Syllables in Tashlhiyt Berber and in Moroccan Arabic

  • François Dell
  • Mohamed Elmedlaoui

Part of the Kluwer International Handbooks of Linguistics book series (KIHL, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 1-11
  3. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 13-37
  4. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 39-69
  5. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 71-114
  6. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 115-134
  7. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 135-187
  8. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 189-226
  9. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 227-290
  10. François Dell, Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    Pages 291-334
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 335-385

About this book


This book is intended primarily as an original contribution to the investi­ gation of the phonology of the two main languages spoken in Morocco. Its central topic is syllable structure. Our theoretical outlook is that of generative phonology. Most of the book deals with Tashlhiyt Berber. This language has a syllable structure with properties which are highly unusual, as seen from the vantage point of better-studied languages on which most theorizing about syllabification is based. On the one hand, complex consonant sequences are a common occurrence in the surface representations. On the other hand, syllable structure is very simple: only one distinctive feature bundle (phoneme) may occur in the onset, the nucleus or the coda. The way these two conflicting demands are reconciled is by allowing vowelless sylla­ bies . Any consonant may act as a syllable nucleus. When astring is syllabified, nuclear status is preferentially assigned to the segments with a higher degree of sonority than their neighbours. Consider for instance the expression below, which is a complete sentence meaning 'remove it (m) and eat it (m)': /kks=t t-ss-t=t/ [k. st. s . t:"] . k. k~t. t. s. . slt. The sentence must be pronounced voiceless throughout, as indicated by the IPA transcription between square brackets ; the syllabic parse given after the IPA transcription indicates that the sentence comprises four syllables (syllable nuclei are underlined). The differences between the dialects of Berber have to do primarily with the phonology and the lexicon.


Syntax language morphology phonology

Authors and affiliations

  • François Dell
    • 1
  • Mohamed Elmedlaoui
    • 2
  1. 1.EHESS-CNRSParisFrance
  2. 2.Faculté des LettresOujdaMorocco

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-1077-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-0279-0
  • Series Print ISSN 1572-1140
  • Buy this book on publisher's site