"marḥaban" -> "marḥaba" / "shukran" -> ?

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Diadem, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    I notice that in colloquial speech, مرحبا is pronounced [mar'-ḥa-ba], without an [n] at the end. Why doesn't the same phenomenon, the omission of the [n] at the end, also apply to شكرا (shukran)?
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Strictly if you stop after either then you shouldn't pronounce the nuun, but I keep the nuun in both always.
  3. Eternal student Senior Member

    English - London
    This is an interesting question. Why shukran is always pronounced shukran is, I think, easier to answer. Shukran, although now very common in dialectal speech, is not an original dialect word, but a borrowing from fuS7aa. Although some dialects have various pausal phenomena, -an > -aa is not one of them: it is a rule that only applies to fuS7aa (because no dialects have case). So if shukran gets borrowed into a dialect, you expect it to stay shukran. (Which is not to say that you'll never hear shukraa - I think I have. There's nothing stopping people deploying their knowledge of fuS7aa pausal rules when using this word in everyday speech, if they're that way inclined). The same applies to any fuS7aa word ending in -an that gets borrowed. For example, various dialects tend to use jiddan/giddan quite a lot and I've never heard the -an pronounced as -aa there, I don't think. Ditto aSlan, etc. Maybe someone can think of a counterexample though. So it's really mar7aba that's the surprising one. I think the explanation there is that it's not a borrowing from fuS7aa at all. In the dialects where you find it, it's a genuine dialect word, and it's مرحبة not مرحبا (cf. mar7abteen), so the mar7aba pronunciation is expected.
  4. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    And then (زاد الطين بلّة), I've also heard just plain "يا مَرْحَبْ" with no ending at all...
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I suspect that marḥaba is a re-borrowing from Turkish merhaba, with ح by analogy to Arabic words from the same root.
  6. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Again, in Egypt we'd always say 'mar7aban' or 'ya mar7ab' never 'mar7aba'

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