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Levantine Arabic

NameLevantine Arabic
Nativenameلهجات شامية
StatesSyria, Lebanon, Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Jordan
Fam3West Semitic
Fam4Central Semitic
Fam5South Central Semitic
ScriptArabic alphabet
Lc1apc|ld1=North Levantine Arabic
Lc2ajp|ld2=South Levantine Arabic
MapcaptionRegions where Levantine Arabic is spoken

     Home | Language | Levantine Arabic

Levantine Arabic (Arabic: شامي (Shami) and sometimes called Eastern Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip. It is considered one of five major varieties of Arabic, and abuts Mesopotamian Arabic to its East.

To the East, in the Desert, the North Arabian Bedouin varieties are found. The transition to Egyptian Arabic in the South via the Sinai desert was proposed by de Jong in 1999. In the North, between Aleppo and Euphrates valley, there may be a transition zone towards North Mesopotamian qeltu varieties (to be confirmed, since the Raqqah variety in the Syrian Euphrates valley still seems to be quite close to South Iraqi and Bedouin varieties.)

It can be divided into six "mutually intelligible" sub-dialects

* Lebanese Arabic (Lebanon, An-Nusayriyah Mountains in Syria)

* Central Syrian Arabic (Damascus to Hama)

* North Syrian Arabic (Aleppo)

* Rural Palestinian Arabic (West Bank down to Bethlehem), west Jordan.

* Urban Palestinian Arabic (Hebron, all cities in Jordan, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nablus, Jaffa, Nazareth, ...)

* Bedouin Palestinian Arabic varieties in the southern Margins Israel/West Bank, Jordan

Sub dialects can be distinguished by the following features:

* Product of /aː/

* Products of diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/

* Realizations of feminine ending -ah

* Realizations of ﻙ /k/, ﻕ /q/, and ﺝ /ʤ/.

* Conservation of interdentals ﺙ /θ/, ﺫ /ð/, and ﻅ /ðˁ/;

* Vocalism and consonnatism of the plural suffix pronouns, -kum and -kunna (your m./f.)

* The form of the plural independent pronouns, hum and hunna (they m./f.)The table below shows how the variants are distributed.

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