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University of Balamand > Academics > Research > Seminars > Dana Chahal
Al Tajweed in Quran: An Analysis of Phonological Processes

University of Balamand

ABSTRACT: This paper presents basic tajweed rules for reading the Holy Quran and aims to provide the segmental phonological processes involved in these. The paper first gives a survey of Arabic speech sounds and presents some of the key concepts (Arabic phonotactics, saakin letters, and syllable structure) necessary for later analysis. Then, through a presentation of the pronunciation of the sounds /n/, /m/, and /l/, the paper examines a number of general assimilation processes found in tajweed, namely ’idhhaar (‘manifesting’), ’idghaam (‘fusion’), qalb (‘inversion’), and ’ikhfaa’ (‘deletion’). The paper studies these processes and provides phonological explanations and generative rules for these. The additional phenomena of tafkheem (‘velarisation, emphaticisation’) and qalqala (‘epenthesis’) are also closely examined. The paper comes to the main conclusion that while tajweed is mainly concerned with the pronunciation of certain orthographic symbols, it is based on highly systematic phonological considerations.
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