Arabian bedouin and Maghrebi pronunciation

Hemza

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

First of all, I know my question isn't accurate at all, because I suppose there are many kind of pronunciation among bedouins and in Maghrebi dialects, but I ask in general.

I would like to know if Bedouin speech's pronunciation (Bedouin Najdi, Bedouin Hijazi, Bedouin Omani and Bedouin Yemeni, etc) is close to Maghrebi pronunciation. By this, I mean, do bedouin pronunciation swallow words when they speak? Or don't pronounce all vowels in a word, for example, do bedouin speakers remove the first vowel of a word and render it as a sukun as we do in Maghrebi countries?

Thank you for your replies :).
 
  • Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Yes, one of the hallmarks of Arabian dialects, particularly bedouin or bedouin-related dialects (like Najdi and tribal Hijazi) is the preponderance of consonantal clusters, especially in the beginnings of words, though the prevalence varies between dialects. Western scholars like to call this the "ghawa syndrome" (referring to the renunciation of the word gahwah (coffee) as ghawah).
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Many thanks for your reply, I thought this thread was lost somewhere on the forum ahahaha!!

    Thanks also for the example. Just to be sure, how Arabian speakers (except urban Hijazi speakers) pronounce "baka"? Like "hiya bakat". Do they render it like "hiya bkat" (as we do in Morocco for example) or do they pronounce it "bakat"?
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I hesitated then I thought my question would suit this thread. I did a discovery in a book about Yemen/South-Western Saudi Arabia dialects. It is very expensive so I could only access to an extract of it but then I found an interesting claim in this picture:

    Yemeni.jpg


    How accurate it is? Is it still used today?

    For non French speakers: Bedouins of الحجرية (in Saudi Arabia) use أني for the 1rst singular masculine and أنا for the 1rst singular feminine. They also use ألا for أنا, and نفعل for أفعل as in Africa. أني نستحي منك.

    Can this shed some light on the conjugation system of Maghrebi dialects?

    Here is the book:

    Dialect Atlas of North Yemen and Adjacent Areas
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Wasn't he giving an "ani" example within a Maghrebi context, not the other way round?
    No, the example is Yemeni for sure.
    Not only in NA, أني was also in Andalusian dialects...even more common.
    I know and أني is still used today in many places but the pronoun isn't important, I rather point at the way of conjugating. This is found in the Maghreb only (allegedly). It isn't a Berber influence (it can't be, language influence rarely affects grammar and Berber grammar is way too different in this aspect). So this must be a native Arabic feature. But except the Maghreb (and Chad and some places in Egypt) no one says أنا نفعل, except in Southern Arabia (Yemen and Oman as well). It cannot be a North African innovation, otherwise it may have been limited to some places. Why people would decide to all switch to أنا نفعل from Egypt to Mauritania as well as Andalusia?

    Hence I go for a Southern Arabian origin hypothesis although this feature isn't spread to the whole area.
     
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    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I think it's quite plausible that this innovation could have taken place in two different places. After all, there's also no real reason why a feature restricted to a small portion of the Arabian Peninsula should have spread across vast portions of North Africa. And it seems like a straightforward development. In Levantine at least the 'we' form is often used to refer to the first person singular (and in English as well we have 'us' in the sense of 'me' in the object form). And if you look at verbal conjugation, the ni-/ni-u pairing clearly fits by analogy with all the other prefix-suffix pairs (ti-/ti-u, yi/yi-u) for singular and plural. In fact, I'm fairly sure that in some transitional areas you can find evidence of the intermediary phase in this transition (i.e. 2a/ni-u for first person with generalisation of the u to the plural but not the ni-). The similarity to Berber probably helped this shift in North Africa when large numbers of Berber speakers adopted Arabic.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    After all, there's also no real reason why a feature restricted to a small portion of the Arabian Peninsula should have spread across vast portions of North Africa
    But it is the case for vocabulary. For instance, I noticed many words used from Mauritania to Libya which are restricted to some Yemeni areas (to my knowledge). Why can't it be the case for a grammatical feature? It is highly possible that a feature is restricted to an area then spread in a much bigger area if the group which brought the feature, settles and spreads across this vast area. Also, it may be restricted today but no one knows how spread or restricted it was in the past in the Arabian peninsula. I'm not saying it was spread but this may had a wider spread than it has today.

    And it seems like a straightforward development. In Levantine at least the 'we' form is often used to refer to the first person singular (and in English as well we have 'us' in the sense of 'me' in the object form).
    I think this is highly situational and restricted to some peculiar contexts. I've never heard my Palestinian mates expressing this way in usual situations while this is the case in the Maghreb and this Yemeni dialect (at least) as well as some Omani dialects (of course, it may have fade out today).

    And if you look at verbal conjugation, the ni-/ni-u pairing clearly fits by analogy with all the other prefix-suffix pairs (ti-/ti-u, yi/yi-u) for singular and plural. In fact, I'm fairly sure that in some transitional areas you can find evidence of the intermediary phase in this transition (i.e. 2a/ni-u for first person with generalisation of the u to the plural but not the ni-). The similarity to Berber probably helped this shift in North Africa when large numbers of Berber speakers adopted Arabic.
    May be but I don't know if this is enough to invalidate my statement.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    It's not restricted to a small area of the Peninsula. Most dialects of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf exhibit this phenomenon. It's more extensive in Najdi and bedouin dialects (and the latter cover most of the area of the Peninsula), but it occurs in Khaliji and tribal Hijazi dialects as well.
    What do you mean? Which phenomenon?
     
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