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  • Iraqi DialectVersus

    Standard Arabic




    Sunni triangle

    Shiite Area






    Saudi Arabia


    Shiite Area

    Iraqi Dialect Usage Analysis

    Matti Phillips Khoshaba (Al- Bazi)


  • Library of CongressUnited States copyright Office in accordance with title 17,United States Code, attests thatregistration has been made for the work identified:

    Iraqi Dialect Versus Standard ArabicMatti Phillips ( Al-Bazi)

    TX 6-194-045Effective Date of RegistrationJuly -18 -2005

    ISBN-10ISBN 1-4243-0092-4

    All rights reserved to the authorMatti Phillips Khoshaba Al-Bazi

    1821 Buckingham Dr.Salinas, Ca, 93906

  • Introduction

    Iraqi Dialect VS Modern Standard Arab (MSA) helps Iraqi students in higher studies

    to get an idea of how they can say Arabic things that they know in a fluent English . By

    going over the chapters on and on, they will unconsciously get a schema of how to deal

    with the collocations, expressions, idioms, and proverbs that are introduced as notions,

    functions, and concepts and use them in the real life conversations. There is enough

    analysis of the Iraqi sound system embedded in the mechanism of Iraqi dialect versus

    Modern standard Arabic (MSA) to help you be aware of for teaching purposes as well.

    This book also shows the areas where Hebrew or Assyrian languages are manifested in

    the Iraqi dialect as consonant clusters, or as phrases and or expressions that go rather with

    the languages of the indigenous people especially in the matter of intonation and stress

    patterns in the sentence and the paragraph levels.

    The primary aim of the book is to further push research to discover more about dialects

    and sub-dialects in Iraq. I hope students in their university studies will benefit a lot from

    this plainly written book.

    Matti Phillips Khoshaba (Al Bazi)


    Associate professor


    California, USA

  • Contents page

    1. Consonants 12. Vowels 63. Iraqi Language Features

    (1) Assimilation 11(2) Voicing 14(3) Elision 17(4) Consonant Clustering 21

    4. Phonology(1) Consonants 23(2) Vowels Vs Semi-vowels 35

    5. Grammar and Syntax(1) No case ending vowel ling 42(2) Accusative cases of dual and plural 42(3) Future tense particle 44(4) Continuous tense particles 45(5) Relative pronoun connector 47(6) Passive voice 48(7) Gemination 51(8) Transitive and contractions 53

    6. Vocabulary(1)Verbs and Conjugations 55(2) Common Verbs 65(3) Nouns 80

    7. Functional Words(1) Wh-questions 90(2) Connectors 94

    1. Time2. Reason3. Purpose4. Contrasts5. Result / consequence6. Condition7. Additions

    (3) Negation 98(4) Prepositions 100(5) Demonstratives 103(6) Adjectives 105(7) Quantifiers as Adverbs 109


  • (8) Reflexives 111(9) Adverbs of Time 112(10) Vocatives 114(11) Possessives (Objective case) 116

    8. High Frequency Colloquial Iraqi 1179. IDIOMS 127

    9. Social DiscourseNotional and Functional Expressions1. Greetings 1322. Greeting Visitors 1333. Leave-taking 1344. Thank you expressions 1345. Congratulation expressions 1356. Titles 1367. Introducing people 1368. Permission 1379. Apology 138

    10. Consoling 13911. Questioning a point 14012. Polite request 14113. Obligation 14114. Necessity 14215. Un-necessity 14316. Promise 14317. Wishing 14418. Possibility 14519. Broaching subjects 14620. Contradict and argue 14721. Ask politely to interrupt 14821. Ask not to interrupt 14923. Show empathy 15024. Disappointment and pessimism 15125. Praising 15226. Condemnation 15427. Support 15528. Expectation 15529. Convincing 15530. Hypothesizing 15631. Suspicion 15632. Conclusive transitory 15833. Etiquettes 15834. Avoiding an evil eye 15935. Expressions to mean start 16036. Criticism 160


  • 10. Concepts, Notions, and MessagesBehind words and Phrases

    1. Shallowness 1622. Disliked ones 1643. Liked ones 1654. Revenge 1665. Sneaky ones 1686. Talkative 1697. Questioning a point 1698. Rebuke 1709. Complaining 172

    10. Ploys & tricks 17311. Warning 17412. Refusing 17513. Ignoring 17614. Advice 17715. Play truancy 17916. Bravery & courage 18017. Offering gifts 18118. Promising 18119. Humiliation 18220. Match or mismatch 18421. Trust/ distrust 18522. Being nosy 18723. Balance 18824. Exaggerate 18925. Disgusting 19026. Too Late 19127. Stinginess 19228. Threatening 19329. Suffix ______siz 19430. Prefix: bala__________ 19431. Suffix ________chii 19532. Suffix _______ khaana 19533. Allah (SWT) 19634. Pejoratives 19835. Harassing women 20036. Flirting 20237. Express Chaos 20238. Euphemism 204


  • 11. Wise Sayings 20512. Iraqi Proverbs 20713. Pan Arab Proverbs 21114. Messages Behind Profanity Language

    (Not printed but given upon request) missing15. Parts of the body 21416. Months 214Conclusion 21516. References 216


  • 1


    The Iraqi Sounds as consonants and vowels.

