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Thread: Dialects of Saudi Arabia

  1. #21
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by rukia1 View Post
    I mean those who live in the south speak a dilect which is a bit different from those who live in Madinah..or may be Rhiadh..etc.. But it is all called khalijya..

    i hope that I helped you to understand
    But the dialects in the south and in Madinah and even in Riyadh are not "khaliji."

    I know that people from other parts of the Arab World mistakenly refer to the entire Arabian Peninsula as "the Gulf" or "El-Khaljeej," but in reality only certain communities on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia speak "khaliji"-type dialects.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Broadly would it not be correct to group the dialects into:
    Khaliji
    Hijazi
    Yemeni
    Najdi
    ?
    اذكر الله

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by إسكندراني View Post
    Broadly would it not be correct to group the dialects into:
    Khaliji
    Hijazi
    Yemeni
    Najdi
    ?
    I'm sure yes!! it is called arabic and that's all.and this is what I agree with.
    But for me which is as foreinghers and for those like me ..we think that khaliji is the dialect of arabi saoudi since no name is suggested til now.. and I suggested khaliji cause of the geographic location I mean khalij alaarbi
    Last edited by rukia1; 23rd December 2010 at 8:29 PM.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by rukia1 View Post
    I'm sure yes!! it is called arabic and that's all.and this is what I agree with.
    But for me which is as foreinghers and for those like me ..we think that khaliji is the dialect of arabi saoudi since no name is suggested til now.. and I suggested khaliji cause of the geographic location I mean khalij alaarbi
    This is oversimplified and not acurate.
    Quote Originally Posted by إسكندراني View Post
    Broadly would it not be correct to group the dialects into:
    Khaliji
    Hijazi
    Yemeni
    Najdi
    ?
    More or less depending on how detailed you want to be. As Wadi Hanifa said there are many versions in KSA. I would say the three you mentioned are broadly the main ones but there are subdivisions. Also Yemeni has several dialects as well as Oman and khaliji has subdivisions. Some Yemenis and Omanis pronounce jim as gim just like the urban Egyptian dialects.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by إسكندراني View Post
    Broadly would it not be correct to group the dialects into:
    Khaliji
    Hijazi
    Yemeni
    Najdi
    ?
    It depends on what level of detail you aim for and what type of features you want to base your classification on. As I said before, purely geographical classification is not helpful in Saudi Arabia, so I would consider a tree more helpful than a color-coded map. This is a rough sketch based on, admittedly, incomplete information on my part, and I don't claim that this is definitive or based on any authoritative source but rather on my own limited study and observation. I'd be very interested to see comments or alternative classifications from other residents of Saudi Arabia who contribute here.

    (you should bear in mind that there is a lot of cross-influence that goes on. For example, Urban Hejazi and non-Urban Hejazi, though belonging to separate "Types" still influence each other, Khaliji and Najdi influence each other a great deal, etc.)

    Type I:

    Group I-A:

    -Najdi-type dialects (spoken in Najd and by the bedouins of the eastern province)
    -Shammari-type Najdi dialects
    -Bedouin dialects in Hijaz and the south (includes two tribes in the eastern province)
    -Rural and mountain dialects of the Hejaz (e.g. Al-Taif)
    -Bedouin dialects of the Empty Quarter (these are tribes that straddle Saudi Arabia and the UAE)

    Group I-B:
    -Khaliji-type dialects
    -Bahraani (the dialect of the Shi'as of El-Qatif) [this can arguably be placed as its own Group or even its own Type]

    Type II:

    -Mountain dialects in southern Hijaz and 'Asiir [these can arguably be placed in Type I]
    -Tihaami dialects in the south (similar to some Yemeni dialects)

    Type III:

    Urban Hejazi
    Last edited by Wadi Hanifa; 25th December 2010 at 11:39 AM.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    It depends on what level of detail you aim for and what type of features you want to base your classification on. As I said before, purely geographical classification is not helpful in Saudi Arabia, so I would consider a tree more helpful than a color-coded map. This is a rough sketch based on, admittedly, incomplete information on my part, and I don't claim that this is definitive or based on any authoritative source but rather on my own limited study and observation. I'd be very interested to see comments or alternative classifications from other residents of Saudi Arabia who contribute here.

