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Phonology-Morphology Interaction in Abha Arabic: Vowel Processes in Stratal Optimality Theory

Alqahtani, Demah (2020) Phonology-Morphology Interaction in Abha Arabic: Vowel Processes in Stratal Optimality Theory. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on phonological processes that result from phonology-morphology interaction in Abha Arabic, which is a variety spoken in the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia. The main motivations are providing an account of vowel processes in Abha Arabic and testing Stratal OT’s ability to account for vowel epenthesis, vowel lengthening, and vowel shortening. The Stratal OT framework is put to the test to see if it can account for opacity, which proved to be problematic for different frameworks. It is established, with examples from Abha Arabic, that opaque processes that result from attaching affixes and morpheme interaction across word boundaries can be accounted for in the Stratal OT framework. Accounting for the different behaviours of epenthetic vowels needs a framework with different levels. Repairing consonant clusters provided a rich source for the analysis because they are repaired in many different ways in the dialect under study. The position and the quality of the epenthetic vowel vary based on the level these clusters are repaired at. Stratal OT is able to make use of the different levels to account for the inconsistency in epenthetic vowels behaviour. Moreover, two other vowel processes result after morphological operations take place, i.e. vowel lengthening and vowel shortening. Both processes take place after attaching different suffixes. In some cases, attaching two phonologically similar suffixes can either trigger a change in vowel length or not. The failure of the change in vowel length in the triggering environment is considered as an opaque interaction. Furthermore, some suffixes can change stems’ vowel quality, while other phonologically similar suffixes cannot do that. A framework with different levels, like Stratal OT, can explain that the effect of attaching affixes differs based on the level they are attached at. This conclusion supports the need for levels to account for opacity resulting from phonology-morphology interaction caused by attaching affixes at different levels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Demah Alqahtani
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 13:42
Last Modified: 18 May 2020 13:42
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27553

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