You are on page 1of 20

Varieties of Arabic 1

Varieties of Arabic
The Arabic language is a Semitic
language characterized by a wide
number of linguistic varieties within its
five regional forms. The largest
divisions occur between the spoken
languages of different regions. Some
varieties of Arabic in North Africa, for
example, are incomprehensible to an
Arabic speaker from the Levant or the
Gulf Region. Within these broad
regions further and considerable
geographic distinctions exist, within
Different Arabic dialects in the Arab world
countries, across country borders, even
between cities and villages.

Another major distinction is to be made between the widely diverging colloquial spoken varieties, used for nearly all
everyday speaking situations, and the formal standardized language, found mostly in writing or in prepared speech.
The regionally prevalent variety is learned as the speaker's native language, while the formal language is
subsequently learned in school. The formal language itself varies between its modern iteration (often called Modern
Standard Arabic or MSA in English) and the Classical Arabic that serves as its inspiration, though Arabic speakers
typically do not make this distinction.

Further substantial differences exist between Bedouin and sedentary speech, the countryside and major cities,
ethnicities, religious groups, social classes, men and women, and the young and the old, to list only some. These
differences are to some degree bridgeable. Often, Arabic speakers can adjust their speech in a rich variety of ways
according to the context and to their intentions - for example, to speak with people from different regions, to
demonstrate their level of education or to draw on the authority of the spoken language. This is particularly true at a
time of increasing human development and globalization.

Language mixing and change

Arabic is characterized by a wide number of varieties; however, Arabic speakers are often able to manipulate the
way they speak based on the circumstances. There can be a number of motivations for changing one's speech: the
formality of a situation, the need to communicate with people with different dialects, to get social approval, to
differentiate oneself from the listener, when citing a written text, to differentiate between personal and professional
or general matters, to clarify a point, and to shift to a new topic, to name but a few.[1]
An important factor in the mixing or changing of Arabic is the concept of a prestige dialect. This refers to the level
of respect accorded to a language or dialect within a speech community. The formal Arabic language carries a
considerable prestige in most Arabic-speaking communities, depending on the context. This is not the only source of
prestige, though.[2] Many studies have shown that for most speakers, there is a prestige variety of vernacular Arabic.
In Egypt, for non-Cairenes, the prestige dialect is Cairo Arabic. For Jordanian women from Bedouin or rural
background, it may be the urban dialects of the big cities.[3] Moreover, in certain contexts, a dialect relatively
different from formal Arabic may carry more prestige than a dialect closer to the formal language - this is the case in
Bahrain, for example.[4]
Language mixes and changes in different ways. Arabic speakers often use more than one variety of Arabic within a
conversation or even a sentence. This process is referred to as Code-switching. For example, a woman on a TV
Varieties of Arabic 2

program could appeal to the authority of the formal language by using elements of it in her speech in order to prevent
other speakers from cutting her off. Another process at work is 'leveling', the "elimination of very localised
dialectical features in favour of more regionally general ones." This can affect all linguistic levels - semantic,
syntactic, phonological, etc...[5] The change can be temporary, as when a group of speakers with substantially
different Arabics communicate, or it can be permanent, as often happens when people from the countryside move to
the city and adopt the more prestigious urban dialect, possibly over a couple of generations.
This process of accommodation sometimes appeals to the formal language, but often does not. For example, villagers
in central Palestine may try to use the dialect of Jerusalem rather than their own when speaking with people with
substantially different dialects, particularly since they may have a very weak grasp of the formal language.[6] In
another example, groups of educated speakers from different regions will often use dialectical forms that represent a
middle ground between their dialects rather than trying to use the formal language. Take, for example, this case of a
recorded conversation between educated Arabs from the Persian Gulf, Baghdad, Cairo and Jerusalem. To express the
existential 'there is' (as in, 'there is a place where...'), Arabic speakers have access to many different words:
Persian Gulf: /aku/
Baghdad: /aku/
Cairo: /fi/
Jerusalem: /fi/
Modern Standard Arabic: /hunak/
In this case, /fi/ is most likely to be used as it is not associated with a particular region and is the closest to a
dialectical middle ground for this group of speakers. Moreover, given the prevalence of movies and TV shows in
Egyptian Arabic, the speakers are all likely to be familiar with it.[7]
Note that sometimes a certain dialect may be associated with backwardness and will therefore not carry 'mainstream
prestige' - yet, it will continue to be used as it carries a kind of 'covert prestige' and serves to differentiate one group
from another when necessary.

Regional varieties
The greatest variations between kinds of Arabic are those between regional language groups. These can be divided in
any number of ways, but the following typology is usually used:
Arabian Peninsula (Khaliji Arabic) group includes:
Persian Gulf Arabic
Baharna Arabic
Najdi Arabic
Omani Arabic
Hejazi Arabic
Shihhi Arabic
Dhofari Arabic
Yemeni Arabic
Mesopotamian group includes:
Iraqi Arabic
North Mesopotamian Arabic
Bedawa Arabic
Syro-Palestinian group includes:
Levantine Arabic
Varieties of Arabic 3

Judeo Arabic
Mediterranean Sea or Cypriot Arabic
Egyptian group includes
Chadic Arabic
Sudanese Arabic
Nubi Arabic
Juba Arabic
Darfuri Arabic
Sa'idi Arabic
Egyptian Arabic
Maghrebi Arabic group includes on the North African coast of the Mediterranean sea[8]:
Moroccan Arabic
Tunisian Arabic
Algerian Arabic
Libyan Arabic
Hassaniya Arabic
Saharan Arabic
These large regional groups do not correspond to borders of modern states. In the western parts of the Arab world,
varieties are referred to as ad-drija, and in the eastern parts, as al-`mmiyya. Some of these varieties are
mutually unintelligible from other forms of Arabic due to wide distances over time that created divergences in
phonologies. Varieties west of Egypt are particularly disparate, with Egyptian Arabic speakers claiming difficulty in
understanding North African Arabic speakers, while North African Arabic speakers understanding other Arabic
speakers only due to the widespread popularity of Egyptian Standard and to a lesser extent, the Lebanese popular
media. One factor in the differentiation of the varieties is the influence from other languages previously spoken in
the regions, such as Coptic in Egypt, Berber in North Africa, and Aramaic in the Levant.
Modern languages have also typically provided a significant number of new words, and have sometimes also
influenced pronunciation or word order. Examples are Turkish and English in Egypt, French in North Africa and
Syria, and English and Hebrew in Israel. However, a much more significant factor for all five dialect groups is, as
Latin among Romance languages, retention (or change of meaning) of the classical language form of Fus'ha Arabic
used in the Qu'ran.

Examples of major regional differences

The following example will illustrate similarities and differences between the literary, standardized language, and
certain major urban dialects:
True pronunciations differ; transliterations used approach an approximate demonstration. Also, Literary Arabic
pronunciation differs regionally.
Varieties of Arabic 4

Variety I love reading a lot When I went to the I only found this old I wanted to read a book about the history of
library book [9]
women in France.

