The Influence of Stress on Allophonic Alteration in Standard Arabic: An Optimality Theoretic Perspective
The Asian EFL Journal, Volume 28 Issue 1.1 February 2021
16 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 1, 2021
Abstract: Optimality Theory (OT)questioned the validity of standard generative phonology, especially the postulation of underlying representation, and demanded evidence in terms of rule ordering. This paper focuses on the word stress pattern in Standard Arabic based on the optimality theoretic framework. The study endeavors to account for two phonological aspects in Standard Arabic; the first is the distribution of the segment/r/ and its allophonic variations in Standard Arabic. The second compares the markedness and faithfulness of trill and flap in Standard Arabic to other languages, respectively. The paper explores the motivation for markedness with analytic evidence from standard Arabic data. The study results found out that there are two allophones of the phoneme /r/ in Arabic; the trill /r/always occurs in single, geminated, and intervocalic positions, voiced fricatives occur in an intervocalic position, voiceless fricatives occur in word-initial position, trills always tend to vary with non-trilled pronunciation, /r/ single geminated (trill) occurs in intervocalic positions, and trills in many languages are Apical. The flap /ɾ/occurs in an unstressed syllable. However, these occurrences are violated when emphatic sounds precede the two allophones. This study stands as evidence for the occurrence of trill [r] in unstressed syllables under the influence of the preceding sound, i.e., pharyngeal.
Keywords: Allophonic Variation, Arabic Syllable, Arabic Word Stress, Markedness, Optimality Theory
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation