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Title: Topics in the phonology of Northern Najdi Arabic : an optimality theoretic analysis
Authors: Alshammari, Khalid Khulaif
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores selected topics in the phonology of Northern Najdi Arabic (NNA), a dialect spoken in the region of Ḥā’il in Saudi Arabia, and provides a formal analysis within the framework of Optimality Theory (OT). Although this variety of Arabic has been briefly studied from a descriptive perspective by Abboud (1979), the selected topics have never undergone a formal analysis before. This study has two broad goals. The first is to enrich the literature, not only in terms of linguistic theory but also the field of Arabic dialectology, by presenting a range of new data from NNA that linguists have access to. The second is to enhance the field of Arabic phonology by investigating various phonological processes and analysing them through current phonological theories. To reach this goal, the current study describes the major phonological generalisations of NNA, focusing on syllable structure and syllabification patterns, consonant clusters, and stress assignment and foot construction. The current study is comprised of six chapters. The first chapter provides some preliminaries, a background to NNA, and a general introduction to the current study. The second chapter introduces the main phonological theories that are implemented in the analysis of the phonological phenomena throughout the thesis. The third chapter offers a comprehensive discussion and analysis of the syllable structure and syllabification patterns in NNA under Moraic Theory, with special attention given to the treatment of superheavy syllables wordinternally and finally. The fourth chapter presents the formation of consonant clusters in tautosyllabic and heterosyllabic contexts. It also focuses on the ban of some initial and final consonant clusters and the internal triconsonantal clusters that are subject to certain restrictions and phonological processes, such as the Obligatory Contour Principle, the Sonority Sequencing Principle, and vowel epenthesis. The fifth chapter provides a detailed description and analysis of transparent stress assignment and foot construction in NNA under Metrical Stress Theory. The final chapter summarises all of the chapters, concentrating on the main findings of the current study and laying out some recommendations for future studies.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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