User talk:Wikitiki89

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Latin alphabet and EnglishEdit

I remember your saying somewhere that the Latin alphabet doesn't suit English very well/at all. I was curious as to what type of system you would devise, or, if you had to keep the Latin alphabet, what changes you would make. --Barytonesis (talk) 20:15, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

When and where did I say this? I may very well have said it, but I need to know what the context was in order to remember what I was thinking at the time. --WikiTiki89 20:33, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I tried to find it but I couldn't. This was a while ago... --Barytonesis (talk) 22:40, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Syriac nominal sentenceEdit

Hi. My question is in the context of the famous verses Q112:1-2: قل هو الله أحد الله الصمد(Qul huwa llāhu ʾaḥadu[n] llāhu ṣ-ṣamadu). I'm going into a bit of detail because I think you might find this interesting, too. Sorry in advance, if I'm mistaken! --- Now those two verses are interesting because they are suspicious of not being originally Arabic. Apart from aṣ-ṣamad, whose meaning has remained a mystery, the words huwa llāhu ʾaḥadun are also problematic. In proper Arabic they would read ألله الواحد(allāhu l-wāḥidu) or at most الله هو الواحد(allāhu huwa l-wāḥidu). There is a well-known ḥadīṯ in Ṣaḥīḥ Buḵārī, which quotes the verse in just that wording (allāhu l-wāḥidu ṣ-ṣamadu). The strange use of أَحَد(ʾaḥad) instead of واحِد(wāḥid) has, of course, been linked to Hebrew or Aramaic, in particular the Shema Israel. I've now come across the notion that the also strange positioning of the personal pronoun before the subject is a familiar construction in Syriac. My reading of Muraoka's Syriac grammar has not confirmed this, although the notes do say that there is a great variety of constructions. Do you know anything about this? Thanks! Kolmiel (talk) 05:19, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