    Consonants are divided into two types: voiced and voiceless. The voiced consonants are those whenarticulated, the vocal cords vibrate. The voiceless have no involvement of the vocal cords.

    .(vowels) (consonants): .voiced voiceless:

    . voiceless voiced (vocal cords) (articulation).

    We can sum them as followings:

    Consonants ) (

    Voiceless voiced

    b .1 baab (door)1.p panka (fan)

    d .2 dibiya (jug)2. tanaka ( tin)t3.3 g gaal (said) k nukta (joke)

    4*v ?eevaan (Ivan)4. f filka ( bend)

    theeb .5 (wolf)th5. theta thuum (garlic)z .6 zuur (fraud witness)6. s samra (brunette)

    7*.zh (zhiyaanr) girls name7. sh shamra (attitude)

    j .8 janna (heaven) channa ( as if)

    ? .9 ?awil (1st)9. h haay (this)a .10 arifit ( I knew)10. H Haleeb ( milk)G .11 Garaam ( romance love)11 kh khraab (destruction)

    q.12* qanaat ( canal)S .13 Sadr (breast)T .14 Taar ( flew)) .15 I remained)D Daleitdh .16 dhaleit ( I got lost)

    .12 r riHit ( I went)L .13 laazim (must)*

    m .14 maaku ( there is not)n .15 niTaani (he gave me) .16 y ysaw wi ( he does)(with) .17 wiyaw

    *4 /v/ is a borrowed sound

    *7 /zh/ is a borrowed sound

    *12 /q / Moslawi Dialect keeps /q/ velar voiceless as in qaala (he said) .

  • 2


    The same sound is changed into /g/ in other parts of the country such as Baghdad and

    other parts in the South. This change does not include all words of the language. Therefore,we need to deal with the changed ones for the sake of usage.

    * 15 and 16 D & dh are pronounced the same in Iraqi dialect. They are keptdifferent in written shapes to indicate the difference in meaning..

    Consonants as Diaphones:

    Iraqis use alternative consonants as diaphones that do not change the meaning of the words.Here are these diaphones:

    1. Moslawi use (G) for /r/ as French speakers in Paris articulate / rraH nruuH = GaaH nGuuH = we are going to go

    2. Baghdadi dialect and Southern speakers use /g/ for /q/ :qaal hiya qaalat = gaal hiya gaalat = He said that she said so.


    . (Standard Arabic and Moslawi )

    3. Southern speakers use (ch) for (k) in conjugation of (kaan)

    ) ( ( Standard Arabic)

    chaan channa naayim = ka?anahu kaana naa?im an = He seemed to be sleepyHe was as if he were sleepy

    4. Southerners and Baghdadi dialect speakers use (ch) as a feminine indicator for (ki):

    How are you?

    ( Standard Arabic)

    shlonki ( Moslawi) = shlonich ( Baghdadi dialect and Southern Dialect)

    5. Southern speakers change the sound /q/ to (ch) or sometimes ( j ) in certainwords such as :

    Standard ?inqatal qiddaaHa qarya qattala qidaam

    Iraqi ?inchital jidaaHa jarya chattala jidaam

    Is killed lighter village killing/ killer ahead/ in front

  • 3


    6. Iraqis use /g/ for /q/ in certain wordsHere are some common words

    Rugba guraS gumar gabil ydig yigdar niltigi suug migaSNeck bread moon before knock can we meet market scissors

    Loaves or/ ring be able to or/ drive

    Note: not all words of the /q/ standard are changed into a dialectal consonant /g/ Examples to practice:

    gabil before

    gubal ahead

    Shifta qabil hasa. I have seen him before

    ruuH gubal raaH tshuufa. Go ahead, youll see him.

    Sometimes words are close to each other in pronunciation but not necessarily the same:

    Quwaad (qaada) )( commandersGaw waad( gawaaweed) cuckold ( cuckolds)

    Shughlat il quuwaad Tilat gwaada(The work of the commanders revealed their disloyalties )It seemed that the commanders were disloyal.


    1. /H/ versus / h/

    Had dada defined, limitedhad dada threatened

    HOsh house, courtyard

    hOsh cattle / cows

    miHna ordeal , catastrophemihna profession, job

    2. /kh/ versus /gh/

    kheir prosperitygheir another, unlike

    da ykharkhir is snoringda y gharghir is gargling

  • 4


    Gheir kheirAnother good

    kheirha bgherhaIt is good that you did not have her

    Ghaab khaabDid not come disappointed, failed

    khaab amala lim-man maa jaa wabtaHe was disappointed when you did not answer him.

    Gheera (envy) kheera (the elite)

    Saabita il ghiraHe felt envioush