I IS Imal ( an inh'b' . I 1~lllg consonant is attested onl . a see se.ct. 7.2·3). Given that *'1 as a y III Maltese It should probably be seen s a locallllnovation relativ t ) Wh ether this local innovation . Malta or am e 0 tree 5 (Fig. 7·5. took p Iace III . an open pr" l questio n. 24 For VI I h ong an ancestra e-unnu grant group IS h th above noted ave ' vo I ' at t. e ~econstruction of the pure . we vanants follows from the .d WI espread dlstnbu tion of irnala in today's dialects.

. l~ As pointed out in n . I above, this was a1read basIS of false lexical y suggested by GrUnert (1875: 453), though on the ences. 14 Given that 't . corres~nd . I IS only m Maltese . . . that ['1] IS an irnala inhi' InnovatIon. However. . bltor, It should probably be seen as an '. ~ven the recognized class 0 f guttI1ral co traditionally bel DatI1ral ongs, It IS a extension for irnala inhib' . nsonants (musta'ili ya) to which ['i] the class [x, Y, q] to others ltion to spread from some members of .



As ~or VI~, one has to distinguish between Sibawaih as a theoretical linguist and Sibawalh as a field linguist, who was trying to accommodate many h's observations in his grammatical description. A basic precept of Sibawai is in methodology is that no observation should go unexplained. I believe it (e3) and (e2) and underst to needs one that h the context of this approac factor of ~bove. Sibawaih very acutely observed that the basic conditioning He also (el). faa] an g followin or Imala was an [i] in a syllable preceding nts. noted the inhibiting effect of various consona . Observationally, however, imala in the Basra of his day was a form expandcan Illg out of its basic realization. Phonetically the change [ie] --> [ee] I [ii] even already be postulated. Distributionally Sibawaih notes that it occurs for when no conditioning [iJ context is present in a word. This is a problem of es principl her or his to true linguist any for be would Sibawaih, as indeed it d occurre imala that ng Observi fashion. ed accounting for data in a principl h Sibawai good', 'be tieba and feared' 'he even in back contexts, as in xiefa re in solved the contradiction by observing that such verbs have an [i] elsewhe what that agree would I the paradigm (e.g. xiftu 'I feared'). With Fleisch (1961) ble is involved here is something beyond regular, phonologically specifia every all, After variation, and that Sibawaih's explanation is unconvincing. verb minimally has an [iJ in the passive form (ju'iila). Indeed, this is perhaps why Sibawaih could accommodate irregular verbal imala with less problem than irregular nominal imala, since nouns do not always have cognate forms h is with an [iJ somewhere in the paradigm. It is clear, however, that Sibawai the at quote the in clear is This s. observe rather overwhelmed by what he ultimate his in e evidenc in beginning of sect. 7.1.2, and it is further maal observation that imala in nominal forms such as bieb « bwb) and nal exceptio simply are « mwl), both from roots with a medial Iwl, not Iyl, else, all above (JaalJlJ). For Sibawaih, who valued theoretical accountability this is indeed a radical categorization. Interestingly, these forms are considered exceptional, but are not judged pejoratively (qabiyn 'ugly', radiy? 'bad: (e3) or the like). In the context of these observations categories (e2) and ing account of problem the to solution h's Sibawai as above can be understood r gramma ed rule-bas simple y relativel a for a great deal of variation, within or rules variable as cts constru porary which does not allow for such contem d statistically representable realizations. Sibawaih's solution should be regarde without tions observa nal as an extremely clever way of integrating variatio seriously compromising basic linguistic precepts. of The variation observed in Sibawaih obviously bears on an interpretation that be the variation in the modem dialects. An initial perspective would variation in the modem dialects continues a situation already initiated during




S.ibawaih's era. At the same time, local . tlOns of paradigms d I developments reflected m regulariza, eve opment of lexical i I' . imala-inhibiting cont xt rregu antles, or the expansion of e s as noted for Malt b . occurred. A clarificatio f h' ese a ove, certamly must have . not ese Issues ho . ' wever, reqUIres a much closer h Istorical treatment of d eveIopment in individual dialects. 7·34 European Arabicists' accounts ofimal The historical interpretation f' I a 0 lma a among Arabicists can be roughly divided into two cate' gones. In the first category are treatment h' . between the Old Arab' . I s w Ich baSIcally recognize the identity lC lma a and that fi d' . Identities are always noted fi h' " oun m the modem dialects. These or t e mdlVldual di I t th on, an d not generalized t th all a ec e researcher is working the specific dialectal na~ e °fver history of Arabic, understandably, given · ure 0 t h ese work C . s. ornente (1977) for Spanish Arab lC, Aquilina and IsserI'In (1981) fi Mal (19 85) and other researchers fi M or . tese, Levin (199 8, 2002), Borg this regard. or esopotamlan Arabic can be mentioned in

The second are those where the wr't not mention that the gl' h I ers for one reason or another simply do and Azzopardi-Alexandven p enomeno' n IS reIated to Old Arabic imala (Borg I ' er 1997 and Amb ros 1998, both for Maltese). Particuarly cntical in this rega d' h W'Ithout argumentationr thIS t e summary of P'ISC her and Jastrow (1980 : 55)· .. uncon d Itloned deVelop ' ey assume that'lma Ia'In Malta and Spain was an S'b 'h . Ia of Mesopotamia or of lawaI .25 In more th ment, not related t 0 th e lma (1978' 66 8) h an one place c . 479 which explicitly m f d . , 19 0 , Jastrow misses Sibawaih's fo rms. Furthermore Fischen lOne d the uncond't' I lOned imala of nies and other was 0 f ' ' er an Jastrow ob . a dIfferent status fro' . serve t hat"lmala In MesopotamIa Mesopotamian qultu dialect ~ Ilmala In Maltese (for instance), in that in in Mal ta lmala . '" does not Is Itd eads to a phonemlClzatlOn of leel, whereas s tement a t 'IS, however (1) . ea to the creat'Ion 0 f a new phoneme. This , Incorrect and (2) , fior h'Istoncal . purposes irrelevant. 25



conclude this by trian ul . . g ar lOgiC. Fischer and Jastr . the Mesopotamian ul unrelated to S'b ~h' tu dialects. The other dialects h ow relate Sibawaih's imala to that found in in non-emph If awal s. Fischer and Jastrow relate th . ave a completely different type of ima/a, i.e. one a IC contexts Su h fr . IS second type of" I . fla! Ima a to a general frontmg 0 fronting can lead to riel . ..c ontmg is found in man di Y [. a1ects. They then observe that this general histOrically by d' a or [Il]. That is to say dialect .th ' s WIh Ie] ' they' . However giva luerent h' process 0 f"Imalization fro m give t he example of Maltese, anse (both have '[il'] endt e Identity of form between M t e Mesopotamian dialect. . esopotamian' . fact thant th[ee] vari~nts ), and the near ident'ty f b . Ima Ia and ,for'mstance Andaluslan hIstorical . contexts, and the basiC . surely on those a h e Arab dlaspora evolved out ofthI 0 aslC condi' nonmg w 0thwould see two completely inde samed demograp h'IC m iiieu, the onus of proo f"IS conditions basicall epen them to be diffe ~ e same phenomenon arose' d ent developments to show under what ren . m ependently. Fischer and Jastrow merely claim


It is incorrect because the variant lie] in Maltese is a 'new' phoneme (cf. the contrast sier 'leg' vs. saar 'drive' in (36), (37) above). It is irrelevant because for historical purposes it is not the synchronic status of imala which is crucial,

but rather the systematic similarity andlor difference between purported stages in linguistic history. As argued here, in both the Cl category of Sibawaih's Old Arabic and in ELA (sect. 7.2.2) imala is allophonic, conditioned by broadly the same conditions, as well as sharing the same form. ELA simply continues the Old Arabic imala as described by Sibawaih. Indeed, a systematic allophonic similarity can provide cogent evidence of close relationship, since conditioning contexts need to be maintained over long periods of time. Finally, I would note that few scholars have dealt with the question of the phonetic value of imala in Sibawaih. Most simply term it imala, as if it were an abstract entity. Sibawaih, however, was an acute phonetician, and he attempts a specific phonetic characterization of imala, as described above, even if ultimately his description is not completely unambiguous. Old Arabic imala did have a specific form, and using the comparative method and drawing correlations with Sibawaili's description, a specific ur-form can be reconstructed. I have suggested *[ie], which is also the same as the realization of imala in ELA and some Maltese varieties (as well as, paradoxically, the reflex of *ay in southern Mesopotamian dialects). This reconstruction is commensurate with Sibawaih's phonetic description, orthographic practice, e.g. in the Qiraraattradition, with the observation that imala and the other 'a' diphthong lay] are different phenomena, with realizations in modern dialects, and the phonetic logic of deriving the widely attested [ii] and [ee] variants historically from *[ie]. Fleisch (1961: 1162) does suggest a phonetic realization for Sibawaih's imala, giving tel or [a]. These two are distinguished as strong vs. weak imala, a distinction probably referring to the bayna bayna realization in the Qiraaraat tradition. The problem with Fleisch's suggestion recapitulates that often found in the Western Arabicist tradition. It is based simply on a reading of Sibawaih's text, without working through the implications of the interpretation for the history of the grammar as a whole. A simple problem is, given *[e], how does one get ELA imala riel on the one hand and [ii] on the other? To my knowledge, no Western Arabicist has addressed the issue.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


Suffix Pron oun s and Reconstruction 8.1.

Pausal and C ontext Forms and Case Endings .

As discusse d in sects. 1.6.3 and 3·3.2·3, every Classica l Arabic word has two sets of phonolo gical form (wa f) the other non-pa usal (wasl). pausal one s, d·· T q, ra Ihonally, non-pa u al fi • orms are full . fl s h In ected, while pausal forms lack Y d I . s ort final vowels. The are n t r . d to, the gramma tical case se mc u e 'but end· 0 Imlte d . mgs on nomina ls and e verbs. In (1), the translat ions are on endmgs for the non-pau sal forms m °th . al· s the dIfferen th e suffix morphe me are I. In e paus vanant ces indicate d by ost. (1) Non-pa usal

bayt-un al-bayt-u bayt-in al-bayt-i al-bayt-a yaktub-u Payna etc.


bayt'house-NOM' al-bayt'the house-N OM' bayt 'house- GEN' al-bayt 'the house-G EN' al-bayt'the house-A CC' yaktub 'he writes- IND' Payn 'where? '

. d An exceptio n is th In . efinite accusat i e ' b ve case, which in pausal form has a long-aa, uyt-aa a house'. Were the lin is· . . gu tIc sItuatio n as sim Ie Obstac l. p as thIS, there would perhaps be no e m reconst ructing th ass~Ption follows from ~ ~~-pausal forms as the 'origina l' ones. The modem dialects continu e pausal forms (Noldek e 1897: 10). Problem s in thoIsassum pti on were raised in out that act al . 2 was pointed from a sta u evIdence in any post _'Old Ar ~~ct. 3:3. .3, where it transitio n the g showin . ~e where both non-pa usal d ablc vanety . an pausal fionns eXIsted alo ne IS enguo d forms pausal to us an always amb· . , I continu e the 19uOUS at best. In this seCtion


r pausal or discuss ion begun in Ch. 3. A logical and key questio n is whethe no way to is context forms are basic. Note that on an a priori basis there realizations, they are ~ecide which is basic. Viewed as alternat ive synchro nic motivat ing SImply conditi oned alternat es. Argume nts need to be advance d basis. ative compar a one or the other as basic, on forms in Harris Birkela nd (1940) made the most detailed study of pausal and as ent anteced ally historic are forms Arabic. For Birkela nd, the non-pau sal into came forms pausal which by seen in sect. 1.6.3 he worked out a set of steps pausal of ive alternat one being. He points out that in Old Arabic poetry vowel long. position , defined as (half-) line-final position , was to recite a final opening own This is termed tarannum 'reciting , chanting'. In (2), the well-kn -i on half-lin e (falr) of the Mu'iall aqa of Imr al-Qays, the genitive suffix

manzil-i is lengthe ned to manzil-iy. (2) qifaa nabki min (Jikraa habiybin wa manzil-iy 'Let us stop to bewail the memor y of my lover and her abode' (Sibawa ih II: 325)

stage in This, he says, is only possible if the relevant short vowels were at some . position pausal be to came the proto-h istory 'there' to be lengthe ned in what three Sibawai h, who is the oldest explicit source in the matter, in fact notes as length, vowel is One poetry. in syllable final ways of pronou ncing the vowel. short final illustra ted in (2), a second is to drop the (3) ... manzil#

A third, attribut ed to the Tamim, is to close the line with an invariab

le -n, as in

(4) ... yaa abataa 5alla-ka Paw 'iasaa-ka-n#

Lisaan '0 father your wish or your fear' (Sibawaih II: 326, trans. follows 11:


the -n is This is a purely phonolo gical reflex of pausal position , since in (4) bear an cannot course of which added to the 2MSG possessive pronou n -lea, indefin ite tanwin. Arabic There is, as already noted in sect. 1.6.3, no indicati on in the Old oldest. the ally literatu re that the full vowel pausal version as in (2) is historic in As I explain ed in that chapter , Sibawaih's descrip tion of pausal phenom ena leads to poetic recitati on is not amenab le to an internal reconst ruction that ity needs postula tion of the non-pau sal forms as basic. Logically, the possibil are forms sal non-pau the that above, 3 Ch. in d to be conside red, as outline system pausal e extensiv the in y precisel found basic. The evidenc e for this is


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

documented by Sibawaih and others su . 'd' mmanzed briefly in sect. 1.6·3, and in the phenomenon of ixtilaas d' t am.ln (I':l'f 4 1.2,0Id Arabic sources, and rl baa'i (see below).' Iscusse m sect . 2 .. I wo~? therefore like to adduce the fo . " m! posItIon, based on data from Old A ll~wmg pomt m further support of thIS chapter, beginning with rablc, and devote the greater part of sect. 8 2 to the h £; case suffixes among contem ora ., . . searc or traces of short vowel Concerning the length Pd ry ArabIC dIalects. /i/ and /u/is also noted m'ene pre-pausal vowel in (2), vowel lengthening of .. non-pausal p h enomenon tamtivt-' ulli ~OSItIon. Sibawaih (II: 324) terms the rt I • n P ng, lengthenmg' i)"fb C a 1 or ul. Instead of manzil-i-ka ' or , I aal 'satiating'. It applies to ened. Importantly in (sa) th !~ur abode the genitive -i can be lengthprotect edyb ' _ka. e gemtIve -i is no t'm pausal pOSItIOn, .. the final as It. IS. (sa) manzil-iy-ka tamfiYf would appear to pr d versi on 0 f poetic pause, as in0 ((2) uce=a (Sb)). final vowe1 parallel to the long vowel (sb) '" manzil-iy For metrical purposes, however th . ' ere IS no motivation lengthening a final vowel pre-suffix, as in (sa).

oJ~~t as lengthening of a case su p sitIon, so too does short' ffix occurs in pausal and non-pausal three recitational styles in enlmg. In ~ausal position in poetry, two of the syllabie WIt . h an -n, as in (4)voor vebcreatmg . d I . a fi n al -C, eIther by closing the pausal p OSItIon " ' y e etmg th fi al Sibawaih e n vowel as in (3). In non(lengthemng), . that a final -i or notes _ b p aralle1 to and opposed to tamtiyt tenned ;-'1 u can e red uce d to a murmur vowel. This• is• ...... ,z aas.I (6a) manzil-;;,-ka

Further, in poetry S'b . al 1 awalh 't . CI es Instances where the case vowel is deleted together.


(6b) ... wa qad badaa han-ki min mi?razi

'and your private parts showed from your skirt' (instead of han-u-ki with nominative -u) (Sibawaih II: 32 5, see Lisaan 15: 36 7). It thus emerges that the contrast between a voweled and unvoweled or neutr~ized [il - [ul contrast noun runs throughout Sibawaih's description, both m what is traditionally termed pausal position, but also in non-pausal ones. My conspiratorial interpretation can be summarized as follows. The tamfiYfof a long vowel is unusual. If the case vowels -i and -u were universally present, there would be no need to lengthen them. Tamtiyt can thus be seen as a device to highlight what normally is non-distinctive. I~ ~ther words, in nonpausal position there normally was no contrast between the short high case vowels. The tamfiYf rendition is a normative counterweight to this state of affairs. I thus consider ixtilaas to be a normal pronunciation. By extension to the verse-final position, the pausal rendition is equally normal.2 I can note two objections to this interpretation. It could be, pace Birkeland, that ixtilaas may simply reflect a later stage of the language where case endings have become indistinct, as Birkeland suggests. My main point which argues against this position is that the lack of nominative/genitive contrast as reflected in the neutralization of the -uti contrast in the ixtilaas variant reflects the general non-contrastive status of the high vowels in the Classical language, as documented extensively in Ch. 2. The weak functional load of the case endings, documented as seen in Ch. 3 by Corriente (1971, 1973), is merely a reflection of the lack of functional contrast in short vowels in general. Historically, the short high vowels in Arabic never developed into a fully contrastive system, either in lexical or in grammatical terms. In a historical linguistic perspective, the ixtilaas variant does not need to be interpreted as the reflex of a case system breaking down. Further arguments in this respect are adduced in sects. 8.2-8.8. It is more likely that a functional contrast between what was originally a single high short vowel developed, probably influenced by phonological context, and that this developed into a contrast between nominative and genitive case in that variety which was the basis of Classical Arabic.

I In the Qirai'aat tradition . . final vo,,:el, whether in a ,lXtIlaas is opposed to was/, d ' . grammatIcal status. Its 0 P u~ or c~ntext position. Th eslgnatIng a short-vowel realization of a sl.te realization is was/, I e short vowel may be either of lexical or some examples). This' attributed to Abu c. _wed' erung' phenomenon i;alsoa ong vowel realization (see sect. 8.9 below for and reading traditions U\.lnr,£, Iscussed' ' . I m greater detail in Chattested bo in the ta x 'yffori lightening tendenCIes last two used of a short vowel' ve. in all, terms in the grammatical vt are 1XtI/aas and tr>..i:,,, Oth word-final position) whil th ude Pi/batl'i, tamti , itmaam, and wasl ali ""'J'f). er t · , e ose C. h •n . qu ty of a reduced vow I ernunology such as ". r or s ortening or reduction of quality e. rlJ maam and rawm further specify the vowel






2 While having much sympathy for ZwettIer's (1972: 145) broadly argued conclusion that no spoken variety at the time of Mohammed or even in the era of pre-Islamic poetry still employed case endings, I believe an interpretation based on early grammatical sources does not permit so simple a dichotomy: Zwettler argues that case inflection was present only in a poetic register. not in spoken language. The problem goes in two directions. As pointed out in this work, even in poetic and Koranic rendition (see Ch. 4) can be found evidence for the lack of a functioning case system. On the other hand. it is hard to deny that Sibawaih and the early grammarians were drawing on a living case system in their detailed

grammatical observations.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction 234


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

The second objection is that this inte r . ., interpretations of pausal h rp etatIon flIes In the face of received . . p enomena. Here ho ful' ongmal texts is detail d gh . ' wever, a care readmg of the e enou descnpf f b h h . IOn 0 ot a case and caseless rendition of forms to th interpretive arena of comprowt' tel' que.stI.on of which is original into the ara Ive IngmstlCs. ., In the rest of this chapter lint ro d debate, which continues th h b uc.e further consIderatIons into this . dIalectal . e searc egun m sect . 3·4 tior traces 0 f case endings m forms.

