Relative Pronoun (Arabic Dialects)
(1,718 words)

The relative pronoun in Arabic dialects is expressed by a form that is invariable in gender and number and may refer either to persons or objects. The most common form used in the majority of Arabic dialects is (i)lli, with variants halli and yalli (Retsö 2004:264–265). This form is found in the Egyptian dialects, the Levantine dialects, the gilit dialects from Iraq, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and the majority of the Maghrebi dialects. Examples are əlli mā ḥməd qalīl mā yəḥməd kat̲īr ‘he who is not grateful for a little is not grateful for a lot’ (Ḥassāniyya Arabic; Ould …

Cite this page
Vicente Ángeles, “Relative Pronoun (Arabic Dialects)”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 19 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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