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Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
(MSA; Arabic: اللغة العربية الفصحى‎ al-lughat ul-ʻArabīyat ul-fuṣḥā 'the most eloquent Arabic
Arabic
language'), Standard Arabic, or Literary Arabic
Arabic
is the standardized and literary variety of Arabic
Arabic
used in writing and in most formal speech throughout the Arab world
Arab world
to facilitate communication. It is considered a pluricentric language. Most Western scholars distinguish two standard (al-)fuṣḥā (الفصحى) varieties of Arabic: the Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
(CA) (اللغة العربية التراثية al-lughah al-ʻArabīyah al-turāthīyah) of the Quran
Quran
and early Islamic (7th to 9th centuries) literature, and Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
(MSA) (اللغة العربية المعيارية الحديثة al-lughah al-ʻArabīyah al-miʻyārīyah al-ḥadīthah), the standard language in use today. MSA is based on classical Arabic, and differences between the two varieties of the language are directly related to modernizing and simplification, both in speaking and writing styles. Most Arabic
Arabic
speakers consider the two varieties to be two registers of one language, although the two registers can be referred to in Arabic as فصح ى
ى
العصر fuṣḥā l-ʻaṣr (MSA) and فصحى التراث fuṣḥā t-turāth (CA).[4]

Contents

1 Classical Arabic 2 Modern Standard Arabic 3 Phonology

3.1 Consonants 3.2 Vowels

4 Differences between Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
and Classical Arabic

4.1 Differences in syntax 4.2 Differences in terminology 4.3 Differences in pronunciation 4.4 Differences in punctuation 4.5 Differences in style

5 Regional variants 6 Speakers 7 Grammar 8 Common phrases 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

Classical Arabic[edit] Main article: Classical Arabic Classical Arabic, also known as Quranic Arabic
Arabic
(although the term is not entirely accurate), is the language used in the Quran
Quran
as well as in numerous literary texts from Umayyad
Umayyad
and Abbasid
Abbasid
times (7th to 9th centuries). Many Muslims study Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
in order to read the Quran
Quran
in its original language. It is important to note that written Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
underwent fundamental changes during the early Islamic era, adding dots to distinguish similarly written letters, and adding the Tashkeel (diacritical markings that guide pronunciation) by Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali, Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi, and other scholars. It was the lingua franca across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
during ancient times. Modern Standard Arabic[edit] Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
(MSA) is the literary standard across the Middle East, North Africa
North Africa
and Horn of Africa, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Most printed material by the Arab League—including most books, newspapers, magazines, official documents, and reading primers for small children—is written in MSA. It was developed in the early part of the 19th century. "Colloquial" Arabic
Arabic
refers to the many regional dialects derived from Classical 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. They are not normally written, although a certain amount of literature (particularly plays and poetry (including songs)) exists in many of them. Literary Arabic
Arabic
(MSA) is the official language of all Arab League
Arab League
countries and is the only form of Arabic
Arabic
taught in schools at all stages. Additionally, some Christian Arabic
Arabic
speakers recite prayers in it, as it is considered the literary language, Bibles are written in MSA aside from Classical Arabic. MSA is also used in modernized versions of literary forms of the Qur'an, and some Muslim Arabic
Arabic
speakers recite prayers in it; revised editions of numerous literary texts from Umayyad
Umayyad
and Abbasid
Abbasid
times also are written in MSA. The sociolinguistic situation of Arabic
Arabic
in modern times provides a prime example of the linguistic phenomenon of diglossia – the use of two distinct varieties of the same language, usually in different social contexts.[5] This diglossic situation facilitates code-switching in which a speaker switches back and forth between the two dialects of the language, sometimes even within the same sentence. People speak MSA as a third language if they speak other languages native to a country as their first language and colloquial Arabic dialects as their second language. Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
