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Stress and Epenthesis in Alatawalah Arabic: Classical versus Stratal OT

Alzhrani, Majed (2020) Stress and Epenthesis in Alatawalah Arabic: Classical versus Stratal OT. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study provides a comprehensive description of lexical stress and vowel epenthesis in Alatawalah Arabic (AA), a variety spoken in the village of Alatawalah southwest of Saudi Arabia, which has never been studied before. It presents and compares an account of both processes in classical Optimality Theory (OT) and stratal OT. Stress can be a purely phonological process in many words in AA. Yet, on the other hand, morphology affects it greatly, to the extent that stress-based minimal pairs such as /ˈmak.ta.bəh/ ‘library’ and /mak.ˈta.bəh/ ‘his office’, figure in the dialect. A substantial number of affixes triggers different stress requirements, namely, the repulsion of stress, and forcing it to be placed on the rightmost foot. Such affixal stress requirements lead to the rise of degenerate feet, and the inability of heavy syllables to attract stress. Intriguingly, affixal stress requirements may also clash, resulting in some affix’s stress requirement, blocking that of another. Vowel epenthesis prohibits unsyllabified consonants, onset clusters, and word-final geminates in AA words. Vowel epenthesis that remedies the prohibition on word-final geminates has never been attested before in any Arabic dialect. Furthermore, only the AA variety can have up to three epenthetic vowels per word. In addition, the epenthesis process is shown to be optionally applied, in specific environments, suggesting a form of opacity. Despite the extensive interaction of morphology with stress, and the opacity of vowel epenthesis, I demonstrate full classical and stratal OT accounts for both processes. Stratal OT is shown to be superior to classical OT, and is also shown to provide an insightful explanation as to why some stress requirements can be blocked in specific environments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Majed Alzhrani
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 15:30
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 15:30
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28285

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