This article proposes that the ’imāla phenomenon was an innovation in the Najd region. The non-’imāla form was the traditional form because it is the vowel production in the available Ancient North Arabian data. The article will separate the use of ’imāla as an assimilatory vowel from the Najdi non-assimilatory production by analyzing the testimonial data in the traditional books of grammar. Finally, the article will use the available genealogical literature to establish an approximate chronology for the innovation and to justify the spread of the innovation among the pre-Islamic tribes.
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