A Constant Velocity (vnaughtdeltat) wrote in linguaphiles,
A Constant Velocity
vnaughtdeltat
linguaphiles

Iraqi Arabic

Hi all.

I'm reading René Kager's Optimality Theory textbook, and he gives an example from Levantine and Iraqi Arabic on p144, to illustrate the concept of a "minimal word", that there is a certain length a word must be so that metrical constraints can affect it. Specifically, the example is of a language that actively reinforces a binary word minimum by expanding a word that falls below the minimum.
Here's the example:

a. /sʔal/ sʔaal 'ask, masc. sing' -- prosodic lengthening
b. /drus/ idrus 'study' -- epenthesis

Having just finished a year of MSA, I was under the impression that (b), 'study', would have as its underlying form 'X-d-r-s', where 'X' is a consonant that marks person (example: MSA ʔadrus, 'I study'; jadrus, 'he studies').
What does Iraqi Arabic do with verbs that the underlying form of 'study' lacks an initial consonant, and that the surface 'i' must be provided by epenthesis?

I realize that the example doesn't provide person, so if this is an infinitive or recitation form, and the conjugations do use the same system as MSA, just smack me. I couldn't find the original paper (Broselow 1995) to check this.
Tags: arabic
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