CA/MSA: Final-weak words in pause

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Saley, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Saley

    Saley Senior Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    Hello everyone!

    In A Grammar of the Arabic Language (vol. ii, §227–228) W. Wright thoroughly describes the pronunciation of ‘defective’ nouns (like فتًى fatan, قاضٍ qaaDin) both in pause (at the end of major syntactic constituents in prose) and in rhyme (at the end of a verse in poetry). However, he leaves out from consideration a lot of other situations where a weak consonant (w, y, or 2) appears near the end of a word, so it’s not clear to me if the presence of such a consonant affects in any way the default process of deriving a pausal form from a context form.

    I have many questions, so I arranged them according to a single template to make them easier to locate and understand:
    • <a set of similar word-final sequences in the context form>
      <examples transcribed as they are pronounced in context>
      <questions about the corresponding pausal forms>
    So, let’s begin.
    • -ay, -aw
      e.g. لا تبقي laa tabqay; هم أتوا hum 2ataw
      I guess such words remain the same in pause, don’t they?
    • -iya, -uwa
      e.g. هو بقي huwa baqiya; لن يدعو lan yad3uwa
      Am I right that, whether in the past or in the subjunctive, the words having such endings in context change them into -ii and -uu respectively in pause (baqii; yad3uu)?
    • -a, -i, -u (jussive and imperative of defective verbs — أفعال ناقصة)
      e.g. ابق ibqa; لا ترم laa tarmi; ادع ud3u
      According to Wright (vol. ii, §230), the words of this kind receive an additional h in pause (ibqah; tarmih; ud3uh), but the way he phrases this gives me an impression there’s some other option. I’d like to know what this option is and how these words are pronounced in MSA.
    • -a2, -i2, -u2 (as such or followed by a short vowel, or by a short vowel + tanwīn)
      e.g. [-a2:] ابدأ ibda2; بدأ bada2a; يبدأ yabda2u; مبدأ mabda2un, mabda2in, mabda2an; المبدأ al-mabda2u, al-mabda2i, al-mabda2a; [-i2:] ابتدئ ibtadi2; لن يبتدئ lan yabtadi2a; يبتدئ yabtadi2u; بادئ baadi2un, baadi2in; بادئا baadi2an; البادئ al-baadi2u, al-baadi2i, al-baadi2a; [-u2:] لا تبطؤ laa tabTu2; بطؤ baTu2a; يبطؤ yabTu2u; تباطؤ tabaaTu2un, tabaaTu2in; تباطؤا tabaaTu2an; التباطؤ at-tabaaTu2u, at-tabaaTu2i, at-tabaaTu2a
      Wright only mentions الكلأ becoming al-kalaa in all three cases (vol. ii, §227, rem. b). What about all other sequences? Does it matter whether the word is a noun or a verb? Is the acc. indef. form different from others in pause? Do the rules differ in MSA?
    Discussing the stress shift in pausal forms compared to context forms (vol. i, §28, a, rem.), Wright gives some more examples relevant to the topic of this thread. Although he doesn’t explicitly define the rules to derive the pausal form and his examples are solely nouns in the nom. indef., I beleive what I’ve inferred from them is generally correct. The rules, as I understand them, along with Wright’s examples (stressed vowels in bold) are listed below; the explanation follows.
    • -aa2 > -aa
      e.g. اقتناء iqtinaa2un > iqtinaa; حمراء Hamraa2u > Hamraa
    • -iyy, -ii2 > -ii
      e.g. قرشيّ qurashiyyun > qurashii; نبيّ nabiyyun > nabii; بطيء baTii2un > batii
    • -uww, -uu2 > -uu
      e.g. عدوّ3aduwwun > 3aduu; مقروء maqruu2un > maqruu
    In the definition of each rule, to the left of the ‘>’ sign are sequences appearing at the end of a word in context (indicated here without inflectional terminations that necessary follow: a short vowel, or a short vowel + tanwīn); all these variants are pronounced in pause exactly as indicated to the right of the ‘>’ sign.
    In the examples, the first transliteration is the context form (with all sounds written) and the second one, after the ‘>’ sign, is the pausal form.

