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Classical Arabic
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
Modern Standard Arabic
(MSA) is its direct descendant used today throughout the Arab world
Arab world
in writing and in formal speaking, for example, prepared speeches, some radio broadcasts, and non-entertainment content;[1] it is also used in modernized versions of the Quran
Quran
and revised editions of poetries and novels from Umayyad and Abbasid
Abbasid
times (7th to 9th centuries). While the lexis and stylistics of Modern Standard Arabic
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).[2] 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

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[edit] In the late 6th century AD, a relatively uniform intertribal ‘poetic koiné’ distinct from the spoken vernaculars developed based on the Bedouin
Bedouin
dialects of Najd, probably in connection with the 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 elements in morphology and syntax. The standardization of Classical Arabic
Arabic
reached completion around the end of the 8th century. Thus, Arabic
Arabic
almost became a dead language since "the Arabized people of Middle East
Middle East
and Africa could no longer understand texts that were read aloud or recited to them before," i.e. Arabic
Arabic
had ceased to be a first language and became a foreign language that had to be learned. 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
Bedouin
informants whom he considered to be reliable speakers of the ʿarabiyya.[3] "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
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, 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. Various Arabic
Arabic
dialects freely borrowed words from Classical Arabic, this situation is similar to Romance languages, wherein scores of words were borrowed directly from 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
Modern South Arabian
and Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
in Yemen, and Aramaic in the Levant. Phonology[edit] Consonants[edit] See also: Arabic
Arabic
phonology Like Modern Standard Arabic, Classical Arabic
Arabic
had 28 consonant phonemes:

Classical Arabic
Arabic
consonant phonemes[4]

Labial Dental Denti-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal

plain emphatic

Nasal m م

n ن

Plosive voiceless

t ت

k ك

ʔ ء↓

voiced b ب

d د tˠ~dˠ 1 ط ɟ 3 ج

qˠ ق

Fricative voiceless f ف θ ث s 2 س sˠ ص ɕ ش

χˠ خ ħ ح h ه

voiced

ð ذ z ز ðˠ ظ

ʁˠ غ ʕ ع

Lateral

l~ɫ 4 ل ɮˠ ض

Tap

ɾˠ~ɾ~r 5 ر

Approximant

j ي↓ w و↓

Vowels[edit]

Monophthong phonemes

Short Long

Front Back Front Back

Close i u iː uː

Mid (e)5

(eː)6

Open a (ɑ)7 aː (ɑː)8

^1 Allophone of short /a/ in certain imalah contexts ^2 In pre-Classical Arabic, eː arose out of contraction of certain Old Arabic
Old 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 imāla 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 [a(ː)] after uvular and emphatic consonants

Grammar[edit] Nouns[edit] Main article: Arabic
Arabic
nouns and adjectives Case[edit] The A1 inscription dated to the 3rd or 4th c. AD in the Greek alphabet 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
Old Arabic
at that time, obliterating the distinction between nominative and genitive case in the singular, leaving the accusative the only marked case:[5] 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
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[edit] 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
Old Arabic
of the Nabataean inscriptions exhibits almost exclusively the form ʾl-. Unlike the Classical Arabic
Arabic
article, the Old Arabic
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
Old Arabic
/ɬ/:

Sun consonants in Classical Arabic

Dental Denti-alveolar Palatal

plain emphatic plain emphatic

n n – ن

t t – ت tˤ ṭ – ط

d d – د

θ ṯ – ث

s s – س sˤ 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[edit] Main article: Arabic
Arabic
verbs Barth-Ginsberg alternation[edit] 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[edit]

Islam
Islam
portal

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

Notes[edit]

^ Bin-Muqbil 2006, p. 14. ^ Bin-Muqbil 2006, p. 15. ^ Al-Jallad, Ahmad. "Polygenesis in the Arabic
Arabic
Dialects".  ^ Watson 2002, p. 13. ^ "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[edit]

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[edit]

Look up Classical Arabic
Arabic
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Modern Standard Arabic
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) Institute of the Language of the Quran
Quran
- Free Video lectures on basic and advanced Classical Arabic
Arabic
grammar

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Arabic
Arabic
language

Overviews

Language Alphabet History Romanization Numerology Influence on other languages

Alphabet

Nabataean alphabet Perso- Arabic
Arabic
alphabet Ancient North Arabian Ancient South Arabian script

Zabūr script

Arabic
Arabic
numerals Eastern numerals Arabic
Arabic
Braille

Algerian

Diacritics

i‘jām Tashkil Harakat Tanwin Shaddah

Hamza Tāʾ marbūṭah

Letters

ʾAlif Bāʾ Tāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Ṯāʾ Ǧīm Ḥāʾ Ḫāʾ Dāl Ḏāl Rāʾ Zāy Sīn Šīn Ṣād Ḍād Ṭāʾ Ẓāʾ ʿAyn Ġayn Fāʾ Qāf Kāf Lām Mīm Nūn Hāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Wāw Yāʾ Hamza

Notable varieties

Ancient

Proto-Arabic Old Arabic Ancient North Arabian Old South Arabian

Standardized

Classical Modern Standard Maltese[a]

Regional

Nilo-Egyptian Levantine Maghrebi

Pre-Hilalian dialects Hilalian dialects Moroccan Darija Tunisian Arabic Sa'idi Arabic

Mesopotamian Peninsular

Yemeni Arabic Tihamiyya Arabic

Sudanese Chadian Modern South Arabian

Ethnic / religious

Judeo-Arabic

Pidgins/Creoles

Juba Arabic Nubi language Babalia Creole Arabic Maridi Arabic Maltese

Academic

Literature Names

Linguistics

Phonology Sun and moon letters ʾIʿrāb (inflection) Grammar Triliteral root Mater lectionis IPA Quranic Arabic
Arabic
Corpus

Calligraphy Script

Diwani Jawi script Kufic Rasm Mashq Hijazi script Muhaqqaq Thuluth Naskh (script) Ruqʿah script Taʿlīq script Nastaʿlīq script Shahmukhī script Sini (script)

Technical

Arabic
Arabic
keyboard Arabic script
Arabic script
in Unicode ISO/IEC 8859-6 Windows-1256 MS-DOS codepages

708 709 710 711 720 864

Mac Arabic
Arabic
encoding

aSociolinguistically not Arabic

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Varieties of Arabic

Pre-Islamic

Old Arabic

Modern literary

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Nilo-Egyptian

Egyptian Chadian Sa'idi Sudanese

Peninsular

Northeastern

Gulf

Omani Shihhi Dhofari Kuwaiti

Najdi

Western

Bareqi Hejazi

Sedentary Bedouin

Southern

Baharna Yemeni

Hadhrami San'ani Ta'izzi-Adeni Tihami Judeo-Yemeni

Northwestern

Northwest Arabian

Eastern

Mesopotamian

North Mesopotamian

Cypriot Anatolian Judeo-Iraqi

South Mesopotamian

Baghdad Koiné Khuzestani

Central Asian

Afghani Khorasani Central Asian Arabic

Levantine

North Levantine

North Syrian Central Levantine

Central Syrian Lebanese

South Levantine

Jordanian Palestinian

Urban Central village

Outer southern

Western

Iberian

Andalusian

Maghrebi

Pre-Hilalian

Urban

North-Eastern Tunisian

Eastern Village

Sahel Sfaxian Lesser Kabylia

Western Village

Traras-Msirda Mountain

Judeo-Maghrebi Arabic

Judeo-Moroccan Judeo-Tripolitanian Judeo-Tunisian

Hilalian

Sulaym

Libyan koiné

Eastern Hilal

Tunisian koiné

Central Hilal

Algerian koiné Algerian Saharan Eastern Algerian Western Algerian

Maqil

Western Moroccan Eastern Moroccan Moroccan koiné Hassānīya

Siculo-Arabic

Sicilian Arabic
Arabic
(extinct ancestor of Maltese which is not part of the Arabic
Arabic
macrolanguage[1])

Undescribed

Shirvani

Judeo-Arabic

Judeo-Iraqi

Judeo-Baghdadi

Judeo-Moroccan Judeo-Tripolitanian Judeo-Tunisian Judeo-Yemeni

Creoles and pidgins

Babalia Bimbashi Juba Nubi Maridi Turku

Italics indicate extinct languages.

^ "Documentation for ISO 639 ident

.