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LINGUIST List 23.2511

Tue May 29 2012

Diss: Arabic/Semitic/Morphology: Gaber: 'An Optimality Theory Account of the Non-concatenative Morphology of ... '

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 25-May-2012
From: GABER GABER <gmeftahhotmail.com>
Subject: An Optimality Theory Account of the Non-concatenative Morphology of the Nominal System of Libyan Arabic, with Special Reference to the Broken Plural
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Institution: University of Durham
Program: School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Arabic Department
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Gaber Gaber

Dissertation Title: An Optimality Theory Account of the Non-concatenative Morphology of the Nominal System of Libyan Arabic, with Special Reference to the Broken Plural

Dissertation URL: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/3511/

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (arb)
Language Family(ies): Semitic

Dissertation Director:
Daniel Newman

Dissertation Abstract:

This work presents a full and unified investigation of the phenomenon of
non-concatenative nominal morphology in Libyan Arabic (LA), with special
reference to the formation of the broken plural (BP). The analysis
provides a morphophonological account of morphologically derived words in
LA. It is based on two main ideas: the first is specifying the input for
the derivational morphological process which represents the underlying
structure of the derived word; the second is to account for the
phonological constraints which interact with each other on the underlying
structure in order to determine the optimal output for the derived word.

In contrast to previous studies which fail to recognize derivational
morphological processes and consequently cannot identify the nature of the
input of the derived word, this thesis identifies the input as the starting
point to justify the resulting derived output.

This thesis argues that the nature of the input in non-concatenative
morphology must be accounted for first. The morphological process starts
when elements of the input which are carried over to the output are
identified, and the specified derivational morphemes are supplied. These
together form the underlying structure of any derived word. The underlying
structure of the derived word in this thesis is considered to be the string
of root consonants and any morphological component associated with the
input, plus the derivational morphemes of the intended morphological
process. As a consequence of identifying the nature of the input, the
template which has been associated with Arabic language, is revealed in
this thesis that it is not a primitive but rather it is an artefact of the
phonology operating on morphological products. Thus, phonology has no role
in the underlying structure, but comes into play to repair any ill-formed
surfaced structure. The types of constraints which operate on the outputs
are phonological constraints concerning markedness and faithfulness
constraints. The function of markedness constraints is to maintain the
well-formedness of the output, while the function of faithfulness
constraints is to preserve the morphological identity of the components of
the underlying structure.

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