Nunation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In some Semitic languages, such as Literary Arabic, nunation (Arabic: تَنوِينtanwīn) is the addition of one of three vowel diacritics (Arabic: حَرَكَاتḥarakāt) to a noun or adjective to indicate that the word ends in an alveolar nasal without the addition of the letter nūn. The noun phrase is fully declinable and syntactically unmarked for definiteness.

Literary Arabic[edit]

Nunation - tanwīn تَنْوِين
Symbol
ـٌ


ـٍ


ـً

Transliteration
-un

-in

-an
Case
Nom

Gen

Acc
Example on the word بيت bayt
بيتٌ

بيتٍ

بيتًا
Transliteration baytun baytin baytan

When writing Literary Arabic in full diacritics, there are three nunation diacritics, which indicate the suffixes -un (IPA: /-un/) (nominative case), -in /-in/ (genitive), and -an /an/ (accusative); the orthographical rules for nunation with the fatḥah sign ـً‎ is by an additional اalif (اً‎ modern style, diacritic above) (ـًا‎ classical style, before), above ةً‎ (tāʾ marbūṭah تاء مربوطة) or above ءً‎ (hamzah همزة).

In spoken Arabic, nunation only exists in a few expressions, with -an.

Since Arabic has no indefinite article, nouns that are nunated are often indefinite. However, many definite nouns can also be nunated: for example, in the expression أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ الله (ashhadu anna Muḥammadan rasūlu l-lāh(i) /ʔaʃ.ha.du ʔan.na mu.ħam.ma.dan ra.suː.lul.laː(.hi)/ "I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God."), in which the name محمد Muḥammad, a definite noun, is nunated to مُحَمَّدًا Muḥammadan to indicate that it is in the accusative case (because it follows ّأن.) Names of people are treated as definite nouns in the grammar of Literary Arabic.

Akkadian language[edit]

Nunation may also refer to the -n  ending of duals in Akkadian (until it was dropped in the Old Babylonian period).[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]