Khuzestani Arabic

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Khuzestani Arabic
Native toIran
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3
GlottologNone

Khuzestani Arabic is a dialect of Gelet (Southern) Mesopotamian Arabic spoken by the Iranian Arabs in Khuzestan Province of Iran. It has had a long history of contact with Persian language, leading to several changes.[1] The main changes are in word order, noun–noun and noun–adjective attribution constructions, definiteness marking, complement clauses, and discourse markers and connectors.[1][2]


Khuzestani Arabic is only used in informal situations. It is not taught in school, not even as an optional course, although Modern Standard Arabic is taught.[1]

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Even in the most formal of conventions, pronunciation depends upon a speaker's background.[3] Nevertheless, the number and phonetic character of most of the 28 consonants has a broad degree of regularity among Arabic-speaking regions. Note that Arabic is particularly rich in uvular, pharyngeal, and pharyngealized ("emphatic") sounds. The emphatic coronals (/sˤ/, /dˤ/, /tˤ/, and /ðˤ/) cause assimilation of emphasis to adjacent non-emphatic coronal consonants.[citation needed] The phonemes /p/پ⟩ and /v/ڤ⟩ (not used by all speakers) are not considered to be part of the phonemic inventory, as they exist only in foreign words and they can be pronounced as /b/ب⟩ and /f/ف⟩ respectively depending on the speaker.[4][5]

Khuzestani Arabic consonant phonemes
Labial Dental Denti-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain emphatic1
Nasal m n
Stop voiceless (p) t k ʔ
voiced b d g
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ x ~ χ ħ h
voiced (v) ð z ðˤ ɣ ~ ʁ ʕ
Affricate voiceless f θ s x ~ χ ħ h
voiced d͡ʒ
Tap ɾ
Approximant l (ɫ) j w

Phonetic notes:

  • /p/ and /v/ occur mostly in borrowings from Persian, and may be assimilated to /b/ or /f/ in some speakers.
  • /ɡ/ is pronunciation of /q/ in Khuzestani Arabic and the rest of southern Mesopotamian dialects.
  • The gemination of the flap /ɾ/ results in a trill /r/.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Khuzestani Arabic: a case of convergence
  2. ^ Shabibi, Maryam (2006). Contact-induced grammatical changes in Khuzestani arabic (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.529368.
  3. ^ Holes (2004:58)
  4. ^ Teach Yourself Arabic, by Jack Smart (Author), Frances Altorfer (Author)
  5. ^ Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (transl. of Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart, 1952)