Intonational Patterns of Focus Preposing Constructions in Hijazi Arabic

Muhammad Swaileh A. Alzaidi

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(English, 9 pages)

Abstract

This study has two aims. First, it introduces an under-studied construction in Hijazi Arabic (HA) and investigates its intonational, semantic, pragmatic, syntactic, and information structure properties. This construction is termed as focus preposing. It is a non-canonical syntactic option used to express a specific aspect of information structure such as contrastive focus (e.g., Moutaouakil, 1989). Second, it aims to investigate whether a focus preposing in HA is associated with a particular intonational tune. To fullfill this aim, 480 declaratives were constructed. These sentences were elicited from sixteen native speakers of Hijazi Arabic. These sentences were embedded in questionanswered paradigms to evoke contrastive focus on the preposed item realized at the left periphery of the HA clause. The intonational structure of this construction shows to have a nuclear pitch accent [L+H*] placed on the stressed syllable of left-realized word, followed by post-focus compression till the end of the structure. This finding provides evidence for Liberman & Sag; Marandin’s (1974; 2006) claim that the tune determines the meanings.

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International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Founded in 2018, the International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation (IJLLT) is ... see more

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Al-Kindi Center for Research and Development

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