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Title:Syncope and Epenthesis in Levantine Arabic: A Nonlinear Approach
Author(s):Alghazo, Mohammad Hamdan
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:The nonconcatenative morphology of Arabic played a prominent role in the development of CV phonology. McCarthy (1979, 1981) showed that many Arabic word formation rules can be conceived of as stipulating a CV template to which the segmental phonemes are autosegmentally mapped. In addition, he showed that the Semitic root pattern system can be reduced to the assumption that radical consonants and vowels are on separate tiers representing different morphemes. The development of underspecification theory (Archangeli 1984) made it possible for the radical consonants and the vowels to be minimally specified in the lexicon, and for the phonological rules to apply and refer to tiers rather than the whole representations. In this study, we argue that the above assumptions are essential: First, to explain an otherwise problematic set of alternations found in some Modern Levantine Arabic dialects; and second, to provide an explanation for the effects of emphatic consonants on other neighboring segments in various Arabic dialects.
The assumptions made in this study are: (1) The syncope rule deletes a mere V slot from the skeletal tier and the vowel associated with it remains floating. (2) Epenthesis rules insert an empty slot which will be (a) associated with a floating vowel if available; (b) otherwise, associated with a high stem vowel; (c) otherwise, associated with an empty matrix. Redundancy rules of different types will fill in the values of the front vowel i in the empty matrix. (3) The interaction between redundancy and phonological rules will provide the desired epenthetic vowel u in emphatic contexts and prevent the same vowel in the same contexts from getting rounded when (a) syncope feeds epenthesis within a stem or (b) the stem vowel is the high front i. Evidence and arguments for assumptions (1) and (2) are presented in Chapter (3), and those for assumption (3) are presented in Chapter (4). Chapter (1) serves as an introduction to the study, and Chapter (2) briefly discusses syncope and epenthesis rules.
Issue Date:1987
Description:202 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721572
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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