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The g/ǧ-Question In Egyptian Arabic Revisited

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Chapter Summary

One of the most eye-catching, or rather ear-catching features when listening to what is generally called Egyptian Arabic, is the voiced velar plosive /g/ [g]. This chapter reviews part of the evidence on which Blanc (1981) and Hary (1996) base their assumptions and, then, to adduce further evidence for a far more common and earlier presence of /g/ in Lower Egypt than hitherto suggested. Egypt is not the only region in the Arabic world with a /g/, corresponding to Classical Arabic /ǧ/ and Semitic /g/, it is attested in South Yemen and in Oman, at the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in more central regions. Another piece of evidence for earlier /g/ comes from a hitherto unknown passage in Širbīnī’s Hazz al-Quḥūf.

Keywords: Širbīnī’s Hazz al-Quḥūf; Arabic world; Blanc (1981); Egyptian Arabic; Hary (1996); Yemen



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