Linguistics Commons. Advanced Search. Privacy Copyright. Skip to main content. UWM Digital Commons. Abstract Final consonants in Arabic are semisyllables; that is, moraic unsyllabified segments that are attached to the prosodic word Kiparsky, Included in Linguistics Commons.
Enter search terms:. Digital Commons. MSA is used in writing in formal print media and orally in newscasts, speeches and formal declarations of numerous types. Modern Standard Arabic has 28 consonant phonemes and 6 vowel phonemes or 8 vowels in most modern dialects.
All phonemes contrast between " emphatic " uvularized consonants and non-emphatic ones. Some of these phonemes have coalesced in the various modern dialects, while new phonemes have been introduced through borrowing or phonemic splits. A "phonemic quality of length" applies to consonants as well as vowels. Allophony in different dialects of Arabic can occur, and is partially conditioned by neighboring consonants within the same word.
However, the actual rules governing vowel-retraction are a good deal more complex, and have relatively little in the way of an agreed-upon standard, as there are often competing notions of what constitutes a "prestige" form.
The final heavy syllable of a root is stressed. The mid vowels can be used in Modern Standard Arabic in dialectal words or in some stable loanwords or foreign names.
Foreign words often have a liberal sprinkling of long vowels, as their word shapes do not conform to standardized prescriptive pronunciations written by letters for short vowels. In general, the pronunciation of loanwords is highly dependent on the speaker's native variety. Even in the most formal of conventions, pronunciation depends upon a speaker's background.
Note that Arabic is particularly rich in uvular , pharyngeal , and pharyngealized " emphatic " sounds.
Long geminate or double consonants are pronounced exactly like short consonants, but last longer. In Arabic, they are called mushaddadah "strengthened", marked with a shaddah , but they are not actually pronounced any "stronger". Arabic syllable structure can be summarized as follows, in which parentheses enclose optional components:.
The following restrictions apply:. The placement of word stress in Arabic varies considerably from one dialect to another, and has been the focus of extensive research and debate. In determining stress, Arabic distinguishes three types of syllables: .
The word stress of Classical Arabic has been the subject of debate. However, there is consensus as to the general rule, even though there are some exceptions. A simple rule of thumb is that word-stress falls on the penultimate syllable of a word if that syllable is closed, and otherwise on the antepenultimate. A more precise description is J.
Here the stressed syllable follows the marker ' and variant rules are in brackets: . Modern Arabic dialects all maintain rules 1 and 2. But if there is neither a final superheavy syllable nor a heavy penultimate syllable, their behaviour varies. Spoken varieties differ from Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic not only in grammar but also in pronunciation.
Outside of the Arabian peninsula, a major linguistic division is between sedentary varieties, largely urban varieties. Inside the Arabian peninsula and in Iraq, the two types are less distinct; but the language of the urbanized Hijaz , at least, strongly looks like a conservative sedentary variety.
This is also a characteristic of colloquial Egyptian and southern Yemeni dialects. The Arabic of Cairo often called " Egyptian Arabic " or more correctly "Cairene Arabic" is a typical sedentary variety and a de facto standard variety among certain segments of the Arabic-speaking population, due to the dominance of Egyptian media. Cairene has also merged the interdental consonants with the dental plosives e.
Varieties such as that of Sanaa , Yemen , are more conservative and retain most phonemic contrasts of Classical Arabic. Of all the mainstream varieties of Arabic, Moroccan Arabic is likely the one that has diverged the most from Classical Arabic, similarly to the position of French in the Romance languages and English among the Germanic languages. As described above, Moroccan has heavily innovated in its vowel phonology, under heavy Berber influence. This inevitably results in some very long, complex consonant clusters, which unlike most other Arabic varieties Moroccan Arabic is remarkably tolerant of, only tending to insert epenthetic schwas to break up the clusters at a slow rate of speech.
Nor is it surprising that it is transcribed both as "jambiyya" and "janbiyya". To answer the above questions, a list of Arabic and Dutch loanwords was elicited from 24 participants divided in six groups, according to each of the above three variables. The Arabic word for "swine flu" raises some interesting questions. Our study improves our understanding of consonant articulations in Arabic, and of epenthesis and related phenomena. Nancy Hall nhall2 csulb. The English version contains quite a good article entitled "Arabic diacritics". Other words like influenza and film are used mostly with epenthetic vowels in the street infiluanza and filim , however, the word film is pronounced in Modern Standard Arabic i.
Unlike in other varieties, doubled consonants are never reduced, but are pronounced clearly whether occurring at the beginning of a word, end of a word, between vowels or before or after a consonant. With the collapse of short vowels, speakers no longer perceive a long vs.
A number of other unique or unusual developments have taken place. Stress is, for the most part, not detectable at all; to the extent stressed syllables can be identified, there is often no consistent pattern governing which syllable is stressed. On the other hand, emphasis spreads only as far as the first full vowel in either direction, unlike in most sedentary varieties where emphasis can spread much more widely, sometimes throughout the entire word. The frequency distribution of the 28 consonant phonemes, based on the 2, triliteral roots listed by Wehr  is with the percentage of roots in which each phoneme occurs :.