10 Things Only Experts Know About borrowing Urdu from Arabic

10 Things Only Experts Know About borrowing Urdu from Arabic

Loaning of words is a common linguistic phenomenon that is adopted by almost all the languages
of the world, the concept is identified as borrowing in linguistic science.

English is one of the most dominant languages of the world and is also coined with words from different
languages: Yogurt is a Turkish word that is later introduced/borrowed into English vocabulary. The exchange of
words between languages is highly dependent on social and cultural influences.

When different linguistic communities merge to unite on some economic and religious grounds, the consequent
interaction between them influences linguistic vocabulary leading the Lexical boundaries of languages to overlap.

Similarly, when Arab merchants and saints made their way to the sub-continent for the purpose of trade and religious awareness the lexical treasure of the native language Urdu got highly influenced.

The emergence of Urdu as a new language in the sub-continent is a collective result of social contact between people of local native dialects (Khari Boli, Haryanvi, and Brij Bhasha, etc.) and afterward the influence of Arab nationals. The sociolinguistic status of Urdu compared to other languages is different. Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo- European family.

Its origin is traced back to the army of the 12th-century Afghan emperor Mehmood Ghaznawi century. However, as is commonly known, the term Hordu was first used in to refer to the language used by the soldiers of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (17th century) when they built the Red Fortress in Delhi and the surrounding city of Ordue Muala .

Urdu adopted a shortened and borrowed language from the 4,444 languages spoken by Indian soldiers. Contrary to English loanwords, Words borrowed in Urdu from Arabic are much older . As a beginner student of sociolinguistics, this research is meant to explore borrowed Urdu vocabulary from Arabic but the study is specifically confined to the exploration of Quranic vocabulary, without going for deep analysis of infected properties of these words in the target language as compared to the source language.

Developing background for my study I studied different sources to enhance my understanding. Concerning the Loaning of words in Urdu from Arabic two approaches in the study were found.

  1. a study from a morphological perspective
  2. A study from the perspective of vocabulary only.

But being a beginner student of sociolinguistics I preferred to go for study by remaining confined to vocabulary exploration without analyzing its inflected properties in the target language as compared to the source language.

(Riaz ahmed Islam, 2011) claims that Almost nothing is written on the morphology of loanwords from the three languages(Arabic, Persian and Turkish)into Urdu. Furthermore, there is no theory on loanwords specifically dealing with the morphological adaptations of loans. Therefore the morphological aspect of loan words in Urdu from Arabic is already been explored very comprehensively.

Furthermore, only lexical analysis of Urdu loanwords is being conducted in general. (Intekhab Alam, 2014) argues to highlight socio-cultural overlap that two languages may share features because they have inherited them from a common ancestor language or common culture.

In his study, he tried to explore commonly used vocabulary items in both Arabic and Urdu, but interestingly he notes that the words borrowed from Arabic and used in Urdu are used in different contexts. In languages, borrowing means that one language adopts something from another language and makes it a part of its own system.

(Muhammad alwad, 2011) limits his study to explore urdu loans from Arabic by arguing that the study of his paper is restricted to a linguistic analysis of loan words from Arabic in Urdu. It discusses, rather precisely, the religion and economic-based interaction of Muslims with the people of the Indian subcontinent resulting in a sociocultural synthesis and in a process of linguistic amalgamation.

The sociocultural influences not only b initiated the process of linguistic overlap, but gave birth to a new language, later, known as the Urdu language. This paper explores the morphological impact of these Arabic to Urdu borrowings.

Hence, the overall scope of this study tries to explore morphological changes and lexical adoptions of the Urdu language. However, a limited level of study from the perspective of vocabulary seems to be missing which can be a concern for beginner students, which can allow them to make further exploration based on it. Therefore the precise and limited exploration of Urdu loans from Arabic is needed.

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