8.3. Pronominal Suffixes, Case Endings and Epenthetic Vowels in Dialects

T~is idea i~ fact has been put forward by prominent Arabicists, including BIrkelan~ hlmself.3 In discussing the presence of the vowels highlighted in

boldface In the following paradigm from Cairene Arabic, Birkeland (195 2: 12, 19) suggests that they derive from the three case endings, -u, -a, -i. (9) rigl-!!-hum 'their leg'

8.2. Suffix Pronouns and Case Endings

The relevance of the precedin . . chapter resides in a simpl b g d.IScussion to the main theme of this e 0 servatlOn We . uld' re a case vanety the basis of the modern Arabic dialects 0 'd . ' ne wo expect s d' orne reSI ue 0 f the former case en mgs in some part f d 0 para Igms somewh . one obvious place to ook, namely in the .. ere. There IS I ffix posItIOn before the b' ffix su pronouns are suffixed t h O Ject su pronouns. Object create a possessive constru f 0 t. e case ending of a noun or to a verb, to verbs. Examples are oiven . c I(on) (m the case of nouns, a direct object with . or In7 seeeg()' paradIgm). . . 5 In sect. 1.6·4 for more complete (7) bayt-u-ka 'house-NOM-

', your.M your house' ouse-NOM-your F' , h yusaa~id-u-ka 'h I I . , your ouse' .. e p- ND-you.M', 'he helps you.M'

bayt-u-ki 'h

:n~ pO~ItIOns before the object suffixes

. . ' here the nOmInatIVe -u and the verbal mdlCatIve ending -u by d fi . . be protected from the ' pae mtlOn al d are. non -p ausal , and hence in theory would re h uctlOn . another morphoIOglC . al alternation in Arabic us will i ' .An anal ogy WIth sects. 1.4 (1) and 5. 4 ( ) . e p elucIdate this inference. As described in 2. 1, In western Sud . A . . , SU IS protected' from d I . amc rablC the first person perfect ffix e etlOn when a suffix (Sa) ka' b ' pronoun is added, as (Sb). ta -0 I wrote' vs. (Sb) ka'tab-t-a 'I wrote it' h th In . an anal It is reasonable to ask weer ogous non-pausal, non-word final protected position the case s a:.__ form er presence behind Th UUlXes did not ateast I leave traces of their alleged whether there are not trace . e central questio n I will d'ISCUSS in this chapter is f osit"Ions. s 0 case endings to be found in such protected P

rigl-!!-ha 'her leg' rigl-l-na 'our leg' As will be seen in sect. S.7 below, there is an obvious and regular phonological explanation for these vowels as epenthetic insertions. Here it may simply be noted that Birkeland offers no independent motivation for his explanation, other than, implicitly, the phonetic identity with CA case suffixes. There is no obvious explanation, for instance, as to why the genitive -i should have been preserved before -na, -u before -hum, nor does Birkeland explain how the case endings were converted to non-morphological epenthetic status. Another excellent Arabicist who suggested that epenthetic vowels were remnants of case endings was Cantineau (1937: ISO). His suggestion comes in a discussion of dialects in northeast Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria (tribes of the 'iAnazi confederation) pronominal suffixes, in this instance his explanation for the alternation -ak rv -k of the 2MSG object suffix: (lOa) raas-ak 'your head' (lOb) bgar-at-k 'your cow'. Cantineau assumes that the -a of (lOa) is the remnant of a case vowel (voyelle de flexion), which in (lOb) gets reduced after a short syllable, at-ak > at-k. There are a number of problems with Cantineau's explanation for the -ak,...., -k variation in termS of a case remnant, and it will be instructive to dwell on these. First, similar to the problem with Birkeland's account of the epenthetic vowels in Cairene Arabic, it is not explained why the accusative -a should be maintained to the exclusion of the other flexional vowels with this suffix. Second, given an underlying form such as bgarat-ak or perhaps *bagarat-ak, Cantineau offers no general rule explaining why the ultimate -a is deleted, not the penultimate (yielding *bgart-ak). As will be seen below, on the other


And much earlier than him, Wallin (18511: 673), discussed briefly in Ch.


o. 16.


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

hand, assuming the historical epentheticity of -a renders the distribution of the vowels susceptible to explanation by general rule. Thif(~.ly and finally, the 'iAnazi dialect described by Cantineau has a general constramt ~revent~n~ s~quences of two open syllables. Thus, bagar 'cattle' may o~cur, b~t. bagar-l~ IS Impossible. In this case, the vowel of the first syllable is e~ld~d, glVlng bgar-lh > bgir-ih 'his cattle'. The vowel-initial pronominal suffix -lh mduces the initial vowel red uct·Ion. If -a were a remnant accusative . case ~uffix, one would expect that the effect of adding -a to the stem would have mduced the elision of the stem bagar, as in (11). (11) bagar-a


8.4. Syllable Structure In order to understand a reconstruction of pronominal forms based on their form and distribution in the modern Arabic dialects, basic syllable structure rules found in the dialects need to be referred to. Various dialects, of course, are characterized by different rules. Three rules need to be cited. The first relating to epenthetic vowel insertion was already summarized in sect. 34 2 (examples (14), (15» and so need be repeated here in skeletal form only. (13) Linear epenthesis (13 a ) CCC ----'> C£C (., = epenthetic vowel), galb-na (13b ) CCC ----'> CC£, galbna



galib-na 'our heart'


After loss of the case suffixes in pausal form, this should give stems like

A second widespread rule raises a low vowel in an open syllable.

(12) bgar.

(14) Low vowel raising

These are not attested in this dialect, however. Of course, one could say th at th e sequence of events was as follows: S1. Case suffixes: bagar-a S2. Loss of case suffixes: bagar S3. Inception of 2 open syII able constramt: . bagar, bagar-ih----'>bgar-ih. This explains why th e ostensl· b l·· d.ffi y IdentIcal forms in (SI) and (S3) yield I erent results (SI) existed h (S) it is u 1 h . h w en 3 d·Id not. However, if this is the case, A ~~ ear ow t e vowel in (lOa) could historically be a reduced case vowel. ccor I~g to (SI)-(S3) all case vowels need to have been deleted from me system, m order to explain (S3). In both Birkeland and Cantmeau, . therefore, the assumption that non-stem suffix 1 cal· a vo lC material is a residue of a short case vowel becomes problemf a lC, as soon as the impl" ti systematicall N h 1 Ica ons 0 the assumption are thought through y. onet e ess the h are to be £, d , y p oth· eSls may be held open that case traces oun somewhere in st ffix f this chapter! ·ll em or su al material. In the remainder 0 WI attempt a reconst t· f h . order to ascert· d fi . . ruc Ion 0 t e object suffix pronouns, In e mtlVely wheth er some aspects of the reconstructed £; ct b forms do not i am n a go ack to case vowels.4 f

• Brockelrnann (1908: 309) as w Il . vowels. His observation that th e 1~~erprets ~e vowels of the 2SG suffixes oak, -ik as original case d· nommal suffixe s were also carried over to verbal 0 b·Ject en mgs begs far more questions ese th ongInal . £ an It answers (see also Behn ( Ma· 102 ) opts lor an explanation which calls f, stedt and Woidich 2005: 25)· Abdo l"v7· ka ...... akvia metathesis. However no ind or :;etathesis of the final vowel of the pronoun suffix. e.g.• epen ent arguments justifying this solution are offered


kabiir ----'> kibiir 'big' katab ----'> kitab 'he wrote' A third rule is a constraint allowing only one open syllable. Given two open syllables in sequence, either the first will be deleted, or, depending on morpheme and dialect, the second syllable will be altered in some way. This rule was met in S2 above. (15) Open syllable structure constraint

katab-at ----'> ktib-at 'she wrote' bagara ----'> bgura 'a cow' Note here that the second syllable is raised before the open syllable, according to the previous (14)·

8.5. A Data Survey

For the following analysis the object pronouns from fo~-n~ne dialects w~re collected and analyzed according to parameters descnbed m the follo~mg . . . d· t d Maps 1-3 (130-41) and the data Itself sectIOns. The data pomts are m lea e on 7. . dI some instances dialects have been mcluded for their . d- A IX 4· n . · · · 1 Iste m ppen 1 . d t· alue even though not enough mformatlOn IS aval , b· perceIve compara Ive v able about them for a comparison along everyparame~er (e.g. Khorasan Ara 1C). Mostly, however, I strove to have two-four data ~om~s per country, .depend. .. d. t .';vely perceived dialectal dIverSity. Yemen, for mstance, mg on Its SIze an m wu


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

though geographically small, is extremely diverse dialectally, so four data points are included for it. In some cases I generalized to dialect areas, so that for instance Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad, three countries, have in total only four sample points, as the Arabic spoken in this region belongs to one dialect area. These forty-nine dialects serve as the raw data from which a set of reconstructed forms will be derived. In the process of reconstruction, I will in places allude to secondary developments in certain dialects. However, the main focus of the reconstruction is to derive for each pronoun a form or in some cases, forms, which plausibly needs to be postulated into pre-diasporic Arabic. These reconstructed forms will then be examined for traces of case suffixes. The methodology, end product, and immediate goal of this reconstruction should be clarified here. In sects. 8.5-7, I reconstruct object pronouns based on contemporary dialects only. There is no dependence on Classical Arabic, Old Arabic, or assumed proto-Arabic forms. In fact, it will be seen in sects. 8.8 and 8·9 that forms which are often assumed to be proto-Arabic, e.g. the 3FPL suffix **-hunna (e.g. Behnstedt 1991: 235) themselves are problematic. Unless otherwise stated, the reconstruction itself is understood to be that of pre-diasporic Arabic (see sect. 1.1). The '*' thus means 'pre-diasporic form'. This was seen in Ch. 5 to be a variety or varieties found in the Arabian peninsula and adjoining areas at the time of the Arabic-Islamic expansion. Admittedly, the sample of forty-nine dialects, though relatively large, is not adequate for a detailed reconstruction, and I would fully expect that a larger sample would lead to a more complicated set of reconstructions. However, the major goal of this exercise is not reconstruction per se. Rather, minimally, I intend to show that whatever detailed reconstructions are ultimately developed, none of them will require positing traces of case vowels. The broad sample of dialects which I use I believe ensures the plausibility of this claim. It is, however, interesting to correlate the results of the reconstruction with the relatively rich descriptions of suffix pronouns in the Arabic grammatical tradition in order to determine the extent to which reconstruction based on modem dialects is compatible with eyewitness observations from the eighth century. This is done in sect. 8.9. . I should n~te that in some cases it is interesting to go beyond a reconstructIon of pre-dlasporic forms to proto-Arabic ones. This is done in particular when the instrument of comparative reconstructions leads to a fairly



, As opposed to cases the reCOnstruction of a Proto-fonn also involves ancillary such as effects,o whIch entails a digression into the historical circumstances of the groupS m contact, as outlined for mstance in sect. 806.6 in the discussion of the 3MPL object suffix.



unambiguous reconstruction. In these cases the p~oto-form will be identified as 'proto-Arabic' and marked with a double astensk. . Before beginning, for orientation I give a sample paradIgm from Standard Arabic of the SG and PL suffix pronouns. (16) 1

2M 2F 3M 3F

SG -iy, -niy -ka -ki -hu -haa

PL -naa -kum -kunna -hum -hunna

. .IS suffixed to nouns and prepositions while -niy is suffixed to In tel h SG, -IY verbs.

. Cases, Some Easy Generalizations 8.6. Unproblematic


blematic The followmg pronomA number of analytic parameters are unpro. t. In· the following to the left . h little or no vana IOn. , inal forms, for mstance, s ow dAb. dOtI·on of the suffix for ease of . I th Standar ra lC ren 1 of the equals SIgn I pace e 0 0cal .. Note that general phenomena I· f hlston ongm. . reference, not as a c aIm 0 ( 8 6 3) are factored out and treated m ·· such as generalIzatlOns 0 n the FPL sect. . . individual sections. 8.6.1. lSG

ISG, -iy, niy =:= * -i, *' -i, * -ni have the same segmental form for the lSG All forty-mne sample pOl~tS. th d·ff, ent stress. In most dialects the natIOn IS e 1 er Th n1 f th ese are the sample points in the object pronoun. e 0 y va. . suffix is not stressed. In fiv: It IS. Fouhrdi~ A bic both nominal and verbal b· on In C a an ra d . western Sudamc Ara lC regI . . . n1 th nominal. Were the stresse d On Nlgenan 0 Y e . . th would be seen as an mnovobject suffix are stresse , 1 . d n1 t the WSA regIOn, ey version restncte 0 y o . t ted as the proto-form. However, doe .ant bemg recons ruc ation, the unstressed van ( P ) also has the same stress, an m lact ·al· them Jordan etra E t the Bdul dl ect m sou t the Sinai and into northeast gyp stressed ISG forms are found thro~d~ohu 8 ) The WSA forms probably are tedt and WOl lC 19 5 . eak f t essed lSG forms broke away, some (de Jong 2000, Beh ns r . . the Sinai dialects are qUIte 0 ld_ related to these, I.e. ancestralsp erso S.s . m . t the WSA area. mce I . eak settled in the region in pre-Is amlc eventuallymigratmg 0 de Jong (2000: 13) states that their sp erS 0



Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

times-the two variants, stressed and unstressed, can be reconstructed into pre-diasporic Arabic. 6 8.6.2. IPI

IPL naa

= -*na

All but two sample points have the IPL form as -na. Khorasan and Oman have -ne. The raising of la/is quite common in Arabic. Extensive discussion of one aspect of this process is found in Ch. 6 on imala. In the present data, raising of the 3FSG suffix -ha to -he is also attested, in Hofuf, Bagirmi Arabic, and Kh~ras~n (see next point). Oman has -ha. It is therefore possible that the -ne va~Iant IS old. However, there is otherwise little support for reconstructing a . . . t he ancestors of Khorasan and Oman Arabic ullltary p ro t o-sp I·t 1 , say JOllllng ~*na -> na/ne), at least not in this data. It is equally possible that -ne arose Illdependentl~ in each area, by analogy to other a -> e changes. The systematicne, -he forms III Khorasan are certainly significant, though at this point can be reg~r~ed as a local analogical leveling. Note that since there is almost no vanatIon on this point, th e st arred *-na can be taken as a proto-ArabIC . form as well. 8.6·3.

Feminine plural

The remaining persons may or may not h . .. pIural. ave a· dlStIllCt femmme FPL as a morpholog·lCal cat egory IS . clOund throughout the Arabic-speaking . If a variant has·t ·t h . h world. . . I ,las It t roughout the grammatical system (e.g. su bJect marking on verb, 0 b·Ject marki ng III . pronouns, FPL demonstratIVes, . etc.). Loss of morpholo . al FPL . .al. giC IS to be regarded as innovative. Those d I ects whIch retain it are ·· . as C1011ows, asol mdicated on Maps 1-3. In all mneteen sample point h h · . save morp ologIcal FPL, 40 per cent of the sample: Kh artourn, Shuknyya ea t L·b .. Ab Dh b· al ' s ern 1 ya, northern Israel, Ajarma, Bdul, NaJdI, u a 1, Rw a Oman Bas S ' AI . U beki Kh' , ra, an a, -NadhIr, Suwwadiyye, al-Mudawwar, z stan, orasan, Bagirmi, Nigeria.

• An anonymous reader for OUP points 0 h all I d utt at Hebrew as well stresses the final-iyofthe ISGsuffix, which would make a cas C .or par e evelopment . .linguIstIcs . . . needs t0 . e consIder the effect oflangua . I n general , h owever, Semltlc ge contact and shift h arall . co~d have entered some varieties of Arabic vi w en p el features are found. A feature, for mstance, a contact or contact abetted by shift, and spread from that vanety onwards. A stressed -i for. mstaki~ce, could have entered a variety of Arabic in southern Jordan or the Sinai via shift from a H bY' . feature then contin .e . rew-spe ng populafIon contact . . case being historically piausl·ble, this m this umg on mto the WSA ar F . . . k ~owever, such a development would indeed . ea. or p~ses of the tIme frame covered m thiS ~o , smce the original point of ent w uld ha link WSA With the southern JordanianlSinaitic vanetles, ry 0 ve been southern Jordan or the Sinai.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction 8.6.4.


Dropping the h, -*h, *0

Three suffixes begin with *h, 3FSG - haa, 3MPL - hum, and 3FPL -hunna (using Standard Arabic here as a citation form). The 3MSG form is treated separately. In a number of dialects the initial -h may be dropped. Two general patterns which pertain to all h-initial suffixes may be summarized here. In many Mesopotamian dialects the presence of -h is phonologically conditioned, at least as represented in the grammars. Christian Baghdadi may be taken as typical. (17) -ha, -hum after V-, katab-uu-ha 'they wrote it.F' -a, -urn after C-, katab-a 'he wrote it.F' Dialects represented with this pattern in the sample are Cypriot, Aazex, Mardin, CB, JB, Tripoli (Lebanon), Khorasan, Uzbekistan, Teerib (Syria). In Darag6zii (Jastrow 1973) -h deletion has gone so far that it occurs in all contexts, even after a vowel (e.g. katab-uu-a), so the h-Iess forms are completely generalized. Roth-Laly (1979: 161), writing about Abbeche Arabic in Chad, also represents -h deletion as a conditioned variant, as in (17). In addition, two dialects, al-Mudawwar in Yemen and Andalusia have h-Iess forms in the 3FSG only. In the current sample, twenty dialects have -h deletion as a categorical or variable phenomenon. As is often the case with variable phenomena, precise conditions governing the variation are more complex than a simple distribution such as (17) describes. Example (17) does capture the basic situation in WSA as well. However, more precise variable data may be introduced here. Analyzing a 400,000 word corpus of Nigerian Arabic (personal data), 4,995 tokens of -h deletion are found. The most basic contexts are as (17), after a Vand after a C-. Examples of forms and their percentages in the corpus are given in (18). In the examples, the 3FSG -ha suffixed to a form of the verb katab 'write' is used for basic illustration, though the phenomenon applies equally to -hum and -hin/han. Note that in addition to simple presence or absence of an /hI, the /h/can also be completely assimilated to a preceding obstruent, devoicing a voiceless consonant. I note the statistic for this category without further comment (Table 8.1). It is interesting to note that -h deletion occurs even in the presence of epenthetic vowel insertion, as in (18c, < katab-t-a-ha where -a-is epenthetic). As a broad percentage of all cases, the h-deletion rules in WSA follow t~e categorical rule in (17), though there is a good deal of leakage. In (18b) /h/Is more frequently maintained than deleted after V-. The same tendency is discernible in (18a), though even here -h is maintained more than it is


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

TABLE 8.1.

(a) C(b) v(c) CC-

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Deletion and assimilation of pronominal-h in Nigerian Arabic -h

No h-

Assimilated -h

katab-ha: 3,020 katab-oo-ha: 5,225 katabt-a-ha: 85

katab-a: 1,842 katab-oo-a: 2,725 katabt-a-a*: 428

katap-pa: 421

• The sequence of two separate identity.

as is pronounced with a HL tone contour, aa or aii, which dearly gives each vowd a

deleted. However, the distribution shows a significant association, with -h maintained significantly more often after a V-than after a C- (p < .000, chi sq = 17.1, df = 1). It would not be surprising to find that in a corpus analysis of Mesopotamian Arabic variation of the kind in (18) is not also found, though for our historical purposes this point is not essential.7 As far as the historical interpretation goes, pre-diasporic Arabic may be reconstructed as having both dialects where -h is always maintained, and those where -h was deleted. This follows from the basic correspondence between qultu Mesopotamian Arabic on the one hand and WSA on the other. Such identical phenomenon do not arise independently. It may also be noted that Sibawaih's description of Ihl as a 'transparent' or 'hidden' consonant (xafiyy, see 7.1.3) may describe a state of affairs in whic~ Ihl was deleted. Citing Xalil, Sibawaih says that the form rudd-a-haa is as If the speakers say rudd-aa, without an Ihl present (II: 163. 15). This would reinforce a pre-diasporic reconstruction of both h-and h-Iess suffixes. In the Mesopotamian dialects -h deletion is related to another development, namely the shift of stress to the syllable before the object suffix. HistOrically stress shift is conditioned by a -CC sequence, so that in Nigerian Arabic for instance there is a contrast between:


shifting stress to all pre-object suffix stem syllables,. even when( the. ob/)e~t ffix be .ns with a vowel. For instance, the ISG object suffix nomma s Mardin syllable to a' 'cvcvc su unstressegId -1.. In , normally addition of a V-initial , , 'b w' form has no effect on stress, 'CVCVC-V, as in 'baqar cattle, aq.ar-a one co . When an object suffix is added, however, stress ~niformally ShIftS to the prepronominal suffix, no matter what its phonologICal shape. (20) ba'qar-i 'my cattle'

ba'qar-u 'his cattle' . .h ba'qar-a 'her cattle' « ba'qar-ha, note, minimally contrastive WIt 'baqara 'one cow') etc. . h the V-initial suffixes deriving from What apparently happened ISht at onceh.ft was generalized to all V-initial initial *- h became stressed, t e stress s 1 pronominal suffixes. . . I stress shift is found . WSA It thereExcepting Uzbekistan Arabic, thIS pre-pronomma . throughout the Mesopotamian area, but it does not occ~r m d d . v tive in the MesopotamIan area. h h ee third person object pronouns fore should be ~egar e as mno .a In the followmg three subsectIOns t e t / ce or absence of h-being d here with initial h-are discussed, the factor 0 ?resen largely factored out of the discussion, it haVIng been treate . 8.6·5. 3F.SG

3FSG -haa = *ha/*h~ FSGinthedata,-ha(43tokens),-he(4),and3 There are three van~nts of the due to h-deletion discussed in the previous a(h) (3)·8 The forms WIthout -a are d'al cts without h- is al-Mudawwar in th gh . t stingly one 0 fth e 1 e d 'm Khorasan , mentioned in sect. 8.6.2 section, our mere with he are r loun Th Yemen. e lorms M d In addition, -he occurs as a h ' a H fuf and al- u awwar. . [i] or [e] in the Bagirmi dialect ofWSA, as m above, Ba ann: , 0 , conditioned vanant after a front

(18a) 'katab-a 'he wrote it.M' (18b) ka 'tab-ha 'he wrote it.F' With deletion of -h, the only difference between the 3MSG and 3FSG object suffix after a consonant is the stress placement. (19) ka

'tab-a 'he wrote it.F'

These rules of stress placement are identical in WSA and in the Mesopotamian Arabic. Mesopotamian Arabic has taken the stress shift a step further, In a quantitative study of the identical h-deletion rule in Damascene Arabic Ismail (2004) also ' documents a variable realization of -h after a consonant. 1

bagar-ha beet-he. 9 . d' tribution of the -he variant, I recontruct Given the wide, if relatively r~re IS . I dependent development in Bahar.' d' asponc Arab IC. n fuf . both vanants IlltO pre- 1 . Iran al-Mudawwar in Yemen, Ho m .Iyya III . Egypt, Khorasan III eastern , . cd twice here, once for -ee and once for • The form -ee from aI-M udawwar (Yemen) IS count lacking h-. _ f the 3FSG suffix parallels the variant -e of the 3MSG suffix, 9 In this dialect the distribution -he 0 SG adjective suffix, kabiir-e 'big-F'. beet-e 'his house' and the variant -e of the F


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Saudi Arabia, and Bagirmi in Chad/Cameroon/Nigeria is unlikely. It is perhaps tied to the imala phenomenon, discussed in Ch. 7. Sibawaih explicitly cites imala forms of the 3FSG suffix, as in ?an yanzilJa-hie 'that he take it.F out' (II: 282. 21). A complete treatment of imala including final -aa would shed more light on the issue. Furthermore, as seen in sect. 7.1.3, /h/ was observed by Sibawaih to be a 'transparent' consonant (xafiyy) which allows harmonic influence from a preceding front vowel. This is the same conditioning factor as behind the Bagirmi forms. 8.6.6. 3.MPL

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


In t h e second - hV:n wo uld be a pre-diasporic development, originating in Yemen (Tihama in particular) and spreading from there. 8.6·7· 3.F.PL

FPL h nna - *hin/*han .. I I 3 ,u . f h dialect samples have a femmme p ura . D pite the rarity of ,. han, its As noted above, only nIneteen 0 t e h h e hin two have - an. es f h Seventeen 0 t ese av - , IS d' a in Yemen suggest it may . . . B . . (WSA) and a - uwwa Iyy f . uld be re-diasporic. The status 0 a distnbutlOn m aglr~~

~;:in:t~~:::; i:~:::da;:~~a~:' is discu~sed in sect. 8.9 below.

-hum = *hum/*hun The 3MPL essentially has two forms, -hVm (thirty-eight cases) and -hVn (eleven). The vowel is usually luI, though it may also be /i/ or /0/, in one case in the sample (Soukhne) /a/. It is tempting to see the -n variant as a local development characterizing many of the dialects in the Syrian and northern Mesopotamian area. All but two of the -n sites in the current sample are from this area. Indeed, it has been proposed that the -h Vn variant arose via contact and shift with Aramaic, which has the PL suffix -hon (Brockelmann 1908 : 310 ). Responding to this suggestion, Diem (1973) proposes an Arabic-internal development in which the masculine pronoun shifts its original -m to -n, via analogy to the feminine form, -hunna. Behnstedt (1991), on the other hand, observes differences between the realization of -n-final pronouns in Yemen and in the Mesopotamian/Syrian area. He suggests that the masculine -n forms in the Mesopotamian/ Syrian area could have been influenced by an Aramaic substrate. He adduces in this respect the Aleppo hinnen 'they', which he compares to Ma'ilula Aramaic (Syria) hinnunlhinnen 'they M/F'. The final -n, in particular points to Aramaic influence. For Yemen, Behnstedt would appear to accept the analogical analysis of Diem, though does note Yemeni specificities. Neither Diem nor Behnstedt take account of the -n variant in Shukriyya Arabic in the Sudan. Given the morphological specificity of this featurethere is no general rule which converts an /m/ to an /n/ in Shukriyya Arabica unitary Source is most likely. This in tum implies that the innovatio~, whatever its Source, occurred once and spread. There are two possibilities: It innovated in the Syrio-Mesopotamian area and spread into the Arabian ~eninsula and into the Sudan, or in the Arabian peninsula and from there mto the other two regions. The general trend of migration argues for the latter, though here, as elsewhere, corroborating evidence needs to be worked out. In the first case the -hVn development could be a post-diasporic development.

8.7. More Difficult Cases . The following reconstructIOns ar e more complicated. 8·7·1. k rv c variation in second person ~o~mt'als k- or k-like element. In general ns have an InI I b' The second person pronou I t' which characterizes Ara 1C the k rv c a terna IOn . h' d· I . I d' 11 of those in Africa m t IS this consonant ISP ays . I M dialects, mc u mg a . dialects as a who e. any b' outhern Mesopotamian, Jor· . bl k Eastern Ara lan, s .. I sample, have mvana e -. . Ar b' have a palatalizatIOn ru e, · ., nd Syrian a IC danian, Israeli, PalestinIan, a b e front vowel (see Johnstone . . all k -+ c [tIl or ts elore a " ' k Th whereby, hlstonc y . k ef'h 'diic (diits) 'rooster < dll. e n ceef < e ow, d 1) h h elar consonant as well, g -. J, 1963, 1967; Holes, 199 as I al' to t e ot er v 'dd yiddaam 'in front'}. The paIata I palatalization often gener Izes 'dd d 'ddaam dZI aam, d dz or even y (gl aam, JI .' d alatalization phenomenon an rt of thiS broa er p *k te variable in this chapter. variants of - are pa therefore will not be treated a~ a separ~d f 'ts basic palatal context, as in the FSG allzes OUtSI e 0 I In some cases, k -+ C gener b bl happened here is that the 2 .) PL What pro a y n Soukhne (Syria 2 -cu. . h ghout the second person pronou palatal form, -ci generalized leXicallydt .rou rtain other dialects in the region SG -ac, as happene m ce . paradigm, cf. 2M ., see Abdel-Jawad 19 81 ). ( northern rural PalestinIan, t the more general k"-J c alterna. s'.I factor ou In the following four sectIOn " With k. · Ie re al'zation tion, using a simp I 8.7.2. 2F.PL

2FPL kunna = *-kin/*kan d rt from the previous order (SG > ~L, For the second person forms I. ~pa the easiest cases first. This begins with M > F) in the interest of summanzmg


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

the 2FPL, is either - k'In or - kan. VanatIOn .. al d which ' between Iii and Ia! was rea y met In the 3FPL Co t h ' number of . . n rary to w at might be expected, a far larger . sample POInts have lal in this form than in the 3FPL seven of the mnetfreen. Both of the -han 3FPL dialects have -kan as well so a~ implication . ' goes om -han> -ka I h' . th~' ~ t IS Instance,.gIVen the rarity of -han, one could entertain the h analogy to the ~~L ~~~n. at -han arose Independently in different areas, by

8·7·3. 2M.PL

kum = *kuml*kun/*ku The variant -kun is full iso h' . 3)' dl'alects' thO y morp lC With the 3MPL variant -hun (sect. 866 . " . In IS sam Ie ·th h vice versa (though . Ph. WI - un as 3MPL have -kun as 2MPL, and agaInst t IS see sect 8) Th d' . therefore covers t h · . . 5· .2. e ISCUSSIOn around -hun IS vanant Most I' . Four of the six with -k '. samp e po1Ots (thirty-three) have -kum. u Jordan as well as S ukh a~e In t?e WSA area. However, the Bdul dialect in o ne In Syna have k ( . h b - u -cu 10 t e case of Soukhne), so independent innov f . a Ion can e ruled out Th k .. d . h W . e - u vanant IS a secon slgnlficant isogloss linki ISG object suffix (ng t8 e ) SA area with the Bdul, the first being the stressed 6 see ..1 which st h th having specific ance t al l'nks'. rengt ens e case of WSA speakers sri With those of Bdul. 8.7·4. 2F.SG

ki = *-ikJ*ki ( . . Th . .pre-dlasponc), protO-Arabic **-ki e rema1010g three forms 2FSG cated, each requiring d tail d'. ..' 2MSG, and 3MSG are the most complie e IndiVIdUal tt . a entIOn. I begin with the 2FSG. The reconstruction f th o e 2FSG object ffix il . I ?ne the final vowel-i and one th su enta s two malO prob ems, 10 tum. e form of the consonant. I will deal with these

As far as the syllable structure attestations), -iC (thirty) d goes there are three forms, -Ci (thirteen pronominal forms at all (~~ -: (two). Four dialects have no distinctive 2FSG Talmoudi 1980: 73 148' D"d' tlla: Borg and Azzopardi-Alexander 1997: 195; Susa: , , JI Je I'Marr,,' 250, 325; see sect. 1.5) and' . y-IS 1956: 155,436; and Tunis: Singer 1980 : As indicated in the se'ctl' Inh on~ the data is apparently lacking (Andalusia). on eading k" al proto-form. This form al h ' - t IS so the same as the reconstructed form. The basic argumentS~ ~~pe?s to be the same as the Standard Arabic otherwise derivable vi or -CI as the proto-form is that this form is not accounted thus: a general rule. The form -iC on the other hand can be

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


The -ki fonn in many dialects when suffixed to CC-requires insertion of an epenthetic vowel. As seen in sect. 342 «14), (15)) this vowel will harmonically be [i] before -ki. (22) galb-i-ki 'your.F heart'

Given the proto-fonn *galb-i-ki, the final-i was lost in the majority of dialects (or only once in the proto-ancestor of these dialects) yielding galb-i-k. Subsequent to this, what was originally an epenthetic vowel was reinterpreted as the vowel of the suffix, -ik. The vowel of the -ik variant is thus an original epenthetic vowel, not an original case vowel as Birkeland and others would have it. The following argues for this interpretation. First there are dialects, two in the present sample, where the 2FSG is simply -C, as in Rwala. (23) galb-its 'your.F heart' (with *ki --+ ts palatalization as in sect. 8.7.1)

Rwala along with other northeastern Arabian peninsular dialects, has the following distribution of epenthetic vowels (Ingham 1994a: 17): (24) Epenthesis rule, northeast Arabian peninsular dialects CCC --+CC-;)-C WCC --+ WC-;)-C

fift-c --+ fift-ic 'I saw you.F' rijaal-c --+ rijaal-ic 'your.F men'.

In these dialects a three-consonant sequence is equivalent to a long vowel plus two consonants, an equivalence also found sporadically elsewhere, as in the Baginni dialect of WSA. After VC sequences no epenthesis occurs. (25) min-c 'from you.F'

According to the present analysis, these dialects represent an intermediate stage between those dialects which exclusively have -ki, an epenthetic vowel being inserted before it under appropriate circumstances, and those dialects where the epenthetic vowel has been reinterpreted as a part of the 2FSG suffix. The final [i] has been lost in these dialects (see below), but a short [i] before the suffix is still epenthetic. A second argument pertains to allomorphic variation in the 2FSG suffix. A number of dialects have the alternative forms -k rv -ki. The fonn -ki occurs after a long vowel and before a further suffix, as in Cairene. (26) faaf-ik 'he saw you.F'

f aaf-uu-ki 'they saw you.F' f aaf-kii-f 'he did not see you.F'

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


Dialects with one or both f th d' . 2FSG include Baskinta, Cypriot, Alawite Turk DO ese Istnbutions of the G' . . . ey, amascus, and Shukr'Iyya. lVen ongInal . -kt, the maIntenance of the final ["J' h ' ted for by appeal to complementary conditi I. In tThesefidialects can be accoun i f t er a C-, so long as e nal -Iii is 1oston onIng: ya no further suffix is added. . . . Third, in general after a vowel no dial fact is ThIS -Ik. With 2FSG a has ect 11 " accOunted for if the [iJ w s long a after inserted not is It etic. yepenth ongIna a this' vowel since IS not a context for epe th t'IC vowe1 insertion (see (24». , in e The general line of d . eve opmen t can be represented In four steps as follows. 1

( 7) 2



*k"I --+(/)-kilO



4 --+-ik

. SO.me dialects (WSA, Mesopotamian ul q tu, Uzbekistan) mainta in the original -k'in all contexts othe nl h conson ) ant (N 'd' rs 0 y t e ' . . aJ I, step 3 , while in most the . ongInal epenthetic vowel [iJ has b een reInterpreted as a part of the morpheme (step 4). Why the final [iJ was lost in som d' . e Ialects but not in others cannot be b answered definitively A t . h k' . num er of dIal . ec s Wit - I are fairly tolerant of open syllables, whether filled b h or short low vowels. All four WSA dialects in the sample C ~ s ort hIgh . , lOr Instance have - k'I an d are lIberal in allowing high , vowels in open syllabI ( Uzbekistan dialect, ya Bahariy The 2-401.1). S~ct. slee Arabic, and the Bdut~. th t o1erance for -ki may th Iab ect In Jordan are e same in this regard. The C us e a general refl f ec Ion lOr tolerance of a CV syllable. However, many of the q It d'al . u u I ects have k" · ly, and others have it accordIng to the variatio n' ( ) , and these d- I Invanab d' 26 In . 0 not rea ily tolerate short high vowe1s In open syllables B h dialects in Yemen are very token, same e t y . bl syll open of tolerant a es, yet only th ree sample points have -ki after a consonant, according to Behn t d ' (19 85: 83). In general those of the atlas s t Arabian peninsula are fairl t sle . th e samp1e (Qauz) has -k' yH 0 erant .of op en sy11ables, and yet only one III f th In owever I. th c e case 0 many peninsular dialects .' . e lOrm of the 2FSG ffix IS . complIcated b tfri catIOn, su d' 8 summarized in sect. ya ·7·1 an discussed below Still . . le -ik is found invariab throughout North Africa 'h ' It:S .noticeable that 'd t tend s vanetIe OSe w ' hi! vo 1 oaVOI open syllables with short We s, w e in many quIt d'al u I ects, as. noted ab ove, - k'I occurs only wordfinall ft a long vowel, VV-ki Th' .Y a er a context, in these dialects, which readily allows VVCi (e g r,aam' 'h' . IS IS ') 'avIng th . . rown . Otherwise here, and in the . 10 To the extent that .epentheti c vowels themselve s diSCUSSion in sect should not be part of proto-Ara bic; see aIIomorph ic vari . 3~~!. ~ IS pr~b~bly more aCCurate to represent the first two stages as contempo rary, an s. - ~ '-iki --+ -(ilk --+ ik.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


a North African varieties, there is a strong tendency to end the word with reconthe of ance closed syllable, which the -ik fonn provides. The mainten e structed proto-f orm may thus be broadly correlated with syllable structur 11 book. rules, though working out details is beyond the scope of this Turning to the affrication of the suffix, this may be reconstructed as follows: (28) -ki -+ ?-+

(i)ci -+ (i)c -+ Ji -+ (i)Ji -+

ic iJ

on As noted above, affrication of the 2FSG suffix is part of a general affricati area. this to t adjacen those and tendency found in northern Arabian dialects A full reconstruction cannot therefore be carried out here, though the reader 2 can be referred to Holes (1991) for a detailed proposal.l The affricated forms in any case would indicate an earlier - ki.

crosstabs correlatio n shows the I count the Qauz form -kyas -CV (T. Prochazka 1988: 126,140). A I correlated two variables from the this, For syllables. open short allow to dialects -ki for tendency clear are two classes, forms with final _ data set. One is the form of the 2FSG object pronoun, in which there ignored. The second variable is i, and those without (i.e. -iketc.). Affi-ication and other variables were a vowel. The 3FSG suffix - Vt was the form of a CaCaC verb when a suffix is added which begins with a sequences of two open syllables. chosen as the representa tive V-initial suffix. This potentially creates In Najdi Arabic the sequence wrote: 'she katabat = at + katab stands, In Nigerian Arabic the sequence (see (15) above). Here as well other is not allowed and the first vowel is deleted, = iktib-at 'she wrote' affrication are ignored. Generalizing factors such as the raising of a low vowel in an open syllable and n is as follows. The first column correlatio the below), (see variables further of across a number while the second represents those stand, to allowed is CaCa of represents dialects where a sequence in which reduction is called for. 11

katab-at katb-atlik tib-at/kitb -it etc. 3 -ki 10 18 -ik 13 df I, chi sq = 4.5, P < .034 the 2FSG -ki form also favors the The correlatio n gives the following results. On the one hand d in the 3FSG perfect verb form. -ik maintena nce of short low vowels in open syllables, as exemplifie square test, the two factors reach forms are distribute d between the syllable-s tructure types. In a chi maintenan ce of open syllables and suffix 2FSG of form variables, two the that significance, indicating I would note that the dIalects factors. nt independe not are from) (as exemplifi ed in 3FSG perfect verb forms, a number of subcatego ries which do not allow two open syllables in sequence in these verb ~ kat-bit), while in others (e.g. exist. In some (e.g. Damascus ) the second syllable is reduced (katabat where the perfect verb dialects, African North included also I ktibat). ~ (katabat is Najdi) the first tion of relevant considera precise more A contrast. vowel stem does not usually display a high-low however. I did not include the factors, from a statistical perspective, is outside the scope of this work. form in the second person (Malta, four dialects where there is no distinctio n at all between a M/F . .. .' unclear. is Andalusia in Djidjelli, Susa, Tunis). The 2FSG found outside the ArabIan peninsula and Its ImmedIat e 12 The fact that affricated variants are rarely in the present sample-m ay be one vicinity to the nortb--on ly Khorasan has -ic outside this region only to the eleventh century, whICh on phenomen the of ction reconstru 671), (1991: Holes's for support already estabhshe d affricatlOnhave would ns populatio diasporic The oric. would make it post-diasp less varieties.


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

T~e affricated forms, therefore, usuall· . ... case IS reconstructed as a rt f th Y mdlcate an earher *1, whICh in any It . pa 0 e proto-form. may be noted m passing that h owever old the change in (28) is, the affricationandthe1ossoffi al[.] as there are dialects with k~ ~ apparently occurred at about the same time, and -ic. There is also a dI·al- 't~n h- c (reconstructing *ci) as well those with -ik . . ec m t esample I·th . As thIs dIalect Occurs along th 1 ..:V -Cl, namely Soukhne III. Syna.. -ci in this case arose in part .e qu tu-glilt dIalect boundary, it may be that the VIa contact between .. al ·1· . qu1tu -ki speakers (see B h d ongm gl It -IC speakers and A fi e nste t 1994: 114). nal set of forms found in £ . Al-Suwwadiyya) have -iJ as th °F~lenmsular dialects (Hofuf, Oman, San'a, form -Ji discussed at some I e 2h b s~ffix. ~hese forms are cognate with the 3 ment is represented as pa allelngtth y Sibawalh.l In (28) this line of developr e to at ofth ffr· . attested only in Sibaw ih e a Icate vanant. The - Ji variant is a . . In this pronoun I have indicated . tIOn of both -ki and "k. d. two reconstructIons. The wide distribu-I m Icates a pre di . ld o er proto-stage I assum -k. C as~onc provenance of both. At the e I, lor reasons gIven above.

8·7.5. 2M.SG

-ka, Th2MSG, *-kJ* -ka -- proto-Arabic **k or **k ere are two consonantal .. a affricated variant [c] [ts] t v(anants m the data, one [k], and in one case the only m . Soukhne, and " would e c. beseee sect 7 1) The affr·lCated variant -icoccurs I: 8... second person suffixes i C xp amed as a general, local leveling of the n lavor of [c] ' (see sect. 8·7·4 above). This is a local post _d·Iasporic development.l 4 As far as the voweI goes, the ma·ori . have lal, -ak (-ac in one J ty of the dIalects, thirty-four in total, Arab·Ian peninsula main!caseh as noted) . Four sample points have -k, all in the . eIeven have -ik.' yt eeastem part,H o fu f , Rwala, Najdi. The remainmg I n thoIS case I suggest tw al . and as a Proto-form eI·th° *tekmatIVe pre-diasporic forms both *-kand *-/ca, st er - or*-ka,b ' eps more arbitrary than h h. ut not both. Both solutions involve pronominal reconstruct. ave Itherto been encountered in the current Th. Ions. e easIer solution is t devel opment of the most 0wid assume *ka as th e proto-form. Given this, the development as the FSG - i k espread form ' -a k, Clollows the same line 0f ,.. gIVen m (27) above UTh

• e Old Arabic variant -kif . . and Its possible con eners . . -I denves at an earli g m Yemeru Arabic are discussed in WatsOn however . er stage from k· Th '4 Also attested. th - I. ere are a number of views on this, m 0 er Levantine vari . eties, such as some rural Palestinian dialects. (1992). She suggests that

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

25 1

(29) *ka --+ *a-ka --+ -ak

The [aJ before the prefix was originally an epenthetic vowel inserted in the same contexts as (27). In this instance the value [a] for the epenthetic vowel is itself a reconstructed form, as there are no contemporary varieties with this value of epenthetic vowel in this context. However, the contemporary paradigm in sect. 3-4.2 «15), (16» indicates that the epenthetic vowel is basically harmonic with the vowel of the pronominal morpheme, which in this case would have been -[aJ. The final [aJ was then lost, parallel to the loss of Ii] of the feminine -ki in many dialects. The epenthetic vowel was reinterpreted as part of the 2MSG suffix. This derivation is possibly supported by one dialectal observation. In Uzbekistan Arabic there exists what was etymologically a participial construction in which the original object suffixes came to represent an agent. The basic form of this construction was the subject of sect. 5.4.2. The 2MSG -ak suffix can therefore represent a subject. This same construction allows expression of both subject and object via pronouns, in the first and second persons the same object pronoun series being used for both. In (30) the suffix -ak is the subject. (30) zoorb-in-ak baqara 'you.M hit the cow'

In (31), the object is represented pronominally via - ni. In this case, the 2MSG suffix, otherwise -ak, takes the form -akaa(31) hint zoorb-in-ak-aa-ni

'You.M hit me' (Zimmerman 2002: 93)· It could be that the -aa which appears before a pronominal object represents the reconstructed [aJ of *ka. There are two interpretive problems with this. First, when a Subject-Object sequence is represented in this construction by two pronouns, the subject always ends in a long vowel. Thus, whereas unsuffixed the 2MPL is -kum, when a further suffix is added the form -kuu appears. (32) hintu

you.MPL 'You.MPL have hit'

zorb-in-kum hit-in-you.MPL

(33) hintu zorb-in-kuu-nii

'You have hit me' (Zimmerman 2002: 96)

In this verbal construction in Uzbekistan Arabic third person plural subject forms use the etymological sound plural suffixes, -iin, -i. Here again, when a further object suffix is added, an -aa may appear before the suffix. In this case

-aa appears to be optional.


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

(34a) haloo they 'They have hit her'.



(34b) halaan zorb-aat-aa-hum 'They.F have hit them' (Z·Immerman 2002: 97-8) ~ereas in the masculine form ( ) . . *-llna, in (34b) it ha 34a the-aalsconcelvablyetymological-aof

s no corresponde . Old nce III Arabic. Looking at «3 0 )(34)), there is thus clea I . . r y a morpho-phonol . al . m ilItatlllg against a C-C OglC constralllt operative, insertion alleviates thO sequence at t~e subject-object suffix boundary. -aa . .. IS sequence. GlV th· ... -aa whIch IS lllserted could d . fr en IS synchromc SItuatIOn, the equally stem from a later en~e om etym.ological -ka, -iina, but it could Arabic which alleviates C~orp o-phonologIcal rule specific to Uzbekistan While *k k sequences, as stated. a wor s perfectly for th 2MSG suffix, it is problem f . ose contemporary dialects with -ak as the In four dialects all. th a IC lD other cases. P ' lD e northeast Ar . ar a el to l thel2FSG suffix. h . ab·Ian pemnsula, the 2MSG is -k alone. lD t ese dIalects (II ffr· . . voweI IS lDserted after WC a a lcated -c), an epenthetic - or CC- . Example (35) rep I·Icates (24) exactly. (35) E h. pent eSlS rule north . CCC CC-""-C' ~ast ArabIan dialects, 2MSG " fift-k f;/+ ·k' WCC WC-;}-C. -+ IJd I saw you.MSG' slyuuf k -+ si ,{, l"k ' vs. min-k 'from you.MSG' yuur your.MSG. swords' It is of Course possible that the dIad] was lost, and the suffix -k was left to pick up an epenthetic vowel as fa r as I can tell. It can equalI neebee . There·· IS no eVIdence for or against' this as porary forms as in (35) that ~ ~r~posed, however, on the basis of conternneed for arbitrarily 'd:lef ,ehongInal suffix was *- k alone. This obviates the situatIOn . lD . the above fourlDg . replicates the contemporary dialt e final -a, an d It 2MSG form -ik, alI in fact. e~s. Furthermore, most qultu dialects have the Daragozii). In addition Ba: t. e present sample (Cypriot, Aazex, Mardin, 2MSG reflex in exactly'th anyya has -ik. This form is explicable as the morph oIogIc . alIy distinctivee same way the Ph onetIcally . 11. identically, though epent~etic vowel Ii] in (35) b::aex -Ik. of the 2FSG is derived (see (27»· The now -1k.15 me relllterpreted as a part of the 2MSG suffix,


From the region can be f< you.M anywhere. The ou~d examples such as l a in close juncture to morpheffiIc form is lJ:Jrab-k '·t 'hiaw •:Jrab-bfi m::Jkaan 'if it (a small bullet) hits be morpholo.n'ed bprevent a CCc sequence.• The 1._I • t you'' WI·th t h e ~ added as an epenthetic vowel .,... y analogy to the reconstructed IW gtves a vocali & • FSG •• -ki. c m adeI ,or a -CV suffix, which co uld

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


. It should also be noted that the pausal form -k 2MSG is noted in Sibawaih

b'-liuk~-!-k 'by your judgment' (II: 304. 18). Interestingly, his example i~ the gemtIve formally replicates the allomorphemic form -ik which would appear .after. two consonants in northeast Arabian dialects, as stated in (35). ~n ~assI~g, It har~y needs repeating that there is no comparative linguistic JuStIficatIOn for seelllg the modem variant -ik as arising from the genitive -i + pausal form -k. Note also that there are a number of instances cited in this book where modem dialectal attestations are formally identical to citations in Sibawaih, even if the underlying rules accounting for them are different (see e.g. in Ch. 3 (19) and n. 31). This mutual shadowing requires resolution at the deeper level of proto-reconstruction. In many North African varieties (Fez, Tripoli, Mzab, Tunis), the form -ik, common second person masculine/feminine singular form probably derives from the 2MSG -ak > ik, not from original -ik. In most North African varieties a short low vowel in an unstressed closed syllable is raised. (36) kammil 'he finished'






Under this interpretation, the - u of . etymologically 18 Note th t' h' . these suffixes IS an epenthetic vowel be taken as th~ proto cam t IS mterpretation the -hu variant might also . -!Orm as well. ~lve dialects, Rwala, San'a, Bahari . . . vanant -ih. In addit' . yya, Na}dl, and Suwwadlyye have the lOn, eastern Libyan A b' both -ih and -ah 0 I' ra lC, according to Mitchell has . ne exp anatlOn for th' . will Eleven dialects in the I h IS vanant be given below. him'. These include ws~a~i; ave a low vowel,. -a, as in WSA f aaf-a 'he saw Khorasan, so the exte: f' and MesopotamIan gilit, and Abu Dhabi and nSl0n 0 the featu c These might be explai d . re argues lor pre-diasporic status. as a speCIal con al 'al ne call sonant harmony rule. In many d1 ects there exists d . a so- ed gahawa I syn rome m which a guttural consonant induces a low vowe epenthetic vowel after it (see sect. 3.4.2 (17». (41 ) gahwa ----> gahawa 'coffee'

17 This chain r . . dialectal. esembles NlShlO (1986) who simi! I fo N~ence to the exclusion of Clas:.ical Ar b' ar y reconstructs object pronouns on the basis of di:s. (IS 0 (1986: 11) suggests the immed' talc. He deals only with the two third person singular ethcts .e.g. Shammar) is *uhJhu. This wOulladealancestor of 3MSG forms in various northern Arabian vs -h u (WI·thout). In fact the cham' .most be comparable to my second stage, -uhu (WIth . ep en eslS) v "hi' .anam-' ' In(40)ru' (I ass . thssheep.'N0 epenthesis is predicted' !hi ns Into a problem in the context -ve, as in

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


In (41), the Ih/ induces insertion of Ia! after it (similarly anamar < anmar'red', bi'iarif < bi'irif'he knows' etc.). It could be that in this case the following -h induces insertion of the epenthetic vowel [a] rather than [u], as in (42). (42) *hu







One problem with this suggestion is that in attested contemporary dialects, the epenthetic vowel is either harmonic with the vowel of the suffix, or has the default value til. As an alternative, one could reconstruct two variants of the 3M SG, one a high vowel, one a low. One small piece of evidence in favor of this perspective comes from eastern Libyan Arabic. This has two variants, -ih after a high vowel/non-guttural consonant and -ah or -a after a low vowell guttural consonant. ELA is one of a number of dialects where [i] and tal alternate morpho-phonemically elsewhere as well, for instance harmonically with the vowel of the stem. In the following, for instance, the preformative vowel has the values tal or [i] according to the stem vowel. (43a) t-a-frab 'she drinks' (43b) t-i-ktib 'she writes' If this alternation goes back to pre-diasporic Arabic, which I believe to be the case (see sect. 2-4-2 (25) for related evidence), it could be that the epenthetic vowel was determined harmonically, some varieties (Rwala, Bahariyya, etc.) then generalizing -ih, others, as above, -a, and ELA maintaining both. (44) (a)Cguch ----> (a)Cgut- a -h (i/u)C-h ---+ (i/u)C-i-h

Under this interpretation there are two 3MSG pre-diasporic forms, distinguished primarily by epenthetic vowel rule. One form, -hu, induces the epenthetic vowel [u], as in (40). The other, either -hu or -h, is tied to the rule (44). Final vowel length is not dealt with in this book (see Ch. 3 nn. 25, 27)·

cont=~ ~ stress without argumentation her~ H s context, so the form *hu is expected, ra'nam-hu

8.S. Case Traces?

dialects go back to a-V suffix e g W·SAowever, such a reflex is unattested. Instead, in this Shamm ' . .th ranam I . . ~a 'his sh eep,' ELA ur'nim-ih or urnim-a, rule I I ar rnem thi -0, et c. In the present schema . eave s context ' e vowe -Imtial s ffix' . . out who h . . open as a problem \f;an'o I' u IS proVided by a vowel epenthesIS IC IS CruCial t0 this chapter, namely . that us 18 It d th so utIons I m'gh I t be proposed, but one can be ru1ed 6 ) G.oes not appear possible to assimilate thi c e vowe goes back to a case suffix. the pre d i ' s lorm to the h d I ' thi 7. .4. Iven thatman d'al - .asponc*-hu,-ucouldbereached· - eetIon rdpersonpronouns(sect. SImply by d~leting the -h. A major problem is and TUni:i I ects whIch do not have the h-deletio nee a as well as Maltese in this san! Ie f, ~ rule, all those In Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, essary to postulate the -h deletion only'P or Instance, have the 3MSG suffix -u. It would be In e 3MSG for them.

In the following table for a general orientation the results of the reconstruction of pronominal suffix forms into pre-diasporic ~imes, b~d on dial~ctal evidence is compared to the forms in Classical ArabIC. I put lD bold vanants which are identical in Classical Arabic and the current independent recon-


struction based on modem dialects.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


(45) Classical Arabic R~construction on basis of comparative dialectal evIdence SG -iy, -niy PL. -naa 2 MSG. -ka F-ki PL M-kum F -kunna

-i, ni, 'i na

lea ork ki kumlku kin/kan


SG M -hu F -haa PL M-hum F -hunna

hu ha/he humlhun hinlhan

Note 1. In -CVC pronouns, a reconst ct· f particular vowel quality f ru Ion 0 V, rather than specifying a , or 0 CHC wh H h· appropriate. As described· Ch ' ere = a Igh vowel, is perhaps non-contrastive and oft I~ fro 2, th~ S~ort high vowels IiI and luI are often en In ee vanatIo b h· 1 . . modem dialects. Final I1 . n ot In c asslCal sources and m . vowe ength IS n t d al 0 e t With systematically in this book (see Ch. 3 nn. 25, 27). Note 2. Thetwoparadigmsran efro .. Note 3. The biggest d·fii g.. m outnght Identity to minor difference. i erence IS In th £ .. ) 1 . . e emInIne plural forms, where CA has a final -na (-kunnalh . . unna , acking In th d·al .. . elects. This difference will be reIatIVlzed considerabl . ·. y In sect. 8.9 below, however . .IS relevant t d· . In thIsset . c IOn It h. 0, IS~USS In detail the historical status of the vowels which I term ' . epent etic, which e·th .. . h . I er occur In vanous contexts before th e object pronouns ,asIntethlrd . reInterpreted as a part of the suffix ~erson plural forms, or have been (sect. 8.7.2/3). ' as In the second person singular forms

. In. the Arabicist tradition, as alread Y noted above In the discussion of CantIneau and Birkela d· f n In sect. 8 2 one . o say 2F -ik and 2M -ak C • : assumption has been that the vowels I are iOrmer Inflect· al east to Brockelmann (19 8 . ) Ion vowels. This idea goes back at 0 . 30 9 . As noted air d . ea y In a number of places, the

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


existence of case vowels in Old Arabic and their 'loss' in Neo-Arabic has been used as a prime structural marker of the difference between the two varieties. However, there are few convincing instances of traces of these vowels in the dialects. Such would be expected if a case-variety was at all an ancestor of the modern dialects. The suffix pronouns therefore are an important test case. The question here is in what sense the relevant vowels are in fact a missing link between Old Arabic and Neo-Arabic. Problems relating to this interpretation have already been alluded to in sect. 8.2. In this section I will outline five reasons why the reconstruction of pronominal suffixes argues for an epenthetic vowel status, either in a synchronic or in a synchronic and diachronic sense. They have no etymological relationship to an original case vowel. Furthermore, there is, in general, no evidence from the protected stem + object suffix position which shows a trace of a case vowel. All discussion here relates to data discussed above already, so I will be perfunctory. The main argumentation refers to reconstructed forms, those which can be taken back to pre-diasporic Arabic. 1. -h deletion and assimilation. In the third person forms in many dialects the initial -h (-hu, ha, hum, hin) is lost in various contexts. Most frequently, they are lost after a consonant, maintained after a vowel. Obviously, the postconsonant deletion is explicable only in a system where there is no intervening vowel, which the case marker is (see paradigm in (7) above). Since the hdeletion varieties are reconstructed back to pre-diasporic Arabic, it follows that this variety lacked the case inflectional vowel. A similar argument applies to those cases where an -h is assimilated to a preceding voiceless consonant (not discussed extensively in this chapter). 2. Stem form change. This argument has been explained above, in the discussion of Cantineau's observations. Cantineau assumes that the Ialof the 2MSG -ak is a remnant of the accusative case. However, in the 'iAnaza dialect in the form bgar- at-k 'your cow' from *bagarat-a-ka, there is no explanation as to why the syllabification has the outcome which it does, with the first vowel and the case vowel but not the other vowels deleted. 3. Epenthesis. The epenthesis rules needed to account for the appearance of vowels before object suffixes are in many dialects identical to those in other contexts. In the eastern Libyan dialect, for instance, there is a general rule which inserts a vowel in a CCC context, as CCC --> C£c. This is illustrated in sect. 8-4 above, as well as in Chs. 3 and 6. (46) galb-na


--> -->

galib-na 'our heart' yikitbu 'they.M write'


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

This rule has a wide distribution amon d'al " . diasporic relic wh' h t d g 1 ects, suggestmg that It IS a pre. . IC ac e on caseless forms. SImilarly, a number of Arabia . ul . which is sensitive on! to th n ~emns ar dIalects have an epenthetic rule beginning with a co y e(qkuantIty of the final stem syllable. For all suffixes nsonant - ' -c,- ha,- n a, - k urn, -Ctn, . h urn, -hin) the rule is: (47) insert an epenthetic vowel after WCCC . insert. or - stems, otherwIse do not This yields, for instance, the contrast, (48) rijaal-ic 'your.F men' bugar-c 'your.F cattle'.

The phonological basis of the rul . I . . ally perverse to suggest th t th ~ IS C~a~, and I think It would be linguisticcase suffix. a e [1] of -Ie IS somehow a remnant of a genitive 4· Vowel harmony. The form of h . accounted for by simpl rul f t e epenthetlc vowels are adequately [i] vs. [a] in the followi e . es o. vowel harmony or assimilation. The value ng IS stralghtforwardl fu . pronominal suffix. y a nctIOn of the vowel of the (49) darb-i-ki 'your.F roa d' (N'Igenan . Ar b' ) darb-a-ha 'her road' a IC

There is no need to see in these th (-a) suffix. Positing such would I;:;~nants of a ~enitive (-i) or an accusative . 0 the questIOn, why a genitive survives before a 2FSG form and an accusatIve before a 3FSG As' . . 'd . . pomted out m n. 31m Ch . 3, already in Sibawaih I an 1 entIcal rule of th· ..' vowe harmony determined b th . epen etIc vowel msertIOn WIth Ch.409). Y e pronommal suffix can be found (II: 163, 5· Conversion of epenthef I interpretation), and 3MSG Ibc.vowe status. In the 2FSG, 2MSG (under one . . al 0 ~ect reconstructi . ongm epenthetic vowel be ons It was posulated that an noun suffix. In fact acco d' came morphologized as part of the object prosuffix -u of many c~ntemrpmg tOdi~ale reconstruction chain in (40), the 3MSG Th orary ects' II . e conversion is clearly th t f . . anses so e y as an epenthetic vowel. . a 0 an ongmal ep th . IS reqwred by general ph I' en etlc vowel, whose presence . . al case vowel. ono oglcal rules (see pomt . 3 above), not of an ongln There are three crucial points' th phenomena require suffixaf m ese five phenomena. (1) Some of the Ion to a vowelle t fi a VOweI before a suffix can b xh . ss s em or their realization, (2) e e austIvely explained as an epenthetic vowel,

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


and (3) there is no need to see in these epenthetic vowels the remnants of a case suffix origin, nor is there any evidence from reconstruction that the epenthetic vowels derive from old case markers. In short, there is nothing in a comparative study of the origin of the dialectal object pronoun suffixes which hints at case traces.

8.9. Harris Birkeland and Old Arabic Object Pronoun Reconstruction It is appropriate to end this chapter by returning to Birkeland's ideas. Birkeland reconstructs only the object pronouns to the extent that they are problematic within the Old Arabic literature. Four forms he deals with are relevant to the current discussion. In these Birkeland follows August Fischer (19 26) and others (e.g. Reckendorf 18951t967): 390; Brockelmann 1908 : 30')10) assuming the following proto-forms. It should be noted, however, that A. Fischer, whom Birkeland most heavily relied on, can hardly be said to have reconstructed anything. While his 1926 article has a wealth of observations from a panoply of Old Arabic sources, his conclusion (19 26 : 402) has more the character of a census than a reconstruction. He writes, for instance that 'hu generally was realized as huu ('hu lautete im allgemeinen huu). That more sources cite huu than -hu or another variant is hardly criterial in the comparative method, however. In any case, Birkeland assumes the following proto-forms, which are also often assumed today (e.g. Fischer 1972: 126). (50) *-huw 3MSG19 *-hiy 3FSG *-humuw 3MPL *-kumuw 3FPL Birkeland derives variant fonns as later developments. There is a problem in this approach, however, when the issue is limited to the Old Arabic sources. The basic problem is that the set of forms in (50) is not the only variants attested in the classical literature, which means that (50) is a reconstruction which itself needs to be justified. .9 Nishio (1986: 13) on the basis of reconstruction from Arabian peninsula dialects reconstructs an allomorphic 3MSG object suffix -hulhuu, the former after cv. the latter after eve or CVV. The reconstruction of this form, however, appears motivated by a parallel reconstruction of the 3FSG form -1uJJ1uuL I will not go into details here. other than to note that whereas for the 3FSG a length allomorphy may be needed to account for developments in some dialects (e.g. Shammar jmal-ah 'her camel' < -ha vs. tJreboo- ha 'they struck her' < -1uuL Nishio 1986: 7), no such parallel paradigms are

found for the JMSG suffix.


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

I begin the discussion here with the S for the 3MSG A b . d' . . 3 G forms. There are three forms noted aSIC IstnbutIOn [; th [; . . l' or ese, ound for mstance in Farra? (I: 223) and in the Q,' ') raaraat lterature (Ib M . h'd being in complementary d' t'b . n uJa 1 ,130), are described as IS n utIOn -hu and h h vowel, -huw after a short l' - uw: - u occurs after a long Vowe or consonant. (51) qaraba-huw 'he hit him'. 'ialay-hiy 'on him'

vs. (52) ?abaa-hu 'his father'

xuouw-hu 'take MPL hi ' ( . . '. . - m SIbawaih II: 318, ch. 502) ThIS dlstnbution is often re~resented as Classical Arabic par excellence. Sibawaih, however not that the short form'after eslvanants here. Besides (52), he notes (II: 318. 13) a ong vowel as in ? b h' h as well, even if the full fo ('). . a¥la at- use hit him' is 'Arabic' c rm r/tmaam) IS bett h Th lact appears to be a vari bl h er ere. e complementarity in f, a e p enomenon I l' . orms are reported by S'b ih . n pausa pOSItIOn only the short 1 awa though't' are -hu or -h or both (II' , l I S not always clear whether they F r ' 313. 9,319. 3) arra notes a further 3MSG altern '. . and al-rNimash, where the fo at~ve m the Koranic readings of'iAa§im ~, rm ends m -h (I: 223, also I: 388). (53 ) axaa-h his brother'

There are also bedouins who realize the . pronoun WIth -h after a vowel (54 ) d• arab-tu-h . 'I hit him'. Farrar further notes that there are bedo . . Ulns who, It may be inferred, invariably use the form -hu, never -h uw. In the Q' ~ s . ,raa aat literature Ibn Mu' ., . " . ., ummary IS essentially like S'b . Jahld s baSIC, WhICh IS to say Imtlal al' . 1 aWaIh' (( ) h S. 51, (52», with the short vowel re IZatIon as in (51) referred t sect. 8.1). However, Ibn MUjah'~ ~ avmg an ixtilaas (130) realization (see such as Kisan who in cert' 1 so notes that there are reports of readers have th e realization -hu, ya. am hcontexts wh ere one might expect -huw instead 'h liAs' .au s ould h" .Im and Ibn Arnr yara h ( ) see 1m and others who have -h, like always to have recit~d wi~ 237 . Ibn Kathir on the other hand is reported forget 1. 't, In t h e Qiraa?aat I't a 1ong -huw.' e.g. ransaaniy-huw ') 'he made me 1 erature, therefore, all variants are attested.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


For the two plural forms in (50), Sibawaih notes that in context position there is free variation (kunta bi-l-xiyaar nn Ji?ta haoafta wa nn Ji?ta ra9batta, II: 319. 8). (55) 'ialay-kumuw rv ?alay-kum maal 'You.MPL have wealth' laday-himiy rv laday-him maal

Sibawaih explains here that the -uwor -iy may avoid a short variant, -kumu, humu, since one motivation for using the -m final form is to avoid sequences of open syllables, and retaining a short vowel at the end would be counterproductive to this purpose (see Ch. 2 (21». However, should the need for a short vowel occur, a -u or, harmonically, an -i will be appended. From Sibawaih's examples the need arises when in context a sequence of three consonants would otherwise occur. In the following, the final-u is considered a shortened form of -humuw, not an epenthetic vowel. (56) 'ialay-himu l-maal 'they owe money'

In the Qiraa?aat as well both V-final and m-final forms vary (Ibn Mujahid, 108-12).

Before coming to a general conclusion, it is relevant to discuss remaining object pronominal forms, even if these were not explicitly dealt with by Birkeland. These are the feminine plural forms and the second person singular: (57) -kunna 2FPL

-hunna 3FPL -ka 2MSG -ki 2FSG.

As noted above in sect. 8.8, in regards to the feminine plural forms, the reconstruction in the dialect forms (see sect. 8.6.7), appears to differ slightly from Sibawaih,s forms, represented in (57). However, this difference needs to be relativized. In most dialects with a feminine plural, there are no or few contexts where a further morpheme can be added to an object pronoun. Dialects with the FPL, for instance, happen not to be those which suffix a negative -fat the end of a word. One can look at tlIe comparable FPL subject suffix on verbs, however, either -in or -an, depending on dialect. In WSA it is -an. When a further vowel-initial suffix is added, the [nl doubles, as in Nigerian Arabic, (58) katab-an 'they.F wrote' katab-an-n-a 'tlIey.F wrote it.M'


Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

The [n] also geminates befor d' b' article: e a Irect 0 Ject beginning with the definite (59) Pirf-ann aj-jaar

~oW-FPL DEF-neighbor They know the neighbor' fihim-ann al-kalaa~ ~derstood-FPL DEF-matter They.F understood the matter'.

~uch forms are comparable to the CA FP . ill having a geminate -nn. L object suffix forms - kunna, -hunna In Old Arab'lC the pausal status of the FPL C According to standard . t . 10rms are somewhat puzzling. h m erpretatlOn i al' . ' n paus pOSItIon the final short fa! s ould be lost (see (1) above). (60a) bayt-u-kunna# b (60b) b -> ayt-u-kunn# 'your.FPL house' ayt-u-hunna# -> bayt-u-hunn# This, however, p ro d uces an unacce t bl d p a e ouble consonant sequence in prepausal position, -nn# Sibawaih does note via exam 1 t pause appear before an l'nt . p e hat the verbal subject 2FPL - tunna may in ruSlve - h. (61) lJahab-tunn h#' . ayou.FPL. went' (II: 303.7) ThIS ~ertai~y generalizes to the ob'e mentIOned m Sibawaih N h 1 J ct suffix -kunna as well, not explicitly 'h . onet e ess S'b not add an -h in pausal . . ' 1 awal also notes that many Arabs do probl' pOSItIon. In this ematIc. It could be th th case (57a, b) are particularly though this seems unlik 1 ~t e ?ausal forms here maintain the final -a, n arIve, wh ey ich effectively takgIVen Slbawaih's specI'fic mention of the -h alteresda pausal position and makes it non-pausal If the final -a is elided all ' as note , a CC# s e ' . quence anses. However nn# is not owed, so the expected pa al C are'all 10rms probably wo uld give -kun ' hun. These essentI y identical to thus ffix t d ' F.or th e two second person e susi es reco £; ns ru~e here (sects. 8.6.7, 8.7. 2).20 vanants: ngular orms Slbawaih notes the following (62) 2MSG: -ka, -kaa-, -k 2FSG: -ki, -kii-, Ii, kiJ.

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

-ka and -ki are non-pausal forms and correspond to Standard Arabic. -kaa and -kii occur among some Arabs before a pronominal suffix: (63) Pu-~tiy-kaa-haa

'I -give-you.M -it.F' 'I give you it.F' Pu~tiy-kii-hi 'I give you.F-it.M' (II: 323. 17)· Sibawaih cites pre-pronominal variants with the short variant as well: (64) Pa~taa-ka-niy

'He gave you.M me' (I: 355· 19)· The two feminine variants - Ji and -kiJ are noted as variants among the Tamim and Banu Assad (II: 322, ch. 504; see sect. 8.7-4 above). In discussing the cause for these forms, Sibawaih notes that -Ji and -kiJ are motivated by the desire to distinguish between the M and F forms in pause, since the masculine form is realized as -k. This point is elliptic. It seems to imply that elswhere, against the general rules for pause, -ka and -ki do not fall together in pause, but that in this dialect they would, but for the realization of the 2F as -J. The main point of the discussion in this section is that looked at as a group, object pronouns are exceptional to Birkeland's purported development, whereby in pausal position long vowels are shortened, short vowels are deleted. Regarding the short vowels in -ki, -ka, -kunna, and -hunna, it may be interpreted that in fact there were variants described by the Arabic grammarians in which these vowels are not deleted at all, the -a being left in tact against the rules of pause. If normal pausal behavior is assumed, then forms like those in sect. 8.6.7 are implied. The situation with the long vowels in Birkeland's reconstruction in (50) is problematic in its own way. Birkeland himself in his characteristic meticulousness recognized the problem and devoted an entire chapter (1940: 89-91) to the realization of the 3MSG * -huw. Context -huwshould give rise to pausal-hu. As seen above, however, besides -hu, -h is attested as well. Moreover, even in context, -huw alternates with -hu according to rules discussed in relation to ( (51), (52) ) . Birkeland's (1940: 90) comparative historical explanation envisages three stages, thus: (65)

*huw huw after V 2b. hu after VV 3. dialect split, some dialects take 2b as basis of all pausal forms, 1.


20 Alt . emative!y, a cc# se u . urdud# (Sibawaih II: 162). q ence mduces epenthesis, as in the imperative . . of doubled verbs, rudd# --t



Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction


Thi~ is a logical possibility, of course, but there is no independent motivation for It. On the basis of stage 2, there should be pausal forms in -hu. Birkeland, however, ~ak~s the form in 3, -h to be the normal pausal form. Taking 2b as the source, thIs gIves the expected pausal form. Since, however, 2a, 2b, and 3 are all cont~~pora~, Birkeland has to appeal to the deus ex machina of multiple, coeXlsh~g dIalects; otherwise one would expect a pausal symmetry, -hulh ~arallehng t~e c~ntext symmetry -huwlhu. Such a pausal symmetry is noher~ descnbed In the grammars or Koranic commentaries, however. The ArabIC grammarians, according to Birkeland, therefore took a dialect as their norm which uniformly generalized 2b as the basis of pausal forms. As by now ~hould be familiar, other explanations for the development of for~ns attested In the classical literature should be entertained. The easiest one, whICh I would adopt, in fact is as follows: (66)



2a. huw after short vowel 2b. hu after long vowel 2C. h in pause.

Give~ ~ proto-for~ *hu, the variants -huw, - hu and -h follow by rule. Note that It IS even pOSSIble to begin with the pausal form: (67)



2a. huw after short vowel 2b. hu after long vowel 2C. h in pause. The only preference for (66) (). . luI in (67). over 67 reSIdes In the need to specify the vowel The independent evide h' h I ' is that (66)' h nce w IC offer m favor of (66) over (65) and (67) IS t e same reconstruct' h' h d dialects . ld ( Ion w IC a consideration of mo ern Ar b' yte s see s~ct. 8.7.6). Very probably a much closer look at Old a IC sources, espeCIally a close t d f h would' d' h' r s u y 0 t e variants of the Koranic readers, d h In ICate ow Widespread the I and this' t uld ong an s ort vowel variants in fact are, . Inlikum wo shed further light on the issue of whether *hu or *huw IS a more ely proto-form In th Furth . . e current study, in any case, *hu is preferred. ermore, In a recent st d H lb entirely on com +; S . ~ y asse ach (200 4), basing her sources th parauve emltic exclud' Ar b' d' proto-Semitic ob' ct mg a IC Ialects, concludes at this position is ~ee pronouns .were short, except for the ISG, IPL, 3FSG. If correct one It would . 'h'. , . agam suggest that Arabic dialects are in certain respects more arc aiC m a proto-Semitic context than is Classical

Bound Object Pronoun Reconstruction

Arabic, and at the same time confirm that evidence from the dialects is directly relevant to proto-Semitic reconstruction. Before closing this chapter, I should point out that the interpretation of Arabic history advocated here is at its core very close to that expressed by Carl Vollers (1892: 154) over a hundred years ago. Basing his argument on Arabic phonetics, he suggested, 'As regards the vulgar Arabic, it is very probable that it is an older layer than the classical language, and that therefore the classical Arabic is, from the phonetic point of view, the youngest prehistoric offshoot of the Semitic stock.' Vollers, to my knowledge, never developed his argument in a more detail than this, and like his contemporaries he did not work out his argument in the framework of a rigorous comparative methodology, in particular not indicating what the older vulgar Arabic phonetic stock was as compared to Classical Arabic. Moreover, the bulk of the .argumentation !n t~e present work only allows the conclusion that modern dialects often m~llltalll features which either are identical with forms attested somewhere III Old Arabic but for whatever reason are not necessarily recognized as being part of Classical Arabic, or allow reconstruction into the pre-diasporic era. No claims are made about the ancientness of 'vulgar Arabic' vs. 'Classical Arabic', constructs which in any case are dangerously a prioristic fro~ a compa.rativist perspective. Nonetheless, it appears to be the case that Illterpretat~ons of Arabic language history in Western scholarship were once more vanegated and nuanced than they are today.

Summary and Epilogue

9 Summary and Epilogue


The elements in this category are solely artefacts of reconstruction. However, given the very wide contemporary distribution of the features, at an extreme attested both in Nigerian Arabic and in the Arabic of Uzbekistan, independent parallel development can in most instances with certainty be ruled out. Prediasporic Arabic thereby becomes an object characterized by a good deal more variation than is found Old Arabic alone. 3. Discontinuity with some varieties of Old Arabic • lack of case endings (Chs. 3, 4)·

The ma~n linguistic points of this work . . The baSIS of the three is the co . ~ be ~epresented m three categones. what I have termed the d. mp~atIVe hIstOrIcal relation between Arabic in pre- Iasponc per· d d h only the issues which ha b d 10 an t e present -day dialects. Ilist . ve een ealt with· d il T h · .. presentmg a longer lI·st f . meta. ere IS no pomt III o potentIal s p . ·d comparative arguments . u portmg eVl ence so long as the are outstandmg. 9·1. Reconstruction and Continuity with Old Arabic

In the first category are phenomena wh· . ... some varieties of contem ora . lCh essentIally are IdentIcal m at least ArabIC and Old Arabic. As will be recalled, Old Arabic in my term· PI mo ogy IS the corp f . around 650- 50 There C • us 0 wntten attestations between 8 . are IOur mam top· h· e ·mto this category. . . ICS W lChIan


• VanatIOn in short hI·gh vowe1s· cont . ·f positions, often lexicall d .. rastIve 1 at all only in restricted • imala (Ch. 7); y etermmed (Ch. 2); • suffix object pronouns (Ch. 8)· ' (Ch. 6). • recot· ns ructIOn of imperfect verb The conclusions for this cat egory It . should b e recalled, were reached by reconstructing pre-diasporic Ar b. ' and correlating these result ~~c solely o~ the basis of the modem dialects, s WI t~e earlIest grammatical descriptions. In each case, results of th . e reconstructIon d tail d . tIOns, though the corresp d . ove e nIcely with early descripth . on ence IS also ba d .. . e case of the Imperfect verb. se on generalized mferences III Reconstructible forms not identi cal to attested Old Arabic, but on a comparative basis, at least as old: 2.

• intrusive -in, linker -n (Ch [; s. 3, 5); • m any eatures discussed in Ch·5·

This class has elements of the first two. The universal lack of case endings in the contemporary dialects is as the second category; indications that the short vowel case endings were not a robust system in Old Arabic, however, allows an interpretation as with the first category. Moreover, the short vowel case endings are phonologically nothing more than the same short vowels with restricted contrastive status. Certainly the conclusions of these three categories can be graded for their adherence both to a result commensurate with an application of the comparative method and to an interpretation of the given phenomenon in Old Arabic sources. In this sense for instance, the interpretation of imala given here I believe is a relatively clear issue. On the other hand, my reading of the case endings though compatible with comparative arguments, is less certain, in particular because an explanation for how case evolved remains to be worked out. However, the conclusions of the book do not stand or fall on the reading of one issue. The overall argument that a comparative linguistic interpretation of the Arabic language is possible only in the light of a serious integration of contemporary dialect sources transcends judgment on a single topic .

9.2. Epilogue What I have presented is less a definitive account of the history of Arabic than a way of thinking about it. In my view, there are far too many open questions to expect a comprehensive account now or any time soon. Four broad domains of research I think need to be integrated into a historical interpretation. First, any results from an internal reconstruction of. Arabic, which is ~~e basis of the current work, will need to be integrated IlltO broader SemItIC comparisons. If proto-Arabic was in fact caseless, what does .t~at. imply for comparative Semitic? Or is the evidence from proto-SemitIC III fact. so overwhelming (against the arguments in Ch. 3 and elsewhere) that case IS a


Summary and Epilogue

proto-category, and if this is so, how would this be reconciled with the argument advanced here (sect. 3.4, Chs. 4 and 8) that there is no internal evidence for a transition from a case to a caseless variety of Arabic? The point here is to recognize that different sources, different languages will claim their own individual histories, as it were, and that a broader comparative treatment needs to be open to the many nuances and imponderables internal to the individual languages whose linguistic history they explain. Second, though I have attempted in my dialect surveys, for instance in Chs. 5 and 8, to be broad and representative, they are by no means detailed enough. Ultimately there can be no reasonable synthesis of Arabic language history until far more historical comparative studies are carried out on individual features in individual dialects and dialect areas. Thirdly, it would be obtuse to claim that no significant changes are to be found among Arabic dialects. This is a perspective which I have purposely downplayed, for two reasons. First is the strategic one: it is a major argument of this book that Arabicists have avoided a linguistically realistic representation of Arabic language history because of the facile assumption that Arabic neatly dichotomizes into Old and Neo-Arabic. These, I have argued, are basically logical, not comparative linguistic categories. It is a provisional fear on my part, expressed in a number of places in this work, that as soon as historical changes within a dialect are identified, that such changes will be cited as proof of the validity of the Old/New difference as a whole. By not addressing the issue of individual dialect change (see Kusters 2003 for this approach), this problem is avoided and broader issues in Arabic historical linguistics can be confronted. Second, and this follows from the first point, changes have to be worked out individually for individual dialects. However, as pointed out above, studies in this direction are broadly absent. Eventually, however, given a clearer idea about what proto-Arabic is, and a better historical treatment of individual dialects, individual histories can be developed and integrated into the broader fabric of Arabic language history. Finally, a last point I think is a special challenge to Arabicists, namely developing a historical SOciolinguistics of the language. Crucial here are questions such as who wrote early Arabic grammar, why they wrote it, what sources they used, why they used these sources, what they made of them, what sources were not used (see sect. 9.1, category 2 above) and how the teaching and preservation of Arabic developed. These and other issues will prove to be extremely pertinent to the question of Why there may be discrepancies between linguistic reconstruction such as deVeloped here and Old Arabic sources.

Summary and Epilogue


The language continues to hold its secrets. The insights ?f linguists are a~ relevant today as they were over 1,000 years ago, when the nmt:c~;t~ry ~eg~ scholar and contemporary of Farra?, Shafi'ii (d. 204/820) state, a~ ala aC .. al - runs , yubslruuna maa l aab yu ' Slru "larab'lyya Jllln •. • ¥ayruhum'l d , "'Scho ars 0 f Arabic are the spirits among men; they perceive what others on t. . 98 . 1) Versteegh (p.c.) himself has the quotation from ~abia 1 Astutely noted m .Ve~steegh (1 9: ~.~ . from 'Adab al-Shaft'i. In the Lisaan (6: 13) Pins is ~an, Abbot, Studies in Arabic Literary PapyrI, 1U. ~4' . h h ning 'opposite of savagery, roughness. An mankind'. The variant Puns is ra~e, but ~~te f~:~:ze~:;:iety'.'Jinn can also be 'devils'. alternative translation would be the spmts 0

Appendix 1. Dialects Cited In this appendix is found a listing of all the dialects cited, in particular those used in the two surveys in Chs. 5 and 8. A short commentary is also included which specifies the time of first Arab migration to the given region and when, if this should be different, Arabicization became dominant. The dialect labels are basic heuristics only. It was seen especially in Ch. 5 that geographical labels often hide longer-range historical relationships among dialects and an overlapping of varieties caused by migrations at different periods, post-migration contact, and so on. The dialects listed here are entered on Maps 1-3. On the maps, those descriptions which are represented by a single location (village or city) are represented by a point, while those which represent an area (e.g. Najdi) are represented by name over the approximate area of the dialect. Western Sudanic Arabic (Map 3)

I term the Arabic established in the Lake Chad area beginning in the late fourteenth century 'western Sudanic Arabic'. Dialectically, it includes the Arabic of northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad, as well as Darfur and Kordofan in the Sudan. This is not to be confused with the area of western Sudan, which in Islamic history practice refers to Mauritania and adjoining regions. In Nigeria it is still expanding, as nomadic Arabs continue their spread, so that there now exist permanent Arab villages in Adamawa state, south of Borno. Included in samples are: Bagirmi Arabic Mada Aajiri Western Nigerian Arabic Kirenawa Abbeche Ndjamena Amm Timan (2) Umm Hajar (2, nomads)

Arabic of the Sudan (Map 3)

Arabic was brought to the Sudan permanently in the same invasion which brought the Arabs to the Lake Chad region. The date customarily cited is 1317, as that was w~en the northern Nubian kingdom of Mariis was defeated by a Mameluke force, settmg


Appendix 1. Dialects Cited

the stage for the rapid . f expansIOn 0 Arabs directly south and west. The Shukriyya settled I' th' n elf current home alo th A b . apparently have affinities with A~gb ~ tara River by th~ eighteenth century. They Included in samples are: a s m the eastern Egyptian desert (de Jong 2002). Shukriyya Khartoum

Appendix 1. Dialects Cited


Fez (Morocco) Mauritania Mzab (Algeria) Djidjelli (Algeria) Susa (Tunisia) Tunis

Egypt (Map I)

Andalusia (Map 2)

Pre-Islamic dialects were present is' . ( with the Islam' n mal see below). Arabic spread throughout Egypt IC conquest. Fustat at th . f . and Aswan was reached b •• . e site 0 present-day Cairo was founded in 640/1 3 tained their own langu \6 0 Until about 900 the large Coptic population mainin particular was an .age, ut ereafter a gradual language loss set in. Upper Egypt Important demograph' t . . populations moved both· t N I C S agmg area from which large-scale m 0 orth Africa (e g th B H'lal)' . region to the south In 1 d d . " e anu I and mto the Sudamc . cue m samples are: Cairene Arabic Bahariyya Arab'IC (western desert oasis) . Nile Valley (~actiid)

Andalusia was first invaded in 7ll, and Arabic was spoken as a native language until the sixteenth century (Ferrando p.e., November 2004). Documents attesting the Arabic dialect become available in the tenth century, though the most detailed reports are relatively late in the fifteenth.


Libya (Map I) Arabic was first introduced with the I 1 . Libya was strongly Ar b" d . s amlC conquest, beginning about 640. Western H'lal' . . a IClze With the B egInning about 40. anu I mvaslOn from Upper Egypt, b 10 Eastern Libyan Arabic Tripoli (western) Gharyan (western) T " urusla, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania (Map 2) Along with . proceeded . ab"IClzatIon . . Libya,Ar The earher one was the 0 . . al m these regIOns basically in two waves. ngm Arab-lsI . . amlC conquest, completed by the end of the seventh century. At th" IS pomt ArabIC wa 1 1 complete Arabicization C 11 d' sarge y confined to urban areas. A more 1 10 owe m the wak f e eventh century. The B Hil e 0 the Banu Hilal invasion of the al establish d th " anu e emselves first in western Libya and Tumsla. In the twelfth century a large gro f th . central Moroccan coastal h' up 0 elr descendants were settled in the . area, w Ich greatl . . ! mcreased the number of Arabic speakers m Morocco. The Arabicizat' f . al Ion 0 Mauntam b . amv of the eponymous B Me' a egan m the fourteenth century with the hqil and a i d . anu an d sIXteenth centuries (Cath . T ' cce erate considerably in the fifteenth r.o rthCOffilng». . enne 13ille-Cheikh,p.c. November 2004 (Taine-Cheikh, .

Maltese (Map I) Established either late ninth century or eleventh century, it was cut off from the Arabic-speaking world by the end of the eleventh century.

Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon (Map 1) Arabs had spread throughout this region, particularly into the desert regions of Jordan and Syria, in pre-Islamic times. It was largely in the wake of the Arab-Islamic conquests, however, that Arabic displaced Aramaic on a large-scale basis as the mother tongue of most speakers of the region. The northern region of Syria and Lebanon shades dialectically into a northern Mesopotamian type. The part of the region running from the Sinai, across the Negev desert and into southern Jordan and northwest Saudi Arabia is dialectally quite different. Arabs have lived in the Sinai continuously since the third century BC (de Jong 2000: 13)· Tripoli (Lebanon) Baskinta (Lebanon) Soukhne (Syria) Teerib (Syria) Damascus Ajarma (Jordan) Bduul of Petra (southern Jordan) Galilee (northern Israel) Cypriot Arabic (Map I) Arabic is spoken by a small Maronite community in Kormakiti in northern Cyprus, which was established between the ninth and twelfth centuries (Borg 1985: 5,6). The most recent information comes from Borg (2004: 1) whose work is based on a community of 1,300 Cypriot Maronites. Before the invasion of 1974 they lived in the


Appendix 1. Dialects Cited

villa~e. of ~ormakiti in northern Cyprus, but thereafter most migrated south of the armistIce lIne. Mesopotamian Arabic (Map 1) Th· d . IS. eSlgnat~s the varieties found in Iraq, parts of northern Syria, and Turkey. Cypnot ~ablC as well can be reckoned as belonging to this dialect area. It is charactenzed by two broad d·Ialect types (Ch see . 5). The first, the qultu dialects, are

the fi~st to have been brought to the region in the immediate aftermath of the ArabIslamiC conquests. The second, the gl·1·It d·al . I ects, arnved later, beginning around AD 1,000 or 1,100, probably pushing in from either the Arabian peninsula or from Jordan (Blanc 1964.1) · tnbes · . . . The d·al 1 ect 0fth e pre-IsI amlc who lived in southern Iraq, such .as the Tanukh ' has no t been spec ul ated upon to my knowledge. More sharply than In many• reo1ons of the Arab·IC worId , thed·ffi . . this area are often • 0l erent dIalects In a~soclated WI~ confessional differences. It should be noted, however, that some of me dialects. are. dYIng out • The JeWlS . h d·al . 1 ect 0 f·· Hut, for Instance, is attested only througlI a descnptlOn carried out in Israel of the diasporic population from that city (Khan 1997). In Iraq: Jewish Baghdadi Christian Baghdadi MuslinI Baghdadi Basra and other areas in southern Iraq Hiit Khaweema In Anatolia: Siirt Daragozii Mardin Aazex

South Central Turkey (Map 1) Arabic was first brought to this f of Mersin Ad d 'T' ~ea 0 south central Turkey (in and around the cities , ana, an ~arsus) In the h essentially a continuati f th . . seventeent century, from Hatay. It is mus on 0 e vanetles of that area (S. Prochazka 2002). Hatay (Alawite dialect) Cilicia Hatay essentially continues the dial ect complex of northern Syria (Arnold 1998).

Appendix 1. Dialects Cited


Uzbekistan and Khorasan (Map 1) Settled in the early eighth century and cut off from the broader Arabic dialect world by the beginning of the ninth, Uzbekistan represents an important Sprachinsel. While often characterized as Mesopotamian, as discussed in Ch. 5, Uzbekistan in fact shares significant affinities with dialects in a number of regions. The Jogari dialect spoken near Bukhara is used here. The Arabic of Khorasan is known through a single description (Seeger 2002). It has interesting affinities to Uzbekistan Arabic, as well as some remarkable traits of its own (e.g. a complete *s --+ 9 shift in some dialects). Arabian peninsula (Map 1) The pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula knew a number of languages, the closely related North Arabian type which includes the ancestor of Arabic (Macdonald 2000), as well as various South Arabian languages, five of which are still spoken today. No significant work has been done to discern evidence of language contact and shift among the historical populations, and there is not even agreement upon where the ancestral homeland of Arabic is. Petnicek (1988), for instance, locates it in the region north of the peninsula in modern Jordan and Iraq, whereas RetsO (2003: 37, 48-51) would appear to suggest the Arabian peninsula itself, between Yemen and Mecca, or perhaps an area northwest of Medina (al-qura al-'iarabiyya). Throughout the history of the peninsula there have been a large number of population movements both to me north and to the south. It appears that in the immediate pre-Islamic era the dominate movement was already out of Yemen towards me north, due to me effect of dryer conditions (CaskelI960/I986: 528). Wim me Islamic expansion, emigration increased considerably. Within the Arabian peninsula mere continued to occur significant population movements, for instance from the central Arabian peninsula towards Bahrain and the trucial coast, and thence into Oman (Wilkinson 1987= 76). Oman Abu Dhabi Saudi Arabia Rwala (northern Najd) Najdi Hofuf Qauz Yemen ~an'iaa?

As-Suwwaadiyyeh an-Nadhiir Al-Mudawwar

Appendix 2. Summary of Variables

Appendix 2. Summary of Variables Meson t . TAT. ' r O amIa, ;vestern Sudanic Region, UzbekIstan, Shukriyya These variables are referred to'm th e text unde A C h morphology plus the numb . b r p 2.1 lor p onology or Ap 2.2 for . . er m rackets who h' h ' IS Identified in the data bank IkJ c ' ~c IS t e number by which the variable h' . lor mstance IS sect Th . . as gaps m the sequence the b' I . 2.1.2. e numberIng sometImes Unless o t h ' .' se emg eft for related features. erwlse speCIfied, the suffixal e1em . another suffix. The addif f fu ents m the data do not themselves have IOn 0 rther suffixe ft . d types, which is not accounted for here. s 0 en m uces a11omorphy of different 1.



The. imala in the Mesopotamian area has two degrees, with some dialects (e.g. JB) haVIng a further raising to ii in some forms (e.g. nominal but not participial kliib 'dogs'). • (13) r; 1. r, baarid'cold': Kirenawa, 2. 11", beaid: CB. (14) CCVC-V (verb); 1. CCVC-V,

bu-ktub-u 'they write': Kirenawa,


C:lCC-V ykitb-uun: Hiit, 3. CCC-V: yiktb-o

Daragozii. Jastrow (1973: 27) considers the stem la/in the Daragozii form t:Jftalle 'you.F. open' to be an epenthetic vowel. This creates an interpretive problem. In terms of underlying form this would be classified in category '3', but in surface realization as 'I'. I have classified it as '3'. (15) CC-C (verb) 1. C:lC-C, jib:lt-hum 'I brought them': MB, 2. CC-C, j:Jbtna: 'you brought us': Khaweetna, 3. CC:l-C, jibt-u-hum: Kirenawa (17) CaCii; 1. CaCii, kabiir: Kirenawa, 2. CCii, kbiir: Hiit, 3. CiCii, cibiir: MB

Sasse (1971: 238) notes that both (1) and (2) occur in Mardin, na~ii['c1ean', gbiir 'big', on a lexically (Le. irregular) governed basis.


(I) qaaf (reflex of SA Iq/)' b ' ' I. q, aqar cattle'· Ma d' b k k I' : alb: CB, 2. c [til: calib: MB . r m 2. g, agar: Kirenawa. (2) 1k/1.

(18) CaCa(C); 1. CaCa(C), katab 'he wrote', bagar 'cattle': Abbeche, 2. CiCa(C),

citab, bugar: MB. (19) CaCaC-V (verb); 1. CaCaC-V, katab-at 'she wrote': Kirenawa, 2. CiCC-V, kitb-at: MB, 3. CaCC-V, katb-it: JB. (20) CaCaC-OV) (verb); 1. CaCaC-C, katab-tu 'I wrote': Mardin, 2. CCaC-C, ktab-it: Hiit, 3· CiCaC-C, kitab-t: MB (or ktab-t). (21) CiCaaC; 1. CiCaaC, kilaab 'dogs': Kirenawa, 2. CCaaC, klaab: Hiit. (22) CVCC# (noun); 1. CVCC, an 'sister': JB, 2. CVCVC, uxut: MB. (23) CC-C (noun); 1. C:lC-C, calib-hum 'their dog': MB, 2. CC-C: kalb-ki: 'your.F dog': Mardin, 3. CC-:lC: kalb-uhum: 'their dog'

In those dialects with a k I . rv c a ternatlOn c basic 11 . voweIs, or high front vowels b t b' a y occurs m the environment of front to area, h owever. u not ack ones. Th e precise . conditions vary from area

(3,4) InHil; 1. laham 'meat' b 'I 'h " aa at, s e sold' 1 h I. Ianam, ga'iad 'he staved' *1" ' 2. a am, baalat: Kirenawa. (5) *nafCia; I , 2. ell em 'meat' * -c d . . In th B . . ' gne : Baguml e agJrml area proto *na/'i . (3 ,4 ) ab Ove OCCur. a raIse to *ne/'ie. Su b sequent to this raising of/alto lei, 1. 11": 1I"asal'wash': M B . . 2 (pre-glottalized voiced v' 1 • q. qasal: Kirenawa, 3· x: xasal: Abbeche, 4. G (=[!f] e ar stop 0 " . Ch ad). (7) 10/; 1. d b to 'I r mJectlve) Gasal: Awlad Eli (Cameroonl d d ' a all s aughter" H" 3· , aba(h) 'slaughter': Abbeche . nt,~. z, zahab 'go': Daragoz u, (8) lSI; 1. S, (}[aa8a'thr '. H" ' 4· g, rjaba(h): Klrenawa, 5. v, vahab 'go': Siirt. ,(; S..nrt ee. nt, 2. t, talaata.. Ki renawa, 3. 5, sa!aasa: Aajiri, 4. f, fiaale:

(6) hi;

Kirenawa (24) CgutCa gahwa (guttural = x, Y, q < Y, 'I, n, h, f); 1. CgutCa, gahwa: Mardin, 2. Cgut aCa gahawa: Kirenawa. (26) CVCV(C) stress; 1. 'CVCVC, 'bagar 'cattle':

Kirenawa, 2. CV'CVC, bagar: Aajiri. (27) Emphasis; 1. Emphatic consonants, taaY 'it flew': CB, 2. No emphatic consonants, taar: Abbeche



This correspo n d ence applies to b . aslC vocabulary. (9) IgI; 1. g, gall 'remain" H"t d . n, 2. : dahar 'b k' Ki 4· y: !,a har; Siirt. (10) t. 1 t. to fl ac: renawa, 3· z: zahar: Daragozu, Abb h . o· oaay It ew'· JB . ec e. (11) RealIzation of'jiim' 1 ' " " ,2',9: ifaar: Kirenawa, 3. t: taar: r.:esopotamia). (12) Word-internal /' JI;al camel: (MB), 2. y, yimal: (southern ma a 1. No imala, kaatib 'has written': Klrenawa, 2. [mala, keetib: CB 0







(30) feminine plural; 1. yes, buktub-an 'they F. write': Kirenawa, 2. no, ykitb-u (common plural): MB. (31) two verb conjugations, low vs. high vowel (perfect



yes, katab-tu Ikb;,Y-tu 'they F. I wrotell grew': CB,


no,: ktab-it 'I

wrote', Ibas-it 'I wore': MB The two conjugations are characterized by an opposition between a high stem vowel and a low stem vowel. (40) First person singular perfect suffix; 1. -tu, katab-tu 'I wrote': CB, 2. -t, ktab-it:


Appendix 2. Summary of Variables I have not included the variant -eet which occurs in some southern Mesopotamian dialects (e.g. Shan al-Arab), kitb-eet 'I wrote'. (41) 3 ESG. perfect suffix; 1. -at, katab-at 'she wrote': Kirenawa, 2. -it, katab-il: Mardin. (42) 2 plural perfect suffix; 1. -turn, ktab-tum 'you PL wrote': MB, 2. -tun, katab-tun: Mardin, 3. -tu, katab-tu: Kirenawa, 4. -to, Daragozii The variant -taw found in southern Mesopotamia is included under value '4' here. In Daragozii -to is minimally contrastive with the ISG perfect suffix -tu. (43) 3 masculine plural; (non-suffixed form) 1. -u, katab-u: 'they wrote': Khaweetna, 2. -0, katab-o: Kirenawa, 3. -aw, katb-aw: Hiit In some qiltu dialects, before a pronominal suffix the variant -aw may appear, katab-o ,...., katab-aw-ha

(44) ISG perfect suffix; -t or (t); 1. always -t (or -tu), katab-tu: Mardin, 2. -t morphologically conditioned, ka'tab 'I wrote': Kirenawa The conditioning factor for (2) is complicated. (see Owens 1993b: 104). (45) verb C-aa-object suffix; 1. no, katab-ha 'he wrote it.F': Kirenawa, 2. yes, katab-aa-ha, Jaaf-aa-ha 'he saw her': Abbeche. (51) preformative vowel a, i or ali; 1. a: yaktub 'he writes', 2. i, yiktub: Kirenawa There are no dialects in this sample with only laI(southern Borno Arabic does have such). If there are two values, a, i, the quality is usually determined by harmony with the stem vowel. Other distributions are possible, however. In Umm Hajar in Chad, for instance, i occurs in open syllables while a occurs in closed, t-i-bii5 'she sells', t-a-ktub 'she writes'. Dialects with both i and a have a value of 'l5'. (52) imperfect suffixes (without object suffixes); 1. -uun, -iin, yikitb-uun 'they write': MB, 2. -u, -i, yiktub-u: Kirenawa Siirt has a special stressed form, without -n, y.;mk~'ruu 'they were broken'. I have coded this as 1.5, since it lacks -n (coding = '2'), but in its· special stress is differentiated from all other dialects which do not have -no Alternatively, one could give it a separate coding of '3'. Before suffixes, in some dialects (many Anatolian qiltu) the n is deleted, Mardin yiktub-uu-ha 'they write it.F'. As noted in sect. 8.6, I do not usually catalogue variants of suffixes with a further attached suffix. (53) 1 singular imperfect; 1. a-, a-ktub 'I write': Kirenawa, 2. n-, n-uktub: Abbeche The ISG prefix is a-. In the indicative it will often be prefixed with b-, ba-ktub. (54) 1 plural imperfect; 1. n-, n-uktub 'we write': Kirenawa, 2. n- ... -u, n-uktub-u: Abbeche (55) Harmony-determined imperfect suffixes in strong verb 1. Only one form, -iin/uun: tdkbar-uun 'you.PL grow', MB, 2. Two forms, high or

Appendix 2. Summary of Variables


Iow voweI -I,. - el- u, 0 , determined by stem vowel (see 6.2 .(21»: tiktub-u 'you.PL ffix write', tigcfaP-o, 'you.PL cut', Kirenawa. (6,1~.1 sing~ar object su on noun 1. -i (unstressed), 'beet-i 'my house': CB, 2. -11, bed-I: Abbeche Nigerian is dis~~uished from C ha~an Ar~~i~s i~nth~~:~i:~~~~ object suffix -m IS not stressed , w ereas catalogued.

~;~!~n~: :er~~ .

(62) 2 ESG object suffix; 1. -ik, beet-ik 'your house': CB (after C-), 2. -ki, beet-kI: Kirenawa A number of dialects (e.g. CB) have both variants on a conditioned basis, e.g. - ki after a long vowel, otherwise -ik.



, our PL. house': MB, 2. -kun, beetl-kun: (63) 2 M.PL object suffix 1. -~m, beet-kum) b'ect suffix; 1. -hum, beet-hum 'their 0 1 Mardin, 3. -ku, beet-ku: Kirenawa. (6~ 3 house': Hiit, 2. -hun, beet-hun: Mardm

. eI of this suffix, which can be distinctively front I do not classify according to t~e v0w. il I f, the preceding 2M.PL suffix. or back. In Hiit it is in fact [-hIm]; Sim ary, or . . -u 'his house': Hiit, 1.2. -u, W-nu, katab-uu-nu (65) 3 M.SG. object suffix,!. -u, beet ....b h 'they bring him': Mardin, 2. -a, 'theywroeI, t 't' CB , 13 -u W-hu, 'll! -uu- u .. , beet-a: Kirenawa . h ft a front voweI (b eet -) e, otherwise -a. This variable h is allan . _ ffix allomorphy. However, t e 0Bagirmi ArabIC as -e a er exception to my practice of not treatmg post su nI ffix vowel e.g. 'iaJaa-nu 'his , . d fi d by any vowel, not 0 ya su morph u,...., nu""" hu IS e ne cali all orph are given a per cent . ·th h u ,...., hu post-vo c om . I ". the component vowel -u IS c oser supper'. Vanants WI t e -n h' I to '1' than to 2, smce h . t '.. . classification WhiC IS C oser . dh " r '2' both have t e vanan . I dialects classlfie ere as 1 0 to -u than to -a. After a vowe , . '(b th Hiit and Kirenawa, allOWing for (stress shift and length), e.g. 5alaa 'hIS supper 0 pharyngeal change).

, . h '. beet-hum theIr ouse. . h-deletion: (66) H-deletion from object pronouns, 1. ~o . . beet-um'. Kirenawa Khaweetna 2. h- d eIetIOn. I .

' . bili in the deletion of the IhI. For examp e m There is a large amount of vana ty I t 1 disappeared, so that even after a Daragozii in Turkey the IhI has apparently comp ~Ie Yt I't F' This variant has not been g bl- tuu-a a e . . vowel only the h-Iess form occurs, e.. ., k-a 'he grabbed . "al b'ect ronouns; 1. no shift, masa (67) Stress shift before V-ffiltI 0 J P di (68) Form of 2MSG object ( ) hift maSak u: Mar n. him': Kirenawa, 2. s : - , (MB) 2 -ik beet-ik (Siirt). 7I b ur house , . , k ' Pronoun; 1. -ak, eet-a yo 'h finI'shed': Kirenawa, 2. ca Cc, tamm:. C eGa, tamma e Ki Doubled verbs 3MSG; 1. a . Vt -olu, nis-at 'she forgot: renawa, CB. (72) weak final verb, vowel suffix, 1. - ,

given a different coding.


Appendix 2. Summary of Variables

(i)y-Vt, nisy-:n: Mardin. (73) Initial vowel of . Imperfect of aCaC verbs; 1. prefix s. uenawa ' 2 . prefix + 00, yooxu d or yooxuZ; Uzbekistan . DIalects used in survey ( ber represents the code): num 2.

+ aa, yaaxud 'he take '. K.

... . Western Sudanic Arabic: 1. Kirenawa· 2 Md. Timan; 6. Umm HaJ·ar 7 Abb h. 8 A'.· a a: 3· AaJIfl; 4· Wulaad Eeli; 5· Amm ,. ec e, . ha I; 9 Aha II Mesopotamia (dialect subgrou as in ... Baghdadi (Baghdad qultu). 11 J ~h B h Tab~e 5·4 given In brackets): 10. Christian (gilit); 13. Mardin (Anatolla): eWlDs a~. ~adl (Bag~dad qultu); 12. Muslim Baghdadi , 14· aragozu (Anatoh)· S·· ( weetna (non-Baghdadi qultu). 8 H.. ( a , 15· urt Anatolia); 16. Kha. ' 1. 11t non-Baghdad· 1) tamIa (gilit). I qu tu ; 19· southern Mesopo30. Uzbekistan; 31. Shukriyya.

Appendix 3. Imala in Zamaxshari It is a general and important issue to determine the degree to which post-Sibawaihian grammarians added significantly to the phonological, morphological, and syntactic data base of Classical Arabic. In this issue I agree with the observation of Carter (1999), that the data base was largely closed after Sibawaih, or shortly thereafter. The extent to which later grammarians depended on the description of Sibawaih is, however, an empirical question which, as always, needs to be worked out on a case-by· case basis. While studies such as Alhawary (2003), which summarizes the method· ology of how early grammarians worked on the basis of reports compiled by later grammarians are interesting, an essential metric is a comparison between the material found in Sibawaih (or Farra? or other early grammarians) and later ones. Alhawary (2003: 14), for example, in reporting on Ibn ]jnni's (d. 392/1002) elicitation techniques would imply that Ibn Jinni was actually extracting new information. The example he gives, however, an elicitation frame built around garabtu ?axaa-ka 'I hit your brother', clearly cannot add information about Arabic which by Ibn Jinni's day was not already well known. Ultimately, the only way to know the extent to which Ibn Jinni added new interpretations about Arabic based on new facts is to compare his examples and his analyses thereof, with those of his predecessors. In this short appendix, I make such a short data comparison, based on the example of imala, discussed in Ch. 7. Phonological phenomena have a physical basis which, in the perspective of this work, can be given a concrete articulatory interpretation, even on the basis of phonetic descriptions from the classical period. It will therefore be apparent whether later grammarians merely mimicked the phenomenon as described by Sibawaih on the basis of his written description, or whether they refined them and added their own interpretations based on actual aural observations. In these terms, a comparison between Sibawaih's description of imala and that of Zamaxshari (d. 53 8/ 11 54) clearly indicates that the former is the case. Zamaxshari in this instance adds little to Sibawaih's observations, and in fact it may be suspected that he based his analyses on written philology rather than on first-hand aural observations, which was a hallmark of Sibawaih's methodology. A summary will make this clear. Zamaxshari divides his description (pp. 335-8) into fourteen subcategories. That Zamaxshari basically takes over Sibawaih's description is first of all apparent in the description of imala conditioning factors, even allowing for the fact that in the two and a half pages Zamaxshari clearly cannot treat the phenomenon in anywhere near the detail of Sibawaih's fifteen pages. Zamaxshari, for instance, singles out in separate subsections imala in suffixes (such as 3FSG-haa), context-determined imala in bibaabihi 'with his door', the harmonic nature of imala in lJimaadaa ([lJimiedieJ)


Appendix 3. Imala in Zamaxshari

'support', the imala-inhibiting effects of raised consonants, the effects of IrIon imala, imala of short [a], and the imala in hollow verbs such as xaaj'he feared'. There is only one class, the particles, singled out by Zamaxshari which Sibawaih did not render prominent as a class. All in all Zamaxshari's fourteen subcategories give an adequate overview of imala, though aspects of imala prominent in Sibawaih are filtered out of Zamaxshari's description. For instance, there is no mention of imala as an individual variational phenomenon. If Zamaxshari was interpreting written words rather than oral signals, this is not surprising. Zamaxshari's dependence on Sibawaih is furthermore clear in his choice oflexemes illustrating imala. He cites about 110 individuallexemes, most with long [aa], four with short [a]. Of these, twenty-three are not found in Sibawaih, the rest already cited by Sibawaih. Eighty per cent of the actual words used to illustrate imala are therefore identical. I assume that Zamaxshari's naaqif is a printing mistake for Sibawaih's (II: 286) naafiq 'marketable'. Eight, or one-third of the non-cited total, are found in the longest set of lexemes, comprising forty-four examples in all, namely the context of raised consonants which inhibit imala, examples such as lJaariej 'obstruction' and tullaab 'students: Another seven not found in Sibawaih are in the class of particles (e.g. 'ialaa 'on', ?ilJaa 'if), as noted above not singled out as a separate imala subcategory in Sibawaih. In identifying this imala subcategory Zamaxshari probably follows Mubarrad (d. 285/898; III: 52). Zamaxshari is therefore clearly dependent upon Sibawaih for his general phonological and lexical description of imala. The one issue of interest is that noted at the beginning of Ch. 7, namely that Zamaxshari perhaps gives imala a different phonetic value from Sibawaih. If this is the case, it could be because Zamaxshari was dependent on Sibawaih's (or other earlier grammarians') written description, which Zamaxshari interpreted as [ail (if this is correct; see discussion in sect. 7.1). Alternatively it could be that Zamaxshari in fact transmitted a twelfth-century imala norm which was [ai], or perhaps [eel. Zamaxshari was from the eastern Arabic region (Iran), closest to today's qultu dialects with the imala value [eel. It may be that what is interpreted in this book as the original imala value [ia] had died out in the eastern region, and that Zamaxshari was following local norms. As noted in sect. 7.3 (Fig. 7.5), already by Sibawaih's day different, competing phonetic reflexes of imala were already present. Whatever the explanation, Zamaxshari may be ignored for purposes of Old Arabic reconstruction on this issue.

Appendix 4. List of obje,ct pronouns used in reconstructIons In Chapter 8 TABLE



15 16

western Nigeria Bagirmi Ndjamena Abbeche Khartoum Shukriya Egypt, Cairo Sa'iidi Bahariyya Eastern Libya Tripoli Gharyan Tunis Susa Djidjelli, Algeria Mzab, Algeria




1 2


4 5

6 7 8 9 10 11


13 14


Mauritania Andalusia Maltese Cypriot North Israel Baskinta Tripoli, Lebanon Damascus




34 35

Teerib Christian Baghdad Jewish Baghdad Muslim Baghdad Basra Daragozu, Turk Mardin Aazex Alawite, Antakya



19 20

21 22



28 29 30 31 32 33

Khorasan Abu Dhabi 39 Oman 40 Najdi

37 38



ii ii ii ii

ak ak ak ak ak ak ak ak

ki ki ki ki

ik ik

ki ik ik




ik ik ik ik ik ak ak

ik ik

ik ik

ik ik ik

ik ak ak ak ak ak ac ak ak ak ak ak

ik ik ik ak ak ak ak ak

k k

ik ic

ik ik ik ci

ik ki ik ic ic

ki ki ki ik

low low low low u u u

vowel ha vowel ha vowel ha vowel ha ha ha ha ha u he ih low vowel ha low vowel ha low vowel ha ha u ha u ha u ha u ha u ha u a(h) u ha u ha u ha u ha u ha u ha o ha u ha u u ha u ha low vowel ha low vowel ha a u ha u ha u

ki ic ic

ha u ha u low vowel he low vowel ha




ih ih


ha ha ha

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na

na na na na na na

na na na na

na na na na na

na ne na ne na


ku ku ku ku kum kun kum kum kum

kan kan



kum kum kum kum kum kum kum kum kum kom kon


kan kan

cin cin

kun kon kon cu

kun kum kum kum kum kun kun kun kin kum kurn kum kum kurn kurn


kin Cln

kin kin cin kin

hum hum hum hum hum hun hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hum hom hon hum hun hun hon ham hun hum hum hum hum un hun hun hin hum hum hum hum hum hum

hin han

hin hin




hln Illn hin hln hln hin

Appendix 4. List of Object Pronouns TABLE

Al (cont.)

variety Qauz Hofuf 44 San'a 45 an-Nadhiir 4 6 AS-Suwwaadiyyeh 47 Al-Mudawwar 48 Bdul, Jordan 49 Ajarma, (Balqa) 50 Classical 42 43

k k i i i ii

ak ak ak ak ak ak



ish ish icr ish ik

ki ic ki

uh or ih and ah ha uh or ih and alI he ih ha 0 ha ih ha u ee uh or ih and ah ha 0 ha hu haa

na na na na na na na na naa

kun kum kum kum kum kum ku kum kum

hun hum kin hum tsin him kan hum kin hum kin hum cin hum kunna hum

References hin hin han hin hin hin hunna




Anthropological Linguistics Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition Journal of the American Oriental Society ZeitschriJt fur arabische Linguistik ZeitschriJt der deutschen morgenliindischen GesellschaJt

Reprinted works are given in the format 'date of original publication/date of reprint' ABBOT, N. (1972 ). Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri, iii. Language and Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ABBOUD-HAGGAR, S. (20 0 3). Introduccion a la Dialectologia de la Lengua Arabe. Granada: Fundacion El Legado Andalusl. 'ABD ALLAH, A. (19 84). 'The Variant Readings of the Qur?aan: a Critical Study of their Historical and Linguistic Origins'. Ph.D. thesis, Edinburgh University. ABDO, DAUD (19 6 9). 'Stress and Arabic Phonology'. Ph.D. thesis, University if Illinois. ABDUL JAWAD, H. (1981). 'Lexical and Phonological Variation in Spoken Arabic in Amman'. Ph.D. thesis, University of Pennsylvania. ABU-ABSI, S. (1995). Chadian Arabic. Munich: Lincom Europa. ABu HAIDAR, F. (1979). A study of the Spoken Arabic of Baskinta. Leiden: Brill. _ _ (1991). Christian Arabic of Baghdad. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. AGHA, S. (1999). 'The Arab Population in Xuraasaan during the Umayyad Period',

Arabica 46: 211-29· AI-IJArabiyya (1987). Vol. 20. ALHAWARY, M. (20 03). 'Elicitation Techniques and Considerations in Data Collection in Early Arabic Grammatical Tradition', Journal of Arabic Linguistics Tradition 1: 1-24·

ai-Koran. Trans. Yousuf Ali. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr. ALLEN, R. (199 8 ). The Arabic Literary Heritage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. AL-NASSIR, A. (1993). Sibawayhi the Phonologist. London: Kegan Paul. AMARA, M. (2005). 'Language, Migration and Urbanization: The Case of Bethlehem',

Linguistics 43: 883-902. AMBROS, A. (199 8 ). Bongornu, kif into Wiesbaden: Reichert. ANTILLA, R. (1972 ). An Introduction to Historical and Comparative Linguistics. New York: MacMillan. AQUILINA, J. (1973). The Structure of Maltese. Valletta: The Royal University of Malta.


References References

AQUILINA, J. and ISSERLIN B S J ( 8) A Leeds. ' . . . 19 1. Survey of Contemporary Dialectal Maltese. ARNOLD, W. (1998). Die arabischen Dialekte Antiochiens Wiesb d . H . - - and Bobzin H ( d ) ( . . a en. arrassoWltz. , . e s. 2002) Sprtch doch 't d' K h

r' . ml emen nec ten aramiiisch, wir ,astrow. Wlesbaden: Harrassowitz SBAGHI, A. (1988). Persische Lehnw"rt . A b' . . AUROUX S KOERNER K N 0 er 1m ra Ischen. Wlesbaden: Harrassowitz. K ( d , ., , ., IEDEREHE H-J and V the Language Sciences B r . HT I ' " ERSTEEGH,. e s.) (2001). History of


verstehen es. Festschrift for Ott


. er m. vva ter de Gruyter. BAALBAKI, R. (1990). ,?Nrab and Binar fr . " Theory', in Versteegh d C ' om LmgulstlC Reality to Grammatical B an arter (eds.), 17-33. ANI YASIN, R., and OwENS J ( 8) 'Th . Linguistics 26: 202-32. , . 19 4 . e Bduul Dialect of Petra', Anthropological BARTH, J. ( 1898). 'Die Casusreste im H b'" h ' e ralsc en ZDMG 53' 593-9 - - (191011972). SprachwissenschaHf h ' " dam: Oriental Press. ~,IC e Untersuchungen zum Semitischen. AmsterBARTHOLD, V. (1928/1962). Turkestan dow Luzac. n through the Mongol Invasion. London: BECK, E. (1945). 'Der 'uthmanische Kodex' d derts', Orientalia NS 14' 3 m er Koranlesung des zweiten Jahrhun. 55-73BEHNSTEDT, P. (1 985. ) D'Ie nordJemenitischen . D' I k . - - (19 87). Die Dialekte der G d la e te, I. Atlas. Wiesbaden: Reichert. egen von §a5da (Nord-lemen). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


BERGSTRAllER, G. (1933). 'Nichtkanonische Koranlesearten im Muhtasab des Ibn Ginni', Sitzungsberichte der bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, ii. BIRKELAND, H. (1940). Altarabische Pausalformen. Oslo: Norske Videnskap-Akademie. BIRKELAND, H. (1952). 'Growth and Structure of the Egyptian Arabic Dialect', Avhandlinger utgitt av det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi 1: 1-57. BLACHERE, R. (1980). Histoire de la litterature Arabe, i. Paris: Librairie d'Amerique et d'Orient. BLANC, H. (1964). Communal Dialects in Baghdad. Cambridge Mass.: Center for Middle Eastern Studies. BLAU, J. (1966). A Grammar of Christian Arabic (3 vols.). Louvain: Secretariat du Corpus. - - (19 6 9). 'Some Problems of the Fonnation of the Old Semitic Languages in the Light of Arabic Dialects', Proceedings of the International Conference on Semitic Studies. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 38-44. - - (1976). A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. - _ (19812). The Emergence and Linguistic Background of Judaeo-Arabic. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute. _ _ (1982). 'Das frtihe Neuarabisch in Mittelarabischen Texten', in W. Fischer

(1982a), 96-109. - - (1988 ). Studies in Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: Magnes. _ _ (2002). A Handbook of Early Middle Arabic. Jerusalem: Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation. BOHAs, G., and GUILLAUME, J-P. (1984). Etudes des theories des grammairiens arabes.

- - (1991). 'Noch einmal Zum Probl d (2.PI.) und -hon (3 PI ) in d .:~ er Personalpronomina h;mne (3. P I.), -kon - - (1994). Der ar~bi;che D~ntrsc -hebanesischen Dialekten: ZDMG 141: 235-252. la ology, Syntax. Wiesbaden' H e t von.Soukhne (Syrien). Part 2, Phonology, Morph. arrasSoWltz. - - (1997). Sprachatlas von Syrien. Wiesb d . . - - (1998) 'La F "'. a en. HarrasSoWltz. . rontlere onentale des pari ' . P. Cressier, and A. Vicente ( d ) n ers maghrebms en Egypte', in J. Aguade, ·l e s. . reuplement et A b' . D la ectologie et Histoire Z ra IsatlOn au Maghreb Occidental: - - (2000). Review of ~w aragoza: Case de Velazquez, 85-96.

BORG, ALEXANDER (1985). Cypriot Arabic. Wiesbaden: Steiner. _ _ (2004). Comparative Glossary of Cypriot Maronite Arabic (Arabic-English). Lei-

- - and WOIDICH, M. (1:;;) Reichert. .

BROCKELMANN, C. (ed.). (1898 ). 'Al-Kisan's Schrift tiber die Sprachfehler des Volkes',

(1~~a):. Afri~a und Ubersee 83: 144-6.

Ie agyptlsch-arabischen Dialekte, ii. Wiesbaden:

- - (1988). Die iigyptisch-arabischen Dialek ... " baden: Dr Ludwig Reichert. te, lll. Nildialekte, Oasendialekte. Wies- - (2005) Arabische Dialekt eo h' . . BELL, R. (1958). Introduction t~ th~ci I,e: Eme.Emfiihrung. Leiden: Brill. r BELLAMY, J. (19 85). 'A New Read' fUthan. Edmburgh: Edinburgh University Press. BE R K mg 0 e Namaarah I .., LNAP, '. ., and GEE, J. (1994). 'Classical Ar " nscnptlOn, lAOS 105: 31-51. Categoncal Agreement Patte ,. . ablc m Contact: The Transition to New R' rns, m MEld V. Ca ta . erspectlves on Arabic Linguis'; (Am' ,. n nno, and K. Walters (eds.). B S ..cs sterdam' Be' . ) . ENDOR- AMUEL, J. (1990) Th Ar • nJamms, VI. 121-49· Lan . . e l~lger-Congo La nguages. ham: University Press of Am enca.

Damascus: Institut Fran~s de Damas. BORG, ALBERT and AzZOPARDI-ALEXANDER, M. (1997). Maltese. London: Routledge.

den: Brill. BOSWORTH, C. E. (19 89). 'The Persian Impact on Arabic Literature', in A. Beeston, T. M. Johnstone, R. B. Serjeant, and G. R. Smith (eds.). Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 483-9 6 .

1898. Zeitschrift for Assyrologie. 13: 29-46. . ' . _ _ (1908,19 3 982 ). Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammahk der semlstlchen Spra1 11 chen, i and ii. Hildesheim: Olms. . . .. U ( ) 'Notes on the Origm' of Baggara Arab Culture WIth Special BRAUKAMPER, . 1993· 6 Reference to the Shuwa', Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika 14= 13-4 . BUSTANI, B. (1977). Muhiyt al-Muhiyt. Beirut: Maktabat Li~nan. . . 'AfrOasl'atic Cases and the Fonnatlon of Ancient Egyptian ) . . .' CALLENDER, J. (1975· . ·th possessive suffixes', Afroasiahc LzngulStics 2: 95-112. Co nstruct10ns WI d be d'O' , A le 'E' tudes sur quelques parlers de noma es ara nent, nna s ) CANTINEAU, J. (1937· de I'Institut d'Etudes Orientales, Alger. 4: 119-2 37.



