The Phonetic Inventory of Classical Arabic Dr. Rakas

advertisement
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
The Phonetic Inventory of Classical Arabic
Dr. Rakas, Mohammed S.
‫ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬
Abstract:
The main concern of this paper is to examine the phonetic inventory of classical Arabic
language. The consonants and vowels subsumed under this classical inventory are
considered separately. Each segment is decomposed into its phonetic components, and
classified in terms of the three phonetic criteria posited in the International Phonetic
Alphabet chart, i.e. voicing, place of articulation and manner of articulation. Each
consonant is further described in terms of other four additional formatives, viz.
centrality, nasality, active articulator and passive articulator. Hence, consonants are
analyzed on articulatory criteria.The set of the eight vowels in the language is
examined in terms of the direct relation between the different tongue-lip positions and
the various configurations of the vocal tract as resonance cavities. The indirect relation
holding between the various tongue-lip positions and the eight different vowel
qualities is established via the different shapes of the vocal tract. Hence, vowels are
analyzed on auditory criteria. Two diphthongs, /ei/, /әu/ and six mono-phthongs (/i(i)/,
/a(a)/, /u(u)/), are recognized in the language. The phonological value of the six simple
vowels is triggered by vowel length as a distinctive feature, i.e. three short vowels and
three long correlates. The phonemic significance of each C-segment is attested and
proved via contrastive minimal pairs. Certain Arabic phonetic processes are considered.
These processes include letter-based Arabic phonetics, emphasis, primary articulation
secondary articulations, double articulation, distinctiveness, assimilated Sun-l, nonassimilated Moon-l and geminated consonants. This study paves the way to investigate
the assumption that the phonemic system of classical Arabic comprises phonological
consonants and phonetic vowels, as it is claimed by Rakas, M. (1981).
1
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
1- Introduction:
Phonetics is the actual study of speech sounds and phonology is the study of the
function and patterns of speech sounds. Hence, phonology is functional phonetics. The
relation between them is ‘realization’, viz. phonology is the abstract represent- ation of
speech sounds and phonetics is the actual realization of speech sounds. This study is
mainly concerned with the actual analysis of speech sounds in classical Arabic (CLA).
Speech sounds are further sub-categorized into consonants (Cs) and vowels (Vs). The
analysis of the former C-category is based on articulatory basis and the latter Vcategory is identified on auditory criteria. The International Phonetic Alphabet chart
(IPA) provides the three universal articulatory dimensions needed for Cs classification,
i.e. voicing, place and manner of articulations (Abercrombie, D. 1967, Ladefoged, P.
1971, 1993). The Cardinal Vowel Theory (Jones, D. 1967, 1972) establishes eight
Primary equally-distant V-qualities, together with other eight secondary V-qualities
with divergent lip-positions. These sixteen V-qualities are not based on any specific
language, but used as reference points, against which V-qualities in languages are
phonetically attested and phonetically categorized. Sound study in CLA tradition is
mainly phonetic in nature, utilizing letter-based, rather than sound-based, analysis.
CLA scholars treated the syllabic letters as phonetic sounds and phonetic symbols to
represent their corresponding sounds, hence they call sounds articulations as /maxaariʒ
l-ћuruufi/ ‘Lit. exists of letters’. Accordingly, Cs and Vs, are indicated in the
orthography by distinct letters. Diacritics are placed above letters to express morphosyntactic functions such as case declension in nouns and mood conjugation in verbs
(Rakas 2008a).The phonetic terms used in CLA phonetics to set up the phonetic
difference between Cs and Vs are /Şaamit/ ‘silent’ and /Şaaʡit/ ‘loud’ respectively. The
distinction between letters and sounds is not emphasized in the CLA traditions. CLA
scholars, however, attempted to establish one-to-one relation between letters and
sounds to the extreme that each and every letter represents one and only one sound and
vice versa. For example, the C-/s/ is identified by the letter /siin/, the C-/d/ is
recognized by the letter /daal/,the V-/aa/ is indicated by the letter /ʡaliif/, the V-/ii/
corresponds to the letter /jaaʡ/, the letter /waaw/ correlates with the V-/uu/, etc. I
speculate that the inconsistent relation between sounds and letters is not stressed in
CLA phonetics. For example, the letter /jaaʡ/ is pronounced in some environments as
/ei/, e.g. /dein/ ‘debt’ and pronounced as /ii/, in other positions, e.g. /diin/ ‘religion’.
The letter /waaw/ is pronounced in some positions as /әu/, e.g./Şәum/ ‘fasting’ and
pronounced /uu/in other positions, e.g. /ʒuud/ ‘generosity’. The long V-/aa/ is written
by the letter /ʡaliif/ in certain contexts, e.g. the negative particle /laa/ ‘not’ and written
/jaaʡ/ in other contexts, e.g. the preposition /ʢalaa/ ‘on’. Each and every C or V letter,
together with the diacritic marker placed above it, is considered in CLA tradition as one
phonetic sound, rather than two consecutive sounds, hence /b/, /ba/, /bi/ and /bu/ are
treated as different letters. Length of Vs is regarded as a phonetic phenomenon called
/mad/ ‘elongation’.
