Iraqi Arabic "nagis"?

Ectab

Senior Member
Arabic-Iraq
In Iraqi dialect "nagis" نكس means "dirty, impure" which seems to be from Arabic نجس "najis" which has the same meaning. However, the j > g shift is quite unexplainable. In Iraqi Arabic, Modern Arabic j is always a palatal j and never a velar g (j is like English j in jail"). I can't think of any other word that has Arabic j as g or a different phoneme from j. Also, neighbouring dialects in the Levant and Arabia has a palatal (j or y), even Persian and Turkish has a palatal.

Egyptian and Yemeni dialects has Arabic j as g, but they don't seem to be a source of vocabulary into IA, let alone explaining how the word would then have reached IA without passing other dialects.
 
  • WadiH

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    A palatalized jiim can approximate a [g]. You hear this in bedouin and older Najdi dialects. When we were kids we always thought our grandmother said 'masgid' but later I realized this was a palatalized [dj] that was getting very close to [g].

    Isolated shifts happen, too. For example, most bedouins traditionally called a mosque masyid, but this shift to [y] doesn't happen in any other word.
     
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    raamez

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Syria)
    In Syria it is nijis indeed. But as Wadi Hanifa has said this can happen sometimes. In Syria جلابية is known as gillabiyieh with a g instead of j. Other words which have a [g] sound are usually of foreign origin like gil, dagra, nigil, ligin, etc. So I am not sure if this could have happend under Egyptian influence or not.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    In Iraqi Arabic, Modern Arabic j is always a palatal j and never a velar g (j is like English j in jail"). I can't think of any other word that has Arabic j as g or a different phoneme from j.
    That’s not quite true. There aren’t many but I can think of two from the top of my head: جاس يجيس = to touch, from the Classical Arabic جسّ يجسّ and مجدّي = begger, from Classical Arabic مستجدي. Both are pronounced with g as in good.
     

    Ectab

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Iraq
    That’s not quite true. There aren’t many but I can think of two from the top of my head: جاس يجيس = to touch, from the Classical Arabic جسّ يجسّ and مجدّي = begger, from Classical Arabic مستجدي. Both are pronounced with g as in good.
    That still doesn't explain the rare j to g shift.
    Also, those words you mentioned have both j and g pronounciation of ج depending on dialect. I almost always here mjaddee and rarely mgaddee but the mgaddee could be from Arabic مكدي (mukdee=poor, beggar from root k-d-y) with k > g by influence of the following d.
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    A question: some consonants are hard to pronounce when not part of the language, for example many Arabs find it difficult to pronounce "p". In regard to "g" (vs. "j"): is it easily pronounced by all Arabs (either natively or by mimicking Egyptian movies)?
     

    WadiH

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Most Arabic countries have dialects that contain a native [g] sound either for jiim (urban Egypt, parts of Yemen and Oman) or for qaaf (most other Peninsular dialects, central and southern Iraq, eastern Syria, rural Egypt, Sudanese and Chadic dialects, and all bedouin-type dialects outside the Peninsula such as North Africa and Greater Syria-Palestine).
     
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