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Title: Syllable structure and syllabification in Al'ain Libyan Arabic
Authors: Hwaidi, Tamader
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The variety of Arabic under investigation is one of the dialects spoken in a town on the Western Mountain (Nafuusa Mountain) in Libya. Its phonological characteristics are clearly different from what Harrama (1993) called the “Al-Jabal dialect,” which the inhabitants of the Western Mountain claim to speak. The current study is concerned with a variety spoken in the town of Riyayna (Or Alriyayna); mainly, Al’ain (henceforth identified as ALA). The objective of this thesis is to contribute a description of the phonology of a previously unexamined dialect, under a moraic approach. This approach has been adopted as the prominent role of the mora that has been established in literature by accounting for various phonological phenomena, such as vowel epenthesis (Itô, 1989) and compensatory lengthening (Hayes, 1989) (see Watson 2002). Thus, it is claimed for example, that the loss of the glottal stop in ALA is repaired by compensatory lengthening in words, such as: /biːr/ ~ /bɪʔr/, /raːs/ ~ /rʌʔs/, /juːmɪn/ ~ /joʔmɪn/ to satisfy the minimal moraicity requirement, or by gemination: /mɪjjah ~ mɪʔah/, /rɪjjah/ ~ /rɪʔah/ to satisfy the restriction of vowel-initial syllables, utterance-internally. Although, the main aim of the thesis is to examine the syllable inventories and syllabification process in ALA, focus is placed on initial consonant clusters that are claimed to exist in a cluster-resistant dialect, where it is argued that such clusters strictly occur in certain environments. Emphatics and emphatic allophones are also phonologically investigated claiming that, in addition to the four emphatic consonants, emphatic vowels (/ʌ/ and /ɑː/ in ALA) also exist in the dialect and similarly cause emphasis spread. Vowel-initial syllables is another issue whose existence in ALA is asserted in this study demonstrating that although they might surface with a glottal-stop-like gesture, they should still be treated as underlying onsetless syllables because their behaviour is different from syllables that underlyingly begin with a glottal stop. Finally, stress assignment procedures in ALA are interesting in following many North African dialects by ignoring, in many cases, syllable weight and having a tendency to stress final syllables. This is also expressed in the study.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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