On the Moraic Weight Representation of Geminates in Taguinian Algerian Arabic

Meymouna Bourzeg, Radwan S. Mahadin


This study sheds light on the moraic representation of geminates in Taguinian Spoken Arabic (TSA), a dialect of Algerian Arabic. The examined data were primarily provided by the first researcher who is a native speaker of the variety under scrutiny. To increase data reliability, the spontaneous speech of five Taguinian native speakers was analyzed by means of note taking and tape recording. The researchers support geminates’ moraicity in TSA by proffering three pieces of evidence, namely bimoraic word minimality condition, word stress, and long vowel shortening before geminates. A systematic analysis of the data via the use of optimality framework comes out with the following findings. First, the presence of CVG words demonstrates that geminates, in this variety, are underlyingly weight bearing since the minimal size of prosodic words is bimoraic. Second, the mechanism by which stress is attracted to CVG syllables proves that CVG syllables are heavy syllables wherein its second mora is carried by the geminate consonant. Third, the non-cooccurrence of long vowels and geminate consonants within the same syllable is another proof for the moraicity of geminates as trimoraic syllables are banned in TSA.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v12i2.16648

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