    (you should bear in mind that there is a lot of cross-influence that goes on. For example, Urban Hejazi and non-Urban Hejazi, though belonging to separate "Types" still influence each other, Khaliji and Najdi influence each other a great deal, etc.)

    Type I:

    Group I-A:

    -Najdi-type dialects (spoken in Najd and by the bedouins of the eastern province)
    -Shammari-type Najdi dialects
    -Bedouin dialects in Hijaz and the south (includes two tribes in the eastern province)
    -Rural and mountain dialects of the Hejaz (e.g. Al-Taif)
    -Bedouin dialects of the Empty Quarter (these are tribes that straddle Saudi Arabia and the UAE)

    Group I-B:
    -Khaliji-type dialects
    -Bahraani (the dialect of the Shi'as of El-Qatif) [this can arguably be placed as its own Group or even its own Type]

    Type II:

    -Mountain dialects in southern Hijaz and 'Asiir [these can arguably be placed in Type I]
    -Tihaami dialects in the south (similar to some Yemeni dialects)

    Type III:

    Urban Hejazi
    I'm not that familiar with dialect classifications, and I'm sure they follow a certain system, but I'm going to give my impression.
    Tell me how you find it.

    I would probably argue about the classification of the dialect in Taif. The older generation spoke an Urban Hijazi dialect. Nowadays, the situation is more interesting!

    I would also put "Mountain dialects in southern Hijaz and 'Asiir" into type I, group IA.

    I would also probably classify group IB, into a different type altogether, and reclassify type III as different group under type I.


    It would probably look like this:

    Type I:

    Group I-A:

    -Najdi-type dialects (spoken in Najd and by the bedouins of the eastern province)
    -Shammari-type Najdi dialects
    -Bedouin dialects in Hijaz and the south (includes two tribes in the eastern province)
    -Mountain dialects in southern Hijaz and 'Asiir [these can arguably be placed in Type I]


    Group I-B:

    Urban Hejazi



    Type II:

    -Khaliji-type dialects
    -Bahraani (the dialect of the Shi'as of El-Qatif) [this can arguably be placed as its own Group or even its own Type]



    Type III:

    -Tihaami dialects in the south (similar to some Yemeni dialects)
    -Bedouin dialects of the Empty Quarter (these are tribes that straddle Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the UAE)*.

    *I say this because I have met quite a number of Murri tribesmen coming from the Empty Quarter, and they spoke a dialect which I (if I didn't know they were Murri from the Empty Quarter) would have said they're speaking a variant of Hadhrami (and I'm quite familiar with Hadhrami).


    I might also reclassify group IA, into Urban Najdi dialects vs the rest of the group.


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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayloom View Post
    I'm not that familiar with dialect classifications, and I'm sure they follow a certain system,
    I focused primarily on syntax and morphology, followed by certain phonological features that are arguably morphological (consonontal clusters, mainly, like ta3jaz > t3ajiz, for example), then basic vocabulary and finally phonetics. If you look at Urban Hejazi (in its "ideal" form), it has unique features on all of these levels: it uses a "b-" prefix for progressive tenses, it uses "7a-" to indicate future, it omits the final "-n" of second/third person plural imperfect verbs (yif3alu v. yif3aluun). These are the most important features for me. But UH also has few consonontal clusters and almost no initial consonontal clusters and it lacks the interdentals.

    I think that, grammatically, the rest of the dialects don't exhibit a lot of variation, so the phonological features and the vocabulary become more important.

    I would probably argue about the classification of the dialect in Taif. The older generation spoke an Urban Hijazi dialect. Nowadays, the situation is more interesting!
    I think you misunderstood. My "Urban Hejazi" was meant to cover the non-tribal communities in Al-Taif. I wasn't disputing that. But there are many tribal communities in and around Al-Taif (3itbaan, thuguuf, 7urrath, etc.) that don't speak Urban Hejazi.

    I would also put "Mountain dialects in southern Hijaz and 'Asiir" into type I, group IA.
    Like I said, this is debatable, but if I were to place them under Type I, I would put them under their own group.

    I would also probably classify group IB, into a different type altogether, and reclassify type III as different group under type I.
    Do you realize that this would make Najdi closer to Urban Hejazi than to Khaliji?! Najdi (especially 7adhari Najdi) is very closely related to Khaliji.

