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Encyclopedia > Hamza
Arabic alphabet
                    
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History · Transliteration
Diacritics · Hamza

ء
Numerals · Numeration The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... Alif ﺍ is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. ...   Beth or Bet is the second letter of many Semetic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic. ... Taw or Tav is the twenty-second and last letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic alphabet . Its original value is an voiceless alveolar plosive, IPA , The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Tau (Τ), Latin T, and the equivalent in the Cyrillic alphabet. ... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents the voiceless dental fricative (IPA ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . ...   Gimmel is the third letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Aramaic, Syriac, Phoenician and Hebrew. ... or (also spelled Khet, Kheth, Chet, Cheth, Het, or Heth) is the reconstructed name of the eighth letter of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, continued in descended Semitic alphabets as Phoenician , Syriac , Hebrew (also ) , Arabic (in abjadi order), and Berber . Heth originally represented a voiceless fricative, either pharyngeal , or velar (the... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents the voiceless velar fricative (IPA ). In name and shape, it is a variant of (see also there). ... Dalet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents the voiced dental fricative (IPA ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . ... Resh is the twentieth letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets. ... Zayin or Zain is the seventh letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic. ... Shin (also spelled Sin or Sheen) is the twenty-first letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic (in abjadi order, 12th in modern order). ... Shin (also spelled Sin or Sheen) is the twenty-first letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic (in abjadi order, 12th in modern order). ... Tsade (also spelled or Tzadi or Sadhe) is the eighteenth letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew ‎ and Arabic alphabet ‎. Its oldest sound value is probably IPA: , although there is a variety of pronunciation in different modern Semitic languages and their dialects. ... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents a pharyngealized voiced alveolar plosive (IPA ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . ... (also Teth, Tet) is the ninth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew , Syriac and Arabic (in abjadi order, 16th in modern order). ... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents a = pharyngealized voiced dental or alveolar fricative (IPA or ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . ... or Ayin is the sixteenth letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic (in abjadi order). ... () is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet (the others being , , , , ). It represents the voiced velar fricative (IPA ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . ... This is about the Hebrew letter: for the Cyrillic letter, see Pe (Cyrillic). ...   Qoph is the nineteenth letter in many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic. ... Kaph (also spelled Kap or Kaf) is the eleventh letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew , Arabic alphabet , Persian alphabet . ... Lamed or Lamedh is the twelfth letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets. ... Mem is the thirteenth letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets. ... → [Nun] is the 14th letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic alphabet (in abjadi order). ... He is the fifth letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets. ...   Vav or waw is the sixth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic in abjadi order; it is the twenty-seventh in modern Arabic order. ... Yodh (also spelled Yud or Yod) is the tenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew , Syriac and Arabic (in abjadi order, 28th in modern order). ... If certain characters in this article display badly (as empty squares, question marks, etc), see Unicode. ... Due to the fact that the Arabic language has a number of phonemes that have no equivalent in English or other European languages, a number of different transliteration methods have been invented to represent certain Arabic characters, due to various conflicting goals. ... In Arabic orthography, harakat are the diacritic marks used to represent vowel sounds. ... The Eastern Arabic numerals (also called Eastern Arabic numerals, Arabic-Indic numerals, Arabic Eastern Numerals) are the symbols (glyphs) used to represent the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and parts of India, and also in the no longer used Ottoman Turkish... arabic numeration This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


Hamza (ء) is a letter in the Arabic alphabet, representing the glottal stop [ʔ]. Hamza is not one of the 28 "full" letters, and owes its existence to historical orthographical inconsistencies in early Islamic times. In the Phoenician and Aramaic alphabets, from which the Arabic alphabet is descended, the glottal stop was expressed by ʼāleph, continued by Arabic ʼalif. However, alif was used to express both a glottal stop, and a long vowel [a:]. To indicate that a glottal stop, and not a mere vowel, was intended, hamza was added diacritically to alif. In modern orthography, under certain circumstances, hamza may also appear on the line, as if it were a full letter, independent of an alif. The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ... It became one of the most widely used writing systems, and was spread by traders of Phoenicia across Europe and the Middle East, where it became used for a variety of languages and spawned many subsequent scripts. ... Bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great, 3rd century BC. The Aramaic alphabet is an abjad alphabet designed for writing the Aramaic language. ... is the reconstructed name of the first letter of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, continued in descended Semitic alphabets as Phoenician , Syriac , Hebrew , , and Arabic . Aleph originally expressed the glottal stop (IPA ), usually transliterated as , a symbol based on the Greek spiritus lenis , for example in the transliteration of the letter... Alif ﺍ is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. ...


Hamza can be written alone or on a support in which case it becomes a diacritic:

  • Alone: ء ;
  • Combined with a letter:
    • أ and إ (above and under an ʼalif)
    • ؤ (above a wāw)
    • ئ (above a dotless yāʼ, also called yāʼ hamza)

Contents

Hamzatu l-waṣl

The hamza letter on its own always represents hamzatu l-qatʿ, that is, a phonemical glottal stop. Compared to this, hamzatu l-waṣl is a non-phonemical glottal stop produced automatically at the beginning of an utterance. It is written as alif carrying a hamza in the definite article al- (and in Allah), but is not pronounced following a vowel (e.g. al-baytu l-kabīru for written <ʾal-baytu ʾal-kabīru>). Alif ﺍ is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. ... Al- is not a permanent component of words, as shown here with , the Arabic for Bahrain. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ...


Orthography

Summary

  • Initial hamza is always written over or under an alif. Otherwise, surrounding vowels determine the seat of the hamza – but, preceding long vowels or diphthongs are ignored (as are final short vowels).
  • /i/ over /u/ over /a/ if there are two conflicting vowels that “count”; on the line if there are none.
  • As a special case, /āʼa/, /ūʼa/ and /awʼa/ require hamza on the line, instead of over an alif as you would expect from rule #1. (See III.1b below.)
  • Two adjacent alifs are never allowed. If the rules call for this, replace the combination by a single alif-madda.

Detailed Description

  • Logically, hamza is just like any other letter, but it may be written in different ways. It has no effect on the way other letters are written. In particular, surrounding long vowels are written just as they always are, regardless of the “seat” of the hamza – even if this results in the appearance of two consecutive waws or yaas.
  • Hamza can be written in four ways – on its own (“on the line”) or over an alif, waw, or yaa, called the “seat” of the hamza. When written over yaa, the dots that would normally be written underneath disappear.
  • When, according to the rules below, a hamza with an alif seat would occur before another alif, instead a single alif is written with the madda symbol over it.
  • The rules for hamza depend on whether it occurs as the initial, middle, or final letter (not sound) in a word. (Thus, final short inflectional vowels do not count, but when –an is written as alif-tanwiin, it does count and the hamza is considered medial.)

I. If the hamza is initial:

  • It is always written on an alif – over it if the following sound is /a/ or /u/ (as in أﺼﻮﻝ ʼusūl "basis"), under it if /i/ follows (as in إسلاﻡ‎ "Islam").
  • If long /ā/ follows, alif-madda will occur.

II. If the hamza is final:

  • If a short vowel precedes, the hamza is written over the letter (alif, waw, or yaa) corresponding to the short vowel.
  • Otherwise (i.e. long vowel, diphthong or consonant preceding), the hamza is written on the line (as in ﺷﻲء šayʼ "thing").

III. If the hamza is medial:

  • If a long vowel or diphthong precedes, the seat of the hamza is determined mostly by what follows:
  • If /i/ or /u/ follows, the hamza is written over yaa or waw, accordingly.
  • Otherwise, the hamza wants to be written on the line. If a yaa precedes, however, this would conflict with the stroke joining the yaa to the following letter, so the hamza is (in print, at least) written over yaa.
  • Otherwise, both preceding and following vowels have an effect on the hamza.
  • If there is only one vowel (or two of the same kind), that vowel determines the seat (alif, waw, or yaa).
  • If there are two conflicting vowels, /i/ takes precedence over /u/, /u/ over /a/, so miʼat "hundred" is written ﻣﺌﺖ, with hamza over the yaa.
  • Alif-madda will occur if appropriate.

Not surprisingly given the complexity of these rules, there is some disagreement.

  • Barron’s "201 Arabic Verbs" follows these rules exactly (although the sequence /ūʼū/ does not occur; see below).
  • John Mace’s "Teach Yourself Arabic Verbs and Essential Grammar" presents alternative forms in almost all cases when hamza is followed by a long /ū/. The motivation appears to be to avoid two waws in a row. Generally, the choice is between the form following the rules here, or an alternative form using hamza over yaa in all cases. Example forms are /masʼūl/, /yaǧīʼūna/, /yašāʼūna/. Exceptions:
  • In the sequence /ūʼū/, e.g. /yasūʼūna/, the alternatives are hamza on the line, or hamza over yaa, when the rules here would call for hamza over waw. Perhaps the resulting sequence of three waws would be especially repugnant?
  • In the sequence /yaqraʼūna/, the alternative form has hamza over alif, not yaa.
  • The forms /yabṭuʼūna/, /yaʼūbu/ have no alternative form. (But note /yaqraʼūna/ with the same sequence of vowels!)
  • Haywood and Nahmad’s "A new Arabic grammar" doesn’t write the paradigms out in full but in general agrees with John Mace’s book, including the alternative forms – and sometimes lists a third alternative where the entire sequence /ʼū/ is written as a single hamza over waw instead of as two letters.
  • "Al-Kitaab fii Ta:allum ..." presents paradigms with hamza written the same way throughout, regardless of what the rules above say. Thus /yabdaʼūna/ with hamza only over alif, /yaǧīʼūna/ with hamza only over yaa, /yaqraʼīna/ with hamza only over alif although this is not allowed in any of the previous three books. (This appears to be an over-generalization on the part of the Al-Kitaab writers.)

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Hamza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (895 words)
Hamza is not one of the 28 "full" letters, and owes its existence to historical orthographical inconsistencies in early Islamic times.
Hamza can be written in four ways – on its own (“on the line”) or over an alif, waw, or yaa, called the “seat” of the hamza.
The rules for hamza depend on whether it occurs as the initial, middle, or final letter (not sound) in a word.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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