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CLASSICAL ARABIC is the form of the Arabic language
Arabic language
used in Umayyad and Abbasid
Abbasid
literary texts from the 7th century AD to the 9th century AD.

The orthography of the Qurʾān was not developed for the standardized form of Classical Arabic; rather, it shows the attempt on the part of writers to record an archaic form of Old Higazi .

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is its direct descendant used today throughout the Arab world in writing and in formal speaking, for example, prepared speeches, some radio broadcasts, and non-entertainment content; it is also used in modernized versions of Quran
Quran
and revised editions of poetries and novels from Umayyad
Umayyad
and Abbasid
Abbasid
times (7th to 9th centuries). While the lexis and stylistics of Modern Standard Arabic are different from Classical Arabic, the morphology and syntax have remained basically unchanged (though MSA uses a subset of the syntactic structures available in CA). In the Arab world, little distinction is made between CA and MSA, and both are normally called al-fuṣḥá (الفصحى‎) in Arabic, meaning 'the most eloquent ( Arabic
Arabic
language)'.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Phonology
Phonology

* 2.1 Consonants * 2.2 Vowels

* 3 Grammar

* 3.1 Nouns

* 3.1.1 Case * 3.1.2 State

* 3.2 Verbs

* 3.2.1 Barth-Ginsberg alternation

* 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 External links

HISTORY

In the late 6th century AD, a relatively uniform intertribal ‘poetic koine’ distinct from the spoken vernaculars developed based on the Bedouin dialects of Najd
Najd
, probably in connection with the Lakhmid
Lakhmid
court of al-Ḥīra . During the first Islamic century the majority of Arabic
Arabic
poets and Arabic-writing persons spoke a form of Arabic
Arabic
as their mother tongue. Their texts, although mainly preserved in far later manuscripts, contain traces of non-standardized Classical Arabic
Arabic
elements in morphology and syntax. The standardization of Classical Arabic
Arabic
reached completion around the end of the 8th century. The first comprehensive description of the ʿarabiyya "Arabic", Sībawayhi\'s al-Kitāb, is based first of all upon a corpus of poetic texts, in addition to the Qurʾān and Bedouin informants whom he considered to be reliable speakers of the ʿarabiyya. "Colloquial" Arabic
Arabic
refers to the many regional dialects derived from Arabic
Arabic
spoken daily across the region and learned as a first language , and as second language if people speak other languages native to their particular country. By the 8th century, knowledge of Classical Arabic had become an essential prerequisite for rising into the higher classes throughout the Islamic world, as it was the lingua franca across the Middle East
Middle East
, North Africa
North Africa
, Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
during those times; the analogy is like most literate Romance speakers were also literate in Classical Latin
Classical Latin
. Various Arabic
Arabic
dialects freely borrow words from Classical Arabic, this situation is similar to Romance languages , wherein scores of words were borrowed directly from Classical Latin
Classical Latin
. People speak Classical Arabic
Arabic
as a second language if they speak colloquial Arabic
Arabic
dialects as their first language, but as a third language if others speak other languages native to a country as their first language and colloquial Arabic
Arabic
dialects as their second language. But Classical Arabic
Arabic
was spoken with different pronunciations influenced by informal dialects . The differentiation of the pronunciation of informal dialects is the influence from native languages previously spoken and some presently spoken in the regions, such as Coptic in Egypt, Berber , Punic or Phoenician in North Africa, Himyaritic , Modern South Arabian and Old South Arabian in Yemen, and Aramaic in the Levant.

