Najdi Arabic

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Najdi Arabic
Native to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria
Native speakers
(undated figure of 10 million)[1]
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ars
Glottolog najd1235[2]

Najdi Arabic (Arabic: اللهجة النجدية‎‎) is a variety of Arabic spoken in the Najd region of Saudi Arabia.

There are four major dialects of Najdi Arabic.

  1. Northern Najdi, spoken in Ha'il Region and Al-Qassim Region in the Najd.
  2. Central Najdi (Urban Najdi), spoken in the city of Riyadh and surrounding towns and farming communities.
  3. Southern Najdi, spoken in the city of Al-Kharj and surrounding towns.
  4. Badawi Najdi, spoken by the nomadic bedouins of Najd. Some tribes have their own distinct accents. Badawi Najdi is also spoken in neighboring Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Iraq.[3][4]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Here is a table of the consonant sounds of Najdi Arabic. 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 can be pronounced as /b/ and /f/ respectively depending on the speaker.

Consonant phonemes of Najdi Arabic[5]
Labial Dental Denti-alveolar Palatal Velar/
Uvular
Pharyngeal Glottal
 plain  emphatic
Nasal m n
Plosive &
Affricate
voiceless t k ʔ
voiced b d d͡ʒ ɡ
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ x ħ h
voiced ð z ðˤ ɣ ʕ
Trill r
Approximant l (ɫ) j w

Phonetic notes:

  • The classicized [q] is an allophone for /g/ 〈ق〉 in few words and proper names as in القرآن [alqur'ʔaːn] ('Quran') and قانون [qaːnuːn] ('Law').[6]
  • The distinction between the classical /dˤ/ 〈ض〉 and /ðˤ/ 〈ظ〉 was completely lost in Najdi Arabic, and both are realised as /ðˤ/.
  • the marginal phoneme /ɫ/ only occurs in the word الله /aɫɫaːh/ ('god') and words derived from it,[7] it contrasts with /l/ in والله /waɫɫa/ ('i swear') vs. ولَّا /walla/ ('or').
  • The phonemes /ɣ/ 〈غ〉 and /x/ 〈خ〉 can be realised as uvular fricatives [ʁ] and [χ] respectively.
  • In the consonantal system of Najdi Arabic, there is an occurrence of the alveolar affricates [t͡s] and [d͡z] as allophonic variants of the velar stops /k/ and /g/, respectively.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Najdi Arabic at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Najdi Arabic". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  4. ^ http://www.verbix.com/maps/language/ArabicNajdiSpoken.html
  5. ^ Al Motairi, Sarah Soror (2015:5)
  6. ^ Al Motairi, Sarah Soror (2015:6)
  7. ^ Watson (2002:16)
  8. ^ Al Motairi, Sarah Soror (2015)

Bibliography[edit]