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What kind of word is حُرِّيّةٌ in Arabic?

In Arabic, abstract words related to politics, economics or science like حُرِّيّةٌ often follow a certain model: the مصدر صناعيّ

Last updated: July 14, 2022

It is an artificial infinitive noun (مَصْدَرٌ صِناعِيٌّ), an artificial infinitive noun.

Let’s pick out the suffix يّ of حُرِّيّةٌ and think for a moment where else it appears. In Arabic, we call such words a Nisba (نِسْبةٌ or اِسْمٌ مَنْسُوبٌ).

You add يّ to any اِسْمٌ and get a word that can be used as an adjective (صِفةٌ), often to de­note that someone is from a certain country or has a special profession. For example, Egyptian (مِصْرِيٌّ/مِصْرِيّةٌ).

Now, if we add a ة to a Nisba resulting in يَّة, it becomes a noun indicating an abstract meaning which it did not have before this augmentation.

We produced a so-called artificial infinitive noun (مصدر صناعي).

Many of such words describe abstract political, economic, or scientific terms (chemistry, biology).

Some examples:

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What kind of word is حُرِّيّةٌ in Arabic? 8

picture credit: pexels/pixabay

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