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|Spoken natively in||Palestine, Israel|
|Writing system||Arabic alphabet|
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|Spoken natively in||Palestine, Israel|
|Writing system||Arabic alphabet|
Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup spoken by Palestinians (including the ones who remained in their lands after 1948 in Israel). Palestinian Arabic exhibits a vocabulary strata that includes word borrowings from Turkish, Kurdish, Hebrew, Spanish, Armenian, English, Syriac, Persian and others Middle Eastern and European languages. Rural varieties of this dialect exhibit several distinctive features; particularly the pronunciation of qaf as kaf, which distinguish them from other Arabic varieties. Palestinian urban dialects more closely resemble northern Levantine Arabic dialects, that is, the colloquial variants of Syria and Lebanon.
Until relatively recently the Arabic spoken in the Ottoman sanjak of Syria was considered a single Syrian dialect, as for example advised by F. E. Crow in his 1901 Arabic manual: a colloquial handbook in the Syrian dialect, for the use of visitors to Syria and Palestine, containing a simplified grammar, a comprehensive English and Arabic vocabulary and dialogues. printed in London by Luzac & co.
There are noticeable differences between Palestinian Arabic and other forms of Levantine Arabic such as Syrian Arabic and Lebanese Arabic. However, none of these is invariable, given the differences of dialect within Palestinian Arabic itself.
One typical feature of Palestinian dialects is the pronunciation of hamzated verbs with an 'o'-like vowel in the imperfect. For example, in Fuṣḥa the imperfect of اكل akala 'eat' is آكل 'ākulu: the common equivalent in Palestinian dialect is بوكل bōkel. (The b prefix marks a present indicative meaning.) Thus, in the Galilee, the colloquial for the verbal expression, "I am eating" or "I eat" is ana bōkel, rather than ana bākul used in Syrian dialect. However, ana bākul is used by the Bedouin in the south.
Palestinian Arabic also shares some features with Egyptian, distinguishing it from the northern Levantine dialects:
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Palestinian Arabic falls into three groups:
Of these, the urban dialect is the closest to northern Levantine Arabic of Syria and Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Bedouin dialect is nearer to varieties of Arabic spoken in Arabia itself, the Bedouins being more certainly known to be Arabs not only in culture, language and customs but also by descent traceable outside Palestine/Israel (as opposed to being locals whose ethnic identity - Aramaic, Jewish, Greek - had shifted to an Arab ethnic identity following the process of cultural and linguistic Arabization over the centuries).
Notable differences in the varieties of Palestinian Arabic are as follows:
In general, the rural dialects are somewhat stigmatised and urban pronunciations are gaining ground, as is the case in other Arabic dialect groups. In contrast, Bedouin dialect use remains quite common, even among university educated Bedouins. While stigmatized by other Arab Israelis, the basic characteristics of the Bedouin dialect (e.g. the qāf pronounced as a g) are used very widely in all informal contexts by Bedouin speakers, including those who are university-educated. Thus, a phenomenon similar to the disappearance of the /tʃ/ for the kāf - as seen in the "triangle" - has yet to be witnessed in the Negev. This is not the case, however, with Bedouin from the Negev who moved to Lod and Ramle in the 1960s and show more of a tendency to adopt a standard urban dialect.
As in most forms of colloquial Arabic, the clause markers of MSA الذي، التي، اللذان، اللتان، الذين and اللاتي are replaced by the single form إللي /ʔilːi/
The particle li- has fused with the preceding stem as an indicator of an indirect object. Thus MSA qultu lahû /qultu lahuː/ is expressed as 'ultillo /ʔultilˈlo/, qultillo /qultilˈlo/ or kultillo /kultilˈlo/ and MSA Katabtu lahâ /katabtu lahaː/ is translated in Palestinian Arabic as Katabtilha /katabtilˈha/.
|لماذا Limāðā||ليش /ˈleʃ/||Why|
|ماذا māðā||ايش /ˈʔeʃ/ or شو /ˈʃu/||What|
|كيف Kayfa||كيف Kīf /ˈkif ~ ˈkef/||How|
|متى matā||إيمتى ēmtā /ˈʔemta ~ ˈʔɛmta/ or وينتى /ˈwenta/||When|
|اين ayna||وين /ˈwen/||Where|
|من man||مين /ˈmin/||Who|
The variations between dialects reflect the different historical steps of arabization of the Palestinian, and the variety of localities from Palestinian had come. Until the 7th Century, the area used to speak predominantly Aramaic (as witnessed, for example, in the Jewish Aramaic and Christian Aramaic literature), as well as Greek (probably in upper or trader social classes) and some traces of Hebrew. At that time, Arabic speaking people living in the Jordan desert beyond Zarqa, Amman or Karak had no significant influence - on the contrary they tended to adopt Aramaic as a written language as shown in Nabatean texts of Petra or Palmyrenian documents of Tadmor.
Arabization of the population occurred most probably in several waves. After the Arabs took control of the area, so as to maintain their regular activity, the upper classes had quickly to get fluency in the language of the new masters who most probably were only few. The main phenomenon could have been the slow shift of Aramaic-speaking villages to Arabic under the influence of Arabicized elites.
This scenario is consistent with several facts.
This scenario may also be consistent with the fact that the rural dialects of Palestinian Arabic contain features that appear to resemble their classical Hebrew counterparts.
Israeli Arabs have adopted Hebrew loanwords, like yesh יֶשׁ ("we did it!" - used as sports cheer) which cannot be translated literally into Arabic. According to social linguist Dr. David Mendelson from Givat Haviva's Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, there is an adoption of words from Hebrew in Arabic spoken in Israel which contain alternative native terms. According to linguist Mohammed Omara, of Bar-Ilan University some researchers call the Arabic spoken by Israeli Arabs Arabrew. The list of words adopted contain:
Palestinians in the Palestinian territories refer to their brethren in Israel with epithet "the b'seder Arabs" because of their adoption of the Hebrew word for O.K, However words like ramzor רַמְזוֹר (traffic light) and maḥsom מַחְסוֹם (roadblock) became a part of Palestinian vernacular. Such borrowings are often "Arabized" to reflect not only South Levantine Arabic phonology but the phonology of Hebrew as spoken by Arabs.
The 2009 film Ajami is mostly spoken in Palestinian-Hebrew Arabic.
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