Tikhonova Oksana V., Maznyak M.M. Peculiar Use of the Arabic Letters tāʾ и ẓāʾ for Conveying Sounds Denoted by the Latin Letter t in Portuguese Manuscripts in Aljamia Dated Back to the 16th century
Unlike Spanish aljamiado (texts in Spanish in Arabic script), which is represented by a great number of texts, both theological and fictional, Portuguese Aljamia (texts in Portuguese in Arabic script) is represented only by eight documents. All of them belong to the period of Portuguese rule in the city of Safi, Morocco (1508–1542). In the article, we analyze the use of the Arabic letters tāʾ и ẓāʾ for conveying sounds denoted by the Latin letter t in the mentioned documents. D. Lopes included these two Arabic letters in the table of transliteration standards for Aljamia texts when publishing these manuscripts, even though the published texts contain other Arabic letters that D. Lopes transliterates as t.
In this function, the letter tāʾ is most commonly used not only in Portuguese documents, but also in Spanish aljamiado. The letter tāʾ in Arabic texts denotes the occlusive obstruent voiceless consonant [t]. For conveying the sounds denoted by the Latin t, the letter ẓāʾ is also used. In Arabic, it denotes the obstruent voiced fricative consonant [ẓ]. In addition to tāʾ и ẓāʾ, D. Lopes transliterates the letter ṭāʾ as t. In Arabic, this letter denotes the occlusive obstruent voiceless consonant [ṭ]. The letters з̣а̄’(ظ) and т̣а̄’(ط) are not typical for Spanish aljamiado. In rare cases, we can find Arabic letters tha:’, ṣād, sīn, or dāl designated by the Latin t.
There are a number of words where ṭāʾ and ẓāʾ alternate. In some cases, this alternation can be explained by a mistake made by the author or the copyist, who may have forgotten to put a full stop over the letter ẓāʾ. However, in addition to this alternation, we can find an alternation of ṭāʾ and tāʾ, which cannot be explained by the copyist’s lack of concentration. There are a number of words where all the indicated letters alternate: ṭāʾ, ẓāʾ, and tāʾ. In some examples, the letters tāʾ and ẓāʾ are used to convey the sounds denoted by the Latin letter d.