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Title: The prosodic phonology of Central Kurdish
Authors: Hamid, Twana Saadi
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis investigates the prosodic structure of Central Kurdish; a language whose phonology and prosody is poorly studied. Within the framework of Optimality Theory, rhythmic categories (mora, syllable and foot) and prosody-morphology interface category (Prosodic Word) of the language is addressed. The thesis also includes comparing the prosodic units (below phonological phrase) with the parametric variation for each constituent. This study fills the gap in the work of the prosodic system of Central Kurdish and on its phonology as such. Based on the data, the thesis also assesses the conflicting sub-theories of prosodic phonology: the view which sees phonological representation as a hierarchical organisation of units of which the higher prosodic units are defined in terms of lower ones against a different view which argues against constituency in phonology. Being theoretical in nature, the researcher’s intuition as a native speaker of the language under study is used for the description of the data. The validity of the data is being supported and cross-examined by the descriptive literature on the language. As it is described as the best method for interpreting prosodic phonology, Optimality Theory is used as the framework to analyse the data. The supporting evidence for each prosodic constituent is drawn from the (morpho)phonological processes that use the categories as the domain of their application. As the research question investigated covers a broad area in the prosody of Central Kurdish, the findings were wide-ranging and multi-layered. First, it was found that sequences of speech sounds are organised into constituents, which serve as the domain of certain phonological processes. Each prosodic constituent consists of at least a constituent of the lower constituent. Similar to syntactic categories, it was shown that prosodic categories (above syllable and foot) can be recursive and parsing can be non-exhaustive. Mora, though not a prosodic constituent within the prosodic hierarchy, can be sensitive to certain morphological processes and insensitive to phonological processes, i.e. sensitivity of processes can be a process-specific rather than language-specific. The significance of the findings of this thesis is twofold. First, it is the first analytical prosodic study of Central Kurdish. Second, which is theoretical, Prosodic structure, at least for Prosodic Word, matches a syntactic constituent
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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