The following section outlines CLA Cs, where each segment is phonetically classified
in terms of broad transcription and described in terms of narrow transcription. The
phonemic value and the allophonic variants of each C-segment are set up and
exemplified. It should be pointed out that there is a restriction on CLA syllable
structure to the extent that no more than one, and only one, C is allowed in the onset
2
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
position of a syllable. In other words, the syllable structure in CLA excludes clusters in
the onset position of the syllable. This implies that phonetic processes needed in this
study such as assimilation, geminated Cs, emphasis, etc. are restricted to the coda
position of the syllable. The assumption that there must be one, and only one, C in the
onset position of the syllable in CLA is verified by the fact that Arabs cannot
pronounce empty onset position, i.e. #V(C) syllables. For example, the glottal stop /ʡ/
is always inserted by the Arabs in the onset position of the English #VC syllable, viz.
English /iit/ (eat), /æ:t/ (at), /Ͻ:t/ (ought), etc. are respectively pronounced as /ʡiit/,
/ʡæ:t/ and /ʡϽ:t/.
2. CLA Sounds:
By and large, the air flow assumed in the language is a pulmonic egressive airstream
mechanism. The phonetic inventory of CLA subsumes a set of twenty-eight Cs, three
short-Vs, viz. /i/, /a/, and /u/, three long V-counterparts, viz. /ii/, /aa/ and /uu/, in
addition to the two diphthongs /әu/ and /ei/. The three short Vs are used in the language
to express case declension in nouns, and indicated in writing by diacritics called
/dammah/-/u/ (nominative), /fatћah/-/a/ (accusative) and /kasrah/-/i/ (genitive). The
first /dammah/-/u/, and second /fatћah/-/a/ markers, in addition to the /sukun/-/O/
marker (zero realization) are placed above verbs to indicate indicative, subjunctive and
jussive mood respectively.
CLA Cs listed below are classified in reference to the IPA broad features, i.e. voicing,
place of articulation and manner of articulation. These CLA Cs are also described by
four additional criteria, namely, nasality, centrality, active articulator and passive
articulator (Abercrombie 1967). There are two central phonetic processes need to be
considered first, viz. ‘gemination’ and ‘emphasis’.
2.1 Germination and Clusters:
Geminating CLA Cs, is a productive process, where a C-segment is doubled
(lengthened) to indicate lexical or morphological functions. This doubling process
mainly indicates causative verbs inflection as in /rakkab/ ‘caused to embark’ cf. /rakab/
‘embarked’. Since CLA syllable structure, recall, does not allow clustering in the
prevocalic onset position, and since no more than one C is allowed in this position, then
the illustrative data gathered in this work show C-clusters in the postvocalic coda
position. The syllable structure for /rakkab/, for instance, is CVC-CVC, rather than
*CV-CCVC or *CVCC-VC. The first starred structure is excluded because it shows
more than one C in the onset position of the second syllable, and the second starred
structure is ruled out because of the empty onset position of the second syllable.
2.2 Emphasis:
I speculate that the phonetic term ‘emphasis’ is subcategorized in CLA tradition into
two distinct types, i.e. /ʡitbaaɢ/ ‘velarization’ and /tafxi:m/ ‘pharyngealization’. The
first type is a primary distinctive feature in the three dentals /ṭ/, /ɚ/, /ɖ/ and the alveolar
/Ş/. These four emphatic Cs involve double articulation. For the first three Cs (/ṭ/, /ɚ/,
/ɖ/), the tip/blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the upper teeth set is the
passive articulator, hence dentals. In the second articulation, the back of the tongue is
the active articulator and the velum is the passive articulator, hence velars. As for the C
3
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
(/Ş/), the blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the alveolar ridge is the
passive articulator, hence alveolar. The second type is a primary distinctive feature in
two other segments viz. /ћ/ and /ʢ/. No double articulation is involved. These two
pharyngeals involve the root of the tongue as the active articulator and the back wall of
the pharynx as the passive articulator, hence phryngeals. These two categories of
/ʡitbaaɢ/ and /tafxi:m/ are respectively referred to below by the phonological terms
‘velar’ and ‘pharyngeal’, when distinctive and indicated by the phonetic terms
‘velarized’ and ‘pharyngealized’, when redundant. The followings are respective brief
outlines of these two CLA phonetic processes:
i.
CLA C-inventory displays four velar Cs, each is opposed to a non-velar (nonemphatic) correlate. These four Cs are (i) the voiceless dental-velar plosive /ț/,
opposed to the voiceless dental plosive /t/, (ii) the voiced dental-velar plosive
/ɖ/, opposed to the voiced dental plosive /d/, (iii) the voiceless alveolar-velar
fricative /Ş/, opposed to the voiceless alveolar fricative /s/, and (iv) the voiced
dental-velar fricative /ɚ/, opposed to the voiced dental fricative /ð/. It is obvious
that each of these four Cs, involves double articulations, i.e. two simultaneous
primary articulations. Phonologically, velar phonemes contrast with non-velar
correlates, e.g. (a) the voiceless dental-velar plosive /ț/ contrasts with the
voiceless dental plosive /t/ as in /ți:n/ ‘mud’ vs. /ti:n/ ‘figs’, (b) the voiced
dental-velar plosive /ɖ/ contrasts with the voiced dental plosive /d/ as in /ɖarb/
‘beating’ vs. /darb/ ‘road’, (c) the voiced dental-velar fricative /ɚ/ contrasts
with the voiced dental fricative /ð/ as in /ɚil/ ‘shade’ vs. /ðil/ ‘humiliation’ and
(d) the voiceless alveolar-velar fricative /Ş/ contrasts with the voiceless alveolar
fricative /s/ as in /Şeif/ ‘summer’ vs. /seif/ ‘sword’. The processes of
‘Velarization’ and ‘pharyngealization’ are also marked on C-segments as
phonetic secondary articulations in emphatic environments.
ii.