    Type III:

    -Tihaami dialects in the south (similar to some Yemeni dialects)
    -Bedouin dialects of the Empty Quarter (these are tribes that straddle Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the UAE)*.

    *I say this because I have met quite a number of Murri tribesmen coming from the Empty Quarter, and they spoke a dialect which I (if I didn't know they were Murri from the Empty Quarter) would have said they're speaking a variant of Hadhrami (and I'm quite familiar with Hadhrami).
    You'll notice that, under "Bedouin dialects in Hijaz and the south," I said "(includes two tribes in the eastern province)." The two tribes I was referring to were the 'Ijman and the Aal Murrah. Their dialect is based on the dialect of Bani Yam in Najran, which is a bedouin dialect that employs kashkasha instead of kaskasa and only does so for the feminine second person pronoun (i.e. not in the middle of the word, so they say "kalb" not "tsalb" or "shalb" and they say "gileeb" not "dzileeb" or "djileeb"). This is what a Marri traditionally sounded like:
    http://saadsowayan.com/swf/Murrah-C/index.html

    You'll notice that it sounds much closer to a typical bedouin dialect than to the dialect of Jizaan (though they occasionally use the "am-" article, oddly enough!).

    When I was talking about Empty Quarter bedouins, I was specifically excluding the Aal Murra. The tribes I'm talking about are the Ruwaashid, the ManaaSeer, the 3awaamir, the N3aym, etc.

    I might also reclassify group IA, into Urban Najdi dialects vs the rest of the group.
    Eh, maybe. It's not as simple as you think. There are differences obviously, but at this level of detail, I don't think these differences merit separating them off to another group. (by Urban, I assume you mean "7adhari," because there were hardly any real "urban" areas in Najd traditionally).

  8. #28
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    If you look at Urban Hejazi (in its "ideal" form), it has unique features on all of these levels: it uses a "b-" prefix for progressive tenses, it uses "7a-" to indicate future, it omits the final "-n" of second/third person plural imperfect verbs (yif3alu v. yif3aluun). These are the most important features for me. But UH also has few consonontal clusters and almost no initial consonontal clusters and it lacks the interdentals.
    The lack of interdentals is attributed to the bedouin/sedentary split, which is a phenomenon also common outside of Saudi Arabia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varieti...Arabic#Bedouin vs. sedentary

    Also the consonantal clusters, I would say they appear (to me) to be a bedouin peculiarity. I believe the sedentary dialects of Najd, make little use of it, except in certain words. Most of the Najdi's I know are from Riyadh; I haven't noticed that much use of clusters in their speech, except in certain words.

    As for the progressive particle "b-", isn't it used in Najdi Arabic?
    Also the future, in Hijazi: raayi7, ra7, 7a- are all used to indicate the future. Isn't that the same in Najdi Arabic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    Do you realize that this would make Najdi closer to Urban Hejazi than to Khaliji?! Najdi (especially 7adhari Najdi) is very closely related to Khaliji.
    I do feel UH is closer to Najdi in general, they share quite a numer of features that I think are more important than what relates Najdi to Khaliji.

    For example:

    -Khaliji dialects make use of the imala (in the alif, and the final singular feminine marker), also they round the alif in other situations. Whereas, Najdi and UH, generally make no use of such features. In fact, both mainly employ the 3 basic vowels (except in the monophthongation of diphthongs).
    -Phonologically, the (k,q,j) are pronounced quite similarly in Najdi and UH. Also a similarity in the g pronunciation of qaaf.
    -There are certain peculiarities in the 2 dialects, such as the similarity in the demonstrative pronouns, the use of the possessive pronoun 7ag, also the use of kid(h)a, in addition to other similar particles.
    -The vocabulary is also closer I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    Eh, maybe. It's not as simple as you think. There are differences obviously, but at this level of detail, I don't think these differences merit separating them off to another group. (by Urban, I assume you mean "7adhari," because there were hardly any real "urban" areas in Najd traditionally).
    Yeah not technically urban; I guess we can say sedentary dialects. But I think it would include the dialects of Riyadh and the Qassiimi dialect, although quite varied, they differ from the Najdi bedouin dialects.

    I'm guessing when you said Shammari-type Najdi, you meant the 7aa2il dialect specifically, or did you mean a dialect of the bedouin Shammar tribes of the north?


  9. #29
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayloom View Post
    The lack of interdentals is attributed to the bedouin/sedentary split, which is a phenomenon also common outside of Saudi Arabia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varieti...Arabic#Bedouin vs. sedentary
    Well, whatever the source, it's there, and only UH and Bahrani have it in Saudi Arabia.


    Also the consonantal clusters, I would say they appear (to me) to be a bedouin peculiarity. I believe the sedentary dialects of Najd, make little use of it, except in certain words. Most of the Najdi's I know are from Riyadh; I haven't noticed that much use of clusters in their speech, except in certain words.
    7adhari Najdi uses the same consonontal clusters as bedouin Najdi, if not more so (e.g. shloonkom v. shloonakom, 3yoonha v. 3yoonaha). I think you're basing your observation on the speech of young people or on TV-speak, which is heavily watered-down, especially in the presence of people from other regions, and which is heavily influenced by UH. My speech is full of consonontal clusters. E.g. in our traditional dialect we pronounce اجتمعوا as "ajtma3aw" (I admit this is rare nowadays in Riyadh). I say t7atah (not ta7tah), mta3allim (not mit3allim), 5thii (not 5uthii), a7amar for a7mar (this is the source of the Khaliji 7amar, 5a9'ar, etc.) etc. Even young "hip" people still employ them in past tense verbs (kbaraw, 3jizaw, sma3aw, 6la3at, 9ra5at, etc.), and in many other situations too (giltlah v. UH gultallu, etc.)

    As for the progressive particle "b-", isn't it used in Najdi Arabic?
    No, definitely not.

    Also the future, in Hijazi: raayi7, ra7, 7a- are all used to indicate the future. Isn't that the same in Najdi Arabic?
    This is a very recent influence from other dialects. I personally never uttered the word "ra7" for future in my life. Anyway, Khalijis use it too nowadays, more so than people in Riyadh.


    -Khaliji dialects make use of the imala (in the alif, and the final singular feminine marker),
    This exists in many 7adhari Najdi dialects, e.g. the old dialect of Riyadh. My father says "je" for "jaa", "mishe" for "misha", etc. I don't know what you mean by the final singular feminine marker, but in parts of Najd we have beetha --> beette (idgham + imala), and in Al-Qasseem they say "6aawlih" instead of "6aawlah", etc.

    The dialect of Hotat Bani Tamiim can sound almost exactly like El-7asa. They use [y] for jeem, [ch] for kaaf, [dj] for qaaf, they use imaala and they back their alephs, etc. It's remarkable actually given that it is in the heart of Najd and just about 200 km south of Riyadh.

    also they round the alif in other situations. Whereas, Najdi and UH, generally make no use of such features.
    I think you mean backing the [a]. This is actually very common in Mecca and Jeddah ("al-bob" instead of "al-baab" ). I don't think backing/rounding is helpful because bedouins do it and many Najdi towns do it (particularly in southern Najd), in addition to UH.

    In fact, both mainly employ the 3 basic vowels (except in the monophthongation of diphthongs).
    You're definitely wrong here. Najdi vowels and Hijazi vowels could not be more different, especially when comparing 7adhari Najdi and Urban Hijazi. In fact, I think the vowels are the most noticeable difference at first glance. 7adhari Najdi and Khaliji have basically the same vowels. It's based on [a] and [i] with a lot of imala and schwas, and very few [u]. The vowels are generally not as "sharp" as in UH. Some types of bedouin Najdi (especially in the south and west) use [u], but in our dialect it is very rare (e.g. قل = gil, not gul). One thing that sets us apart from 'Asir, Hejaz and a lot of bedouin dialects is that we don't often use [u] (e.g. kill instead of kull, gilt instead of gult, etc.).

    -Phonologically, the (k,q,j) are pronounced quite similarly in Najdi and UH.
    Not really. UH often has [zh] while Najdi has [dj] (and bedouin Najdi has that other sound whose name I forget).


    Also a similarity in the g pronunciation of qaaf.
    Yes but all Saudi dialects have this, so it's not relevant.


    -There are certain peculiarities in the 2 dialects, such as the similarity in the demonstrative pronouns

    the use of the possessive pronoun 7ag, also the use of kid(h)a, in addition to other similar particles.
    These I can see.

