Morpho-phonological structure of sound feminine plural: Revisited

Author: Bassil Mashaqba

Keywords: Sound feminine plural (SFP), Morpho-phonology, Jordanian Arabic, Debuccalization, Glottalization


This work investigates an unusual and intriguing concatenative morpho-phonological process, which occurs in a Jordanian variety as spoken by Ahl Al-Jabal Bedouin, the native dwellers of North East Badia of Jordan. The work shows that the voiceless plosive /t/ undergoes deletion if and only if it is part of the sound feminine plural morpheme aat. In the pre-pausal position, /t/ deletion is further compensated by the reproduction of the voiceless glottal fricative [h]. Phonologically, the final voiceless plosive /t/, in the sound feminine plural –aat, undergoes debuccalization by which it loses its original place of articulation [alveolar] and moves to the glottis to surface as [guttural] [h]. Glottal closure (glottalization) takes place via a glottal fricative [h] rather than a glottal stop [ʔ]. The results of this paper further prove that the phonological status of sound feminine pluralization in Ahl Al-Jabal dialect is significantly motivated by morphology, an interesting piece of evidence that certain morphological patterns operate in the phonological component, or at least require phonological implications.