PHONOLOGY

CONSONANTS

Consonant phonemes of Classical Arabic
Arabic

LABIAL DENTAL DENTI-ALVEOLAR PALATAL VELAR UVULAR PHARYNGEAL GLOTTAL

PLAIN EMPHATIC PLAIN EMPHATIC

NASAL m m – م

n n – ن

PLOSIVE VOICELESS

t t – ت tˁ ṭ – ط

k k – ك q q – ق

ʔ ʾ – ء

VOICED b b – ب

d d – د

ɟ ǧ – ج

FRICATIVE VOICELESS f f – ف θ ṯ – ث

s s – س sˁ ṣ – ص ɕ š – ش

χ ḫ – خ ħ ḥ – ح h h – ه

VOICED

ð ḏ – ذ ðˤ ẓ – ظ z z – ز

ʁ ġ – غ ʕ ʿ – ع

LATERAL FRICATIVE

ɮˤ ḍ – ض

LATERAL

l l – ل

TAP

ɾ r – ر

APPROXIMANT

j y – ي w w – و

VOWELS

MONOPHTHONG PHONEMES

SHORT LONG

FRONT BACK FRONT BACK

CLOSE i u iː uː

MID (e)1

(eː)2

OPEN a (ɑ)3 aː (ɑː)3

^1 Allophone of short /a/ in certain imalah contexts ^2 In pre-Classical Arabic, eː arose out of contraction of certain Old Arabic
Arabic
triphthongs. Some Arabs said banē (< *banaya) for banā ("he built") and zēda (< *zayida) for zāda ("it increased"). This /eː/ merged with /aː/ in later Classical Arabic. A completely different phenomenon called imalah led to the raising of /a / and /aː/ adjacent to a sequence i(ː)C or Ci(ː), where C was a non-emphatic, non-uvular consonant, e.g. al-kēfirīna < al-kāfirīna ("the disbelievers") ^3 Allophone of after uvular and emphatic consonants

GRAMMAR

NOUNS

Main article: Arabic nouns and adjectives

Case

The A1 inscription dated to the 3rd or 4th c. AD in Greek script in a dialect showing affinities to that of the Safaitic inscriptions shows that short final high vowels had been lost in at least some dialects of Old Arabic at that time, obliterating the distinction between nominative and genitive case in the singular, leaving the accusative the only marked case:

أوس (بن) عود (بن) بناء (بن) كازم الإدامي أتو من شحاص؛ أتو بناء الدورة ويرعو بقلة بكانون.

ʾAws (ibin) ʿūḏ (?) (ibin) Bannāʾ (ibin) Kazim ʾAL-ʾIDāMIYY ʾatawa miś-śiḥāṣ; ʾatawa Bannāʾa ʾAD-DAWRA wa yirʿaw BAQLA bi-kānūn

"ʾAws son of ʿūḏ (?) son of Bannāʾ son of Kazim the ʾidāmite came because of scarcity; he came to Bannāʾ in this region and they pastured on fresh herbage during Kānūn".

SAFAITIC (CA. 3RD - 4TH C. AD)

TRIPTOTE DIPTOTE DUAL MASCULINE PLURAL FEMININE PLURAL

Nominative ∅..الـ (ʾal-)...-∅ -∅ الـ)..ـَان) (ʾal-)...-ān الـ)..ـُون) (ʾal-)...-ūn الـ)..ـَات) (ʾal-)...-āt

Accusative الـ..ـَا (ʾal-)...-a الـ)..ـَيْن) (ʾal-)...-ayn الـ)..ـِين) (ʾal-)...-īn

Genitive ∅..(الـ) (ʾal-)...-∅

Classical Arabic
Arabic
however, shows a far more archaic system, essentially identical with that of Proto-Arabic :

CLASSICAL ARABIC (CA. 7TH C. AD)

TRIPTOTE DIPTOTE DUAL MASCULINE PLURAL FEMININE PLURAL

Nominative ـٌ -un الـ..ـُ ʾal-...-u ـُ -u الـ)..ـَانِ) (ʾal-)...-āni الـ)..ـُونَ) (ʾal-)...-ūna ـَاتٌ -ātun الـ..ـَاتُ ʾal-...-ātu

Accusative ـًا، ـً -an الـ..ـَ ʾal-...-a ـَ -a الـ)..ـَيْنَ) (ʾal-)...-ayna الـ)..ـِينَ) (ʾal-)...-īna ـَاتٍ -ātin الـ..ـَاتِ ʾal-...-āti

Genitive ـٍ -in الـ..ـِ ʾal-...-i

State

The definite article spread areally among the Central Semitic languages and it would seem that Proto-Arabic lacked any overt marking of definiteness. Besides dialects with no definite article, the Safaitic inscriptions exhibit about four different article forms, ordered by frequency: h-, ʾ-, ʾl-, and hn-. The Old Arabic of the Nabataean inscriptions exhibits almost exclusively the form ʾl-. Unlike the Classical Arabic
Arabic
article, the Old Arabic ʾl almost never exhibits the assimilation of the coda to the coronals; the same situation is attested in the Graeco-Arabica, but in A1 the coda assimilates to the following d, αδαυρα *ʾad-dawra الدورة 'the region'.