@Kolmiel: This is a very complicated question. I'll try to tackle it point by point:
  1. The word أَحَدٌ(ʾaḥadun)
    1. Could it be from Aramaic?
      In Aramaic, with the exception of a few dialects that are probably irrelevant, the word for "one" is simply ḥaḏ (חַד, ܚܲܕܼ), so it doesn't make sense phonologically.
    2. Could it be from Hebrew?
      Phonologically it could be from אֶחָד (ʾeḥāḏ < *ʾaḥāḏ < *ʾaḥḥāḏ < *ʾaḥḥad < *ʾaḥad).
    3. Why can't it be Arabic?
      The assumption that "proper Arabic" would use the word الْوَاحِدُ(al-wāḥidu) is based on the assumed meaning of the sentence. Keep in mind that the word أَحَدٌ(ʾaḥadun) does exist as a number, usually meaning "one of a set", and even appears in the compound number "eleven" أَحَدَ عَشَرَ(ʾaḥada ʿašara). So the question is then what does this imply about the real meaning of the sentence if you ignore any prior assumptions? Keep in mind that the English translation of "one" is highly ambiguous as well, which can be misleading if you forget that the real word you are analyzing and trying to make sense out of is أَحَدٌ(ʾaḥadun), not one.
The Quran commentator
  1. The word الصَّمَدُ(aṣ-ṣamadu)
    1. Could it be from Aramaic?
      According to CAL, the root ṢMD and its derivatives do not seem to have any meanings that would make sense in this verse. The only one whose meaning comes anywhere close is ṣummāḏ(ā), which seems to only be used adverbially as ܒܿܨܘܼܡܵܕܼܵܐ(bəṣummāḏā, continually).
    2. Could it be from Hebrew?
      Again, nothing with the root ṢMD makes sense in meaning (see the verbs and a noun).
    3. Why can't it be Arabic?
      There is such thing as a hapax legomenon. It doesn't necessarily imply any kind of borrowing or corruption. Incidentally, كُفُوًا(kufuwan) (in the fourth ayah of the same surah) is also a hapax legomenon, which I also can't connect to Aramaic or Hebrew.
  2. The syntax of the sentence
    1. Could it be from Aramaic?
      In Aramaic, just like in Arabic, if a third-person subject pronoun is used as a copula, it usually comes in between the subject and the predicate, but sometimes it actually comes after the predicate. It could be that Syriac or other dialects of Aramaic have some additional uses of the pronouns, but I don't know much about that. There does also exist the construction הַהוּא(hahū) (or possibly הָהוּא(hāhū); see CAL), which precedes a noun and means "that". In Syriac it's contracted to ܗܵܘܿ(hāw) (see CAL), which is spelled the same as ܗܘܼ(). But none of this seems to really help much here.
    2. Could it be from Hebrew?
      Much like Aramaic, the third-person subject pronouns usually come between the subject and predicate, but can sometimes also come after the predicate. Unlike in Aramaic, in Hebrew there is no construct where הוּא() acts as a determiner preceding a noun. If you want to compare this to שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹקֵינוּ ה׳ אֶחָד, then that doesn't explain هُوَ(huwa) at all.
    3. Why can't it be Arabic?
      I really don't see a problem with seeing هُوَ(huwa) as the subject and اللّٰهُ أَحَدٌ(allāhu ʾaḥadun) as a predicate with two nouns in apposition. Apposition is common in Arabic.
I hope this helps at least a little. --WikiTiki89 20:42, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, thanks again. Concerning 1 and 2: I only meant to mention this stuff as the background of my question. So just two short comments: 1.) It's not me who says that the use of aḥad is strange. (And I certainly didn't deduce this from translation!) There have been disussions about this, for which cf. Tafsīr aṭ-Ṭabarī and other commentators. I also mentioned to you that the verse is quoted specifically with al-wāḥid instead of aḥad in a hadeeth in Sahih Muslim. Maybe my wording "in proper Arabic it would read" was a bit imprecise. 2.) I didn't mean to say that the word aṣ-ṣamad was Hebrew or Aramaic or that it wasn't Arabic. I only mentioned it casually because it's another much discussed problem concerning this sura. --- Now, concerning the question that I actually asked you. All I wanted to know is whether the equivalent of huwa Aḥmad ṣadīqī ("Ahmad is my friend") or the like would be a common construction in Syriac (which I'd been told). I take it that this is not the case. Kolmiel (talk) 22:56, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
PS: As I said, Aṭ-Ṭabarī discusses the syntax of this verse. He says that the philologists have several different opinions about it. I'm a bit unsure about some of the grammatical terms he mentions, so I hesitate to translate it; but you can find it here: [1]. Even more interesting, however, is Al-Qurṭubī, from whom I've translated the following passage:
And some [or: one] – whom God has eliminated and humiliated and to whom he has given hell as an abode and a dwelling place – have [has] suppressed [words] of this sura. They used to read allāhu l-wāḥidu ṣ-ṣamadu in prayer, while the people were listening. So they suppressed the words qul huwa, claiming that they were not part of the Qur’ān, and changed the word aḥadun, claiming that this was correct and that the [reading] of the people was void and absurd [al-bāṭilu wa-l-muḥālu]. By this they have changed the meaning of the verse, because the commentators say that the verse was sent down as a reply to the polytheists when they said to the messenger: Describe your God to us, whether he is of gold, of copper, or of brass. So God said in reply to them: Qul huwa llāhu ʼaḥadun. The [word] huwa refers to that about which the reply and answer is given, and if it is suppressed, the meaning of the verse becomes void, and something is fabricated against God, and the messenger is credited with a lie. [2]
The deviant reading confirms that the syntax of the verse was considered problematic from the beginning on. (And so may the tradition about a reply to the polytheists, since it is understood that many asbāb an-nuzūl were invented in order to justify and clarify verses that had become obscure.) Note also that Al-Qurṭubī, while he rejects the deviant reading wrathfully, nevertheless glosses qul huwa llāhu aḥadun with the words: ayi l-wāḥidu l-watru ("i.e. the one, the sole"). --- So, I'm just saying this to show that the problematic is not my finding, nor that of modern Quran criticism, but that of early Quran readers and commentators. Kolmiel (talk) 01:13, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
PPS: For the record: Concerning aṣ-ṣamad, I did imply that is wasn't Arabic, because the Arabs don't really know what it means -- the commentators have several contradicting theories of what it could mean -- but I'd already read that there's nothing straightforward in Hebrew and Aramaic. So just a little correction of what I said in my first reply... All right. Won't bother you anymore ;) Cheers. Kolmiel (talk) 00:28, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Hebrew StressEdit

I've been researching Modern Hebrew stress patterns online for quite some time and i can't find anything conclusive, do you know a good source? I'm trying to add entries, romanizations, and all that jazz but this little thing is eating at me. Do you mind if I post Biblical/ ascribed stress? Zontas (talk) 05:55, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

@Zontas: It's pretty simple, no matter how much theory there is behind it, if you don't know the actual stress of a particular word by having heard it or something like that, please don't add any stress. --WikiTiki89 14:47, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, do you mind if i post the romanization sans stress marks, and come back to it later? I mean, isn't the Hebrew section for all eras of the language? Zontas (talk) 04:47, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
One easy way to check is to go to and see if they have a recording of a native speaker saying the word. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:03, 24 January 2017 (UTC)


Hi Wikitiki! ܫܠܡܐ ܠܟ,

So I'm curious about this edit:

  1. When you said in your summary that "your so-called 'classical' is really just East Syriac", do you mean just in that article or all my Classical Syriac IPA spellings? I think I'm fairly consistent when it comes to Classical Syriac IPA transcription across my edits; I get my info mostly from Nöldeke, Robinson/Coakley, and Thackston (summarized in the Classical Syriac phonology wiki entry here). East Syriac I would transcribe very differently ([ɪ] for [ɛ], [x] for [ħ], and [p] for [f] are a few examples).
  2. Why the addition of the IPA for the singular construct form? Shouldn't that be on its respective page (namely ܡܕܝܢܬ)? Why not the singular absolute or the plural construct as well?
  3. The schwa was completely lost in Syriac well before the East/West divergence. I include it in brackets mostly for historical reasons and also because it's helpful for syllabification and rukkāḵā. I wouldn't include it even in brackets if we're transcribing East/West dialects (though I wouldn't include East/West transcriptions anyway, at least not without classical alongside them).
  4. I think the removal of the syllable breakers is problematic. Right now, it looks like the word has three syllables (and that's true for Old Syriac/Early Classical Syriac, but not for Late Classical). Putting a syllable break with the schwa in the brackets solves that issue.
  5. The western dialect lost any trace of gemination early on, so the double *[tt] should just be single [t] for that one.
  6. If we're going by today's Turoyo pronunciation, I think [ɔ] should be [o]. It doesn't sound like [ɔ] to my ears at all, though I'm not sure if it might've been at one point ([ɔ] fits better with the raising of [ɑ], but it's still fishy to me).
  7. Why the removal of the phonemic form? It helps show the assimilation of [n] to [t].
  8. Why the removal of the silent nūn from the transcription? (You didn't remove it from one of the derived terms, by the way). I think it's helpful to transcribe silent letters in square brackets, even if it means sacrificing the transcription of the gemination. For one, it helps explain the appearance of the "n" in the other states. Two, it's good when comparing cognates. Three, it distinguishes alternative spellings (e.g. ܢܫܐ and ܐܢܫܐ) or different words (like the supremely awkward ܚܪܵܝܵܐ and ܐ݇ܚܪܵܝܵܐ!). :)

ܦܘܫ ܒܫܝܢܐ,
--334a (talk) 08:16, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

ܫܠܡܐ ܠܟ, I'll need to think about it some more before I can give you a complete answer. For now I'll say that one of my main concerns was the placement of stress (which is one of the reasons I gave the construct state, to show the difference in the stress in East vs. West). Do we even know how Classical Syriac was stressed before the East West split? PS: Does "ܦܘܫ ܒܫܝܢܐ" mean "stay in peace"? --WikiTiki89 00:10, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
That's no problem at all, take your time. On stress: I think that's one of the things that's varied the most over time, so I can't be completely sure (which is why I've been avoiding putting any stress markings in my entries for years). The grammar books all seem to say something slightly different, but I think I've cobbled together the general consensus:
  • Old/Early Classical had stress on the ultima throughout.
  • East Syriac began to stress the penult (with few exceptions).
  • West Syriac began to stress the ultima if it was closed and the penult if the ultima was open.
  • Later Classical was just like Western except one key difference: if the ultima was closed and had a long vowel, it was stressed; if it was closed and had a short vowel, then the penult was stressed (assuming the schwa was already lost, otherwise the antepenult took the stress if the penult had a schwa, but this rule can be simplified since the ultima would be open). With this in mind, our singular construct would be [m(ə.)ˈði.naθ] but the plural construct would be [m(ə.)ðiˈnɑθ].
And yes, "ܦܘܫ ܒܫܝܢܐ" literally means "stay in peace". We use it in NENA for "goodbye" ("ܦܘܫ ܒܫܠܡܐ" is also used) as a coordinate response to "ܫܠܡܐ ܠܟ": you're wishing peace upon someone when you greet them and continued peace and prosperity after you part ways . :) --334a (talk) 07:37, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "dream"Edit

Why make you believe there is no ʒ sound in "dream"? Zaurus (talk) 02:36, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

Some people pronounce it that way, but it's just one of those incidental details that aren't significant enough to put in a general representation. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:50, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Cambridge Dictionary pronounces it that way for both US and UK pronunciations. Zaurus (talk) 15:47, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
First of all, it's actually more of a [dʐ] than a [dʒ], but that doesn't matter so much much. The point is that this is the way /dɹ/ is always pronounced in English. Just like we don't indicate aspiration in words like tip (we give /tɪp/, not /tʰɪp), we don't need to give /dʐɻiːm/ for dream. It's overspecific for no good reason. --WikiTiki89 16:33, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
Is English not your native tongue? As a native speaker I cannot tell the difference between /dʒɹiːm/ and /dʐɻiːm/ but there is a huge difference between those two and /dɹiːm/. I think we're doing a disservice to English learners by not clarifying this. Zaurus (talk) 16:55, 1 February 2017 (UTC)


Please take a look at the talk page for this entry- it could use input from someone who knows more than I do about Semitic etymology. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)


In "я против" and "я за", which part of speech would you say против(protiv) and за(za) are? (sorry for my English) --Barytonesis (talk) 23:36, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

I would say they are still prepositions, but with implied objects. --WikiTiki89 18:21, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. And what about "I'm down", as in "I'm down to hang out with you"? --Barytonesis (talk) 00:04, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I'd probably call it a predicative adjective, derived from an adverb. --WikiTiki89 02:11, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
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