The Evolution of Ḍād: A Synchronic and Diachronic Analysis of the Emphatic Arabic Ḍād / Salman H. Al-Ani, Anthony J. Woodhams
The purpose of this study is to: (1) examine how the original ḍād consonant and its description evolved from how Sibawayh documented it, and (2) discuss the historical context surrounding the distribution of the ḍād across the Arabic-speaking world. The ḍād is one of the most controversial consonants in the Arabic language, and therefore is a fascinating linguistic phenomenon to study. Almost none of the current dialects resemble the probable original variety introduced when the Arabic language was spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa around the birth of Islam. In the course of this study, the phonetics and phonology of the Arabic emphatic consonant ḍād will be analyzed in detail, as well as the broader history of this emphatic across the Arabic-speaking world. Specifically, the historical context surrounding the development of the consonant will be examined. In addition, ideas about both the contact situation surrounding the consonant and factors that may have influenced its present realization will be explored.
Keywords: Emphatic Arabic Consonants, Voiced emphatic interdental fricative, voiced emphatic dental stop, Pronunciation of ḍād, Old South Arabian Language, Lateralized Ḍād, Spread of Arabic through Islam, Realization of Interdental Consonants in Arabic