I know that the Hebrew letter 'daleth' originates from the word for 'door', indeed the Modern Hebrew word for door is 'dalet'.

Is there an Arabic word for door from this same root - d-l-t or d-l-th? Do we find it in the Qur'an or other Islamic literature?

  • 1
    I think the name of the letter dal would be a cognate
    – b a
    Jan 30 '19 at 12:21
  • 2
    If it does exist it wouldn't be d-l-th, since Arabic th corresponds to Hebrew sh.
    – TKR
    Jan 30 '19 at 17:26

Short answer: I don't know of any, and haven't been able to find any.

Longer answer: the Hebrew word is דלת (d-l-th), pronounced délet in Modern Hebrew. Strong derives it from a root דלה (d-l-h) meaning "to swing"; Wiktionary doesn't link it to a root and instead says it goes back to Proto-Semitic *dalt "door". It seems to be cognate with Akkadian daltu and Aramaic dalthā, which means regardless of anything else it's probably inherited rather than loaned.

The Arabic equivalent of Hebrew d-l-th would be d-l-t; Hebrew lost the Proto-Semitic /θ/ (merging it into /ʃ/) and then gained it back through a sound change called "begadkefat spirantization". Arabic on the other hand kept almost all the original consonants and didn't do begadkefat spirantization. Long story short, a th in Hebrew (without exception?) corresponds to a t in Arabic.

Unfortunately, I've never heard of an Arabic word with the consonants d-l-t, and searching for دلت shows nothing relevant. If Strong is right, the root was actually d-l-h, but a search for that shows nothing relevant either.

Therefore, I feel relatively confident in saying that this root did not survive in Arabic.

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