The other emphatic (pharyngeal) category, recall, is called in CLA tradition
/tafxi:m/ ‘amplification’. Phonetically speaking, the term /tafxi:m/ refers to the
articulation where the root of the tongue, as an active articulator, is retracted
towards the back wall of the pharynx as a passive articulator. Two pharyngeal
Cs without non-pharyngeal counterparts, the voiceless pharyngeal fricative /ћ/
and the voiced pharyngeal fricative /ʢ/.
Table 1: C-sounds:
Emphatic
velar
Pharyngeal
/ṭ/, /ɖ/, /ɚ/,
/Ş/
/ћ/, /ʢ/
non-emphatic
uvular
/b/, /m/, /w/, / θ /, /ð/, /f/, /t/, /d/, /n/,
/s/, /z/, /r/, /l/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /j/, /k/, /ʡ/, /h/
/ɢ/,
/ʁ/
/x/,
V-sounds are all phonologically voiced and their different qualities are identified on
auditory criteria; that is the various tongue-positions in the oral cavity, along with the
lip-positions, determine the different shapes of the vocal tract, as a resonance cavity
These different shapes of the vocal tract determine the different V-qualities. Vs, are
therefore, indirectly described in terms of tongue-lip positions. The more high and front
4
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
the tongue is, the more spread the lips are, and the more high and back the tongue is,
the more rounded the lips are.
The phonemic system of CLA, recall, subsumes three short simple Vs, three long
counterparts and two diphthongs. The establishment of the phonemic values in the
phonemic system in the language and narrow phonetic details of these V-segments is
beyond the limits of this work. They are; however, tabulated as follows:
Table 2: V-Sounds:
mono-phthongs (Pure/Simple vs)
symb
ol
length
tongue
position
lip
position
Examples
/a/
short
low front
neutral
/ћad/ ‘limit’
/aa/
long
low front
neutral
/ћaad/ ‘sharp’
/i/
short
high front
Spread
/sin/ ‘tooth’
/ii/
long
high front
Spread
/siin/ ‘the letter (s)
/u/
short
high back
rounded
/ɢum/ ‘stand up’
/uu/
long
high back
rounded
/ɢuut/ ‘food’
Diphthongs
/әu/
Glide
neutral
/ɢәum/ ‘people’
/ei/
Glide
neutral
/ʢein/ ‘eye’
3. C-Phonemes:
The phoneme /b/ is voiced bilabial plosive, the active articulator is the lower lip and the
passive articulator is the upper lip. It is oral and central. The manner involved is a
complete closure of the airflow by the two lips followed by a sudden release of the
airflow. It has free distribution, initially and finally as in /baab/ ‘door’, and medially
and finally as in /’asbaab/ ‘reasons. This voiced bilabial plosive is devoiced in the
vicinity of voiceless segments as in [kapʃ] for /kabʃ/ ‘ram’. It is emphatic in the
environment of emphatic segments as in /naŞb/ ‘memorial’. It may be geminated as in
/ɢubbah/ ‘dome’.
The phoneme /t/ is realized as a voiceless dental plosive. It is oral and central. It may be
initially aspirated as in [thuut] for /tuut/ ‘berry’. The upper teeth set is the passive
articulator and the tip/blade of the tongue is the active articulator. In the vicinity of
emphatics, phonetically speaking, it has a degree of emphasis less than its emphatic
counterpart /ț/. For instance, the emphatic /t/ in /sәut/ ‘voice’ is phonetically less
emphatic than the /ṭ/ in /sәuṭ/ ‘whip’. The phoneme /t/ stands in the opposition
voiceless-voiced with the phoneme /d/, e.g. /ti:n/ ‘figs’ vs. /di:n/ ‘religion’, and the
opposition emphatic-non-emphatic with the phoneme /ṭ/ as in /ti:n/ ‘figs’ vs. /ṭi:n/
‘mud'. It may be geminated as in /rattab/ ‘tidied. Morphologically, this phoneme is
prefixed to verbs in the language for the third singular feminine (3sgf) properties in
agreement with the subject, and imperfect aspect, e.g. /ta-ktubu/ ‘she writes/writing’.
5
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
The phoneme /ṭ/ is realized as oral central voiceless dental-velar plosive. It involves
double articulation, the blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the upper teeth
set is the passive articulator, hence dental, and the back of the tongue is the active
articulator and the velum is the passive articulator, hence velar. Its emphasis may
extends to the preceding and/or the following segments as in /muṭᶀaɢ/ ‘velar’, and may
be geminated as in /ћaṭṭa/ 'landed’.
