The modern dialects spoken in the Arabian Peninsula are closer to Classical Arabic than elsewhere.
Some of the local dialects have retained many archaic features lost in other dialects, such as the conservation of nunation
for indeterminate nouns
. They retain most Classical syntax and vocabulary but still have some differences from Classical Arabic like the other dialects.
Approximate historical distribution of Semitic languages
The following varieties are usually noted:
- Yemeni Arabic, displays a past conjugation with the very archaic -k suffix, as in southern Semitic languages. It has to be noted that the dialect of Aden has /ɡʲ/ > [ɡ] as in Cairo.
- Hejazi Arabic, spoken in Saudi Arabia along the coast of the Red Sea, especially in the cities of Mecca and Jeddah. Strictly speaking, there are two distinct dialects spoken in the Hejaz region, one by the Bedouin rural population and another by the urban population. However, it is the urban variety, spoken in cities such as Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Yanbu, that is typically considered Hejazi.
- Najdi Arabic, spoken in the center of the peninsula in Saudi Arabia and is characterized by a shift of /q/ to /ɡ/ and affrication of /k/ and /ɡ/ to [ts] and [dz], respectively, in certain contexts.
- Hadhrami Arabic, Spoken in Hadhramout in southern Arabia, is characterised by its ج /dʒ/-yodization, changing the Classical Arabic reflex /dʒ/ to the approximant ي [j]. That resembles some Eastern Arabian and Gulf dialects.
- Gulf Arabic (excluding Omani Arabic, Dhofari Arabic, Bahrani Arabic and Shihhi Arabic), spoken in the coast of the Persian Gulf.
- Bahrani Arabic, spoken in Bahrain, Eastern Saudi Arabia, and Oman.
- The dialect of Syrian Desert nomads, who also exhibit affrication of /k/ and /ɡ/ (former /q/) to [ts] and [dz], respectively.
The following table compares the Arabic terms between Saudi dialects of urban Hejazi and urban Najdi in addition to the dialect of the Harb
with its parts (Najdi and Hejazi parts) which shows a correlation between those dialects:
Comparison between a number of dialects in Saudi Arabia
بَلْكي balki is archaic and barely used in both dialects.
- ^ Holes, Clive (2001). Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary. Clive Holes. pp. XIX. ISBN 9004107630.
- ^ Zhluktenko, Y. A. (1988). Interlanguage relations and language policy. Capitalist states and countries of the "Third World". Naukova dumka. p. 190. ISBN 9785120001410.
- ^ Alexeyev, B. A. (2003). All Asia. Geographical handbook. АСТ. p. 311. ISBN 9785897371518.
- ^ Il-Hazmy (1975:234)
Last edited on 12 May 2021, at 23:53
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