اسكت Askout!

mayapan

Member
English - Australia
The word 'Askout!' is at p198, Chapter 21, of the novel The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles.

Port, still sick, is resting in a courtyard while Kit and an Arab guide go searching for a hotel. When they find the entrance, the guide knocked on the door loudly. A long time passed with no answer. Kit told the guide to knock again. And so...

"...he pounded with greater energy than before. This time a dog began to bark somewhere back in the garden, and as the sound gradually came closer it was mingled with cries of reproof. 'Askout!' cried the woman indignantly, but the animal continued to bark. Then there was a period during which an occasional stone bumped on the ground, and the dog was quiet."

So, what meaning does that word "askout" have? Thanks for the continuing help.
 
  • Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    It means be quite or -probably- more vulgarly, shut up (and this is one of the words I've heard the most across my quarter century long life from my parents :D).
     

    suryoyo

    Banned
    English-America
    أُسْكُتْ is how you pronounce it, isn't it?
    Are أُصْمُتْ and إخْرَسْ synonymous with it?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I would say that in order of increasing intensity/offensiveness, it goes:
    1. اسكت
    2. اصمت
    3. اخرس
     

    suryoyo

    Banned
    English-America
    Thanks. In these three words isn't it necessary to put the hamza above (or below in the third case)?
     

    suryoyo

    Banned
    English-America
    But technically, these words begin not with an alif but with a hamzah. More specifically, they begin with a hamzat al-wasl, as opposed to a hamzat al-qat'.
     

    fenakhay

    Member
    French (France) / Arabic (Morocco)
    Like you said, it is a hamzatu wasl, it shouldn't be written since technically it doesn't exist. It is only there to ease the pronunciation of initial clusters which MSA/CA don't like.
     

    suryoyo

    Banned
    English-America
    Like you said, it is a hamzatu wasl, it shouldn't be written since technically it doesn't exist. It is only there to ease the pronunciation of initial clusters which MSA/CA don't like.
    But it does exist when it's at the beginning of the sentence.
     

    wriight

    Senior Member
    English (US) / Arabic (Lebanon)
    And a hamza symbol is only written when it's to represent a hamzat qat3, i.e. a hamza that's always pronounced. Or, equivalently, when the hamza is morphologically rather than just phonetically part of the word.

    these words begin not with an alif but with a hamzah. More specifically, they begin with a hamzat al-wasl, as opposed to a hamzat al-qat'.
    This is correct, but as fenakhay indicated, you're deriving the wrong conclusion from it. Regardless of how it's pronounced in a particular place in a sentence, hamzat al-wasl is always underlyingly part of a word, and so it's a distinct thing entirely from hamzat al-qat3 (which is always written).

    أُسْكُتْ is how you pronounce it, isn't it?
    Regarding this: it's pronounced that way in MSA, yeah, but the language being represented isn't MSA. The book in question is set in North Africa and its characters speak the Arabic vernaculars of the region.
    However, considering the author's shaky track record with transcriptions (see other threads), I'm not sure the word's exact pronunciation can be determined from the way it was written. @fenakhay, how would "askout" properly be pronounced in Morocco?
     
    Last edited:

    suryoyo

    Banned
    English-America
    Is this particle used for alerting in CA too? If memory serves, أ is used to call people, just like يا and أي.
     
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