12 Facts About Andalusi Arabic


Andalusi Arabic, known as Andalusian Arabic, was a variety or varieties of Arabic spoken mainly from the 9th to the 17th century in Al-Andalus, the regions of the Iberian Peninsula once under Muslim rule.

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Once widely spoken in Iberia, the expulsions and persecutions of Arabic speakers caused an abrupt end to the language's use on the peninsula.

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Andalusian Arabic appears to have spread rapidly and been in general oral use in most parts of Al-Andalus between the 9th and 15th centuries.

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Andalusi Arabic speakers were given three years to learn a "Christian" language, after which they would have to get rid of all Andalusi Arabic written material.

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Still, Andalusian Arabic remained in use in certain areas of Spain until the final expulsion of the Moriscos at the beginning of the 17th century.

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Andalusian Arabic belongs to the pre-Hilalian dialects of the Maghrebi Arabic family, with its closest relative being Moroccan Arabic.

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Andalusian Arabic is still used in Andalusian classical music and has significantly influenced the dialects of such towns as Sfax in Tunisia, Tetouan and Tangier in Morocco, Nedroma, Tlemcen, Blida, and Cherchell in Algeria, and Alexandria in Egypt.

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Andalusian Arabic influenced Mozarabic, Spanish, Ladino, Catalan-Valencian-Balearic, Portuguese, Classical Arabic and Moroccan, Tunisian, Egyptian, Hassani and Algerian Arabics.

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Many features of Andalusian Arabic have been reconstructed by Arabists using Hispano-Arabic texts composed in Arabic with varying degrees of deviation from classical norms, augmented by further information from the manner in which the Arabic script was used to transliterate Romance words.

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The first complete linguistic description of Andalusi Arabic was given by the Spanish Arabist Federico Corriente, who drew on the Appendix Probi, zajal poetry, proverbs and aphorisms, the work of the 16th century lexicographer Pedro de Alcala, and Andalusi letters found in the Cairo Geniza.

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The letter, which in Classical Arabic represented either a voiceless pharyngealized velar stop or a voiceless uvular stop, most likely represented some kind of post-alveolar affricate or velar plosive in Andalusian Arabic.

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Which, in Classical Andalusi Arabic, marked a noun as indefinite accusative case, became an indeclinable conjunctive particle, as in ibn Quzman's expression.

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