All dialects: I, me أنا - أني - آني

MarcB

Senior Member
US English
I would like to know which is used where.مثلا in Tunisia urban انا and bedouin اني. Khaleeji اني. In Qatif Saudi Arabia
men say انا and women sayاني. in Cairo انا.Also was اني used in ancient time?
 
  • cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    In Egypt:
    In bigger cities (Cairo, Alexandria...) people say "ana", in smaller cities and villages: "ani". I'm not sure about Upper Egypt الصعيد but I think they also say ani.
     

    Tariq_Ibn_zyad

    Senior Member
    French,arabic(moroccan,algerian)
    In Morocco and Algeria it's "ana" or "anaya",some places have the "ya" for many pronouns(anaya,entaya,entiya,7naya)
    In eastern Algeria= "ani" like in rural Tunisia
     

    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    I saw this old thread. Is it safe to say that in most countries Ana is urban and ani is rural and badawi?
     

    huhmzah

    Senior Member
    Urdu - English
    Just a side note: I know "ani" is used pretty commonly in Sousse, Tunisia as well -- so it does occur in at least in one urban setting.
    Also, though I'm sure most of you already know this, just thought I'd point out that the Hebrew first person singular pronoun is "ani" אני as well. I wonder if "ani" predates "ana" in Arabic OR if it was in concurrent usage w/ ani in the pre-quranic era. Also, does anyone know if ani is more prevalent in Jewish dialects of Arabic? (Either way Hebrew was already extinct as a day-to-day language at the time of the Arab expansion so I guess that'd be a hard connection to make.)
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I saw this old thread. Is it safe to say that in most countries Ana is urban and ani is rural and badawi?
    No. أني is very rare in the Peninsula, as far as I know. I don't think I've ever heard it in any bedouin or rural dialect, and keep in mind that Arabia is the wellspring of the bedouin-type dialects.

    Is there really a "beduoin" dialect in Tunisia by the way?
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Just a side note: I know "ani" is used pretty commonly in Sousse, Tunisia as well -- so it does occur in at least in one urban setting.
    Also, though I'm sure most of you already know this, just thought I'd point out that the Hebrew first person singular pronoun is "ani" אני as well. I wonder if "ani" predates "ana" in Arabic OR if it was in concurrent usage w/ ani in the pre-quranic era. Also, does anyone know if ani is more prevalent in Jewish dialects of Arabic? (Either way Hebrew was already extinct as a day-to-day language at the time of the Arab expansion so I guess that'd be a hard connection to make.)

    1. Although "ani" is Hebrew for I, Aramaic for I is "ana". I bring this up to point out that Jews in the Middle East were speaking mostly Aramaic before Arabic, so if anything the "ana" of Arabic would be reinforced.

    2. I have two theories about ani~ana in Arabic, just based on this thread. Either the alternation is as old as the hills, or "ani" results from "ana" by the process of إمالة.
     

    Xence

    Senior Member
    Algeria (Arabic - French)
    In Morocco and Algeria it's "ana" or "anaya",some places have the "ya" for many pronouns(anaya,entaya,entiya,7naya)
    In eastern Algeria= "ani" like in rural Tunisia
    ani is very very rare in Algeria, I'd say something like 1%. The most common is anaa or anaaya .
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    No. أني is very rare in the Peninsula, as far as I know. I don't think I've ever heard it in any bedouin or rural dialect, and keep in mind that Arabia is the wellspring of the bedouin-type dialects.
    Wadi, we usually use the word:
    آيني aayni .For example:
    آيني بروح صوبه بكره
    I am heading to him tomorrow
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    My own tribe"Qahtan" in central region.Do you know HaSat Qahtan south west at about 400 km away from Riyadh city?:)You would hear it usually uttered.Examples:
    آيه بيروح بكره aayih
    آيها بتروح بكرهaayhaa
    آيهم بيروحون بكره(مؤنث +مذكرaayhom
     

    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    Thanks for the feedback.

    1. Although "ani" is Hebrew for I, Aramaic for I is "ana". I bring this up to point out that Jews in the Middle East were speaking mostly Aramaic before Arabic, so if anything the "ana" of Arabic would be reinforced.

