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 The Stress System of Casablanca Moroccan Arabic

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Date d'inscription : 25/11/2009
Age : 28

MessageSujet: The Stress System of Casablanca Moroccan Arabic   Lun 30 Nov - 18:11

1. INTRODUCTION
One of the least studied linguistic phenomena in MA phonology is stress. Except for the impressionistic study of Abdelmassih (1973), it was not until the beginning of the 80’s that Moroccan scholars started studying stress, especially in the work of Benkirane (1982). This work was subsequently followed by other works such as Benkaddour (1982), Hammoumi (1988), Benhallam (1990b), El Hadri (1993), Fares (1993), and Nejmi (1993, 1995). The objective of this chapter is to enrich the research on MA stress both from an empirical side by doing instrumental work and also from the theoretical side by applying the OT principles to account for stress assignment.
Any analysis of MA stress has to distinguish between the epenthetic schwa [ə] and the underlying full vowels /i, u, a/. Such a distinction is very important in the sense that it helps characterize syllable weight which is a decisive factor in a number of stress systems. Works such as Benkirane (1982), Bennis (1992), Al Ghadi (1994) and Boudlal (to appear a) maintain that, in MA, a light syllable of the type CV (where V is a full vowel) is equivalent to CəC, which should also be considered as light. If this is so, it follows that the weight distinction needed to account for MA stress is one between the heavy CVC syllable and the light CV and CəC syllables. Further support to this claim will be given in this chapter.
In the present chapter we will show that the location of stress depends on whether or not the items considered occur in isolation or in context. The stress patterns obtained from words in isolation show that CMA is a quantity sensitive system which favors trochaic feet. we will also show that the fact that stress falls on one of the last two syllables of a word follows from the constraint requiring the alignment of the right edge of the foot containing the stressed syllable with the right edge of the prosodic word. When the word occurs in context, stress falls consistently on the final syllable, a fact that calls for an iambic type of analysis.
The chapter is organized as follows. In section 2, we present a review of the literature on MA stress. In section 3, we lay down an empirical basis of stress in CMA. The objective of this section is to quantify the native speakers’ intuition about the location of stress in CMA. In section 4, we undertake an instrumental test to see whether the results obtained here match up with those obtained from the quantitative test. Finally, in section 5, we offer an OT based analysis.
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