The phoneme /d/ is classified as voiced dental plosive. The tip/blade of the tongue is
the active articulator and the upper teeth set is the passive articulator, hence dental. It
contrasts with its voiceless correlate /t/ (/t/ above), and, it partakes in the opposition
non-emphatic-emphatic as in /mada/ ‘range’ and /maɖa/ ‘passed’ respectively. It may
be geminated as in /ʢaddal/ ‘adjusted’. It is emphatic in the vicinity of emphatic context
as in [ʡaɖɖad] for /ʡaɖdad/ ‘opposites’.
The phoneme /ɖ/ is the voiced dental-velar plosive counterpart of the voiced dental
plosive /d/. It involves a double articulation, the tip/blade of tongue is the active
articulator and the top teeth set is the passive articulator, hence dental, and the back of
tongue is the active articulator and the velum is the passive articulator, hence velar. It
commutes with its non-velar /d/ (see /d/ above). It is, however, generally assumed in
the Arabic tradition that this C is specific to Arabic language, and the letter after which
Arabic is named /luʁatu ɖɖaad/ 'Lit. the language of the letter ɖɖaad '. In Modern
Standard Arabic (MSA) and modern varieties of Arabic, however, the opposition
between this phoneme and the voiced dental-velar fricative /ɚ/ is syncretized, i.e. /ɖ/ is
replaced by /ɚ/ everywhere in the language. It is geminated as in /ʢaɖɖam/
‘augmented’.
The phoneme /ʃ/ is a voiceless alveolar-palatal or post-alveolar fricative. Phonetically
speaking, the place of articulation of this C-sound is realized in modern phonetics by
two independent places of articulation viz. (i) palatal-alveolar and (ii) post-alveolar.
The former expresses a double place of articulation (alveolar-palatal), and the latter
refers to single placed articulation (post-alveolar). In the double articulation, the blade
of the tongue is the active articulator and the alveolar ridge is the passive articulator
(alveolar), simultaneously with the front of the tongue as the active articulator and the
palate as the passive articulator (palatal), hence alveolar-palatal. The single place of
articulation involves the tip/blade of the tongue as the active articulator and the back of
the alveolar ridge as the passive articulator, hence post-alveolar. The same argument
holds for this phoneme’s voiced correlate, i.e. /ʒ/, listed below. This phoneme may be
emphatic as in /kaʃț/ ‘rub out’, voiced as in [ʡaʒʒaar] for /ʡaʃʒaar/ ‘trees’ or labialized
as in /nuʃuub/ ‘starting’. It may be geminated as in /baʃʃar/ ‘optimized’.
The phoneme /ʒ/is voiced alveolar-palatal (post-alveolar) fricative. Like its voiceless
counterpart /ʃ/ above, it involves double articulation, hence its place of articulation is
double, i.e. alveolar-palatal vis-à-vis post-alveolar. In contrary to /ʃ/ above, It is
devoiced in the vicinity of voiceless segments as in [ʡaʃʃaar] for /ʡaʃʒaar/ ‘trees’. It
contrasts with its corresponding voiceless /ʃ/ as in /ʒahr/ ‘loud’ vs. /ʃahr/ ‘month’. It is
geminated as in /faʒʒar/ ‘blow’.
The phoneme /f/ has the phonetic realization of a voiceless labio-dental fricative. The
upper teeth set is the passive articulator and the lower lip is the active articulator. It
often shows regressive assimilation of place as in [ɢuɱfud] for /ɢumfud/ ‘hedgehog’. It
6
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
does not partake in the opposition voiceless-voiced with /v/, which does not
phonologically exist in the language. The voiced labio-dental /v/ in Arabic modern
dialects loan words is devoiced as in /talifizjuun/ ‘TV’. It is defined as fricative to be
opposed to other manners in the language, e.g. continuants, plosives, etc. It is
emphasized as in /mifŞal/ ‘joint’. It may be geminated as in /waffar/ ‘saved’.
The phoneme /θ/is realized as a voiceless (inter)-dental fricative. The active articulator
is the tip/blade of the tongue and the passive articulator is the upper teeth set. This
phoneme has a relatively limited distribution. It is opposed to its voiced correlate by
voiceless-voiced in /ʒaϴam/ ‘nightmare’ and /ʒaðam/ ‘leprosy’. This phoneme /θ/, and
its voiced correlate /ð/ are respectively realized as /t/-/d/ in some Arabic varieties, and
/s/-/z/ in others, e.g. the Libyan Arabic variety [talaata] and the Egyptian Arabic
variety [salaasa] for /ѲalaaѲa/ 'three', the Libyan variety [diib] and the Egyptian
variety [ziib] for /ðiib/ 'wolf'. It is geminated in /ʡaϴϴar/ ‘affected’.
The phoneme /ð/ is a voiced (inter)-dental fricative. It is opposed to the phonemes /θ/
by the feature voiced-voiceless (see /Ѳ/ above). This non-emphatic C is opposed to its
emphatic voiced dental-velar fricative counterpart /ɚ/ as in /ðaaɢ/ ‘tasted’ and /ɖaaɢ/
‘tightened’. Like its voiceless counterpart /θ/, it has a relatively limited distribution. It
is emphatic as in /ʒiðʢ/ 'trunk'. It is geminated as in /ʢððab/ 'tormented'.
