The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Qurrâ did not have hamza

I'd mentioned the Arabic glottal-stop once here. I didn't have much to say on this "hamza" at the time. I've been taught that the hamza is a definite Thing, in Modern Standard Arabic and in Classical Arabic. Accordingly if you hang out on Muslim YouTube, you will observe Islamist poseurs pronouncing Qur'ân as "Qor....'ân". Most of us still just say Koraan.

It turns out that the Qurrâ in their first century had agreed with us infidels and 'phobes today. Professor Marijn van Putten is trolling the Abu Hamzas of the world by her article, Hamzah in the Quranic [sic] Consonantal Text. Again: it's van Putten's starting position that the Quranic Consonantal Text is accurate, an honest guide to the Qurrâ on how to recite the Qurân of G-d for their people. (Why wouldn't it be?) She goes on into various test-cases and finds, especially in ending rhyme-syllables, that a hamza would break the flow: sura 69 in particular. (I'd already incorporated this into the relevant projects, like "Blasting the Sultan".) Hamza-loss counts as an isogloss against other Arabics.

The reason I'm bringing this up now is because I am now alerted, courtesy Ahmad al-Jallad, to evidence that the Safaitic-writing Arabs also were split about whether to use hamza. Mostly Safaitic used it. But not always: Al-Jallad with Ali al-Manaser, “New Epigraphica from Jordan I: A Pre-Islamic Arabic Inscription in Greek Letters and a Greek Inscription from North-Eastern Jordan”, Arabian Epigraphic Notes 1 (2015), 51–70; 53.

posted by Zimri on 17:38 | link | 0 comments

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