Monday, 24 June 2013

On Arabic loan verbs in Somali

Like many languages the Somali language has borrowed words from the Arabic language . Although Somali is not in the same language group as Arabic language’s, geographic proximity and Islam have made borrowing from Arabic possible for Somalis. Arabic loan verbs in Somali have followed three of the patterns identified by linguists: 1-Verbs have been imported from Arabic and adapted to the conjugation groups for spelling and pronunciation. 2- There are composite Arabic loan verbs made up of an Arabic noun and a Somali verb. Since it is the Arabic noun that made the use of the Somali verb possible ( i.e. partial substation), this book calls this type of verb an Arabic loan verb. 3- Somalis have coined Arabic loan verbs such as bismillee (to taste something –from bismillah, meaning ‘in the name of Allah’). All Arabic loan verbs in Somali are regular verbs. Since Arabic loan verbs in Somali are from Arabic nouns and verbs Arabic language speakers may be able to figure out the meaning of many loan verbs. Somali Arabic loan verbs such as feker translated into English as ‘to think’, does not mean the same as malee ‘to think’ as in waxaan u malaynayaa in…”( I think that…) Somalis use the verb feker in a more abstract sense e.g. Waan fekerayaa ( I am worrying/ contemplating ) or Waan ka fekeri doonaa ( I will think about it). This book contains two hundred commonly used Arabic loan verbs in Somali in sentences. Where an Arabic loan verb has a variant spelling it is stated. There is information about each loan verb— the type of the verb and its conjugation group. If a loan verb was brought into existence by partial substitution the abbreviation p.s. follows the conjugation group of the verb; if the verb is a loan coinage the abbreviation l.c. comes after the conjugation group of the verb. This book assumes a knowledge of standard Somali grammar. 200 Arabic Loan Verbs in Somali By Liban Ahmad eBook (PDF), 18 Pages

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