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There are quite a few examples of lam yakun in the Qur'an - are they all missing the n in the Sanaa manuscript? That would be a lot more telling than a single case.

There's one context where you might expect the n to be retained given such a sound change, and that's before a vowel. It actually is in the first example that comes to mind: lam yakuni llađīna kafarū... (surat al-Bayyinah, v. 1). That would also explain away yuhini: http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=hwn .


Well, it is not just the missing n in the Sanaa manuscript that is telling, of course. The fact that it is missing in the Quranic text, even the canonical one, at all is surprising. Why would the n ever drop out in these cases?

Reintroducing the n is easy. Removing the n for no reason has no obvious explanation. I've found 16 attestations, versus 57 with final n:

Q8:53 lam yaku muġayyiran
Q16:120 wa-lam yaku mina 'l-mušrikiina
Q19:9 wa-lam taku šayʔan
Q19:20 wa-lam ʔaku baġiyyan
Q19:67 wa-lam yaku šayʔan
Q40:50 ʔa-wa-lam taku taʔtīkum
Q40:85 fa-lam taku yanfaʕuhum
Q75:37 ʔa-lam yaku nuṭfatan

Q31:16 ʔin taku miṯqāl
Q40:28 wa-ʔin yaku kāḏiban
Q40:28 wa-ʔin yaku ṣādiqan
Q4:40 wa-ʔin taku ḥasanatan

Q11:17 fa-lā taku fī miryatin
Q11:109 fa-lā taku fī miryatin
Q16:127 wa-lā taku fī ḍayqin

Q9:74 taku xayran

There doesn't seem to be much rime or reason behind when the n-less forms show up. Which to me suggests that it is an archaism.

This could either be free variation in the speech of the prophet. Or the prophet consistently had n-less forms, and the n-spellings have been creeping into the QCT over time.

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