Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(1,763 words)

The term tafxīm is derived from the Arabic triliteral root f-x-m, generally signifying ‘thickening, magnifying, enlargement, emphasizing’. This notion was applied to the Arabic sound system to differentiate between certain sound groups. One class includes the four muṭbaqa consonants (ʾiṭbāq): /ḍ/ ض, /ṣ/ص , /ṭ/ ط, and /ḏ̣/ ظ. In addition, three more consonants, /q/ ق, /ġ/ غ, and /x/ خ, are grouped with these four consonants to form a larger class, known as mustaʿliya ‘elevated, raised [consonants]’. They are called thus because of “the raising of the back of the tongue…

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Muhammad Hasan Bakalla, “Tafxīm”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 25 February 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0333>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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