Bruggeman, Anna (2018). Lexical and postlexical prominence in Tashlhiyt Berber and Moroccan Arabic. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Tashlhiyt Berber (Afro-Asiatic, Berber) and Moroccan Arabic (Afro-Asiatic, Semitic), two languages spoken in Morocco, have been in contact for over 1200 years. The influence of Berber languages on the lexicon and the segmental-phonological structure of Moroccan Arabic is well-documented, whereas possible similarities in the prosodic-phonological domain have not yet been addressed in detail. This thesis brings together evidence from production and perception to bear on the question whether Tashlhiyt Berber and Moroccan Arabic also exhibit convergence in the domain of phonological prominence. Experimental results are interpreted as showing that neither language has lexical prominence asymmetries in the form of lexical stress. This lack of stress in Moroccan Arabic is unlike the undisputed presence of lexical stress in most other varieties of Arabic, which in turn suggests that this aspect of the phonology of Moroccan Arabic has resulted from contact with (Tashlhiyt) Berber. A further, theoretical contribution is made with respect to the possible correspondence between lexical and postlexical prominence structure from a typological point of view. One of the tenets of the Autosegmental Metrical approach to intonation analysis holds that prominence-marking intonational events (pitch accents) associate with lexically stressed syllables. Exactly how prominence marking is achieved in languages that lack lexical stress is little-understood, and this thesis' discussion of postlexical prominence in Tashlhiyt Berber and Moroccan Arabic provides new insights that bear on this topic. A first set of production experiments investigates, for both languages, if there are acoustic correlates to what some researchers have considered to be lexically stressed syllables. It is shown that neither language exhibits consistent acoustic enhancement of presumed stressed syllables relative to unstressed syllables. The second set of production experiments reports on the prosodic characteristics of question word interrogatives in both languages. It is shown that question words are the locus of postlexical prominence-marking events that however do not exhibit association to a sub-lexical phonological unit. A final perception experiment serves the goal of showing how native speakers of Tashlhiyt Berber and Moroccan Arabic deal with the encoding of a postlexical prominence contrast that is parasitic on a lexical prominence contrast. This is achieved by means of a 'stress deafness' experiment, the results of which show that speakers of neither language can reliably encode a lexically-specified prominence difference. Results from all three types of experiment thus converge in suggesting that lexical prominence asymmetries are not specified in the phonology of either language.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Bruggeman, Annaanna_bruggeman@msn.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-111893
Date: 2018
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 1: Kunstgeschichte, Musikwissenschaft, Medienkultur und Theater, Linguistik, IDH > Institut für Linguistik > Phonetik
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Moroccan Arabic, Tashlhiyt Berber, stress, intonation, phonetics, phonologyUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 16 May 2018
NameAcademic Title
Grice, MartineProf. Dr.
Hellmuth, SamDr.
Funders: DAAD
Refereed: Yes


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