- Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is the colloquial form of
Arabicspoken in Lebanon.
Lebanese Arabic is one of the Levantine varieties of Arabic. Many Lebanese people, especially the radical right-wing
Guardians of the Cedarsgroup, consider Lebanese Arabic a separate language. However, if Lebanese Arabic is considered a language in its own right, then other dialects such as Egyptian Arabic, Palestinian Arabicand Iraqi Arabic, and Moroccan Arabicmust also be considered separate languages. In fact, "all" Arabic dialects differ quite significantly from Standard Arabicand many are mutually unintelligible.
Changes from Classical Arabic
Lebanese Arabic shares many featural similarities with other modern dialects of Arabic. Syntax has become simpler, losing both mood and case markings. Also, verbal agreement regarding number and gender is required for all subjects, whether already mentioned or not. Also, plural inanimate nouns are treated as feminine. Classical Arabic on the other hand requires the singular for newly introduced subjects. For example, the expression "the mites have eaten me" is rendered "akalatni al-barağītu" ("it-ate-me the-mites") in literary Arabic, and "aklūnē l-breğīt" ("the-mites they-ate-me") in Lebanese. French also had a great influence on Lebanese Arabic, as the educated class tend to mix French during conversation as with most former French colonies.
Lebanese Arabic vocabulary and phonology (as in other modern-day dialects) differ from Classical Arabic.
* In Arabic, "look inside" is translated as /ʊnðˤʊr fɪdːaːχɪl/, or in the feminine, /ʊnðˤʊri fɪdːaːχɪl/. However In Lebanese Arabic, as in Syrian and Palestinian, it becomes /ʃuːf ʒʊwːɛ/, or in the female command form, /ʃuːfe ʒʊwːɛ/.
* The following example demonstrates two differences between Standard Arabic and Spoken Lebanese:
Coffee(قهوة), pronounced /qahwa/ in Standard Arabic, is pronounced /ʔahwe/ in Lebanese Arabic. The letter Qaaf is not pronounced, and the letter taa marbuta becomes a softer /e/ sound.
* As a general rule of thumb, the Qaaf is dropped from the words in which it appears, and is replaced instead with the
hamzaor glottal stop: e.g. /daqiːqa/ (minute) becomes /daʔiːʔa/. This is a feature shared with most dialects of Egyptian Arabic.
* The Exception for this general rule is the
Druzeof Lebanon who like the Druzeof Syria and Israel have retained the letter "Qaaf" in the centre of direct neighbours who have substituted the "Qaaf" for the "Aaf" (example: "Heart" is /qalb/ in Arabic, becomes /ʔaleb/ in Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian.
* Unlike most other Arabic dialects, Lebanese has retained the classical diphthongs /aɪ/ and /aʊ/, which were monophthongised into /e/ and /o/ elsewhere. This has changed over time, and today the /e/ has replaced the /ai/, /a/ and /i/ in everyday conversation, and the /o/ has replaced the /au/ and /u/. In singing, the /au/ and /ai/ are maintained for artistic values.
Lebanese Arabic is rarely written, except in novels where a dialect is implied or in some types of poetry that do not use classical Arabic at all. [ [http://www.caza-zgharta.com/profiles/younisIBN.htm the poetry of Younis Al-Ibn] ] Formal publications in Lebanon, such as newspapers, are typically written in standard classical Arabic. Like Chinese, Arabic uses a single literary language (Unicode|Fuṣ′ḥá) for writing. While Arabic script is usually employed, informal usage such as online chat may mix-and-match Latin letter
transliterations. Saïd Akl proposed the use of the Latin alphabet but this did not gain wide acceptance. Whereas some works, such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Plato's Dialogues" have been transliterated using such systems, they have not gained widespread acceptance.
*"Spoken Lebanese". Maksoud N. Feghali, Appalachian State University. Parkway Publishers, 1999 (ISBN 1-887905-14-6)
* Michel T. Feghali, "Syntaxe des parlers arabes actuels du Liban", Geuthner, Paris, 1928.
* Elie Kallas, "'Atabi Lebnaaniyyi. Un livello soglia per l'apprendimento del neoarabo libanese", Cafoscarina, Venice, 1995.
* Angela Daiana Langone, "Btesem ente lebneni. Commedia in dialetto libanese di Yahya Jaber", Università degli Studi La Sapienza, Rome, 2004.
* Jérome Lentin, "Classification et typologie des dialectes du Bilad al-Sham", in "Matériaux Arabes et Sudarabiques" n. 6, 1994, 11-43.
* [http://www.learn-media.com Lebanese Language Audio CDs]
* [http://www.lebanese-arabic.com Online Material for Learning Lebanese Arabic]
* [http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/3500/ Lessons of Lebanese Language]
* [http://www.abcleb.com Learn Lebanese]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/lebanese.htm Lebanese alphabet by Omniglot]
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