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In some Semitic languages, such as Arabic, nunation (Arabic: تَنوِين‎ tanwīn) is the addition of one of three vowel diacritics (Arabic: حَرَكَات‎ ḥarakāt) to a noun or adjective to indicate that the word ends in an alveolar nasal without the addition of the letter nūn. The noun phrase is fully declinable and syntactically unmarked for definiteness.

Symbol

ـٌ‎

ـٍ‎

ـً‎

Transliteration

-un

-in

-an

In Classical and Modern Standard Arabic orthography, there are three nunation diacritics, which indicate the suffixes -un (IPA: /-un/) (nominative case), -in /-in/ (genitive), and -an /an/ (accusative). The sign ـً‎ is most commonly written in combination with ا‎ alif (ـًا‎), ةً‎ (tāʾ marbūṭa تاء مربوطة) or stand-alone ءً‎ (hamza همزة). In the regional varieties of Arabic, these diacritics are usually unwritten; however, the alif, tāʾ marbūṭa or hamza is written. Since Arabic has no indefinite article, nouns that are nunated are often indefinite. However, many definite nouns can also be nunated: for example, in the expression أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ الله ('ašhadu 'anna Muḥammadan rasūlu l-lāh(i) /ʔaʃhadu ʔanna muħammadan rasuːlu‿llah/ "I witness that Muhammad
Muhammad
is the messenger of God."), in which the name محمد Muḥammad, a definite noun, is nunated to مُحَمَّدًا Muḥammadan to indicate that it is in the nominative case. (Names of people are treated as definite nouns in the grammars of Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.) Nunation may also refer to the -n  ending of duals in Akkadian (until it was dropped in the Old Babylonian period).[1] See also[edit]

Arabic diacritics mimation iʿrāb

References[edit]

^ Akkadian
Akkadian
grammar: morphology Archived 2009-07-05 at the Wayback Machine.

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