    -The vocabulary is also closer I believe.
    Najd is in the middle, geographically, so it's natural that it shares common vocabulary with both sides, but Khaliji vocabulary is definitely closer to ours than is UH (Khaliji is based on Najdi, for the most part). That's why Khalijis can identify with Nabati poetry, while people from Jeddah, usually, cannot.

    Yeah not technically urban; I guess we can say sedentary dialects. But I think it would include the dialects of Riyadh and the Qassiimi dialect, although quite varied, they differ from the Najdi bedouin dialects.
    As I said, above, I was trying to go for a bird's eye view. Obviously, one can distinguish bedouin and 7adhari Najdi dialects.

    I'm guessing when you said Shammari-type Najdi, you meant the 7aa2il dialect specifically, or did you mean a dialect of the bedouin Shammar tribes of the north?
    The Shammari-type Najdi dialects include the dialect of the Shammar and Dhufiir bedouins and the sedentary dialects of Al-Qassiim and 7aayil. The rest of Najd (bedouin and sendentary) belong to what I would call the "general" Najdi group. This is why it is not a simple task to divide Najdi dialects between sedentary and bedouin.

    Shammari-type dialects are distinguished by features like:

    beetuh ("his house") (instead of beetah)
    beetah ("her house") (instead of beethaa) <== this causes a lot of confusion
    Omitting the "yaa al-mutakallim"
    Using the preposition "b" where others would use "fi" (e.g. balbayt v. filbayt)

  10. #30
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Seems the Najdi I've been listening to is a watered down version.

    This exists in many 7adhari Najdi dialects, e.g. the old dialect of Riyadh. My father says "je" for "jaa", "mishe" for "misha", etc. I don't know what you mean by the final singular feminine marker, but in parts of Najd we have beetha --> beette (idgham + imala), and in Al-Qasseem they say "6aawlih" instead of "6aawlah", etc.
    But the isolated phonological peculiarities within the dialect itself, I don't think they should by generalized especially when it comes to classification.

    What you mention about the dialect of Ho6at bani Tamiim, that's a peculiarity.
    Also the use of imala within a certain dialect, it's not a general feature of the group, nor is it as reproducible (I think) as what we see in the Khaliji dialect.

    I think you mean backing the [a]. This is actually very common in Mecca and Jeddah ("al-bob" instead of "al-baab" ). I don't think backing/rounding is helpful because bedouins do it and many Najdi towns do it (particularly in southern Najd), in addition to UH.
    So is the backing of the alif (as you have kindly corrected), can't be generalized on Hijazi, nor is it as reproducible as it is in Khaliji for example.

    You're definitely wrong here. Najdi vowels and Hijazi vowels could not be more different, especially when comparing 7adhari Najdi and Urban Hijazi. In fact, I think the vowels are the most noticeable difference at first glance. 7adhari Najdi and Khaliji have basically the same vowels. It's based on [a] and [i] with a lot of imala and schwas, and very few [u]. The vowels are generally not as "sharp" as in UH. Some types of bedouin Najdi (especially in the south and west) use [u], but in our dialect it is very rare (e.g. قل = gil, not gul). One thing that sets us apart from 'Asir, Hejaz and a lot of bedouin dialects is that we don't often use [u] (e.g. kill instead of kull, gilt instead of gult, etc.).
    How frequent the short vowels occur, serves to differentiate Najdi from UH, but it still shows that both dialects don't employ (in general) more set of vowels (except for the schwa thing which you have noted).

    Not really. UH often has [zh] while Najdi has [dj] (and bedouin Najdi has that other sound whose name I forget).
    The pronunciation of J in UH is as varied as it can get, but in general it still shows more similarity between UH and Najdi, as opposed to the other dialects in Arabia.
    By the way, most of the Hijaz pronounces the J as [dj].
    There are those who pronounce it as zh, y, g, z, d...but all of these are uncommon and not the general pronunciation.

    That's why Khalijis can identify with Nabati poetry, while people from Jeddah, usually, cannot.
    I think the reason why people of the Hijaz don't identify with Nabati poetry is that the vocabulary is quite different and quite removed from the culture. Also local art forms remain more popular.
    Yet when there is an أمسية in Jeddah for example, it still gets packed by lovers of Nabati poetry. We can argue on the reasons of that, but I don't think that serves much to show the variance between the 2 dialects.

