Exploring the syntax-phonology interface in Arabic

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Despite an abundance of research on Arabic syntax and phonology as separate domains, there is as yet relatively little research at the syntax-phonology interface in Arabic. This paper begins by providing an overview of what we know so far, in an effort to identify reasons for the lack of work at the interface to date. The paper then presents a review of prior work on the syntax-phonology mapping in Egyptian Arabic (EA) – set in the context of developments in the wider syntaxphonology literature – in order to show that interface work requires expertise in both phonetics/phonology and syntax. Some early results are then presented from a pilot study which compares for the first time the basic syntaxphonology mapping patterns in two dialects of Arabic – EA, and Jordanian Arabic (JA) – and explores whether dialect-internal, inter-speaker variation, previously observed in EA, is also found in JA.


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