Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online comprehensively covers all aspects of Arabic languages and linguistics. It is interdisciplinary in scope and represents different schools and approaches in order to be as objective and versatile as possible. The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online is cross-searchable and cross-referenced, and is equipped with a browsable index. All relevant fields in Arabic linguistics, both general and language specific are covered and the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online includes topics from interdisciplinary fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and computer science.

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(451 words)

Author(s): Jacques Grand'Henry
There is a tendency in Semitic languages (notably in Geʿez) for short vowels i and u to become ə and, often, to disappear. This tendency is apparent in Arabic in a restricted number of cases only, a process the Arab grammarians call ḥaḏf‘elision’. For huwa and hiya preceded by fa-, wa-, la-, ʾa-, an elision may occur: wa-huwa or wa-hwa, fa-hiya or fa-hya, la-huwa or la-hwa, ʾa-hiya or ʾa-hya. In the jussive, forms like fa-li-yaqtul and wa-li-yaqtul may have an elision of i: fa-l-yaqtul, wa-l-yaqtul. As for verbs and nouns, in verbs of the pattern faʿula, faʿila (maʿlūm) and of the pattern fuʿila…
Date: 2018-04-01

Ḥadīṯ, Language of

(10,751 words)

Author(s): Mustafa A. Shah
  Introduction The ḥadīṯs constitute the vast corpus of individual reports which are traditionally believed to preserve details germane to all aspects of the life of the Prophet Muḥammad and his Companions. Given the spiritual as well as the temporal realm assumed by the faith of Islam, the subject matter of traditions inevitably encompasses a vast panoply of topics and themes. Alongside the Qurʾān, the ḥadīṯs serve as the preeminent scriptural source of Islam, providing a bridge to the Prophetic sunna, which is defined as the normative custom or precedent established by …
Date: 2018-04-01

Hadrami Arabic

(7 words)

see Wādī Ḥaḍramawt Arabic
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,194 words)

Author(s): Monique Bernards
Ḥāl (mostly fem.) is literally the ‘state’ or ‘situation’ of someone or something subject to change. The plural ʾaḥwāl is used as a plural of multitude, hence ‘circumstances’ (Lane II, 675). Ḥāl as a grammatical term is used for an adverbial expression or a nominal or verbal phrase denoting the circumstances of either the subject or object ( ḏū l-ḥāl or ṣāḥib al-ḥāl), or both, of the act taking place. It is complementary to the sentence and answers the question ‘how?’, hence the English denotation of ‘circumstantial’ accusative or circumstantial clause. Ḥāl is rendered variously as “d…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,753 words)

Author(s): Andries W. Coetzee
The primary reference of the term hamza is the letter ء. However, it is also used, especially in the Arabic grammatical tradition, to refer to a specific speech sound, the glottal stop. Since the letter hamza is not always pronounced as a glottal stop, and since some letters other than the hamza are sometimes pronounced as the glottal stop, these two referents of the word hamza should be carefully distinguished. 1. Orthography The hamza is usually not written on its own but is supported by one of the consonants ى ,و or ا. The supporting consonant is known as the kursī ‘chair’ of the hamza. The rul…
Date: 2018-04-01


(3,304 words)

Author(s): Kees Versteegh
In Arabic linguistic terminology, the term ḥaraka lit. ‘movement’ indicates a vowel or, more precisely, the phonemes that are known in the Western tradition as ‘short vowels’. It contrasts with the term ḥarf ‘consonant’. Sībawayhi distinguishes three vowels, /a/, /u/, and /i/, called fatḥa, ḍamma, and kasra, respectively (cf. Al-Nassir 1993:28–35). The vowels are not phonemic entities in themselves; their sole function is to make the pronunciation of the consonants possible, a statement attributed by Sībawayhi (d. 177/793?) to his teacher a…
Date: 2018-04-01


(2,599 words)

Author(s): Samvel Karabekyan
The term ḥarf (pl. ḥurūf, aḥruf) ‘part, particle, edge, end, boundary’ is used in Arabic linguistic terminology to indicate (1) the final segment formed as a result of the linear segmentation of the Arabic word; (2) a component of the prosodic, morphological, and lexical pattern of a word; (3) any discrete unit of an Arabic text that has a linguistic function (word, morpheme); (5) a certain class of linguistic units; or (6) one of the parts of speech, against nouns and verbs. As a polyvalent notion, the term ḥarf has no equivalent in the conceptual system of European linguistics (F…
Date: 2018-04-01

Ḥassāniyya Arabic

(5,344 words)

Author(s): Catherine Taine-Cheikh
1. General information Ḥassāniyya (or klām əl-Bīḏ̣ān ‘language of the Whites’) is the mother tongue of the Arabic-speaking population of the western Sahara, especially the Moors (Bīḏ̣ān) of Mauretania and the former Spanish Sahara (from the Sagya el-Ḥamra and the Rio del Oro). It is difficult to draw the precise geographical limits of this dialect, but its approximate borders are Goulimine in the north, Tindouf in the northeast, Tombouctou in the southeast, and the Senegal River in the south. The percentage of Ḥassāniyya speakers is highest in the central regions. The…
Date: 2018-10-26


(4,208 words)

Author(s): Al-Amin Abu-Manga
1. Introduction Most scholars who speculate on the origin of the Hausa agree that the Hausa's ethnic composition includes a Hamitic element. If Palmer's (1967:95) view is taken as reasonably true, the Hausa people developed from a mixture of groups migrating from the central Sahara (due to desertification) to the central savanna in the south during the 1st millenium C.E. The new group which emerged out of that contact was relatively more sophisticated and later on absorbed a number of other small ethnic gr…
Date: 2018-04-01


(5 words)

see X-Bar Syntax
Date: 2018-04-01


(4 words)

see Ivrit
Date: 2018-04-01