Phonological Adaptation of Arabic Loanwords in Sabzevari Persian: Metathesis and Vowel Epenthesis

Journal Article
Alqahtani, Mufleh Salem . 2018
Phonological Analysis
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Linguistics and Literature Studies
Issue Number: 
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

This paper discusses the role of metathesis and vowel epenthesis in Arabic loanword adaptation in Sabzevari, a Persian vernacular spoken in the Sabzevar area of Northeast Iran. This role is accounted for using the framework of Optimality Theory (OT). The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the extent to which metathesis and vowel epenthesis, as repair strategies, are used for adapting Arabic loanwords in Sabzevari in the light of OT. This study mainly relies on data taken from extant literature including books, articles and theses. In addition, some videos on YouTube peculiar to this dialect and its speakers are taken into consideration for verifying data already harvested from the literature. The conclusion of the paper is that metathesis and vowel epenthesis are motivated by word-final clusters in Arabic loanwords that constitute Reversal Sonority, as a manifestation of Sonority Sequencing Violation. Metathesis targets word-final clusters in Arabic loanwords of the forms /plosive+fricative/ and /fricative+lateral/ while word-final clusters in Arabic loanwords of the forms /fricative+ rhotic/, /stop+nasal/, /stop+ liquid/, /nasal+ rhotic/, /stop+ nasal/, and /fricative + nasal/ are not immune to vowel epenthesis. OT is shown in this study to be a framework which is capable of analysing metathesis and vowel epenthesis with regard to Arabic loanwords in Sabzevari.

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