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Syrian Arabic
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Syrian Arabic is any of the Varieties of Arabic spoken in Syria.[1] It can be classified as a Levantine Arabic, the Syrian dialect came as a result of the marriage between the ancient language of Syria Aramaic - Syriac and the Arabic language since the Muslim conquest of the Levant; According to some researchers, at least half of its vocabulary is Syriac - Aramiac in origin; in addition of borrowing some verbal rules and some grammatical rules such as using the bā at the beginning of the present singular verb, such as بكتب، بدرس، بنام, the mīm at the beginning of the present tense in the case of the plural, such as منكتب، مندرس، منّام; ش and the using of the present continuous which not exist in Arabic by adding the prefix ʿam عم such as عمبكتب، عمبدرس. The dialect was also influenced slightly by vocabularies that have been borrowed from Turkish and French origins during the Ottoman rule and the French mandate of Syria, noticeably found in the names of certain foods, professions, and tools.
Aleppo, Idlib, and Coastal dialects
Aleppo and surroundings
Characterized by the imperfect with a-: ašṛab ‘I drink’, ašūf ‘I see’,[1] and by a pronounced[2]ʾimāla of the type sēfaṛ/ysēfer, with subdialects:[2]
  1. Muslim Aleppine
  2. Christian Aleppine
  3. Rural dialects similar to Muslim Aleppine
  4. Mountain dialects
  5. Rural dialects
  6. Bēbi (əlBāb)
  7. Mixed dialects
Idlib and surroundings
These dialects are transitional between the Aleppine and the Coastal and Central dialects.[2] They are characterized by *q > ʔ, ʾimāla of the type the type sāfaṛ/ysēfer[1] and ṣālaḥ/yṣēliḥ,[2] diphthongs in every position,[2][1] a- elision (katab+t > ktabt, but katab+it > katabit),[1] išṛab type perfect,[1] ʾimāla in reflexes of *CāʔiC, and vocabulary such as zbandūn "plow sole".[2]
Coast and coastal mountains[1]
These dialects are characterized by diphthongs only in open syllables: bēt/bayti ‘house/my house’, ṣōt/ṣawti ‘voice/my voice’, but ā is found in many lexemes for both *ay and *aw (sāf, yām).[2][1] There is pronounced ʾimāla.[2] Unstressed a is elided or raised to i and u whenever possible: katab+t > ktabt, katab+it > katbit, sallam+it > sallmit, sallam+t > sillamt, ḥaṭṭ+ayt > ḥiṭṭayt, trawwaq+t > truwwaqt, *madrasa > madrsa > mádǝrsa ~ madírsi, *fallāḥ > fillāḥ.[1][2] The feminine plural demonstrative pronoun is hawdi, or haydi.[2] It can be divided into several subdialects:[2]
  1. Transitional between Idlib and the northern coastal dialects
  2. Northern coastal dialects (Swaydīye)
  3. Northern coastal dialects
  4. Lattakia
  5. Central coastal dialects
  6. Mḥardi
  7. Banyās
  8. Southern coastal dialects
  9. Tartūs, Arwad
  10. Alawite and Ismaelite dialects
Central dialects
In this area, predominantly *ay, aw > ē, ō. Mostly, there is no ʾimāla, and a-elision is only weakly developed. Word-final *-a > -i operates. Several dialects exist in this area:
Central-North
Leans toward the Idlib and Coastal dialects. Preservation of *q, 2nd masc. inti, 2nd fem. inte, feminine forms in the plural intni katabtni, hinni(n) katabni
Tayybet əlʔImām / Sōrān
Preservation of interdentals. 2/3 pl. masc. ending -a: fatahta, falaha, tuktúba, yuktúba. 2nd plural m/f inta - intni. 3rd plural m/f hinhan - hinhin. The perfect of the primae alif verbs are ake, axe. In the imperfect, yāka, yāxa. The participle is mēke.
Hama
Characterized by *q > ʔ
Central-South w/ *q > q
Preservation of *q
Central-South w/ *q > ʔ
Characterized by *q > ʔ
Bedouin-Sedentary mixed dialect
Preservation of interdentals and terms like alhaz "now".
