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The phonology of spoken Iraqi Arabic from the functional point of view

By Abbas Jawat Rahim


This thesis attempts to arrive at a phonematic analysis of\ud Spoken Iraqi Arabic (SIA) based on theories of the functional school of linguistics. It falls into two parts:\ud \ud PART ONE comprises six chapters and it presents an outline\ud of functional linguistic theories with special emphasis on phonology. Chapter One deals with the historical background of functional linguistics with particular reference to F. de Saussure (the founder of modern linguistics), some principal members of the Prague School, and A. Martinet (the leading figure in neo-Praguian functionalism).\ud Chapter Two treats of the notion of 'function' and the functions of language as viewed by F. de Saussure, K. Buhler, J.M Korinek, J. von Laziczius, N. S. Trubbtzkoy, and A. Martinet. Chapter Three and Chapter Four explain some basic functional notions such as the phoneme, the relevant feature, phonemic content, variant, contrast,\ud opposition, the archiphoneme, neutralization, and defective distribution. Chapter Five deals with various methods of 'phonemic diagnosis' (e. g. the commutation test) with particular reference to Trubetzkoy's rules for monophonematic or polyphonematic evaluation. Chapter Six\ud classifies oppositions into 'distinctive oppositions' versus 'nondistinctive oppositions, and further presents 'logical' as well as 'phonological' classifications of 'distinctive oppositions'. \ud \ud PART TWO comprises seven chapters and it presents an application of the functional phonological theory to SIA. Chapter Seven is an introduction giving an account of the Arabic dialect studied in this thesis, the segmental and non-segmental notations used in this Part, the basic sound differences between CA (Classical Arabic) and SIA, and a critical survey of previous non-functional analyses\ud of SIA. Chapter Eight tackles certain phonological problems in SIA, viz. tafxim, teldid', the phonological status, of-[j] and [w],[tj] and [d3], diphthongs, vowel length, and vocalic lipposture (presenting previous views as well as my own views on them). Chapter Nine deals with the SIA phonemes and their realizations, showing the oppositions whereby each phoneme is phonetipally realized. Chapter Ten defines each phoneme in terms of relevant features and then classifies the SIA phonemes into groups on the basis of their relevant features. Chapter Eleven, provides tabular\ud and multi-dimensional representations of the SIA consonant as well as vowel systems. Chaptor Twelve presents a method for measuring the 'functional load' of each phoneme; it provides tables showing the number of distinctive oppositions that each phoneme forms with the other phonemes of the SIA phonological system in word-initial, word-medial and word-final positions followed by statistical conclusions as to which phonemes have the highest functional load in the system, and so on, and which of the three word positions is the position of maximum differentiation. Finally, Chapter Thirteen investigates cases of neutralization and cases of free variation.\ud It also accounts for the archiphonemes which are said to occur in the position(s) of neutralization of the respective oppositions in addition to their relevant features and their symbolization

Publisher: Linguistics & Phonetics (Leeds)
Year: 1980
OAI identifier:

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