Najdi Arabic can be divided into four region-based groups:
- Northern Najdi, spoken by the tribe of Shammar and surrounding tribes in Ha'il Region in Najd and the Syrian Desert.
- Mixed northern-central Najdi of Al-Qassim, and the tribe of Dhafeer around Kuwait.
- Central Najdi (Urban Najdi), spoken in the city of Riyadh and surrounding towns and farming communities, and by the tribe of Anazah in the Syrian Desert.
- Southern Najdi, spoken by the tribes of Qahtan and Banu Yam, including in the Rub' al-Khali and Najran, as well as the branches of Banu Yam, Ajman and Al Murrah in Eastern Arabia.
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.
- /ɡ/ is the modern reflex of Classical /q/ ⟨ق⟩, though /q/ can appear in a few loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic and proper names, as in القرآن [alqurˈʔaːn] ('Quran') and قانون[qaːnuːn] ('law').
- The distinction between the Classical Arabic ⟨ﺽ⟩ and ⟨ظ⟩ was completely lost in Najdi Arabic, and both are realised as /ðˤ/. /tˤ/ is sometimes voiced.
- As in many other the marginal phoneme /ɫ/ only occurs in the word الله /aɫːaːh/ ('god') and words derived from it, it contrasts with /l/ in والله /waɫːa/ ('I swear') vs. ولَّا /walːa/ ('or'), but it occurs as an allophone of /l/ in many other contexts, especially when neighboring the phonemes /ɡ, x, sˤ, tˤ/ e.g. قَلَم ('pencil') /ɡalam/→[ɡaɫam].
- The phonemes /ɣ/ ⟨غ⟩ and /x/ ⟨خ⟩ can be realised as uvular fricatives [ʁ] and [χ] respectively.
- Northern and central dialects feature affricates [t͡s] and [d͡z] as allophonic variants of the velar stops /k/ and /ɡ/, respectively, particularly in the context of front vowels e.g. كَلْب [t͡salb] ('dog'). Dialect leveling as a result of influence from the Riyadh-based prestige varieties has led to the affricate allophones becoming increasingly less common among younger speakers.
- Historically, /ʔ/ was deleted. It now appears only in borrowings from Classical Arabic; word-medially, this deletion comes along with the lengthening of short vowels.
Unless adjacent to /ɣ x h ħ ʕ/, /a/ is raised in open syllables to [i], [ɨ], or [u], depending on neighboring sounds.
Remaining /a/ may become fronted to [æ~ɛ] in the context of front sounds, as well as adjacent to the pharyngeals /ħ ʕ/.
Najdi Arabic exhibits the so-called gahawa syndrome, insertion of epenthetic /a/ after (/h x, ɣ ħ, ʕ/). For example, [gahwah] > [gahawah].
When short /a/ appears in an open syllable that is followed by a nonfinal light syllable, it is deleted. For example, /saħab-at/ is realized as [sˈħa.bat].
This, combined with the gahawa syndrome can make underlying sequence of /a/ and a following guttural consonant (/h x, ɣ ħ, ʕ/) to appear metathesized
, e.g. /ʕistaʕʒal/ ('got in a hurry') [ʕistˈʕaʒal].
Short high vowels are deleted in non-final open syllables, such as /tirsil-uːn/ ('you [m. sg.] send') [tirsˈluːn].
There is both limited distributional overlap and free variation between [i] and [u], with the latter being more likely in the environment of bilabials, pharyngealized consonants, and /r/.
The mid vowels /eː oː/ are typically monophthongs, though they can be pronounced as diphthongs when preceding a plosive, e.g. /beːt/ ('house') [beit].
Najdi Arabic sentence structure can have the word order VSO and SVO, however, VSO usually occurs more often.Ingham (1994
:37-44) NA morphology is distinguished by three categories which are: nouns ism
, verb fial
, and particle harf
means name in Arabic and it corresponds to nouns and adjectives in English. Fial
means action in Arabic and it corresponds to verbs. Harf
means letter and corresponds to pronouns, demonstratives, prepositions, conjunctions and articles.
Verbs are inflected for number, gender, person, tense, aspect and transitives. Nouns show number (singular and plural) and gender (masculine and feminine). 
Complementizers in NA have three different classes which are: relative particle, declarative particle, and interrogative particles. The three different complementizers that are used in Najdi Arabic are: illi
Two particles are used in negation, which are: ma
. These particles come before the verb in verbal sentences.Ingham (1994
is used with all verbal sentences but la
is used with imperative verb forms indicating present and future tense.
- ^ "Arabic, Najdi Spoken". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
- ^ Al Motairi (2015:5)
- ^ McCarthy (2007:177, 178), citing Al-Mozainy (1981:64ff)
- ^ a b Alothman, Ebtesam (2012). "Digital Vernaculars: An Investigation of Najdi Arabic in Multilingual Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication" (PDF). University of Manchester: 96–121.
- ^ Lewis Jr., Robert (2013). "Complementizer Agreement in Najdi Arabic" (PDF). University of Kansas: 22.
- Al-Rojaie, Y. (2013), "Regional dialect leveling in Najdi Arabic: The case of the deaffrication of [k] in the Qaṣīmī dialect", Language Variation and Change, 25 (1): 43–63, doi:10.1017/s0954394512000245
- Al Motairi, Sarah Soror (2015), An Optimality-Theoretic Analysis of Syllable Structure in Qassimi Arabic
- Ingham, Bruce (1986), "Notes on the Dialect of the Āl Murra of Eastern and Southern Arabia", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 49 (2): 271–291, doi:10.1017/s0041977x00024162
- Ingham, Bruce (1994), Najdi Arabic: Central Arabian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, ISBN 9789027238016
- McCarthy, John J. (2007), Hidden Generalizations: Phonological Opacity in Optimality Theory, London: Equinox Publishing Ltd., ISBN 9781845530518
- P.F. Abboud. 1964. "The Syntax of Najdi Arabic", University of Texas PhD dissertation.
- Al-Mozainy, Hamza Q (1981). Vowel Alternations in a Bedouin Hijazi Arabic Dialect: Abstractness and Stress (Thesis). Austin, Texas: University of Texas, Austin.
- Al-Sudais, M. S. A critical and comparative study of modern Najdi Arabic Proverbs. PhD diss., University of Leeds, 1976.
Last edited on 5 May 2021, at 05:55
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