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Deletion of the high second vowel in fa’ila and fa’ula was common in the speech of East Arabian tribes such as Rabi’ah and is found in some modern Najdi dialects. For instance in those dialects one would say sam’a instead of sami’a (in modern Najdi sam’).

In a book I have (in Arabic) on Rabi’ah’s dialect, it also mentions that the geminated form was raddit (ردِّت) instead of radadtu. This seems awfully similar to and possibly a precursor to widespread modern forms like raddayt/raddēt.

The Quranic form seems to stem from the same ancestral form CaCCt, and it seems this was common to Old Hijazi, and my guess is that while Quranic Arabic resolves the cluster by degemination, leading to CaCt, some of the spoken varieties of Old Hijazi inserted an epenthetic vowel leading to CaCCit, and eventually CaCCayt which we first see in Middle Arabic.


Thanks for these interesting comments.

In fact, note that it is absolutely possible that Quranic Arabic actually had ẓallt or even ẓallit. The QCT does not allow us to be sure at all.

One can easily imagine how:

*ẓanantu would yield ẓanant

*ẓaliltu would yield ẓall(i)t

It is, by the way, not just Rabi`ah that has forms like this. Also in the the Jbala region and Tafilalt region of Morocco do we find such forms.

I need to look at this more closely, but it seems that Andalusi Arabic exactly retains the distribution as we find it in Quranic Arabic!


Yeah, actually what I failed to articulate in my comment is that the Quranic rule looks very similar to the Rabi’ah/modern Najdi rule for 3rd person non-double radical verbs (katab vs. sam’).

On the other hand the Rabi’ah rule for 1st person double radicals seems to differ from the Hijazi one since it operates on the [a] vowel as well. So you have radadtu > raddit in Rabi’ah, which would be illegal in Hijaz. Rabi’ah rule seems to be more analogical leveling of the radd- stem from the 3rd person than vowel deletion.


Sup Phoenix, I've read a lot of you and Glen Gordons work, excellent stuff. I'm just wondering if Glen Gordon still writes anything. He hasn't posted anything on his blog.


Wow Coop, that is a very long time ago. I honestly have no idea what Glen Gordon does these days, no. Sorry!


I know this is a lot to ask but do you have any resources on Khoisan languages. I’ve searched the deep, dark recesses of the internet and all I found was Starostins Khoisan database (it’s a hell pit). Specifically I’m looking for one a grammar or dictionary of one of the ǃXuun or Ju languages.

Just to demonstrate how much of a hell pit Starostins database is, he actually thinks that his Proto-Ju word for cow, *gumi ~ *gome, comes from his Proto-Bushman word for “see”, *ɳǀV. Now I know why his ideas have such a bad rep. See http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?root=config&morpho=0&basename=%5Cdata%5Cbush%5Ckhoiet&first=1&off=&text_proto=&method_proto=substring&ic_proto=on&text_meaning=see&method_meaning=substring&ic_meaning=on&text_bsh=&method_bsh=substring&ic_bsh=on&text_ckh=&method_ckh=substring&ic_ckh=on&text_san=&method_san=substring&ic_san=on&text_had=&method_had=substring&ic_had=on&text_notes=&method_notes=substring&ic_notes=on&text_any=&method_any=substring&sort=proto&ic_any=on


I don't know anything at all about Khoisan, so wouldn't be able to tell you. But I'll ask a colleague if she would be to provide some information.

I agree that Starostin's databases are usually not very useful...


I heard you are looking for Khoisan resources! Specifically on !Xuun/Ju:
Heine, Bernd & Christa König. 2015. The !Xun Language. A Dialect Grammar of Northern Khoisan (Research in Khoisan Studies 33 33). Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
Dickens, Patrick. 2005. A Concise Grammar of Ju|'hoan (Quellen Zur Khoisan-Forschung). Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
Dickens, Patrick. 1994. English-Ju|'hoan, Ju|'hoan-English Dictionary. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.

There are many useful contributions on all Khoisan languages in:
Vossen, Rainer (ed.) 2013. The Khoesan languages. London: Routledge.

Older work by Snyman can also be useful:
Snyman, Jan W. 1975. Žu|'hõasi Fonologie & Woordeboek. Kaapstad/Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema.
Snyman, Jan W. 1997. "A preliminary classification of the !Xũũ and Žu|’hõasi dialects". Namibian Languages: Reports and Papers ed. by W.H.G. Haacke & E.D. Elderkin, 21-106. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.


Appreciate it HG, I'd be lost without your help.

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