Broken Plurals in the Muscat Dialect of Omani Arabic

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University of Victoria, 2004 - 268 pages
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This thesis examines one of the most intriguing and much studied phenomena in Semitic known as the broken plural formation. It has a twofold goal. It documents the diverse shapes of broken plurals in the Muscat dialect of Omani Arabic. Furthermore, it provides a formal analysis to the shapes and vocalism contained in these word forms within Optimality Theory framework (Prince and Smolensky 1993; McCarthy and Prince 1993a & 1993b). Following proposals by McCarthy (2000), this thesis assumes that the distinction between the singulars and broken plural shapes is better represented as 'affixed mora (p)' attached at a certain locus in broken plural forms. The analysis of the vocalism characterizing broken plural forms addresses two distinct types of fixed vocalism: phonological and specified. Fixed vocalism is demonstrated to result from an interaction between conflicting alignment and CrispEdge constraints (It6 and Mester 1999) together with *Place markedness constraints.

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