Introduction to Syriac Spirantization: Rukkokho and Qussoyo 9781463230944

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Introduction to Syriac Spirantization

Bar Ebroyo Kloster Publications

50

Introduction to Syriac Spirantization

George A. Kiraz

1 gurbias press 2010

Gorgias Press LLC, 954 River Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854, USA www.gorgiaspres s .com Copyright © 2010 by Gorgias Press LLC Originally published in 1995 All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without the prior written permission of Gorgias Press LLC. 2010

^

1

ISBN 978-1-61143-244-2 Reprinted from the 1995 Glane/Losser edition.

Printed in the United States of America

2

Preface The subject of spirantization (Rukkak h á and Qussáyá) lacks proper attention in Syriac grammatical literature, leaving the student in much d i f f i c u l t i e s . Detailed accounts of this phonological phenomenon can only be f o u n d in classical and traditional Syriac and Arabic works 1 which provide numerous rules based on observation and grammatical tradition. The difficulties faced by the student are understood. Spirantization, in many cases, does not apply to the word as seen on paper (i.e. the surface form), but to the form which results from morphological derivations (i.e. the underlying form). This work guides the student step-by-step through the subject. The student is expected to be familiar with Syriac grammar, but no linguistic knowledge is assumed. This volume appears in three versions: Syriac, Arabic and English. None is a translation of the other, and each is composed with its own readership in mind. The Syriac version is aimed at the native malphond, the Arabic version is aimed at the general Arabophone of the Syriac Churches, and this English version is aimed at the Western student. Readers interested in the history of the subject are referred to an excellent account by J. B. Segal.2 The English version consists of three main sections: the f i r s t discusses preliminary topics such as the vowel system, syllabification, phonological rules and articulation; the second provides the rules of Rukkák h á and Qussáyá; the third gives an account of irregularities. I would like to thank His Eminence Mor Julius Y. Cicek, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Central Europe, for his efforts in bringing this work to light. Thanks a r e also due to Dr S. Brock (University of Oxford), Dr G. Khan (University of Cambridge) and A. Offerhaus (Free University, Amsterdam) for providing useful comments on an earlier draft. This work was completed while doing research on computational Semitic morphology under the supervision of Dr S. Pulman (University of Cambridge), made possible by a benefactor studentship from St John's College, Cambridge. St. John's College, Cambridge Commemoration of Mor Gregorios Bar 'Ebrdyó, 30 July 1993. George Anton Kiraz

1

2

Jacob Bartelloyo, in A. Merx's Historia artis grammaticae a pud Syros (Leipzig 1889); Bar 'Ebroyo, ktaba dsemhe (Sweden, 2nd ed. 1983); R. Gottheil, A Treatise on Syriac Grammar by Mar Elia of Sobha (Berlin 1887); Iqlemis Yousef David, al-lam'a al-sahiyya ft nahw al-luga al-suryamyya (Mosul 1898); B. al-KfarnisI, gramatlq al-luga al-'aramtyya al-suryamyya (Beirut, 2nd ed. 1962). J. B. Segal, 'Qussaya and Rukkaka: A Historical Introduction', Journal of Semitic Studies 34/2, 1989, pp. 483-91.

3

A. Preliminaries

I. The Vowel System 1

Vowels The Syriac vowel system consists of seven vowels:

,*

Name

Pthaha « Zqapha «

»

)LAAI»

Rbhasa

« »

Grapheme

E. Sound

W.Sound

V

a

a

t

a

0

«

e

e

e

I

Zlama « Hbhasa

«J^L.»

ft*.

I

I

Rwahd

«JJ.O»»

Q_

0

u

u

u

'sasa «J^x »

*

Q_

a.

Long vowels are indicated with a supralinear line. A short vowel : represented by V, and a long vowel by V (a consonant is represented by C).

b.

West Syriac uses only five vowels, incorporating Zlama with Hbhasa, and Rwdha with 'sasa. East Syriac is the more archaic, and will be used in this treatise.

Note that vowel marks indicate quality, not quantity. The length of a vowel is determined from its context. 2

Doubling A vocalised consonant preceded by a short vowel ([a], [e] or [o]) is doubled

in E. Syriac, e.g. Iqabbell

/kettana/ « Ufcsi», /kottina/ « JuLlas».

II. Syllabification 3

Primary Syllables All Syllables must begin with a consonant. Syriac syllables are of two primary types: a.

Open-long, consisting of a consonant and a long vowel, CV, e.g. /ma/ «Jb»».

b.

Closed, consisting of two consonants s e p a r a t e d by a vowel (regardless of its length), CVC or CVC, e.g. /man/ /mun/y «yaao ».

Preliminaries

4

Note that Syriac does not have an open-short syllable CV (i.e. a syllable consisting of a consonant and a short vowel), cf. §4. Syllables do not have any semantic significance. A syllable may form: *

4

a.

a whole word, e.g. Ital « )L».

b.

more than one morpheme, 1 e.g. Ilanl which consists of the preposition III and the suffix /n/, each having its own meaning.

c.

no meaning at all, e.g. I ma/ in Imaranl « yli ».

Extra Syllabic Unit An 'extra syllable unit' is the first consonant, C, in a consonant cluster CCV, e.g. [n] in Insab/ «^¿u». The 'extra syllabic unit' is not a syllable on its own right, but can become part of a syllable; for example, when Insab I « A&J » is prefixed with a Waw as in Iwansabl « A A J O » , the [n] becomes part of the first syllable Iwanl. An 'extra syllabic unit' is the result of one of the following: a. Historical deletion of a short vowel in an open unstressed syllable (this is a general Aramaic phenomenon), e.g. *lqatall -» Iqtall This usually occurs at the beginning of words as in the above example and at the end of words as a result of the shedding of a final vowel, e.g. */qtaltal -* Iqtaltl « K^0 * b.

Grammatical deletion of a short vowel ([a], [e] or [o]) which was in a closed syllable and then became in an open unstressed syllable. For example, [o] in Ineqtoll «^.Q^JBJ» is in a closed syllable; if we were to form the plural by adding the suffix lunl, we would get Ineqtoll + lunl -* * I neqtolu.nl «^O^G^HJ» where [o] is now in an open-unstressed syllable; as a result, [o] is deleted giving /neqtlun/ « y o ^ j w » . The whole process is as follows: Ineqtoll + lunl -» *lneqtolunl -* Ineqtlunl « » ( c f . §7).

c.

Transcription of foreign words, e.g. [t] in I'estlal

«Jl^»?» f r o m

atoXri. 5

Syllabic Boundaries For purposes of spirantization, we shall treat the 'extra syllabic unit' as an independent element. We shall use a hyphen to mark syllabic boundaries, e.g. Imak't-ba-nu-tal « Jloisk^»»» whose syllables are CVC-C-CV-CV-CV.

6

Onset and Coda Onset is the first consonant in a syllable; coda is the consonant which closes

1

M o r p h e m e is the smallest unit in morphological analysis.

Preliminaries

5

a closed syllable. For example, in /man/ «^4» [m] is the onset and [n] is the coda.

III. Phonological Rules 7

Vowel Deletion Rule A short vowel ([a], [e], or [o]), which was originally in a closed syllable, is deleted when it becomes in an open unstressed syllable. For example, [e] in /m-qab-bel/ « % ->nm » is in a closed syllable; adding the plural suffix /in/ results in */m-qab-be-lin/ «^.N where [e] is now is an open syllable, and hence is deleted giving /m-qab-lln/ «^.\->nv>i». Note that the deletion of te] cancels the doubling of [b] (cf. §2). Here are additional examples: a.

Deletion of [a], /sab-bahj «fcJLaLL» —» /sab-hat/ « V

+ /at/ « k l » -»

*/sab-ba-hatl

». »

b.

8

*

Deletion of [o]. To form the plural of /tes-boh-ta/ « ) S ) », one inserts [a] after [h] giving */tes-bo-ha-ta/ « -'-A^- l » -» /tes-b-hdta/ «)&».'.> ».I».