In Classical Arabic, the definite article takes the form ʾal-, with the coda of the article exhibiting assimilation to the following dental and denti-alveolar consonants. Note the inclusion of palatal /ɕ/, which alone among the palatal consonants exhibits assimilation, indicating that assimilation ceased to be productive before that consonant shifted from Old Arabic /ɬ/:

Sun consonants in Classical Arabic
Arabic
DENTAL DENTI-ALVEOLAR PALATAL

PLAIN EMPHATIC PLAIN EMPHATIC

n n – ن

t t – ت tˁ ṭ – ط

d d – د

θ ṯ – ث

s s – س sˁ ṣ – ص

ð ḏ – ذ ðˤ ẓ – ظ z z – ز

ɕ (< *ɬ) š – ش ɮˤ ḍ – ض

l l – ل

r r – ر

VERBS

Main article: Arabic verbs

Barth-Ginsberg Alternation

Proto-Central Semitic, Proto-Arabic, various forms of Old Arabic, and some modern Najdi dialects to this day have alternation in the performative vowel of the prefix conjugation, depending on the stem vowel of the verb. Early forms of Classical Arabic
Arabic
allowed this alternation, but later forms of Classical Arabic
Arabic
levelled the /a/ allomorph:

PRE-CLASSICAL (TALTALAH) CLASSICAL

1 sg. ʾi-rkabu ʾa-qtulu ʾa-...-u

2 m.sg. ti-rkabu ta-qtulu ta-...-u

3 m.sg. ya-rkabu (< *yi-) ya-qtulu ya-...-u

1 pl. ni-rkabu na-qtulu na-...-u

SEE ALSO

* Islam
Islam
portal

* Arabic language
Arabic language
* Modern Standard Arabic * Ancient North Arabian * Quranic Arabic Corpus * Arabic–English Lexicon

NOTES

* ^ Bin-Muqbil 2006 , p. 14. * ^ Bin-Muqbil 2006 , p. 15. * ^ Al-Jallad, Ahmad. "Polygenesis in the Arabic
Arabic
Dialects". * ^ Cite error: The named reference :32 was invoked but never defined (see the help page ). * ^ "Al-Jallad. 2015. New Epigraphica from Jordan I: a pre-Islamic Arabic
Arabic
inscription in Greek letters and a Greek inscription from north-eastern Jordan, w. A. al-Manaser". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-09.

REFERENCES

* Bin-Muqbil, Musaed (2006). "Phonetic and Phonological Aspects of Arabic
Arabic
Emphatics and Gutturals". University of Wisconsin–Madison. * Holes, Clive (2004) Modern Arabic: Structures, Functions, and Varieties Georgetown University Press. ISBN 1-58901-022-1 * Versteegh, Kees (2001) The Arabic
Arabic
Language Edinburgh University Press ISBN 0-7486-1436-2 (Ch.5 available in link below) * Watson, Janet (2002). "The Phonology
Phonology
and Morphology of Arabic". New York: Oxford University Press. * Bin Radhan, Neil. "Die Wissenschaft des Tadschwīd".

EXTERNAL LINKS

Look up CLASSICAL ARABIC in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up MODERN STANDARD ARABIC in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up FUS-HA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* Classical Arabic
Arabic
Grammar Documentation – Visualization of Classical Quranic Grammar (iʻrāb ) * Learn Quran
Quran
– Lectures on Quranic Arabic
Arabic
by Dr. Khalid Zaheer (CA) * Blog of Classical Arabic
Arabic
learning resources * Institute of the Language of the Quran
Quran
- Free Video lectures on basic and advanced Classical Arabic
Arabic
grammar

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