Omani Arabic

Omani Arabic (also known as Omani Hadari Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken in the Al Hajar Mountains of Oman and in a few neighboring coastal regions. It is the easternmost Arabic dialect. It was formerly spoken by colonists in Kenya and Tanzania, but these days, it mainly remains spoken on the island of Zanzibar. It is also spoken in Gwadar, a former Omani colony.

Omani Arabic
اللهجة العمانية
Native toOman
RegionHajar mountains and a few coastal towns
Native speakers
(720,000 in Oman cited 1996)[1]
320,000 in UAE (no date),[1] 15,000 in Kenya (1995)[1]
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3acx
Glottologoman1239
Árabe omaní.png

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Labial Interdental Dental/Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain emph. plain emph.
Nasal m n
Stop voiceless t t͡ʃ k q ʔ
voiced b d (d͡ʒ) ɡ
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ x ~ χ ħ h
voiced ð ðˤ z ɣ ~ ʁ ʕ
Trill r
Approximant l (ɫ) j w
  • Velar fricatives /x, ɣ/ can be heard as uvular sounds [χ, ʁ], in the Muscat dialect.
  • /k, ɡ/ can also be heard as palatalized sounds [kʲ, ɡʲ] among the Muscat dialect.
  • [ɫ] can be heard as an allophone of /l/, but is rarely phonemic.[2]
  • As for most dialects, Standard Arabic [d͡ʒ] is replaced with the velar stop /g/ج⟩, while [d͡ʒ] is available in some Omani dialects, mainly Bedouin.[3]
  • The speakers of Muscat, Salalah and some Batina varieties (e.g. the center of Sohar city), as well as other sedentary dialect speakers, pronounce /q/ق⟩ as [q], while the Bedouin dialect speakers pronounce /q/ as [g].[4] and this variable /q/ has been a hallmark for distinguishing Bedouin and Hadari (urban) Arabs for centuries.[5]

VowelsEdit

Front Back
Close i u
Mid
Open a
  • /a/ can be heard as [æ] when preceding /j/ or any non-emphatic consonant. It is heard as back [ɑ] after emphatic sounds, and can then be heard as [ʌ] when shortened. Its long equivalent /aː/, is heard as [ɑː] after emphatic sounds.[6]
  • /i/ can be heard as [ɪ] in medial position and as [ɨ] in shortened positions.
  • Sounds /u, uː/ are often realized as near-close back sounds [ʊ, ʊː]. /u/ can sometimes be heard as [ɔ] or [o] after emphatics.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Omani Arabic at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Glover, Bonnie C. (1988). The morphophonology of Muscat Arabic. University of California at Los Angeles.
  3. ^ Al-Balushi, Rashid (2017). "Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect" (PDF). Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect: 89.
  4. ^ Al-Balushi, Rashid (2017). "Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect" (PDF). Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect: 89.
  5. ^ Al Nabhani, H (2011). "Language and Identity in Oman through the Voice of Local Radio Broadcasters" (PDF). Language and Identity in Oman through the Voice of Local Radio Broadcasters. The University of Edinburgh.
  6. ^ Grünbichler, Elisabeth (2015). Grammatik und Lexik des arabischen Dialekts von Buraimi (Oman). Universität Wien.