    The Shammari-type Najdi dialects include the dialect of the Shammar and Dhufiir bedouins and the sedentary dialects of Al-Qassiim and 7aayil. The rest of Najd (bedouin and sendentary) belong to what I would call the "general" Najdi group. This is why it is not a simple task to divide Najdi dialects between sedentary and bedouin.

    Shammari-type dialects are distinguished by features like:

    beetuh ("his house") (instead of beetah)
    beetah ("her house") (instead of beethaa) <== this causes a lot of confusion
    Omitting the "yaa al-mutakallim"
    Using the preposition "b" where others would use "fi" (e.g. balbayt v. filbayt)
    Thanks for the info.

    Anyways, it seems I know only قشور of the different Najdi dialects in general and the differences between them.


    I would also like to know the opinions and views of the other natives on the matter.


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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    So is the backing of the alif (as you have kindly corrected), can't be generalized on Hijazi, nor is it as reproducible as it is in Khaliji for example.
    Well, most speakers I encounter in Jeddah back the aleph very noticeably. I recently spent 5 minutes talking to a guy about "iPads" when I thought he was talking about "iPods!" You were the one relying on this feature to group Najdi with UH away from Khaliji. As you can see, I can find all sorts of minor features that Khaliji shares with UH but not with Najdi, but that would not justify grouping UH with Khaliji versus Najdi.

    How frequent the short vowels occur, serves to differentiate Najdi from UH, but it still shows that both dialects don't employ (in general) more set of vowels (except for the schwa thing which you have noted).
    The vowel patterns in Najdi (except for certain bedouin tribes in the south and west of Najd) are almost identical with Khaliji and very different from UH. That's the main point here. In fact, even the specifically Khaliji patterns evolved from Najdi patterns to begin with. In other words, if I create a table of verb/noun patterns with a column for Najdi, another for Khaliji and a third for UH, the UH will clearly emerge as the odd one out. This isn't even debatable, honestly.


    I think the reason why people of the Hijaz don't identify with Nabati poetry is that the vocabulary is quite different
    So I take it you agree that Najdi vocabulary is more like Khaliji than UH.

    and quite removed from the culture.
    The whole Peninsula is diverse in culture. Kuwaitis and Qataris do not have the same culture as people from Riyadh or Bisha, and people from 7ayil do not have the same culture as people from Bani Sa3ad, but they all use the same poetic idiom, more or less. The reason is linguistic.

    Also local art forms remain more popular.
    Yes, poetic forms that follow the rules of their dialect, which Nabati does not. You see, most Arabian dialects have a rule against having three consecutive "7arakaat." That's why we pronounce سمكة as "smika/smitsa/smiche" for example. UH does not follow this rule, so it's perfectly fine in UH to say "samaka" or "masakato" ("she held it"). UH also does not allow initial consonontal clusters. These rules make it impossible to read a Nabati poem in UH. This is a matter of linguistics not culture. That's not to mention the grammatical points that I'll get into in the next paragraph.

    I think you've been focusing here on minor, mostly phonetic, items and missing the big picture. Like I said, I can think of plenty of features that Khaliji shares with UH and try to argue that they're more closely related to each other than they are to Najdi, but that does not make it true. Looking at grammar, Najdi and Khaliji both preserve the final "-n" in الأفعال الخمسة, they both do not use a progressive particle like "-b", they use "b-" (unrelated etymologically to the progressive "b-") to indicate future, and they apply most of the same morphology. These are major grammatical features that UH simply does not have. This is, of course, due to the simple fact that Khaliji is essentially descended from Najdi. All linguists in this field recognize this fact. That's why it makes no sense to put UH and Najdi in one group while moving Khaliji to a separate group entirely.

    Yet when there is an أمسية in Jeddah for example, it still gets packed by lovers of Nabati poetry. We can argue on the reasons of that, but I don't think that serves much to show the variance between the 2 dialects.
    Those are mostly people from tribal backgrounds whose traditional dialect is not UH. But maybe "appreciate" was not the best word. I'm sure there are a few people whose native dialect is UH who appreciate Nabati poetry, just like I, for example, enjoy Iraqi folk poetry, but these are a minority.