The phoneme /ɚ/ is a voiced dental-velar fricative. It involves a double articulation, in
the first articulation, the tip/blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the upper
teeth set is the passive articulator, hence dental. In the second articulation, the back of
the tongue is the active articulator and the velum is the passive articulator, hence, velar
/ʡițbaaɢ/. Unless it is stylistically stressed, this phoneme, recall, replaces the emphatic
dental-velar plosive /ɖ/ everywhere in MSA, and the various Arabic varieties, e.g.
[ɚabaab] for /ɖabaab/ ‘fog’. It is geminated in causative verb forms as in /ʢaɚɚam/
‘augmented'. In CLA and MSA in particular, and in modern Arabic dialects in general,
this phoneme /ɚ/ substitutes for the voiced alveolar-velar plosive /ɖ/. This replacement
is noticeable in Quran recitations, e.g. /ɖaaliin/ ‘disbelievers’ is pronounced [ɚaaliin].
The phoneme /s/ is a voiceless alveolar fricative. It is opposed to its voiced correlate /z/
as in /ʁasl/ ‘washing’ cf. /ʁazl/ ‘spinning’, and opposed to its emphatic counterpart
alveolar-velar /Ş/ initially as in /seif/ ‘sword’ cf. /Şeif/ ‘summer’, medially as in /ʢasiir/
‘hard’ cf. /ʢaŞiir/ ‘juice’ and in final position as in /ʡanʒaas/ ‘impure’ cf. /ʡanʒaaŞ/
‘pears’. The three phonemes /s/. /z/ and /Ş/ contrast in /safi:r/ ‘ambassador’, /zafi:r/
‘exhalation’ and /Şafi:r/ ‘whistling’. The non-emphatic /s/ is realized as emphatic [Ş] in
the context of emphatic segments as in [Şuțuuʢ] for /suṭuuʢ/ ‘shining’. This
neutralization is reflected in the Arabic orthography when /s/ is pronounced as /Ş/.
The phoneme /Ş/ is a voiceless alveolar-velar fricative. It contrast with its nonemphatic correlate /s/ (see /s/ above). Unlike its non-emphatic correlate /s/, this
phoneme involves double articulation. In one articulation, the blade of the tongue is the
active articulator and the alveolar ridge is the passive articulator, hence alveolar. In the
other co-occurring articulation, the back of the tongue is the active articulator and the
velum is the passive articulator, hence velar. This emphatic phoneme, I speculate, is
fading away in some modern Arabic dialects, and is replaced everywhere by its nonemphatic counterparts /s/, e.g. /miŞћћah/ 'clinic' is pronounced [misaћћah] in the
7
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
Tunisian Arabic variety. This phoneme extends it phonetic emphasis to the adjacent
segments, e.g. /ʢaŞfuur/ ‘sparrow’. It is geminated in /waŞŞal/ ‘connected’.
The phoneme /z/ is a voiced alveolar fricative. This is reminiscent of its voiceless
correlate /s/, the active articulator is the blade of the tongue and the passive articulator
is the alveolar ridge. Like other non-emphatic Cs, it has a relative degree of emphasis in
the context of emphatics as in /tazuʁ/ ‘stray’. It has no phonological emphatic
equivalent, and it may be geminated as in /wazzaʢ/ ‘distributed’.
The phoneme /m/ is voiced bilabial nasal. Nasality is called in CLA phonetics
/ʁunnah/. The active articulator is the lower lip and the passive articulator is the upper
lip. It involves a complete oral closure by the two lips and the airflow is diverted
through the nasal cavity. It does not involve a plosive phase, hence a stop, and no velic
closure, hence nasal. Together with the alveolar nasal stop /n/, they are classed as stops,
rather than plosives. Like its alveolar nasal correlate /n/, it is pronounced as a labiodental in the vicinity of a labio-dental as in [ʡalɱfŞal/ ] ‘the joint’. It may also be
devoiced in the vicinity of voiceless sounds as in /xams/ ‘five’. The nasality of this
phoneme may extend to neighboring segments as in /nәum/ ‘sleep’. It is emphatic in the
vicinity of emphatic segments as in /xaŞm/ ‘deduction/rival’, and geminated as in
/ʢammam/ ‘circulated’.
The phoneme /n/ is typically realized as a voiced alveolar nasal. Before other segments,
however, it is variable according to the articulation of these segments. For example, it
is realized as dorsal occlusive, viz. voiced velar nasal [ŋ] before the voiceless velar
plosive /k/ in the language as in /ɖaŋk/ ‘difficult’, inter-dental [ṉ] as in /ʡuṉϴa/
‘female’, bilabial [m] as in [mimbaʢd] for /minbaʢd/ ‘hereafter’ or labio-dental /ɱ/ as in
/Şaɱf/ ‘type’. It is emphatic in the context of emphatic segments as in /ɢunŞul/
‘counselor’ and /Şaћn/ ‘dish’. It is devoiced in /ʡins/ ‘human’. It is geminated as in
/taʃannuʒ/ ‘convulsion’. Morphologically, this phoneme is prefixed to verbs in the
language to express first person plural (1pl) in subject-verb agreement, and the
imperfect mood.
