Yod-dropping in <i>b-imperfect</i> verb forms
This article presents analysis of data from the emerging dialect of Amman within the framework of ‘dialect contact’ and ‘new dialect formation’ (Trudgill, 1986, 2004). In particular, it focuses on the conjugation of 3rd person singular and plural verb forms with or without /j/. The dialect of Amman can be described as the output of contact between speakers of two major dialect groups: Jordanian and Palestinian. In both groups of dialects, the imperfective takes the form <i>b + Imperfect</i> form, but whereas in Jordanian dialects Yod is dropped from the stem in the <i>b-imperfect</i> form in all environments, in Palestinian dialects it is dropped in open syllables only. The analysis reveals two important innovative patterns of conjugation: (i) <i>Yod</i> is dropped everywhere except where it carries ‘person’ information, and (ii) in <i>hamza</i>-initial verbs (‘glottal-initial verbs’ such as /ʔakal/ ‘<i>to eat</i>’) speakers with Jordanian heritage introduce a new form for 1st person singular and reallocate an existing form to the 3rd person singular masculine.