Arabic Grammar – 72

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►II.18. CITATION FORMS

If we ignore the vowel diacritics, it becomes clear that Arabic words were originally written in their pausal forms. For example, the nominative ending –uṋ and the genitive ending –iṋ were not written, but the accusative ending –aṋ was written with a terminal ʔalif that denotes the pausal form ȃ.

However, since the invention of the vowel diacritics in the 7th century AD it has become customary to write and cite Arabic words in their junctional or complete forms. In Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic the pausal forms are never written down. They exist merely in pronunciation.

This is important to know, because Western scholars who work on Arabic use the pausal forms as citation forms, which contradicts the Arabic tradition.

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