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Thread: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض

  1. #21
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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    clevermizo,

    Thanks for posting that, I have heard this mentioned several times, but never seen the actual text. I'd consider this perhaps a supporting evidence, certainly not any kind of primary evidence though.
    He was an eye-witness. This is as close to primary evidence as you're going to get.

    One description, by a grammarian (albeit perhaps the greatest) does not produce any kind of certainty about the way a phoneme was pronounced.
    Most Classical grammars of Arabic are available online. When you find one that describes ض as an emphatic [d], please let us know.

    Especially in the absence of any modern pronunciation that resembles this. ض has various pronunciations all throughout the Arabic speaking world, and we'd expect at least somewhere there'd still be evidence of this supposed sound. But as far as I'm aware, there is not.
    There is actually a realization of it in parts of Yemen that retains the lateral component (I mentioned a reference to it on this forum a while back). The widespread realization as ظ is also evidence (a preservation of the رخو aspect). It has always been widely known in the Arab world (except among lay people) that the modern Fus7a realization of ض is not the original realization. I've found references to this from the Middle Ages all the way to the modern age. Just google the topic in Arabic and you'll find them. One thing I can assure you of is that it has absolutely nothing to do with any Western bias towards Hebrew. On a minor note, I think the Arabs who originated the theory of the uniqueness of ض were far closer to Persia and Greece than to Ethiopia or South Arabia. Also, there are descriptions from that era of Arabic as being لغة الظاء instead of لغة الضاد, so this notion of uniqueness is not terribly useful in determining what ض originally sounded like.

    Ma7adan,

    The realization of ط as emphatic [d] exists in Yemen.

    Mizo,

    Your theory about the origin of the modern MSA realization of ض (which I agree with) is actually not a new theory at all. See the following:

    Paper published in the magazine of Al-Azhar University in 1987
    http://tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=3875
    Paper published by the Iraqi Scholarly Academy in 1971
    http://tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=3560

    (Abu Rashid -- both these papers offer good surveys of the issue in general, including references to older sources)

  2. #22
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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    Mizo,

    Your theory about the origin of the modern MSA realization of ض (which I agree with) is actually not a new theory at all. See the following:

    Paper published in the magazine of Al-Azhar University in 1987
    http://tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=3875
    Paper published by the Iraqi Scholarly Academy in 1971
    http://tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=3560

    (Abu Rashid -- both these papers offer good surveys of the issue in general, including references to older sources)
    Thanks much! Those will be excellent reads (especially now that my Arabic is more competent than it used to be when I first started posting here. ).

  3. #23
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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    See also this thread: http://www.tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=173 , particularly post #8. One quote I found particularly interesting was this:



    وكان ابن الجزري (833هـ) قد حدد الأصوات التي يتحول إليها الضاد على ألسنة المعاصرين له فقال في النشر : (والضاد انفرد بالاستطالة ، وليس في الحروف ما يعسر على اللسان مثله ، فإن ألسنة الناس فيه مختلفة ، وقل من يحسنه ، فمنهم من يخرجه ظاءً.
    ومنهم من يمزجه بالذال.
    ومنهم من يجعله لاماً مفخمة.
    ومنهم من يشمه بالزاي. وكل ذلك لا يجوز). النشر 1/219
    وقال ابن الجزري في التمهيد 140-141 : (واعلم أن هذا الحرف ليس من الحروف حرف يعسر على اللسان غيره ، والناس يتفاضلون في النطق به:
    فمنهم من يجعله ظاء مطلقاً... وهم أكثر الشاميين وبعض أهل المشرق.
    ومنهم من لا يوصلها إلى مخرجها ، بل يخرجها دونه ممزوجة بالطاء المهملة ، لا يقدرون على غير ذلك ، وهم أكثر المصريين وبعض أهل المغرب.
    ومنهم من يخرجها لا ماً مفخمة ، وهم الزيالع ومن ضاهاهم).ش


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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa View Post
    ومنهم من لا يوصلها إلى مخرجها ، بل يخرجها دونه ممزوجة بالطاء المهملة ، لا يقدرون على غير ذلك ، وهم أكثر المصريين وبعض أهل المغرب.
    For the non-Arabic speakers of this thread:

    "And among them are those that don't lead it to its place [of articulation], but rather produce it without it[s original? place of articulation], mixed with the lax ṭā; they don't regard it as other than that; they are most Egyptians and some from North Africa (the Maghreb)."



