Omani Arabic (Arabic: اللهجة العمانية, romanized: al-Lahjah al-ʻUmānīyah; 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.
|Region||Hajar mountains and a few coastal towns|
|Speakers||2.1 million in Oman (2020)|
2.9 million in all countries
Areas where Omani Arabic is spoken (in dark blue those areas where it is more widely spoken).
|Fricative||voiceless||f||θ||s||sˤ||ʃ||x ~ χ||ħ||h|
|voiced||ð||ðˤ||z||ɣ ~ ʁ||ʕ|
- 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.
- As for most [Omani] dialects, Standard Arabic [d͡ʒ] is replaced with the velar stop /g/ ⟨ج⟩, while [d͡ʒ] is available in some Omani dialects, mainly Bedouin.
- 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]. and this variable /q/ has been a hallmark for distinguishing Bedouin and Hadari (urban) Arabs for centuries.
|Close||i iː||u uː|
- /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.
- /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 also edit
- Omani Arabic at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022)
- Glover, Bonnie C. (1988). The morphophonology of Muscat Arabic. University of California at Los Angeles.
- Al-Balushi, Rashid (2017). "Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect" (PDF). Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect: 89–90.
- Al-Balushi, Rashid (2017). "Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect" (PDF). Omani Arabic: More than a Dialect: 89.
- 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.
- Grünbichler, Elisabeth (2015). Grammatik und Lexik des arabischen Dialekts von Buraimi (Oman). Universität Wien.