Prosthesis Prosthesis is the insertion of an extra sound at the beginning of a word. Initial-Alaph forms take a prosthetic vowel, e.g. */'mar/ -» /'emar/ ««»}». Initial-Yodh forms take an [I] vowel, e.g. */yled/ -* /lied./ « ¿C».1

9

Nun Deletion Nun is deleted in the following contexts: a.

When is the second radical after a short vowel as in the following words: * JCl/^)^ * \isJi



* iU^ii-»

* 1L1-» iLx In some cases, [n] remains in the orthographic form as in IVJ'/» « it (AJ^ ' < b.

When it occurs before the feminine suffix /-fa/:

This is a synchronic analysis. Diachronically speaking, t h e initial vowels were retained in initialAlaph and initial-Yodh words (cf. 4a).

6

Preliminaries * jkulv,-* * j i k i i ^ -» J V J ^

* j i U ^ -» * )Ln-> jut In some cases, [n] remains in the orthographic form as in Jfeu-»)» « I ft ro i )t»l.,V> I I Itj^A c.

In initial-nun verbs, e.g. imperfect */nengedf -* lnegged.1 a f ^ j » (to compensate for the loss of [n], [g] is doubled), and in initial-nun nouns, e.g. */manpqand/ —»Imappqanal « I inffiv»».

IV. Surface vs. Underlying Forms 10

Forms We have seen above a number of words marked with an asterisk, *. Each of these is called an 'underlying form', for it underlines the actual form which we either utter or write. The form which we utter or write is called the 'surface form'. For example, */m-qab-be-lTn/ «^.S>nv>» is the underlying form of the surface form lm-qab-llnl ->nv>». Notice that the underlying form corresponds here to the 'morphological word', i.e. the word which results from the morphological combination of /m-qab-bel! and /in/, while the s u r f a c e form corresponds - in general - to the phonological or orthographic word, i.e. the word which we actually utter or write.

V. Articulation 11

bghadh-kphath Letters Spirantization applies on the following six letters: Letter

Hard Sound

Soft Sound

o

[b]

[v]

[gl

[g]

»

[d]

[5]

t

[k]

[x]

A

[p]

[f]

I

[t]

[9]

[g] is pronounced like Arabic ^ , [6] like 'th' in 'that', [x] like 'ch' in 'Bach' (the German composer), and [9] like 'th' in 'thing'. The six letters are known by the mnemonic « Jsad ». A dot above the letter indicates a hard sound, and a dot below indicates a soft sound.

7

Preliminaries 12

Place and Manner of Articulation The following table gives the places and manners of articulation for the six « »letters ('+' indicates the effect of the manner of articulation;'-' indicates its absence): Place

Plosive

Fricative

Voiced

Bilabial

[b]

+

-

+

+

-

-

Dental

[p] [d]

+

-

+

[t]

+

-

-

[g] [k]

+

-

+

+

-

-

[v]

-

+

+

+

-

Velar Labio-dental

[f] Interdental Uvular

[5]

-

+

+

[0]

-

+

-

-

+

+

+

_

[g] [x]

For example, [b] is bilabial/plosive/non-fricative/voiced, and [v] is labio-dental/non-plosive/fricative/voiced. Note that all hard letters are plosives and all soft letters are fricatives. Also note that the features plosive and fricative are mutually exclusive; in other words, if a particular phoneme is plosive, it follows that it is non-fricative, and vice versa.

8

B. Rules of Rukkakha and Qussaya

I. General Rules In the following rules, C indicates a hard « V a » r c o n s o n a n t , while C indicates a soft one. In the transcription, a soft sound is followed by a superscript 'h\ e.g. /bh! «0». 13

Rule of Qussaya (Q) A«

»letter is Qussaya when it follows a closed syllable

cvc-Cv...

Examples: /nas-baf

J^auBu

I'ar-gell /naw-de/ I'ay-kal /hes-fa/

f?QJ

tf.?

1 u

r

*

lq-tal-tl Note that this rule applies also to doubled letters since they always occur after closed syllables, e.g. Iqab-bell «"Via», cf. §20. 14

First Rule of Rukkak h a (Rl) A «y

»letter is Rukkakha when it follows an open syllable CV-CV...

Examples: /ta-bha/ ls-ya-ghal /su-rd-dha/

j.'jia»

/hes-su-kha/

< *

lyds-sl-phal l'a-thal IS

< «

4:? ip

Second Rule of Rukkak h a (R2) A«h

»letter is Rukkakha when it follows an extra syllabic unit C-CV...

9

Rules of R and Q Examples: V

/z-bhan/ ls-ghus-yal

< juArQg^Jhr

V

fn-dhar/ /s-khir/

16

lm-phat-mal

^< ' «

¡n-tharl

»JM

yu

Third Rule of Rukkak h a (R3) »letter is Rukkdkha when it is a coda

A «V

CVC Examples: ¡sabh-ral

)t*>m

/'egh-la/ l'-nadhl

r

lmakh-rezl

t> r tiaao

/saph-ra/



ln-hethl

r

J II. Analysis

17

The General Rule of Spirantization Rule Q states that a hard letter is always preceded by a consonant. What precedes soft letters? In rules R1 and R3, a vowel precedes the soft letter. In rule R2, an extra syllable precedes the soft letter; however, we mentioned that an extra syllable C is originally an open-short syllable CV, where the V was lost (cf. §4). It follows that in rule R2, an original vowel preceded the soft letter. We can conclude the following general rule: A« a«

»letter which is/was preceded by a consonant is Qussaya; »letter which is/was preceded by a vowel is

Rukkakha.

In this rule, 'was' implies that the four general rules apply to the underlying forms of words, not the surface forms. We shall look at this in more detail later on (§20 ff.). 18

Word Initials The state of a word-initial « k f l o ; ^ - . » letter is determined by the last syllable of the preceding word. For example, [k] in «¿¿»a* is hard because it is preceded by the closed syllable Imenl (according to Rule Q),

10

Rules of R and Q

while it is soft in « (Last? o« » because it is preceded by the open syllable Ihul (according to Rl). However, if two 'similar' « » letters appear next to each other at a word boundary, both remain hard and have a doubling e f f e c t , e.g. d m j » « 11s)la not *« ILsIl» chml». Similarly, « iL'i » with a hard [t], because [t] and [d] are both dental/plosive/non-fricative phonemes (see the table in §12). 19

Paragraph Initials In the beginning of a sentence, and after punctuation marks, a « U a » * ^ » » letter is always hard, since it is not preceded by a vowel.

III. The Underlying Form 20

Doubled Letters A doubled letter appears always after a closed syllable, and hence is hard according to rule Q. For example, the verb Iqab-bell « " ^ ¿ a » contains two [b]s: the first is omitted in the orthographic form, and the second is hard and appears in the orthographic form. One may ask: why not « ^ a m » by softening the first [b] according to rule R3? The soft [b] (or [v]) assimilates into a hard [b] when it is followed by another hard [b]; as a result, we have a doubling of the [b] (cf. ^ ¿ j » « l l & U i n §18).

21

Originally Doubled Letters Rule Q applies on an originally-doubled letter which has lost its vowel, e.g. [b] in */m-qab-bel+in/ « » -* /m-qab-lin/ « », cf. §7. In other words, the rule applies on the underlying form b e f o r e the vowel deletion rule takes affect. The same applies to the following: a.

the second radical of Pa"el verbs which looses its vowel, e.g. Ikatbhathl « J i J ^ i ' » from ¡kat-tebhl « o & a » + lathl « j^l» -» */kat-tebhath/ « » -> lkatbhathl « ».

b.

nominal forms derived from Pa"el such as the form m - P a i a from *m-Pa"ela, e.g. /mghadpha/ « J l » , ^ » » from *lm-ghad-de-pha/\

c.

another nominal form derived from Pa"el is Pu"ala, e.g. /ruk-ka-khaf « JLaio»»(since the 2nd radical is doubled, the first vowel must have been short, though it appears now in the orthographic form as a long one, cf. §2);

d.

the first radical of doubled nominal forms, e.g. « ILoI^lSl»» from */map-pe-sa-nu-tha/ « Jj.Qimii».

