Alif as MIDDLE letter of a word.

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by arabist-1, Jan 10, 2013.

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  1. arabist-1 New Member

    In normal writing-text vowel-marks (like Haraket: Fatah, Kasra & Dammah , etc are NOT written)
    Thus although Alif is sometimes written alone as ا (without any additional marks, Hamzah or Tashkil ) This is can cause confusion in the sense it may not be clear what sound the alone aif ا represents.
    However, let`s assume here want to write-show the correct vowel-marks etc
    So if we see and unmarked Alif - what is it likely to be / how should it be marked ?
    Note the position of the alone alif already gives an indication of what it represents or does not represent.

    2.0 Unmaked alif ـا‎ in the middle of a word:

    2.1 it is likely to be a long-vowel aa (should be proceeded with a consonant carrying a fatah). As a long-vowel the alif should have a sukuon but here the sukun is not normally written.

    2.1 it could be an alif consonant with harakat
    Alif just with Fatah اَ
    Alif just with Kasra اِ
    Alif just with dammah إ

    2.2 it could be a alif carrying a hamzah
    Alif is the only possible carrier where hamzah is the first phoneme of a word (not eg waw or ya).
    If hamzah is added above the alif أَ called the alif-hamzh-fatah
    If hamzah is added above the alif أُ called the alif-hamzah-dammah
    Ih hamzah is added below the alif إِ called the alif-hamzah-kasrah
    all three x3 indicating that the letter so modified does indeed signify a glottal stop, and not a long vowel.

    2.3 It could be written as an alif only with hamzah - but this is actually NOT formally correct, the hamzah SHOULD be written TOGETHER with a supporting vowel-ḥarakāt
    If alif is alone with hazmah at bottom إ it implies a missing Kasra
    If alif is alone with hamzah at top أ this is not so easy, it implies a missing Fatah or missing Dammah

    2.4 could be the silent – unwritten alif
    For example take the word for “that” = ذلك masculine
    This is pronounced/sound as ذالك (incorrect spelling, just used as an example)
    ie, sound with a long-vowel aa but unwritten, as such its the invisible Alif

    2.5 it could be an alif-madda آ
    Eg قُرْآن qurˈʔaːn
    The ʾalif maddah is, as it were, a double alif, expressing both a glottal stop and a long vowel: It has become standard for a hamza followed by a long ā to be written as two alifs, one vertical and one horizontal.
    [h=4]2.6 it could be a Dagger alif ــٰ[/h]The superscript (or dagger) ʾalif ⟨أَلِف خَنْجَرِيَّة⟩ (ʾalif ḫanǧariyyah), is written as short vertical stroke on top of a consonant. It indicates a long /aː/ sound where ʾalif is normally not written, e.g. ⟨الله⟩ (Allāh or ⟨هٰذَا⟩ (hāḏā) or ⟨رَحْمٰن⟩ (raḥmān). The dagger ʾalif occurs in only a few words, but these include some common ones; it is seldom written, however, even in fully vocalised texts. Most keyboards do not have dagger ʾalif.

    2.7 Is it possible to have an Alif with a shadda ?? can someone please clarify

    2.8 any more topics / possibilities ref alif in the MIDDLE of a word ??

    Regards, David
    Note, all above relates to Alif in the MIDDLE of a word,
    See other/existing post ref summary of what alif can be as FIRST letter at the start of a word.
    Another separate thread will be started soon ref alif at end-LAST letter of a word.
  2. barkoosh Senior Member

    In short

    2.1 (second paragraph) can't exist with middle alif.

    2.3 This has nothing to do with the hamzah itself. It's something that applies to every consonant in Arabic. Every consonant should have a vowel-ḥarakah, whether fatHa, Dammah, kasrah, or sukuun. The thing is, we usually don't write those vowel-ḥarakāt every time. We usually can tell what vowel-ḥarakah should be used without having to write it. It's similar to "bldg" in English. While some letters are missing, you can tell that it's "b[ui]ld[in]g" without writing the "ui" and "in".

    2.4 and 2.6 are the same. The unwritten alif in ذلك is the dagger alif, which is not written most of the times.

    2.7 Yes, as long as it has a hamzah, like any other letter in Arabic. For example, تَرَأَّسَ.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  3. arabist-1 New Member

    a) indeed the first 2.1 does not aply ref middle alif (my error - should have been deleted, it applies to alif in first position).
    b) ref 2.4 being the same as 2.6, you reply clarifies, but are you also saying that "all" unwritten alifs are dagger-alifs ?
    c) ref 2.7 in this example word تَرَأَّسَ (head/to preside), are you saying that fully vocalised the alif here carries x3 diacritics:2.7b fatah, hamzah and shadda ?
    2.7c could it ever just be alif with fatah and shadda ?
    2.9 is a shaddah ⟨شَدَّة⟩ (šaddah), the same as tashdid ⟨تَشْدِيد⟩ (tašdīd) ?
  4. barkoosh Senior Member

    b) A Wikipedia article lists those words:
    To which you can add:
    الرحمن، أولئك، ههنا.
    Also, سموات. However, it could also be spelled سماوات.

    c) 2.7b Yes but please note something. The hamzah is a letter/consonant, not a diacritic. The alif is only the seat of the hamzah. Compare:
    تَرَؤُّس and مُتَرَئِّس.
    The letter after ر in all three words is the hamzah. The ا in ترأّس, the و in ترؤّس, and the ىـ in مترئّس are all seats of the hamzah.

    2.7c No. You must have a hamzah.

    2.9 shaddah is that symbol on the letter ـّ; tashdid generally refers to the action of adding a shaddah to a consonant.
  5. arabist-1 New Member

    Barkoosh, from a quick check, think I understand/concur with all your reply, thanks (in particular I like your attention to detail ref 2.7b)
    2,7c this seems a bit illogical. It would be nice to just have a alif with fatah and shadda, without hamzah. i will have to think about this and corresponding pronunciation.

    Regards, its a long time since I passed via Beruit, David
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