|Native to||Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria|
|18 million (2011-2020)|
Areas where Najdi Arabic is spoken.
Najdi Arabic (Arabic: اللهجة النجدية) is the group of Arabic varieties originating from the Najd region of Saudi Arabia. The group includes the majority of bedouin tribes historically residing in deserts surrounding Najd, and as a result several regions surrounding Najd, including the Eastern Province, Al Jawf, Najran, and Northern Borders Regions are now mostly Najdi-speaking. Outside of Saudi Arabia, it is also the main Arabic variety spoken in the Syrian Desert of Iraq, Jordan, and Syria (with the exception of Palmyra oasis and settlements dotting the Euphrates, where Mesopotamian Arabic is spoken) as well as the westernmost part of Kuwait. Najdi dialects are classified as Bedouin dialects.
Najdi Arabic can be divided into four region-based groups:
Here is a table of the consonant sounds of Najdi Arabic. The phones [p] ⟨پ⟩ and [v] ⟨ڤ⟩ (not used by all speakers) are not considered to be part of the phonemic inventory, as they exist only in foreign words and can be pronounced as /b/ and /f/ respectively depending on the speaker.
Unless adjacent to /ɣ x h ħ ʕ/, /a/ is raised in open syllables to [i], [ɨ], or [u], depending on neighboring sounds. Remaining /a/ may become fronted to [æ~ɛ] in the context of front sounds, as well as adjacent to the pharyngeals /ħ ʕ/.
Najdi Arabic exhibits the so-called gahawa syndrome, insertion of epenthetic /a/ after (/h x, ɣ ħ, ʕ/). For example, [gahwah] > [gahawah].
When short /a/ appears in an open syllable that is followed by a nonfinal light syllable, it is deleted. For example, /saħab-at/ is realized as [sˈħa.bat]. This, combined with the gahawa syndrome can make underlying sequence of /a/ and a following guttural consonant (/h x, ɣ ħ, ʕ/) to appear metathesized, e.g. /ʕistaʕʒal/ ('got in a hurry') [ʕistˈʕaʒal].
Short high vowels are deleted in non-final open syllables, such as /tirsil-uːn/ ('you [m. sg.] send') [tirsˈluːn].
There is both limited distributional overlap and free variation between [i] and [u], with the latter being more likely in the environment of bilabials, pharyngealized consonants, and /r/.
The mid vowels /eː oː/ are typically monophthongs, though they can be pronounced as diphthongs when preceding a plosive, e.g. /beːt/ ('house') [beit]. [ei]
Najdi Arabic sentence structure can have the word order VSO and SVO, however, VSO usually occurs more often. NA morphology is distinguished by three categories which are: nouns ism, verb fial, and particle harf. Ism means name in Arabic and it corresponds to nouns and adjectives in English. Fial means action in Arabic and it corresponds to verbs. Harf means letter and corresponds to pronouns, demonstratives, prepositions, conjunctions and articles.
Verbs are inflected for number, gender, person, tense, aspect and transitives. Nouns show number (singular and plural) and gender (masculine and feminine).
Complementizers in NA have three different classes which are: relative particle, declarative particle, and interrogative particles. The three different complementizers that are used in Najdi Arabic are: illi, in, itha.
Main article: Negation in Arabic
Two particles are used in negation, which are: ma and la. These particles come before the verb in verbal sentences. ma is used with all verbal sentences but la is used with imperative verb forms indicating present and future tense.
Najdi Arabic exhibits a number of discourse particles whose main function is to mark different tenses and aspects, including the perfective, imperfective, and progressive aspects. These speech particles "form a link between the time of occurrence of the verb and a point of reference not concurrent with it".  cites six "relative time markers":
Most of these discourse particles are preverbal, yet a few of them can show up in non-verbal sentences. These discourse particles have a number of features when they show up in speech:
The following examples illustrate the use of these discourse particles in Najdi Arabic:
'you are still a bedouin'
ħaːmid ʕaːd ʃiftih
Hamid still see.PERF.3SG
'have you seen Hamid any more?'
leːn sˤirt maː ʕaːd aħiss biʔajj farɡ
until become.PERF.1SG NEG longer 1SG-feel-IMPERF any difference
'until I could no longer feel any difference'
maː ʕaːd ʃiftih
NEG longer see.PERF.3SG
'I have not seen him anymore'
'they are still talking'
'they are still here'
maː baʕad ligeːt aħdin jwasˤsˤilha
NEG yet find.PERF.1SG anyone send.IMPERF.3SG
'I have not yet found anyone to send it'
ila l-ħiːn maː 'baʕad garrart ʃajj
to now NEG yet decide.PERF.3SG thing
'up till now I have not yet decided anything'
taww nuːrah hnajja
just Nurah here
'Nurah was just here'
'he has just arrived'
In addition to these, [d͡zid] ('already') may occur before the main verb[page needed] to convey that something has been done but is no longer the case (equivalent to the experiential perfect in English). There are a number of meanings of [d͡zid] depending on context:
The following examples illustrate the use of the particle [d͡zid]:
hu d͡zid ritsib
he EXP ride.PERF.3SG
'He has ridden'
int d͡zid d͡ʒiː-ta-hum gabul
you already come.PERF.2SG.3PL before
'You have visited them before' (I think)'
maː d͡zid ʃif-t-ih
NEG EXP see.PERF.1SG-3SG
'I have never seen him'
ana laħaɡ-t-kum laːkin d͡zid taʕaddeː-tu l-kullijjah
I follow.PERF-1SG-2PL but EXP pass.PER-.2PL DEF-college
'I came after you, but you had already turned the corner of the college'
In addition, the progressive aspect is marked by the particle [qaʕid] ('to sit').[page needed] The particle [qaʕid] surfaces with a verb in the imperfective aspect but cannot surface with a verb in the perfective aspect, as shown in the following two sentences:
ɡaʔid ja-ɡra al-kitaab
AUX 3SG.MASC-read.IMPERF DEF.book
'he is reading the book'
*ɡaʔid ɡara al-kitaab
AUX read.PERF.3SG DEF-book
'he is reading the book'
The progressive aspect in Najdi Arabic (as well as other dialects is expressed by the imperfective form of the verb, often preceded by the active particle [qaʕid].Holes (1990)[page needed] The following examples to illustrate the use of [qaʕid] to express the progressive aspect:
qaʕid aːlʕab kuːrah
sit.ACT.PTCP.3SG.M play.IPFV.3SG.M soccer
'I am playing soccer'
'I am walking'