HOME
The Info List - Sun And Moon Letters


--- Advertisement ---



In Arabic
Arabic
and Maltese, the consonants are divided into two groups, called the sun letters or solar letters (Arabic: حروف شمسية‎ ḥurūf shamsīyah) and moon letters or lunar letters (حروف قمرية ḥurūf qamarīyah), based on whether they assimilate the letter lām ( l)[1] of a preceding definite article al- (الـ). These names come from the fact that the word for 'the sun', al-shams, pronounced ash-shams, assimilates the lām, while the word for 'the moon', al-qamar, does not.

Contents

1 Rule

1.1 Jīm

2 Orthography 3 See also 4 References

Rule[edit] When followed by a sun letter, the /l/ of the Arabic
Arabic
definite article al- assimilates to the initial consonant of the following noun, resulting in a doubled consonant. For example, for "the Nile", one does not say al-Nīl, but an-Nīl. When the Arabic
Arabic
definite article (الْـ) is followed by a moon letter, no assimilation takes place. The sun letters represent the coronal consonants according to the phonology of Classical Arabic, and the moon letters represent all others. The sun and moon letters are as follows:

Sun letters ﺕ ﺙ ﺩ ﺫ ﺭ ﺯ ﺱ ﺵ ﺹ ﺽ ﻁ ﻅ ﻝ ﻥ

t th d dh r z s sh ṣ ḍ ṭ ẓ l n

t θ d ð r z s ʃ sˤ dˤ tˤ ðˤ l n

Moon letters ء ﺏ ﺝ ﺡ ﺥ ﻉ ﻍ ﻑ ﻕ ﻙ ﻡ ﻭ ﻱ ه

ʼ b j ḥ kh ʻ gh f q k m w y h

ʔ b d͡ʒ ħ x ʕ ɣ f q k m w j h

Jīm[edit] The letter ج jīm is pronounced differently depending on the region of the speaker, representing a coronal consonant such as [d͡ʒ] or [ʒ], but also [ɡ] or [ɟ]. However, in Classical Arabic, it represented a palatalized voiced velar plosive /ɡʲ/ or a voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/. As a result, it was classified as a moon letter and it never assimilates the article. Orthography[edit] In the written language, the ال al- is retained regardless of how it is pronounced.[1] When full diacritics are used, assimilation may be expressed by putting a shaddah on the consonant after the lām. Non-assimilation may be expressed by placing a sukūn over the lām. Most modern-written Arabic
Arabic
names (personal names, geographical Arabic names) latinized in Latin-spelled languages, do not follow this "rule of assimilation with the definite article" or with the shaddah, including the "sun and moon letter rule" completely omitted. Sometimes the sun and moon rules are not followed in casual speech. E.g. personal name: الرَّحْمَن - Al-Rahman instead of ["Ar-Raḥmān"]; geographical name: الْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ التُّونِسِيَّة - Al-Jumhuriyah Al-Tunisiyah instead of " ["al-Jumhūrīyatu ’t-Tūnisīyah"]

Examples

Sun letters Moon letters

الشَّمْس ash-shams 'the sun' الْقَمَر al-qamar 'the moon'

الثِّقَة ath-thiqah 'the confidence' الْمُرْجَان al-murjān 'the coral'

Sun/ Solar Letters (حروف شمسية - ḥurūf shamsīyah) [case: agreeable with the definite article]

Moon/ Lunar Letters (حروف قمرية - ḥurūf qamarīyah) [case: unagreeable with the definite article]

Letter IPA Assimilated of "lām" in definite article "al" along with shaddah (الْـّ)

Examples

Letter IPA NOT Assimilated with "lām" in definite article "al" (الْـ)

Examples

ت t

/t/ − التّـ ’at-t...

التِّينُ at-tīn(u) = the fig

ء ʼ

/ʔ/ − الْإـ, الْأـ al-’a.../ al-’u...; al-’i...

الْأَخُ al-ʼakh(u) = the brother الْأُذُنُ al-’udhun(u) = the ear الْإِبْرِيقُ al-’ibrīq(u) = the jug

ث th

/θ/ − الثّـ ath-th...

الثَّعْلَبُ ath-tha‘lab(u) = the fox

ب b

/b/ − الْبـ al-b...

الْبَيتُ al-bayt(u) = the house

د d

/d/ −الدّ ’ad-d...

الدُّبُّ ad-dubb(u) = the bear

ج j

/d͡ʒ/ − الْجـ al-j...

الْجَوزُ al-jawz(u) = the walnut

ذ dh

/ð/ −الذّ adh-dh...

الذَّكَرُ adh-dhakar(u) = the man, male

ح ḥ

/ħ/ − الْحـ al-ḥ...

الْحَجُّ al-Ḥajj(u) =the Hajj pilgrimage

ر r

/r/ −الرّ ar-r...

الرَّبُّ ar-Rabb(u) = the Lord (Allah)

خ kh

/x/ − الْخـ al-kh...

الْخَوْخُ al-khawkh(u) =the peach

ز z

/z/ −الزّ az-z...

الزَّنْبَقُ az-zanbaq(u) = the lily

ع ʻ

/ʕ/ − الْعـ al-‘a.../ al-‘u.../ al-‘i...

الْعَقْلُ al-‘aql(u) = the mind الْعُشْبُ al-‘ush·b(u) = the grass الْعِيدُ al-‘id(u) = the holiday/ festival

س s

/s/ − السّـ as-s...

السَّمَاوَاتُ as-samāwāt(u) = the Heavens/ firmament, skies

غ gh

/ɣ/ − الْغـ al-gh...

الْغَرَامُ al-gharām(u) = the love, warmth, romantic

ش sh

/ʃ/ − الشّـ ash-sh...

الشَّرْقُ ash-shar·q(u) = the east

ف f

/f/ − الْفـ al-f...

الْفِكْرُ al-fik·r(u) = the thought

ص ṣ

/sˤ/ − الصّـ aṣ-ṣ...

الصَّحْرَاءُ aṣ-ṣaḥ·rāʼ(u) = the desert

ق q

/q/ − الْقـ al-q...

الْقِرْدُ al-qir·d(u) = the monkey

ض ḍ

/dˤ/ − الضّـ aḍ-ḍ...

الضَّبَابُ aḍ-ḍabāb(u) = the fog

ك k

/k/ − الْكـ al-k...

الْكَوْكَبُ al-kawkab(u) = the planet

ط ṭ

/tˤ/ − الطّـ aṭ-ṭ...

الطَّاهِرُ aṭ-ṭāhir(u) = the pure

م m

/m/ − الْمـ al-m...

الْمَتْحَفُ al-mat·ḥaf(u) = the museum

ظ ẓ

/ðˤ/ − الظّـ aẓ-ẓ...

الظُّهْرُ aẓ-ẓuh·r(u) = the noon

و w

/w/ −الْو al-w...

الْوَفِيَُ al-wafiyy(u) = the faithful

ل l

/l/ − اللّـ al-l...

اللَّوْنُ al-lawn(u) = the colour

ي y

/j/ − الْيـ al-y...

الْيَانْسُونُ al-yānsūn(u) = the anise

ن n

/n/ − النّـ an-n...

النِّسَاءُ an-nisāʼ(u) = the women

ه h

/h/ − الْهـ al-h...

الْهَوَاءُ al-hawāʼ(u) = the air, kiss of life

See also[edit]

Arabic
Arabic
phonology Arabic
Arabic
grammar

References[edit]

^ a b Abboud, Peter F.; et al. (1983). Elementary Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
1. Cambridge UP. pp. 123–124. ISBN 0-521-27295-5. 

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

aSociolinguis

.