is also spoken by people of Arab descent outside the Arab world
Arab world
when people of Arab descent speaking different dialects communicate to each other. As there is a prestige or standard dialect of vernacular Arabic, speakers of standard colloquial dialects code-switch between these particular dialects and MSA. Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
is considered normative; a few contemporary authors attempt (with varying degrees of success) to follow the syntactic and grammatical norms laid down by classical grammarians (such as Sibawayh) and to use the vocabulary defined in classical dictionaries (such as the Lisan al-Arab ِلِسَان العَرَب). However, the exigencies of modernity have led to the adoption of numerous terms which would have been mysterious to a classical author, whether taken from other languages (e. g. فيلم film) or coined from existing lexical resources (e. g. هاتف hātif  "caller" > "telephone").[citation needed] Structural influence from foreign languages or from the vernaculars has also affected Modern Standard Arabic: for example, MSA texts sometimes use the format "A, B, C, and D" when listing things, whereas Classical Arabic
Arabic
prefers "A and B and C and D", and subject-initial sentences may be more common in MSA than in Classical Arabic.[6] For these reasons, Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
is generally treated separately in non-Arab sources.[7] Arabic
Arabic
sources generally tend to regard MSA and Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
as different registers of one and the same language.[weasel words] Speakers of Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
do not always observe the intricate rules of Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
grammar. Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
principally differs from Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
in three areas: lexicon, stylistics, and certain innovations on the periphery that are not strictly regulated by the classical authorities. On the whole, Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
is not homogeneous; there are authors who write in a style very close to the classical models and others who try to create new stylistic patterns.[8] Add to this regional differences in vocabulary depending upon the influence of the local Arabic
Arabic
varieties and the influences of foreign languages, such as French in Africa and Lebanon
Lebanon
or English in Egypt, Jordan, and other countries.[9] As MSA is a revised and simplified form of Classical Arabic, MSA in terms of lexicon omitted the obsolete words used in Classical Arabic. As diglossia is involved, various Arabic
Arabic
dialects freely borrow words from MSA, this situation is similar to Romance languages, wherein scores of words were borrowed directly from formal Latin (most literate Romance speakers were also literate in Latin); educated speakers of standard colloquial dialects speak in this kind of communication. Reading out loud in MSA for various reasons is becoming increasingly simpler, using less strict rules compared to CA, notably the inflection is omitted, making it closer to spoken varieties of Arabic. It depends on the speaker's knowledge and attitude to the grammar of Classical Arabic, as well as the region and the intended audience.[citation needed] Pronunciation of native words, loanwords, foreign names in MSA is loose, names can be pronounced or even spelled differently in different regions and by different speakers. Pronunciation also depends on the person's education, linguistic knowledge and abilities. There may be sounds used, which are missing in the Classical Arabic but may exist in colloquial varieties - consonants - /v/, /p/, /t͡ʃ/ (often realized as [t]+[ʃ]), these consonants may or may not be written with special letters; and vowels - [o], [e] (both short and long), there are no special letters in Arabic
Arabic
to distinguish between [e~i] and [o~u] pairs but the sounds o and e (short and long) exist in the colloquial varieties of Arabic
Arabic
and some foreign words in MSA. The differentiation of pronunciation of informal dialects is the influence from other languages previously spoken and some still presently spoken in the regions, such as Coptic in Egypt, French, Ottoman Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Berber, Punic or Phoenician in North Africa, Himyaritic, Modern South Arabian
Modern South Arabian
and Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
in Yemen
Yemen
and Aramaic in the Levant. Phonology[edit] Main article: Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
phonology Consonants[edit]

Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
consonant phonemes

Labial Dental Denti-alveolar Palato- alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal

plain emphatic

Nasal m م

n ن

Stop voiceless

t ت tˤ ط

k ك q ق

ʔ ء

voiced b ب

d د dˤ ض d͡ʒ* ج

Fricative voiceless f ف θ ث s س sˤ ص ʃ ش

x ~ χ خ ħ ح h ه

voiced

ð ذ z ز ðˤ ظ

ɣ ~ ʁ غ ʕ ع

Trill

r ر

Approximant

l ل (ɫ)

j ي w و

Notes

  * The standard consonant varies regionally, most prominently [ɡ] in Egypt
Egypt
and [ʒ] in most of northern Africa. [dʒ] is only in northern Algeria
Algeria
and the Arabian Peninsula.

the marginal phoneme /ɫ/ only occurs in the word الله [ɑɫ.ˈɫɑː] ('The God') and words derived from it.[10]

Vowels[edit] Modern Standard Arabic, like Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
before it, has three pairs of long and short vowels: /a/, /i/, and /u/:

Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
vowel phonemes

Short Long

Front Back Front Back

Close i u iː uː

Open a aː

NOTE: Across North Africa
North Africa
and West Asia, /i/ may be realized as [ɪ ~ e ~ ɨ] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ]. /u/ can also have different realizations, i.e. [ʊ ~ o ~ ʉ]. They are distinct phonemes in loan words. Sometimes with one value for each vowel in both short and long lengths or two different values for each short and long lengths. In Egypt, close vowels have different values; short initial or medial: [e], [o] ← instead of /i, u/. /i~ɪ/ and /u~ʊ/ completely become /e/ and /o/ respectively in some other particular dialects. Allophones of /a/ & /aː/ include [ɑ] & [ɑː] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r]; and [æ] & [æː] elsewhere. Allophones of /iː/ include [ɪː]~[ɨː] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ]. Allophones of /uː/ include [ʊː]~[ɤː]~[oː] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ]. Unstressed final long /aː, iː, uː/ are most often shortened or reduced: /aː/ → [æ ~ ɑ], /iː/ → /i/, /uː/ → [o~u]. Differences between Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
and Classical Arabic[edit] Differences between Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
and Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
span the three categories of linguistics, which are syntax, terminology and pronunciation (especially in terms of tashkeel). Differences are also apparent in the use of punctuation and writing styles. It should be mentioned that Arabic
Arabic
speakers do not find a noteworthy difference between these varieties, and may sometimes refer to both by the same name: Al-arabīyat ul-fuṣḥá, "the most eloquent Arabic language". Differences in syntax[edit] MSA tends to use simplified structures and drop more complicated ones commonly used in Classical Arabic. Some examples include reliance on verb sentences instead of noun phrases and semi-sentences, as well as avoiding phrasal adjectives and accommodating feminine forms of ranks and job titles.[11] Differences in terminology[edit] Terminology is the main domain where MSA and CA differ substantially. This stems from the need of MSA to adapt with modern-day terminology in the technical, literary, and scientific domains. The vast majority of these terms refer to items or concepts that did not exist in the time of CA. MSA tends to be more accepting to non- Arabic
Arabic
terminology. Despite the efforts of Arabic
Arabic
Language Academies in the second half of the 20th century to Arabize modern terminology using classical Arabization practices, the fast pace of modern development made transliteration the method of choice for Arabizing modern day terminology.[11] Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
relies on transliteration to adopt modern day terminology.[12] Differences in pronunciation[edit] MSA differs from CA in the use of sounds not available in the Arabic script and diacritics (Tashkīl). Unlike Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
accepts the use of consonants that are not supported in the Arabic
Arabic
script, such as the /p/, and /v/. Modern Standard Arabic normally does not use Tashkīl, but only in disambiguation and not the full word is diacriticized, while CA found in Quran
Quran
and Hadith scriptures normally prefer indicating full diacritics.[11] Differences in punctuation[edit] Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
has adopted several punctuation marks from other languages, and dropped some classical Arabic
Arabic
ones. Modern technology, especially in printing press and the use of the Internet, has contributed largely to this trend.[11] Differences in style[edit] Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
adopts modern writing forms, such as essays, opinion articles, and technical reports, instead of classical ones. Moreover, some new writing forms are directly imported from foreign languages, such as guides, blog posts, and other forms of writing. Moreover, some classical writing forms disappeared completely, such as Maqam. Regional variants[edit] MSA is loosely uniform across the Middle East. Regional variations exist due to influence from the spoken vernaculars. TV hosts who read prepared MSA scripts, for example in Al Jazeera, are ordered to give up their national or ethnic origins by changing their pronunciation of certain phonemes (e.g. the realization of the Classical jīm ج
ج
as [ɡ] by Egyptians), though other traits may show the speaker's region, such as the stress and the exact value of vowels and the pronunciation of other consonants. People who speak MSA also mix vernacular and Classical in pronunciation, words, and grammatical forms. Classical/vernacular mixing in formal writing can also be found (e.g., in some Egyptian newspaper editorials); others are written in Modern Standard/vernacular mixing, including entertainment news. Speakers[edit] See also: Arab League
Arab League
§ Literacy in Arab league countries People who are literate in Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
are primarily found in most countries of the Arab League. It may be assumed that the number of speakers of the language to be the number of literate people in this region, because it is compulsory in schools of most of the Arab League
Arab League
to learn Modern Standard Arabic. People who are literate in the language are usually more so passively, as they mostly use the language in reading and writing, not in speaking. It is also spoken by Muslims in Northern Nigeria by people with Islamic education (especially the Hausa and Fulani people). The countries with the largest populations that mandate MSA be taught in all schools are, with rounded-up numbers (data from 2008—2014):

Egypt
Egypt
(84 million;[13] 74% literacy)[14] Iraq
Iraq
(31 million;[15] 79%)[14] Sudan
Sudan
(31 million;[16] 72%)[14] Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(28 million;[15] 87%)[14] Yemen
Yemen
(24 million;[15] 65%)[14] Syria
Syria
(22 million;[15] 84%)[14]

Grammar[edit] Main article: Arabic
Arabic
grammar Common phrases[edit]

Translation Phrase IPA Romanization (ALA-LC)

Arabic العربية /alʕaraˈbij.ja/ al-ʻArabīyah

hello/welcome مرحباً, أهلاً وسهلاً /marħaban, ʔahlan wa sahlan/ marḥaban, ahlan wa-sahlan

peace [be] with you (lit. upon you) السلام عليكم /assaˈlaːmu ʕaˈlajkum/ as-salāmu ʻalaykum

how are you? كيف حالك؟ /ˈkajfa ˈħaːluk, -luki/ kayfa ḥāluk, ḥāluki

see you إل ى
ى
اللقاء /ʔila l.liqaːʔ/ ilá al-liqāʼ

goodbye مع السلامة /maʕa s.saˈlaːma/ maʻa as-salāmah

please من فضلك /min ˈfadˤlik/ min faḍlik

thanks شكراً /ˈʃukraː/ shukrā

that (one) ذلك /ˈðaːlik/ dhālik

How much/How many? كم؟ /kam/ kam?

English الإنجليزية/الإنكليزية/الإنقليزية (varies) /alʔing(i)li(ː)ˈzij.ja/ (may vary) al-inglīzīyah

What is your name? ما اسمك؟ /masmuk, -ki/ masmuka / -ki?

I don't know لا أعرف /laː ˈʔaʕrif/ lā aʻrif

See also[edit]

Asia portal Africa portal Languages portal

Arabic
Arabic
language Varieties of Arabic Arabic
Arabic
literature Arab League Geographic distribution of Arabic Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic Arabic
Arabic
English Lexicon Diglossia Arabic
Arabic
phonology Help:IPA/Arabic Pluricentric language

Notes[edit]

^ Spelling for the final letter yāʼ differs in Egypt, Sudan
Sudan
and sometimes other regions as Yemen. It is always undotted ى, hence عرب ى
ى
فصيح. ^ Pronunciation varies regionally. The following are examples:

The Levant: [al ʕaraˈbɪjja lˈfʊsˤħa], colloquially: [(e)l-] Hejaz: [al ʕaraˈbijjalˈfusˤħa] East central Arabia: [æl ʢɑrɑˈbɪjjɐ lˈfʊsˤʜɐ], colloquially: [el-] Egypt: [æl ʕɑɾɑˈbejjɑ lˈfosˤħɑ], colloquially: [el-] Libya: [æl ʕɑrˤɑˈbijjæ lˈfusˤħæ], colloquially: [əl-] Tunisia: [æl ʕɑrˤɑˈbeːjæ lˈfʊsˤħæ], colloquially: [el-] Algeria, Morocco: [æl ʕɑrˤɑbijjæ lfusˤħæ], colloquially: [l-]

^ Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) ^ Wright, 2001, p. 492. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Standard Arabic". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Alaa Elgibali and El-Said M. Badawi. Understanding Arabic: Essays in Contemporary Arabic
Arabic
Linguistics in Honor of El-Said M. Badawi, 1996. Page 105. ^ Farghaly, A., Shaalan, K. Arabic
Arabic
Natural Language Processing: Challenges and Solutions, ACM Transactions on Asian Language Information Processing (TALIP), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 8(4)1-22, December 2009. ^ Alan S. Kaye (1991). "The Hamzat al-Waṣl in Contemporary Modern Standard Arabic". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 111 (3): 572–574. doi:10.2307/604273. JSTOR 604273.  ^ http://www.londonarabictuition.com/lessons.php?type=2 London Arabic Tuition ^ https://asianabsolute.co.uk/arabic-language-dialects/ Arabic Language Dialects ^ Wolfdietrich Fischer. 1997. "Classical Arabic," The Semitic Languages. London: Routledge. Pg 189. ^ Watson (2002:16) ^ a b c d Arabic, AL. "White Paper". msarabic.com. Retrieved 2016-08-22.  ^ محمد, د. علي. "ورقة عمل حول التعريب اللفظي في اللغة العربية". al-arabic.com. Retrieved 2016-08-22.  ^ Official Egyptian Population clock ^ a b c d e f The World Factbook. Cia.gov. Retrieved on 2014-04-28. ^ a b c d "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 2009: 17. Retrieved 22 September 2010.  ^ http://www.cbs.gov.sd 2008 Sudanese census

References[edit]

Holes, Clive (2004) Modern Arabic: Structures, Functions, and Varieties Georgetown University Press. ISBN 1-58901-022-1

External links[edit]

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

Look up Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Fus-ha in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Modern Standard Arabic Online Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Reader Learn Arabic
Arabic
WikiBook Yamli Editor - The Smart Arabic
Arabic
Keyboard (with automatic conversions and dictionary for better selections) Rule-based analysis and generation of Modern Standard Arabic

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

Undescribed

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^ "Documentation for ISO 639 ident

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