Ism, pl. ʾasmāʾ, is the technical term for ‘noun(s)’, the first of the three major parts of speech traditionally recognized in Arabic grammar (the other two being fiʿl, pl. ʾafʿāl ‘verb(s)’, and ḥarf, pl. ḥurūf ‘particle(s)’; parts of speech).
Morphosyntactically, the category of ʾasmāʾ is characterized by the following four features:
- Nouns have declension, either full (munṣarif), partial (ġayr munṣarif), or invariable (mabnī);
- Nouns may be marked for definiteness (by the prefixed al-) or indefiniteness (by tanwīn ‘nunation’);
- Nouns have three numbers, singular, dua…