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

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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