Khuzestani Arabic: Word order

© Maryam Shabibi

Word order has also been under the influence of Persian. The order of a sentence in MSA and other dialects of Arabic is Verb (V) + Subject (S) + Object (O), but both SVO and VSO word order types exist in Arabic dialects.

In addition to VSO and SVO, sentences are found in Kh. Arabic that begin with their objects. This order can also be found in other dialects of Arabic. But unlike other dialects of Arabic, Kh. Arabic displays a fourth word order type which is SOV. This is the word order of Persian sentences. This word order type does not exist in any dialect of Arabic except that of Uzbekistani. Uzbekistani Arabic has acquired this order under the influence of Uzbek and Tajik. Both of these languages have the SOV order and Uzbekistani Arabic has been in contact with these languages for a long time.

The following examples (14a & 15a) are Kh. Arabic sentences with SOV word order.

Example 14

'We had locked the kitchen door, too.'
a.Kh. Arabic [Listen to example]
c.Persian [Listen to example]

Example 15

'The little girl cleaned the room.'
a.Kh. Arabic [Listen to example]
DEF-little girlDEF-roomcleaned-3SG.F-3SG.F
DEF-little girlcleaned-3SG.FDEF-room
c.Persian [Listen to example]
little girlroomOMcleandid-3SG

Now compare the above examples from Kh. Arabic with (14c & 15c) from Persian. The order of examples (14a & 15a) is the same as (14c & 15c).