Arabic Grammar – 240

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Declension (continued)

Irregular singular declension

The following types of stems show irregularity in their singular declension:

  1. Stems ending in –a⋅t
  2. Stems ending in –aw or –ay
  3. Stems ending in –ȃʔ, –ȃw or –ȃy
  4. Stems ending in –iy

 

1. Stems in –a⋅t

Triptotic nouns with the suffix –a⋅t do not have a terminal ʔ·alif in their written form in the absolute (nunated) naṣb declension, i.e. the ending –⋅taṋ is written {ةً} . This is because the rules of pause require dropping the ending –⋅taṋ altogether.

Example, the singular declension of the triptote noun muʕallima⋅tuṋ {مُعَلِّمةٌ} “a female teacher.”

Triptote declension
Case State
absolute
“a teacher (fem.)”
determinate
“the teacher (fem.)”
construct
“the teacher of (fem.)”
Rafʕ مُعَلِّمةٌ اَلْمُعَلِّمةُ مُعَلِّمةُ
muʕallima⋅tuṋ ʔ·almuʕallima⋅tu muʕallima⋅tu
Naṣb مُعَلِّمةً اَلْمُعَلِّمةَ مُعَلِّمةَ
muʕallima⋅taṋ ʔ·al-muʕallima⋅ta muʕallima⋅ta
Ǵarr مُعَلِّمةٍ اَلْمُعَلِّمةِ مُعَلِّمةِ
muʕallima⋅tiṋ ʔ·al-muʕallima⋅ti muʕallima⋅ti

 

2. Stems in –aw & –ay

The endings –aw & –ay (whether suffixes or not) change as follows in the singular declension:

–awV(ṋ) > –a(ṋ) (written {ا} )

–ayV(ṋ) > –a(ṋ) (written {ى} )

 

Example, the singular declension of the triptote noun ʕaṣaṋ {عَصًا} “a stick (fem.).”

Triptote declension
Case State
absolute
“a stick”
determinate
“the stick”
construct
“the stick of”
Rafʕ عَصًا اَلْعَصا عَصا
ʕaṣa ʔ·alʕaṣȃ ʕaṣȃ
Naṣb عَصًا اَلْعَصا عَصا
ʕaṣa ʔ·al-ʕaṣȃ ʕaṣȃ
Ǵarr عَصًا اَلْعَصا عَصا
ʕaṣa ʔ·al-ʕaṣȃ ʕaṣȃ

 

Example, the singular declension of the triptote noun maʕnaṋ {مَعْنًى} “a meaning (masc.).”

Triptote declension
Case State
absolute
“a meaning”
determinate
“the meaning”
construct
“the meaning of”
Rafʕ مَعْنًى اَلْمَعْنَى مَعْنَى
maʕna ʔ·almaʕna·y maʕna·y
Naṣb مَعْنًى اَلْمَعْنَى مَعْنَى
maʕna ʔ·al-maʕna·y maʕna·y
Ǵarr مَعْنًى اَلْمَعْنَى مَعْنَى
maʕna ʔ·al-maʕna·y maʕna·y

 

Example, the singular declension of the diptote noun ʕaṭša·y {عَطْشَى} “thirsty (fem.).”

Diptote declension
Case State
absolute
“a thirsty (fem.)”
determinate
“the thirsty (fem.)”
construct
“the thirsty of (fem.)”
Rafʕ عَطْشَى اَلْعَطْشَى عَطْشَى
ʕaṭša·y ʔ·alʕaṭša·y ʕaṭša·y
Naṣb عَطْشَى اَلْعَطْشَى عَطْشَى
ʕaṭša·y ʔ·al-ʕaṭša·y ʕaṭša·y
Ǵarr عَطْشَى اَلْعَطْشَى عَطْشَى
ʕaṭša·y ʔ·al-ʕaṭša·y ʕaṭša·y

 

3. Stems in –ȃʔ, –ȃw & –ȃy

The endings ȃw& –ȃy (including the suffix –ȃw) change as follows in the singular declension:

ȃwV(ṋ) > –ȃʔV(ṋ) (written {اء} )

ȃyV(ṋ) > –ȃʔV(ṋ) (written {اء} )

Thus, the endings –ȃw & –ȃy become identical in form to original –ȃʔ. All decline the same.

In the triptotic absolute naṣb declension of such words, there is no terminal ʔ·alif in the written form.

Example, the singular declension of the triptote noun *masāwun > masȃʔuṋ {مَساءٌ} “evening (masc.).”

Triptote declension
Case State
absolute
“an evening “
determinate
“the evening”
construct
“the evening of”
Rafʕ مَساءٌ اَلْمَساءُ مَساءُ
masȃʔu ʔ·almasȃʔu masȃʔu
Naṣb مَساءً اَلْمَساءَ مَساءَ
masȃʔa ʔ·al-masȃʔa masȃʔa
Ǵarr مَساءٍ اَلْمَساءِ مَساءِ
masȃʔi ʔ·al-masȃʔi masȃʔi

 

Example, the singular declension of the diptote noun *ħamrāwu > ħamrȃʔu {حَمْراءُ} “red (fem.).”

Diptote declension
Case State
absolute
“a red (fem.)”
determinate
“the red (fem.)”
construct
“the red of (fem.)”
Rafʕ حَمْراءُ اَلْحَمْراءُ حَمْراءُ
ħamrȃʔu ʔ·alħamrȃʔu ħamrȃʔu
Naṣb حَمْراءَ اَلْحَمْراءَ حَمْراءَ
ħamrȃʔa ʔ·al-ħamrȃʔa ħamrȃʔa
Ǵarr حَمْراءَ اَلْحَمْراءِ حَمْراءِ
ħamrȃʔa ʔ·al-ħamrȃʔi ħamrȃʔi

 

4. Stems in –iy

The ending iy (whether a suffix or not) changes as follows in the singular declension:

iyVṋ > –i(written ∅)

iyV > –i (written {ي} )

This change happens only if V has the value u or i (in the rafʕ and ǵarr cases). It does not happens if V = a (in the naṣb case).

In the diptotic declension the absolute rafʕ and ǵarr endings are irregularly changed to –iṋ (written ∅).

 

Example, the singular declension of the triptote noun *qāḍiyun > qȃḍiṋ {قاضٍ} “a judge (masc.).”

Triptote declension
Case State
absolute
“an evening “
determinate
“the evening”
construct
“the evening of”
Rafʕ قاضٍ اَلْقاضِيْ قاضِيْ
qȃḍi ʔ·alqȃḍiy qȃḍiy
Naṣb قاضِيًا اَلْقاضِيَ قاضِيَ
qȃḍiya ʔ·al-qȃḍiya qȃḍiya
Ǵarr قاضٍ اَلْقاضِيْ قاضِيْ
qȃḍi ʔ·al-qȃḍiy qȃḍiy

 

Example, the singular declension of the diptote noun *ʔafāʕiyu > ʔafȃʕiṋ {أَفاعٍ} “vipers (plur. fem.).”

Diptote declension
Case State
absolute
“vipers”
determinate
“the vipers”
construct
“the vipers of”
Rafʕ أَفاعٍ اَلْأَفاعِيْ أَفاعِيْ
ʔafȃʕiṋ ʔ·alʔafȃʕiy ʔafȃʕiy
Naṣb أَفاعِيَ اَلْأَفاعِيَ أَفاعِيَ
ʔafȃʕiya ʔ·al-ʔafȃʕiya ʔafȃʕiya
Ǵarr أَفاعٍ اَلْأَفاعِيْ أَفاعِيْ
ʔafȃʕiṋ ʔ·al-ʔafȃʕiy ʔafȃʕiy

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