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  • In Arabic and Maltese, the consonants are divided into two groups, called the sun letters or solar letters and moon letters or lunar letters, based on whether or not they assimilate the letter lām of a preceding definite article al-. These names come from the fact that the word for 'the sun', al-shams, pronounced ash-shams, assimilates the lām, while the word for 'the moon', al-qamar, does not.