TOWARDS A MORPHOLOGICAL THEORY: THE CASE OF ARABIC BROKEN AND SOUND PLURALS

Journal Article
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Journal of Arts, King Saud University
Issue Number: 
3
Volume Number: 
26
Pages: 
19-36
Publication Abstract: 

The paper discusses the Arabic Broken plural and the Sound plural (BP and SP henceforth) as two instances of two distinct morphological processes involving different characteristics and mechanisms. I propose an analysis based on how morphology operates in the lexicon and the syntax and provide data from Arabic and Hebrew. I argue that the BP is derived lexically as one atomic complex word while the SP involves a two-unit merger deriving a non-atomic word in the syntax. Evidence follows from the lexical access, morphological productivity, semantic distinctions of number and the lexical representation of BP and SP. Atomicity plays a crucial role in the distinction of morphology in the lexicon and the syntax not just in Arabic morphology but also cross-linguistically as illustrated by the Hebrew diminutives which add further evidence to the effect of atomicity in the morphological analysis of words.