    2. I have two theories about ani~ana in Arabic, just based on this thread. Either the alternation is as old as the hills, or "ani" results from "ana" by the process of إمالة.
    So is Hebrew Ani related at all? Is Ani as old as the hills? Are there any references?
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Well they're cognates sure, but it's a different language and Hebrew is not really a sister of Arabic - more like a cousin. I don't think that "ani" in Arabic is of Hebrew influence. ;) Biblical ani alternates with anokhi. Only ani is used in Modern Hebrew.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    My own tribe"Qahtan" in central region.Do you know HaSat Qahtan south west at about 400 km away from Riyadh city?:)You would hear it usually uttered.Examples:
    آيه بيروح بكره aayih
    آيها بتروح بكرهaayhaa
    آيهم بيروحون بكره(مؤنث +مذكرaayhom
    Hmm ... that doesn't sound like it has the same meaning as أنا/أني. Can you give an example with more context?
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    There's other variations too, like آنا on the Gulf coast, and آني in Iraq.
    In Iraq you hear more than one; in Mousil region you would hear أنا overwhelmingly (the same as the Leviant way); in Baghdad it's overwhelmingly آني; in Basrah it's overwhelmingly آنة where the sound of the alif is somewhere between an alif and a yaa'; in the Mid North (Tikreet, Samarah...etc.) and the West (Ramadi, Raawa, A'ana..etc.) it's mostly أنة, where the hamza is clear but the alif somewhre between an alif and a yaa'.
     

    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    Mahaodeh: Thanks for more examples. Related to Hebrew can also mean they have a similar origin not necessarily that one influence the other.

    Well they're cognates sure, but it's a different language and Hebrew is not really a sister of Arabic - more like a cousin. I don't think that "ani" in Arabic is of Hebrew influence. ;) Biblical ani alternates with anokhi. Only ani is used in Modern Hebrew.
    Related to Hebrew can also mean they have a similar origin not necessarily that one influenced the other.

    Since the phenomenon is widespread, although rare in some places,does anybody know if it is from pre-islamic times?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Hello everyone,

    I noticed that in Libyan and Iraqi dialects, people say "anee" instead of "ana" for "I". If it exists in other countries/areas, where can it be found? And if only in those countries (Iraq/Libya) why? I mean, there is a big gap between those countries, so why only in them? And what is the origin of this pronunciation?

    Thank you for your replies :).
     
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    Aloulu

    Senior Member
    Tunisian Arabic
    In Tunisia this is also the case for the "Sahli's", Sousse and surrounding (touristic cities located close to the sea). Sousse, Monastir, Mahdia etc.
     

    Arabic Guru

    Senior Member
    Arabic - العربية
    Hello everyone,

    I noticed that in Libyan and Iraqi dialects, people say "anee" instead of "ana" for "I". .
    Salaam Akhi :D
    I think it's "aanii" like this آني in Iraqi dialect. Look for سيف العراقي - آني تايب منك on youtube.
    "anee" or "anii" will be similar to Hebrew.
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Wa 3alykum al salam :D

    Yes, that's what I meant, in my mind, "anee" "aanii" were the same thing ^^. Thank you for the song ;).
     

    abu l-bisse

    Member
    German
    I heard "ani" at the Samaritans in Nablus in their normal Arabic dialect.

    There exists an article
    Bo Isaksson, The Non-Standard First Person Singular Pronoun in the Modern Arabic Dialects (Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 37; p. 54-83).

    There one can find on 30 pages all he wanted to know about "ana". The strangest thing is, that there exist dialects in Yemen, which have a gender distinction also in the first person: men say "ana" and women "ani". This really is consistently :)
     

    Arabic Guru

    Senior Member
    Arabic - العربية
    I heard "ani" at the Samaritans in Nablus in their normal Arabic dialect.
    Actually, this is due to the Hebrew influence on spoken dialect. Others would pronounce it "ana". Look for: طائفة السامريون و زواج البدل جزء 1 on youtube.

    scene * Young lady at 04:00 - 04:25 (She says: ani)
    scene ** Older lady at 07:00 - 07:08 (She says: ana)
    scene *** The guy at 07:08 (He says: ana)
     

    abu l-bisse

    Member
    German
    Actually, this is due to the Hebrew influence on spoken dialect.
    I don't believe so. The Samaritans of Nablus are an Arabic community in an Arabic environment since hundreds of years. They have and had no contacts with Jewish communities in the Nablus area. If you have a look at the article which I mentioned, you see, that ani, aani or anii are very common all over the Arabic world. It is an old Arabic phenomena not a loan from other languages.

    I think that the Samaritans of Nablus preserved an older stage of the Arabic dialect of Nablus. It is often so, that isolated religious communities preserve older dialect variants. So I awaite that sombody finds also some old Muslim people in Nablus which are using ani.

    btw: when a camera is running people often avoid very typical dialect expressions and use more common forms instead. Let them have a telephone call with their parents or grandparents and one will be astonished hearing their true dialect.
     

    dkarjala

    Senior Member
    English - America
    I heard "ani" at the Samaritans in Nablus in their normal Arabic dialect.

    The strangest thing is, that there exist dialects in Yemen, which have a gender distinction also in the first person: men say "ana" and women "ani". This really is consistently :)
    This is also attested at jabal al-druze in Syria, fyi. For Nablus, as you said, I think outside influence, while possible, isn't necessary to explain the use of ani. First and second person pronouns are largely Proto-Afro-Asiatic and different tongues have kept different pieces of them over millenia.
     

    abu l-bisse

    Member
    German
    This is also attested at jabal al-druze in Syria, fyi.
    This is what Isaksson writes about it:

    "ʾani among the Druzes of Ǧabal ed-Drūz in the Ḥōrān region is probably due to external influence. Despite its location this dialect is commonly regarded as linguistically belonging to southern Lebanon. It should be noted that ʾani is the common form of the pronoun in the whole Ḥōrāni region (whereas ʾana predominates in Lebanon), and that its being used among the Druzes may be the result of an early influence from the surrounding Ḥōrānic dialects. A form ʾani is not otherwise attested in the Lebanese region (from which the Druze originate), except in pause (Šḥīm). In two of the Druze villages, Ṣamma and Ḏībīn, two distinct forms of the 1cs pronoun are reported to CANTINEAU as representing a gender distinction: m ʾana/f ʾani. CANTINEAU feels dubious about this, arguing that if ʾana were an inherited form it would have been subject to imala (thus ʾane). He instead suggests that ʾana is a borrowing from the influencial Damascus dialect, and that consequently, both forms be communae (allomorphs). However, CANTINEAU's conclusion is not imperative. He may be right in the suspicion that ʾana is a borrowing from Damascus, but this does not invalidate the reports of his informants. Rather it is likely that the prestige form ʾana has been adopted by the male speakers - more susceptible to contempt from outside groups - whereas the female speakers sticked to the (relatively) older form. Because of the distinctive reference of the first person singular the result has been a de facto gender distinction in the two villages.", fyi.
     

    dkarjala

    Senior Member
    English - America
    This is what Isaksson writes about it:
    Vielen lieben Dank, hab noch nicht Zeit gehabt in die Bibliothek zu gehen und konnte keine elektronische Kopie von dem Artikel finden, war sehr befriedigend, den Ausschnitt lesen zu können!

    In any case, I am not totally convinced by Cantineau or Isaksson's reasoning just yet (and I don't think they meant me to be), but it's fascinating nonetheless. I can't wait to check out the whole piece.
     

    bamia

    Member
    Dutch
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]

    [Pronouncing أنا as ani]
    I've heard that some Yemeni women do this and I know that yezidis in rif Mawsil (both male and female) say ani (perhaps others in that area do so as well). Are there any other dialects with this feature?
     
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    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Most Iraqis say aani. In the deep south around Basra it's aane(h) (same as Gulf dialects) and in Mousil as well some other northern towns they say ana or ane. But for most of Iraq it's aani.

    To be frank with you I don't think I've ever met a Yazidi so I wouldn't know how they say it, but if you say they do it makes sense to me so I wouldn't doubt it.
     

    fenakhay

    Member
    French (France) / Arabic (Morocco)
    In Morocco, some say ani but the majority pronounces it as aana. There is also another variation : anaya.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    In Morocco, some say ani but the majority pronounces it as aana. There is also another variation : anaya.
    I had no idea some say أني in Morocco (عيش نهار تسمع خبار) but I know in Hassaniya, many people (although not me) say "aané" which is الامالة (turning the final "a" into a "é" sound).
     

    fenakhay

    Member
    French (France) / Arabic (Morocco)
    I had no idea some say أني in Morocco (عيش نهار تسمع خبار) but I know in Hassaniya, many people (although not me) say "aané" which is الامالة (turning the final "a" into a "é" sound).
    Haha, yeah. It is in my dialect. But I haven't heard it outside my hometown's dialect.

    Example :
    • Ani mrit : I am sick.
    • Ani jay : I am coming.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    [Pronouncing أنا as ani]
    I've heard that some Yemeni women do this and I know that yezidis in rif Mawsil (both male and female) say ani (perhaps others in that area do so as well). Are there any other dialects with this feature?
    Yes, in the Bahrani dialect (Shia Arabic dialect of Bahrain), أنه ana is masculine and أني ani is feminine. I didn't know any other Arabs did this.
     
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