    Fascinating. These comments point to a possible Egyptian origin for the plosive version of the sound. It seems elsewhere it's always some kind of fricative. Also in all of the Indo-Iranian languages that have borrowed from Arabic it becomes a [z] sound I believe.


    Anyhow, it's possible we should decide to split off this thread into a proper discussion of the ظاء and ضاد merger or just about ضاد in particular. To steer this back on topic, it seems there has been a consensus that ḍād was an emphatic fricative in the past which is a more likely candidate for the emphatic version of one of the Proto-Semitic "s"-like sounds which was the point of being brought up in this discussion in the first place. It also quite nicely rationalizes how such as sound which was at one point preserved in Arabic, in other Semitic languages like Hebrew actually merged with ṣ ص. Not that we needed such a rationalization, but it fits with the story of the evolution of Semitic languages. The voicing feature in Arabic I think is what made it more likely to merge with other voiced sounds like ظ or ز or even ط which was voiced according to Sibawayh, rather than ص.

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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    Quote Originally Posted by clevermizo
    It also quite nicely rationalizes how such as sound which was at one point preserved in Arabic, in other Semitic languages like Hebrew actually merged with ṣ ص. Not that we needed such a rationalization, but it fits with the story of the evolution of Semitic languages. The voicing feature in Arabic I think is what made it more likely to merge with other voiced sounds like ظ or ز or even ط which was voiced according to Sibawayh, rather than ص.
    But you seem to be forgetting there that Hebrew צ is not just a merger of ص and ض but of ظ as well, and the Hebrew realisation of צ is perhaps a mixture of those 3 sounds. hence its 'z' component. So it may never have even have been ص -> ض anyway. The current values of Arabic, seem to suggest such a merger would make a lot of sense, if Hebrew originally had the same values. But I don't label my theory as anything other than conjecture either.

    Also something that needs to be kept in mind is that Arabic pronunciation has been maintained outside the Arabic world throughout history in the madrasahs all across the Islamic world. And they all agree with the current fus7a values. So unless we have evidence of "emphatic d evangelists" going all around the Islamic world and causing them to shift to emphatic d, then I'd say this theory is pretty well sunk. A pre-Islamic value might be postulated, but that would rule out Sibawayh in that case.

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    Re: The Semitic letters shin, sin and samek(h)

    Quote Originally Posted by clevermizo View Post
    Also in all of the Indo-Iranian languages that have borrowed from Arabic it becomes a [z] sound I believe.
    Also, in borrowings into Spanish, its reflex contains a lateral component, e.g. alcalde from القاضي.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    But you seem to be forgetting there that Hebrew צ is not just a merger of ص and ض but of ظ as well, and the Hebrew realisation of צ is perhaps a mixture of those 3 sounds. hence its 'z' component. So it may never have even have been ص -> ض anyway. The current values of Arabic, seem to suggest such a merger would make a lot of sense, if Hebrew originally had the same values. But I don't label my theory as anything other than conjecture either.

    Also something that needs to be kept in mind is that Arabic pronunciation has been maintained outside the Arabic world throughout history in the madrasahs all across the Islamic world. And they all agree with the current fus7a values. So unless we have evidence of "emphatic d evangelists" going all around the Islamic world and causing them to shift to emphatic d, then I'd say this theory is pretty well sunk. A pre-Islamic value might be postulated, but that would rule out Sibawayh in that case.
    Obviously, you haven't read this link: http://www.tafsir.net/vb/showthread.php?t=173 . The historical record is quite damning to the [d] realization. So much so that hardly anyone has argued that it is the original pronunciation. Aside from the oddity of relying on the pronunciation of non-Arabs in non-Arabic countries to ascertain the value of this phoneme in 7th century Arabia, it is well-known that these non-Arabs simply attempt to reflect the dominant pronunciation radiating from the Arabic-speaking nations. In other words, their pronunciation is not some fossilized, pure form as you seem to assume.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    I think the historical Classical Arabic pronunciation of the ض was an emphatic voiced lateral affricate.
    This is more apparent when one takes Sibawayh's description of استطالة in describing the articulation of the ض. explained in Arabic as:
    امتداد اللسان عند النطق بالضاد من أقصى حافته حتى يصطدم منتهى طرف الحافة للثة العليا
    (which means the tongue is "lengthened" within the mouth and touches the edge of the alveolar area).
    Sibawayh even lists, as Mizo noted, the place of articulation in order (from outside in), where in this case the ض is before the Arabic ج [dʒ], then the ʃ and y.
    Sibaway's classification of شدة & رخاوة (plosive vs fricative) doesn't take into account affricates. You can find the ج considered a plosive and the ض considered a fricative.
    This has even led some later western writers, taking only Sibaway's work as a measure of Arabic phonology, to consider that the classical pronunciation of ج for example to be a voiced palatal plosive, as in Watson's The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic. (regardless of other classical descriptions of the letter).

    Describing the modern day ض as an emphatic [d] is also quite confusing, Classical Arabic works refer to 2 ض's which might be now considered thus:
    الضاد المصرية described as an emphatic d, with the same articulation position of the d.
    الضاد الطائية which also described in classical writings as an emphatic d, but differentiated from the Egyptian d as having an articulatory position closer to the ط (not ظ), which is the one common today for the ض and considered standard.

    I also think that the affricate nature of the ض is reason that gave rise to a later pronunciation similar to an emphatic z in certain words as
    مضبوط and ضابط, via an old phenomenon itself named الضاد الضعيفة.
    It might be the reason also behind the pronunciation of the emphatic z in Arabic words borrowed into some other languages.
    (or it could be through the ض to ẓ via ظ , but I don't think so, especially in Arabic regions which don't have the ض & ظ merged together, or in languages which have probably borrowed such words in Classical times).


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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    Also, in borrowings into Spanish, its reflex contains a lateral component, e.g. alcalde from القاضي.
    Well what's that I see there... is that a 'd'? Why would the Andalusians have been pronouncing a 'd' if it were supposedly something more like [ɬ]?

    Here's a few other Spanish words supposedly derived from Arabic words with ض in them:
    adarvar
    adarve
    ademán
    adiafa
    alarde/alardear
    Source

    Every single one of them using only a 'd' to represent ض why would that be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    Aside from the oddity of relying on the pronunciation of non-Arabs in non-Arabic countries to ascertain the value of this phoneme in 7th century Arabia, it is well-known that these non-Arabs simply attempt to reflect the dominant pronunciation radiating from the Arabic-speaking nations.
    So every time the Arabs changed their pronunciation of a phoneme slightly, they'd send out emissaries to all non-Arabic-speaking regions of the Caliphate from al-Andalus to Indonesia, to 'correct' their pronunciation? Excuse me if I find that a little far fetched. Also it seems you're belittling the independence just slightly of the institutions around the Islamic world that have very long traditions in Tajweed & Arabic.
    Last edited by Abu Rashid; 17th July 2011 at 3:18 AM.

  9. #29
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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    ... Spanish words supposedly derived from Arabic words with ض in them...
    Every single one of them using only a 'd' to represent ض ...?
    That is not entirely so. E.g. you find ḍḍ>ld in aldea.

    Also Arabic asserted direct influence on Hispanic languages/dialects far into the 2nd millennium A.D. while the Arabic sound shift was supposed to have happened relatively early in CA. To be relevant, we have to show a transcription to be based on early CA.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    That is not entirely so. E.g. you find ḍḍ>ld in aldea.
    That word is not in my list. My statement was regarding the words in the list.

    Perhaps your example is due to the gemination. Wadi's example I thought might be related to the long vowel before the dod.

    Either way, it's certainly not in the majority of the words we've seen so far. So it's looking more like an inconsistency in the Spanish way of transcribing more than it is a support for this theory.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    Also Arabic asserted direct influence on Hispanic languages/dialects far into the 2nd millennium A.D. while the Arabic sound shift was supposed to have happened relatively early in CA. To be relevant, we have to show a transcription to be based on early CA.
    No further than about half way into the millennium. What exactly do you mean by "relatively early" in CA? If we consider CA to have been around since at least the beginning of the first millennium C.E. then how would the first few centuries of the second millennium be that far removed from the CA of Sibawayh's time?

    It just seems to me that a lot of stretching is being done, to try and prove something that really doesn't match up to the facts of the Arabic language as we know it.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "relatively early" in CA?
    There are 650 years between Sibawayh's death and the fall of Granada. Lot of time for things to change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    It just seems to me that a lot of stretching is being done, to try and prove something that really doesn't match up to the facts of the Arabic language as we know it.
    History of Arabic is not my specialty so I can only report what people more knowledgeable than I say. The only thing I can observe here is a person who grabs every possible straw to deny something everybody else seems to regards as obvious from the historical sources we have as if the salvation of his eternal soul depended on it. It really puzzles me why this is such an ideological issue for you.

    There is a consensus in the field that the reconstruction of the PS origin of the ض phoneme as an emphatic lateral sibilant is what fits the puzzle from all Semitic languages best. There is nothing wrong with remaining skeptical. Skepticism is a healthy attitude in academic discourse and your skepticism triggered an interesting discussion. But the most far-fetched theory presented so far is that each and every PS phoneme should be exactly the same as in modern Arabic. Sound shifts are the most natural things in the world and happened at all times in all languages. If a particular language should be an exception, the onus of prove rests with those who contend this.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    e are 650 years between Sibawayh's death...
    So the theory is this shift occurred the moment Sibawayh passed away? Not sounding any more likely to me. Also the 650 years between the extremities of Sibawayh's death and the fall of Granada are still closer to each other than Sibawayh's time is to the earliest known period of CA.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    and the fall of Granada. Lot of time for things to change.
    Right, but that was just one tiny little pocket in the corner of Spain. The rest of Spain had been reconquered several centuries before then.

    As I said... a lot of stretching going on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    The only thing I can observe here is a person who grabs every possible straw to deny something everybody else seems to regards as obvious
    So it's a numbers game is it? Anyone not agreeing with the masses must be ideologically motivated and grabbing at straws? Meanwhile, I'm the one supporting the established pronunciation, whilst everyone else seems to be inventing far fetched theories that don't add up to anything other than conjecture.

    If you don't have actual facts, that's fine, but don't pretend you do, and don't ridicule the facts I've presented, merely because the majority (of those bothering to post here anyway) do not accept them.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    from the historical sources we have as if the salvation of his eternal soul depended on it. It really puzzles me why this is such an ideological issue for you.
    These kinds of accusations about my motivation for presenting what I think is correct do not deserve to be dignified with a response, so I'll refrain from responding to them. I'm truly disappointed you'd make such accusations bernd.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    There is a consensus in the field that the reconstruction of the PS origin of the ض phoneme as an emphatic lateral sibilant is what fits the puzzle from all Semitic languages best.
    That consensus seems based on very shaky evidence to me, sorry. And that is why I'm presenting my views.

    Also we're speaking about Arabic here, not proto-Semitic, keep that in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    But the most far-fetched theory presented so far is that each and every PS phoneme should be exactly the same as in modern Arabic.
    Can you please direct me to where such a theory has been presented? Sorry I must've missed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf
    Sound shifts are the most natural things in the world and happened at all times in all languages. If a particular language should be an exception, the onus of prove rests with those who contend this.
    Given that this thread is split off from one in which we discussed that Arabic merged two of its sibilants together, I think it's ridiculous to suggest I have claimed Arabic did not shift/merge any phonemes.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    Well what's that I see there... is that a 'd'? Why would the Andalusians have been pronouncing a 'd' if it were supposedly something more like [ɬ]?

    Here's a few other Spanish words supposedly derived from Arabic words with ض in them:
    adarvar
    adarve
    ademán
    adiafa
    alarde/alardear
    Source

    Every single one of them using only a 'd' to represent ض why would that be?
    We already know that the [D] pronunciation exists and the sources already tell us that this pronunciation was common in Egypt and the Maghreb (which included Al-Andalus). Since no one is disputing the existence of [D] or that it appeared early, your examples offer us nothing that we do not already know. However, the fact that some words do have a lateral component is just one more bit of evidence for the fact (and I emphasize that this is a FACT and not conjecture) that other variants of ض existed that included a lateral element.

    So every time the Arabs changed their pronunciation of a phoneme slightly, they'd send out emissaries to all non-Arabic-speaking regions of the Caliphate from al-Andalus to Indonesia, to 'correct' their pronunciation? Excuse me if I find that a little far fetched. Also it seems you're belittling the independence just slightly of the institutions around the Islamic world that have very long traditions in Tajweed & Arabic.
    You are mischaracterizing what I said. What is far-fetched is the notion that people in India or Afghanistan remained completely isolated from the way Arabic was spoken for hundreds of years. Obviously, the pronunciation that developed in places like Egypt and Mecca reached those places and reached them a long time ago.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    It just seems to me that a lot of stretching is being done, to try and prove something that really doesn't match up to the facts of the Arabic language as we know it.
    The facts are pretty overwhelming and prove beyond a doubt that the Classical pronunciation of ض was NOT an emphatic [d]. I mean isn't it enough that you have a detailed description by the greatest grammarian of Classical Arabic of all yet cannot produce one single quote by any Classical grammarian that describes a [D] pronunciation? In fact, we have medieval Muslim scholars lamenting the [D] pronunciation. Don't you think it's odd how many books appeared in the Abbasid era attempting to distinguish ظ and ض? Why don't we have similar books that compare د with ذ?

    The facts are there; all you have to is read them. But I can't force you to read them and I don't have time to copy and paste them for you, so there's really not much left to argue.
    Last edited by Wadi Hanifa; 17th July 2011 at 10:47 PM.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    Given that this thread is split off from one in which we discussed that Arabic merged two of its sibilants together, I think it's ridiculous to suggest I have claimed Arabic did not shift/merge any phonemes.
    I also thought be did. Therefore I really can't understand your behaviour here.

    After the very clear message given to you by Wadi Hanifa in the post just above I can't see what else could possibly be said. The onus of proof is now really on your side. If you can present evidence what CA ض was an emphatic [d] I am sure we will all be more than happy to consider it simple repetition of your denial won't take us anywhere.
    Last edited by berndf; 17th July 2011 at 11:38 PM.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    bernd,

    What I find most fascinating is that when yourself and Wadi Hanifa used Spanish words with "ld" for ض then the relevance of Spanish borrowings was relevant, yet when I used them, all of a sudden they were in the wrong time period. This is quite clearly a case of moving the goal posts. Is it relevant or isn't it? Keep in mind, Wadi Hanifa was the first to raise the Spanish point.

    Wadi Hanifa,

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    The facts are pretty overwhelming and prove beyond a doubt that the Classical pronunciation of ض was NOT an emphatic [d].
    They prove no such thing. The current fus7a value is assumed to be the correct one, if there's clear evidence it's not, then there's a reason to re-evaluate it. The original position is not that the current value is incorrect, the original position is that it _IS_ correct. The onus of proof is on the one making a claim, and I am not making any claims, I am merely stating it is as it is. If there's clear evidence to the contrary, I'm more than willing to adopt it, and I do not in the least reject the idea it could've been something else. I just think the evidence being used is flimsy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    In fact, we have medieval Muslim scholars lamenting the [D] pronunciation.
    Well I don't necessarily think fus7a's pronunciation today is exactly what is described as an emphatic d. It is very similar in many respects to ظ as you mentioned it was in the past, and that's how I pronounce it and was taught to pronounce it by Qur'anic teachers.

    I personally don't think the description of phones always maps out exactly, and that's why I'm very hesitant to accept Sibawayh's descriptions, because we still cannot know exactly what he was describing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    Since no one is disputing the existence of [D] or that it appeared early
    I don't think we have any evidence of it appearing. As far as the evidence goes, it's always been the case. The hypothetical lateral-emphatic-counterpart-to-shin is what requires evidence, since it's not established now nor previously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    and I emphasize that this is a FACT and not conjecture
    I think you'll find even those who developed these theories do not consider them established fact, but one possible hypothesis. Interesting that the proponent of a theory would be more certain of it than the founders of the theory themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadi Hanifa
    You are mischaracterizing what I said. What is far-fetched is the notion that people in India or Afghanistan remained completely isolated from the way Arabic was spoken for hundreds of years. Obviously, the pronunciation that developed in places like Egypt and Mecca reached those places and reached them a long time ago.
    And so all around the Islamic world, they just abandoned their established pronunciations, taught to them by chains of teachers from the Sahabah (rah) and adopted these new pronunciations? I have not mischaracterised you at all.

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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    As an exercise and for fun, I'm making some vocal recordings of the various historical and/or extant pronunciations of ض as have been described in the various sources. See linked audio file below.

    I made up a nonsense sentence which ends up being a bit of a tongue twister :

    ضرب الضابط الضبّ وضجر منه ضيوفه
    The officer beat the lizard and his guests grew bored of him.


    *conjectured reconstructed phoneme based on historical descriptions by Sibawayh and others. Combines the features used in classical description: رجوة، مجهورة، مستعلاة، مستطالة، مطبقة، مصمتة
    1. ɮˠɑrɑbɑ ɮˠ-ɮˠɑ:bɪtˠʊ ɮˠ-ɮˠɑbbɑ wa-ɮˠɑdʒɪrɑ mɪnhʊ ɮˠʊju:fʊh.
    lateral
    fricative
    voiced
    emphatic


    *most widespread phoneme, merged with ظ : Arabian & Bedouin/Non-Sedentary
    الضاد الظائية
    2. ðˠɑrɑbɑ ðˠ-ðˠɑ:bɪtˠʊ ðˠ-ðˠɑbbɑ wa-ðˠɑdʒɪrɑ mɪnhʊ ðˠʊju:fʊh.
    fricative
    voiced
    emphatic
    (changed: place)

    *rare but attested historical. Perhaps similar to some Yemeni pronunciations
    الضاد اللامية
    3. lˠɑrɑbɑ lˠ-lˠɑ:bɪtˠʊ lˠ-lˠɑbbɑ wa-lˠɑdʒɪrɑ mɪnhʊ lˠʊju:fʊh
    lateral
    voiced
    emphatic
    (changed: manner)

    *Standard pronunciation.
    *Colloquial Egyptian and Levantine (merger with ظ in most common vocabulary)
    الضاد الفصيحة الحديثة
    الضاد الطائية/المصرية/الشامية
    دال مفخمة
    ومستخدمة عند العامة للضاد والظاء
    4. dˠɑrɑbɑ dˠ-dˠɑ:bɪtˠʊ dˠ-dˠɑbbɑ wa-dˠɑdʒɪrɑ mɪnhʊ dˠʊju:fʊh
    voiced
    emphatic
    (changed: place and manner)

    *Colloquial Egyptian and Levantine. Merger with ظ but used for classicisms primarily
    زاي مفخمة
    مستخدمة عند العامة للضاد والظاء في بعض الكلمات الفصيحة
    5. zˠɑrɑbɑ zˠ-zˠɑ:bɪtˠʊ zˠ-zˠɑbbɑ wa-zˠɑdʒɪrɑ mɪnhʊ zˠʊju:fʊh
    voiced
    fricative
    emphatic
    (changed: place)


    At first I tried to pronounce the Sibawayhian ( ) phoneme out of both sides of my tongue and that was a bit difficult. Then I discovered it was a lot easier to do it out of the right side of my tongue rather than the left side. So I'm a right-sider I guess when it comes to lateral consonants . (However, when I make an [r]-trill I do that to the left side.)


