Phonological Variation and Change in Morroccan Arabic

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The book is an investigation of a wide range of categorical and variable phonological phenomena in Moroccan Arabic within the constraint-based framework of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993, McCarthy and Prince 1993).

The major assumptions of Optimality Theory are reevaluated in an examination of several characteristics of Tazi Moroccan Arabic segmental phonology in comparison to Average Moroccan Arabic: contrasts in the segmental inventory, lenition/ fortition processes, vowel height shifts and the vowel reduction to schwa.

The main goal in this book is to examine the role of representational assumptions in a constraint-based theory of phonology.

Many generalizations traditionally expressed in feature geometry as a set of invariant representational pre-conditions are better formalized non-representationally as substantive constraints on the output.

In this book, the notions of gradient surface markedness are essential.

Extending initial proposals of Selkirk (1991, 1995) and Clements and Hume (1995), well-defined families of universal constraints that target classes of features and express surface feature cooccurrence and markedness restrictions are suggested.

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