Central Syrian dialect continuum, steppe dialects and steppe's edge[2]
Suxni
Characterized by *q > k, *g > c [ts], *k > č, and ʾimāla of type *lisān > lsīn. Distinctive pronouns are 3pl.c. aham and 2sg.f. suffix -či. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at, and i-Type perfects take the form ʾílbis "he got dressed".[2]
Palmyrene
Characterized by perserved *q, *g > č, and unconditioned ʾimāla in hēda. Distinctive pronouns are 3pl. ahu - hinna, and 2sg.f. suffix -ki. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at, and i-Type perfects take the form ʾílbis "he got dressed".[2]
Qarawi
Characterized by perserved *q and unconditioned ʾimāla in hēda. Distinctive pronouns are 3pl. hunni - hinni. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at, and i-Type perfects take the form lbīs "he got dressed".[2]
Saddi
Characterized by perserved *q and pronouns 3pl. hūwun - hīyin. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at.[2]
Rastan
Characterized by perserved *q and the changes masaku > masakaw# and masakin > masake:n# in pause. Distinctive pronouns are 3pl.c. hinne, and the suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at.[2]
Nabki
Characterized by *q > ʔ, and *ay, *aw > ā. The shifts *CaCC > CiCC/CuCC and *CaCaC > CaCōC take place. The ʾimāla is of the i-umlaut type. Distinctive pronouns are 2sg.f. suffix -ke. The a-Type perfects take the form ḍarōb and the i-type lbēs. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -et, with allophony ḍarbet - ḍárbatu.[2]
Eastern Qalamūn
Characterized by *q > ʔ and ʾimāla of the i-umlaut type. Distinctive pronouns are 3sg.m. suffix -a/-e. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -at.[2]
Mʿaḏ̣ḏ̣amīye
Characterized by *q > ʔ and unconditioned ʾimāla in hēda. Distinctive pronouns are 2sg.f. suffix -ki.[2] The 1sg perfect conjugation is of the type katabtu, similar to the qǝltu dialects of Iraq. Also like qǝltu dialects, it has lengthened forms like ṣafṛā "yellow [fem.]".[1]
Qalamūn
The Qalamūn dialects have strong links to Central Lebanese.[2] The short vowels i/u are found in all positions. Pasual kbīr > kbeyr# and yrūḥ > yrawḥ#. The a-elision is not strongly pronounced. Shortening of unstressed long vowels is characteristic: *sakākīn > sakakīn ‘knives’, fallōḥ/fillaḥīn ‘peasant/peasants’, or fillōḥ/filliḥīn, as in Northwest Aramaic.[1] Conservation of diphthongs and *q > ʔ are common, as well as splitting of ā into ē and ō. As for negation, the type mā- -š is already attested along with the simple negation.
Qara
No interdentals
Yabrūdi
No interdentals
Central Qalamūn
Conservation of interdentals, subdialects:
  1. ʿĒn itTīne
  2. Central, tends to East Qalamūn
  3. Rās ilMaʿarra
  4. Gubbe
  5. Baxʿa
  6. Maʿlūla
  7. GubbʿAdīn
Southern Qalamūn
Conservation of interdentals, a-elision katab+t > ktabt, distinctive pronouns are 3pl.c. hunni. Subdialects are:
  1. ʿAssāl ilWard, ilHawš
  2. ʿAkawbar, Tawwane, Hile
  3. Hafīr ilFawqa, Badda
  4. Qtayfe
  5. Sēdnāya
  6. Maʿarrit Sēdnāya
  7. Rankūs
  8. Talfita
  9. Halbūn
  10. Hafīr itTahta
  11. itTall
  12. Mnin
  13. Drayj
Northern Barada valley
No interdentals, conservation of diphthongs
  1. Sirgāya
  2. Blūdān
  3. izZabadāni
  4. Madāya
Damascus and surroundings
Transitional Damascus - Qalamūn
These dialects have no interdentals, no diphthongs, and a reflex of *g > ž. The suffix of the verbal 3sg a-Type is -it, ḍarab+it > ḍárbit.[2] The short vowels i/u are found in all positions. Demonstrative plural pronoun hadunke.
Damascus
Main article: Damascus Arabic
Other dialects, accents, and varieties
Horan dialects
  1. Central dialects
  2. Gēdūri (transitional)
  3. Mountain dialects
  4. Zāwye (transitional)
  5. Mixed dialect Čanāčer/Zāčye
Mount Hermon and Jabal idDrūz area
Dialects of Mount Hermon and Druze have a Lebanese origin[2]
  1. Autochthonous sedentary dialects
  2. Mount Hermon dialect
  3. Druze dialect
Sedentary East Syrian
Anatolian
  1. Qsōrāni
  2. Tall Bēdar
  3. Mardilli
  4. Azxēni (ǝlMālkīye)
Mesopotamian
  1. Dēr izZōr
  2. Albū Kmāl
Autochthonous
Xātūnī
References
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Behnstedt, Peter (2011-05-30). "Syria". Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Behnstedt, Peter (1997). Sprachatlas von Syrien (in German). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-04330-4.
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 05:49
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