Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Linguistic Theory & Typology

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Hippisley

Abstract

This paper examines the plural inflectional processes present in Egyptian Arabic, with specific focus on the complex broken plural system. The data used in this examination is a set of 114 lexemes from a dictionary of the Egyptian Arabic variety by Badawi and Hinds (1984) collected through comparison of singular to plural template correspondences proposed by Gadalla (2004). The theoretical side of this analysis tests the proposed realizational approach in Kihm (2006) named the “Root-and-Site Hypothesis” against a variety of broken plural constructions in Egyptian Arabic. Categorizing concatenative and non-concatenative morphological processes as approachable in the same manner, this framework discusses inflection as not only represented by segments but also by “sites” where inflectional operations may take place. In order to organize the data through a computational lens, I emulate features of this approach in a DATR theorem that generates the grammatical forms for a set of both broken and sound plural nominals. The hierarchically-structured inheritance of the program’s language allows for default templates to be defined as well as overridden, permitting a wide scope of variation to be represented with little code content.

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