triptote, diptote (ممنوع من الصرف)

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Anatoli, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    Triptote or diptote - how do you tell?

    I am interested in this question in general and specifically in the Arabic names.

    Take مُحَمَّدٌ [muHammadun] and أَحْمَدُ [aHmadu]. The former is a triptote and the latter is a diptote. No difference in the written language except for the accusative forms, which become: مُحَمَّدًا [muHammadan] and أَحْمَدَ [aHmada]. The diptotes take no accusative markers and in spoken Arabic the final endings are not pronounced, perhaps sometimes in accusative.

    There is probably no rule, I know most feminine names are diptotes (please correct me) but is there a pattern I could use or is there a method/link to find out whether a word or a name is a diptote? Dictionaries will cater for normal words, what about names? It seems very hard to find this info. Arabic Wikipedia doesn't show the vowelling, so you can't sometimes how to pronounce names of famous people.

    Your help is appreciated. :)
  2. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    I would love to help, but as a non-linguist I would need to know what you mean by diptotes and triptotes.
  3. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Diptote is ممنوع من الصرف .

    I'm tired now and should go to bed:), but I will offer a quick response. Arabic names have many categories. You can check out my thread here for more information. The names/proper nouns that are also ordinary words (adjectives, nouns) will decline like they normally would when used as a regular noun. محمد is just an adjective/verbal participle meaning 'highly praised' and thus will decline like an adjective. أحمد is actually a conjugated verb (I praise) and as such it will not decline like a noun, so as far as the name goes it is diptote. Other names that do not decline will most likely be proper nouns that have no relation to regular nouns.
  4. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Thank you Josh, that's what I suspected.

    In school we were taught categories of diptotes with examples. We recognize them while reading by analogizing to these categories. However, we had already acquired a "distate" for applying the "kasra" to these words through our Quranic education; if you never encounter "Ahmadi أحمدِ" for 12 years, it sounds awkward when you say it. I don't know of any other way to learn them then to memorize them.

    The categories I can think of now are:

    (1) nouns that are in the form of "fu3al" (all short vowels), such as عُمَر
    (2) female nouns that end with "اء" or such as صحراء
    (3) female names that end with ـة such as فاطمة(the name doesn't have to be literally female, e.g. أسامة)
    (4) any name ("3alam علم") of a foreign origin, such as بغداد، بيرس، إبراهيم، نيو يورك (Baghdad, Baybars, Ibrahim, New York)
    (5) صيغة منتهى الجموع, i.e. plural forms that are of the form mafa3il, fawa3il, mafa3eel, and the like (e.g. مواطن، أماكن، سواعد،مناقب،زلازل، صواريخ، أقاويل) ... I don't know what these are called in English
    (6) any name that is in the form ("wazn") of a verb such as يزيد، تغلب، شمّر، يعرب، ينبع، أحمد، قطر، حلب، أسعد
    (7) nouns that end with "ان" such as ta3ban, 3othman, tho3ban (تعبان، عثمان، ثعبان، نعسان، غضبان)

    It's never allowed to use a "tanween" with any of these categories.

    Also, whenever they are "majroorah", you must use a "fat7a" instead of a "kasra", unless the word is preceded by the definite article (e.g. من الزلازلِ، على الطاولةِ, etc.)

    Hope that helps.
  5. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    I need to analyse your response, guys but I think I disagree that words ending in "ـة" are all diptotes, although these words never take an accusative marker. :) I agree about the hamza words.

    The indefinite forms: sayyaaratun (N), sayyaaratin (G), sayyaaratan (A) are all spelled the same, except for the final tanwiin, whereas aHmadu (N) aHmada (G) aHmada (A) behave differently: in indefinite oblique (ie genitive or accusative) case they only have "a", never "i" and never end in "n".

    I agree with some from your list but I need to analyse the rest.
  6. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    You're right, I just modified it. Note the distinction between nouns (أسماء) and "names" (أعلام).

    You might find this useful:
  7. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    Thanks Wadi but I can't read much Arabic yet. Maybe someone else will ind it useful.

    Are the names السندباد and الهندباد diptotes? Do they behave like MuHammadun or like AHmadu?

