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HOW DO EMPHATIC CONSONANTS AFFECTE SURROUNDING VOWELS

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HOW DO EMPHATIC CONSONANTS AFFECTE SURROUNDING VOWELS

Postby kuneli on 2007-11-21, 2:51

The emphatic consonants do affecte the preceding and/or following 3 vowels of arabic: [a]/[i]/[u] and their long variations.
[a] & [i] receive a darker nuance, [a] becoming [α]/[å], like a in father,sometimes I hear a sound close to the hungarian a, while [i] becomes [ι], like i in fish or german i in bin.
On the other hand [u]becomes [o], close o like french beau and [u:] becomes a long open o, for instance: (I use the capital letters S,D,T,Z for the emphatics ص ض ط ظ

[a]+S > åS : måSdar /[a:]+S> åS : nå:Sir
S+a > Så : Såbaħ /S + [å] : Så:diq
[u]+S > oS : moSTåfa: /S+[u:]> So: So:f
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Postby Quetzalcoatl on 2007-11-28, 17:32

well, i have a little question too. i really don't have any idea what emphatic consonants sound like... maybe someone could record a little file for me or give me a good link...? :P
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Postby Basher on 2008-01-05, 3:57

I don't have a microphone so I can't record anything. But until anyone does, I'll tell you what a former student once told me. I think this is the best way to describe how to say an emphatic consonant. Pretend there is an egg in your mouth. An entire, unopened egg, all inside your mouth. When you say the consonant, keep all that space open to fit the egg that you're pretending is there.
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Postby huhmzah on 2008-01-05, 16:07

Hey Kuneli!
I'm doing a research project on Maltese (which, in brief, is a descendant of Arabic - very close to the Tunisian Dialect of Arabic) - and I thought you mind find this interesting.

Here's an excerpt from Martine Vanhove's article "La Langue Maltaise, un carrefour linguistique" which you might find interesting:

"...Des variantes vocaliques se sont phonologisées par transfert de distinctivité, et désormais de nombreux mots s'opposent par le timbre de la voyelle et non plus par la qualité de la consonne: /sayf/ (ar. s̟ayf) "été".vs. /seyf/ (ar. sayf ) "sabre", /barad/ (ar. tun. bar̟ad) "limer" vs. /bired/ (ar. tun. bred) "devenir froid". La présence de la voyelle d'arrière /a/ permet ainsi de restituer une ancienne consonne emphatique: /batal/ "devenir vacant" < ar. bat̟al/, /dalam/ "s'assombrir" < ar. d̟alam..."

So as you can see, Maltese has not maintained "emphatic" consonants in its writing system (its written using the Latin alphabet with some additions) BUT the 'essence' of those Arabic emphatic survives in Maltese in the vowels rather than the consonants. [For those who don't know French]: The excerpt is essentially talking about how the 'distinction' between emphatics and non-emphatics is preserved in the vowel patterns rather than the consonants themselves -- so for example, "صيف" (summer) in Maltese is written "sayf" /səjf/ while "سيف" (sword) is written "seyf" /sɛjf/ and so on.

So even though, as in this example, the phonetic value of the grapheme "s" does not change - the Arabic "emphatic" has trickled down in the fronting of the vowel etc.
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Postby Babelfish on 2008-01-05, 16:47

It could also be that the emphatic ص preserved the original -a- sound from Classical Arabic, while after س the -ay- changed to long -e-, which is quite common in the spoken languages... But I'm not an expert in the development of spoken Arabic.
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