The phoneme /r/ has the most common realization of voiced flap/tap inter-vocalically
and in syllable initial position as in /fari:ɢ/ ‘team’ and /ri:f/ ‘country’ respectively. It is
pronounced as a trill/roll on final positions as in /bahr/ ‘sea’ and /faʒr/ ‘dawn’. It is
geminated, hence a trill, as in /marra/ ‘passed’. It is always emphatic in the contexts of
emphatic segments as in /ɢaŞr/ ‘palace’ and /ɢurŞ/ ‘disc’. The flap and trill allophonic
realizations of this phoneme, together with the contextual constraints imposed on their
distributions is beyond the limit of this paper.
The phoneme /l/ is usually realized as oral voiced alveolar lateral. The active articulator
is the blade of the tongue and the passive articulator is the alveolar ridge. It is lateral
with central blockage and the airflow is diverted through the side(s) of the tongue. It is
devoiced in the vicinity of voiceless segments as in /ϴulϴ/ ‘third’ and voiced
elsewhere. It may be velarized and geminated as in /ʡallaah/ ‘God’, and pharyngealized
as in /waћl/ ‘mud’. It is non-emphatic in the environments of any of the eight vowels
viz. /i/, /ii/, /a/, /aa/ /u/, /uu/, /ei/ or /әu/ as respectively shown in /sil/ 'T.B.' ‘dictate’,
/jamiil/ ‘tilt’, /ɢal/ ‘reduced’, /ɢaal/ ‘said’,/ful/ ‘jasmine’, /fuul/ ‘beans’, /leil/ 'night' and
/bәul/ 'urine'. Geminated /l/ is written in the Arabic orthography as a single letter /l/
with a geminating diacritic (w) above it, e.g. /ʢallam/ ‘taught’, or written with two /l/
8
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
letters, e.g. /ʡal-leil/ ‘the night’. This doubled /l/ spelling, I speculate, is specific to the
definite article /ʡal/ 'the', when it is encliticized to the initial letter /l/ of the noun it
defines.
CLA scholars identify two types of regressive assimilation of place affecting the lateral
/l/ of the definite article /ʡal/ ‘the’. These two types of assimilation are called in Arabic
tradition /ʡal-lam ʃ-ʃamsiiyah/ ‘the Sun-l’ and /ʡal-lam l-ɢamariiyah/ the ‘Moon-l’.
/ʡal-lam/ ‘the letter L’ is the name of the letter that stands for the C-/l/. In the Sun-l, the
/l/ of the enclitic definite article assimilates with the initial homorganic C-segment that
initiates the noun it defines, e.g. [ʡaʃ-ʃams] for /ʡal-ʃams/ ‘the sun’. The letter (L) in
this context is, therefore, named as /ʃamsiiyah/ ‘sunny’. In the Moon-l, the /l/ is not
assimilated to any of the non-organic initial C of the noun it defines, i.e. the /l/ is
retained as in /ʡal-ɢamar/ ‘the moon’. Hence the letter (L) is named by the adjective
/ɢamariiyah/ ‘moony'. The sun-group includes the assimilated Cs and the moon-group
includes the non-assimilated Cs in the language (see the phonological Rules below).
To account for this CLA Sun-L vs. Moon-L distinction in modern phonetic jargons, the
place of articulation of the C-/l/ of the definite article /ʡal/ is alveolar (hence laminal), it
is, therefore, expected to assimilate with the homorganic laminal C-segments that
initiate the noun it defines. These laminals are listed under the Sun-group below. It is
also predicted that no such assimilation takes place, if the laminal /l/ is prefixed to any
of the non-laminal Moon-group C-segments listed below.
The distinctive feature laminal includes the coronal Cs that involve the tip/blade of the
tongue as the active articulator. These coronals include the lamio-dentals /Ѳ/, /ð/, /ɚ/,
/t/, /ț/, /d/, /ɖ/, the lamino-alveolars /s/, /Ş/, /z/, /l/, /n/ and the lamino-palato-alveorlar /ʃ/
and /ʒ/, If this assumption holds, then the following phonological rules account for this
Sun-l-Moon-l distinction.
i.
ii.
/l/ → laminal [---/ laminal]
/l/ → /l/ [---/ non-laminal]
Rule (i) predicts that the laminal /l/ assimilates with any adjacent laminal (coronal) Csegments, and rule (ii) excludes the assimilation of the laminal /l/ with any non-laminal
(dorsal) C-segments. What is anomalous about this CLA distinction is that although /ʃ/
and /ʒ/ are homorganic, the former is identified as a Sun-C and the latter is categorized
as a Moon-C. Unless stressed, this claim is not observed in MSA, current Arabic
dialects or, even, in Quran recitations.
The phoneme /k/ is non-aspirated unvoiced velar plosive. It has no voiced velar plosive
correlate /g/ in the CLA, as it is in some dialects of Arabic. It is palatalized with spread
lips in the environment of the long high front vowel /ii/ as in /kiis/ ‘sack’ or /diik/ cockbird’, labialized before the long high back vowel /uu/ as in /kuux/ ‘hut’ and neutralized
elsewhere. Like other non-emphatic Cs, it is velarized as shown in /Şak/ ‘cheque’ or
pharyngealized as in /ɖaћk/ ‘laughing’. It is geminated in /wakkal/ ‘authorized’.