Imappsanuthal

Rules of R and Q 22

11

After Original [n] Rule Q applies when a « letter comes whose coda is deleted (usually [n]). For example, I mag-la/ « 11^4» is */man-g-la/ « J l ^ i i » (cf. 9a) on hence, the hardening of [g], The same applies to the

23

a f t e r a closed syllable the underlying form of which the rules applies; following:

a.

the second radical of initial-Nun verbal forms, e.g. faggedV from */'an-gedh/ « ] » , /neggedh/ from */nen-gedh/nS 1 » CD pl. « Jj^áiil», but « IfLu

flAJL

)• m«» pi. « Jj^sL», but « jj^Sil. » •

V

Ufi

JlÁo*

»

Irregularities in R and Q

14

Ij^ol"

IlaJL p i . « » , b u t «

Ji »

9

g.

[t] in the feminine suffix « )!» we shall see (cf. §30).

s o m e t i m e s

does not follow rule Q as

II. Irregularities of Rule R3 28

The following do not follow rule R3: a.

soft [t] followed by another [t], [d] or [t] assimilates into a hard [t], e.g. «.jl^t? i t i f t o i o i o t l . 7 » ; likewise, soft [d] followed by [t] is assimilates into a hard [d], e.g. « (cf. the table under §18).

c.

[t] in Lamadh-^ verbs is soft in the 1st person s u f f i x , e.g. « fr and hard in the 2nd person, e.g. « ^ ».

9

V. Irregularities in Feminine « 29

Rules R1-R3 There is no ambiguity in applying rules R1-R3 to [t] of the feminine suffix /-fa/ « )l» as shown in the following examples: R1

jfo^, J j U jjLfc-. P

30

W

f

p

R2

I iftoaal > • » .

R3

JmL*.

Rule Q If [t] of the feminine is doubled (cf. §2), it follows rule Q, e.g. I g - b e t - t a l « H - b e t - t a / « However, if [t] occurs after a closed syllable, it does not always follow the rule. Here are some guidelines which have their own irregularities! (The listed irregularities are the only ones I was able to find in the Syriac lexica.) h

h

a.

[t] is soft after a closed syllable ^ h o s e vowel is long ([a], [I], and [u] plus [o]), i.e. CVC, e.g. « i 4 }{»>»; irregularities are:

»

'

Irregularities in R and Q

15

t

t

IjS-oi '

m

Jfcoo'»

*

'

»

* 9 )ji. YI.O

b.

[t] is hard after a closed syllable whose vowel is short ([a] and [e], '

«

'


-)) 9

ti

11

*

'JuoUpO jo&Ö \ â O B 3

9

.((¿-jJJ^i)

»

*

*

*

\K

-

V

- ' \ u 9 0 0 3 J»7>m IQ *. J^QMJ \ J Q f f l 9 n < » »



9



*

*

»
JI JL*J ^ j j J I V

9

9

4.

\jqols fi ft

¿oto

9

4.

^soms

I l l u s o \ J^ifi»

jkJtSO V D Ü Ö O

9

-

J?U

*

jis^ot i y9 y0 X

^ i o ^ 9

-

U

*

-

V

J t o l wO»0»J*S>

9 .. 9

¡ 9 9

4.

¡ 9 9

4.

1

*

p

• ^Ci^tT) Ua.OÛO JtâdO» JUJL*. JuOlA

»v

"

V

saj( M-OotO

Ite lí^SO

9

JjS^o»

Jte

'

M

JÍ^i tu; jú« >

*

p < jjS-aaa

J ^

« 1J.« *

Jtei

jLaoœ» Jiol/ C i / Jlaaaj» ö)i S

ij^aso*» J l X ^ I .«J^lA.»

r

?

(22-u)

CÚ U

¿ ^

y?

Uoio.^

y*i

[LZïJo

LaaX ôJJL

J-»cú¿ LoâX ilikûisi çsfc» \ J L L » lloA^ Jiaaoj» öjl l ® ?» *

l¿¿Lf )) y i

K^o) ^

\lLÍ¡ CHIOJ» laûX

jjll»

ImaaK»

•*

v

¿L», J^^. o/

9

-33

yj .34 il*
öjl .«¿¡¿t}

. « ) j j L l » i » o » J ^ i l l i J á k » ôJJL o ù ! iÂeï> J > UaX

) U t «

ç l ¡ ^ 0

ôJLo

-o.

.O

c¿x»SO^

.( 16 J U - L

isjfa

^IsU»

UL/

w »

J-»**

lift ^ f l J » o | U

U ^ O A O

*

:im¿Q¿ f L e x ®

y

9

^

?

Jo»o . U á o i » C q J ä ^ . U o j k - U * » / JlaafiJ» o j l . 3 2

jlo^f

*

0)1

U ^ i

J fl i ;

.¿Sis

:U¿olr p

t

fi

]í¿

X

p*

*

)LL±l

J¿aü i

^

7

)Lo# k - J o ?

2

l ^ i b O f i O

IlAAO»»

151

) Ù j l » ,

s « )lol/>

(-•OiX-.» s

9 vv

i * * v"* 1 a. JOOQA. çaXOÎO .«J^>Ot» *»

r

jookiLd

i » r «JL»0»>»

.o

"i wO. , 0 = 0 X

•»

fi J ^ /

IlÍulo lâifl

* p»

)

M

Jl^ûx I

t

V H

4i

*

l ^ i i f r I *

6 y

-

P 4 f¡-f\ts

-

• I '

v* . i"

H^i-V " " .«

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t Jj^s'il.»

i« ^

Í

, ) )

! 1

uitQAd |.ȃ >,Y) IQX ^ 9

4

t

*

?

o«» \ j n m -» « Jl»í^>> fc^fo

t )¡^XjLs l .«

U ¿

»•^io^» «

í |lA1o¿ » júaíé l a á x . Ls

»^ o

3 4 5

« J^auL »

«jLons JJuKaoj 6 léiX ^

i Í ){S -»'n* »

)

U

L

¿

.

io

150

I

A

à

U ^ O Û O

* . * I» ' > o a â : u o ( ocx . jt

r

"

^

) ^

J

U ä o j j

( M A .

I,' V » il'""". I ^ N y i ^ l |> «

;

I I1 , ) ^-.OifiN, jS. •>n\) »

. ( „ w ^

jí 9

V

i*ao]»|'\))

* .yOA-»

P

j j o l o V

»9

F

Udt»

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(( wOt

9

jotao* .1«1j«x>»

llâ»/

^ J c 9

«-»l-»»

X

. ( a m i

* çûo

-

Jt-..Y>»

.«IjJfc^cw»»

tifi -

X

9 ^

.. lit-»

1

1

9

l.o-on-»

) i n * l Y i \ A y» l a â X ->f> I

^

i^i^Xl.

_

.o

v

»v>\ X

9

.yi\



öjL

. O»

« I ^ X j ISO^iâ»

.«li?

. j L L i l L líoO w i e ?

1

juhjk.0£0 |lA90)* (ijOlC

149

llacLO)» JloL/ yj :« \JJ>o\> Ci^^L jaoiA»

^òuxs Jl— i9 9 é ' 9 jLSuu» N ^ * » » ^ - »

J.ol( V )

U> i ^ » » jloLJJ ^ a n j »



l9 9 *

uóto

99 * lkaao»» 1f 99- 9 *

i9 *9

JLiolo»

CjJsfcoo J u x J L U i À a >

.o

jloLJJ

. lAoi^oò wot o \ o ^.i->too I Ì ^ o ^ C^Jj^i

)&.