Najdi Arabic: Plural Suffix -aan

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Schem, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Najdi Arabic
    Hello everyone,

    The suffix ان- is one we use often in my dialect to indicate the plural. Examples are numerous and include those as عمّان (uncles), بزران (children), بيبان (doors), and جيران (neighbors) among others. I've observed its use in other dialects with words like جيران but I'm not sure if the suffix is used extensively outside of that. I also can't help but notice the similarity to Indo-Iranian -an (e.g., Taliban) and wonder if there is any relation. Suffice it to say, I'm rather ignorant about Arabic broken plural patterns and can't support a relation one way or the other hence the thread. My questions are basically how common are -aan ending plurals in your dialect? And any input on its origin?

    Much appreciated
  2. Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Moroccan Arabic

    In Moroccan and Hijazi, we also say "bibaan" for "doors" :). But I have no idea about its origin...
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    There are quite a large number of classical Arabic plurals of the patterns fiʻlān and fuʻlān, for example buldān and jīrān, and the pattern has spread to other nouns in the dialects. This –ān is not related to the Persian plural suffix –ān. The similarity is accidental.
  4. tounsi51 Senior Member

    Sometimes I am ashamed to say bibaan to other Arab Speakers...thinking that only abwab is correct :D
  5. Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Moroccan Arabic
    Ahlan a si Tounsi,

    Don't worry, you're not the only one :D. Sometimes, we think that some words are used only in an area and we don't use them while they're also used elsewhere ahahaha!!! Imagine, I was ashamed to use "bazbuz" (robinet) thinking it was used only in Morocco and unknown elsewhere :D
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  6. Zoghbi Senior Member

    arabic (Algeria)

    It's not exclusively used in Nadjdi Dialect, these exemples are well known in Algeria:

    - جيران (neighbors)
    بيبان (doors)
    عديان (enemies)
    ريسان (heads)
    - طيسان (cups)
    - كيسان (drinks)
    - طرقان (roads)
    - بلدان (countries, cities)
    - ويدان (rivers)
    - غيران (caverns)
    -فرسان (cavaliers)
    - قومان (military detachment) always prononced with the "g" gouman
    - خرفان (lambs)
    - رعيان (shepherds)
    - غربان (crows)
    - سيسان (foundations)
    - رهبان (mystics)
    - ردّان (returns)
    - ميلان (preferences)
    - شرطان (ribbons)
    - حصران (retentions) only used with the expression حصران البول
    -سقيان or رشّان (watering)
    - شجعان (braves)
    - قدعان prononced gid3an (doughty men, valourous)
    -هدّان (demolition)
    -نيبان (canines)
    -طيجان (crowns)
    -حفظان (grandsons)
    -اخوان (brothers), a more common plurial (in my city) is خاوة
    -نسبان (brothers in law)

    In fact there is an infinity of exemples, I think a significant part of all the word of the dialect have an -aan plurial form. By against, we don't know
    عمّان, we use rather عموم.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  7. Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Moroccan Arabic
    I suppose those "Algerian" examples also applies for Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.
  8. Zoghbi Senior Member

    arabic (Algeria)
    Yes I suppose too, I think we can generalized most of them in all the arab world.

    What about MSA ?
  9. Xence Senior Member

    Algeria (Arabic - French)

    The fact is these plurals fit in two well known Arabic broken plural patterns, fi3laan and fu3laan, which are governed by specific properties. (Anyone whom is interested may have a look at this page, for example)
  10. Zoghbi Senior Member

    arabic (Algeria)
    Thanks for sharing this link very clear.

    So we aren't speaking about a new dialect construction, I had the intuition that it wasn't the case but I was in doubt.

    Some word I have listed are mentionned in the page, also one that I forgot and who is very used in our dialect : شُبّان wich have two meanings: beautifull ones and young people.
  11. aasheq Senior Member

    London, UK
    English (Estuary)
    I think this question was answered in no. 2.
  12. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Najdi Arabic
    Thanks, everyone, for your participation. I had a hunch these plurals would be a lot more common than I thought. :)

    Thank you guys for the very helpful answers!
  13. HBZ55 Senior Member

    Arabic - Tunisia
    Not the case for Tunisia. Some of the words don't exist and for the ones that do, the plural isn't the same for most of them.
    We have: ryoos instead of riisaan, Tro9 instead of Tor9aan even though kayyaas is the more common word, widyaan, we don't say 5aroof but 3alloosh with the plural 3laalish, raddaan means vomiting for us, a5wa instead of a5waan, ansaab instead of nasbaan ...
    The words that I didn't mention have the same plural for both dialects or aren't used in Tunisian.

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