|Native to||Al-Andalus (modern-day Spain and Portugal)|
|Extinct||Extinct early 17th century|
|Revival||In process of revitalization, with at least one known L2 learner/speaker as of 2020|
|Arabic alphabet (Maghrebi script)|
Andalusian Arabic, also known as Andalusi Arabic, was a variety or varieties of Arabic spoken in Islamic Spain, the regions of the Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) under Muslim rule (and for some time after) from the 9th century to the 17th century. It became an extinct language in Iberia after the expulsion of the former Hispanic Muslims, which took place over a century after the Granada War by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. Once widely spoken in Iberia, the expulsions and persecutions of Arabic speakers caused an abrupt end to the language's use on the peninsula. Its use continued to some degree in Africa after the expulsion, although Andalusi speakers were rapidly assimilated by the Maghrebi communities to which they fled.
The Muslim forces that conquered Iberia in 711, about a century after the death of Muhammad, were composed of a small group of Arabic speakers and a majority of Amazigh people, of whom many spoke little or no Arabic. According to Consuelo López-Morillas, "this population sowed the seeds of what was to grow into an indigenous Andalusi Arabic."
Unlike the Visigothic conquest of Iberia, through which Latin remained the dominant language, the Islamic conquest brought a language that was a "vehicle for a higher culture, a literate and literary civilization." Arabic became the dominant medium of literary and intellectual expression in the peninsula from the 8th century to the 13th century.
Andalusian Arabic appears to have spread rapidly and been in general oral use in most parts of Al-Andalus between the 9th and 15th centuries. The number of speakers is estimatedto have peaked at around 5-7 million speakers around the 11th and 12th centuries before dwindling as a consequence of the Reconquista, the gradual but relentless takeover by the Christians. The colloquial Arabic of al-Andalus was prominent among the varieties of Arabic of its time in its use for literary purposes, especially in zajal poetry and proverbs and aphorisms.
In 1502, the Muslims of Granada were forced to choose between conversion and exile; those who converted became known as the Moriscos. In 1526, this requirement was extended to Muslims in the rest of Spain, the Mudéjars. In 1567, Philip II of Spain issued a royal decree in Spain forbidding Moriscos from the use of Arabic on all occasions, formal and informal, speaking and writing. Using Arabic henceforth would be regarded as a crime. Arabic speakers were given three years to learn a "Christian" language, after which they would have to get rid of all Arabic written material. This triggered one of the largest revolts, the Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-71). Still, Andalusian Arabic remained in use in certain areas of Spain (particularly the inner regions of the Kingdom of Valencia) until the final expulsion of the Moriscos at the beginning of the 17th century.
As in every other Arabic-speaking land, native speakers of Andalusian Arabic were diglossic, that is, they spoke their local dialect in all low-register situations, but only Classical Arabic was resorted to when a high register was required and for written purposes as well. Andalusian Arabic belongs to the pre-Hilalian dialects of the Maghrebi Arabic family, with its closest relative being Moroccan Arabic. Like other Maghrebi Arabic dialects, Andalusian does not differentiate between sedentary and Bedouin varieties. By contrast, Andalusian does not show any detectable difference between religious communities, such as Muslim Muladis, Christian Mozarabs, and Jews, unlike in North Africa where Judeo-Arabic dialects were common.
The oldest evidence of Andalusian Arabic utterances can be dated from the 10th and 11th century, in isolated quotes, both in prose and stanzaic Classical Andalusi poems (muwashahat), and then, from the 11th century on, in stanzaic dialectal poems (zajal) and dialectal proverb collections, while its last documents are a few business records and one letter written at the beginning of the 17th century in Valencia. Andalusian Arabic is still used in Andalusian classical music and has significantly influenced the dialects of such towns as Sfax in Tunisia, Tétouan and Tangier in Morocco, Nedroma, Tlemcen, Blida, and Cherchell in Algeria, and Alexandria in Egypt. Andalusian Arabic also influenced Mozarabic, Spanish (particularly Andalusian), Ladino, Catalan-Valencian-Balearic, Portuguese, Classical Arabic and Moroccan, Tunisian, Egyptian, Hassani and Algerian Arabics.
Some modern Spanish converts to Islam have tried to revive the language; a Spanish amateur researcher and student of history, Mahomat Abrahim Bosch Ramon, has been learning Andalusian Arabic, specifically the variant spoken by Valencian Moriscos before the Expulsion of 1609, as an L2, and is also trying to encourage other Spanish Muslim converts to learn it as well.
Many features of Andalusian Arabic have been reconstructed by Arabists using Hispano-Arabic texts (such as the azj?l of ibn Quzman, al-Shushtari and others) composed in Arabic with varying degrees of deviation from classical norms, augmented by further information from the manner in which the Arabic script was used to transliterate Romance words. The first complete linguistic description of Andalusi Arabic was given by the Spanish Arabist Federico Corriente, who drew on the Appendix Probi, zajal poetry, proverbs and aphorisms, the work of the 16th century lexicographer Pedro de Alcalá, and Andalusi letters found in the Cairo Geniza.
|Diphthongs||/aw/, /aj/, /iw/|
|Fricative||voiceless||f||?||s||s?||?||x ~ ?||?||h|
|voiced||(?~v)[g]||ð||z||ð?~d?[h]||? ~ ?||?|
The phoneme represented by the letter ? in texts is a point of contention. The letter, which in Classical Arabic represented either a voiceless pharyngealized velar stop or a voiceless uvular stop, most likely represented some kind of post-alveolar affricate or velar plosive in Andalusian Arabic. Federico Corriente presents the case that ? most often represented /q/, sometimes /k/, and marginally /g/ based on a plethora of surviving Andalusi writings and Romance transcriptions of Andalusi Arabic words.
The vowel system was subject to a heavy amount of fronting and raising, a phenomenon known as im?la, causing /a(:)/ to be raised, probably to or and, particularly with short vowels, in certain circumstances, particularly when i-mutation was possible.
Monophthongization led to the disappearance of certain diphthongs such as /aw/ and /aj/ which were leveled to and , respectively, though Colin hypothesizes that these diphthongs remained in the more mesolectal registers influenced by the Classical language. Alternatively in higher registers, and were only allophones of and respectively, while diphthongs were mostly resistant to monophthongization. However, could turn into or via im?la. In the presence of velar or pharyngeal contour, was backed into and sometimes even rounded into or , or even . This is evidenced by occasional Romance or even local Arabic transcription of as or .
There was a fair amount of compensatory lengthening involved where a loss of consonantal gemination lengthened the preceding vowel, whence the transformation of /?u?(?)/ ("nest") into /?u:?/.
New phonemes introduced into Andalusi Arabic, such as /p/ and /t/ were often written as geminated and respectively. This would later be carried over into Aljamiado, in which /p/ and /t/ in Romance languages would be transcribed with the above letters, each containing a shadda.
The unconjugated prepositive negative particle lis developed out of the classical verb lays-a.
The derivational morphology of the verbal system was substantially altered. Whence the initial n- on verbs in the first person singular, a feature shared by many Maghrebi varieties. Likewise the form V pattern of tafaal-a () was altered by epenthesis to atfa``al ().
Andalusi Arabic developed a contingent/subjunctive tense (after a protasis with the conditional particle law) consisting of the imperfect (prefix) form of a verb, preceded by either k?n or k?n (depending on the register of the speech in question), of which the final -n was normally assimilated by preformatives y- and t-. An example drawn from Ibn Quzm?n will illustrate this:
||lis ki-ttar?n? (underlying form: k?n tar?n?)
law[a] l? m? n?nnu ba?ad
|You would not see me|
if I were not still moaning