Get to know the various forms & regional varieties of Palestinian Arabic.


Dialects are distinguished on the basis of isoglosses. However, the distribution of different distinguishing features of dialects do not always overlap.

قال وقلنا

The primary dialectal isogloss has a name in Arabic that is pronounced in accordance with the speaker's dialect: قال وقلنا. This isogloss is the first basis for the distinction between Urban dialects, Rural dialects, Bedouin dialects & Druze dialects.

  • Urban Palestinian: /ʔaːl/
  • Rural Palestinian: /kaːl/
  • Bedouin Palestinian: /gaːl/
  • Druze Palestinian: /qaːl/

Other isoglosses highlight a distinction between one variety versus the others.

Interdentals to Stops

  • Urban Palestinian: /timm/
  • non-Urban Palestinian: /θimm/

De-Affrication of /dʒ/

  • Urban Palestinian: /ʒaːr/
  • non-Urban Palestinian: /dʒaːr/

Affrication of /k/

  • Rural Palestinian: /tʃalb/
  • non-Rural Palestinian: /kalb/


The second primary isogloss is less sociolectal & more geographic, marking a transition from the southern varieties of Levantine Arabic to the northern ones; this is the pronounciation of ة.

  • Central Rural Palestinian: /a/
  • Central Urban Palestinian: /e/
  • Northern Palestinian: /i/


A third isogloss of unclear distribution is the quality of the close vowel (either /i/ or /u/) in certain CvCC terms. It is not clear to what extent the pronunciation of all such terms is linked — if at all — or whether this is feature linked to the pronunciation of other terms like باكل vs. بوكل.

  • i-Dialects: /ħilm/ /ʕilbe/ /yħibb/
  • u-Dialects: /ħulm/ /ʕulbe/ /yħubb/