World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ajami script

Article Id: WHEBN0008250868
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ajami script  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wolofal script, Writing systems of Africa, Arabic script, Pegon alphabet, Yaña imlâ alphabet
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Ajami script

The term Ajami (Arabic: عجميʿaǧamī ), or Ajamiyya (Arabic: عجميةʿaǧamiyyah), which comes from the Arabic root for "foreign" or "stranger," has been applied to Arabic alphabets used for writing African languages, especially those of Hausa and Swahili, although many other African languages were written using the script. It is considered an Arabic derived African writing system. Since African languages involve phonetic sounds and systems different from the Arabic language, there have often been adaptations of the Arabic script to transcribe them—a process not unlike what has been done with the Arabic script in non-Arabic speaking countries of the Middle East, and with the Latin script in Africa or with the Vietnamese alphabet.[1]

The West African Hausa is an example of a language written using Ajami, especially during the pre-colonial period when Qur'anic schools taught Muslim children Arabic, and by extension, Ajami. When Western colonizers adopted a Latin orthography for Hausa, Ajami went into decline, and today is employed less frequently than the Latin standard orthography. However, Hausa Ajami is still in widespread use, especially in Islamic circles.

The use of Ajami for other languages in Muslim communities is more common than outsiders may think. Its use is often in a situation of digraphia, with Ajami used for specific purposes, such as for local herbal preparations in Jula.[1]

Hausa Ajami Script

Hausa has been written in ajami, since the early 15th century. There is no standard system of using ajami, and different writers may use letters with different values. Short vowels are written regularly with the help of vowel marks, which are seldom used in Arabic texts other than the Quran. Many medieval Hausa manuscripts similar to the Timbuktu Manuscripts written in the Ajami script, have been discovered recently some of them even describe constellations and calendars.[2]

In the following table, some vowels are shown with the Arabic letter for t as an example.
Latin Arabic ajami
a /a/   ـَ
a //   ـَا
b /b/   ب
ɓ /ɓ/   ب (same as b), ٻ (not used in Arabic)
c //   ث
d /d/   د
ɗ /ɗ/   د (same as d), ط (also used for ts)
e /e/   تٜ (not used in Arabic)
e //   تٰٜ (not used in Arabic)
f /ɸ/   ف
g /ɡ/   غ
h /h/   ه
i /i/   ـِ
i //   ـِى
j /(d)ʒ/   ج
k /k/   ك
ƙ //   ك (same as k), ق
l /l/   ل
m /m/   م
n /n/   ن
o /o/   ـُ  (same as u)
o //   ـُو  (same as u)
r /r/, /ɽ/   ر
s /s/   س
sh /ʃ/   ش
t /t/   ت
ts /(t)sʼ/   ط (also used for ɗ), ڟ (not used in Arabic)
u /u/   ـُ  (same as o)
u //   ـُو  (same as o)
w /w/   و
y /j/   ی
z /z/   ز     ذ
ʼ /ʔ/   ع

See also

References

  1. ^ Donaldson, Coleman. 2013. Jula Ajami in Burkina Faso: A grassroots literacy in the former Kong empire. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics 28.2: 19-36.
  2. ^ http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201105/from.africa.in.ajami.htm

External references

  • PanAfrican L10n page on Arabic script and "Ajami"
  • Omniglot page on Hausa Ajami Script


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.