Arabic Grammar – 190

Click to view table of contents

Denominal nouns (continued)
Nouns in other suffixes

Following are some other derivative suffixes that can be seen sometimes in Arabic nouns.


The abstractive –a⋅t was added to words ending with the relative suffix –iyy to produce words such as barriyya·tuṋ {بَرِّيّةٌ} “wilderness,” from barriyyuṋ {بَرِّيٌّ} “wild,” from barruṋ {بَرٌّ} “land, wilderness.” On the model of such words many other words were formed in later Arabic, such as ʔinsȃniyya·tuṋ {إنْسانِيّةٌ} “humanity,” from ʔinsȃniyyuṋ {إنْسانِيٌّ} “humane,” from ʔinsȃnuṋ {إنْسانٌ} “a human being.” In the end the ending –iyya⋅t became an independent suffix that can be added to any noun in order to create abstracts, such ʔimkȃniyya·tuṋ {إمْكانِيّةٌ} “possibility,” which comes directly from ʔimkȃnuṋ {إمْكانٌ} “being possible.” Sometimes such abstracts in –iyya⋅t were made out of phrases, e.g. mȃhiyya·tuṋ {ماهِيّةٌ} “quiddity” comes from mȃ huwa {ما هُوَ} “what is?”


This is an uncommon abstractive that can be seen in e.g. karȃhiya·tuṋ {كَراهِيةٌ} “hatred.” The ending –(i)a in foreign place names was commonly rendered –iya⋅t in CA, e.g. Sȗriya·tu {سُوْرِيةُ} “Syria” and Rȗmiya·tu {رُوْمِيةُ} “Rome.” In vernacular speech this ending was pronounced –iyya⋅t already in the Abbasid era.


Another uncommon abstractive that can be seen in e.g. kibriyȃʔu {كِبْرِياءُ} “grandeur.” It is also another common way for rendering foreign –(i)a in CA, e.g. ʔ·al-kȋmiyȃʔu {الْكِيْمِياءُ} “alchemy” from Greek χημεία khēmeía.


This rare suffix is likely to have originated from the fusion of two suffixes –aw & –(a)t. It has a singulative meaning in e.g. ʕankabȗtuṋ {عَنْكَبُوْتٌ} “a spider (masc./fem.),” from the mass noun ʕankabuṋ {عَنْكَبٌ} “spider(s) (masc./fem.)” (the variant ʕankaba⋅tuṋ {عَنْكَبةٌ} “a spider (fem.)” is less common), an augmentative meaning in e.g. ṭȃɣȗtuṋ {طاغُوْتٌ} , a variant of ṭȃɣiya·tuṋ {طاغِيةٌ} “transgressor, tyrant,” and an abstractive meaning in e.g. ǵabarȗtuṋ {جَبَرُوْتٌ} “might” and malakȗtuṋ {مَلَكُوْتٌ} “kingship.”


Normally the suffix –ȃt (with the dialectal variant –ȃ⋅t) is an inflectional ending of sound feminine plural nouns, but a few singular nouns have it. Only one example is common sulaħfȃ·tuṋ {سُلَحْفاةٌ} “a turtle (masc./fem.).” Another example is ʕankabȃ·tuṋ {عَنْكَباةٌ} “a spider.” This suffix should not be confused with the endings *–aw-a⋅t > –ȃ⋅t and *–ay-a⋅t > –ȃ⋅t commonly found in words from roots III=w/y, like *ħayawatun > ħayȃ·tuṋ {حَياةٌ} “a life” and *fatayatun > fatȃ·tuṋ {فَتاةٌ} “a young woman.” (It is likely that the suffix –ȃt itself arose from a fusion of –aw/–ay & –(a)t, but even so, it is still etymologically different from the ending –ȃ⋅t found in words of roots III=w/y.)


This very rare suffix represents a fusion of –iy & –(a)t. One example is barrȋtuṋ {بَرِّيْتٌ} , a rare CA variant of barriyya·tuṋ {بَرِّيةٌ} “wilderness.”


اترك تعليقًا

إملأ الحقول أدناه بالمعلومات المناسبة أو إضغط على إحدى الأيقونات لتسجيل الدخول:

شعار ووردبريس.كوم

أنت تعلق بإستخدام حساب تسجيل خروج   /  تغيير )

Facebook photo

أنت تعلق بإستخدام حساب Facebook. تسجيل خروج   /  تغيير )

Connecting to %s