Literary an uibbu l-qirahta indam ahabtu ila lam aid siw h wa kuntu urdu an aqraa kitban an tri
Arabic karan l-maktabati l-kitbi l-qadm l-marah f-farns

Tunisian ne nibb il-qrye bara waqtelli mt l il-maktba ma-lqt- kn ha l-ktb u kunt nibb naqra ktb ala trx l-mra fi
l-qdm frnsa

Egyptian dana baebb el-erya amma rot el-maktaba ma-let- ella l-ketb w-ana kotte yez ara ketb an tarx el-settt
awi el-adm da fe faransa

Lebanese ana bibb il-irye ktr lamma reit il-maktebe ma lt illa hal-i-ktb wi kn beddi era ktb an trx l-mara
li-dm b-frnse

Iraqi ni aibb el-qrya kulli min reit lel-maktaba ma ligt r ha l-ketb redet aqra ketb an tarx el-niswn eb-fransa

Kuwaiti na wyed aibb agr lamman ret al-maktaba ma ligt illa hal ketb kent ab agra ketb an tarx el-arm eb fransa

For the sake of comparison, consider the same sentence in German and Dutch:
1. German: Ich lese sehr gerne. Als ich in zur Bibliothek ging, fand ich nur dieses alte Buch, obwohl ich ein Buch
ber die Geschichte der Frau in Frankreich hatte lesen wollen.
2. Dutch: Ik lees zeer graag. Toen ik naar de bibliotheek ging, vond ik slechts dit oude boek, hoewel ik een boek
over de geschiedenis van de vrouw in Frankrijk had willen lezen.
Some linguists do argue that the varieties of Arabic are different enough to qualify as separate languages in the way
that French and Italian or German and Dutch do. However, as Reem Bassiouney points out, perhaps the difference
between 'language' and 'variety' is to some degree political rather than linguistic.[10]

Other regional differences

"Peripheral" varieties of Arabic located in countries where Arabic is not a dominant language (e.g., Turkey, Iran,
Cyprus, Chad, and Nigeria) are particularly divergent in some respects, especially vocabulary, being less influenced
by classical Arabic. However, historically they fall within the same dialect classifications as better-known varieties.
Probably the most divergent of non-creole Arabic varieties is Cypriot Maronite Arabic, a nearly extinct variety
heavily influenced by Greek.
The Maltese language is a Semitic language descended from Siculo-Arabic whose vocabulary has acquired a large
number of loanwords from Sicilian and Standard Italian. Maltese only uses a Latin-based alphabet and is the only
Semitic official language within the European Union.
Arabic-based pidgins, with a small, largely Arabic vocabulary that lacks most Arabic morphological features, have
been widespread along the southern edge of the Sahara through the present day; the medieval geographer al-Bakri
records a text in one (in a place probably corresponding to modern Mauritania) in the 11th century. In some areas,
especially around the southern Sudan, these have creolized; see the list below.
Dialects vary within regions as well, on a smaller level. For example, within Syria, the Arabic of the city of Homs is
recognized as different from that of the capital, Damascus, though both can be considered 'Levantine' Arabic. In
Morocco, the Arabic of the city of Fes is considered different from Arabic spoken elsewhere in the country.
Varieties of Arabic 5

Formal vs. vernacular speech

Another major difference between varieties of Arabic is that between the standardized formal language, primarily
found in writing, media or in prepared speech, and the vernacular, spoken dialects, used for most situations. The
formal language is referred to as al-lugha al-fu, and itself diverges between its modern iteration (often
called Modern Standard Arabic or MSA in English), used in writing, media or in prepared speech, and the Classical
Arabic that serves as its inspiration. The latter is the language of the Qur'an and is rarely used except in reciting the
Qur'an, or quoting older classical texts.[11] Arabic speakers typically do not make this distinction. The development
of Modern Standard Arabic dates to the beginning of the 19th century, and was the result of a laborious process of
modernizing the Classical language.
Colloquial and formal Arabic certainly do overlap; as a matter of fact it is very difficult to find a situation where one
type is used exclusively. For example, MSA is used in formal speeches or interviews. However, just as soon as the
speaker diverts away from his well-prepared speech in order to add a comment or respond to a question, the rate of
colloquial usage in this speech increases dramatically. How much MSA versus colloquial is used depends on the
speaker, the topic, and the situation - amongst other factors. At the other end of the spectrum, public education, as
well as exposure to mass media, has introduced MSA elements amongst the least educated so it would be equally
difficult to find an Arabic speaker whose speech is totally unaffected by MSA.[12] This linguistic situation in general
is sometimes referred to as diglossia.
The Egyptian linguist Al-Said Badawi made the following distinctions in 'levels of speech' regarding the mixing of
vernacular and formal Arabic in Egypt:
fu al-turth, heritage classical: The Classical Arabic of Arab literary heritage and the Qur'an. This
is primarily a written language but it is heard in its spoken form on at the mosque or in religious programmes on
fu al-ar, contemporary classical: This is what Western linguists call Modern Standard Arabic
(MSA), a modification and simplification of Classical Arabic created for the modern age; it has consequently
coined a great deal of new words, both from using lexical material native to Arabic and by borrowing words from
other, chiefly European, languages. Aside from being principally a written language, it is also read aloud from
text. Highly skilled speakers can also produce it spontaneously, though typically in extremely formal contexts;
this is particularly common in talk and debate programs on pan-Arab TV networks such as Al Jazeera and Al
Arabiya, as it is understood throughout these networks' target market.
miyya al-muthaqqafn, colloquial of the cultured: This is vernacular language heavily influenced
by MSA which can be used for serious discussion but is generally not written. It also includes a high quantity of
foreign loanwords, chiefly relating to the technical and theoretical subjects it is used to discuss. This is used by
well-educated people, principally on the TV, and can frequently be understood by Arabic-speakers outside the
speaker's country of origin. It is also becoming the language of instruction at universities.
miyya al-mutanawwarn colloquial of the basically educated: This is the everyday language that
people use in informal contexts, and that is heard on TV when non-intellectual topics are being discussed. It is
characterized, according to Badawi, by high levels of borrowing.
miyya al-'ummiyyn, colloquial of the illiterates: This is very colloquial speech characterized by the
absence of influence from MSA, but also relatively little foreign borrowing, with the result that the lexicon is
almost entirely derived from Classical Arabic.
Almost everyone in Egypt has access to more than one speech register, and people often switch between them,
sometimes within the same sentence. This scheme generally corresponds to the linguistic situations in other
Arabic-speaking countries as well.[13]
The spoken varieties of Arabic have occasionally been written, usually in the Arabic alphabet. Vernacular Arabic
was first recognized as a written language contrasting with Classical Arabic in 17th century Ottoman Egypt, as the
Cairo elite began to trend towards colloquial writing. A record of the Cairo vernacular of the time is found in the
Varieties of Arabic 6

dictionary compiled by Yusuf al-Maghribi. More recently, many plays and poems, as well as a few other works
(even translations of Plato) exist in Lebanese Arabic and Egyptian Arabic; books of poetry, at least, exist for most
varieties. In Algeria, colloquial Maghrebi Arabic was taught as a separate subject under French colonization, and
some textbooks exist. Mizrahi Jews throughout the Arab world who spoke Judeo-Arabic dialects rendered
newspapers, letters, accounts, stories, and translations of some parts of their liturgy in the Hebrew alphabet, adding
diacritics and other conventions for letters that exist in Judeo-Arabic but not Hebrew. The Latin alphabet was
advocated for Lebanese Arabic by Said Aql, whose supporters published several books in his transcription. Later, in
1994, Abdelaziz Pasha Fahmi, a member of the Academy of the Arabic Language in Egypt proposed the replacement
of the Arabic alphabet with the Latin alphabet. His proposal was discussed in two sessions in the communion but
was rejected, and was faced with strong opposition in cultural circles.

