Broken plural formation in Moroccan Arabic: a stratal optimality theory account

Nirheche, Ali (2021) Broken plural formation in Moroccan Arabic: a stratal optimality theory account. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The plurals of Moroccan Arabic in general are divided into two types: sound and broken. The former is formed through a process of suffixation, while the latter usually involves an internal change in the singular stem (Harrel, 1962). Phonological patterning in broken plurals is complex. The only unified account of Moroccan Arabic broken plural formation has been proposed by Al Ghadi (1990) using the framework of Autosegmental Theory. As for Classical Arabic, McCarthy and Prince (1990) proposed a theory of Prosodic Morphology to account for broken plurals. Later, McCarthy (1997) proposed an analysis of this phenomenon using OUTPUT-OUTPUT correspondence in Optimality Theory. While these proposals are successful in accounting for some broken plural patterns in Classical Arabic, this thesis shows that they are insufficient to account for broken plural formation in Moroccan Arabic. A Stratal OT analysis of this phenomenon is proposed as an alternative account. The thesis adopts the representational assumptions made by Al Ghadi (1990) regarding the syllable template of Moroccan Arabic. The analysis proposed assumes that there are two main levels to broken plural formation: the stem level and the word level. At the stem level, the infixation of the broken plural morpheme takes place, while syllabification and epenthesis occur at the word level. Therefore, this thesis provides an attempt to account for the major broken plural patterns in Moroccan Arabic, i.e. CCVC, CCVCa, and CCVCeC, using Stratal OT (Kiparsky, 2000; Bermúdez-Otero, 2003; Rubach, 2003; among others). The analysis proposed makes use of faithfulness constraints that require identity between inputs and outputs of each level (e.g. MAX-IO, DEP-IO, CONTIGUITY, and so on) and markedness constraints that regulate the prosodic well-formedness of Moroccan Arabic broken plural forms (e.g. ONSET, ALIGN, and so on).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15094
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 96-100).
Keywords: Moroccan Arabic, Stratal OT, Broken Plural
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Arabic language--Morocco--Number; Optimality theory (Linguistics).

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