Exceptional Arabic Diminutive Forms of Nouns with [aa]: An Optimality-Theoretic Analysis

  •  Albatool Mohammed Abalkheel    


Most diminutive forms in Arabic adhere in their derivation to certain simple phonological and morphological processes without any complications. However, there are exceptions to be found, including diminutive forms of nouns with [aa] in which the segment [w] surfaces. Using Optimality Theory (OT) as a framework and using syllable weight as a base of analysis, this study aims to provide an accurate explanation of such phenomena. This work will show that the root of words with [w] is not simply biconsonantal with an emphatic segment (i.e., [w]) inserted to fill the empty onset. Instead, the root is triconsonantal in which [w] is an essential segment. It also reveals that syllable-weight constraint is inviolable in Arabic dialects.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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