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Ḥaḏf

(451 words)

Author(s): Jacques Grand'Henry
There is a tendency in Semitic languages (notably in Geʿez) for short vowels i and u to become ə and, often, to disappear. This tendency is apparent in Arabic in a restricted number of cases only, a process the Arab grammarians call ḥaḏf‘elision’. For huwa and hiya preceded by fa-, wa-, la-, ʾa-, an elision may occur: wa-huwa or wa-hwa, fa-hiya or fa-hya, la-huwa or la-hwa, ʾa-hiya or ʾa-hya. In the jussive, forms like fa-li-yaqtul and wa-li-yaqtul may have an elision of i: fa-l-yaqtul, wa-l-yaqtul. As for verbs and nouns, in verbs of the pattern faʿula, faʿila (maʿlūm) and of the pattern fuʿila…
Date: 2018-04-01

Algeria

(3,481 words)

Author(s): Jacques Grand'Henry
Research on Algerian Arabic may be divided into two main periods: the first began during the first years of the 20th century and ended some time after Algerian independance (1962), i.e. during the 1970s. The basic research on dialectal geography (Cantineau 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941) and the most comprehensive monographs on Algerian Arabic, particularly on some representative dialects (W. Marçais 1902, 1908; Ph. Marçais 1945, 1956, 1960a, 1960b, 1977; Grand'Henry 1972, 1976a) were produced during th…
Date: 2018-04-01

Taltala

(396 words)

Author(s): Jacques Grand'Henry
The ancient Arabic grammarians made a distinction between two types of Arabic according to the nature of the vowel of the imperfect preformative: some Arab tribes used ya-, while others used yi-. The name which designates the usage of yi- is taltala. According to Rabin (1951:60), who carefully collected all available data mentioned by the Arabic grammarians, a group of tribes who lived in a large area from Egypt to Iraq, the Quḍāʿa, had the full taltala. Some other tribes had a partial taltala only, i.e., they used yi-, ti-, ʾi-, ni- for the different persons of imperfect and imperati…
Date: 2018-04-01

Christian Middle Arabic

(3,222 words)

Author(s): Jacques Grand'Henry
  1. Definition For methodological reasons, two forms of Christian Middle Arabic are distinguished here, according to the date of the texts written in it: Early Christian Middle Arabic and Late Christian Middle Arabic. Early Christian Middle Arabic refers to the form of Middle Arabic used in texts and/or manuscripts dating back to the 9th or the 10th century. Many of these texts were copied in monasteries of South Palestine, among which the famous monastery of Saint Catherine in the Sinai (Blau 1966:20). Late Christian Middle Arabic refers to Middle Arabic used in texts and…
Date: 2018-04-01