The phoneme /x/ is realized as unvoiced uvular (dorsal) fricative. Like its voiced
correlate /ʁ/ below and the alveolar /r/, it may be slightly trilled. Its emphasis may
extend to surrounding segments as in /faxm/ ‘luxurious’, or adjacent syllables as in
/ʡaxbaar/ ‘news’. It stands in opposition with its voiced correlate /ʁ/ as shown by the
9
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
contrastive minimal pairs /xaali/ ‘empty’ vs. /ʁaali/ ‘expensive’. It may be geminated,
hence slightly trilled as in /ɖaxxam/ ‘amplified’.
The phoneme /ʁ/ is a voiced uvular (dorsal) fricative. It is oral and central. The active
articulator is the back of the tongue and the passive articulator is the uvula. Like its
voiceless correlate /x/, it exerts emphasis onto the preceding and/or the following
segments as in /baʁl/ ‘mule’ and /Şamʁ/ ‘gum’. Like other Cs in the language, it may
be geminated, hence trilled as in /Şaʁʁar/ ‘minimized’.
The phoneme /h/ is realized as a voiceless glottal fricative. Phonetically speaking, it is
more of a V than a C. It is more emphatic in the vicinity of emphatic segments as in
/rahț/ ‘group’ than it is in the context of non-emphatic segments in /sahl/ ‘moor’. It
may be voiced inter-vocalically as in /jahuud/ ‘Jews’ and voiceless elsewhere. By and
large, this voiceless glottal fricative is described in some modern phonetic studies as a
voiceless vowel. It is emphatic in the context of emphatics, e.g. [maʢћu] for /maʢhu/
‘with him’.
The phoneme /ʢ/ is a slightly creaky voiced pharyngeal fricative, with limited
distribution. The active articulator is the root of the tongue and the passive articulator is
the back wall of the pharynx. It is devoiced in the context of voiceless segments, e.g. it
is realized as a voiceless pharyngeal fricative /ћ/ in the environment of the voiceless
glottal fricative /h/ viz. /maʢhad/’institute’ is pronounced /maћћad/. This example
involves reciprocal assimilation, where /ʢ/ is devoiced (regressive assimilation of
voicing), and the glottal /h/ is pharyngealized (progressive assimilation of place).
Together with its voiceless counterpart /ћ/ below, some modern phonetic viewpoints
categorize this C as glottal, rather than pharyngeal. It is geminated in /saʢʢar/ ‘priced’.
The phoneme /ћ/ is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative with a relatively limited
distribution. Like its voiced correlate /ʢ/ above, the active articulator is the root of the
tongue and the passive articulator is the back wall of the pharynx. Phonetically
speaking, it is clearly more emphatic in the context of emphatic segments than it is in
the context of non-emphatic segments. Hence, it is more emphatic in /muћŞan/ ‘decent’
than it is in /muћsin/ ‘charitable’. It is geminated in /raћћab/ welcomed’.
The phoneme /ɢ/ is a voiced uvular plosive, with relatively free distribution. It is oral
and central. The active articulator is the back of the tongue and the passive articulator is
the uvula. This phoneme is specific to CLA and the classicalized MSA. It is realized as
a glottal plosive /ʡ/ in some dialects. e.g. [galb] for /ɢalb/ 'heart' in the Libyan, Middle
eastern dialects, etc, [ʡalb] in Egyptian and, even [ɢalb] in Moroccan Arabic. voiced
velar plosive /g/ in others. It is more emphatic in the vicinity of emphatic segments as
in /ɢaŞr/ ‘palace' than it is in the context of non-emphatic segments as in /ɢasr/
‘forcible’. It may extend its emphasis onto an adjacent non-emphatic segments as in
/ʢitɢ/ ‘release’. It is geminated in /ʃaɢɢa/ ‘split’.
The phoneme /ʡ/ is a glottal plosive. Like other plosives in the language, it involves a
complete closure of the airflow followed by a sudden release. The two articulators
involved are the two vocal folds. Since the glottis assumes a complete closure, then
voicing is redundant. Morphologically, this phoneme is prefixed to the verbs in the
language for the first person singular (1sg) subject-verb agreement, and imperfect
mood, e.g. /ʡa-ktubu/ ‘I write’. It is not geminated in the language.
10
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
The phoneme /j/ is a voiced palatal approximate. Rakas (1981), in his axiomatic
functionalist analysis of the phonological system of eastern Libyan Arabic, classifies
the front high Vs /i(i)/ as allophonic realizations of this C-/j/ phoneme. He also treats
the back high Vs /u(u)/as allophonic forms of the C-phoneme /w/. If this analysis holds,
then it could be concluded that Arabic displays phonological Cs and phonetic Vs. It is
geminated in /taʁjjr/ ‘change’. Morphologically, this phoneme is prefixed to the verbs
in the language to indicate the third masculine singular (3msg) in subject-verb
agreement, and to show imperfect mood as in /ja-ktubu/ ‘he writes’.
Finally, the phoneme /w/ is voiced bilabial-velar approximate. It involves double
articulation viz. in the first articulation, the lower lip is the active articulator and the
upper lip is the passive articulator, hence bilabial. In the second co-occurring
articulation, the back of the tongue is the active articulator and the velum is the passive
articulator, hence velar. It is devoiced in the context of voiceless segments as in /ɢaswh/
‘‘cruelty’. Like other Cs in the language, it geminates as in /ʢawwaɖ/ ‘compensated’.