    First of all, am I right that the pausal forms are the same for all three grammatical cases both with and without tanwīn? I guess, the acc. indef. should be different.
    Secondly, do these rules apply to verbs as well (e.g. جاء jaa2a; يجيء yajii2u; لن يبوء lan yabuu2a)?
    And the last, do these rules operate in MSA?​

    Thank you for having read through this long post. I hope for your help.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  2. Matat Senior Member

    All answers provided in this comment below are based on Classical Arabic pronunciation rules unless otherwise stated.
    Yes, these sound the same whether in pause or not.
    Yes, they turn into long vowels.
    You may add هاء السكت and they would become ibqah, laa tarmih, and ud3uh, but you don't have have to. You may say ibq, laa tarm, and ud3. However, if the verb has only one letter, then you'd need to add it. For example, رَ (the imperative of رأى) will always be rah in pause.
    Get rid of the final vowels if you want to pronounce it in pause.
    I think what you're referring to is reducing the hamzah when in pause. This is one of the acceptable pronunciations in Classical Arabic. I've read about this and this would apply to all the words which end with a hamzah, not simply الكلأ. You could say ibdaa, badaa, mabdaa, ... in pause, referring to your examples above. If it was accusative indefinite and nuunated like كَلَأً for example, then no, it would not be the same. The hamzah would be pronounced and you'd say kala2aa, without reducing of the hamzah. Reducing the hamzah gets tricky when referring to words which end with ـاء. I'm not sure what the rule would be for this exactly, but I'd guess that the hamzah would become a ي or و, where السماء would be pronounced السماي or الساو (not sure which) in pause.

    However, another acceptable pronunciation is to keep the hamzah without reducing it. So al-kala2, ibda2, bada2, mabda2, etc. as well as assamaa2 are acceptable pronunciations in Classical Arabic as well.
    The ـيّ and ـوّ endings are not the same as if they were not without sahddahs. There is a difference in pronunciation. You would pronounce them as qurashiyy, nabiyy, and 3aduww; they are not pronouced with a long -ii or -uu.
    I sort of discussed this above. iqtinaa2, Hamraa2, baTii2, and maqruu2 are acceptable pronunciations. If you are trying to reduce the hamzah, then my guess is that you'd say baTiyy and maqruww, but I'm not certain. I'm also not certain how حمراء would be pronounced when reducing the hamzah.
    Yes, but be more specific. The accusative indefinite which is nuunated (not a diptote) and not ending in a feminine marker ة will be different.
    jaa2, yajii2, and yabuu2 are acceptable pronunciations. I'm not sure what other pronunciation would be acceptable in terms of taking away the hamzah.
    This is hard to answer since it will depend on who you talk to. For most words, you can't definitively claim something is the 'proper MSA pronunciation', but what you can do is make observational statements about how the average native speaker may pronounce the word or how certain groups may pronounce it versus others. In MSA, most people don't observe the rules of pause. The way they pronounce a certain word will be the same whether it is in pause or not. Also, some will pronounce certain types of words with the final vowel, but in other types of words they won't. For example, some may pronounce the final vowel of past tense singular masculine verb, such as in بَقِيَ, and they'll pronounce it even if its the last word in the sentence. Those same people, however, won't pronounce the final vowel of a present tense singular masculine verb, such as in يذهبُ, whether in pause or not.

    The following is how some native speakers would pronounce the words you are asking about, but all of the following would be pronounced the same way whether in pause or not:
    • هم أتوا and لا تبقي would be 2ataw and tabqay.
    • بقي and بطؤ would sound the baqiya and baTu2a.
    • ابق would be ibqa, لا ترم would be tarmi, and ادع would be ud3u.
    • From the list of hamzah-ending nouns and verbs you provided, the singular masculine verbs بدأ and بطؤ would be bada2a and baTu2a. The rest of the nouns and verbs would sound as you wrote them, but without the final vowel (e.g. ibda2, mabda2, yabda2, etc.)
    • You would pronounce اقتناء, حمراء, بطيء, and مقروء as baTii2, Hamraa2, iqtinaa2, and maqruu2.
    • For قرشيّ, نبيّ, and عدوّ, I've found that how these nouns are pronounced very heavily depends on the region the person comes from. Some would pronounce them as nabi, qurashi, and 3adu, but with a little stress on the last letter.
    • جاء would be jaa2a, يجيء would be yajii2, and لن يبوء would be yabuu2.
    Understand though that not all native speakers may pronounce each of these the same way as I wrote above.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  3. Saley

    Saley Senior Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    I’m happy that you confirmed many of my guesses.

    Concerning the first three blocks, all is clear now. I was misled by R. Hoberman’s article about pausal forms. He wrote about the final vowels in the words like yarmi that ‘deleting these vowels just as suffixal vowels are deleted was judged non-standard (Carter 1990)’, so I didn’t memorize this option. However, now I’ve looked into M. Carter’s article that was referred to and haven’t found there that it was deemed non-standard; on the contrary, it seems that both options are regarded as equally acceptable.
    Would -i2 become -ii and -u2 become -uu in pause if I follow this strategy?
    Are you sure about that? I just took these pausal forms directly from Wright, having only retransliterated them according to the forum’s scheme (see vol. i, §28, a, rem.). I’m not certain if he implies that these forms are the only possible or the most common ones, but the fact that he discusses them should indicate that it’s at least an acceptable variant.
    These questions were part of the last block (which discusses -aa2, -iyy, -ii2, -uww, -uu2). So, I intended to ask if, for example, all grammatical forms of iqtinaa2un would become iqtinaa and if, for example, lan yabuu2a would become lan yabuu in pause (following the strategy employed in Wright’s examples).
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  4. Matat Senior Member

    Yes, since they are the final letters of the word and since we are talking about pause.
    Yes, I'm positive there is an extra stress on something like النبِيّ compared to something like الثانِي. I'm not sure why Wright has it written the way he does. Do you know how Wright transcribes الثاني?
    I just looked around online to make sure and I found there would be no difference between a verb and noun. اقتناء would be pronounced iqtinaa (as if it were اقتنا - notice there is no shaddah since we can't put a shaddah on an alif) and ييوء would be yabuww (as if it were يبوّ). Again though, this is not the only way to pronounce them, and certainly not the common way to pronounce them.
    After looking around online, it seems my guess was wrong. It would be pronounced assamaa.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  5. Saley

    Saley Senior Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    I’m afraid he doesn’t transcribe any word of this kind. However, the following may serve as an indirect evidence that he would do it with a final ī as well.
    Describing defective verbs in a somewhat weird manner, he says (vol. i, p. 90):
    So, it would be transcribed tarmī. Then he talks about pausal forms (vol. ii, p. 371):
    That’s to say, he attributes يرمي and القاضي to the same class of words (those ending in a long vowel), so it’s natural to suppose he would transcribe them similarly. As he is using ī for ترمي, then القاضي should be rendered ’èl-ḳāḍī in his transcription.

    Do I correctly understand that the only acceptable pausal forms of كلأً kala2an and أسماءً2asmaa2an are kala2aa and 2asmaa2aa, although they never have an additional ’alif in their Arabic spellings?

    And one more question:
    • -aaya, -ayya, -iyya (‘my’-possessive forms of final-weak nouns)
      e.g. هواي hawaaya (< هوًى hawan), في يديّ fii yadayya (< du. يدين yadayni), معلّميّ mu3allimiyya (< pl. معلّمون mu3allimuuna)
      In what ways can these words be pronounced in pause? Which one is the most common?
  6. Matat Senior Member

    These are correct. This means that the way Wright transcribed النبيّ is incorrect. There will be a stress at the end of النبيّ, unlike القاضي, الثاني, and ترمي.
    Yes, despite not having the final alif written for the accusative case, they would be pronounced as kala2aa and 2asmaa2aa.
    hawaay (hawaa), yadayy (yadayn), mu3allimiyy (mu3allimuun)
    What do you mean?
  7. Saley

    Saley Senior Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    That’s interesting. One of the reasons why I asked this was that I was trying to explain the absence of an additional 2alif in the spelling of these words by means of their pausal forms. As we don’t write the 2alif in the accusative with tanwīn of the words ending in ة and don’t pronounce it in pause, I thought that, as we don’t write the 2alif in the words like كلأً and أسماءً, there would be something similar with their pausal forms. However, as you have pointed to me, it isn’t so.

    In this case I see two possible explanations why we don’t add the 2alif. The first one is that the final written letter of such words was already the 2alif (the hamzah sign being absent at the times when the writing system was being established), so an extra 2alif wasn’t added in order to avoid two consecutive 2alifs (however, we do write two 2alifs in the words like قراءات). The second explanation could be that the rasm (كلا and اسما) reflected the actual pronounciation of these words (*kalaa and *2asmaa) in a dialect that the writing system was initially based on.
    I meant that if any of these words had several alternative pausal pronunciations, which of the variants would be considered the most common and recommended?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  8. Matat Senior Member

    No variants. There is one pronunciation (as far as I know, at least).
  9. Saley

    Saley Senior Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    OK, now I feel that I know how to put any word I can think of into the pausal form.

    Thanks a lot for your help, Matat. I wish you all the best!

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