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Title:The Phonology of Maani Arabic Stratal or Parallel OT
Authors: Belal A. Rakhieh
Abstract:Accounting for the phonology of Ma?ani Arabic, a JA dialect that has never
previously been studied, and supporting the superiority of Stratal Optimality Theory
over other parallel Optimality Theory models, i.e. classic, Sympathy and
Correspondence, are the main purposes of this dissertation. This dissertation is
dedicated to the investigation of the phonology of Ma?ani Arabic. Special attention
is given on stress assignment, vowel epenthesis, syncope, geminates and the
interaction of these processes.
Authentic examples from Ma?ani Arabic and other Arabic dialects show that
the interaction of phonology and morphology is inevitable. In chapter three, the
transparent stress assignment rules is comprehensively investigated and accounted
Segment epenthesis is investigated in chapter four, where two types are
identified, i.e. lexical and postlexical. Prosthetic /i/, which is inserted before the
imperative form, and the epenthetic vowel /i/, which breaks sequences of four medial
consonant clusters, are lexical. The epenthetic /i/, which breaks medial three
consonant clusters and final antisonority clusters, is postlexical.
The dissertation addresses syncope and vowel shortening in chapter five. It is
argued that the high short vowel deletion is a lexical process that takes place at both
the stem and word levels. Vowel shortening in open and closed syllables takes place
at the stem level only.
An account is developed in chapter six to explain the nature of geminates in
Ma?ani Arabic. It is argued that there are two types of geminates in Arabic, i.e. true
and fake geminates. True geminates are underlyingly moraic, while fake geminates
are sequences of identical consonants which result form a constraint that prohibits
high short vowels between identical consonants.
Ma?ani Arabic is compared to other Jordanian dialects and to other
neighbouring dialects through out this dissertation. When certain phonological
phenomena are active in Ma?ani and other Arabic dialects, this dissertation tries to
uncover the underlying reasons especially when these phenomena behave differently
in one of the dialects.
Finally, chapter seven summarises the main outcomes of the current
dissertation and gives some recommendations for future research.
Area/Keywords:phonology, arabic, ma'ani, morphology
Article:Version 1