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Author: Noam Faust

This paper presents and discusses a text in the Tigre language, delivered by a speaker of the Samhar dialect. The accompanying notes indicate several grammatical issues that arise from the text and are either specific to this dialect or have never been discussed explicitly in the Tigre literature. Among these are: receding vowel harmony in rounding, length in closed syllables, the two-syllable stress window, the purposive əgəl in the infinitive construction and in object marking, the connectives yɛni and ende, negation, focus and direct and indirect speech.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Author: Noam Faust

In the nominal morphology of Modern Hebrew, the vowels [a] and [e] alternate with each other and syncopate in several contexts. These contexts have received separate phonological and/or morphological analyses in the past. The phonological analyses have yielded phonologically unnatural rules; the morphological analyses have turned to the unconstrained concept of stem-allomorphy. In the first part of this paper, a unifying account of these vocalic alternations is provided in the framework of CVCV-Phonology (Lowenstamm 1996), relating the contexts to one another. Specifically, it is proposed that some vowels are phonologically long, either lexically or through a rule of pretonic lengthening. In the second part of the paper, an alternation which resists the strictly phonological explanation is shown to follow from morpho-syntactic principles of derivation by phase (Embick 2010). While certain phonological processes apply whenever the domain of a category head is processed, only the merger of the head D triggers the realization of the underlying phonological string.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Author: Noam Faust

Abstract

In both Palestinian Arabic and Qaraqosh Neo-Aramaic, high vowels lower and lengthen in the _C# position. This paper analyzes this phenomenon in the framework of Government Phonology (Kaye et al. 1990) and Strict CV (Lowenstamm 1996, Scheer 2004). It is claimed that in both languages, phonological considerations require additional length to be realized in this position (under certain conditions). However, this length cannot be realized through vowel lengthening, and so an element A is inserted. The fusion of the high vowel with A produces the lowered quality. Lengthening and lowering are therefore related, possibly because lowered high vowels are more complex than high vowels.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Author: Noam Faust

Abstract

Modern Hebrew is written with the traditional Hebrew orthography, which contains several symbols that refer to guttural sounds. However, the pronunciations corresponding to these symbols in Modern Hebrew are not phonetically guttural. This paper is an exhaustive survey of these realizations. It shows that in many cases, there are reasons to think that even though no sound is produced, there is an underlying segment in the position of the historical guttural, and this segment behaves in a predictable manner. That said, alongside this general pattern, there are some effects related to historical gutturals that must be regarded as morpheme-specific, as well as some idiosyncrasies of the different original gutturals.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Author: Noam Faust

Abstract

This short paper describes the various types of vowel alternations in Modern Hebrew, examining cases in which vowels alternate with Ø, which may be considered as syncope, as well as alternations between two vowels. Motivations for the different alternations are also discussed briefly.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Authors: Ya'ar Hever and Noam Faust

Abstract

This paper argues for the existence of a discontinuous root morpheme in the Semitic languages. Although this notion is often used in the analysis of these languages, it has been claimed in some surface-oriented studies to be a mere theoretical artifact. The first part of this paper presents two arguments from the realm of verbal inflection. It is shown that no surface form can serve consistently as the base for other forms in either Modern Hebrew or Chaha, two Semitic languages. It is further argued that some morphophonological processes in Chaha must be regarded as applying to the root. Applying such processes to the surface stem would result in incorrect forms. The second part of the paper treats discontinuous effects in nominal formations. It is argued that agentive nouns in Modern Hebrew can be built either on another noun or on the root. Without the notion of the root, one is obliged to list all the cases which we propose are root-derived. Such listing obscures the entirely regular and consistently predictable form of root-derived agentives.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Authors: Ori Shachmon and Noam Faust

Abstract

A group of Arabic dialects in Yemen exhibit a velar k in the subject suffixes of the perfect paradigm. The 1sg subject suffix surfaces in the various dialects as -ku, -k or -k w. In addition, the vocalization of the base may or may not be colored with a round vocalic quality, depending on both the realization of the suffix and the verbal type faʿal or fiʿil. Based on inquiries among speakers from Lower Yemen, we propose a path of evolution that leads from -ku to the labialized -k w, to a “colored” stem, and finally to the grammaticalization of coloration and loss of labialization. Two pressures propel the passage between stages: a functional pressure to distinguish between 1sg and 2msg, and a phonological pressure to avoid monopositional final vowels. The phonological pressure is shown to also motivate palatalization in the 2fsg -ki ⇒ -ky (⇒ -š), as well as the effect of pre-pausal nasal insertion, viz. -ku ⇒ -kum# and -ki ⇒ -ki ŋ #. We further show that final vowels resulting from the interaction of the subject suffixes with object clitics are phonologically long—even if phonetically neutralized—and hence they do not violate the phonological requirement. The formal theories of strict CV (Lowenstamm 1996, Scheer 2004) and Element Theory (Kaye et al. 1985) are used to explain the a-synchronized development in the different verbal patterns, as well as the extent of the phonological ban on monopositional vowels.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics