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Levantine Arabic
Arabic
(Arabic: الـلَّـهْـجَـةُ الـشَّـامِـيَّـة‎, ʾal-lahǧatu š-šāmiyyah, Levantine Arabic: il-lahže š-šāmiyye) is a broad dialect of Arabic and the vernacular Arabic
Arabic
of the eastern coastal strip of the Levantine Sea, that is Shaam.[a] With over 32 million native speakers worldwide, it is considered one of the five major varieties of Arabic.[6] In the frame of the general diglossia status of the Arab world, Levantine Arabic
Arabic
is used for daily spoken use, while most of the written and official documents and media use Modern Standard Arabic.

Contents

1 Classification 2 Geographical distribution 3 History 4 Phonology 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Classification[edit] Levantine Arabic
Arabic
is most closely related to North Mesopotamian Arabic, Anatolian Arabic, and Cypriot Arabic. These four varieties are a result of a language shift from Aramaic
Aramaic
to Arabic, both Semitic languages, that began in the 7th century
7th century
after the Arab conquest of the Levant; however, according to Professor Aaron Butts, this was "not a replacement of one spoken language by another accomplished by a generation or two, but rather as a gradual and lengthy process, probably with a significant phase of Aramaic- Arabic
Arabic
bilingualism," adding that the language shift "in the Levant
Levant
has not yet been entirely completed"[7]. Geographical distribution[edit] Levantine Arabic
Arabic
is spoken in the fertile strip on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. To the East, in the desert, one finds North Arabian Bedouin varieties. The transition to Egyptian Arabic
Arabic
in the South via the Negev and Sinai desert where Bedouin varieties are spoken and then the Egyptian Sharqiyya dialect, was described by de Jong in 1999.[8] In this direction, the Egyptian city of El Arish is the last one to display proper Levantine features. In a similar manner, the region of el-Karak announces Hijazi Arabic.[9] In the North, the limit between Mesopotamian Gilit dialects starts from the Turkish border near el-Rāʿi, and the lake Jabbul is the north-eastern limit of Levantine Arabic, which includes further south el-Qaryatayn [10] Damascus
Damascus
and the Hauran mountains. History[edit] The language shift that occurred in the 7th century
7th century
in the Levant
Levant
was not a sudden replacement of one language by another. According to Professor Aaron Butts, "the supplanting language (Arabic) was not left untouched by the supplanted language (Aramaic)," adding that historians agree that Levantine Arabic, exhibit significant substrata of Aramaic[11]. According to Professor Robert Gabriel, 50 percent of the grammatical structure of Lebanese Arabic
Arabic
or Central Levantine Arabic
Arabic
remains from the Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic.[12] Certain areal features of Central Semitic, like the definite article and the at > ah sound change, radiated out from the central Levant. Their occurrence in Arabic
Arabic
suggests that the language in its earliest stages was geographically contiguous with the Northwest Semitic languages in which these areal features also occur. Arabic
Arabic
would have thus entered the Arabian Peninsula afterwards in a series of pre-Islamic migrations. The identification of isoglosses that appear in the ancient evidence and the modern Levantine dialects suggests continuity in the Arabic
Arabic
of the Levant
Levant
from ancient times to the present.[13] Nevertheless, contact between indigenous northern and later southern varieties of Arabic
Arabic
was integral to the development of modern Levantine Arabic. As an illustrative example of this contact situation, Cypriot Arabic and the 9th century Damascus
Damascus
Psalm Fragment (Psalm 78) both attest to the existence of an ancient Levantine process of pre-tonic /a/ raising: *sallámtu > sillámt. Cypriot Arabic
Arabic
stems in large part from the Arabic
Arabic
spoken by Levantine Maronites
Maronites
during the 12th and 13th centuries and represents a variety of Levantine Arabic
Arabic
that has come under considerably less influence from the imperial idiom and interaction with non-Levantine dialects. Likewise, the Damascus
Damascus
Psalm Fragment was produced, for the most part, before the mass influx of Peninsular Arabic
Arabic
following the advent of Islam
Islam
and outside the tradition of writing in Classical Arabic. This allophonic a-raising is today restricted to a few rural varieties of Levantine Arabic. Instead, analogically leveled forms appeared to have moved from the east into cities and then radiated outwards, affecting nearby rural dialects later. The urban and oasis dialects of the Levant
Levant
and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
(al-Nabek, Al-Sukhnah, Palmyra, Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad) have come under the most contact with forms of Arabic
Arabic
originating in the Najd
Najd
and thus reflect centuries of leveling and development. The urban core of modern Levantine Arabic
Arabic
was borne out of this contact situation. Phonology[edit] Main article: Levantine Arabic
Arabic
phonology

Consonant phonemes of Urban Levantine Arabic
Arabic
(Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem)

Labial Denti-alveolar Palatal Velar Pharyngeal Glottal

 plain  emphatic

Nasal m – م n – ن

Occlusive voiceless

t – ت ث tˤ – ط

k – ك

ʔ – ء ق

voiced b – ب d – د ذ dˤ – ظ ض

Fricative voiceless f – ف s – س ث sˤ – ص ʃ – ش x – خ ħ – ح h – ه

voiced

z – ز ذ (zˤ – ظ) ʒ – ج ɣ – غ ʕ – ع

Trill / Tap

r – ر

Approximant

l – ل (ɫ) j – ي w – و

See also[edit]

Lebanese Arabic Jordanian Arabic Palestinian Arabic Syrian Arabic North Syrian Arabic

Notes[edit]

^ Ash-Shām
Ash-Shām
(Arabic: اَلـشَّـام‎) is a region[3][4] that includes Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Israel, where this dialect is spoken.[5]

References[edit]

^ North Levantine at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(19th ed., 2016) South Levantine at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(19th ed., 2016) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Levantine Arabic". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Article "AL-SHĀM" by C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume 9 (1997), page 261. ^ Salibi, K. S. (2003). A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon
Lebanon
Reconsidered. I.B.Tauris. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-1-86064-912-7. To the Arabs, this same territory, which the Romans considered Arabian, formed part of what they called Bilad al-Sham, which was their own name for Syria. From the classical perspective however Syria, including Palestine, formed no more than the western fringes of what was reckoned to be Arabia
Arabia
between the first line of cities and the coast. Since there is no clear dividing line between what are called today the Syrian and Arabian deserts, which actually form one stretch of arid tableland, the classical concept of what actually constituted Syria
Syria
had more to its credit geographically than the vaguer Arab concept of Syria
Syria
as Bilad al-Sham. Under the Romans, there was actually a province of Syria, with its capital at Antioch, which carried the name of the territory. Otherwise, down the centuries, Syria
Syria
like Arabia
Arabia
and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
was no more than a geographic expression. In Islamic times, the Arab geographers used the name arabicized as Suriyah, to denote one special region of Bilad al-Sham, which was the middle section of the valley of the Orontes river, in the vicinity of the towns of Homs
Homs
and Hama. They also noted that it was an old name for the whole of Bilad al-Sham which had gone out of use. As a geographic expression, however, the name Syria
Syria
survived in its original classical sense in Byzantine
Byzantine
and Western European usage, and also in the Syriac literature of some of the Eastern Christian
Eastern Christian
churches, from which it occasionally found its way into Christian
Christian
Arabic
Arabic
usage. It was only in the nineteenth century that the use of the name was revived in its modern Arabic
Arabic
form, frequently as Suriyya rather than the older Suriyah, to denote the whole of Bilad al-Sham: first of all in the Christian
Christian
Arabic literature of the period, and under the influence of Western Europe. By the end of that century it had already replaced the name of Bilad al-Sham even in Muslim
Muslim
Arabic
Arabic
usage.  ^ Versteegh, Kees, The Arabic
Arabic
language, Edinburgh University Press, 2001, p.170 ^ Bassiouney, Reem, Arabic
Arabic
sociolinguistics, Edinburgh University Press, 2009, p.20 ^ Butts, Aaron. Semitic Language in Contact. University of Chicago. ISBN 9004300147.  ^ Rudolf de Jong, Characteristics of Bedouin dialects in southern Sinai: preliminary observations, in, Manfred Woidich, Martine Haak, Rudolf Erik de Jong,, eds., Approaches to Arabic
Arabic
dialects: a collection of articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, BRILL, 2004, pp.151-176 ^ Heikki Palva, Sedentary and Bedouin Dialects in Contact: Remarks On Karaki and Salti Dialects in Jordan, Journal of Arabic
Arabic
and Islamic Studies vol 9 (2008) ^ Peter Behnstedt, Sprachatlas von Syrien I, Kartenband & Beiheft, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1997, 1037 & 242 pages ^ "You may think you're speaking Lebanese, but some of your words are really Syriac". The Daily Star. Retrieved August 20, 2017.  ^ "You may think you're speaking Lebanese, but some of your words are really Syriac". The Daily Star. Retrieved August 20, 2017.  ^ Al-Jallad, Ahmad. Ancient Levantine Arabic: A Reconstruction Based on the Earliest Sources and the Modern Dialects. ProQuest LLC. ISBN 9781267445070. 

Bibliography[edit]

A. Barthelemy, Dictionnaire Arabe-Français. Dialectes de Syrie: Alep, Damas, Liban, Jérusalem (Paris, 1935)

External links[edit]

Levantine Arabic
Arabic
test of North Levantine Arabic
Arabic
at Wikimedia Incubator

Levantine Arabic
Arabic
test of South Levantine Arabic
Arabic
at Wikimedia Incubator

Lebanese Levantine Arabic Syrian Levantine Arabic http://lughat.blogspot.com/2014/09/why-levantine-is-arabic-not-aramaic.html http://lughat.blogspot.com/2014/09/why-levantine-is-arabic-not-aramaic_8.html

v t e

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
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

v t e

Varieties of Arabic

Pre-Islamic

Old Arabic

Modern literary

Classical Modern Standard

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
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.

v t e

Languages of Syria

Official language

Standard Arabic

Minority languages

Adyghe Afshar Armenian Azerbaijani Domari Kurdish

Kurmanji

Turoyo Western Neo-Aramaic

Varieties of Arabic

Bedawi Levantine Mesopotamian Najdi North Syrian

Sign languages

Levantine Arabic
Arabic
Sign Language

^ "Documentation for ISO 639 ident

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