(ﺽ) is one of the six letters the Arabic alphabet
added to the twenty-two inherited from the Phoenician alphabet
(the others being , , , , ). It represents an emphatic voiced alveolar plosive
(dˤ). In name and shape, it is a variant of . Based on ancient descriptions of this sound, it appears to have represented /ɮˤ/ in Qur'anic Arabic
a pharyngealized voiced alveolar lateral fricative
(It is said that the Prophet Muhammad
pronounced it with both sides of his tongue)
This is an extremely unusual sound, and led the early Arabic grammarians to describe Arabic
as the "language of the ", since the sound was thought to be unique to Arabic. South Semitic
, however, also continues the phoneme, as South Arabian
, and Ge'ez ፀ
(also transliterated ḍappa).
is written in several ways depending in its position in the word:
In some reconstructions of Proto-Semitic phonology, there is an emphatic voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, (ɬˁ), featuring as the direct ancestor of Arabic , while merging with in most other Semitic languages.