    I've uploaded the sound file (daads.mp3) to this server.. Enjoy! You'll notice that the lateral fricative does sound quite a bit like ظ though it feels very different to produce (and of course I'm not a native of a language with a lateral fricative). I had to exaggerate it a bit to make it obviously different. My initial recordings though they felt and sounded different to me when recording them, didn't sound very different in playback. By the way, this may be telling. If the lateral fricative was a peculiarity of certain tribes, other Arab tribes may have heard it simply as ظ and this coincidence of sound would lead to the merger.

    Oh by the way, I originally made the sentence يضرب الضابط but then I found it next to impossible to pronounce the sequence -ضْرُ- /ḍr/ with the lateral sound [-ɮˠr-] and then into the trill. Maybe it's just me but this seems really really difficult. It makes me curious - are they any principles of إدغام (classical rules/descriptions of assimilation) that pertain to the sequence of ــضْرــ ??

    By the way, if my rendition is done well, you can hear that actually the Sibawayhian sound seems to contain components of all those other sounds. I could really see any of them springing forth from the conjectured sound.
    Last edited by clevermizo; 19th July 2011 at 7:31 AM.

  19. #39
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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Rashid View Post
    Well what's that I see there... is that a 'd'? Why would the Andalusians have been pronouncing a 'd' if it were supposedly something more like [ɬ]?

    Here's a few other Spanish words supposedly derived from Arabic words with ض in them:
    adarvar
    adarve
    ademán
    adiafa
    alarde/alardear

    Every single one of them using only a 'd' to represent ض why would that be?
    -------------------------------

    To make a long story short, there's a very good reason why ض is/was represented by /d/ in Spanish.

    Spanish /d/ between vowels is pronounced very similar to the ض ....not at all like English or Arabic /d/....more like the English /th/ in THEN. This pronunciation is also quite frequent when Sp. /d/ is only preceeded or followed by a vowel.

    The common name PEDRO, for example, is actually pronounced PE ض RO. Listen to a native Spanish speaker when he pronounces الرياض and you could swear the last letter is pronounced like Arabic ض .

    All the examples provided by Abu Rashid above have this /th/ sound for the written /d/.

    This also occurred when the original Arabic was a plain and simple /د /. Arabic الديوان became Spanish ADUANA (customs and immigration offices) and since the /d/ appears between vowels, it's pronounced A ض UANA.

    This is a simplified rendition of this phenomenon but it proves the adage that "what you see is not always what you get".

  20. #40
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Re: The historical pronunciation of Arabic ض ‎

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldBug View Post
    -------------------------------

    To make a long story short, there's a very good reason why ض is/was represented by /d/ in Spanish.

    Spanish /d/ between vowels is pronounced very similar to the ض ....not at all like English or Arabic /d/....more like the English /th/ in THEN. This pronunciation is also quite frequent when Sp. /d/ is only preceeded or followed by a vowel.
    This is true, but I think you mean it's similar to ظ or what ض would be to Arabic speakers who had a merged ض/ظ sound rather than distinct sounds.

    Furthermore, even if the Arabic sound at the time was not a ظ-like sound, but rather a د-like sound, the Spanish would still have transliterated with a d, so this doesn't tell us much about what ض sounded like. The Spanish d could be a transliteration for [d] or for [ð] even if the Spanish themselves pronounced it as [ð] (never mind the fact that it's actually more like an approximant and not a true fricative).

    The reason why a word like alcalde is interesting is because ض is being represented by -ld- which appears to preserve a lateral component.

    However you bring up a good point: the instances where Arabic ض is being transliterated as just 'd' in Spanish really don't tell us whether the sound was a stop or a fricative in the past, so it's relatively uninformative.


    The common name PEDRO, for example, is actually pronounced PE ض RO. Listen to a native Spanish speaker when he pronounces الرياض and you could swear the last letter is pronounced like Arabic ض .
    I disagree because the Spanish sound is not مفخمة (it lacks إطباق).

    I can see however how this would be the Spanish perception, but I don't think that the Spanish reproduction sounds much like ض either as hypothesized historically or the modern standard one.
    Last edited by clevermizo; 19th July 2011 at 5:52 PM.

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