Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Article, Definite
(1,182 words)

All varieties of Arabic have a prefixed definite article. Its main allomorph is (ʾ)Vl-, e.g. al-bāb ‘the gate’, but it is ʾam-/im-/an-/in- in some Yemenite dialects and ʾam- in Ancient West Arabian and in the dialect of Ṭayyiʾ (Rabin 1951:34–37, 50–51, 205). In some Proto-Arabic dialects (e.g. Liḥyanite) it was han-, hal- (today found, e.g., in many Syrian, Lebanese, and Tunisian varieties, but usually interpreted as going back to a contraction: halbēt ‘this/the house’ < *hāḏā l-bēt ‘this house’) and also hV-, most probably with the gemination of the first consonant of the d…

Cite this page
Andrzej Zaborski, “Article, Definite”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 21 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0026>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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