The Phonology of Iraqi Arabic: A Striatal -Optimality –Theoretic Approach


  • Huda Hisham Bahlol, Prof. Ali Abdullah Mahmood


Stratal Optimality Theory, Syncope, Vowel shortening, Gemination


The present study takes Stratal Optimality Theory (STO) as a model for the analysis of some phonological aspects of Iraqi Arabic. The study focuses on certain phonological phenomena of Baghdadi Arabic (BGA) as a favorable sample of our analysis since it is the capital of Iraq. Stratal OT was first introduced by Kiparsky in 2000. It is considered as a modern version of classical OT which countenances only markedness and faithfulness constraints. Instead of exploding the constraint typology, it deals with phonology/phonology as well as phonology/morphology interaction by organizing the grammar into levels analogous to those posited in lexical phonology and morphology. The theory deals with different phonological phenomena through the interaction of certain candidates with certain constraints. Different phonological phenomena of BGA is analyzed in accordance to SOT as it is universal theory, such as stress, epenthesis and syncope. The transparence stress rules are accounted for in this study with comprehensive investigation of some stress patterns of BGA. We also addressed syncope and vowel shortening in open and closed syllables which take place at stem level only. Gemination in BGA is also explained shortly with authentic examples from Iraqi words