Why is shokran spelt the way it is?

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by cyclodextrin, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. cyclodextrin New Member


    Could someone explain why 'shokran' is written as
    and not

    I understand the doubling of the vowel 'a' will give a sound of 'an' but I'm still a little confused as to the spelling. Or is it something to simply accept at this stage?
  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Shukran is (implicitly) a direct object. Think of it this way: (I am giving you) a thank. I don't know about your language background but to those of us who speak languages that retained the case system, this is the (indefinite) accusative case of "shukr".

    Nominative - shukr-un ٌ
    Genitive - shukr-in ٍٍٍ
    Accusative - shukr-an ًً

    And indefinite words that do not end in ة (taa marbuta) are written with an alif in the accusative.

    ًًWait for more competent members, please. :)

  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Jana's explanation is spot-on.

    In short, the root word is "shukr," and "an" is just an inflection, which is always spelled اً or ـًا (the placement of the /ً/ was recently the topic of an interesting thread).

    One thing, though: The correct spelling is شكرًا.
  4. Abu Bishr Senior Member

    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi Cyclodextrin

    Could it be that you are asking about the reason for the presence of the Alif at the end of "shukran" (unfortunately, my current computer does not have Arabic as yet, so I can't type it out in Arabic)?

    If that is the case, then the answer is that in classical Arabic the tendency is to convert the /n/ sound (or tanwiin, which is the second of the double vowel) into an Alif which lengthens the previous short /a/ vowel into a long /a/ vowel, when pausing. This only occurs in the case of a fatHah-tanwiin (i.e. /an/) and not the cases of /in/ and /un/. Thus, when you pause on "shuran" you say "shukraa".

    Moreover, in the case of the ending being a "taa marbuuTah" ( ة ) , then there is no need for this Alif since this "taa" changes into a "haa" when we pause, which is simply the (ة ) without the two dots. This is the reason why the 'taa marbuuTah" is written in the shape of a "haa" and not like your "taa" is normally written.
  5. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    There is a case called in Arabic(مفعول مطلق)(Infinite Object) as follows:
    I drank up some water
    شربت بعض الماء شرباً
    I strongly advise you to do suc ans such...
    أنصحك نصحاً ان تفعل كذا وكذا

    In our case, شكراً would be :
    أشكرك شكراً
    أنا أشكرك شكراً

    I hope this could help you out
  6. mansio Senior Member

    I would even say that at pause the "tâ' marbûTa" is not pronounced at all and the word ends with a plain "a" without a "h" sound following it. Am I right?
    (for historical reasons I should have transliterated "marbûTah" but according to pronunciation it is just "marbûTa")
  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    That topic was already discussed in this thread, where we concluded that different people pronounce it different ways.
  8. mansio Senior Member

    Thanks for the thread Elroy. The two grammars of Classical Arabic I have suggest that the tâ' marbûTa is pronounced as "a" at pause and not as "ah".

    But AbuBishr has convinced me that the ancient pronunciation is more "ah" than "a", so I am going to put the "h" back to tâ' marbûTah (I'm interested only in Classical Arabic).

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