During the first decades of the 20th century, when the population of Baghdad was less than a million, some inner city quarters had their own distinctive speech characteristics, maintained for generations. From about the 1960s, with the population movement within the city, and the influx of large numbers of people hailing mainly from the south, Baghdad Arabic has become more standardized, and has come to incorporate some rural features and Modern Standard Arabic
Distinct features of Baghdadi Arabic include the use of 'ani' as opposed to the fusha (formal) 'ana' meaning 'I am' and the addition of the suffix 'ich' to verbs with female direct objects, e.g. 'ani gilitlich' meaning 'I told you'.
The vowel phoneme /eː/ (from standard Arabic /aj/) is usually realised as an opening diphthong, for most speakers only slightly diphthongised [ɪe̯], but for others a more noticeable [iɛ̯], such that, for instance, lēš [why] will sound like leeyesh. There's a vowel phoneme that evolved from the diphthong (/aw/) to resemble more of a long (/o:/) sound, as in words such as kaun [universe] shifting to kōn.
The Vowel Phonemes of Baghdadi Arabic
Even in the most formal of conventions, pronunciation depends upon a speaker's background.
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
, and pharyngealized
") sounds. The emphatic coronals
(/sˤ/, /tˤ/, and /ðˤ/) cause assimilation
of emphasis to adjacent non-emphatic coronal consonants.
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.
Baghdadi Arabic consonant phonemes
- /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 Baghdad Arabic and the rest of southern Mesopotamian dialects.
- The gemination of the flap /ɾ/ results in a trill /r/.
- ^ "Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken - Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2017. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth edition. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- ^ Hann, Geoff, 1937- author. (7 August 2015). Iraq : the ancient sites & Iraqi Kurdistan : the Bradt travel guide. ISBN 9781841624884. OCLC 880400955.
- ^ Holes (2004:58)
- ^ Teach Yourself Arabic, by Jack Smart (Author), Frances Altorfer (Author)
- ^ Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (transl. of Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart, 1952)
Last edited on 23 April 2021, at 08:12
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