Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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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…

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Kees Versteegh, “Ḥaraka”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol2_0014>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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