sun letter

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

sun letter (plural sun letters)

  1. (linguistics) One of fourteen Arabic letters that cause the "L" of a preceding definite article to be assimilated in pronunciation. The sun letter suppresses the sound of the "L" and then geminates: al + ṣīn = aṣ-ṣīn. The effect of the sun letter is limited to pronunciation and does not affect the spelling, except that a shadda may be written over the sun letter and in the fully vocalised spelling lām lacks any diacritics: الصِّين (aṣ-ṣīn). The fourteen sun letters are:
ت (t), ث (), د (d), ذ (), ر (r), ز (z), س (s), ش (š), ص (), ض (), ط (), ظ (), ل (l), ن (n)

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Usage notes[edit]

  • In Moroccan and Levantine Arabic, ج (j) is also considered a sun letter, and assimilates with the definite article, as it is pronounced IPA(key): /ʒ/, not IPA(key): /dʒ/.

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