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Dialects of Saudi Arabia

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by WARDA123, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. WARDA123 New Member

    Urdu
    Can anyone tell me what dialect is spoken in saudi arabia?
     
  2. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    Hijazi,Najadi and shargi (also gulif) then there are urban rural and badawi.
     
  3. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    There are at least 7 or 8 distinct dialect families in Saudi Arabia that I can think of, but the ones you are most likely to encounter are watered-down hybrids of Najdi/Gulf Arabic along with Urban Hijazi.
     
  4. WARDA123 New Member

    Urdu
    Ok thanks a lot!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  5. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Is there a good dialect map of the Arabian peninsula somewhere?
     
  6. AndrewG Junior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    I think this one is the best available
     
  7. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    It's difficult to draw a dialect map for Saudi Arabia because dialects do not diverge here through geography alone.

    This map is, with all due respect, rather useless as it bears little resemblence to reality.
     
  8. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    It seems to be a start though. Of course there are badawis and random tribes living all over, and the bit between Yemen and the Hijaz is missing a whole language if I'm not wrong, but it's a start right? At least better than the political borders!
    What are the significant errors in the map which strike you in the face?
     
  9. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    A poor start.

    These "badawis and random tribes" are the majority of the country's population.

    The "Gulf dialect" swallows up half of Najd and reaches the Hijaz. The southern region (as you correctly noted) is completely ignored. It conflates urban and non-urban Hijazi dialects. These are major errors that paint a false picture of the situation.
     
  10. thelastchoice Senior Member

    Arabic S.A.
    By The Way I am A Hijazi Bedouin and There several Hijazi Dialects in addition to the Urban Hijazi Dialect which has several versions (Madini, Makkawi, Jeddawi, Yanb'Awi, Taifi) and it has a strong influence byEgyptian dialect which makes it impure compared to the Bedouin Hijazi dialect which still preserve a lot of genuine arab words that are not used in common Standard Arabic writings.
    In addition, Each Tribe has its own dialect and sometimes you will find subdialects such a Harb Tribe - A famous hijaz Tribe - dialect which is varying from east of Madinah toward the Coastal Area of Red Sea. Of Course, Harb tribe in Najd has a different but comprehensible Najdi Bedouin dialect.
    I agree with Wadi Hanifah it is very difficult to draw such a map with high accuracy. Also, I agree with him that Tribes are the majority of the population. Personally, I can say that now we are seeing the evolution of a Saudi common dialect specially in Big cities and among new generations and this dialect is mainly influenced by the media : TV and radio mainly.
     
  11. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    So are there any good starts around? The Arab world seems allergic to map-making!
     
  12. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    In the form of a visual map? I haven't seen any. There are written descriptions, such as in the introduction to this book, but it does not claim to give a complete picture (e.g. the northern Hejazi dialects remain unstudied as far as I am aware, as well as the 7adhari dialects of southern Najd).

    Maybe one day when I have some free time, I will attempt one myself (as my patron, you will of course reimburse me for costs :)).
     
  13. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    I shall strive to continue the long history Egyptians have of investing their vast wealth in budding Saudi Arabians
    lol
    why don't you improve the wiki-one a bit? You have every right to! And right now it's misleading a lot of people
     
  14. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    There's no use going through the trouble of writing something that will be completely mangled beyond recognition by someone else later.
     
  15. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
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    It's very easy to stop abusive edits if that's what you mean.
    Anyway that's not the topic of our discussion; Jazakumullahu Khayran for the advice on the existing info I had it made things much clearer for me
     
  16. thelastchoice Senior Member

    Arabic S.A.
    Can you tell us how to do so?
     
  17. rukia1

    rukia1 New Member

    mmmmmmmmmm In arabia saudia they speak a different dillects but it is the same ..it is different in the level of geographical carracters ..but it is called ""khlijya"""...
     
  18. Ayazid Senior Member

    What do you mean? :)
     
  19. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    This forum is not the place. I will send you a private message and if anyone else is interested just private message me too.
     
  20. rukia1

    rukia1 New Member


    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 :eek:
     
  21. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    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.
     
  22. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    Broadly would it not be correct to group the dialects into:
    Khaliji
    Hijazi
    Yemeni
    Najdi
    ?
     
