Syllable Structure in Rumthawi Arabic

Naser N. AlBzour


This paper aims at investigating some phonological aspects of syllable structure in Rumthawi Arabic, a Levantine variety spoken in the northern region of Jordan. It basically sheds light on the OT constraint interaction that determines the surfacing onsets and codas of syllables in this dialect. The scope of this paper is more specifically confined to examining the optimal candidates that surface when the definite article morpheme is prefixed. It thus proves that OT constraints in RA interact in an interestingly distinctive way that triggers divergence and sometimes convergence with other dialects due to the parametrical ranking of these constraints in this dialect unlike some other dialects. It is hoped that this humble endeavor will give insight to many interested researchers to deeply investigate various phonological aspects of this dialect.

Keywords: optimality, syllable structure, onset, coda, epenthesis, constraints, faithfulness, markedness

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