Post by Ruud Harmsen
Which syllable of the Arabic word muslim bears the stress?
In my 1958 Teach Yourself, page 22, it says "on the penultimate when
That's Tritton's Teach Yourself Arabic which is exclusively the
High Classical style.
"Modern Standard Arabic" is a living language, albeit with no
native speakers. Prescriptively it is almost indistingishable
fom Classical Arabic, but since it is a living language one
can describe actual usage and variations pop up especially
when it comes to the recitation of otherwise prepared written
Stress was not studied by the medieval grammarians, and hence
it is not explicitly prescribed. The stress patterns found
in textbooks are usually derived from the speech gathered
from Al-Azhar Quran reciters, but there is some variation
in the speech of other schools of Quran recitation.
The stress patterns of the formal speech of media
speakers, politicians and the like usually reflect
that of their native Neo-Arabic dialect.
Syllabification OTOH was fixed by poetry and the
traditional meters depend on it. Modern Formal Speech,
i.e. recited Modern Standard Arabic by and large
sticks to it. Some exceptions, such as superheavy
non-pausal syllables that may be found in the recitation
unassimilated foreign, modern or relatively modern
loanwords (usually European, some are Turkish or other
language in origin) and foreign names (some entering
the language because they are geographical or such).
The degree that the recitation of MSA resembles Classical
Arabic depends on the speaker and the subject.
The lowest register of MSA has pause after each word.
This is actually considered a "legitimate" form of speech,
it was probably the form of recitation of the earliest
poorly literate scribes as they struggled to read very
slowly or tried to guess the orthography of each word
they had in mind (this would explain the standard
orthography based on pausal forms). The high register
is theoretically the same as Classical Arabic, with much
variation in between.
Post by Ruud Harmsen
it is long ; i.e. has a long vowel or two consonants." Because this
book is for Classical / MSA, I suppose the syllables are counted
including any case endings. So in muslim = nominative muslimu, the one
but last syllable is -lim-? Is it long because it has two consonants,
l and m? Or should I divide the syllables as mus-li-mu, so the
penultimate -li- is short / non-heavy?
Is the count in
i.e. not including case endings? That's because Teach Yourself never
has the stress on the last syllable. "raaseen" is really
If muslim is stressed MUS-lim, how is that with the feminine form
muslima(h/t)? Same stress or is it shifted?
I think Muhammad is stressed mu-HAM-mad? Because -Ham- is a syllable
with two consonants due to the gemination of the m?
The strange thing is in Dutch we say MO-hammet (often even shorted to
Mo); even Dutch speaking muslims themselves often say that, with or
without a Morrocan accent. But it's wrong in Arabic, I suppose?
Ruud Harmsen, http://rudhar.com