ال

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See also: ألand آل

Arabic[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /al-/, /-l-/
  • (file)

Article[edit]

ال (al-)

  1. the

Usage notes[edit]

  • The /l/ of this prefix assimilates to and geminates the first letter of the base word when it begins with a traditionally-coronal consonant, natively called sun letters: ت(t), ث(), د(d), ذ(), ر(r), ز(z), س(s), ش(š), ص(), ض(), ط(), ظ(), ل(l), and ن(n). This does not traditionally include ج(j), as its original pronunciation was palatal rather than coronal, but in regions where it is pronounced /d͡ʒ ~ ʒ/ it can be found assimilating the definite article as well. The ل(l)’s assimilation is not observed by the article's spelling, which is invariably ال (al-); however, in fully vocalised texts, a shadda is written over the following sun letter to reflect gemination.
  • The initial vowel a- is only pronounced when the article occurs either after a pause, at the beginning of an utterance, or after the preposition مِنْ(min). Otherwise, the article consists solely of the coronal consonant preceded by the final vowel of the previous word; if this previous word is consonant-final, then i is used as a linking vowel.

Descendants[edit]

  • Egyptian Arabic: ال(el)
  • Gulf Arabic: ال(il)
  • Maltese: il
  • Moroccan Arabic: ال(el)

See also[edit]


Egyptian Arabic[edit]

Article[edit]

الـ (el-)

  1. the

Gulf Arabic[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Arabic اَلْ(al-).

Article[edit]

اِلـ (il-)

  1. the definite article; the

Etymology 2[edit]

Contraction of الي(illi, the relative clause), itself a contraction of Arabic اَلَّذِي‎ m (allaḏī) and اَلَّتِي‎ f (allatī)

Pronoun[edit]

اِلـ (il-)

  1. (colloquial) the relative clause; that, who, which, etc
    Synonym: الي(illi)

Etymology 3[edit]

Could be directly from Arabic إِلَىٰ(ʾilā).

Preposition[edit]

اِلـ (il-)

  1. (colloquial) to (destination)
    Synonyms: (colloquial) لي(), (colloquial) ل(li)
Alternative forms[edit]

Hijazi Arabic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Arabic اَلْ(al-).

Pronunciation[edit]

Article[edit]

الـ (al-)

  1. the definite article; the

Kalami[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ال (alm

  1. wet

North Levantine Arabic[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Arabic ال(al-).

Article[edit]

الـ (l-)

  1. the
Usage notes[edit]
  • The article in fact consists solely of the consonant /l/, which is assimilated to the same onsets as in Standard Arabic (see above). Following the usage note there, some speakers extend this process of assimilation to the now-coronal ج(j /ʒ/).
  • An epenthetic linking vowel is added as phonotactically necessary, be it before the article or after, in order to avoid a three-consonant cluster. Note that its notation with a schwa is not meant to represent IPA [ə], as its actual value varies between /i~e~o/ depending on context:
    النص المكتوب‎ ― n-naṣṣ əl-maktūbthe written text
    الكتاب المقدس‎ ― -ktāb -mʾaddasthe Holy Book, i.e. the Bible
  • Assimilation is optionally ignored when the article precedes a consonant cluster where the initial consonant would normally trigger assimilation, as the epenthetic vowel separates them if it appears:
    الولاد الصغار‎ ― lə-wlād -ṣḡārthe small children

Etymology 2[edit]

Reduction of the definite relative pronoun اللي(lli) or its alternative form لي(li).

Pronoun[edit]

ال (l-)

  1. contraction of اللي
    • 1961, Said Akl, Yara[1]:
      يَارَا الجّدَايِلهَا شُقْر
      yāra j-jdāyilha šuʾr
      Yara, whose braids are gold
      (literally, “Yara who her braids are gold”)
Usage notes[edit]
  • Although this contraction is superficially identical to the definite article, some speakers do not assimilate it to a following coronal, allowing the two to be told apart in this context. Other speakers do, such as Said Akl in the reading linked from the quote above.

Ottoman Turkish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Turkic *el, *elig.

Noun[edit]

ال (el)

  1. hand

Descendants[edit]

  • Turkish: el

Persian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun[edit]

ال (al)

  1. (Dari) plough; the beam of a plough

Derived terms[edit]