An Optimality-theoretic Analysis
Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra
The present study investigates the concept of Extraprosodicity and its relevance to Tamazight syllable structure. This notion has been hinted at in studies carried out within different frameworks: Prosodic Phonology (Ito 1986- 1989); Hayes (1993)); Autosegmental Phonology (Goldsmith (1990)); Prosodic Morphology (McCarthy (1985-1989) and Optimality Theory (McCarthy and Prince (1993); Prince and Smolensky (1993)). However, this notion still needs to be explored further. The reason for this maneuver is twofold: a) to determine what Extraprosodicity is and b) to exactly explain the principles that condition its use. Such limitations make of Extraprosodicity a principal research objective especially that it makes the formulation of rules having to do with Tamazight syllable structure an easy enterprise.
This study is thus concerned with the applicability of the notion of extraprosodicity in analysing aspects of syllable structure of a variety of Tamazight spoken in El ksiba . Ait Wirra Tamazight Berber (Henceforth AWTB). Extraprosodicity simply means that syllable-building rules are blind to incorporating certain edge constituents into the structures they build. In the case of syllable structure, the extraprosodicity model uses the notion of Extrasyllabicity.
Three reasons stand behind the exploration of Extraprosodicity. First, this concept has received little attention from Berberists. The works that have dealt with cases involving Extraprosodicity and its relevance to Tamazight syllable structure are Bader (1985), Adnour (1994) and Faizi (2002). Second, the treatments propounded in these studies have failed to come up with an account that is explanatorily adequate, since Extraprosodicity is considered a tool to account only for irregular cases where schwa epenthesis is blocked. Third, the analyses undertaken in these works consider Extraprosodicity a language-specific mechanism. Thus, they fail to recognize it as the result of the interaction of more general constraints pertaining to Universal Grammar.
In this book, beside relying on the assumptions of Standard Non-linear Generative Phonology, we basically assume the conception of grammar as proposed within Optimality Theory (henceforth OT). It is within the general framework of OT (McCarthy and Prince (op.cit.) and Prince and Smolensky (op.cit.) and later development, namely Correspondence Theory - that we attempt an analysis of some aspects of AWTB word morphophonology that motivate the use of Extraprosodicity. In fact, the basic principles of OT will be applied to explain the interaction between prosodic phenomena such as syllabification, epenthesis and affixation, a morphological process. To explain, some prosodic words’ final syllables end in a sequence of three consonants, a structure not permitted word internally. Monoconsonantal coronal nominal affixes and verbal clitics create these sequences. The second chunk of the feminine morpheme /t ----- t/, the third masculine / feminine object clitics /t/ and /tt/, the second part of the 2nd person pronoun /t --- d/ and the orientation index /d/ give rise to clusters of three consonants when attached to nominal and verbal stems respectively.
ISBN 9783895861383. LINCOM Studies in Afroasiatic Languages 20. 226pp. 2008.