  23. rukia1

    rukia1 New Member

    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: Dec 23, 2010
  24. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    This is oversimplified and not acurate.
    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.
     
  25. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    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: Dec 25, 2010
  26. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    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.
     
  27. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    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 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.

    Like I said, this is debatable, but if I were to place them under Type I, I would put them under their own group.

    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.

    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.

    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).
     
  28. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    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/Varieties_of_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?

    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.

    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?
     
  29. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Well, whatever the source, it's there, and only UH and Bahrani have it in Saudi Arabia.


    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.)

    No, definitely not.

    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.


    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.

    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.

    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 with a lot of imala and schwas, and very few . The vowels are generally not as "sharp" as in UH. Some types of bedouin Najdi (especially in the south and west) use , 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 (e.g. kill instead of kull, gilt instead of gult, etc.).

    Not really. UH often has [zh] while Najdi has [dj] (and bedouin Najdi has that other sound whose name I forget).


    Yes but all Saudi dialects have this, so it's not relevant.


    These I can see.

    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.

    As I said, above, I was trying to go for a bird's eye view. Obviously, one can distinguish bedouin and 7adhari Najdi 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)
     
  30. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    Seems the Najdi I've been listening to is a watered down version.

    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.

    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.

    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 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.

    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.

    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.
     
  31. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    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!" :D 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.

    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.


    So I take it you agree that Najdi vocabulary is more like Khaliji than UH.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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: Dec 26, 2010
  32. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    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?
     
  33. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    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.
     
  34. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Since this thread has been revived, I just wanted to say that I now tend to consider Bahraani a separate "Type".
     
  35. Silky_Sword

    Silky_Sword Senior Member

    Canada
    Palestinian Arabic
  36. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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  37. Silky_Sword

    Silky_Sword Senior Member

    Canada
    Palestinian Arabic
    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.
     
  38. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    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 :D
     
  39. Silky_Sword

    Silky_Sword Senior Member

    Canada
    Palestinian Arabic
    كان غيرك أشطر :D

    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').
     
  40. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

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    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    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.
     
  41. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    You're probably talking about the dialect of Jabal Fayfa (جبل فيفا) in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. It's a common belief among laypeople that they speak some sort of ancient "Himyarite" language, but, as I explained on another thread here, it is simply a very obscure and exotic dialect of Arabic (our Arabic). At most, it may have some South Arabian influence or substratum, but I don't know much about South Arabian languages so I'm just speculating. It's a shame that it doesn't seem to have caught the attention of any academic linguists.
     
  42. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    A "proper" map would probably have about three shades of one color covering the center-east, west and southwest, respectively, with a few isolated islands of urban or rural dialects scattered around the map.
     
  43. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Unaizah
    Najdi Arabic
    Sorry to revive this thread yet again but can you please list those 7-8 dialect families, in brief?
     
  44. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    They're listed in post 25 though I now think the Bahrani dialect should be its own Group or even its own Type. Briefly:

    1. Bedouin dialects of central and eastern Arabia + sedentary Najdi dialects (this can be split into the Shammari-type dialects and the remaining dialects, or into bedouin and sedentary dialects)
    2. Khaliji (Al-Hasa, Dammam)
    3. Bahrani (El-Gatiif)
    4. Tribal Hejazi
    5. Urban Hejazi
    6. Southern Mountain dialects
    7. Tihami dialects
     
  45. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Unaizah
    Najdi Arabic

    Hello Wadi Hanifa, thanks for the reply.

    I agree Bahrani should be its own group seeing as it has historically evolved in a different manner than that of mainstream Khaleeji. Other reasons I agree include the variety found among Bahrani dialects, a result of the different influences Bahrani's had over the centuries (e.g., Saihati vs. Awami or Qal3a/mainstream Gatifi vs. Ajam dialects of Bahrain). This, however, brings me to question your lumping in the sedentary dialects of Guisseem and Hail in the same group with other Najdi and Bedouin dialects. I've always likened the status of Gusmanji within its Najdi mother group to that of Gatifi or Bahrani within its Khaleeji mother group. I think having Najdi dialects along with the main tribal Hejazi dialects as one group and sedentary Haili and Guisseemi dialects as their own group would be a better option.

    I'm also interested as to why you assigned the term "Shammari" to those dialects. Is there any historical justification for this? Was it the main dialect of the tribe of Shammar or the Kingdom of Shammar?

