Abu Graib

Orin Hargraves orinkh at CARR.ORG
Wed May 26 11:04:43 UTC 2004

>===== Original Message From American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
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>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Peter A. McGraw" <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Abu Graib
>Come to think of it, though, I think the original questioner was asking
>whether the ai in Ghraib indicated [ai] or [e:].  I've wondered the same
>thing, and the ay in Ghurayb has the same ambiguity.
I haven't seen the word in Arabic with all of its vowel markings, but given
the usual transliteration, I suspect that the terminal vowel sound is the
Arabic diphthong formed by short vowel "fatha" (close to "a" in dad) followed
by the long vowel "ya" (=English "long e"). In speech it's pretty close to
[ai]. But since we only approximate the prons of the consonants, doing
likewise with the vowels seems sensible.

Orin Hargraves

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