Parrot ببغاء

Cilquiestsuens

Senior Member
French
Moderator note:
This discussion started in the Indo-Iranian forum and was moved here to keep the original thread on topic.

No PG, it is not from Arabic! In Arabic a parrot isببغاء babghaa'.
In Arabic it is actually babbagha' with a shadda on the second b... It is simply one of my favorite words in the language !!
 
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  • Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    In Arabic it is actually babbagha' with a shadda on the second b... It is simply one of my favorite words in the language !!

    No sir! Not
    necessarily so in MSA according to Hans Wehr and Al-Mawrid - both trustworthy lexicons of standard Arabic. Wehr gives babbaghaa' only within brackets, but without the shaddah as the main form. Al-Mawrid shows only the non-shaddah form. Most other dictionaries also give it as below:

    ببغا babghaa (sing.), بَبغاوات babghaawaat (plural).

    Unless you are talking of a dialect of Arabic Cilqui.
    May be some dialects use the form with the shaddah as the norm.
     

    Cilquiestsuens

    Senior Member
    French
    I beg to differ.... I don't think this is dialect... You find a great number of references with the shadda.. such as this one and they rather belong to Classical Arabic... Now, we'd better shift this thread to the Arabic section if we want to have an answer (my guess = both are Classical Arabic), but check out the amazing destiny of this word:

    This Arabic word is said to be the etymology of the Spanish : papagayo (=parrot) and Italian pappagallo (=parrot) what is interesting here is the geminate in Italian which hints at a geminate in the original.

    And it made the English word popinjay.... Check it out here.

    Now, funnily enough, the first link above says this word was borrowed into Arabic from 'some Indian dialects' (it's a well known fact, Indians just have dialects, no languages.... huh ;)) and the last link says it comes from Persian babgha ?????

    Now the pronounciation babbagha' I've heard it with levantine speakers (Lebanon) speaking MSA... It doesn't mean this is dialect... I've never heard babgha' though...
     
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    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I don’t wish to sound abrupt or anything, but this has little to do with PG’s original question. Is our word for parrot (طوطا) of Arabic origin? The answer is in the negative as I say above. The shaddah is not really relevant here although it'll be good to know for academic reasons if it was used so once. In MSA the non-shaddah form predominates, as I imply above. All the modern lexicons I've seen lack a shaddah in this word.

    I grant you that the references you give use a shaddah and they are "classical" - though sometimes even in classical texts you can see words from dialects! I’m not suggesting that this is dialect. Just that two or three examples are not statistically significant.
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Thanks Masjeen for responding!

    I see! But was it always like this? I mean generally speaking in prose and poetry?

    Perhaps both with and without shaddah were used depending.

    In modern lexicons of MSA that I have looked at so far it is like this:

    Wehr:
    babghaa2 (though Wehr mentions in brackets babbaghaa2too).

    Al-Mawrid:
    babghaa2

    Doniach (English-Arabic):
    babghaa2

    Wortabat:
    babghaa2 & babbaghaa2

    So I guess both are correct!

    How do you pronounce it in your dialect?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    The original question was however on the common pronounciation of this word in MSA...
    With all respect to the resources cited by Faylasoof, I have to say that I never heard babghaa2. It's always with a doubled "b": babbaghaa2.
    I'm not saying that the other pronunciation is not correct, just saying what I know to be the common or usual pronunciation.

    It would be nice to know how it is pronounced in other dialects.
    In Egyptian Arabic it's different from fuS7a; it's baghbaghaan بغبغان . The Egyptian pronunciation of the غ is "lighter"(?) than the one in fuS7a مُرَقَّقة not مفخَّمة .
    There's a famous song of the Algerian singer Warda وردة called أنا عندي بغبان you can search for it to hear how it's pronounced.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I've never heard it without a shadda either.

    Perhaps the references mentioned by Faylasoof were trying to shoehorn it into a more typical Arabic pattern such as فعْلاء.
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Thank you Cherine, Wadi Hanifa and all others who participated.

    I've never heard it without a shadda either.

    Perhaps the references mentioned by Faylasoof were trying to shoehorn it into a more typical Arabic pattern such as فعْلاء.

    That may well be the case. But given Al-Jahiz's work (quoted below) this may have happened long ago.

    Although I never believe at once all that I read and hear, some things do leave me puzzled. The fus7a word for parrot is just the latest!

    When reliable (or should we say supposedly reliable) lexicons might present inaccurate or partially accurate information then I do start to worry.

    However, there was another reason why I thought we could try clear up this spelling.

    On and off I’ve been reading al-Jahiz’s (الجاحظ) very interesting book كتاب الحيوان. In volume 2 (out of 4) you read this:


    والفيل عجيب ظريف، ولكنه قَبيحٌ مَسيخ، وهو في ذلك بهيٌّ نبيلٌ، والعين لا تكرهه، والخنزير قبيح مَسيخ، والعين تكرهه، والقرد قَبيحٌ مليح. وعند البَبْغاء والمُكَّاء والعندليب وابن تَمْرة مع صغر أجْرامها ولَطافة شُخوصها، وضَعْف أسْرِها، من المعرفة والكَيس والفِطنة والخُبث ما ليسَ عند الزَّرافة والطاووس والببغاء عجيب الأمر، ويقولون: عندليب وعندبيل، وهو من أصغر الطير.


    I see this same spelling in my printed copy and the two I downloaded. This is fus7a. Of course I haven't seen the original. Thatwould be even better.

    So perhaps it is OK to spell both ways; with or without the shaddah. Al-Jahiz seems to have used the latter. But whether this was prevalent at his time and in and around Basra (where he lived) is something I have no idea about.
     

    Xence

    Senior Member
    Algeria (Arabic - French)
    So perhaps it is OK to spell both ways; with or without the shaddah.
    Yes, both are right, and I remember having read it without a shadda in many ancient texts.
    Besides, al-Qamus Al-MuHiT seems to privilege babghaa2:

    البَبْغاءُ، وقد تُشَدَّدُ الباء الثانيةُ: طائرٌ أخْضَرُ، ولَقَبُ أبِي الفَرَجِ عبدِ الواحدِ بنِ نَصْرٍ المَخْزومِيِّ الشاعِرِ، لُقِّبَ لِلُثْغَتِه

    ***
    It would be nice to know how it is pronounced in other dialects.
    In Algerian, it's بَبّغايو babbaghaayu(u).
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Thanks Xence for both the Algerian Arabic pronunciation and esp. for the Al-MuHiit reference. I was going to look up al-Munjid but this is even better!

    So we can now consider the fus7a issue settled.
     

    Andrew___

    Senior Member
    May I ask how we pronounce ببغاء in Standard Arabic?

    Is it babghaa' or babaghaa'?

    (Also, I was surprised when I heard an Egyptian pronounce it baghbagha in colloquial :)).

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    Moderator note:
    I merged this new thread to the existing one to avoid repetitions.
     
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    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    May I ask how we pronounce ببغاء in Standard Arabic?

    Is it babghaa':tick: or babbaghaa':tick:?

    (Also, I was surprised when I heard an Egyptian pronounce it baghbagha in colloquial :)).

    Thanks,
    Andrew
    See my correction in red.Both are correct.
     

    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    We pronounce it bubbagha. Dhamma in the beginning (possibly as a result of hypercorrection) and no long vowels.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    (possibly as a result of hypercorrection)

    I think it's probably influenced by the way the 'b' is pronounced in this dialect, where it has a 'bigger'/'emphatic' (maybe aspirated?) sound, hence yibah > yuBah, al-3beed > al-3uBeed / al-3uBayd, etc.).
     

    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    I think it's probably influenced by the way the 'b' is pronounced in this dialect, where it has a 'bigger'/'emphatic' (maybe aspirated?) sound, hence yibah > yuBah, al-3beed > al-3uBeed / al-3uBayd, etc.).

    Emphatic beth is fully realized in Gassim (I though that was the case for all Najd?). Unaizah houses two families of the name العْبِيد and they're pronounced differently according to the quality of the letter and following vowel. The distinction is established and marked when reciting name lists, for example.
     
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