[ p. 89 ]Arabic plurals and root and pattern morphology in Palestinian and Egyptian heritage speakers
This study investigates heritage speakers’ knowledge of plural formation in their colloquial varieties of Arabic, which use both concatenative and non-concatentative modes of derivation. In the concatenative derivation, a plural suffix attaches to the singular stem (muhandis ‘engineer-sg.’ → muhandis-iin ‘engineer-pl’); in the non-concatenative, the relation between the singular (gamal ‘camel’) and the plural (gimaal ‘camels’) typically involves vocalic and prosodic alternations with the main shared similarity between the two forms being the consonantal root (e.g., g-m-l). In linguistic approaches, non-concatenative patterns have been captured in different ways, though the earliest and most recognizable approach involves the mapping of a consonantal root onto a plural template. We investigated heritage speakers’ knowledge of the root and pattern system in two independent experiments. In Experiment 1, oral narratives were elicited from 20 heritage speakers and 20 native speakers of Egyptian and Palestinian Arabic. In Experiment 2, another group of 24 heritage speakers and 24 native speakers of the same dialects completed an oral picture-description task. The results of the two experiments show that heritage speakers’ knowledge of the root and pattern system of Arabic is not target-like. Yet, they have a good grasp of the root and template as basic units of word formation in their heritage Arabic dialects. We discuss implications for debates about the acquisition of the root and pattern system of Arabic morphology.
Keywords: Arabic, heritage speakers, plural morphology, root and pattern
Published online: 21 February 2014
Cited by 12 other publications
Albirini, Abdulkafi & Elabbas Benmamoun
Albirini, Abdulkafi & Elabbas Benmamoun
Benmamoun, Elabbas & Abdulkafi Albirini
Carreira, Maria & Olga Kagan
Elizabeth Ijalba, Patricia Velasco & Catherine J. Crowley
Sekerina, Irina A & Antje Sauermann
Visonà, Mark Winston & Luke Plonsky
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Albirini, A., & Benmamoun, E.
Albirini, A., Benmamoun, E., & Chakrani, B.
Albirini, A., Benmamoun, E., & Saadah, E.
Alijenaie, K., Abdalla, F., & Farghal, M.
Arab American Institute
(2009) Demographics. In Arab American Institute, retrieved on 3 October 2013, from http://www.aaiusa.org/pages/demographics/ .
Au, T., Knightly, L., Jun, S., & Oh, J.
(1983) Acquisition of lexical derivational rules in Moroccan Arabic: Implications for the development of Standard Arabic as a second language through literacy. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
Benmamoun, E., Abunasser, M., & Albirini, A.
Berent, I., Pinker, S., & Shimron, J.
Boudelaa, S., & Gaskell, G.M.
Boudelaa, S., & Marslen-Wilson, W.
(1970) Arabic phonology: Implications for phonological theory and general Semitic. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
Clahsen, H., Rothweiler, M., Woest, A., & Marcus, G.
Cuza, A., & Frank, J.
(2009) The development of consonant clusters, stress, and plural nouns in Jordanian Arabic child language. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Essex, UK.
Frost, R., Forster, K., & Deutsch, A.
Idrissi, A., Prunet, J., & Béland, R.
Keating, G., VanPatten, B., & Jegerski, J.
Lambert, W., & Tucker, G.
(1971) The plural of the noun in Modern Standard Arabic. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Lukyanchenko, A., & Gor, K.
(1979) Formal problems in Semitic phonology and morphology. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, MA.
McCarthy, J., & Prince, A.
Montrul, S., de la Fuente, I., Davidson, J., & Foote, R.
Montrul, S., & Ionin, T.
Montrul, S., & Sánchez-Walker, N.
in press). Incomplete acquisition of differential object marking in child and adult Spanish heritage speakers. Language Acquisition.
O’Grady, W., Kwak, H., Lee, O., & Lee, M.
O’Grady, W., Lee, M., & Choo, M.
Plunkett, K., & Nakisa, R.
Prunet, J., Béland, R., & Idrissi, A.
Ravid, D., & Farah, R.
(2010) The production of Arabic vowels by English L2 learners and heritage speakers of Arabic. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL.
Sherkina-Lieber, M., Pérez-Leroux, A., & Johns, A.