CANTINEAU, J. (1960). Etudes de linguistique arabe. Paris. CARBOU, H. (1913). Methode pratique pour l'hude de l'arabe parle au Ouaday et du Tchad. Paris: Geuthner.



CARTER, M. (1972). 'Twenty Dirhams in the Kitaab of Sibawaih', BSOAS 35: 485-9 6. - - (1973). 'An Arabic Grammarian of the Eighth Century A.D.: A Contribution to the History of Linguistics', JAOS 93: 146-57. - - (1990). 'Qillji, Qiuji, QdrJ: Which is the Odd Man Out?' in Versteegh and Carter (eds·),73-90. - - (1999). 'The Struggle for Authority: A Re-Examination of the Basran and Kuwfan Debate', in L. Edzard and M. Nekroumi (eds.). Tradition and Innovation: Norm and Deviation in Arabic and Semitic Linguistics. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 55-70 . CASKELL, W. (19 60!I986). 'The Expansion of the Arabs: General and the 'Fertile Crescent', EI i. 527-9. CASTELLINO, G. (1978). 'The Case System of Cushitic in Relation to Semitic', in P. Fronzaroli (ed.). Atti del Secondo Congresso Internazionale di Linguistica Camito-Semitica. Florence: Instituto di Linguistica e di Lingue Orientali. CAUBET, D. (1993). L'Arabe Marocain, i. Paris: Peeters. CHAUDENSON, R. (1979). Les Creoles francais. Paris: Nathan. CHEINE, A. (19 69). The Arabic Language. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. CHOUEMI, M. (1966). Le Verbe dans Ie Coran. Paris: Klincksieck. CLEMENTS, G. (1990). 'The Role of the Sonority Cycle in Core Syllabification', in J. Kingston and M. Beckman (eds.). Papers in Laboratory Phonology, i. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 288-333. COHEN, D. (19 63). Le Dialecte arabe Hasaniya de Mauritanie. Paris: Klincksieck. - - (1972). 'Koine, langues communes et dialectes arabes', Etudes de Linguistique Semitique et Arabe. The Hague: Mouton, 105-25. CoLLINS, R. (19 62). The Southern Sudan, 1883-1898, a Struggle for Control. New Haven: Yale University Press. - - (1971). Land Beyond the Rivers; the Southern Sudan, 1898-1918. New Haven: Yale University Press. 8 - - (19 3). Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1918, 1956. New Haven: Yale University Press. CORRIENTE, F. (1971). 'On the Yield of Some Synthetic Devices in Arabic and Semitic Morphology', Jewish Quarterly Review 62: 2-50. - - (~~73). 'Again on the Functional Yield in Some Synthetic Devices in Arabic and SeIDItIC Morphology', Jewish Quarterly Review. 63: 151-63 - - (1975). 'Marginalia on Arabic Diglossia and Evidence Thereof in the Kitab alAghani', Journal of Semitic Studies 20: 38-61. - - (1976). 'From Old Arabic to Classical Arabic Through the Pre-Islamic Koine: Some Notes on the Native Grammarians' Sources Attitudes and Goals' Journal of Semitic Studies 21: 62-98. ' , - - (1977). A Grammatical Sketch of the Spanish Arabic Dialect Bundle. Madrid: Instituto Hispano-Arabe de Cultura.

COWAN, W. (1960). 'A Reconstruction of Proto -Colloquial Arabic'. Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University. . ., P . Is. Cambridge'. Cambndge University ress. W (199 0) l1ypolouy and u:mversa C ROFT,. . o. ., d C 110 uial Arabic. Berlin: Mouton de CUVALAY, M. (1997). The Verb In LIterary an 0 q DE

~:~,e~. (2000). A Grammar of the B~do;intD~I;~~ te::e~o1~:;n~~;I~ ~:~::; Bridging the Linguistic Gap between teas er

Brill. .al f th 'Ababda' in Arnold and Bobzin (eds.) >337-59· - - (2002). 'Notes on the Dl e~t °d e I D' 'Iectes de I'Arabe Meridionale. Leiden: DE LANDBERG, LE COMTE. (1909). Etu es sur es la Brill. 'Het Uzbekistaans Arabisch in Djogari'. MA thesis, Nijmegen DERELI, B. (1997)· University. uka '" . Languages Moscow: Na . ) A DIAKONOFF,1. (1988. },aslan . I 'na henne (3pl), -kon (2pl) und P blem der Persona pronoml 1) 'Z DIEM, W. (197 . urn. ro. . hen Dialekten', ZDMG 123: 227-37. hon (wI) in den Synsch-LIbaneslsc. d d' Frage der Kasusflexion im Altar_ _ (1973). 'Die nabataischen Inschnften un Ie abischen', ZDMG 123: 227-37· . A bischen' Arabica 25: 128-47. - - (1978). 'Divergenz und Konvergenz:.;a Aphr~dite-Papyri" Der Islam 61: _ _ (1984). 'Philologisches zu den ara ISC en 251-75· N bischen Ein neuer Ansatz', in Kaye _ _ (1991). 'Vom Aitarabischen zum euara . (ed.),297-308 . L' . tics in Past and Present', in Versteegh and DITTERS, E. (199 0 ). 'Arabic Corpus mguls Carter (eds.), 129-41. . t Princeton: Princeton University P~~. DONNER, F. (1981). The Early IslamIC Con6r~ ;actor in Arabic Linguistics', in HamalDoss, M. (1995). 'Some Remarks on the "-'"v2. d Oxford'. nen et al. (ed) s. , 4:> ) Th Comparative MethodR' evlewe. DURIE, M., and Ross, M. (eds.) (199 6 . e . P ress. . t the CorrelaOxford UniverSity . f Glottochronology agams EHRET C (2000). 'Testing the ExpectatlO~S °Afri ' In Renfrew et alii eds, 373-400. , . h 1 gy m ca. . toions of Language and Arac aeo 0 d friihe Entwickiung des Junggramma'D'e Entstehung un ) EINHAUSER, E. (2001. I ,. Auroux et al. (eds.), 1338-50. .' , in tischen Forschungsprogramms,.m . t' Change as Reflected in ArabiC Dialects, , I 'tyofLmguISIC EKSELL, K. (1995)· Comp eX! . d Harviainen et al. (eds.), 63-74... b' . Current Parameters in AnalYSIS an Investtgattng Ara IC. ELGIBALI, A. (ed.) (2005). Learning. Leiden: Brill. . I' Arabic' Language 32: 446-5 2. 6) 'The EmphatIC m ' ( FERGUSON, C. 195 . d 25' 4 ) 'D'glossia' Wor 15: 3 - 0. -Arabic Koine', andalou: notes de dialec- - 1959· 'Le Morpheme de liason a e FERRANDO, 1. (2000). M demo 19" 25-46. , , Oriente 0 . tologie comparee,

~1959:). '~e

Lan~ge 35:/6~!0~rabe


References References

FERRANDO, I. (20ot). Introduccion a la Historia de la Lengua Arabe. Zaragoza: Navarro & Navarro. FISCHER, A. (19 26). 'Die Quantitat des Vokals des arabischen Pronominalsuffixes hu (hi)" in C. Adler (ed.), Oriental Studies Published in the Commemoration of Paul Haupt, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 390-402. FISCHER, W. (1961). 'Die Sprache der arabischen Sprachinsel in Uzbekistan', Der Islam, 36: 232-263. - - (1972). Grammatik des klassischen Arabisch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. . - - (ed.). (19 82 a). Grundriss der Arabischen Philologie, i. Spachwissenschaft. WIesbaden: Reichert.

- - (1982b). 'Das altarabsiche in islamischer Oberlieferung', in W. Fischer (1982a), 37-48.

8 - - (19 2C). 'Das Neuarabische und seine Dialekte', in W. Fischer (1982a), 83-9 6. - - (1995). 'Zum Verhiiltnis der neuarabischen Dialekte zum Klassisch-Arabischen', in Harviainen et al. (eds.), 75-86. - - and JASTROW, O. (eds.) (1980). Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. FLEISCH, H. (196111986). 'Imala', EI iii. 1162-3. - - (1974

2 ).

Etudes d'Arabe DialectaL Beirut: Dar el-Machreq.

FLEISCHER, H. (1847). 'Griechisch-arabischen Codex rescriptus der Leipziger Univeritats-BibIiothek', ZDMG 1: 148-60. 18 - - ( 5411968). Kleinere Schriften, iii. Osnabrock: BibIio Verlag. FOCK, J. (1950). Arabiya. Berlin: Akadamie Verlag. GARBELL, I. (1958). 'Remarks on the Historical Phonology of an East Mediterranean Arabic Dialect', Word 14: 30 3-37. GARCIN, J-c. (1976). Un centre musulman de l'Haute Egypte medievale: Quuf Cairo: Institut franfi:ais d'archeologie orientale du Caire. GILLIOT, C. (1990). Exegese, Langue et Theologie en Islam. Paris: Vrin. 0 - - (199 11999). 'The Beginnings of Qur'aanic Exegesis', in Rippin (1999),1-28. GLENDENING, P. J. (1961). Teach Yourself Icelandic. London: Teach Yourself Books. 18 GoLDZIHER, I. ( 7711994). On the History of Grammar among the Arabs, ed. Kinga Devenyi and Tamas Ivanyi. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 6 GORDON, C. (19 5). Ugaritic Textbook. Rome: Pontificum Institutum BibIicum. GRAND'HENRY, J. (1976). Les Parlers arabes de la region du Mzaab. Leiden: Brill. GREENBERG, J. (1972). 'Linguistic Evidence Regarding Bantu Origins', Journal ofAfrican History 13: 189-216. 2

- - (1978 ). 'Some Universals of Grammar with Particular Reference to the Order of Meaningful Elements', in J. Greenberg (ed.), Universals of Language. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 73-113. GROTZFELD, H. (19 65). Syrisch-arabische Grammatik. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. GUTHRIE, M. (1962). 'Bantu Origins: a Tentative New Hypothesis', Journal of African Languages 1: 9-21. HAilE, H. (1954). Le Parler arabe de Tripoli (Liban). Paris: Klincksieck.


HARRAMA, A. (1993). 'Libyan Arab'1C M 0 rphology'. AI-Jabal Dialect'. Ph.D. thesis, .. f h C parative Method', in B. Joseph and University of Arizona. ( ) 'On the Limits 0 t e om II HARRISON, S. 2003· H' . I Linguistics Oxford: Blackwe ,213-43. R. Janda (eds.). The Handbook of Istor;ca. A b' (~Festschrift for Heiki Paiva). HARVIAINEN, T. et al. (eds.) (1995). Dialedo ogla ra Ica Helsinki: Finnish Oriental Society. . I S ffixes and Independent Per) 'Final Vowels of Pronomma u HASSELBACH, R. (2004. .., I ,f Semitic Studies 49: 1-20. sonal Pronouns in SemitIc, Journa oJ 'd . B 'Il . L' phy. Lei en. n. HAYWOOD, J. (1965)· ArabiC exICO~~ ~. I ds of Moroccan Arabic. London: Kegan HEATH, J. (2002). Jewish and Mus 1m la e Paul. K. (1982). 'Das Arablsc . h' HECKER, e 1m Rahmen der semitischen Sprachen', in W. Fischer

(1982a), 6-16. , Afroasiatic Linguistics 3: 31-75. HETZRON, R. (1976a). 'The Agaw Langu.ag;:~onstruction" Lingua 3 : 89-108. 8 - - (1976b). 'Two Principles of GeneEtic I' h-Arabic Vocabulary. London: The Sudan ) Sudan- ArabiC - ng IS HILLELSON, S. (1925. Government. ' . f H brew Grammarians and Lexicographers. HIRSCHFELD, H. (1926). Literary History oJ e . London. OUP. f U A E Arabic, Dubai Dialect'. Ph.D. thesis, UmHOFFIZ, B. (1995). 'Morphology 0 . . , versity of Arizona. ., nd Change in a Modermsm . "gArabSw~ HOLES, C. (1987). Language V~natlOn a London: Kegan Paul InternatIOnal.

d e . .

) . , 0 f the Velar Stops .ReVIsited: - - 1990. Gulf Arabic. London: Routle . andg. AffricatlOn I ,. (

(1991) 'Kashkasha with Frontmg . Phono Iogy 0f the Peninsular Arabic Dla ects, m Contribution to the H"cal Iston A2 8 Ka e (ed.), 65 -7 . ndions and Varieties. London: ~ngma~. Modern Arabic: Eastern Arabia, i. Glossary. Lelden: - - (20ot). Dialed, ,C~lture, ;n.:a:to~:~:ic" in L. Ben~er (~.), ~e Non-Semitic HUDSON, G. (1976). HIgh/an ' . Michigan State Umverslty, 232 77. Languages of Ethiopia. East Lansmg~ bic in Khuzistan', BSOAS 36: 533--53. INGHAM, B. (1976 ). 'Urban a~d ~:dS.aKegan Paul Internati~nal: London. "Am t rdam: BenJamms. , ( 8) Northeast Arabian - - (19 2 a') Na;di Arabic, Central Arabian. s Arabic Dialect of Mghanistan, - - 1994 . 1 f Lan age Contact on I ternacional ( b) 'The Effect 0 gu , (eds) Adas del Congreso n ---: J. F. Extra-Iberos. Zaragoza:


Strudur~, F~



~:ade, cias Corri~nt~: ~d ~~~;~~:ances'y'para/elos Lmgulstlcas erfi

sobre Int

eren b" ,. Harviainen of the Rwalalt of Northern Ara la, m Navarro & Navarro, 105-I~ " ) 'Texts in the DIalect - - (1995d) . . an Investigation mto 0 I 4 " . Damascus. et al. (e s. 12 - , ' Sociolinguistic Sitl13tlOn hoods in the City', ConferISMAIL, H. (2004). The. tructures in Two Neighbour the Linguistic and SoCIal S u1a Ail: en provence. ence paper, Urb an Arabic Vernac rs.




JANKOWSKY, K. (2001). 'The Crisis of Historical-Comparative Linguistics in the 1860'S: in Auroux et al. (eds.), 13 26-38. JASTROW, O. (1973). Daragozu. Nuremberg: Hans Carl. - - (1978). Die mesoptamisch-arabischen Qiltu-Dialekte. Wiesbaden: Steiner. - - (1998). 'Zur Position des Uzbekistan-Arabischen', in H. Preissler and H. Stein (eds.). Annaherung an das Fremde: XXVI Deutscher Orientalistentag. Wiesbaden: Steiner, 173-84.

JOHNSTONE, T. M. (1963). 'The Affrication of "kaaf" and "qaaf" in the Arabian Dialects of the Arabian Peninsula', Journal of Semitic Studies 8: 210-26. - - (19 67). Eastern Arabian Dialect Studies. London: Oxford University Press. JUN, J. (2004). 'Place Assimilation', in B. Hayes, R. Kirchner, and D. Steriade (eds.). Phonetically-based Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 58-86. KAHLE, P. (1948). 'The Qur'an and the 'Arabiyya', in S. L6winger and Samogyi, J. (eds.), Ignace Goldziher Memorial Volume l. Budapest, 163-182. KAYE, A. (1976). Chadian and Sudanese Arabic in the Light of Comparative Arabic Dialectology. The Hague: Mouton. - - (ed.) (1991). Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, P. KERSWILL (2002). 'Koinization and Accommodation', in J. Chambers, P. Trudgill, and N. Schilling-Estes (eds.). The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford: Blackwell, 669-702. KHALAFALLA, A. (19 69). A Descriptive Grammar of Sa'iiidi Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. The Hague: Mouton. KHAN, G. (1988). Studies in Semitic Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. - - (1997). 'The Arabic Dialect of the Karaite Jews of Hiit', ZAL 34: 53-102. K/PARSKY, P. (2003). 'Syllables and Moras in Arabic', in C. Fery and R. van de Vijver, (eds.). The Syllable in Optimality Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 147-82. KNOOP, u. (1982). 'Das Interesse an den Mundarten und die Grundlegung der Dia-

lek~oIOgie~ in W. Besch, U. Knoop, W. Putschke, and H. Wiegand (eds.). Dialektologle. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1-23.

KOFLER, H ...(1940-2). 'Reste altarabischer dialekte', Wiener Zeitschrijt fUr die Kunde des Morgenlands, 47: 61-130; 48: 52-88; 49: 15-30. KR.UMM, B. (1940). W6rter orientalischen Ursprungs in Suaheli. Hamburg: FriederIschsen, De Gruyter & Co.


KUSTERS, (2003). 'Linguistic Complexity'. Ph.D. thesis, Netherlands Graduate School of Linguist~cs.< . accessed August 2005). LABOY, W. (1994). PrinCIples of Linguistic Change. Oxford: Blackwell. LARCHER, P. (2001). 'Moyen arabe et Arabe moyen', Arabica 48: 578-6 9. 0 3 - - (:00 ). 'Du jussif au conditionnel en arabe classique: une hypothese derivationnelle, Romano-Arabica 3: 185-97. - - , ,(200 4 ). 'Theologie et philologie dans l'islam medieval: Relecture d'un texte "Le d' , . celebre de Ibn Faris (Xe sl'e'cl ) d e, ans ISCOurs sur la langue sous les regIffies autoritaires" " Cahiers de i'ILSL, Universite de Lausanne, 17: 101-14.

References .



__ (2005a) 'Arabe preislamique, Arabe coranique, Arabe classlque: un contInuum., in K.-H. Ohlig and G. Puin (eds.), Die du~klen Anfii.nge: Neue forschung zur I I fi Ii ' Entstehung und frUhen Geschichte der Islam. Blrlach: Schiler. __ (2005b). 'D'Ibn Faris it al-Farra? ou un retour aux sources sur la uya a - u~ aa, Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques 59: 797-814. . C (£ rthcoming). 'Neuf traditions sur la langue coramque Larcher, P. an d G ILLIOT,. 0 C of European Arabicists ra ortes ar al-Farra?', Paper presented at 22 ongress pp .p. S b 2004 Louvain: Peeters. and IslamlClsts. Cracow, eptem er I Abb 'd Prose' in J. Ashtiany, aSI , 0 ) 'Ib al Muqaffa4i and Ear y LATHAM, J. D. (199 . n . d G R Smith (eds ). The Cambridge ., . h t e R B SerJeant, an M T J I Le Cambridge: Cambridge UniverA. Beeston, . . 0 ns on: . '.

History of Arabic Literature. Abbasld Bel es


8 sity Press, 4 -77. . D' I ct {Borno Nigeria and of the Lake LETHEM, G. (1920). Colloquial ArabIC: Shuwa IQ e o. ' . d C Agent for the Colomes. Chad RegIOn. Lon on: r~wn. AI-Mabniyy'ialayhi ',Jerusalem Studies LEYIN, A. (1985). 'The Syntactic Techmcal Term 2 in Arabic and Islam 6: 299-35 . " I B "0' Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and _ _ (1989). 'What is Meant by ?Akalum - aravi u,

Islam 12: 40-65· ., f S'b . hi's Description of the "Imaala"', in - - (199 8 ) (199 2). 'The ~u.thentlClty 0 ~ :a~:~tology. Jerusalem: Institute of Asian A. Levin, Arabic LingUIstic Thought an and African Studies. b' Dialect of Aleppo', in Arnold and ) 'The Imaala in the Modem Ara IC - - ( 2002. Bobzin (eds.), 425-46 . HIM A Lambton and B. Lewis (eds.). The , dSyn·a'inP. ot, . . , LEWIS, B. (1970) .. Egypt an .' brid e: Cambridge University Press, 1:5-230 .. , Cambridge HIstory of Islam, I. ~ gth L' istic Map of Pre-IslamIC Arabia, ) 'IteflectIons on e Ingu MACDONALD, M. C. (2000.

Arabian Archaeology and Epigrap~y. 11: ~h79A' bs in the Sudan (2 vols.). London: - I 6) MAcMICHAEL, H. (192k119 7 . A HIstory oJ t e ra . d"IcatIng a Typological "£yin the Creole prototype: VIn (1998). Idenu g Class' Language 74: 788-818. re Creole Grammars', Linguistic ' ) 'The World's Simplest Grammars a - - ( 2001. Casso MCWHORTER,


Typology 5: 125-66. . la wa Layla. Leiden: Brill. .' 8 l