In reference to the IPA chart, the CLA C-segments considered above are tabulated as
follows:
11
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
Table3 The CLA C-Chart.
Places
bi-labial
Manners
Plosives
labialdental
b
Fricatives
f
Dental
dentalvelar
t
d
ț
θ
ð
ɚ
s
alveolarpalatal
palatal
z
Ş
ʃ ʒ
Velar
uvular
k
ɢ
x
ʁ
pharyngeal
glottal
Ћ
ʡ
ʢ
l
m
n
Trill/roll
R
Flap
r
Approx
alveolarvelar
ɖ
Lateral
Nasal
alveolar
w
j
vs.
monophthongs
Spread high front
neutral low front
rounded high back
/ i(i) /
/ a(a) /
/ u(u) /
diphthongs
/ ei /
/ әu /
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية ‪4102 / 482‬‬
‫العدد الثامن والثالثون – ‪ /20‬أغسطس ‪ 0202‬م‬
‫‪ISSN : 2312 – 4962‬‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
4. Conclusion:
The phonetic inventory of CLA comprises twenty-eight C-sounds and eight V-sounds.
On phonetic grounds, emphatic sounds in the language are velar or pharyngeal
segments. The emphatic feature of velarization is distinctive in four double articulated
C-phonemes in the language viz. /ț/, /ɖ/, /ɚ/ and /Ş/, and redundant (contextually
determined) in other C-segments. The emphatic feature of pharyngealization is
distinctive in two C-phonemes viz. /ћ/ and /ʢ/ and redundant in other segments. Seven
phonetic descriptive criteria adopted here as a tool to analyze each and every Csegment in isolation. The IPA's three classificatory dimensions are used as distinctive
features to identify the phonemic value of the C-segments in the language. The
phonemic opposition of the C-phonemes is established through contrastive minimal
pairs.
The assimilated Sun-group and the non-assimilated Moon-group C-ls of the definite
article /ʡal/ in the language are examined. It is pinpointed in this study that the C-l is
completely assimilated the environments of C-laminals and not assimilated in other
non-laminal contexts. It is speculated here that since the C-l of the definite article is
laminal (alveolar), then it is expected that it assimilates with adjacent laminals. In
other words, since the definite article in Arabic encliticizes to the noun it defines, then
it is predicted that this C-l undergoes complete regressive assimilation with the initial
laminal C-segment of the noun it defines. Hence, the C-l in Arabic assimilates only
with laminals, i.e. ((palato)-alveolars and dentals) and it is retained elsewhere. For
example, the noun /ʃams/ ‘sun’, initiates with the luminal (palatal-alveolar) /ʃ/, hence
/ʡal-ʃams/ is pronounce /ʡaʃ-ʃams/ ‘the sun’. In contrast, the noun /ɢamar/ ‘moon’,
starts with the non-laminal (uvular) /ɢ/, hence /ʡal-ɢamar/ ‘the moon’. Accordingly,
the first assimilated /l/ is called in the Arabic tradition the ‘Sun-l’ and the second nonassimilated /l/ is called the ‘Moon-l/. To conclude, this assimilation involves a
complete regressive assimilation of voicing, place and manner of articulation.
The morphological significance of the geminating process to indicate causativeness in
the language is indicated.
The facts that the approximate C-/j/ is pronounced in some positions as the V-/ii/, and
the approximate C-/w/ is pronounced in some positions as the V-/uu/, leads to the
conjecture that the V-/ii/ and V-/uu/ in Arabic are contextually determined positional
variants of the C-/j/ and the C-/w/ respectively.
If this assumption holds, it could be speculated that V-length in Arabic is redundant,
which, in turns, lead to the conclusion that the CLA phonemic system subsumes
phonological Cs and phonetic Vs.
0
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
‫جامــعة بنـــغازي‬
‫مجلة العلوم والدراسات اإلنسانية – المرج‬
‫مجلة علمية الكترونية محكمة‬
ISSN : 2312 – 4962
4102 / 482 ‫رقم اإليداع بدار الكتب الوطنية‬
References:
Abercrombie, D. (1967). Elements of General Phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press.
Jones, D. (1967). The Phoneme. Its Nature and Use. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Jones, D. (1972). An Outline of English Phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Ladefoged, P. (1971) Preliminaries to Linguistic Phonetics. London: The University
of Chicago Press Ltd.
Ladefoged, P. (1993). A Course in Phonetics. 3rdEd. Harcourt Brace College
Publishers.
Rakas, M. (1981). Phonological Consonants and Phonetic Vowels in Eastern Libyan
Arabic. MA Thesis Dept. of Linguistics Ulster University UK.
Rakas, M. (2008a). Tri-literal Perfect Verb Endings in Classical Arabic: phonetic &
morpho-syntactic considerations The Scientific Journal Faculty of Teachers
Training Waddan Altahaddi University Press issue No. (7).
1
‫ م‬0202 ‫ أغسطس‬/20 – ‫العدد الثامن والثالثون‬
Download
Related flashcards
Create Flashcards