A Prosodic Account of Negation in Jordanian Arabic


This study investigates the relationship between negation variation in Jordanian Arabic and prosody. Inspired by a variationist study (Sallakh 2021) which found that transitivity and tense had major effects on the choice of negation variants in Jordanian Arabic, we provide phonological and acoustic analyses of tokens involving transitive and intransitive verbs. Our results show that intransitive verbs are more likely to occur in discontinuous negation ma:- -ʃ because the verb is not prosodically parsed with a complement. On the other hand, transitive verbs tend to take pre-verbal ma: since the verb is prosodically parsed with its complement hence disfavoring the addition of another syllable to the MiP of the verb and its complement. Similarly, our phonological and prosodic analyses show that tense also affects negation variant choice as discontinuous negation is more frequent in past tense because it does not have any tense or agreement proclitics or enclitics. Present tense disfavors discontinuous negation because of the proclitics and enclitics it is attached to. Finally, to support the prosodic analysis, we conducted an acoustic analysis that investigated negator duration, pitch, intensity inter alia.


Ayman Yasin , Ekab Al-Shawashreh , Hussien Obeidat , Rasheed Aljarrah


acoustic analysis, Jordanian Arabic, morphosyntactic variation, negation, prosody


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