    Anyways, it seems I know only قشور of the different Najdi dialects in general and the differences between them.
    Yes, even I learn about peculiar dialect features in Najd all the time. For example, in Shagraa, they traditionally preserved all the CA dipthongs (not unusual in some tribal Najdi and Hijazi dialects but rather rare in 7adhari Najdi dialects). There's a town that pronounces imperative forms like ردّ in the same way as CA, i.e. "rudda 3alayy" instead of "rudd 3alayy." There is a village that pronounces س as ش. The Shammar dialect still has features of the ancient Tayy dialect like omitting the feminine "t" (banaat --> banaay, raa7at --> raa7ay).
    Last edited by Wadi Hanifa; 26th December 2010 at 8:31 PM.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    I have a question about the 'bedouin' dialects;
    Presumably during the past generation or two they have settled in large numbers, so I'm wondering whether they preserve their native tongue, or whether there is some sort of middle ground appearing in each town?
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by إسكندراني View Post
    I have a question about the 'bedouin' dialects;
    Presumably during the past generation or two they have settled in large numbers, so I'm wondering whether they preserve their native tongue, or whether there is some sort of middle ground appearing in each town?
    I would say they're quite fading into the local dialects, sometimes even changing the local dialect. At least that's what I observed in Jeddah. Many bedouins have settled there after the formation of Saudi Arabia, but most people of Bedouin origin speak the local dialect or something halfway in between. Depends also on the generation I have to say.
    But maybe other members can provide more help on the matter.


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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    Group I-B:
    -Khaliji-type dialects
    -Bahraani (the dialect of the Shi'as of El-Qatif) [this can arguably be placed as its own Group or even its own Type]
    Since this thread has been revived, I just wanted to say that I now tend to consider Bahraani a separate "Type".

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Wikipedia has a nice map on the distribution of Arabic dialects:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...orld-Large.PNG

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silky_Sword View Post
    Wikipedia has a nice map on the distribution of Arabic dialects:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...orld-Large.PNG
    It's inaccurate according to the locals. See reply #7.
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    I read no comments. Can't believe the number of pages on such a simple question *sigh*. No one can be accurate. The Levant itself has so many dialects, but there they group us all into one. Gaza has like 2, Hebron's is different from Jerusalem, different from Jaffa, different from pocket-villages with their own 'qaaf' pronounced 'k' or others with their 'k' as 'ch'. There can't be an accurate map, unless all dialects are dropped and only one is adopted and practiced.

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silky_Sword View Post
    I read no comments. Can't believe the number of pages on such a simple question *sigh*. No one can be accurate. The Levant itself has so many dialects, but there they group us all into one. Gaza has like 2, Hebron's is different from Jerusalem, different from Jaffa, different from pocket-villages with their own 'qaaf' pronounced 'k' or others with their 'k' as 'ch'. There can't be an accurate map, unless all dialects are dropped and only one is adopted and practiced.
    The primary problem stated in the comments is that dialects are often based on tribe and social background, not just geography. Which makes sense.

    But even on just geography the map is apparently wrong too; the southern provinces of Saudia speak a dialect similar to yemeni, and there is a separate language in that area too I think, which isn't shown. I want to make it my business to make a proper map somehow one day inshaAllah
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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by إسكندراني View Post
    The primary problem stated in the comments is that dialects are often based on tribe and social background, not just geography. Which makes sense.

    But even on just geography the map is apparently wrong too; the southern provinces of Saudia speak a dialect similar to yemeni, and there is a separate language in that area too I think, which isn't shown. I want to make it my business to make a proper map somehow one day inshaAllah
    كان غيرك أشطر

    Go ahead, just be sure no one has done that before you -with the only problem that his/her map hasn't reached Wikipedia yet.

    You must have meant languages of "Extinct Arabs" like Thamud and 3aad. Not sure if my Omani friend from al-She7r region is one, but he told me he spoke some unintelligible language to us (modernday Arabs). It's probably the one that shares the same script as the Amazighi language in Northern Africa (attesting to the Berbers' 'Arabian origin').

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    Re: What dialect is spoken in Saudi Arabia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silky_Sword View Post
    You must have meant languages of "Extinct Arabs" like Thamud and 3aad. Not sure if my Omani friend from al-She7r region is one, but he told me he spoke some unintelligible language to us (modernday Arabs).
    شحري is just alive.
    I'm talking about another one, though I'll leave it to someone who knows more. I've heard a couple of times there's a living language other than Arabic in North Yemen.
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