Sociolinguistic variables
Sociolinguistics is the study of how language usage is affected by societal factors, e.g., cultural norms and contexts
(see also Pragmatics). The following sections examine some of the ways that modern Arab societies have an impact
on how Arabic is spoken.

The religion of an Arabic speaker is sometimes involved in shaping how he speaks Arabic. Of course, as is the case
with other variables, religion cannot be seen in isolation. It is generally connected with the political systems in the
different countries. It should be noted that unlike is often the case in the West, religion in the Arab world is not
usually seen as an individual choice. Rather, it is matter of group affiliation: one is born a Muslim, Christian, Jew,
Sunni or Shiite, and this becomes a bit like one's ethnicity. Religion as a sociolinguistic variable should be
understood in this context.[14]
Bahrain provides an excellent illustration. A major distinction can be made between the Shiite Baharnas, who are the
oldest population of Bahrain, and the Sunni population that began to immigrate to Bahrain in the eighteenth century.
The Sunni form a minority of the population. The ruling family of Bahrain is Sunni. The colloquial language
represented on TV is almost invariably that of the Sunni population. Therefore, power, prestige and financial control
are associated with the Sunni Arabs. This is having a major impact on the direction of language change in
The case of Iraq also illustrates how there can be significant differences in how Arabic is spoken on the basis of
religion. (Note that the study referred to here was conducted before the American occupation of the country.) In
Baghdad, there are significant linguistic differences between Arabic Christian and Muslim inhabitants of the city.
The Christians of Baghdad are a well-established community, and their dialect has evolved from the sedentary
vernacular of urban medieval Iraq. The typical Muslim dialect of Baghdad is a more recent arrival in the city and
comes from Bedouin speech instead. In Baghdad, as elsewhere in the Arab world, the various communities share
MSA as a prestige dialect, but the Muslim colloquial dialect is associated with power and money, given that that
community is the more dominant. Therefore, the Christian population of the city learns to use the Muslim dialect in
more formal situations, for example, when a Christian school teacher is trying to call students in the class to
Varieties of Arabic 7


Pre-Islamic varieties
Ancient North Arabian
Classical Arabic

Islamic Golden Age

Koranic Arabic

Modern varieties

Western varieties
Maghrebi Arabic
Moroccan Arabic (ISO 639-3:ary [17])
Algerian Arabic (ISO 639-3:arq [18])
Tunisian Arabic (ISO 639-3:aeb [19])
Libyan Arabic (ISO 639-3:ayl [20])
Fully pre-Hilalian
Jebli Arabic
Jijel Arabic
Siculo-Arabic (extinct)
Maltese language (ISO 639-3:mlt [21])
Saharan Arabic (ISO 639-3:aao [22])
Hassaniya Arabic (ISO 639-3:mey [23])
Andalusian Arabic (extinct)

Central varieties
Egyptian Arabic (ISO 639-3:arz [24])
Sa'idi Arabic (ISO 639-3:aec [25])
Sudanese Arabic (ISO 639-3:apd [26])

Northern varieties
North Mesopotamian Arabic (ISO 639-3:ayp [27])
Levantine Arabic (Eastern Arabic)
North Levantine Arabic
North Syrian Arabic
South Levantine Arabic
Syrian Arabic
Jordanian Arabic
Varieties of Arabic 8

Palestinian Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
Bedawi Arabic (ISO 639-3:avl [28])
Cypriot Maronite Arabic (ISO 639-3:acy [29])
Iraqi Arabic (ISO 639-3, Mesopotamian acm [30])
Baghdad Arabic (Jewish)
Baghdad Arabic
Khuzestani Arabic

Southern varieties
Gulf Arabic (ISO 639-3:afb [31])
Bahrani Arabic (ISO 639-3:abv [32])
Najdi Arabic (ISO 639-3:ars [33])
Hijazi Arabic (ISO 639-3:acw [34])
Yemeni Arabic
Hadhrami Arabic (ISO 639-3:ayh [35])
Sanaani Arabic (ISO 639-3:ayn [36])
Ta'izzi-Adeni Arabic (ISO 639-3:acq [37])
Dhofari Arabic (ISO 639-3:adf [38])
Omani Arabic (ISO 639-3:acx [39])
Shihhi Arabic (ISO 639-3:ssh [40])

Central Asian Arabic
Tajiki Arabic (ISO 639-3:abh [41])
Uzbeki Arabic (ISO 639-3:auz [42])
Shirvani Arabic (extinct)
Chadian Arabic (Baggara, Shuwa Arabic) (ISO 639-3:shu [43])
Nigerian Arabic

Sectarian varieties
Judeo-Arabic (ISO 639-3:jrb [44])
Judeo-Iraqi Arabic (ISO 639-3:yhd [45])
Judeo-Moroccan Arabic (ISO 639-3:aju [46])
Judeo-Tripolitanian Arabic (ISO 639-3:yud [47])
Judeo-Tunisian Arabic (ISO 639-3:ajt [48])
Judeo-Yemeni Arabic (ISO 639-3:jye [49])
Varieties of Arabic 9

Nubi Creole Arabic
Babalia Creole Arabic
Sudanese Creole Arabic (Juba Arabic)

Country-based varieties
Algerian Arabic
Bahraini Arabic
Chadian Arabic
Egyptian Arabic
Emirati Arabic
Iraqi Arabic
Jordanian Arabic
Kuwaiti Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
Libyan Arabic
Hassaniya Arabic (Mauritanian Arabic)
Moroccan Arabic
Nigerian Arabic
Omani Arabic
Palestinian Arabic
Qatari Arabic
Sahrawi Arabic
Saudi Arabic
Sudanese Arabic
Syrian Arabic
Tunisian Arabic
Yemeni Arabic

Diglossic variety
Modern Standard Arabic (ISO 639-3:arb [50])

Sedentary vs. Nomadic

A basic distinction that cuts across the entire geography of the Arabic-speaking world is between sedentary and
nomadic varieties (often misleadingly called Bedouin). Across the Levant and North Africa (i.e. the areas of
post-Islamic settlement), this is mostly reflected as an urban (sedentary) vs. rural/nomadic split, but the situation is
more complicated in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. The distinction stems from the settlement patterns in the wake
of the Arab conquests. As regions were conquered, army camps were set up that eventually grew into cities, and
settlement of the rural areas by Nomadic Arabs gradually followed thereafter. In some areas, sedentary dialects are
divided further into urban and rural variants.
The most obvious phonetic difference between the two groups is the pronunciation of the letter qaaf, which is
voiced in the Bedouin varieties (usually //, but sometimes a palatalized variation /d/ or //), but voiceless in the
sedentary varieties (/q/ or //) (the former realisation being mostly associated with the countryside, the latter being
considered typically urban). The other major phonetic difference is that the rural varieties preserve the Classical
Arabic (CA) interdentals // and // , and merge the CA emphatic sounds /d/ and // into // rather than
sedentary /d/.
Varieties of Arabic 10

The most significant differences between rural Arabic and non-rural Arabic are in syntax. The sedentary varieties in
particular share a number of common innovations from CA. This has led to the suggestion, first articulated by
Charles Ferguson, that a simplified koin language developed in the army staging camps in Iraq, from whence the
remaining parts of the modern Arab world were conquered.
In general the rural varieties are more conservative than the sedentary varieties and the rural varieties within the
Arabian peninsula are even more conservative than those elsewhere. Within the sedentary varieties, the western
varieties (particularly, Moroccan Arabic) are less conservative than the eastern varieties.
A number of cities in the Arabic world speak a 'Bedouin' variety, which acquires prestige in that context.


Morphology and syntax

All varieties, sedentary and Bedouin, differ in the following ways from Classical Arabic (CA)
The order subjectverbobject may be more common than verbsubjectobject.
Verbal agreement between subject and object is always complete.
In CA, there was no number agreement between subject and verb when the subject was third-person and the
subject followed the verb.
Loss of case distinctions. (Irb)
Loss of original mood distinctions other than the indicative and imperative (i.e. subjunctive, jussive, energetic I,
energetic II).
The dialects differ in how exactly the new indicative was developed from the old forms. The sedentary dialects
adopted the old subjunctive forms (feminine /i/, masculine plural /u/), while many of the Bedouin dialects
adopted the old indicative forms (feminine /ina/, masculine plural /una/).
The sedentary dialects developed new mood distinctions; see below.
Loss of dual marking everywhere except on nouns.
A frozen dual persists as the regular plural marking of a small number of words that normally come in pairs
(e.g. eyes, hands, parents).
In addition, a productive dual marking on nouns exists in most dialects. (Tunisian and Moroccan Arabic are
exceptions.) This dual marking differs syntactically from the frozen dual in that it cannot take possessive
suffixes. In addition, it differs morphologically from the frozen dual in various dialects, such as Levantine
The productive dual differs from CA in that its use is optional, whereas the use of the CA dual was mandatory
even in cases of implicitly dual reference.
The CA dual was marked not only on nouns, but also on verbs, adjectives, pronouns and demonstratives.
Development of an analytic genitive construction to rival the constructed genitive.
Compare the similar development of shel in Modern Hebrew.
The Bedouin dialects make the least use of the analytic genitive. Moroccan Arabic makes the most use of it, to
the extent that the constructed genitive is no longer productive, and used only in certain relatively frozen
The relative pronoun is no longer inflected. (In CA, it took gender, number and case endings.)
Pronominal clitics ending in a short vowel moved the vowel before the consonant.
Hence, second singular /-ak/ and /-ik/ rather than /-ka/ and /-ki/; third singular masculine /-uh/ rather than /-hu/.
Similarly, the feminine plural verbal marker /-na/ became /-an/.
Because of the absolute prohibition in all Arabic dialects against having two vowels in hiatus, the above
changes occurred only when a consonant preceded the ending. When a vowel preceded, the forms either
Varieties of Arabic 11

remained as-is or lost the final vowel, becoming /-k/, /-ki/, /-h/ and /-n/, respectively. Combined with other
phonetic changes, this resulted in multiple forms for each clitic (up to three), depending on the phonetic
The verbal markers /-tu/ (first singular) and /-ta/ (second singular masculine) both became /-t/, while second
singular feminine /-ti/ remained.
In the dialect of southern Nejd (including Riyadh), the second singular masculine /-ta/ has been retained, but
takes the form of a long vowel rather than a short one as in Classical Arabic.
The forms given here were the original forms, and have often suffered various changes in the modern dialects.
All of these changes were triggered by the loss of final short vowels (see below).
Various simplifications have occurred in the range of variation in verbal paradigms.
Third-weak verbs with radical /w/ and radical /j/ (traditionally transliterated y) have merged in the form I
perfect tense. (They had already merged in CA, except in form I.)
Form I perfect faula verbs have disappeared, often merging with faila.
Doubled verbs now have the same endings as third-weak verbs.
Some endings of third-weak verbs have been replaced by those of the strong verbs (or vice-versa, in some
All dialects except some Bedouin dialects of the Arabian peninsula share the following innovations from CA
Loss of the inflected passive (i.e., marked through internal vowel change) in finite verb forms.
New passives have often been developed by co-opting the original reflexive formations in CA, particularly
verb forms V, VI and VII. (In CA these were derivational, not inflectional, as neither their existence nor exact
meaning could be depended upon; however, they have often been incorporated into the inflectional system,
especially in more innovative sedentary dialects.)
Hassaniya Arabic contains a newly developed inflected passive that looks somewhat like the old CA passive.
Najdi Arabic has retained the inflected passive up to the modern era, though this feature is on its way to
extinction as a result of the influence of other dialects.
Loss of the indefinite /n/ suffix (tanwiin) on nouns.
When this marker still appears, it is variously /an/, /in/, or /en/.
In some Bedouin dialects it still marks indefiniteness on any noun, although this is optional and often used
only in oral poetry.
In other dialects it marks indefiniteness on post-modified nouns (by adjectives or relative clauses).
All Arabic dialects preserve a form of the CA adverbial accusative /an/ suffix, which was originally a tanwiin
Loss of verb form IV, the causative.
Verb form II sometimes gives causatives, but it is not productive.
Uniform use of /i/ in imperfect verbal prefixes.
CA had /u/ before form II, III and IV active, and before all passives, and /a/ elsewhere.
Some Bedouin dialects in the Arabian peninsula have uniform /a/.
Najdi Arabic has /a/ when the following vowel is /i/, and /i/ when the following vowel is /a/.
All sedentary dialects share the following additional innovations
Loss of a separately distinguished feminine plural in verbs, pronouns and demonstratives. This is usually lost in
adjectives as well.
Development of a new indicative-subjunctive distinction.
The indicative is marked by a prefix, while the subjunctive lacks this.
The prefix is /b/ or /bi/ in Egyptian Arabic and Levantine Arabic, but /ka/ or /ta/ in Moroccan Arabic. It is not
infrequent to encounter /a/ as an indicative prefix in some Persian Gulf states; and, in South Arabian Arabic
Varieties of Arabic 12

(viz. Yemen), /a/ is used in the north around the San'aa region, and /a/ is used in the southwest region of
Tunisian Arabic lacks an indicative prefix, and therefore does not have this distinction, along with Maltese and
at least some varieties of Algerian and Libyan Arabic.
Loss of /h/ in the third-person masculine enclitic pronoun, when attached to a word ending in a consonant.
The form is usually /u/ or /o/ in sedentary dialects, but /ah/ or /ih/ in Bedouin dialects.
After a vowel, the bare form /h/ is used, but in many sedentary dialects the /h/ is lost here as well. In Egyptian
Arabic, for example, this pronoun is marked in this case only by lengthening of the final vowel and
concomitant stress shift onto it, but the "h" reappears when followed by another suffix.
ram "he threw it"
maramah "he didn't throw it"
The following innovations are characteristic of many or most sedentary dialects
Agreement (verbal, adjectival) with inanimate plurals is plural, rather than feminine singular, as in CA.
Development of a circumfix negative marker on the verb, involving a prefix /ma-/ and a suffix /-/.
In combination with the fusion of the indirect object and the development of new mood markers, this results in
verbal complexes that are approaching polysynthetic languages in their complexity.
An example from Egyptian Arabic is
"You (plural) aren't bringing her (them) to us."
(NOTE: Versteegh glosses /bi/ as continuous.)
In Egyptian, Tunisian and Moroccan Arabic, the distinction between active and passive participles has
disappeared except in form I and in some Classical borrowings.
These dialects tend to use form V and VI active participles as the passive participles of forms II and III.
The following innovations are characteristic of Maghrebi Arabic (in North Africa, west of Egypt)
In the imperfect, Maghrebi Arabic has replaced first person singular /-/ with /n-/, and the first person plural,
originally marked by /n-/ alone, is also marked by the /-u/ suffix of the other plural forms.
Moroccan Arabic has greatly rearranged the system of verbal derivation, so that the traditional system of forms I
through X is not applicable without some stretching. It would be more accurate to describe its verbal system as
consisting of two major types, triliteral and quadriliteral, each with a mediopassive variant marked by a prefixal
/t-/ or /tt-/.
The triliteral type encompasses traditional form I verbs (strong: /ktb/ "write"; geminate: /mm/ "smell";
hollow: /bi/ "sell", /ul/ "say", /xaf/ "fear"; weak /ri/ "buy", /bu/ "crawl", /bda/ "begin"; irregular: /kul/-/kla/
"eat", /ddi/ "take away", /i/ "come").
The quadriliteral type encompasses strong [CA form II, quadriliteral form I]: /srfq/ "slap", /hrrs/ "break",
/hrnn/ "speak nasally"; hollow-2 [CA form III, non-CA]: /ajn/ "wait", /ufl/ "inflate", /mixl/ "eat"
(slang); hollow-3 [CA form VIII, IX]: /xtar/ "choose", /mar/ "redden"; weak [CA form II weak,
quadriliteral form I weak]: /wrri/ "show", /sqsi/ "inquire"; hollow-2-weak [CA form III weak, non-CA weak]:
/sali/ "end", /ruli/ "roll", /tiri/ "shoot"; irregular: /sift/-/saft/ "send".
There are also a certain number of quinquiliteral or longer verbs, of various sorts, e.g. weak: /pidali/ "pedal",
/blani/ "scheme, plan", /fanti/ "dodge, fake"; remnant CA form X: /stml/ "use", /stahl/ "deserve";
diminutive: /t-birz/ "act bourgeois", /t-bizns/ "deal in drugs".
Note that those types corresponding to CA forms VIII and X are rare and completely unproductive, while some
of the non-CA types are productive. At one point, form IX significantly increased its productivity over CA,
and there are perhaps 50-100 of these verbs currently, mostly stative but not necessarily referring to colors or
Varieties of Arabic 13

bodily defects. However, this type is no longer very productive.

Due to the merging of short /a/ and /i/, most of these types show no stem difference between perfect and
imperfect, which is probably why the languages has incorporated new types so easily.
The following innovations are characteristic of Egyptian Arabic
Egyptian Arabic, probably under the influence of Coptic, puts the demonstrative pronoun after the noun (/al-X da/
"this X" instead of CA /haa l-X/) and leaves interrogative pronouns in situ rather than fronting them, as in other


Reflexes of Classical q
Place Reflex qalb baqara waqt qaal qamar qahwa quddaam

"heart" "cow" "time" "said" "moon" "coffee" "in front of"

Uzbeki Arabic (Jugari) q, occ. g qalb baqara waqt, qaal qamar giddaam

Muslim Baghdad Arabic g, occ. j gau baqara wakt gaal gumar gahwa geddaam,

Jewish Baghdadi Arabic q, occ. j qalb qaal qama jeddaam

Mosul, Iraq q qlb bga wqt qaal qm qhwi qddaam

Anah, Iraq q, g qaalb (bagra) waqet qaal gahwa

Rural Lower Iraqi Arabic g, occ. j galub bgura, wakit gaal gumar ghawa, jiddaam
bagra gahwa

Judeo-Iraqi Arabic, Iraqi Kurdistan q qalb baqaa waqt, qaal qama qahwe qddaam

Mardin, Anatolia q qalb baqaa waqt, qaal qama qawe qddaam


Sheep nomads, Mesopotamia, NE g, occ. j galb, galub bgara wagt, gaal gumar ghawa jeddaam
Arabian Peninsula wakit

Camel nomads, Mesopotamia, NE g, occ. d galb, galub bgara wagt, gaal gumar ghawa dddaam
Arabian Peninsula wakit

Aleppo, Syria alb baara wat aal amar ahwe ddaam

Damascus, Syria alb baara wat aal amar ahwe ddaam

Beirut, Lebanon alb bara wat aal amar ahwe ddeem

Jordan g gaib bagara wagt gaal gamar gahwah giddaam

Rural Jordan g galib - bagara wagt gaal gamar gahwe - giddaam

gaub gahweh

Druze q qalb baqara qaal qamar qahwe

Nazareth, Israel k kalb bakara wakt kaal kamar kahwe kuddaam

Jerusalem (urban Palestinian Arabic) alb baara wat aal amar ahwe uddaam

Bir Zeit, West Bank k kalb bakara wakt kaal kamar kahwe kuddaam

Sana, Yemen g galb bagara wagt gaal gamar gahweh guddaam

Cairo, Egypt alb baara wat aal amar ahwa uddaam

Varieties of Arabic 14

Sudan g galib bagara wagt gaal gamra gahwa, giddaam


Ouadai, Chad g, occ. q beger waqt gaal gamra gahwa

Benghazi, E. Libya g gab bga wagt gaa gma gahawa giddaam

Tunis, Tunisia q, occ. g qalb (bagra) waqt quddaam

El Hamma de Gabes, Tunisia g gal


Marazig, Tunisia g, occ. q galab gal gahwa, geddaam


Jewish Algiers (Judeo-Arabic) lb wt mr ddam

Bou Saada, Algeria g bigar gimar

Jijel Arabic (Algeria) q qlb wqt qmr qddam

Casablanca, Morocco q, occ. g qlb bqr, bgr wqt qmr qoddam

North Taza, Morocco q or g? waqt, gmra


Maltese Maltese qalb baqra waqt qal qamar quddiem

uses q for []

Andalusian Arabic (low register) k kalb bakar wakt kamar kuddm

CA // is mostly lost.
Depending on the exact phonetic environment, this either caused reduction of two vowels into a single long
vowel or diphthong (when between two vowels), insertion of a homorganic glide /j/ or /w/ (when between two
vowels, the first of which was short or long /i/ or /u/ and the second not the same), lengthening of a preceding
short vowel (between a short vowel and a following non-vowel), or simple deletion (elsewhere). This resulted
initially in a large number of complicated morphophonemic variations in verb paradigms.
In CA and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), // is still pronounced.
However, because this change had already happened in Meccan Arabic at the time the Qur'an was written, it is
reflected in the orthography of written Arabic, where a diacritic known as hamzah is inserted either above an
alif, ww or y, or "on the line" (between characters); or in certain cases, a diacritic alif maddah
("lengthened alif") is inserted over an alif. (As a result, proper spelling of words involving // is probably one
of the most difficult issues in Arabic orthography. Furthermore, actual usage is inconsistent in many
Modern dialects have smoothed out the morphophonemic variations, typically by deleting the associated verbs
or moving them into another paradigm (for example, /qara/ "read" becomes /qara/ or /ara/, a third-weak
// has reappeared medially in various words due to borrowing from CA. (In addition, /q/ has become [] in
many dialects, although the two are marginally distinguishable in Egyptian Arabic, since words beginning with
original // can elide this sound, whereas words beginning with original /q/ cannot.)
CA /q/ changes widely from variety to variety. In Bedouin dialects from Mauritania to Saudi Arabia, it is
pronounced [], as in most of Iraq. In the Levant and Egypt (except in Upper Egypt (the Sa'id), as well as some
North African towns such as Tlemcen, it is pronounced as a glottal stop [], apart from rural areas in the South
West Levant where it becomes emphatic [q]. In the Persian Gulf, it becomes [d] in many words (adjacent to an
original /i/), and is [] otherwise. Elsewhere, it is usually realized as uvular [q].
CA [] varies widely. In some Arabian Bedouin dialects, and parts of the Sudan, it is still realized as the
medieval Persian linguist Sibawayh described it, as a palatalized []. In Egypt, parts of Yemen and parts of
Oman, it is a plain []. In most of the Levant and most of North Africa, apart from north Algeria, it is []. In the
Varieties of Arabic 15

Persian Gulf and southern Iraq, it often becomes [j]. Elsewhere, it is usually [d].
CA /k/ often becomes [t] in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, some Rural Palestinian dialects and in some Bedouin dialects
(adjacent to an original /i/, particularly in the second singular feminine enclitic pronoun, where [t] replaces an
classical /ik/ or /ki/). In a very few Moroccan varieties, it affricates to /k/. Elsewhere, it remains [k].
CA /r/ is pronounced [] in a few areas: Mosul, for instance, and the Jewish variety in Algiers. In all northern
Africa, a phonemic distinction has emerged between plain [r] and emphatic [r], thanks to the merging of short
CA //, // become /t, d/ in Egypt and some regions in North Africa (including Malta), and become /s, z/ in the
Levant (except for some words, in which they become /t, d/), but remain // and // in Iraqi, Yemenite, Tunisian,
rural Palestinian, Eastern Libyan, and some rural Algerian dialects. In Arabic-speaking towns of Eastern Turkey,
(Urfa, Siirt and Mardin) they respectively become /f, v/.
CA /t/ (but not emphatic CA /t/) is affricated to [ts] in Moroccan Arabic; this is still distinguishable from the
sequence [ts].
CA //) is pronounced in Iraqi Arabic and Kuwaiti Arabic with glottal closure: []. In some varieties // is
devoiced to [] before /h/, for some speakers of Cairene Arabic /bitaha/ /bitaa/ (or /bitaa/) "hers". The
residue of this rule applies also in the Maltese language, where neither etymological /h/ nor // are pronounced as
such, but give [] in this context: tagha [taa] "hers".
The nature of "emphasis" differs somewhat from variety to variety. It is usually described as a concomitant
pharyngealization, but in most sedentary varieties it is actually velarization, or a combination of the two. (The
phonetic effects of the two are only minimally different from each other.) Usually there is some associated lip
rounding; in addition, the stop consonants /t/ and /d/ are dental and lightly aspirated when non-emphatic, but
alveolar and completely unaspirated when emphatic.
CA short vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/ suffer various changes.
Original final short vowels are mostly deleted.
Many Levantine Arabic dialects merge /i/ and /u/ into a phonemic // except when directly followed by a
single consonant; this sound may appear allophonically as /i/ or /u/ in certain phonetic environments.
Maghreb dialects merge /a/ and /i/ into //, which is deleted when unstressed. Tunisian maintains this
distinction, but deletes these vowels in non-final open syllables.
Moroccan Arabic, under the strong influence of Berber, goes even further. Short /u/ is converted to
labialization of an adjacent velar, or is merged with //. This schwa then deletes everywhere except in certain
words ending /-CCC/.
The result is that there is no more distinction between short and long vowels; borrowings from CA have
"long" vowels (now pronounced half-long) uniformly substituted for original short and long vowels.
This also results in consonant clusters of great length, which are (more or less) syllabified according to a
sonority hierarchy. (For some subdialects, in practice, it is very difficult to tell where, if anywhere, there are
syllabic peaks in long consonant clusters in a phrase such as /xssk tktbi/ "you (fem.) must write". Other
dialects, in the North, make a clear distinction; they say /xssk tktb/ "you want to write", but */xssk
tktb/ just won't do).
In Egyptian Arabic and Levantine Arabic, short /i/ and /u/ are elided in various circumstances in unstressed
syllables (typically, in open syllables; for example, in Egyptian Arabic, this occurs only in the middle vowel of
a VCVCV sequence, ignoring word boundaries). In Levantine, however, clusters of three consonants are
almost never permitted. If such a cluster would occur, it is broken up through the insertion of // between the
second and third consonants in Egyptian Arabic, and between the first and second in Levantine Arabic.
CA long vowels are shortened in some circumstances.
Original final long vowels are shortened in all dialects.
In Egyptian Arabic and Levantine Arabic, unstressed long vowels are shortened.
Varieties of Arabic 16

Egyptian Arabic also cannot tolerate long vowels followed by two consonants, and shorten them. (Such an
occurrence was rare in CA, but often occurs in modern dialects as a result of elision of a short vowel.)
In most dialects, particularly sedentary ones, CA /a/ and /a/ have two strongly divergent allophones, depending
on the phonetic context.
Adjacent to an emphatic consonant and to /q/ (but not usually to other sounds derived from this, such as // or
//), a back variant [] occurs; elsewhere, a strongly fronted variant []~[] is used.
There is a tendency for emphatic consonants to cause non-adjacent low vowels to be backed, as well; this is
known as emphasis spreading. The domain of emphasis spreading is potentially unbounded; in Egyptian
Arabic, the entire word is usually affected, although in Levantine Arabic and some other varieties, it is blocked
by an /i/ or /j/ (and sometimes //).
The two allophones are in the process of splitting phonemically in some dialects, as [] occurs in some words
(particularly foreign borrowings) even in the absence of any emphatic consonants anywhere in the word.
(Some linguists have postulated additional emphatic phonemes in an attempt to handle these circumstances; in
the extreme case, this requires assuming that every phoneme occurs doubled, in emphatic and non-emphatic
varieties. Some have attempted to make the vowel allophones autonomous and eliminate the emphatic
consonants as phonemes. Others have asserted that emphasis is actually a property of syllables or whole words
rather than of individual vowels or consonants. None of these proposals seems particularly tenable, however,
given the variable and unpredictable nature of emphasis spreading.)
CA /r/ is also in the process of splitting into emphatic and non-emphatic varieties, with the former causing
emphasis spreading, just like other emphatic consonants. Originally, non-emphatic [r] occurred before /i/ or
between /i/ and a following consonant, while emphatic [r] occurred mostly near [].
To a large extent, Western Arabic dialects reflect this, while the situation is rather more complicated in
Egyptian Arabic. (The allophonic distribution still exists to a large extent, although not in any predictable
fashion; nor is one or the other variety used consistently in different words derived from the same root.
Furthermore, although derivational suffixes (in particular, relational /-i/ and /-ijja/) affect a preceding /r/ in
the expected fashion, inflectional suffixes do not.)
In Moroccan Arabic, short /a/ and /i/ have merged, obscuring the original distribution. In this dialect, the
two varieties have completely split into separate phonemes, with one or the other used consistently across
all words derived from a particular root except in a few situations.
In Moroccan Arabic, the allophonic effect of emphatic consonants is more pronounced than elsewhere.
Full /a/ is affected as above, but /i/ and /u/ are also affected, and are lowered to [e] and [o], respectively.
In some varieties, such as in Marrakesh, the effects are even more extreme (and complex), where both
high-mid and low-mid allophones exist ([e] and [], [o] and []), in addition to front-rounded allophones of
original /u/ ([y], [], []), all depending on adjacent phonemes.
On the other hand, emphasis spreading in Moroccan Arabic is less pronounced than elsewhere; usually it
only spreads to the nearest full vowel on either side, although with some additional complications.
Emphasis spreading also pharyngealizes consonants between the source consonant and affected vowels,
although the effects are much less noticeable than for vowels, since the rise of emphasis spreading is
associated with a concomitant decrease in the amount of pharyngealization of emphatic consonants.
Interestingly, emphasis spreading does not affect the affrication of non-emphatic /t/ in Moroccan Arabic,
with the result that these two phonemes are always distinguishable regardless of the nearby presence of
other emphatic phonemes.
Certain other consonants, depending on the dialect, also cause backing of adjacent sounds, although the effect
is typically weaker than full emphasis spreading and usually has no effect on more distant vowels.
The /x/ and the uvular consonant /q/ often cause partial backing of adjacent /a/ (and lowering of /u/ and /i/ in
Moroccan Arabic). For Moroccan Arabic, the effect is sometimes described as half as powerful as an
Varieties of Arabic 17

emphatic consonant, as a vowel with uvular consonants on both sides is affected similarly to having an
emphatic consonant on one side.
Interestingly, the pharyngeal consonants // and // cause no emphasis spreading and may have little or no
effect on adjacent vowels. In Egyptian Arabic, for example, an /a/ adjacent to either sound is a fully front
[]. In other dialects, // is more likely to have an effect than //.
In some Gulf Arabic dialects, /w/ and/or /l/ causes backing.
In some dialects, words such as /aa/ Allh has backed []'s and in some dialects also velarized /l/.
CA diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/ have become [e] and [o] (but merge with original /i/ and /u/ in Maghreb dialects,
which is probably a secondary development). The diphthongs are maintained in the Maltese language and some
urban Tunisian dialects, particularly that of Sfax, while [e] and [o] also occur in some other Tunisian dialects,
such as Monastir.
The placement of the stress accent is extremely variable between varieties; nowhere is it phonemic.
Most commonly, it falls on the last syllable containing a long vowel, or a short vowel followed by two
consonants; but never farther from the end than the third-to-last syllable. This maintains the presumed stress
pattern in CA (although there is some disagreement over whether stress could move farther back than the
third-to-last syllable), and is also used in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
In CA and MSA, stress cannot occur on a final long vowel; however, this does not result in different stress
patterns on any words, because CA final long vowels are shortened in all modern dialects, and any current
final long vowels are secondary developments from words containing a long vowel followed by a
In Egyptian Arabic, the rule is similar, but stress falls on the second-to-last syllable in words of the form
...VCCVCV, as in /maktaba/.
In Maghrebi Arabic, stress is final in words of the (original) form CaCaC, after which the first /a/ is elided.
Hence abal "mountain" becomes [bl].
In Moroccan Arabic, phonetic stress is often not recognizable.

[1] Bassiouney, 2009, p. 29.
[2] Abdel-Jawad, 1986, p. 58.
[3] Bassiouney, 2009, p. 19.
[4] Holes, 1983, p. 448.
[5] Holes 1995: 39, p. 118.
[6] Blanc, 1960, p. 62.
[7] Holes, 1995, p. 294.
[8] Versteegh, 2001, p. 245.
[9] In the examples below the word women came in three forms : mara, harim, settat and the from the example we understand that settat is only
Egyptian while it is used in all other countries and harim is not only used in gulf but also in other countries so mara, harim and settat are
mutually used as a native word not borrowed. we can find many words that are used in a particular dialect and yet we cant say that it is only
exclusive for this dialect, for example if we want to say " I want " in Egyptian we say " 3ayiz " and in Jordanian we say " baddi " but still in
Egypt they sometimes use baddi as a variant and not as borrowed form Jordanian and still somepeole in Jordan say 3ayiz or 3awiz as a variant
and not borrowed from Egyptian
[10] Bassiouney, 2009, p. 26.
[11] Bassiouney, 2009, p. 11.
[12] http:/ / www. arabacademy. com/ faq/ arabic_language Questions from Prospective Students on the varieties of Arabic Language - online
Arab Academy
[13] Badawi, 1973.
[14] Bassiouney, 2009, p.105.
[15] Holes, 1984, p.433-457.
[16] Abu-Haidar, 1991.
[17] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ary
[18] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=arq
Varieties of Arabic 18

[19] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=aeb

[20] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ayl
[21] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=mlt
[22] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=aao
[23] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=mey
[24] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=arz
[25] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=aec
[26] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=apd
[27] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ayp
[28] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=avl
[29] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=acy
[30] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=acm
[31] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=afb
[32] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=abv
[33] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ars
[34] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=acw
[35] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ayh
[36] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ayn
[37] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=acq
[38] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=adf
[39] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=acx
[40] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ssh
[41] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=abh
[42] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=auz
[43] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=shu
[44] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=jrb
[45] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=yhd
[46] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=aju
[47] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=yud
[48] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=ajt
[49] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=jye
[50] http:/ / www. sil. org/ iso639-3/ documentation. asp?id=arb

Abdel-Jawad, H. (1986). 'The emergence of a dialect in Jordanian urban centres.' International Journal of the
Sociology of Language 61.
Abu-Haidar, F. (1991). Christian Arabic of Baghdad, Weisbaden: Otto Harasowitz.
Abu-Melhim, A. R. (1991). 'Code-switching and accommodation in Arabic.' Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics.
Badawi, S.A. (1973). Mustawayt al-Arabyah al-muirah f Mir: Bath f alqat al-lughah bi-al-arah,
Cairo: Dr al-Marifah.
Bassiouney, Reem (2006). Functions of code-switching in Egypt: Evidence from monologues, Leiden: Brill.
Bassiouney, Reem (2009). Arabic Sociolinguistics, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
Blanc, D. (1960) 'Style variations in Arabic: A sample of interdialectical conversation.' in C.A. Ferguson (ed.)
Contributions to Arabic linguistics, Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.
Dendane, Z. (1994). 'Sociolinguistic variation in an Arabic speech community: Tlemcen.' Cahiers de
Dialectologie et de Linguistique Contrastive 4.
El-Hassan, S. (1997). 'Educated Spoken Arabic in Egypt and the Levant: A critical review of diglossia and related
concepts.' Archivum Linguisticum 8(2).
Ferguson, C.A. (1972). 'Diglossia.' Word 15.
Holes, C. (1983). 'Bahrain dialects: Sectarian differences exemplified through texts.' Zeitschrift fur arabische
Holes, C. (1995). 'Community, dialect and urbanization in the Arabic-speaking Middle-East.' Bulletin of the
School of Oriental and African Studies 58(2).
Varieties of Arabic 19

Mitchell, T.F. (1986). 'What is educated spoken Arabic?' International Journal of the Sociology of Language 61.
Pereira, C. (2007). 'Urbanization and dialect change: The dialect of Tripoli, Libya.' in C. Miller, E. Al-Wer, D.
Caubet and J.C.E. Watson (eds), Arabic in the city: Issues in dialect contact and language variation, London and
New York: Routledge.
Suleiman, Y. (1994). Arabic sociolinguistics: Issues and perspectives, Richmond: Curzon.
Versteegh, K. (2001). The Arabic language, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Further reading
Durand, O., (1995), Introduzione ai dialetti arabi, Centro Studi Camito-Semitici, Milan.
Durand, O., (2009), Dialettologia araba, Carocci Editore, Rome.
Fischer W. & Jastrow O., (1980) Handbuch der Arabischen Dialekte, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
Heath, Jeffrey "Ablaut and Ambiguity: Phonology of a Moroccan Arabic Dialect" (Albany: State University of
New York Press, 1987)
Holes, Clive (2004) Modern Arabic: Structures, Functions, and Varieties Georgetown University Press. ISBN
Versteegh, Dialects of Arabic (
Kees Versteegh, The Arabic Language (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997)
George Grigore, (2007). L'arabe parl Mardin. Monographie d'un parler arabe priphrique. Bucharest:
Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti, ISBN (13) 978-973-737-249-9 (
Columbia Arabic Dialect Modeling (CADIM) Group (
Israeli Hebrew and Modern Arabic a Few Differences and Many Parallels (
Article Sources and Contributors 20

Article Sources and Contributors

Varieties of Arabic Source: Contributors: 0rdinator, 4pq1injbok, After Midnight, Agari, Alaxdar, AlexanderKaras, AlfaeinWan, Alfons2,
Allens, Amilah, Aminullah, AnonMoos, AnotherBDA, Antandrus, Anthony Appleyard, Anypodetos, Arab Hafez, Arthur Holland, Atitarev, Azalea pomp, Bastet100, Benwing, Bleni5501,
Bmhabr, Boston, CWY2190, Causteau, Cbdorsett, Cedrus-Libani, Chem1, Chkiss, Chronodm, Cmdrjameson, Collounsbury, Cyrrk, Davidsteinberg, Dbachmann, Dewritech, Diamonddavej,
DopefishJustin, Drmaik, Eastlaw, Fabiform, Falastine fee Qalby, Fayenatic london, FayssalF, Felix Folio Secundus, Fetchcomms, Fjmustak, Fkjms73, Fluffernutter, Gaius Cornelius, Garik,
Garzo, Geekdiva, Gilgamesh, Gringo300, Gwernol, Hakeem.gadi, Heroeswithmetaphors, Hottentot, Huhsunqu, Hurayshi, Irina Vainovski, J3ff, J4reg, JWB, Jabeen, Javidan, Jmlk17, Jondel,
JorisvS, Joseph Solis in Australia, Jrdan, Kaasje, Kam965, Kcarnold, Khalid hassani, Kikos, Knepflerle, Koakhtzvigad, Koryakov Yuri, Kotabatubara, Krellis, Kwamikagami, Lanov, Le
Anh-Huy, Leewonbum, Lockesdonkey, Lothar von Richthofen, MALLUS, MARVEL, Mahmudmasri, Mai1234567890, Malhonen, Mani1, Marco polo, Marnen, Mbinebri, Miranche, Moemin05,
Moester101, Morgengave, Mr.Slade, Mustafaa, Mxn, Myshkin, NJT90, Nabil33, Nableezy, Nikki, Ninly, Norm mit, Numbo3, Oleg Alexandrov, Olympic god, Oolong, Parishan, PhnomPencil,
PiMaster3, Pichpich, Pietru, Pne, Psychoscott, Psyoon, Qwezxcrty, Rafy, Rainwaterfall, Ranginkaman, RedJimi, Rich Farmbrough, Rilkas, Rjwilmsi, Robin hood 7000, Ross Burgess, Ruakh,
Rursus, Sarcelles, Sardanaphalus, Sebesta, Shamalyguy, Shoeofdeath, Simha, Sirmylesnagopaleentheda, Skatewalk, Slackerlawstudent, Smack, Sobreira, Sophus Bie, SouthernComfort, Spidern,
Steinbach, Sundberg, TShilo12, Taivo, Taleb3elm, Tobias Conradi, Toussaint, Uriber, VeryVerily, Whpq, Wiki Wikardo, Womtelo, Yom, Zack wadghiri, Zerida, Zuky79, , , 149
anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

File:Arabic Dialects.svg Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Contributors: Rafy

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported