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Evolutionary Syntax

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Academic Paper

Title: Syllabification patterns in Arabic dialects: long segments and mora sharing
Author: Janet C.E. Watson
Institution: University of Salford
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Arabic, Standard
Abstract: In Classical Arabic and many modern Arabic dialects, syllables ending in VVC or in the left leg of a geminate have a special status. An examination of Kiparsky's (2003) semisyllable account of syllabification types and related phenomena in Arabic against a wider set of data shows that while this account explains much syllable-related variation, certain phenomena cannot be captured, and several dialects appear to exhibit conflicting syllable-related phenomena. Phenomena not readily covered by the semisyllable account commonly involve long segments – long vowels or geminate consonants. In this paper, I propose for relevant dialects a mora-sharing solution that recognises the special status of syllables incorporating long segments. Such a mora-sharing solution is not new, but has been proposed for the analysis of syllables containing long segments in a number of languages, including Arabic (Broselow 1992, Broselow 1995), Malayalam, Hindi (Broselow 1997) and Bantu languages (Maddieson 1993, Hubbard 1995).


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 24, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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