Yod-dropping in <i>b-imperfect</i> verb forms &#8232;in Amman

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This article presents analysis of data from the emerging dialect of Amman within the framework of &#8216;dialect contact&#8217; and &#8216;new dialect formation&#8217; (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 &#8216;person&#8217; information, and (ii) in <i>hamza</i>-initial verbs (&#8216;glottal-initial verbs&#8217; such as /&#660;akal/ &#8216;<i>to eat</i>&#8217;) speakers with Jordanian heritage introduce a new form for 1st person singular and reallocate an existing form to the 3rd person singular masculine.


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