    Finally, could you please provide an example of Tihami dialects?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  46. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    It's arguable, I suppose.

    The Ha'ili sedentary dialect is derived from the beduoin Shammari dialect. The Gassimi dialect is a hybrid between this and the main Najdi/bedouin dialects (its vocabulary is closer to other Najdi dialects). There's also the dialect of the Dhfiir tribe الظفير. Academic scholars classify these all as one group and call them "Shammari-type" dialects and call the other Najdi dialects "Anizi-type" dialects.

    I don't think there are enough grammatical differences to justify taking Shammari-type dialects (which arguably include Gassimi dialects) out of the Najdi group. The differences are mainly in vocabulary (especially, Shammar which seem to have their own lexicon) and certain pronouns. Also the pronunciation of the final "t" (a trait inherited from Shammar's ancient ancestors, Tayy). There are also differences in some short vowels, but these are within the range of variation that you find among Najdi and bedouin dialects as a whole.

    I don't know much about the Tihami dialects, I'm afraid.
     
  47. CrisR New Member

    Catalan & Spanish
    What is the dialect of Madinah if anyone can assist please?
    My Grandfather's Grandfather was a Saudi immigrant who came to Barcelona. I would like to speak his language, I would like to learn from Spanish or Catalan because I fear my understanding of English is not strong enough. Can anyone assist in the dialect of Madinah and where perhaps I could learn?
    Thank you
     
  48. Silky_Sword

    Silky_Sword Senior Member

    Canada
    Palestinian Arabic
    Wow, a Saudi immigrating decades ago to Spain????? What in the world!!! :)

    Are you 'still Muslim'?

    Madinah's dialect would be Hijazi, I believe. There's a map on Wikipedia for the distribution of Arabic dialects in all regions of the vast Arab World.

    At the point where you are now, and knowing how 'dialects' are always changing (specially now with mass media spreading through satellite channels a 'mainstream dialect' -mostly that one of the capital city), I'd advice that you learn any 'Eastern' Arabic dalect (from Egypt and eastward, like Shami / Levantine, Iraqi -though I wouldn't recommend Iraqi- and Gulf Arabic -Kuwaiti is nice-). But since many Medinan Saudis are themselves descended from 'pilgrims' who settled in the Hijaz region after performing Hajj (pilgrimage), then you're probably from another 'Arab stock'! Your ancestor's lastname (if you still maintain it) would help us find your origin :)
     
  49. CrisR New Member

    Catalan & Spanish
    I am a follower of both the Prophet Muhammad and the Prophet Isa. I am not part of an organized religion, my town's surroundings are primarily Christian and Catholic. As for my ancestor, he was very secretive about his 'Arabic life' he made references to Madinah but never specifically said that was his birth place, we are just guessing. He would never use his full name (he kept a journal) he would address himself as al-Barzinji or AlBarzinji and my family still carry the name. But I'm afraid we do not know too much about him, we gather his departure from Saudi Arabia was not a pleasant one. Do you think perhaps he was not a native of Saudi Arabia and perhaps another country? Thank you for your help, I am very grateful.
    Edit: In his journal he uses 'Gharbia' a lot, I do not know what that means, or even if it is anything of importance, if it is not I apologize for making myself look very stupid haha
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  50. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Your grandfather's grandfather must have lived until the early 19th century or perhaps around 1850 at the latest, so we cannot really refer to him as a "Saudi".

    Are you sure he spoke Arabic and not some other Middle Eastern language? Do you have any other evidence that he spoke Arabic besides his references to "Medina"? "Barzinji" is a Kurdish name, but that does not necessarily mean he did not come from Medina because, as Silky Sword mentioned, many of Medina's citizens are descendants of immigrants who came from various parts of the Islamic world during Ottoman times. "Gharbiah" means "western", so without context its impossible to know what he was referring to.

    People in Medina speak either Urban or Tribal Hejazi dialects. There are no resources for teaching the latter (linguists and learners have never shown any interest in the Tribal Hejazi dialects I'm afraid), but the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute has created a popular Urban Hejazi course which can easily and freely be downloaded off the web. Judging from your ancestor's last name, he probably spoke something similar to Urban Hejazi anyway.
     

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