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EA: ت-initial plural in construct state after numerals

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Pathawi, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    When I first started studying Egyptian Arabic, I learned that أَيّام becomes تِيّام after a numeral, أُشهُر becomes تُشهُر, and أَلاف becomes تَلاف. (It's curious that the initial vowel only changes with أَيّام.) I'm reviewing grammar through Abdel-Massih's EA textbooks from the '70s, and he reports that the same is true of the plurals of سطر and خُمس, and optionally قلم. Is there a name for this phenomenon in Arabic?

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    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    It's just a quirk of Egyptian dialect:
    خمسة أقلام sounds like خمس تقلام
     
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I think your book has explained this very badly. ­xamsat is the muḍāf for the number “five”. The –t is the last sound of the number, not the first sound of the following noun.
     
  4. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    The way we pronounce it is rather confusing, since we are silent between (xamas) and (te2la:m) but it's certainly better to think of it in terms of why we say it like this, as fdb explained.
     
  5. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Thanks for the responses.

    Perhaps I've explained this poorly: The point isn't that the مضاف of خمسَة is خمسِة, but rather that the the plural of خُمس, which is would otherwise be أخماس, is pronounced تخماس after a numeral. So, for example, there's the idiom ضرب أخماس فى أسداس, where you've got the sort of normal plural, but that the fraction 4/5 is pronounced أربع تَخماس.

    For what it's worth, I'm not saying this is so on that specific word: I don't know that I've ever heard either the word خمس or أخماس in speech. For خمس and سطر and قلم, I'm just reporting what the book says. But I do think I've heard people say ثمن تِيّام, which the book is referring to as the same phenomenon.

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    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
  6. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Oh, I see. My apologies: I thought that the response concerning the مضاف of خمسة was in reply to the bit on the plural of خُمس, rather than on the specific example from إسكندرانى. That makes sense to me. But then wouldn't this be something to note about the pronunciation of the مضاف of the numeras with all plurals in افعال? Is there really nothing different about أيّام and أشهر?

    Thanks much.

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    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
  7. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Apologies again: I just went digging into another grammar (Kullu Tamām), and found a claim that it does apply to all أفعال plurals. So that was a poor explanation!

    Thanks for your help in explaining what's actually going on.

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    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     

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