Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(2,887 words)

The term tanwīn (called in Western terminology ‘nunation’) is the maṣdar of the verb nawwana ‘adding an n’. At first, it indicated the nasalization of the final vowel of the word, especially in the case ending of the noun (e.g.rajulu-n). According to Ibn Yaʿīš (d. 643/1245; Šarḥ IX, 29), tanwīn became, due to metonymy, the actual name of the final -n. Arabic script differentiates this -n from the final n belonging to the root of the word (e.g. qaṭana, rasana), which is why tanwīn is not represented graphically as a letter of the alphabet. The value of this -n in traditional Arabic grammar tu…

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Georgine Ayoub, “Tanwīn”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0133>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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