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.
Cite this pageAndries W. Coetzee, “Hamza”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 11 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_vol2_0033>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831
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