    They both have the al- prefix, so they should be diptotes. Do the forms without al- exist?
  8. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    Salamun 3alaykum,

    I have a problem with diptotes.
    How do you know that a noun is a diptote?
    And are:
    1. Is 'shahr' in Al-Baqarah : 185 a diptote?
    2. Is 'fatch' in the word 'Fatchu l-Baari' a diptote?
  9. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Wa 3alayka 's-salaam ya Indunisiy, and welcome to the forum :)

    Regarding your first question (who do you know that a noun is a diptote?) please check the posts of this thread to which I merged your post. I hope you'll find the information you need.

    As for "shahr" it is not a diptote. If you ask because it's shahru and not shahrun, the answer is: because it's a part of an iDaafa structure. When a word is a muDaaf, it doesn't take tanwiin.

    The same goes for the word fat7 فتح .
  10. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    Are nouns of wazn فعاعل also diptotes?
  11. ajami Senior Member


    I assume that you know eiraab taqdeery.these eiraab bilhurrof --aif/wow/ya

    they fall under this category whether they are present lafzan/taqdeeran.

    as far as ghayr munsarif are concerned, i will try to answer quickly, from

    memory, whatever's in my mind right now.

    ghayr munsarif are only those nouns which are found with particular

    formations like 1)ism 3lam if not more than trilitteral and sukoon on the

    middle letter e.g noohun/noohan/noohin 3adun/3adan/3adin zaydun/zydan/

    zydin ,LuTun /LuTan/LuTin if not fullfill this criteria then it will not get

    tanween and jarr e.g fatimatu ayeshatu etc.

    2) non arabic ism 3lam :-Ibrahimu/Ibrahima, isma3eelu/Isma3eela/thamudu/thamuda, fir3ownu/fir3owna.

    3)The nouns on the scale of verb like Af3alu/yafalu---Ahmadu.yazidu.

    4)the nouns with variations in the original or standard nouns like, from A'Amir

    --- 3umaru, zafar zafir ----zufaru.

    5)compound nouns : b3labakka, m3dykerb etc.

    6)the nouns on the scale of F3Laanu ----uthhmaanu,salmaanu,s3daan,

    hamdaanu etc.
    7)the nouns on the scale of plurals of the plurals e.g فعالل فعاليل فواعل أفاعل أفاعيل مفاعل مفاعيل ---
    balabilu,dananeeru, kawakibu,akabiru,ababeelu,,nawadiru,siyasyy,makati bu,masajidu,maqabiru,manabiru,marasilu,maraseelu,

    I'm sorry for the transliteration... if I'll get some time later InshaALLAH then I will write in Arabic (it takes a very long time for me to cut and paste from online keyboards).

    JzkALLAH khayr.
  12. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Vancúver, Canadá
    Español de El Salvador
    فعاعل? If you mean فواعل or فعالل plural nouns, the answer is yes, like Wadi Hanifa said just above:
    This means that all plurals with the patterns فَواعِل,‎ فَواعيل,‎ مَفاعِل,‎ فُعَلاء,‎ أَفْعِلاء,‎ فَعائِل,‎ أَفاعِل (like the plural of مكان makaan: أماكن ’amaakin), فَواعيل; and فَعالِل and فَعاليل (for quadriliteral roots); are all diptotes in the indefinite.

    Others that I'd like to add are:
    (8) adjectives in the comparative form: أَفْعَل
    ‎(9) a few masculine names e.g. سليمان Sulaymaan and إبراهيم Ibrahiim (!)

    Also some other female names like زينب Zaynab, عفاف ‘Afāf and مريم Maryam.
  13. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Vancúver, Canadá
    Español de El Salvador
    I have a new question:
    All this time I've been thinking that all أسماء ending in ــاء were diptote. As you mentioned that it's for female nouns, then what about masculine words that end in ــاء? The ones where the ء comes from a ي or و final root, and not as part of a feminine suffix, like غِناء ("song", from root غ-ن-ي) and كساء ("clothes", from root ك-س-و)... Do they fully decline as غناءٌ,‎ غناءً, etc.?
  14. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    I asked this based on AndyRoo's post in my thread.

    It seems -at least to me- that the pattern is not of any wazn listed above except فعاعل.
  15. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    The root is ض ر ب so the pattern is فعائل. The letters ف ع ل represent root consonants, so if you write فعاعل it appears as though there are four root consonants or that the middle consonant is doubled.
  16. Al-Indunisiy Junior Member

    Oh right, thank you. It was a typo.
  17. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    These, along with مريم, fall under my category (4) (foreign nouns)
  18. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Vancúver, Canadá
    Español de El Salvador
    Oh, I see. They are borrowings from Hebrew or Aramaic then.

    May you answer my question above as well?
  19. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    The diptote female nouns ending with اء are those following the pattern/wazn فَعْلاء and not just any noun ending with اء , this is why غناء is a triptote and صحراء، صفراء، خضراء، حمراء، شهباء ... are all أسماء ممنوعة من الصرف .
  20. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Vancúver, Canadá
    Español de El Salvador
    Thank you very much!
  21. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    You're welcome. :)
  22. Scoobydoo1 New Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Please, read these 2 sentences:

    هم يُحِبُّ دائماً أنْ يُعَرِّفُني على أَصْدِقاءَ جُدُدٍ

    أعيشُ مَعَ جيرانٍ لُطَفاءَ

    I don't understand why these words are بالفتح (with ءَ) despite of بالكسر (with ءِ) and why there isn't تنوين
    ( ءً , ءٍ ).

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2011
  23. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    Yes they are ممنوعة من الصرف.
    Thus, they are diptotal (when indefinite), they don't take a kasra, instead it's always a fatHa in the genitive, and are never nunated.
  24. Scoobydoo1 New Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thank you too much, by the way, could you post some rules like this or tell me where I could find them in Wright, for ex.
  25. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    See Wright, Volume 1, Pages 234-247 or §308-312

    There are also several threads that address this topic. Search "diptote" or ممنوع من الصرف in the search box to find them.

    Hope that helps.
  26. Ustaath Senior Member

    Arabian Peninsula
    Arabic - levantine
  27. sirr Junior Member

    Swedish & Kurdish
    Hi everyone!

    I've been taught that diptote words are only diptote as long as they are indefinite, but as soon as they become definite they become triptote. So I know this rule applies to diptote words becoming definite by the definite article "أل", but does it also apply to diptote words becoming definite with a possessive pronouns?

    For instance; this line is from Nizar Qabbani's قارئة الفنجان:
    من حاول فك ضفائرها

    Ok so since ضفائر is diptote, I would guess it takes the accusative here, but does the pronoun ها make it definite so it becomes triptote, and therefore takes the genitive case?

    Thank you in advance!
  28. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    It is definite, so it is ḍafā'iriha, so you are correct and it is majrūr مجرور ("genitive") in this case.
  29. sirr Junior Member

    Swedish & Kurdish
    ok great, thanks clevermizo!
  30. Lovelightpeace

    Lovelightpeace Junior Member

    Are ALL feminine proper nouns diptotes or only most are?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2011
  31. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Hello Lovelightpeace,

    From this site:

    I note that feminine proper names are ممنوع من الصرف if they end with التاء المربوطة OR if they exceed three letters OR if they are of non-Arabic origin. This includes male names that end with التاء المربوطة.

    If the name has three letters AND does not end with التاء المربوطة AND is of Arabic origin then:
    1. If the middle radical has sukoon, then it is preferred to decline it as a triptote, but it is allowed to treat it as a diptote. Example: هِنْدٌ, هِنْدًا, هِنْدٍ
    2. If the middle radical does not have sukoon, then it must be a diptote. Example: أمَلُ, أمَلَ.
    مصر as the name for Egypt, apparently, is a special case as it is of non-Arabic origin but may be a diptote or triptote.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  32. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    مصر as a name (of Egypt or a man) is a ممنوع من الصرف. Check the Qur'an:
    سورة يونس - آية 87، سورة يوسف - آية 21، 99، سورة الزخرف 51.

    But when it's used with the meaning of country, it's a triptote:
    Like اهبطوا مصرًا (check verse 61 from سورة البقرة)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  33. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    I think you mean diptote here and triptote below. "Diptote" is ممنوع من الصرف.


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