Iraqi Arabic
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Iraqi Arabic
Mesopotamian Arabic
Iraqi Arabic
Native toIraq (Mesopotamia), Syria, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, parts of northern and eastern Arabia
RegionMesopotamia, Armenian Highlands, Cilicia
Native speakers
About 25.7 million speakers (2014-2016)[1]
Dialects
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
Either:
acm - Mesopotamian Arabic
ayp - North Mesopotamian Arabic
Glottologmeso1252[2]
Árabe mesopotámico.png
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Hussien speaking Mesopotamian (Iraqi) Arabic, recorded for Wikitongues.

Mesopotamian Arabic, also known as South Mesopotamian Arabic and Iraqi Arabic, is a continuum of mutually-intelligible varieties of Arabic native to the Mesopotamian basin of Iraq as well as spanning into Syria,[3]Iran,[3] southeastern Turkey,[4] and spoken in Iraqi diaspora communities.

Mesopotamian Arabic has an Aramaic Syriac substrate, and also shares significant influences from ancient Mesopotamian languages of Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian, as well as Persian, Turkish, Kurdish and Greek. Mesopotamian Arabic is said to be the most Aramaic-Syriac influenced dialect of Arabic, due to Aramaic-Syriac having originated in Mesopotamia, and spread throughout the Middle East (Fertile Crescent) during the Neo-Assyrian period, eventually becoming the lingua franca of the entire region before Islam.[5][6][7] Iraqi Arabs and Assyrians are the largest Semitic peoples in Iraq, sharing significant similarities in language between Mesopotamian Arabic and Syriac.

History

Aramaic was the lingua franca in Mesopotamia from the early 1st millennium BCE until the late 1st millennium CE, and as may be expected, Iraqi Arabic shows signs of an Aramaic substrate.[8] The Gelet and the Judeo-Iraqi varieties have retained features of Babylonian Aramaic.[8]

Due to Iraq's inherent multiculturalism as well as history, Iraqi Arabic in turn bears extensive borrowings in its lexicon from Aramaic, Akkadian, Persian, Turkish, the Kurdish languages and Hindustani[]. The inclusion of Mongolian and other Turkic elements[which?] in the Iraqi Arabic dialect should also be mentioned, because of the political role a succession of Turco-Mongol dynasties played after Mesopotamia was invaded by Mongol-Turkic colonizers in 1258 that made Iraq became part of Ilkhanate[] (Iraq is the only Arab country that was influenced by Mongols[]), and also because of the prestige Iraqi Arabic dialect and literature enjoyed in the part of Arab world, which was often ruled by sultans and emirs with a Turkic background.

Phonology

Vowels

Consonants

Varieties

Mesopotamian Arabic has two major varieties. A distinction is recognised between Gelet Mesopotamian Arabic and Qeltu Mesopotamian Arabic, the names deriving from the form of the word for "I said".[9]

The southern (Gelet) group includes a Tigris dialect cluster, of which the best-known form is Baghdadi Arabic, and a Euphrates dialect cluster, known as Furati (Euphrates Arabic). The Gelet variety is also spoken in the Khuzestan Province of Iran.[3]

The northern (Qeltu) group includes the north Tigris dialect cluster, also known as North Mesopotamian Arabic or Maslawi (Mosul Arabic), as well as both Jewish and Christian sectarian dialects (such as Baghdad Jewish Arabic).

Distribution

A view of where Iraqi Arabic are spoken

Both the Gelet and the Qeltu varieties of Iraqi Arabic are spoken in Syria,[3][4] the former is spoken on the Euphrates east of Aleppo and in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Khuzestan Province, Iran and across the border in Turkey.[4]

Cypriot Arabic shares a large number of common features with Mesopotamian Arabic;[10] particularly the northern variety, and has been reckoned as belonging to this dialect area.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken - Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2017. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth edition. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gilit Mesopotamian Arabic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d Arabic, Mesopotamian | Ethnologue
  4. ^ a b c Arabic, North Mesopotamian | Ethnologue
  5. ^ Aramaic was the medium of everyday writing, and it provided scripts for writing. (1997). Humanism, Culture, and Language in the Near East : Studies in Honor of Georg Krotkoff. Krotkoff, Georg., Afsaruddin, Asma, 1958-, Zahniser, A. H. Mathias, 1938-. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 9781575065083. OCLC 747412055.[verification needed]
  6. ^ Tradition and modernity in Arabic language and literature. Smart, J. R., Shaban Memorial Conference (2nd : 1994 : University of Exeter). Richmond, Surrey, U.K. p. 253. ISBN 9781136788123. OCLC 865579151.CS1 maint: others (link)[verification needed]
  7. ^ Sanchez, Francisco del Rio. ""Influences of Aramaic on dialectal Arabic", in: Archaism and Innovation in the Semitic Languages. Selected papers". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[verification needed]
  8. ^ a b Muller-Kessler, Christa (July-September 2003). "Aramaic 'K', Lyk' and Iraqi Arabic 'Aku, Maku: The Mesopotamian Particles of Existence". The Journal of the American Oriental Society. 123 (3): 641-646. doi:10.2307/3217756. JSTOR 3217756.
  9. ^ Mitchell, T. F. (1990). Pronouncing Arabic, Volume 2. Clarendon Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-19-823989-0.
  10. ^ Versteegh, Kees (2001). The Arabic Language. Edinburgh University Press. p. 212. ISBN 0-7486-1436-2.
  11. ^ Owens, Jonathan (2006). A Linguistic History of Arabic. Oxford University Press. p. 274. ISBN 0-19-929082-2.

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