Praise & Disparagement
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As we have mentioned, Arabic words are three types:
We are going to begin by talking about the first branch, the nouns.
A noun (or a substantive) (Arabic: اِسْمٌ = "a name") is a name or an attribute of a person (Ali), place (Mecca), thing (house), or quality (honor). The word "noun" comes from the Latin nomen = "name." The noun or substantive category in Arabic includes in addition to simple nouns the pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbids (participles and verbal nouns).
Nouns that designate material things (Ali, Mecca, house) are called concrete nouns. Nouns that designate immaterial things (honor) are called abstract nouns.
Permanent names of persons or places are called proper nouns أَسْمَاْءُ عَلَمٍ, other nouns are called common nouns أَسْمَاْءُ جِنْسٍ. Proper nouns refer to unique or particular objects (cannot be preceded by words such as "some" or "any"); common nouns refer to non-unique or non-particular objects (can be preceded by words such as "some" or "any").
Common nouns are several types in Arabic:
►Count nouns are nouns that refer to single units when they are grammatically singular, and to plural units when they grammatically plural.
►Mass nouns are nouns that refer to single as well as plural units when they are grammatically singular, and to plural units when they are grammatically plural. These usually refer to plants or animals.
When mass nouns refer to uncountable objects (such as water, sugar. etc.), the grammatically singular noun will refer to small or large amounts of the object, and the grammatically plural noun will refer to large amounts of the object.
Some nouns, like the names of materials, can indicate either a unit (a piece, a type) or a substance, so those can be both countable and uncountable. However, when plural, they usually refer only to multiple units (countable only).
►Collective nouns or irregular (broken) plural nouns are grammatically singular nouns that refer to plural units or to large amounts of uncountable objects. All the "plural" nouns listed in the above examples belong to this category; I am calling them "plural" to avoid causing confusion and because this is how they are usually called.
Oddly enough, although these nouns are called irregular plurals they are in fact singulare tantum, which means that they do not have grammatically plural forms.
It is possible for irregular plural nouns that refer to humans to be treated grammatically as plural nouns; this is typical of Modern Standard Arabic.
Nouns and verbs undergo inflection تَصَرُّفٌ , which means that parts of them change in order to express changes in gender, number, case, tense, voice, person, or mood. The inflection of nouns is called declension, and the inflection of verbs is called conjugation.
The declension of Arabic nouns expresses changes in:
The two genders in Arabic are the masculine and feminine. Every Noun in Arabic is either masculine or feminine there is no neuter gender in Arabic. Each object and animal is either masculine or feminine.
Thus, nouns are four categories in Arabic:
The are feminine markers for nouns but no masculine markers. The feminine markers are three affixes (-a(t), -aa'<, and -aa), all apparently originating from one ancestor that was something like -at or -t and which performed a dual augmentative-diminutive function rather than signifying the feminine gender.
Relatively few count and mass nouns are feminine without having feminine markers. However, all collective nouns (irregular (broken) plurals) are feminine without having feminine markers.
The grammatical numbers in Arabic are:
The number markers are suffixes positioned following the feminine gender marker (if one existed).
stem(-feminine marker)-number marker
The number markers are composed of two parts, a first part that is inflected for case, and a second part that is inflected for state.
number marker = case marker-state marker
The basic nominative-absolute marker for singular nouns, including collective nouns (irregular (broken) plurals), is -un. This marker is inflected for three cases (has three forms for three cases) and two states (has two forms for two states) thus yielding a total of six possible combinations, all of which are singular markers (-un,-an,-in,
The nominative-absolute marker for dual nouns is -aani. This marker is inflected for two cases (has two forms for two cases) and two states (has two forms for two states) thus yielding a total of four possible combinations, all of which are dual markers
The nominative-absolute marker for masculine plural nouns is -oona and for feminine plural nouns is -aatun. These two markers are inflected for two cases and two states like the dual marker, and each have four possible forms (-oona,-eena,
-oo,-ee) (-aatun,-aatin,-aatu,-aati). When adding the feminine plural marker to nouns with a feminine gender marker -a(t), the -a(t) is removed.
Nouns in formal Arabic have three grammatical cases:
The case markers are the case-inflected parts of the number markers. They are the first parts of the number markers and the state markers are the second parts.
stem(-feminine marker)-case marker
For singular nouns, including collective nouns (the irregular (broken) plurals), the raf" marker is -u, which changes to -a, the nasb marker, in the nasb case, and to -i, the jarr marker, in the jarr case.
For dual nouns, the raf" marker is -aa , which changes to -ay in both the nasb and jarr cases. Thus, dual nouns are inflected for only two cases (has only two case-inflected forms). The nasb and jarr cases may be collectively called the "oblique case" for dual nouns.
The raf" masculine plural ending -oo, which becomes -ee in the nasb and jarr cases; and the raf" feminine plural ending -aatu, which becomes -aati in the nasb and jarr cases. Thus, plural nouns, like dual nouns, are inflected for only two cases, the nominative and the "oblique."
Grammatical case markers for singular nouns have been ignored so far on this site in order to make things less complicated. However, it is important to understand that case markers are NOT OPTIONAL in Standard Arabic (includes both Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.)
Unlike the two genders and three grammatical numbers, case inflection is not preserved in the modern spoken Arabic (modern colloquial Arabic.)
An inflectional "state" of nouns is something characteristic of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Arabic nouns have three grammatical states:
Unlike the previous inflections, grammatical state markers involve a prefix as well as suffixes.
(state marker-)stem(-feminine marker)-case marker(-state marker)
The state prefix is 'al-, the definite article. It appears in the determinate (definite) state.
The state suffixes are the state-inflected parts of the number markers. They are the second parts of the number markers whereas the case markers are the first parts.
These suffixes are -n for singular (including irregular plural) and feminine plural nouns, -ni for dual nouns, and -na for masculine plural nouns.
The inflection of the state suffixes is by either keeping or removing them. The singular and feminine plural state suffix -n appears only in the absolute (indefinite) state. The dual and masculine plural state suffixes -ni & -na appear in the absolute and the determinate states.
The appearance of a state suffix (-n / -ni / -na) at the end of a noun is termed nunation.
Nomina Triptota and Nomina Diptota
These are two categories of singular nouns (including the irregular plurals) with regard to case and state declension.
After this brief introduction, we are now going to talk in detail about all that has been mentioned.